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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Iceland, Isafjordur, Nikon D3X, Travel. 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…
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.|
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…
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.
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.”
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…
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.