The Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

Is this HDR or not?

Do you think this photo is HDR or not?  It’s the second photo I have released with the Nikon D800 with it’s 36 megapixel extremeness!  I’ll leave it open for debate for a while… you may enjoy watching the discussion over on Google+ as well!

Daily Photo – The Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

And speaking of that… I am here on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy.  It’s an amazing ship (50% bigger than the other ships) and a great playground for photographers!  Forget the kids!  In fact, I almost did a few times… but they are having fun in all the kids’ clubs…  Well… I have a ton to talk about and show… but busy busy busy with photos and not much internet!  Anyway, debate away on whether or not this is HDR…  Either I’m tricking you, I double-tricking you, or something unknowable… I look forward to coming back and seeing what you think!

The Disney Fantasy Cruise ShipI am here on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy.  It's an amazing ship (50% bigger than the other ships) and a great playground for photographers!  Forget the kids!  In fact, I almost did a few times… but they are having fun in all the kids' clubs…  Well… I have a ton to talk about and show… but busy busy busy with photos and not much internet!  Anyway, debate away on whether or not this is HDR…  Either I'm tricking you, I double-tricking you, or something unknowable... I look forward to coming back and seeing what you think!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Where the Princess Dwells at Night…

Behind-the-Scenes Video

William Beem (frequent community commenter here on the blog… you know him… you love him…) recorded a video of the situation below.  See it here on YouTube.

Missed our Cruise!

We were supposed to get on a cruise for Disney today and we missed it because of flight problems!  Oh no… so now we are scrambling to get down to Grand Cayman to meet the boat…

Daily Photo – Where the Princess Dwells at Night…

But, while in the middle of all this drama, I happened to already be Orlando, so why not make the most of it?

I called for a little PhotoWalk at Disney! It was really really really fun — and getting this shot was tough! I think +William Beem +Gilmar Smith +Keith Barrett or perhaps +Ali Elhajj got a video of me trying to convince half a dozen Disney workers to “sweep water” in front of my camera, which was splayed on the ground. At first, one guy didn’t want to do it because he might get in trouble… then the other acquiesced… and then, before they knew it, they were all being controlled like crystal farmers in Starcraft… we eventually got all the water in the right place!

I had to go over and whip out my sweet Android phone to show them some photos from Google+ — I found the one from Paris with the puddle — I said I needed a puddle about thiiiiis big … and eventually we got it all engineered out. They were all very helpful and nice… I convinced them all to come onto Google+ to see the final result — so I hope they are here! Hi guys – Y muchas gracias!

Cinderella's Castle Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World

Where the Princess Dwells at Night…

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19mm (19mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Old Market

Trey’s Variety Hour #23:  Wearable Cameras of the Future

Daniel Suarez (author of Daemon) joins me, Leo Laporte, Kevin Kelly, and Gordon Laing to talk about Augmented Reality, Drone Swarms, Cameras and Art in the Future, and much much more.

Facebook Subscribe and the New Timeline

My Facebook page has been getting more and more subscribers lately, so if I was unable to friend you because I hit the 5K limit, this Subscribe option will work out well for you.  I also activated the new Timeline, but I notice not everyone has yet.  Have you done it?  I think it is kinda cool, even though I know there are a few FB-haters out there.

Daily Photo – The Old Market

I have another Disneyworld trip coming up, and I was reminded of this place.  This is Epcot, one of the best spots for photography at sunset and into the evening.

This area makes me long to go to some of these places for real.  It’s all so wonderfully fake around Disney, but that is nice in its own way.  I have several more places in the Middle East to visit, and I hope to make that happen over the next few years.  Before I actually decide on a place and land on the shores of Tripoli, I’ll be sure to blog about it!

The Old MarketI have another Disneyworld trip coming up, and I was reminded of this place.  This is Epcot, one of the best spots for photography at sunset and into the evening.This area makes me long to go to some of these places for real.  It's all so wonderfully fake around Disney, but that is nice in its own way.  I have several more places in the Middle East to visit, and I hope to make that happen over the next few years.  Before I actually decide on a place and land on the shores of Tripoli, I'll be sure to blog about it!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The French Quarter of Disney

 

Fake Book in China

I’m not sure – but I think this is a rogue copy of my book in China! :) I signed it anyway :)

Daily Photo – The French Quarter of Disney

Amazing Disneyworld! I am starting to switch my opinion about the best place to shoot in Disneyworld. I’m now thinking it is definitely Epcot. It used to be Animal Kingdom, which is still amazing.. but I find myself with more options and variety at Epcot, especially in the evening.

