The Olde Organ, Guessing Game, and my Secret Music List

My Music Playlist – What are some of your favorites?

As I travel around the world, I’ve picked up an amazing collection of unique music. It’s not for everyone, but if you like eclectic stuff that gets you in a right-brain mode, I think it’s great.

This first list I am releasing is my “World Lounge Mix” – I made an iTunes iMix of it and added the mix to Trey’s Music List!

Coming soon are some of my favorite songs from other categories, like Ambient New Age, Spanish Guitar, World Music, and more.

What are some of your favorite songs? Share them with me – I’d like to know!

Daily photo – The Olde Organ

Okay, if you were in one of my workshops, you are not allowed to guess, because you heard the unexpected answer.

But, of the rest of you, who can guess where this photo of this ornate organ was taken?  Those in my workshop know because I worked on it during the festivities.  It’s so funny whenever I zoom into 100% and people ooh and ahh at the details.  It’s funny because I do the same thing!  I know a lot of people say that 24 megapixel is overkill, but… well… it’s just cool.

I plan for the future when many people have 70 inch wall displays at 10,000 pixels across.  I want to make sure my images are ready for them!

The Olde Organ

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Belly Up to the Bar with me in Chicago!

Special Advance Notice for Special Communities

I know you all are BUSY. Also, I know you like to come here and hang out with the community since we enjoy finding some of the best stuff, sharing tricks, techniques, and art with you. However, some people go the extra mile. For each little sub-community within Stuck In Customs, I try to do something extra special:

  • Newsletter Subscribers – I gave out a $50 off coupon on something cool just to subscribers, and many acted on it!  Cool!   The Newsletter is free, so why not join?  Besides that, I try to give advance notice on all sorts of things.
  • Facebook Fans – I gave these fine people an advance link to a new review I am doing, so they can see it before anyone else.  The Fan page was started by a Dutch fan, and we are starting to do all sorts of things on it, including a fun discussion on Which Lens do you Want?
  • Twitter Followers – Many times throughout the week, I open it up for questions on the new book or anything in between.  I think it is cool that I can have direct contact with so many people — I really try my best to answer most everyone!  In addition, I sprinkle in all sorts of inspirational art finds and do my best to keep things fun and light – the way the internet should be!

If you are a member of one or more of these special sub-communities – let me know any other ideas you might have!

Chicago Party in a Few Days!

Woo!  This will be fun!  The New York and Austin parties were exciting and fun – I really enjoyed getting to meet people and the like.  Chicago is next.  You can either RSVP on the Facebook Event Page or see more info here on the site!

Chicago Party

Daily Photo – Belly up to the Bar

Here is another shot from the ultra-cook Hotel Sax, where we are having the party mentioned above. The Hotel Sax has tons of these really swanky rooms that have a very nice feeling about them. Now, I don’t drink alcohol at all… which makes awesome bars like this a little disappointing… but not so disappointing if there is someone interesting to talk to!

I actually, on occasion, end up with people who spend half the time talking about previous drinking experiences while having a drinking experience. I suppose this becomes a recursive function at some point… and I guess it’s no different than going out with photographers and talking about other photography outings!

Belly Up to the Bar

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My Top iPhone Apps for Christmas and Green Man in Chicago

Top iPhone Apps for Christmas

I use my iPhone a lot.  And I mean A LOT.  I’m a big gamer and app-user.  Besides playing games with my wife and friends, my 8-year-old is also uses it to play games… and he just may get an iTouch for Christmas.  Anyway, here are some great games and apps for you and/or your family!

DIGG this story here!

Fun Games

  • Labyrinth 2 Labyrinth 2 – This game has nothing to do with that awful movie with David Bowie from the 80′s. It is a very fun game for all ages where you have one of those little balls that you have to move through a wooden maze by balancing the iPhone. It’s very creative and there are tons of levels for all difficulties.
  • Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor Spider:  The Secret of Bryce Manor – A beautiful game in which you play a little spider that weaves webs to catch bugs. There is a lot of fun strategy to figuring out the best way to make bugs to catch the bugs… it’s very original and fun for all ages.
  • iBlast Moki iBlast Moki – A fun physics-based game for all ages. You have to get these little guys into a portal by placing bombs around the level. There is a lot of clever strategy to proper placement… and just nice physics fun!
  • I Dig it Expeditions I Dig It Expeditions – This is a very fun and addictive game for all ages.  I played the first one to death and the new one is even better.  It’s easy to understand, you dig up treasure, upgrade your treasure-findin’ craft, have fun in bite-sized amounts, great for collectors, and an amazing source of entertainment…  I’d find myself thinking about it while driving around!
  • Words with Friends Words With Friends – This is basically a slicker version of Scrabble that you can play with all your friends, barely-known-facebook-friends, or strangers. What is cool is that you can take your turn whenever you want, and then you send your triple-letter-score word off into the cloud. Your friend will have a little red 1 on their app letting them know there is a turn waiting for them!
  • Drop 7 Drop7 – A very simple to learn but addicting puzzle game. It’s better than Bejeweled by a mile — and you will just love it. Facebook friend me in the game and see if you can beat my score!
  • GeoDefense geoDefense – Do you like Tower Defense games? This one is the best, by far. I think I have played 20 of these types of games, and this one is the sharpest. If you like this, also go GeoDefense Swarm
  • Rogue Planet Rogue Planet – Do you like turn-based strategy war games? This is a great one!
  • Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid ROLANDO 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid – A fun platform game where you are a little ball-guy and you roll around creative levels with fun goals. It’s impressive in every way… fun for all ages!
  • Knights Onrush Knights Onrush – Very fun action game where you are keeping legions of knights from storming your castle. It starts out simple with throwing knights around then more strategy comes around once you start buying new things to help you fend off the hordes!
  • Tornado Mania! Tornado Mania! – A fun game where you get points for using a tornado to destroy a city. It sounds simple, but there is a nice game to it… you can either touch the screen or tilt it around to move the tornado.

