Boat in Isafjordur

Speech at Facebook HQ

Do you work at Facebook? Come see me on Thursday morning for a photography talk! We’ll have great fun together… I know there are a lot of people there at FB that are interested in photography, so it should be a good time. Sadly, it’s not open to the public, but the event will be filmed and I can share it later.

So, my FB friends are still pretty full, but you can still use this new “Subscribe” feature on my profile. It’s kind of like friends, without the benefits.

Deep Water and Phobias

So, I’m a pretty rational guy, really, I’d like to think. I don’t really have any phobias… just one big one – swimming in deep water. There is something about it that freaks me out… I don’t think it was movies that did it to me or anything. I see plenty of scary stuff in movies that doesn’t bother me in real life… but the idea of jumping into this mile-deep fjord and swimming across is almost more than I can bear!

Do you have any phobias (that you don’t mind talking about)?

Daily Photo – Boat in Isafjordur

This area is in the far northwest of Iceland up where there fjords layer into one another like fractals. I don’t normally like taking photos in the middle of the day, but when the sky is the towering, glacier-carved edge of the fjord, there is practically no sky at all.

HDR Photo

An Icy Morning, Searching for Hot Coffee

New Facebook… Do you like it?

I notice my Facebook Page has about 25,000 Subscribers. I don’t know what to do over there… This blog is always the mother-lode of everything… kind of like the main diary of sorts. Anyway, frankly, I’m flummoxed by Facebook… any suggestions?

An Icy Morning, Searching for Hot Coffee

Driving across the frozen bits of Iceland in the summer is always scary. I drive across a lot of ice, and I’m never terribly excited about it. I’ve been with people that drive across the stuff all the time, and they pay it no mind.

For a short bit in Iceland, I got to ride for a while with a guy that’s driven to the south pole a few times. Man, that guy can really drive on ice. I remember one time he turned to me very seriously and said, “When driving across a glacier, it is important that you not fall into a crevasse and die.” I told him that I agreed wholeheartedly with that statement.

An Icy Morning, Searching for Hot Coffee Driving across the frozen bits of Iceland in the summer is always scary. I drive across a lot of ice, and I’m never terribly excited about it. I’ve been with people that drive across the stuff all the time, and they pay it no mind.For a short bit in Iceland, I got to ride for a while with a guy that’s driven to the south pole a few times. Man, that guy can really drive on ice. I remember one time he turned to me very seriously and said, “When driving across a glacier, it is important that you not fall into a crevasse and die.” I told him that I agreed wholeheartedly with that statement.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Long and Twisty Road

Why Twisty Roads?

Why do we like looking at twisty roads? I would love it if I could find a psychological analysis of this… there must be some reason…

If anything, I think it might be related to that other larger phenomenon I have mentioned before. That idea that our pleistocene-savannah brains like to see: fresh water (survival), trees (shelter), open plains (predators), vast skies (weather), and paths (game or human habitation). It may just be related to that last one.

Daily Photo – The Long and Twisty Road

I lament I can’t remember exactly where this is in Iceland. I think it was up by lake Myavatn, but I’m not totally sure.

That word Myavatn is related to little mosquitoes. I wondered why it had that name until about 5 AM one day. There were millions… and I mean millions of mosquitoes that came out of nowhere! It was one of those weather-things were the temperature is just perfect and they get up and go crazy for a few hours before settling down again. I had to retreat into the car mostly for reasons of sanity!

The Long and Twisty RoadI lament I can't remember exactly where this is in Iceland.  I think it was up by lake Myavatn, but I'm not totally sure.  That word Myavatn is related to little mosquitoes.  I wondered why it had that name until about 5 AM one day.  There were millions... and I mean millions of mosquitoes that came out of nowhere!  It was one of those weather-things were the temperature is just perfect and they get up and go crazy for a few hours before settling down again.  I had to retreat into the car mostly for reasons of sanity!- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Fishing Hut

Side Roads

This is another example of taking a little side road. It’s hard to do this because the main road usually has such interesting sights. You say to yourself, “Why would I possibly want to get off this amazing road?” And then you force yourself to remember why… but you have to go through this same painful process again and again! :)

Daily Photo – Fishing Hut

Can I post two photos from Iceland in a row? I like to jump around from time to time.. but I guess this is a curveball or something.