Here’s a great tip. If you stay at the resort, then go to Epcot on the “bonus hours” evening. Then get yourself way out at the opposite end of the park when it closes. You can then take your time and leave, taking photos all along the way. It’s pretty much absolutely deserted! The security guards did not seem to bother me either…

The French Quarter of DisneyAmazing Disneyworld! I am starting to switch my opinion about the best place to shoot in Disneyworld. I'm now thinking it is definitely Epcot. It used to be Animal Kingdom, which is still amazing.. but I find myself with more options and variety at Epcot, especially in the evening.Here's a great tip. If you stay at the resort, then go to Epcot on the "bonus hours" evening. Then get yourself way out at the opposite end of the park when it closes. You can then take your time and leave, taking photos all along the way. It's pretty much absolutely deserted! The security guards did not seem to bother me either...- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope you all have a great new year! I look forward to spending 2012 with you… We have all kinds of fun stuff to see and do together this year – let’s have some fun :)

Daily Photo – As Night Settles on the Old Lake

Here is another photo that is too good to be true… and, unfortunately, it is.

This is a replica of Portofinio, Italy. It’s a resort hotel in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios. It’s so wonderfully fake — and so wonderful at the same time. I can’t quite decide if I like the fakeness of it all. It does make for amazing photos, though, so that is cool. Maybe it’s kind of like a really hot girl that has had a lot of plastic surgery. There’s some fake in there, but it’s still nice to look at. Okay that’s a horrible analogy… but you get the idea…hehe.

As Night Settles on the Old Lake Here is another photo that is too good to be true… and, unfortunately, it is.This is a replica of Portofinio, Italy. It’s a resort hotel in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios. It’s so wonderfully fake — and so wonderful at the same time. I can’t quite decide if I like the fakeness of it all. It does make for amazing photos, though, so that is cool. Maybe it’s kind of like a really hot girl that has had a lot of plastic surgery. There’s some fake in there, but it’s still nice to look at. Okay that’s a horrible analogy… but you get the idea…hehe.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Late Night in Germanville

Thanks Gail and Louis and Gino and….

So, whenever I post a photo of Montana, I always know it will make Gail happy. So I like to see not only her comments, but all the other regulars… I also like how you all are getting to know one another. If you are on Google+ or Facebook, feel free to share your info so people can friend you in these other mediums as well!

Today’s photo has a bit of a German theme, so I know someone will be extra-happy… .or maybe William Beem because it’s from Disneyworld!

Daily Photo – Late Night in Germanville

This area of Epcot is one of the best for night photography. There was a little bit of light in the sky, so I had to make this shot as quickly as possible. I didn’t really have time to do a proper scouting, but this was such a nice situation, I made it happen as quickly as I could. I think my full-tripod-setup is under 25 seconds in these emergency situations.

Normally, I like to zen out and take my time. Others, like this, are the result of sheer, bloody panic.

Late Night in GermanvilleThis area of Epcot is one of the best for night photography. There was a little bit of light in the sky, so I had to make this shot as quickly as possible. I didn't really have time to do a proper scouting, but this was such a nice situation, I made it happen as quickly as I could. I think my full-tripod-setup is under 25 seconds in these emergency situations.Normally, I like to zen out and take my time. Others, like this, are the result of sheer, bloody panic.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Endeavor to the Beyond

Category Reminder

Want to see more photos from NASA? Or how about Patagonia? Remember you can click on the categories on the right or at the bottom of the post!

Daily Photo – Endeavor to the Beyond

This photo was a bit of an accident.

I was as close as humanly possible to the launch, on the edge of the media area in the NASA compound. When the shuttle blasts off, there is a long delay before you hear the thing. Right when I took this, the first staccato wave ripped through my skeleton. I think I just hit the trigger out of fear and shock combined! But, it came out pretty good, all the same.

Endeavor to the BeyondThis photo was a bit of an accident.I was as close as humanly possible to the launch, on the edge of the media area in the NASA compound. When the shuttle blasts off, there is a long delay before you hear the thing. Right when I took this, the first staccato wave ripped through my skeleton. I think I just hit the trigger out of fear and shock combined! But, it came out pretty good, all the same.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Haunting

Coming soon – Secret Fireworks Spot!

When I spent the day with Robert Scoble at Disney World, we were lucky enough to have a personalized tour from Keith Barrett. Keith showed me a secret spot to shoot the fireworks — very cool! I’m still working on that photo, but I will release as soon as I am done… it was a very challenging shot.

Daily Photo – The Haunting

And here is yet another from Disney!

So, I was sitting there in the Tower of Terror taking photos inside the first room into which the group is ushered. It’s the one where they show that Twilight Zone clip. Anyway, I just stayed in there as five groups came in and out, trying to get a photo. Eventually, the cast member asked me (in a nice way) what I was doing. I told her that I thought the room was awesome and I was capturing it for my blog. She seemed curious, so I whipped it out (my iPad).

