The Endeavor Lifts Off

 

OTW To Florida

I’m coming in for the final shuttle launch and I heard about a secret thing… Nikon has a special room/building at NASA that is full of lenses and all kinds of awesome stuff! I just need my NPS (Nikon Professional Services) card and I can be a kid in a candy store. Now, all of this sounds way too good to be true, but I’ll swoop in there to get the full scoop and let you know. (I even heard they have a 1200mm prime laying around!)

Daily Photo – The Endeavor Lifts Off

So, when I took this, I was using two different cameras. The first one was my D3X with the 28-300mm lens on a tripod, and that is how I got this one. It’s an HDR from a single RAW.

Not long after this, the buffer filled up and it started to shoot slowly, so I went to my second camera around my neck, the D3S with a 50mm prime. And I got the second shot below.

The Endeavor Lifts OffSo, when I took this, I was using two different cameras. The first one was my D3X with the 28-300mm lens on a tripod, and that is how I got this one. It’s an HDR from a single RAW.Not long after this, the buffer filled up and it started to shoot slowly, so I went to my second camera around my neck, the D3S with a 50mm prime. And I got this shot.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Space Shuttle

 

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Girl In Ocean

 

Big Lenses

Are you the type of person that uses big lenses a lot? I admire you! I don’t…and after lugging this 600mm around for a while, I really got a good sense of what some of the hardcore bird/animal photographers do…

Daily Photo – Girl in Ocean

I got this 600mm from BorrowLenses.com to take photos of the shuttle on my first trip. Since the shuttle didn’t take off, Scott and I decided to go to the beach and take photos of girls from a distance like real creeps. I openly admit it… we looked downright creepy up there with two huge lenses, peering in every which direction until we saw something interesting.

Then I saw this gal splashing around in the waves with her friends… seemed like a good subject so I took a few shots. With the 600mm I was so far away, that she would have had no idea I was taking them. This made it all feel even more sketchy, but, you know, having said all that, I’m quite happy with the shot.

Girl in OceanI got this 600mm from BorrowLenses.com to take photos of the shuttle on my first trip.  Since the shuttle didn't take off, Scott and I decided to go to the beach and take photos of girls from a distance like real creeps.  I openly admit it... we looked downright creepy up there with two huge lenses, peering in every which direction until we saw something interesting.  Then I saw this gal splashing around in the waves with her friends... seemed like a good subject so I took a few shots.  With the 600mm I was so far away, that she would have had no idea I was taking them.  This made it all feel even more sketchy, but, you know, having said all that, I'm quite happy with the shot.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Webinar Grand Prize: Destination Austin with Trey

Great Prize Bundle – Thanks Photomatix!

Here’s a fun prize! This is open to all that have registered for the Photography Webinar. It starts tonight, but you can still join even up to a week late and just download the classes you missed!

  • Grand Prize: All Expenses Paid Trip to Austin to shoot an abandoned power plant with me – Thanks Photomatix for this prize
    • Plane, +Hotel (2 nights), +Car, +$100 in meals!
      • Note: Plane allotment covers anything below $750.  If you are overseas and want to make up the difference, then feel free to enter below!
  • Bonus Prize: Photoshop CS5 – I have another new copy I’ll give you when you arrive here in Austin.
  • To Enter: Leave a comment below!  People with more than one comment are disqualified.
  • Eligible: You must be registered for the Photography Webinar
  • Contest Ends May 15th at midnight CST. I’ll select a random winner and announce on May 16.
  • Questions? Contact support@stuckincustoms.com

And, of course there are many other prizes as well, such as a New Drobo every class. Pop over to the Webinar page to see them all listed out.

Daily Photo – The Megahangar at NASA

Here is a zoom-in of the image below to give you a sense of the size of this beast.

Imagine a giant skyscraper, but hollow and filled with people making rockets.  That’s what the VAB is.  To really get a sense of the size of this thing, look at the outline of the man standing in the distance, his body backlit by the door.

The VAB, or Vehicle Assembly Building, is the worlds largest single-story building, and it’s where NASA assembles many of the rockets, including the mighty Saturn V.  It’s also the tallest building in the US that’s not in a downtown area.   It’s situated at Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center, and it’s awesome dot com.

