The Sphere of Influence

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Daily Photo – The Sphere of Influence

I thought this sphere was so unusual when I saw it the first time. There’s a radar under there, but the design of the housing is pretty cool and modern… And it sits in the middle of an awesome adults-only swimming pool on the front of the Disney Fantasy… very cool.

The Sphere of Influence

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Towering Ships

Disney Cruise Lore

So, I am not one with the “cruising culture” by any means. And, I was shocked (and somewhat entertained) to find out that such a deep subculture exists!

Since we were on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy, we discovered that there were a great many people on this boat that had been on at least a dozen other Disney cruises. A dozen! And they had everything figured out — I mean everything. And they weren’t afraid to tell you. Oh no. Give them two seconds of silence, and they’ll spit out facts about the ports of call of the Disney Dream in May of 2009. They were like baseball statisticians, effortlessly spouting out Cy Young winners from 1972 and the W-L record of the Cleveland Indians from the same year.

And it was in this environment I found myself when these two great Disney ships docked together in Mexico. This was a Big Deal. I had at least five other somewhat annoying couples come up to me and offer up information about how rare this event is, and then they would recite the dates of all other ship-meetings.

To me, it was just cool to see two huge ships together over a narrow dock…

Daily Photo – The Towering Ships

So I got down to the end of the pier and aimed the 14-24 pretty high. There’s no way to get around the “leaning lines” — but that all adds to the overall effect. And, believe, me, standing down there, you feel the immense weight of them all about to topple over.

If you look up at the Disney Fantasy on the right, you can see where the waterslide juts off the edge of the ship…

HDR Photo

Swabbing the Decks

Closing Presentation, broken down by question…

I had a nice person break down the closing Google+ event with timestamps. I know some people have particular questions or interests within here… You can see them all below the video.

[0:00:00 – 0:10:27]
Slideshow Presentation – quality on recording is CRAPPY – best quality at http://goo.gl/fo4hm.

[0:10:41 – 0:12:07]
Scott Kelby opening remarks; Trey Ratcliff introduction.

[0:12:07 – 0:17:39]
Trey introduces Hangout Panel participants.

[0:19:58 – 0:23:43]
Fast-moving technology, future of computational photography.

[0:23:43 – 0:25:38]
Post-processing images; photograph as a sketch; taking the shot is the beginning of the journey; some photographers’ resistance to post-processing

[0:25:41 – 0:27:20]
Trey’s recommended books… featuring one from +Patrick Rothfuss

[0:27:31 – 0:29:08]
Being alone with the music; enjoying the journey of post-processing; left-brained clever photographers and how to unlock the right brain; music making things cinematic.

[0:29:24 – 0:32:06]
New photography mediums; something beyond HDR; being pigeonholed as “HDR Guy;” Socratic reductionism; new kind of photo between a photo and a video; capturing fleeting moments.

[0:32:10 – 0:32:45]
What would superpower be?

[0:33:37 – 0:36:06]
Travel and family relationships; “strange brain” when alone; balance of art, family, business, friends.

[0:36:13 – 0:37:02]
New Zealand move and reasons.

[0:38:51 – 0:43:30]
Dealing with trolls and naysayers; strong-emotion people, extreme joy and extreme sadness. (Asked by Brian Rose).

[0:43:51 – 0:45:00]
HDR hate/love; photographs that shouldn’t be taken but justified through HDR.

[0:45:18 – 0:47:37]
Trey’s paintings; inspiration for painting; Impressionists; challenging status quo.

[0:47:54 – 0:51:16]
Replicating success; evolution vs. splintering of photography.

[0:51:24 – 0:53:21]
Mirrorless cameras.

[0:53:21 – 0:54:53]
Showing up to a paid gig with a small camera; selling clients on portfolio.

[0:54:55 – 0:55:02]
Clarification on still using D800; transitional hinterland.

[0:55:50 – 0:59:26]
What can we do together as a community going forward? Exciting time in history; best “NOW” ever; Internet like a brain; building out the right brain of the Internet and establish the art and culture of the Internet; Decade of the Artist;

[0:59:26 – 0:59:26]
Closing remarks

Daily Photo – Swabbing the Decks

The Disney Cruise aboard the Fantasy had deck after deck after deck – something was always happening – everywhere! It was pretty stimulating as a photographer to try to figure out where to be at different times.

This is the deck where the running track is. It goes around the outside of the ship, and I like to run so I was out there almost every day. I noticed around a certain time that these guys come out in yellow outfits to swab them down. So I made a point to get out there the next day and set up for this image.

Swabbing the Decks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

France in Epcot

The new Photoshop CS6 – what is your “line”?

