I’m 40!

 

It’s like 30, but with more Internet

Well, today is my 40th birthday.

I plan on having a midlife crisis between 2 AM and 3 AM and that involves a considerable amount of chocolate and then get over it.

Just as I was leaving Iceland, they had this giant poster in the airport. BTW, every Icelandic advertising poster looks the exact same, and they all copy 66′North, which I think originated the campaign. Everyone looks hard and windswept while the rugged Icelandic background is in the distance behind them… ANYWAY, there was this poster of a dude ice-climbing, and it said, “Life Begins at 40.” I think the ad was for some bank. But, it didn’t make me want to ice climb or do any banking with them, so I really don’t know what effect that ad or any of this has had on me.

Daily Photo – Bridge of the Dark Fairy

Now this place was hard to find. In fact, I tried to geo-locate it after the fact, and I could not even come close. It’s like one of those lost spots on earth, like the island with King Kong, or the deep paths to Silfen worlds…

After leaving the road, I scrambled down a few hillocks and walked along the stream a bit. Finding this quite mirror-world of sorts, I stopped for a photo.

Bridge of the Dark FairyNow this place was hard to find.  In fact, I tried to geo-locate it after the fact, and I could not even come close.  It's like one of those lost spots on earth, like the island with King Kong, or the deep paths to Silfen worlds...  After leaving the road, I scrambled down a few hillocks and walked along the stream a bit.  Finding this quite mirror-world of sorts, I stopped for a photo. - Trey RatcliffRead all about this and my 1-hour midlife crisis here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Oceanscream

 

Updated Google+ Invite System

See the new steps below… this has gotten a lot of people in, so it should work for now. I had 3 great video hangout sessions last night will all sorts of people… very interesting to meet and talk with people from all over the world. The video hangout may be the coolest thing!

1) Come to StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and see if you can find a thread that has remaining invitations. Put your email in that thread (not on the wall).

2) Accept your invite when it arrives, then return to the StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and pay it forward by saying, “I have 10-15 (whatever) invites for Google+ so leave your email below and I’ll get you in!”

3) To invite people in, create a new circle and fill it with email addresses that need access.

4) Share a post or photo with that circle, and it will ask you if you want to email people not in Google+. Say yes, and they will get an email invite!

And, if you are looking for me in Google+, here is My Google Profile.

“See More Photos…”

You may notice a slight change to the bottom of every post.  I took away the emphasis on “categories,” and say in more plain English:  See more photos from IcelandIsafjordurNikon D3XTravel.  This should help you explore more from this area if you find them interesting!

Daily Photo – Oceanscream

Early one morning while weaving through the fjords, a cell of dark clouds roiled across the sky. The low sun kept them in impossible colors and the air vibrated with a coming storm.

This is up on the edge of the arctic circle where one fjord may be covered in clouds while the next is wide open and clear. There are hundreds of little microclimates that change from one hour to the next, so if things don’t look good in one fjord, just spend 30 minutes driving over to the next one, and maybe something different will present itself. Surely by now, you see why I like Iceland so much in the summer…

OceanscreamEarly one morning while weaving through the fjords, a cell of dark clouds roiled across the sky.  The low sun kept them in impossible colors and the air vibrated with a coming storm.  This is up on the edge of the arctic circle where one fjord may be covered in clouds while the next is wide open and clear.  There are hundreds of little microclimates that change from one hour to the next, so if things don't look good in one fjord, just spend 30 minutes driving over to the next one, and maybe something different will present itself.  Surely by now, you see why I like Iceland so much in the summer...- Trey RatcliffRead more, including some info on how you might snag a Google+ invite, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Delicate Ice in Spring

 

Google Plus

Here is my Google Profile, so feel free to add me if you are using Google+. It’s pretty cool, and I find it’s super easy and fun to make groups with circles.

Also, I added the +1 thingy to the page here… it will be up at the top of every post along with the FB stuff. When you click it, you tell Google that you trust the page and there is good content here…. thanks for your support on that… I don’t ask for too much, do I? Hehe… Thx again.  

Be Careful!

So, today’s shot reminds me of good man David duChemin, who recently took a serious tumble while getting a photo. He was laid up in the hospital for a long time and things looked pretty grim. He’s on the mend… and a nice way to show support is to pop over and check out some of David’s new eBooks! He has an amazing selection over there, and it’ll be something that benefits you too.

Anyway, today’s photo looks pretty scary yes? Do you think I would actually walk out on that ice to get this shot? Heck no… there are lots of ways to get interesting looking shots without pushing the limits… so, just because a shot LOOKS like it was dangerous does not mean it was… don’t let my shots or other shots make you feel inclined to take “risky” shots yourself.