Great Apps and More Fun

  • Tweetie 2 Tweetie 2 – The best Twitter app in the iPhone
  • Best Camera Best Camera – This is a cool app by the photographer Chase Jarvis. I’ve yet to meet the guy, but I think we’d really get along. Anyway, it’s a simple app that lets you put nice filters on your photos. Better yet, you can quickly share that photo in email, Twitter, Facebook, and more. It’s smart, cheap, and fun. It’s amazing what a little filter will do to a crappy iPhone shot! See one I took in Carmel here.
  • Pano Pano – A fun camera app that lets you take several photos that partially overlap — then it builds them into a huge panorama! As you have probably figured out, you can’t fit a whole scene into the default zoom of that lens.
  • Pandora Pandora Radio – You know Pandora, right? It’s a great free music service that will play you songs based on what you like! I use it on my computer too and am a subscriber.
  • RedLaser RedLaser – I use this to scan barcodes everywhere to find the cheapest prices. I rarely buy anything in stores any more because the prices are too high – RedLaser will tell you the cost on Amazon and a ton of other places, and even let you order. If you don’t have to have it immediately, it’s nice just to get it shipped to your place!
  • SmackTalk! SmackTalk! – I don’t even know how to describe this. You talk into the phone and then a hamster, cute cat, cute dog, or something else will repeat what you said in a funny voice. There is nothing better with family or at a party where people don’t mind being silly.
  • GoWalla Gowalla – The BEST geo-location game. Walk or drive around your city collecting stamps, finding cool virtual geocached goodies, and compare your virtual passport stamps with friends. I think it’s so much better than Four Square.

Why not more Photography apps? Frankly, I’ve tried a lot and most are little gadgets that I only use once or twice then never use again. I don’t want to waste your time with useless stuff you’ll just use once then throw away.

I’ll stop there for now – that’s a lot! What are some of your favorites?

Trey’s Book List!

I figure as long as I am listing out great iPhone Apps, maybe some people also got a Kindle or some Amazon gift cards. I have a FULL “Trey’s Book List” here on the site. Here are a few:

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Richard Feynman, 1981
A Nobel-winning physicist, inveterate prankster and gifted teacher, Feynman (1918-1988) charmed plenty of contemporary and future scientists with accounts of his misadventures in the bestselling Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! more…

Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks

Mark Buchanan, reprint Jan. 2000
Will a network science emerge that helps us understand a variety of complex organizational systems by describing the puzzles of human behavior and connections in mathematical terms? So argues Buchanan, former editor of Nature and New Scientist. Buchanan, who holds a Ph.D. in physics…. more…

Aztec – Gary Jennings

A great historical fiction novel about an unconventional hero. Garry Jennings is one of those guys that you just know was born to write…

Live Random Q&A!

I popped into Twitter tonight and took two hours of random questions and answers — sounds like the HDR Book is finally starting to arrive! Cool! I’ll continue to be on Twitter a lot to help you guys out… if I have a spare few hours to dedicate to Q&A, I will do so at random times… but, as always, feel free to ask questions and I’ll attend to them if humanly possible.

Daily Photo – Green Man in Chicago

This is the famous “Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.  It was an extremely busy day around there, so there was no hope of getting the bean sans tourists… generally, I don’t like people around in my photos, but if there are going to be people, I want them to be interesting!  Well I was lucky that Green Man was there…  Now, I’m sure MOST of you don’t know who Green Man is… you sort of have to be a mindless disciple of a rather edgy TV show called “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”  Like the apps above, I do recommend it… although, it can be a little offensive, to say the least!

Green Man in Chicago

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Chicago from a Chopper

Upcoming Chicago Party

On January 2nd, we have our Chicago Book Party.  You can see more information there or sign up on the Facebook Event Page.

Free talk in New York on Dec 15th at B&H Photo – A Firehose of HDR

See the photo below? One of the most common questions I get is “How do you make an HDR out of a single photo?” Well, I’ll go over that and more on Dec 15th at noon at the Incredible B&H Photo in New York. You can get more New York B&H event info here.

Also, you may know that B&H is a partner of Stuck in Customs — I recommend you buy from them on my Digital SLR recommendations page.

Daily Photo – Chicago from a Chopper

Chicago is an awesome city and I always have a good time there.  This time of year, it gets a bit cold… and if you don’t have a good coat pre-buttoned before you go outside, well, that’s a big mistake.

I have a good friend there that arranged a helicopter for me in Chicago and took the door off!  I hung out for a few hours battling the backwash as we circled the city and flew in and out of the buildings.  This is one of the shots from that series, and I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I did shooting it!

Chicago from a Chopper

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The Crimson Before the Party

Update: I am very excited about the HDR Workshop. Thanks for all the great feedback! Registration will open close to midnight next week at this time (The midnight between Thur and Fri… hehe… I know saying “midnight” can fall either way!). I’ll also update the full list of everything that will be included, the amazing venue, extra bonus post-processing “fun” time with me after hours, etc etc.

I was lucky enough, thanks to a friend, get entry to run around the Crimson Lounge in Chicago on a Saturday before they opened. I think maybe some of you have seen the other Chicago photos of this location… there were so many interesting things to shoot with great angles. That reminds me — did you know that if you scroll down and look on the right, you can click there to see photos from various locations around the world?

Speaking of shooting cool stuff inside of an amazing place, we have a secret event coming up in Austin in the beginning of December. But shhh… don’t tell anyone… I’ll announce more as the time gets closer. It’s going to be quite a party. It may or may not have something to do with a major book launch from someone you may or may not know.

The Crimson before the Party

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