The thing is so big that it even has its own weather system.  In fact, on humid days it can even rain inside the building!  In my photo below, you are really only seeing part of it.  Off to the right, they are fueling up the Atlantis for its upcoming mission.  Staring through the girders from another angle, you can easily see the giant orange tank going through its pre-launch ordeal.

Getting into this place was very difficult.  I felt privileged to even get through the various security screenings and get the governmental approval to go inside.  They let in little groups of us from the Tweetup, and I have to thank Stephanie Schierholz for making it all happen.  It’s one of the mysterious places on earth I’ve always wanted to visit, so I was very excited to be inside.  My next goal is to get back inside and get up higher… perhaps even get in while they are prepping the next rocket.

I have many more shots of this building that I’ll be sharing in coming weeks and months… you guys know how I like to keep these threads and stories open for a long time!

The Megahangar at NASA Imagine a giant skyscraper, but hollow and filled with people making rockets.  That's what the VAB is.  To really get a sense of the size of this thing, look at the outline of the man standing in the distance, his body backlit by the door. The VAB, or Vehicle Assembly Building, is the worlds largest single-story building, and it's where NASA assembles many of the rockets, including the mighty Saturn V.  It's also the tallest building in the US that's not in a downtown area.   It's situated at Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center, and it's awesome dot com. The thing is so big that it even has its own weather system.  In fact, on humid days it can even rain inside the building!  In my photo below, you are really only seeing part of it.  Off to the right, they are fueling up the Atlantis for its upcoming mission.  Staring through the girders from another angle, you can easily see the giant orange tank going through its pre-launch ordeal.Getting into this place was very difficult.  I felt privileged to even get through the various security screenings and get the governmental approval to go inside.  They let in little groups of us from the Tweetup, and I have to thank Stephanie Schierholz for making it all happen.  It's one of the mysterious places on earth I've always wanted to visit, so I was very excited to be inside.  My next goal is to get back inside and get up higher... perhaps even get in while they are prepping the next rocket.I have many more shots of this building that I'll be sharing in coming weeks and months... you guys know how I like to keep these threads and stories open for a long time!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Journey of a Lifetime in Africa

Topaz Adjust Review and Problems

If you want to know more about how the photo below was made, and why it “pops” in that way, see my full Topaz Adjust Review.

So, I still use it from time to time to add some microcontrast to images, but I notice it is going super slow. Is anyone else having this problem? I have a pretty fast Mac Pro too… I just can’t figure it out. Also, I still have an old install of Topaz Adjust 3, which I tried out… but it crashes whenever I try to run it. What a pain!

Daily Photo – Journey of a Lifetime in Africa

I have never been to Africa, but it is very high on the list. Very very high. And I understand from many of my friends that it will get very deep into me, and I’ll want to go back many times. That’s okay… and I look forward to that feeling!

This photo below is taken in Disneyworld in the Animal Kingdom. The Imagineers run around and make everything look all Africa-ey and authentic… I don’t really know how authentic this is… but I certainly liked the feeling and style of this wall, so had to take a photo!

High Dynamic Range Photo

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The Mystery of the Orient

All the DisneyWorld Photos

If you want to see all my them, click on the Disney World category. After you get to the bottom, click “Previous” to see another batch of 15 or so. I have a lot… and if you love Disney like me, maybe you’ll find a few in there you like.

Daily Photo – The Mystery of the Orient

The biggest mystery here, which you may have guessed by now, is that this is not in the orient at all. This is in the World Showcase area of Epcot. In some ways, I think, Epcot has the least exciting rides and attractions of the four Disney parks in Orlando. But what it lacks in rides, it makes up for in photo ops!

My best suggestion for photographers is the following. First, if you are staying in a Disney resort, then you get special “night hours” at different parks. Be there on the Epcot night, and make sure you are as far away from the exit as possible when the park closes. Then, you can take your time walking back to the entrance and take as many photos as you like! Everything is well lit, there is nobody around, and security doesn’t even seem to mind. No one rushes you out… it’s very relaxing and perfect. And, of course, the World Showcase has all sorts of cool buildings, architecture, and landscaping… countless opportunities for great compositions.

I took this photo right outside of a great Japanese restaurant. I forgot the name, but I had some pretty good sushi. I think this place and the California Grill have the best sushi at Disney, if you are into that sort of thing.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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