Daily Photo – Delicate Ice in Spring

After dinner one evening in Ísafjörður, I drove through a nearby town and up into the mountains. Along the road, I noticed an iced-over river that was beginning to thaw in a few areas. I pulled over, and scrambled down the hill to set up for a shot.

I tried this both with and without an ND filter. The ND filter didn’t add anything to the shot except for a lot of pain! The light was low enough were a small aperture could get the feeling of the river through the hole in the ice…

Delicate Ice in Spring - Trey Ratcliff After dinner one evening in Ísafjörður, I drove through a nearby town and up into the mountains. Along the road, I noticed an iced-over river that was beginning to thaw in a few areas. I pulled over, and scrambled down the hill to set up for a shot.I tried this both with and without an ND filter. The ND filter didn’t add anything to the shot except for a lot of pain! The light was low enough where a small aperture could get the feeling of the river through the hole in the ice…- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Sleeping In

 

Daily Photo – Sleeping In

I usually am too swamped in the middle of photo-adventures to process and post immediately, but this one is an exception I made just a few hours ago.

I have a favorite fish restaurant here in Isafjordur called Tjöruhúsið. They bring out a huge skillet of three pieces of fresh fish cooked in a mushroom cream butter sauce. Also in the pan are potatoes, tomatoes, and even a salad tucked into the corner. I took my time eating my Viking meal while processing this photo.

I took it just yesterday while driving from Reykjavik to Isafjordur, which is just about one of the longest possible drives you can make in Iceland in a day if you have a reasonable level of sanity. There comes a point when you feel like you’re getting close, when you start weaving in and out of fjords. They are huge and each one seems to take over half an hour to drive around. (here is part of my driving path)

In the midst of one of these, I espied an old house up the side of one of the valleys. It was partially obscured by a hand-built stone wall. I stopped the car and started hiking up the side of the valley to investigate. Once I got up there, I began to think that maybe this place was actually occupied! There were new lace curtains hanging in the windows and everything seemed to be in pretty good repair.

So then, I felt like I was intruding, and not just exploring an old ruin. But, it was 3 AM in the morning, and I figured if anyone was indeed inside, they must be fast asleep. So I set up for a shot and then made a hasty elf-like egress.

I just found out this place is called Litli-Bær and it was originally built in 1894.

Sleeping In

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24mm (24mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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Green Mountain, Red House

New Article in the Austin American Statesman

Omar Gallaga met me at Kirby’s here in Austin to have some food and talk a bit. He told me he was working on a new article, and it was just published at: “Austin celebrities try to keep up with fan love in the digital age.”

Book Suggestions…

I’ve been ripping through lots of books lately… here are some suggestions if you are looking for a summer read. I haven’t had a chance to update “Trey’s Book List” yet, but here are some newbies for ya… pop over to Amazon to get em… or Audible if you want the audio book, which I certainly recommend.

  • Fantasy – The Name of the Wind by Rothfuss - It’s greatness… and I’m just now on the sequel…
  • Sci-Fi – Pandora’s Star by Hamilton – it doesn’t get much better…. what a writer…
  • Economics and History – The Rational Optimist by Ridley – Matt is a good friend too…I’ve read all his books… I was a fan way before we got to be friends

You reading any good ones lately you’d like to recommend too?

Daily Photo – Green Mountain, Red House

“Is the house really THAT red?” my wife asks me. Yes, oh yes, it is… But now I am taking her to Iceland with me, so she can see these bright colors for herself…

I don’t know if it’s a Scandinavian thing or what, but we just don’t see colorful houses like this in the states. I think we either have brick, or white, or slightly off-white, or perhaps a light beige, or maybe something daring like a mauve-eggshell-white… I mean, I’m just as bad… mine in stucco. I don’t even think my homeowner’s association would let me paint it red. But, knowing Austin, with a bright red house, we’d probably have a few commies show up in Che Guevara shirts, wondering where the free pizza is…

Green Mountain, Red House"Is the house really THAT red?" my wife asks me.  Yes, oh yes, it is...  But now I am taking her to Iceland with me, so she can see these bright colors for herself...I don't know if it's a Scandinavian thing or what, but we just don't see colorful houses like this in the states.  I think we either have brick, or white, or slightly off-white, or perhaps a light beige, or maybe something daring like a mauve-eggshell-white...  I mean, I'm just as bad... mine in stucco.  I don't even think my homeowner's association would let me paint it red.  But, knowing Austin, with a bright red house, we'd probably have a few commies show up in Che Guevara shirts, wondering where the free pizza is...- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The Mighty Peaks and Soft River

Thanks again commenting friends!