One strange little thing about Iceland to me is the grass. It is the spongiest stuff in the world. Every step has your feet sink down and bounce up several more inches than expected. It feels a little like one of those giant blow-up-houses like the moonwalk when I was a kid.

Also, my shoes are always damp here. There seems to be a dew or moisture at the surface all the time, and it just coats everything. It’s not bad… just different.

Fishing Hut Can I post two photos from Iceland in a row? I like to jump around from time to time.. but I guess this is a curveball or something.One strange little thing about Iceland to me is the grass. It is the spongiest stuff in the world. Every step has your feet sink down and bounce up several more inches than expected. It feels a little like one of those giant blow-up-houses like the moonwalk when I was a kid.Also, my shoes are always damp here. There seems to be a dew or moisture at the surface all the time, and it just coats everything. It’s not bad… just different.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Curving Around Iceland

HDR Video Tutorial

Things are still going great with the HDR Video Tutorial. This photo below is one of the ones I worked on during class. I had a few problems with it for sure, but I have since fixed them up using the stuff I talked about! Nothing is easy, I tell you…

Daily Photo – Curving Around Iceland

Iceland is pretty. Do I have to keep saying it? Maybe I do… you know… you know how a girl likes to be reminded in a gentle way all the time that she is pretty? Yes, I guess I can extend this to Iceland… so… you may tire of me saying it, but I’ll keep saying how pretty Iceland is.

Curving Around IcelandIceland is pretty.  Do I have to keep saying it?  Maybe I do... you know...  you know how a girl likes to be reminded in a gentle way all the time that she is pretty?  Yes, I guess I can extend this to Iceland... so... you may tire of me saying it, but I'll keep saying how pretty Iceland is.- Trey RatcliffFrom the original entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Little Elves, Little Waterfall

The real elf-stat?

I’ve heard all different percentages of how many Icelanders believe in elves. It’s always high. But I wonder what the most correct percentage is? Has there ever really been a scientific study and wide-spread poll? I’d love to know the exact stats… you guys are all so smart – it seems like the perfect task for you to figure out so we can know the answer once and for all!

Daily Photo – Little Elves, Little Waterfall

Going into one of the valleys by Isafjordur takes you to many little homes near waterfalls. I thought this one was quite lovely.

And if you look to the left there, you’ll see the tiny homes they also built for the elves.

I was editing this photo at dinner one evening in Isafjordur. One of the waitresses saw this house, recognized it, and said, “Oh that’s jklasdj(jkasdj^dhsaj”. Of course, I am doing my best to approximate the Icelandic language there…

Little Elves, Little WaterfallGoing into one of the valleys by Isafjordur takes you to many little homes near waterfalls.  I thought this one was quite lovely.And if you look to the left there, you'll see the tiny homes they also built for the elves.I was editing this photo at dinner one evening in Isafjordur.  One of the waitresses saw this house, recognized it, and said, "Oh that's jklasdj(jkasdj^dhsaj".  Of course, I am doing my best to approximate the Icelandic language there...- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

New Video! The Viking Waterfront

全新视频!

我用iPad拍了一个冰岛的小视频,讲述照片背后的故事。希望大家喜欢!

维京海滨

Flaxen Horse at Sunrise

Northern California PhotoWalk!

I’m giving a talk at the Google HQ on Aug 11th entitled, “Artists and the Internet: Digitally Extending Your Natural Self.” That part is closed (but will be recorded), but after we will be having a PhotoWalk at Stanford. We’ll have a bunch of people from Google and people from the community here. It will be great fun and I hope you can come!