Like you, I’ve been watching the videos of CS6 and playing with it myself. (notice the important “it” in that sentence)

Things are gettin’ a little crazy with post-processing eh? What are your limits for what you’ll do with your photos? It’s a very personal thing… I won’t judge you… I’m just interested! Here’s my post-processing line (which I reserve the right to change at any time):

I will:

  • I will remove things like lightposts or ugly animals or tourists wearing Spice Girls T-shirts
  • I will use HDR to bring out the colors in the shadows and dial back bright areas
  • I will sharpen to bring emphasis to one area or another
  • I’ll take multiple exposures on a tripod and fix one area of a photo with another exposure

I will not:

  • I will not take a foreign object from one photo and put it into another (like pasting a moon over a mountain)
  • I will not take a sky from one photo and paste it into the landscape of another

I might:

  • Use the new Content-Aware-Move in CS6. I can’t decide! It’s a slippery slope. For example, in the photo below, I had to work so hard to find and frame these boulders in this EXACT way. Man, it would have been so easy just to go to an easier location and then re-arrange the boulders using CS6 Content-Aware-Move. But maybe that doesn’t even matter! I can’t decide… And it is soooooo slippery… If I will allow myself to “Move a Boulder 10 feet” — then maybe I would also also “Move a Moon Behind THAT Mountain” — then maybe I would also…. well… where does it stop? It’s almost like I am 6-years-old and moving stickers around a sticker book! Hehe… I’m confused… my “line” is constantly being challenged… like the border between two countries in a good game of Civ!

Daily Photo – France in Epcot

These little fabrications of countries around Epcot try really hard at being authentic, and they are often quite successful!  Sometimes bits and pieces here are a little cheesy, but I get the sense that the people that build, model, and landscape these things put a lot of time and effort (and love) into it.  I’m sure it gets down to the detail of trying to choose the right kind of fonts for the clock.

This evening was a particularly lucky one because of the clouds and the light in the sky.  This situation is so rare that I went photo-crazy for about 15 minutes while it lasted!

HDR Photo

After the Blast Off

Other Rocket Photos and Richard Branson

So, if you know Richard Branson, show him these NASA Photos…  Tell him you know me and you want to get us together so I can take photos of his rocket ship.  I don’t know the guy yet, but I have a feeling we’d get along well.

Daily Photo - After the Blast Off

One thing that impressed me after the shuttle took off was the shadow across the top of the clouds.  I had never seen anything like it, and it was completely unexpected.  Of course, it makes perfect sense, but it’s one of those little after-the-fact-obvious things that makes you happy.

I have another offer to jump out of a plane with the US Army Golden knights DURING an upcoming rocket launch… and I can take photos on the descent.  That sounds pretty dang awesome and tough!

After the Blast Off One thing that impressed me after the shuttle took off was the shadow across the top of the clouds.  I had never seen anything like it, and it was completely unexpected.  Of course, it makes perfect sense, but it’s one of those little after-the-fact-obvious things that makes you happy.I have another offer to jump out of a plane with the US Army Golden knights DURING an upcoming rocket launch… and I can take photos on the descent.  That sounds pretty dang awesome and tough!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Sony NEX-7 Review

Live Show Tonight – all about the Sony NEX-7 Camera

Miss the live show? Be sure to subscribe to the video Podcast to get it!

Tonight’s show is all about the Sony NEX-7 Camera. Watch live at 7 PM PT on Live.TWIT.tv – see you soon!

The Sony NEX-7 Review

The new review is up! See the Sony NEX-7 Review.

I bought one a few weeks ago and have been using it quite a bit. I really like the camera! Below is a scene from the Indiana Jones Show at Disneyworld. I was sitting back in the audience, and I used the kit lens to zoom all the way in as close as I could. I could crop and still get an image that was 5200 pixels across!

Since I was able to take so many photos so quickly, I was able to pluck out the frame that had the most interesting action — when the big German guy flipped up Indy into the air…

Indy via Sony NEX-7The new review is up! See the Sony NEX-7 Review.I bought one a few weeks ago and have been using it quite a bit. I really like the camera! This is a scene from the Indiana Jones Show at Disneyworld. I was sitting back in the audience, and I used the kit lens to zoom all the way in as close as I could. I could crop and still get an image that was 5200 pixels across!Since I was able to take so many photos so quickly, I was able to pluck out the frame that had the most interesting action -- when the big German guy flipped up Indy into the air...- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of the post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Fireworks on the Disney Cruise

SmugMug Review

Are you looking for a place to host your photos? I’m still quite happy with SmugMug.  See my SmugMug Review for more information.  I’m about to have a portfolio re-design there on the site… so get ready for that too!

Fireworks Tip

Here’s a quick one… if you have “Long Exposure NR” turned on (which it is by default), be sure to turn it off when shooting fireworks.  The camera can take a LONG time to do that NR (Noise Reduction) processing, which will keep you from taking the next exposure.