I wanted to take a moment here and thank you all again for your comments! I read them all, and I get to know you through your comments. Even better, my MOM gets to know you all even better than me… when we talk on the phone she just goes on and on about so-and-so…. you have no idea… I should record one of our conversations and let you hear! She’s very sharp, has an encyclopedic memory, and has a full psychoanalysis of each one of you! :)

Daily Photo – The Mighty Peaks and Soft River

I’m going up again soon to the northern part of Iceland to visit some friends, and it will be great fun. This time, I’ll have to convince them to come out with me on a little photo adventure…

Right before you get to Akureyri, the road twists along a valley that runs beside these mountains. They are beautiful and scenic, but very difficult to photograph. You keep looking and looking and looking for an angle, and it never quite works out. I found this one by accident.

There was a little side road that looked interesting. I took it, and then it almost immediately went off the side of a hill! It turns out it wasn’t a side-road at all, but some kind of fake-road meant to trick dumb people like me. So, after sliding to a stop, I went out to see if my 4th wheel was dangling over the side. It wasn’t, but I did see a little path that went down by the river. I thought there might be a good vantage point, so I took my rig down there to get this shot.

The Mighty Peaks and Soft RiverI'm going up again soon to the northern part of Iceland to visit some friends, and it will be great fun.  This time, I'll have to convince them to come out with me on a little photo adventure...Right before you get to Akureyri, the road twists along a valley that runs beside these mountains.  They are beautiful and scenic, but very difficult to photograph.  You keep looking and looking and looking for an angle, and it never quite works out.  I found this one by accident.  There was a little side road that looked interesting.  I took it, and then it almost immediately went off the side of a hill!  It turns out it wasn't a side-road at all, but some kind of fake-road meant to trick dumb people like me.  So, after sliding to a stop, I went out to see if my 4th wheel was dangling over the side.  It wasn't, but I did see a little path that went down by the river.  I thought there might be a good vantage point, so I took my rig down there to get this shot.-Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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New HDR Tutorial

Trey Ratcliff’s Photography, HDR, and Post-Processing Course

We have a new HDR Video Tutorial! Exciting! I just ate dinner with one of my students (and friends, now), Cliff Baise. He was down from Dallas and came to listen to my talk the other evening about blogging and photography… We talked a little about this new course, and I told him that I feel a little funny when people like him keep attending all of my various classes and stuff. I try to only put something out when it is new and fresh so there is not a lot of old, rehashed stuff. Anyway, I think you’ll enjoy it… and thank you Cliff for your kind words last night.

Here is a little video preview for you! To see more and get a full course listing, just visit the HDR Video Tutorial page.

Daily Photo – Nobody Needs Dramatic Sheep

I’ve posted two Iceland photos in a row! This is unlike me…yes, but I’m excited about Iceland. And, this is one of the photos I made in the video above.

I think people that rarely see sheep are fascinated by sheep. This is very confusing to people that spend a lot of time around sheep. I’m sure people in Iceland find that outsiders find sheep WAY too interesting. But, to us outsiders, we see these wonderful little white puffs, milling around… the gentle way they drift over the soft turf like clouds on a green sky

If you zoom in tight on this one, you’ll see there are actually three sheep there on the left… the one in the back is just being a little sheepish.

Nobody Needs Dramatic SheepI've posted two Iceland photos in a row!  This is unlike me...yes, but I'm excited about Iceland.  And, this is one of the photos I made in the video above.I think people that rarely see sheep are fascinated by sheep.  This is very confusing to people that spend a lot of time around sheep.  I'm sure people in Iceland find that outsiders find sheep WAY too interesting.  But, to us outsiders, we see these wonderful little white puffs, milling around... the gentle way they drift over the soft turf like clouds on a green sky...If you zoom in tight on this one, you'll see there are actually three sheep there on the left... the one in the back is just being a little sheepish.-Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The Long Curvy Road Around Iceland

New HDR Video Tutorial in 24 Hours!

The old video tutorial has been taken down, and will never be available again – but don’t lament! The new one will officially launch tomorrow and I think you’ll love it… If you already had the DVD and wondered about the new thing, here’s a nice quote for you:

“I was initially uncertain as to whether to ‘attend’ this webinar. I had purchased Treys’ DVD and wondered why I should spend more money on this. I must say that I enjoyed the webinars even more than the DVD’s & was surprised in how much I learned. Thanks again for an excellent presentation. I did & will continue to enjoy and learn. It was money well spent!!!’ - Jon Barney, Virginia

Daily Photo – The Long Curvy Road Around Iceland

I’m packing now for another summer solstice at 66 degrees north. It’ll be a great one!

