4 Million Followers on Pinterest and the Paris Opera House

Thanks Pinterest Ladies!

I think it’s like 80% female on Pinterest, yes? I’ve never been so popular with girls! Believe me… in high-school… it was rather slow… and not just because I went to an all-boy Catholic Jesuit school!

I’ve released many more photos recently on Pinterest to celebrate the event. You can see them on My Pinterest Page of recent pins. Enjoy, and thanks for following!

Pinterest Show with Kalebra Kelby

Kalebra has a fun show she does about Pinterest. I joined her this week… embedding here because it is fitting for the subject matter! :)

Daily Photo – The Paris Opera

I went by this building several times before I even thought about going in. For some reason, it never occurred to me that I might actually be able to go inside and take photos! Of course, I really wanted to go inside, so I was happy when Curtis told me that it’s no problem to get in there.

Next time, I think I’d like to go on a private tour and get some special angles and whatnot. I did get in trouble for using my tripod, but not bad trouble. Just a little trouble. A little trouble ain’t so bad…

Paris Opera

The Paris Opera

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
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  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

4 Million on Google+ and Christmas in Paris

Wow – 4 million followers on Google+!

I still find this hard to believe, but I don’t take it for granted. I know most of you here are also on Google+ — so maybe you saw the TWO special messages and videos I put over there.

Special Message #1 – Christmas Photo How To

If you like the photo below, you can a behind-the-scenes video on Google+.

Special Message #2 – Ethan plays a song from Lord of the Rings

I asked my son to play a special song, and I put it on video… you can see the latest from the little hobbits!

Daily Photo – Christmas Tree in Paris

I visited this place about four times two weeks ago! If you saw the review yesterday, then you will note that I tried out a few lenses on this tree too. I think this one is my favorite of the shots…

This amazing Christmas display is in the Galaries Lafayette. Also, on the first floor, you should go have lunch at Angelina… they have amazing hot chocolate. The roof also has another cafe with amazing views of the city.

Christmas Tree Paris Galaries Lafayette

Christmas Tree in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

New Nikon Fisheye Review

Nikon Fisheye Lens Review

I’ve started putting the framework around a new Nikon Fisheye 16mm Lens Review. I’ve added many sample photos over there so you can take a look at the results of my experimentation and thoughts thus far…

Daily Photo – The Mysterious Places of Paris

Isn’t this room amazing? It’s not in the main part of the Paris Opera House, but it had the most ornate and Inception-esque room I’ve seen in a while. I took this photo while in the middle of experimenting with the Nikon fisheye lens. It seemed to fit the bill for these ornate grand locations that are still in a relatively confined space.

Opera Paris Ceiling

The Mysterious Places of Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

What Prints Hang in My Home?

9.7 Million Minutes Watched on Video!

Well this one is kind of crazy. I checked my YouTube stats for the first time ever. I don’t add a lot of videos, but the ones I add are quite long. Anyway, this stat shows almost 10 million minutes of my videos have been watched – that is crazy! I don’t think I’m THAT entertaining on video… honestly… I’m not like, say, Flavor Flav or anything…

What Prints Hang in My Home?

I got this question the other day, so I thought I’d list them out here. I’m always changing them out… but here are some of my favorites, including the new one from Paris below, which I just had printed here in Queenstown at WePrint.

Our Prints page has more details. But you can order the Artist Proof series on metal. Each of those is in a limited quantity of 50, and each one is individually signed by me. There is another more affordable series, which you can access by ordering via the SmugMug portfolio.

Anyway, here are a few of the prints that I have chosen to hang in my home:

Mountains Forever During the Yosemite PhotoWalk, the sky was beyond belief for the first few nights.  The second half of the trip had fairly mundane skies.  So, I was happy I went out there and got a lot of shots in the beginning!I’m often optimistic about the “future” of the trip, assuming that the sunsets will always get better and better.  This rarely is the case, so I don’t know why I’m consistently optimistic about the prospects.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

 

HDR Photo

 

The Bamboo Forest While exploring Kyoto, I eventually found my way to this fanciful bamboo forest.  There had been a light rain most of the morning and everything was quite lovely.  The rain does strange things as it moves its way through these sorts of trees.  I waited and waited, and that was nice too.  In the early afternoon, the rain stopped while the sun peeked through the top.  It shone down while the earlier rain misted down from the tops of the trees.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

 

-The Gentle Path to the Beyond-The little train that carried me into Hakone started winding through misty mountains.  The trees were thick and a fog was rolling in.  I had a feeling that it would stay wet, moody, and fairly perfect.  It had that heaviness that made you feel like it would remain like that for a few days, and it did.Before I get on train rides, I have a wonderful but dangerous habit of loading up with pastries.  Train stations seem to have nice little selections of all sorts of foreign twists on the usual subjects.  And, since I consider myself an explorer, I thought it would be good to get a TON of pastries and try them all.  It's very nice... sitting there... looking out the train window at a new land... rain falling... eating pastries...  (and I'm only a little ashamed to say that, upon arrival, my pastry bag was empty.)

 

The Secret Passageway to the Treasure After the crowds of Angkor Wat, it was nice to go find a remote temple in the jungle and be alone. This temple laid under the jungle, completely undiscovered for centuries.  The hallway and mysterious chambers seemed to go on forever.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – The Amazing Eiffel Tower in Romantic Paris

I shot this just recently with Tom Anderson. We almost didn’t leave the hotel because it was so stormy, but we had been watching the clouds all day. We started out with Miss Aniela at the Paris Opera before exploring the rest of the city. Sunset comes early here around this time of the year (about 5 PM or so), and it always sneaks up on us.

