The Glowing Louvre

My collected thoughts on Star Trek, especially the movies

I don’t know why you would care… but, if you like Star Trek too, then I know why! :)

- Star Trek V, somehow, has worse special effects than the first four.

– Star Trek III has some of the worst writing of any of them. I wonder if George Lucas used it as a model for Episode 1.

– Even-numbered Star Trek movies are generally better. This is, at least, until the average age of the original crew was 80+.

– There is no way a bloated captain Kirk could scale El Capitan freehanded like in Assassin’s Creed.

– Now that I know the truth, it’s easy to see the hints in the mannerisms of Sulu. Oh my.

– Picard is a great ENTJ. Did you know I spent several hours with Patrick Stewart on stage with two other theater students while he recited The Merchant of Venice? It was amazing… I’ll tell you the whole story some time.

– Uhura jumped the shark when she did that dance atop the sand dune. Those hips don’t lie.

– Scotty is too one-dimensional of a character.

– Klingons in silhouette while Birds of Prey blow up always look like an 80’s hair band on stage.

– While showing these movies to my son, I have to pause the movie for 10 minutes for a cold-war history lesson to explain why it is funny that Chekov says “Nuclear Wessels” on the streets of San Francisco.

– I need to show my son all the ST:TNGs, but I may start with season 2 or 3 when the Beard is in full force.

– Wesley Crusher did not annoy me as much as he seemed to annoy other people. He was my everyman, my Frodo, my me-aged-me on a starship and I thought he was over-achieving, Type-A, and likable. (I did!)

– Amazing that I originally watched all the TNGs without a laptop on my lap. I rarely watch anything any more without also having 15 tabs open in a browser.

– I think Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn is still one of the best, and it holds up pretty well.

– I thank Star Trek for first getting me into sci fi… if you’re also into it and want something really advanced (and much more sophisticated, by a factor of 100), try Pandora’s Star, Judas Unchained, and The Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. Oh, and watch Firefly.

– I heard when Gene Roddenberry was alive that he refused to ever allow The Enterprise to be shown upside down. When JJ Abrams got ahold of it, he flipped that motha all ova the place. (sweet sweet JJ Abrams – thank you for saving Star Trek for all of us – we can’t wait for the next one!)

Funny TNG Videos!

That Jean-Luc Picard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf9oD_xl8mI

Bridge Buffoonery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8aEhtJ-sgg&feature=relmfu

A Fistful of Explosions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnPIPOaRUFg&feature=relmfu

Uneventful Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGvYIZppmQc&feature=relmfu

Beard on Beard (almost NSFW) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck-VIA1GUCY&feature=relmfu

Daily Photo – The Glowing Louvre

Here’s another photo from the amazing PhotoWalk in Paris. This was supposed to be the end of the walk, but it ended up being the halfway point!

In post-processing this one, I made the Louvre feel a little more warm and inviting, while the outside stayed a bit more cold and foreboding. I edited this one in front of a live class in Christchuch… I hope people enjoyed that bit ! :) Not all of my edits were successful that day, but I think this one turned out alright.

Paris Louvre

The Glowing Louvre

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  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
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The Macabre Mysteries

Great Sales Through the Holidays!

Many people have gotten the upcoming Midnight in Paris Class Video for Christmas as gifts, and others are getting gifts for themselves! That’s great – I am very excited to do this live event… and if you miss the live bit, you can watch it later, at your convenience. I just checked the comments on the page and saw this nice one from Eamonn Phillopson (thx Eamonn!):

If anyone comes back to this page, after the event, I have to tell you it was the most wonderful, challenging, motivating two days “training” I have ever done. Worth the money – even for an amateur? Oh yes. ‘Nuf said.

Daily Photo – The Macabre Mysteries

What a great room!

