The Red Room

Does anyone else remember the Red Room from Twin Peaks? I was a real fan of that show and saw every one. The Red Room was this perfectly insane place that came out of David Lynch’s mind. All the scenes inside were filmed in reverse, and the lines were spoken backwards. They were then played backwards (so it appear forwards, but twisted) to give a very creepy feeling to the place. This was where the quirky Agent Cooper visited in many of his strange dreams… It’s also because of Agent Cooper that I give myself a small gift every day, like a nice slice of pie. I wish Lynch would make a new TV series!

This is yet another shot from the Crimson Lounge in Chicago. The place was awesome. I took a ton of shots and I probably could have taken even more!

Also, we have a new sponsor of the site here – BorrowLenses.com. I have a review coming up in the next Newsletter that will talk more about it. In short, it’s like Netflix for lenses! Very cool idea… It’s a great way to try out all those lenses that you’ve always wondered about or wanted!

The Red Room

View Comments

The Inner Membrane of the Crimson Lounge

This is another shot of one of the coolest lounges in the world. It’s called the Crimson Lounge in downtown Chicago. It has incredible textures and lights inside that are very hard to capture unless you use this HDR technique. At least, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Now, if you really want to see the details, I will explain how to see the huge size. I sometimes expect people know how to do this, but many do not, so I am happy to explain. 1) Click on the photo, and that will go to the Flickr page. 2) Click on ALL SIZES+ above the photo. 3) Click on ORIGINAL. That will show the huge version… the only problem is it probably won’t fit on your monitor! You can do that with all the photos I upload… I like putting the huge ones on there for people to enjoy, use as personal wallpaper on their computers, other non-commercial purposes, etc.

The Inner Membrane

View Comments

Hanging out of a Chopper

Here is another photo that I took that evening when I was flying in a helicopter around downtown Chicago. The pilots were cool enough to take off the door to give me an unencumbered view. That part was great — the thing I did not expect was the 200 MPH backwash flying through the cavity. It made it rather tough to keep the camera steady!

This is a shot (on Facebook) that Fiona got of me hanging out of the helicopter (albeit on the ground!).

Now, I know some of you EXIF-hunters love to know all the dirty details of the exposure. I keep it inside the Flickr page if you click on More Properties. But to save you the time, here is the basic info. BTW, this is a single-exposure RAW file that I converted into an HDR. This was shot at f/2.8 with an Exposure Bias of -5. The shutter was 1/8000, the ISO 800, and it was shot at 18mm. The camera was the Nikon D3X and it was shot with the 14-24mm 2.8 lens. I have details of all that stuff over there in the HDR Camera equipment area.

Hanging Out of the Chopper

View Comments

Inside My Secret Cloning Chamber

I would love to have a mad scientist lab that is only accessible via a retinal scan and a special dance. Inside I would have all kinds of fabulous things, including a clone chamber where I would clone myself several times so that I could keep track of all my various social networks. The clone would, of course, have the same retina, but it could not gain access into the mad science lab because it would fail the special dance bit.

I’d very much like to record a music video in here alongside Flight of the Conchords.

As you can see from my intricate tagging system, this was shot in Chicago. Who is the first to know this location? ..and my Chicago insider is not allowed to say! :)

Inside My Secret Cloning Chamber

View Comments

The Haunting Textures of the Hotel Sax

The Crimson Lounge sits behind some ornate doors in the lobby of the Hotel Sax in Chicago. I was lucky enough to get a private tour of this beautiful and secret place. It would be callously gauche to call this a hotel bar, because it is so much more.

There are about a dozen little rooms, enclaves, and velvet-curtained grottos that make up a textured complex of rooms that are just waiting around for me to lounge in while drinking something with an absurd name.

I collected a variety of other shots from this little gem of a place that I will be sprinkling into the blog over the next few months and years…

Shall we retire to the den for some port?

View Comments

Chicago Thaws into Spring

Here is a shot of our pilots for the shot below, Bill and Jeff, circling back towards the city about an hour before the sunset.

bill and jeff

(also, the site is going through a redesign… please ignore any changes you see that might mess up in IE or Safari… getting it worked out…! thanks for your patience).

Daily Photo – Chicago Thaws into Spring

I was lucky enough to be in a helicopter over Chicago at sunset. A big thanks to Fiona and our pilots Bill and Jeff. They took the door off the helicopter for me, which sounds like a good idea until you are experiencing 100 MPH of chopper backwash while hanging out trying to get this kind of shot!

It was a fun day. We stayed up for a few hours and circled around the city several times. I got hundreds of amazing shots. I haven’t had time to process any of them except for this one… but I wanted to go ahead and get it up since I know the Twitter and Facebook crowd has been waiting on it since I mentioned it on there. Also my mom was very worried about the whole door-off-the-helicopter thing.

Right in the center of the shot on the bottom is the famous Navy Pier. We timed this shot to get at the right height the second the sun dipped below the horizon to cast a rainbow of hues into the sky.

Chicago Thaws into Spring

Chicago Thaws into Spring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

View Comments

Freezing some time in Chicago at Christmas

It was a great (but freezing!) weekend in Chicago for the holidays. It was adventurous and relaxing. The first shot here is from the amazing tree in front of Bloomingdale’s off Michigan Avenue.

I also spent a lot of time in the Art Institute of Chicago, coming away from my favorite room with the great Impressionists — the room is filled with over $100 million in Renoirs, Monets, and Cézannes. After coming out of that forum, I always get a bit melancholy… a strange combination of inspiration while feeling like I have no talent at all.

The final shot is one of a wonderful little adventure journal that I thought you might enjoy. The other captures are little bits from here and there around my room… freezing some time, perhaps.

Freezing some time in Chicago at Christmas (by Stuck in Customs)

starsinmyeyes

earphones

pillows

scarf

A soft curve

Journal

View Comments

More Black Water from Chicago

I was thinking about that nice black water from yesterday and remembered a cold night in Chicago a while ago with more nice black water… glassy and reflective…

Up the Creek

View Comments

Chicago in the Evening

This one was shot from the John Hancock building during sunset. I believe I was facing south with this one… Which reminds me… the other day Ethan asked why “south” is called “south”. I did not have a good answer.

Evening in Chicago

View Comments

Under The Globulus Chicagus

This may be the dumbest name for a post I have ever made, but I hope to surpass it some day with something more stupider. This was shot in Chicago in the dead of winter, which seems to be most of the time in Chicago. You can still see the frost on the ground there in front of the castle.
Globulus Chicagus

View Comments
Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x