Some of the best sunsets come right after storms… so it’s always worth a little adventure if you don’t mind getting a little wet…

Paris France Romantic City Eiffel Tower

The Amazing Eiffel Tower in Romantic Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length55mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset at the UFO Landing Zone

Our Menu in Paris for the workshop

Want to see what we ate for lunch? It’s hard work, you know, shooting all day at a French chateau and then sitting around post-processing with wonderful people. Sometimes you have to take a break for a super-elongated French meal! You can see Tom Anderson’s fingers back there dancing away on his Mac in this photo taken by Daniel Hurtubise.

If you want to see a video from the event, come sign up at for the Newsletter so you can find out first once it is edited together…

Daily Photo – Sunset at the UFO Landing Zone

This was shot back behind the chateau after dusk settled into its final colors for the evening. All the light was so strange outside, from the blinding white near the fountain to the golden hues reflected off the chateau to the nebula purple from the dithering sky…

Sunset at the UFO Landing Zome

Sunset at the UFO Landing Zone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/2.8
  • ISO280
  • Focal Length19mm (19mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Mont Saint Michel

Social Media How-To

Here is something MANY people have been asking for – a primer on social media! So, I’ve (somehow) gotten over 8 million followers on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest combined, and I just did this interview below about this. Many people ask me about social media, so now I am pointing you to Frederick Van’s Site to find out more.

If you find the talk below interesting, you should go check out more free stuff on Fred’s site or sign up for his course. If you enter STUCKINCUSTOMS, you’ll get $50 off he says – so go for it! :)

I don’t personally sell any ebooks or videos about social media, but you should really pay attention to Frederick Van here. I trust him, and you should too. If you’re looking to grow your knowledge and expertise in this area, Fred will get you set up! I know the course is called something like “Social Media for Photographers”, but I think it’s probably applicable to many disciplines… I should get him to change the name to make it more broad! :)

Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel

After Paris, I rented a car with Tom and we drove off through France through Normandy. We finally arrived at this magical place — an amazing location I’ve always wanted to visit.

It’s a huge fortified monastery atop a fortified and walled city. At low-tide, you can walk out across the sand to get there, but in high tide, it becomes an island. Is there anything more awesome? I don’t think so!

Mont Saint Michel Castle

Mont Saint Michel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length250mm (250mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Chateau in Paris

New SmugMug Pricing

There is a new pricing situation at SmugMug! The STUCKINCUSTOMS code still works for it to — and will save you 20% even off the new pricing. Here is the new pricing option lets you print and sell your work!

Here’s a video I did with SmugMug… they sent their video team down to join me in Big Sur…

Daily Photo – The Chateau in Paris

We are all having the most wonderful time exploring the French countryside. I wish everyone could be here with us!

I’m sitting in the class right now, showing people how I make blog entries. They now see it is not as exciting as they may have envisioned.

The Chateau in Paris

The Chateau in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Relaxing in the South of France

Photos from the Paris PhotoWalk

There should be a bunch of photos now flowing into the Paris PhotoWalk Event page. You can use this as an opportunity to find a few new people to circle up as well!

Daily Photo – Relaxing in the South of France

When I visited my friend (and website designer) Fabien, he invited me over to his home in the country. It was amazing! We had a picnic outside on with a view of the rolling hills and vines of the wine country. This little hammock hung under a tree near where we ate. One of the best things about it was that instead of grass, there was a field of mint underneath us. So, whenever you stepped, it sent up a fresh bouquet of scent into the air… basically, everything you imagine to be the case in the south of France is true!

Hammock France Colorful

Relaxing in the South of France

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/1.4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Inside the Conciergerie

Ben Willmore’s Amazing Book


Ben is a great teacher, and I highly recommend his eBook, The Fine Art of Painting with Light, over at Flatbooks.com! Here are the bullet points we have listed out over there:

  • Over 90 pages of lightpainting info
  • 28 real world examples
  • Easy-to-understand how-to guide
  • Tips on flashlights & other tools
  • Guide to image processing
  • Photoshop compositing walk-through

Daily Photo – Inside the Conciergerie

The French know how to build a beautiful prison! On the downside, it held up to 1,200 prisoners at a time, which sounds more like a French subway.

They don’t like you using tripods in here. I asked if the punishment was to just leave me in the prison while I take the photos. And then, when I stopped using the tripod, they would let me out of prison. This seemed like a pretty good compromise to me, but they did not find it amusing.

Inside the Conciergerie Paris France

Inside the Conciergerie

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length14mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Windows in Paris – The Saint Chapelle

Paris PhotoWalk Approaches!

I look forward to meeting you all at the PhotoWalk in Paris soon! See all the Event Details here. That event is also a great place to share your photos afterwards.

Photomatix Light

We still get new people coming to the website all the time! Many people ask how I get this kind of light in the photos. It’s all thanks to Photomatix — just check out the full free HDR Tutorial here on the site and have fun! It’s easy…and you’ll have a great time trying it out!

Daily Photo – Windows in Paris – The Saint Chapelle

I wish I could find a good wide-angle lens like this Nikon 14-24 for my Sony NEX-7. I think one is coming out in a month or so… and I’m thinking of trying out the Olympus 7-14mm (Adorama link). The NEX-7 has served me as a good camera while my D800 is getting repaired!

(Edit, I’ve changed my mind and decided to wait on this new lens from Sony)

The Saint Chapelle

Windows in Paris – The Saint Chapelle

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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