When Miss Aniela and I first walked into this room, we knew it was a winner! We began by rearranging the macabre taxidermy and figuring out the best angles for a shot. I was looking at it from a pure HDR view, and she was looking at it by adding a human element. Anyway, as you can see, this room was all kinds of awesome. :)

Macabre room chateau paris

The Macabre Mysteries

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  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I hope you have a good holiday season! Thanks for hanging out with me for another great year — just wait till NEXT one! :)

Daily Photo – The Mighty Christmas Tree

This is one of the most awesome Christmas trees I’ve ever seen! Sure, it’s bathed in a sea of rampant commercialism, but, like a Russian friend said, “It is what it is.”

I wonder if there is a “Making Of” for this tree inside the Galaries Lafayette in Paris. The entire thing is suspended in midair! I’d love to see how they get this giant tree inside and hang it every year. It must take forever, since the French are only legally allowed to work 12 hours per week.

Christmas Tree Paris

The Mighty Christmas Tree

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  • ISO280
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
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Three From Paris

When I met Col Walder

I was setting up for this shot below when I met Col, who came to the Midnight in Paris workshop. You can see him in the video I posted yesterday! One thing you can’t see, is when he did the splits right in the middle of the photoshoot at the end! It was so crazy… everyone thought he fell down, but we all looked at him, and he had a wry smile upon is face. Well played, Col.

Daily Photo – Reflections in the Museum

Here we are in the Museum of Evolution in Paris again — one of my favorite places! I think we all spent about 4 hours in here, going crazy! There are countless interesting angles and ways to shoot it…

Anyway, I’m very excited about my recent France photos, so I’m going to post three in a row… get ready for another one tomorrow! :)

Museum Paris Evolution

Reflections in the Museum

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  • ISO280
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
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Midnight in Paris – Ready for Live Unveiling!

Just before Christmas… Now available for you!

We know a lot of people wanted to see this video ASAP, so we’ve now opened the doors so you can join us Online for Midnight in Paris. The online event is in a few weeks, and even if you can’t join us Live, you can still download and watch after the event. This will make a great Christmas gift for a friend (or for yourself!) :)

Daily Photo – The Chateau in Yellow Autumn Light

You can see this in the video above. I took this shot twice. Once in the morning and again in the afternoon. The second time, the sun was out so the yellow leaves had a crazy glow that felt so vibrant and alive. I did my best to bring this out in the post-production.

Anyway, I hope you really enjoy the video… and, if you don’t, you can always get a full refund… no problem! I always offer this… the quality level on this latest production is our highest ever, and I think you can probably get a hint of that in the preview video. :)

Chateau Paris

The Chateau in Yellow Autumn Light

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Time Lasts Forever in Paris

Newsletter Announcement

Did you get the new Newsletter last night? It is related to this photo of Paris below! :)

1000 Free HD Wallpapers

I filled up one of the albums over on Google+, so I decided it would be a good place to send people to get whatever wallpapers they desire! Go here to see more!

Daily Photo – Time Lasts Forever in Paris

Oh Paris! Le sigh…

These were not the ideal shooting conditions, as idyllic as the scene might appear. This is all handheld, btw, no tripod, and here’s the rest of the sad tripod story.

To get to this spot, you have to walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. My first few times there, I did not even know you could get to the top! I felt quite dumb when I found out you can walk up about 20,000 stairs to get here.

Once I got up there, I staked out a position with my tripod, and then Frenchy McFrenchface came over and told me I could not use my tripod. I explained that I was an arteeeest, and surely he would in the 19th century no one asked the impressionists to put their easels away. This was a losing argument, although I still think it’s a pretty good one. It will work one day, and I won’t give up this line of persuasion.

So that security guard shut me down, but I felt like there was still an opening. So I asked my friends Matt Knisely and Curtis Simmons to watch my stuff while I went for Persuasion Level 2. He was standing in a little glass wind-proof cage (which I wish I had later when I took this shot!). I motioned for him to open up so he could be subjected to Level 2. I didn’t have my tablet, so I pulled out my phone and started going through my photos. I think this helped to show him I took all of this terribly seriously. Eventually, I talked him into it! He said, sure, no problem, as long as I collapsed the tripod between shots. I was so excited!