I’m also trying out some new photo bags… people send me stuff to try out all the time. Hehe… I make it clear to all of them that I only review and recommend stuff that I actually use… if I don’t like it, I won’t rip on it, I just won’t mention it. If it turns out to be good, I’ll give it a big thumbs up and tell you all about it… so I am about to go through the big ceremonial process of moving all my stuff from one bag to another… you know that process. It’s actually kind of fun, to tell you the truth… Also, it’s down there in my ethics statement. I only review and recommend stuff I actually use rather than giving you 20 reviews a week. I think that keeps it simple, and also, you aren’t forced to read a bunch of reviews that hem and haw about this and that…

And when I get to Iceland, I’ll be up on this wonderful road again… this gentle curving road that circumnavigates the island… sleeping days and staying up through the white nights… I can’t wait!

The Long Curvy Road Around Iceland I'm packing now for another summer solstice at 66 degrees north.  It'll be a great one!I'm also trying out some new photo bags... people send me stuff to try out all the time.  Hehe... I make it clear to all of them that I only review and recommend stuff that I actually use... if I don't like it, I won't rip on it, I just won't mention it.  If it turns out to be good, I'll give it a big thumbs up and tell you all about it... so I am about to go through the big ceremonial process of moving all my stuff from one bag to another... you know that process.  It's actually kind of fun, to tell you the truth...  Also, it's down there in my ethics statement.  I only review and recommend stuff I actually use rather than giving you 20 reviews a week.  I think that keeps it simple, and also, you aren't forced to read a bunch of reviews that hem and haw about this and that...And when I get to Iceland, I'll be up on this wonderful road again... this gentle curving road that circumnavigates the island... sleeping days and staying up through the white nights...  I can't wait!- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Hello Instagram! Now add 100 New Effects to your creations!

The First Camera App to Integrate with Instagram

I’m happy (and honored) to announce that we are the first camera app to use the amazing Send-to-Instagram feature! 100 Cameras in 1 (iPhone link and iPad link) is now ready for download with the new feature.

Now our hundreds of thousands of users can make use of the amazing Instagram network. I’ve been using it for a long time, and I’m a big fan. It’s free, so why not grab it? My name on there is @TreyRatcliff. What’s yours?

100 Cameras in 1 Instagram

The Very Serious Press Release

What Makes a Good Photo Great? The Morning Smell of Waffles and the Power of Instagram

On April 29, 2011, the world paused to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down the aisle in a stunning, fairytale wedding. Indeed, it was a veritable union of brawn and beauty, royalty and humble beginnings, tradition and reckless love. On May 30, 2011, the world will again witness a marriage of epic proportion as the photo-sharing juggernaut, Instagram, merges with the elegant and poetic camera app, 100 Cameras in 1. Combined, these apps represent almost 5 million users, a hundred million pictures, memories, and stories, and infinite possibility. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t pull off a feat so massive.

Read the rest of the press release

Daily Photo – Red Boat in Fjord Before Storm

As soon as I drove into Isafjordur in the very remote area of NW Iceland, I went right to the docks. The water was so calm and perfect that it was beyond belief. I was super-tired, and I thought that the still water MUST be a unique phenomenon, so I toughened up to go take a bunch of photos.

It was extra-hard because I knew I was ready to go to sleep… and I knew it was about to rain… and it’s one of my favorite things to sleep in the rain. So this worked out nicely since I also like to take a bunch of photos right before it rains. So I took photos till I almost collapsed, found my hotel room, jammed a lot of chocolate, and then fell asleep in that endorphin-laden serum to the gentle rainstorm.

HDR Photo

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Gentle Green Slopes to Rocky Curved Crags

New Video – PSDs to JPGs

That is maybe the worst title for a video ever, but it does get to the non-romantic heart of the matter. I’ve gotten this question a lot… well, I get a lot of questions a lot… so I figured I would just go ahead and make a little screencast video that shows how and why I manipulate files in one particular area of my workflow. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Gentle Green Slopes to Rocky Curved Crags

After you are driving around Iceland for a few weeks, you get so used to wild landscapes that it’s hard to be objective. I force myself to wake up and be objective about the matter… and then, I suddenly come to my senses and I realize that scenes like this are entirely unique! So, that helps me to pop out of my truck and go on a short hike to get a good vantage point. And then I get back… process it many months later… and I am happy that I took the time to recognize it was indeed a special place.

Gentle Green Slopes to Rocky Curved Crags After you are driving around Iceland for a few weeks, you get so used to wild landscapes that it's hard to be objective.  I force myself to wake up and be objective about the matter... and then, I suddenly come to my senses and I realize that scenes like this are entirely unique!  So, that helps me to pop out of my truck and go on a short hike to get a good vantage point.  And then I get back... process it many months later... and I am happy that I took the time to recognize it was indeed a special place.  - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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