Daily Photo - Fireworks on the Disney Cruise

I was not sure where exactly the fireworks shot off the top of the Disney Fantasy, so I gambled and guessed that this area on Deck 13 in the “Adults Only” area of the ship would be best.  There is a little curving area that juts out that I thought would be perfect…  I asked a few cast members, and they told me to be over on the starboard side, but I tried to explain that I wanted to get the boat in the shot too — this confounded them… so, anyway, I was over in this spot pretty much by myself… which is fine with me!

Fireworks on the Disney CruiseI was not sure where exactly the fireworks shot off the top of the Disney Fantasy, so I gambled and guessed that this area on Deck 13 in the "Adults Only" area of the ship would be best.  There is a little curving area that juts out that I thought would be perfect...  I asked a few cast members, and they told me to be over on the starboard side, but I tried to explain that I wanted to get the boat in the shot too -- this confounded them... so, anyway, I was over in this spot pretty much by myself... which is fine with me!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this post over at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Morning at Sea

New eBook from Paul Roustin!

Check out “Diary of a Body Painter” – now available!  Paul is an amazing artist – and someone I hope you all learn to appreciate as much as I do.  I’m proud that he has a new eBook over at Flatbooks.com.

  • Get first person insight into what it’s like to be a body painter, an artist that paints art on people’s skin
  • Includes some of the most candid experiences between the painter and subject
  • 75 visually stunning images complementing 27 diary entries that are certain to keep you entertained
  • Over 40 beautifully laid out pages

Daily Photo – Morning at Sea

I’ve been waking up at Ouch-o’clock every morning to see the sunrise off the front of the boat. It’s always been worth it… listening to music, moving around the boat, pretty much totally alone except for a few members of the crew out doing their morning duties.

This morning, we went to Castaway Cay, which is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. I thought it would be kind of lame (I’m both cynical and optimistic!) — but it was really awesome… we had a great time there!

Morning at SeaI've been waking up at Ouch-o'clock every morning to see the sunrise off the front of the boat. It's always been worth it... listening to music, moving around the boat, pretty much totally alone except for a few members of the crew out doing their morning duties.This morning, we went to Castaway Cay, which is Disney's private island in the Bahamas. I thought it would be kind of lame (I'm both cynical and optimistic!) -- but it was really awesome... we had a great time there!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Disney Fantasy Cruise – The Skyline Bar

Daily Photo – Disney Fantasy Cruise – The Skyline Bar

Which city do you think this is??

This is the coolest bar on the ship.  I was in here this night with John Lasseter (I think!) – but he was sitting with a group of people and I didn’t want to interrupt him to say hello.  Anyway, these walls are filled with images of different cities that change out every 12-14 minutes or so.  And, if you get up close to these hi-def walls, you can see movement!  People walk around the streets, cars move, lights flicker, people go about their days inside their homes, etc.  It’s endlessly fascinating.  I also have some video of this too — I’ll release that as soon as I have more bandwidth at dock!

Disney Fantasy Cruise - The Skyline BarWhich city do you think this is??This is the coolest bar on the ship.  I was in here this night with John Lasseter (I think!) - but he was sitting with a group of people and I didn't want to interrupt him to say hello.  Anyway, these walls are filled with images of different cities that change out every 12-14 minutes or so.  And, if you get up close to these hi-def walls, you can see movement!  People walk around the streets, cars move, lights flicker, people go about their days inside their homes, etc.  It's endlessly fascinating.  I also have some video of this too -- I'll release that as soon as I have more bandwidth at dock!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Disney Fantasy Cruise – Tunnel Vision

The answer

Of yesterday’s quiz was NO.  It is not HDR.  I did it just with Lightroom… and nothing tooooo fancy in Lightroom either.  I may or may not have another video tutorial coming up soon about Lightroom and a few of my tricks… stay tuned for that!

Daily Photo – Disney Fantasy Cruise – Tunnel Vision

Here is one more photo from the Fantasy!  I’ve been going photo-crazy.  Not only is the cruise kind of expensive, but the internet costs 75 cents a minute… so, many Bothans died to bring you this image!  But… it is so amazing I wanted to share it ASAP.

See those tubes there on the right and left?  It’s a huge waterslide that even extends out beyond the edges of the ship!  Amazing…  and that huge movie screen there?  They play movies on it regularly… so you can relax at the pool while seeing something more interesting than what always seems to end up on my airplanes:  Miss Congeniality 2.

Disney Fantasy Cruise - Tunnel VisionHere is one more photo from the Fantasy!  I've been going photo-crazy.  Not only is the cruise kind of expensive, but the internet costs 75 cents a minute... so, many Bothans died to bring you this image!  But... it is so amazing I wanted to share it ASAP.See those tubes there on the right and left?  It's a huge waterslide that even extends out beyond the edges of the ship!  Amazing...  and that huge movie screen there?  They play movies on it regularly... so you can relax at the pool while seeing something more interesting than what always seems to end up on my airplanes:  Miss Congeniality 2.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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