I started taking photos, and then 10 minutes later, another security guard came over and told me no. I motioned over at the glass box and said, “But that other Frenchy McFrenchface already told me it was okay!”

The new security guard looked over at the box, then looked back at me and said, “Oh, but you see sir, that guard is now off duty.”

This guy was all business. I could see there was no way to overpower his mind with art and mojo, so I just had to go handheld for the rest of the night. By the time this scene appeared, there was a fierce and very cold wind… the kind of wind that needs hands-in-pockets-between-brackets.

I took 5 exposures from -2 to +2, but the +2 was too blurry, so I just processed the four shots from -2 to +1.

Paris Arc de Triomphe France

Time Lasts Forever in Paris

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  • ISO280
  • Focal Length17mm (17mm in 35mm)
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The Paris Underground

Update on some Google+ Communities

The Google+ Communities are going very strong and sill growing! I think it has only been a week or so, and here is a little update for you.

There is one broken bit that I’m waiting to get fixed — we would like to assign MORE moderators to help out with the flow. The two things the moderators are trying to keep up with is A) False Positives Spam (the algorithm is mis-marking many photos as spam, and mods need to manually approve them) and B) SPAM removal — there are a few out-of-context posts getting through. Anyway, all of this can be alleviated with more moderators… and I simply can’t add them to the bigger groups now because when I view the “Members” list, it culls out 95% of the members so I can’t set them to be moderators.

Anyway, here is an update on a few of the communities. The big ones are big parties, and the smaller ones are more intimate… both kinds are awesome in their own way!

The Photo Community – 21,000 Members

HDR Photography – 16,000 Members

Stuck In Customs Community (us!) – 1,500 Members

New Zealand Photographers – 485 Members

New Zealand Photographers Community Hangout

Monday’s show will be all about this smallest and most intimate community here, the New Zealand Photographers. We’re getting that show set up right now for you! :)

Daily Photo – The Paris Underground

One evening, we were in a bit of a hurry to get to the Arc de Triomphe for some sunset photos. I still have those photos btw, sitting here unprocessed, and I’m really looking forward to it! Anyway, there were a few of us on this little subway adventure and we had to make one of those long underground connections that requires you to walk for about 5 minutes through jigsawed tunnels. This is one of those tunnels… Matt Knisely and I made everyone wait while we took photos!

Underground tunnel subway paris

The Paris Underground

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  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
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Across the Estate

Stuck In Customs Community on Google+ — Come Share your Photos and Thoughts!

Come join the Stuck In Customs Community on Google+!

Why did I make this? Well, I REALLY want all of you to continue getting to know one another without having to be tied to a discussion of the daily photo! Also, you’ll be able to share your photos there and get to know one another better. There’s also a fun discussion area for you right there in the categories on the left.

I do love it when people link to their photos in the comments, but I think that this could be a much better way, so it is not tied to an individual blog post, if you know what I mean.

Below you can see one of the photos that was shared by Christy Miers! Thanks Christy and thanks everyone else that got an early start in there! :)

Paris PhotoWalk Photos

We had an amazing PhotoWalk in Paris! To see all the photos, go check out the Paris PhotoWalk event on Google+!

Daily Photo – Across the Estate

As the event at the chateau was winding down on the final evening, we all dispersed to take late night photos in the dusk. There were good angles everywhere. One of my favorite was up under this tree. But it was also very interesting to watch where everyone else walked. It was kind of like a private photowalk… I find it endlessly fascinating to watch other photographers while I am also taking photos. I don’t know why this is!

Paris Chateau grounds

Across the Estate

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  • ISO280
  • Focal Length18mm (18mm in 35mm)
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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

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  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
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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

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

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