She started going through my photos and was very excited. And then she told me to follow her, and she opened up the little gate that gave me full access to the lobby itself. I grabbed many photos, and here is one of them…

The HauntingAnd here is yet another from Disney!So, I was sitting there in the Tower of Terror taking photos inside the first room into which the group is ushered. It’s the one where they show that Twilight Zone clip. Anyway, I just stayed in there as five groups came in and out, trying to get a photo. Eventually, the cast member asked me (in a nice way) what I was doing. I told her that I thought the room was awesome and I was capturing it for my blog. She seemed curious, so I whipped it out (my iPad).She started going through my photos and was very excited. And then she told me to follow her, and she opened up the little gate that gave me full access to the lobby itself. I grabbed many photos, and here is one of them…- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Fireplace in the Tower of Terror

 

Lou Mongello

HDR Photo
Lou, waiting to get on the Toy Story ride with us…

While at Disneyworld, I ended up meeting Lou Mongello, a very interesting guy that is Disney’s biggest hardcore fanboy! Note that I say that with the ultimate respect, because he has built his love of something into quite an empire! Now he runs WDWRadio.com, has podcasts/apps, and more!

Robert Scoble interviewed Lou while we were there together. Watch, and you’ll see all kinds of tips! Thanks again Keith Barrett for setting everything up.

Disney Shots

We have a category system here on the site, so if you want to see all of them, check the “Disney Category” at the bottom of this post. Once you get to the bottom of the page, click “PREVIOUS” and you’ll get another pagefull…

HDR Photo
Keith grabbed this photo while I was setting up in the lobby area…

 

Daily Photo – The Fireplace in the Tower of Terror

I’ve always wanted to get “behind the velvet rope” and take proper photos of this area, and it finally happened!

This lobby was richly decorated to look like an old, classic Hollywood hotel that has been left alone to slowly deteriorate. Although this angle in particular does not show the decay, future ones will… Also, a future one will include the full story of how I got behind the velvet rope — you won’t believe it!

The Fireplace in the Tower of TerrorI've always wanted to get "behind the velvet rope" and take proper photos of this area, and it finally happened!  This lobby was richly decorated to look like an old, classic Hollywood hotel that has been left alone to slowly deteriorate. Although this angle in particular does not show the decay, future ones will... Also, a future one will include the full story of how I got behind the velvet rope -- you won't believe it!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Best of NASA, and New HDR Tutorial soon!

Announcement!

We already have the very popular HDR Tutorial here on the site that shows you how to make these sorts of photos. But, I thought you’d like to know that I’m going to update the whole thing and show you how I made the first space shuttle shot below. I like to update the tutorial every three months or so, but this one will have many excellent updates… so get ready for that!

Best of NASA

I’m sad the Space Shuttle program is ending, but NASA says it’s not the end of human spaceflight for the US. Since I was lucky enough to be invited by NASA, I got to go into a cool area to see some of the next-generation capsules they’ll be putting atop new rockets.  I didn’t know if I was allowed to get photos or not…  but I will talk to them and see if we can arrange something special in the future.

Anyway, I wanted to put some of my favorite NASA shots below for you… sort of a celebration of awesomeness.

HDR Photo

I felt lucky to be one of the last people to get a NASA escort out to the launch pad, on this final night for the Space Shuttle program and the Atlantis. It was truly beautiful evening, and things were peaceful and calm. I felt like I had a personal moment with the mighty rocket… I’ll never forget it.

 

The Mighty Rocket Awaits Today I had a great day at NASA.  I've come back to the space coast in Florida to see the space shuttle Endeavor blast off, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.Around noon, I was invited out with a group of other Twitter peeps to see the RRS Rollback event.  This is the slow-motion but exciting time when they peel away to the Rotating Service Structure to reveal the shuttle.  It was so awesome that I almost forgot to send a tweet. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at stuckincustoms.com.

There is an important retraction event that takes place about 24 hours before the actual launch… it is a special time… I think of it like an athlete taking off his sweats before an Olympic event.

 

HDR Photo

NASA also has all sorts of these awesome “relics” laying around, just generally sitting there and being awesome.  But, the Saturn V is already impossibly awesome.

NASA
18 minutes till the launch. Newsmen from around the world go live while they go through their Ron Burgundy vocal preparations.

HDR Photo
Both launches saw incredible storms hit the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) a day before the planned launch. This one rolled in the first time I visited NASA… I’ll never forget it because I was standing by Levar Burton and a NASA gal came out and said, “We have a Level 2 lighting alert! You have to get inside!” To this, Levar Burton asked, “Is that anything like a Level 3 Diagnostic?”

Space Shuttle

This is my favorite shot of Endeavor as it wormholed into the low cloud layer. It was still accelerating at this point, so it looked like the cloud literally “sucked” it up.

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