To sign up (all my PhotoWalks are free), come see the PlanCast event.

Postprocessing…

This is one of the many photos I processed in the HDR Video Tutorial. During the class, it was suggested that maybe there is some kind of a subscription service where people could join and then download videos of me post-processing stuff. Would you be interested in this? I don’t have the time to do anything like this in the immediate future… but if people dig the idea, maybe I could do it some day. There is a lot of bandwidth/distribution/infrastructure stuff to figure out too, but I guess it could be cool. Andrea and some other people here are trying to talk me into it, but I wanted to see what you thought first. As usual, leave me comments, tweets, or Google+ messages to let me know what you think.

I checked our stats, and a month ago we served up over 5,453 GB of video and data… so this stuff gets expensive, sadly. Yes, that’s 5.4 terrabytes! That does not include any of the photos that are shown on the site… that is millions and millions of photos distributed, but, thank god, SmugMug pays for all that. Note that is just part of the standard SmugMug Pro thing and they do the same for all customers, although I am sure I overeat at their all-you-can-eat bandwidth buffet! For more info on that stuff, see my SmugMug Review.

Daily Photo – Flaxen Horse at Sunrise

The problem with horses in Iceland is that you can’t pass a farm with them frolicking about without…wondering…hmmm…I wonder if I could get a good shot. And then, of course, something in you tells you that Yes, of course, you could get a good shot. And then, you have to come up with reasons not to stop at every farm and take photos of every horse, since they all come out interesting.

So, naturally, this is a strange situation, in which you have to willingly force yourself to drive past something that you know would be amazing. But, well, you do it with the low-risk gamble that you will see something else amazing a bit down the road.

Flaxen Horse at Sunrise in Iceland

Flaxen Horse at Sunrise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/1.4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Horse in Landscape

What is your Google+ ID?

I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit (my Google Profile). Please put your Google Profile in the comments so that people can circle you. Perhaps a “Stuck In Customs” circle for people in this community? Pretty good idea, if I do say so myself!

Daily Photo – Horse in Landscape

Remember what I said a few days ago about reasons for no stopping for almost every horse photo in Iceland? Forget I said that. I don’t know what I was talking about. Go ahead and stop… I mean, how on earth can you pass this buy?

These horses remind me a bit of the sirens in Odysseus, distracting me from my destination… But, really, that analogy falls apart because I had no destination in mind, so I allow myself plenty of wonderful distractions.

Horse in Landscape in Iceland

Horse in Landscape

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length230mm (230mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Lost Rock Temple

 

This Week in Tech

Here is the video I did with Leo Laporte on This Week in Tech on Sunday. I was a special guest for the first 20 mins or so, and then I left… I talk a little about the behind-the-scenes at NASA. Thanks to Eileen Rivera for the last-minute invitation! :)

Daily Photo – The Lost Rock Temple

I spent countless hours trying to find this place on a previous trip to Iceland. This time, thanks to SECRET PROJECT EOSX, I was able to find it effortlessly. It was just as amazing as I hoped it would be.

The hardest part was the road at 2 AM. It was one of those perfectly straight country roads that goes straight into the sun. And I mean straight. It was exactly in the middle of my steering wheel, and there was no escaping it. The visor, my hand, nothing, nada, could block that sun, so I had to drive about 5 miles per hour and look out the window. It was all very unsettling… if you have driven in this situation, then you know what I mean!

The Lost Rock Temple I spent countless hours trying to find this place on a previous trip to Iceland. This time, thanks to SECRET PROJECT EOSX, I was able to find it effortlessly. It was just as amazing as I hoped it would be.The hardest part was the road at 2 AM. It was one of those perfectly straight country roads that goes straight into the sun. And I mean straight. It was exactly in the middle of my steering wheel, and there was no escaping it. The visor, my hand, nothing, nada, could block that sun, so I had to drive about 5 miles per hour and look out the window. It was all very unsettling… if you have driven in this situation, then you know what I mean!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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