The Taj Mahal from Akbar’s Palace

Another Nice Workshop Review

Thanks for all the nice emails and tweets everyone; I’m glad you had a good time. That is right, I still have no plans for future workshops, but I do appreciate all the feedback and kind requests.

Chris Stamper wrote an HDR Workshop Review on his blog that was very nice. Thanks Chris – I am happy you enjoyed it! Keep up the good HDR work and fight the good fight for us! 🙂

Nikon D3S Review Continues

I have a Nikon D3S still on loan from BorrowLenses.com, and I’m putting together some images for my Nikon D3S Review.  I don’t have it finished yet…. these things take a while, but, so far, I am very impressed!

In fact, I’m so impressed, that I am going to B&H Photo tonight to buy the full thing as a backup to my D3X! (You can see more info there on my Nikon D3X review)

The Taj Mahal from Akbar’s Palace

This image below was made with some textures from my Textures Tutorial. This is the only time that I “color” photos. Many times, I think people might think that I “paint” on top of my photos, but I do not. Sometimes, however, when I have an image that came out, ummm, a little more boring that it should be, I will give it a texture treatment. Maybe you are like me, and, on occasion, you take what you think will be a great shot. Then, you get home, and it just came out sort of boring.. that is always a bummer feeling. To get around that, I often use textures that I have collected from around the world.

Akbar’s palace has about one-tenth the number of visitors of the Taj Mahal, and it is almost just as stunning for photography. There are so many interesting and fun compositions, you just can’t go wrong. I recommend a full day here and a full day in and around the Taj Mahal. Besides these two major locations, the city streets, alleys, and everything in between are also highly recommended!

The Taj from Akbar's Palace

Guarding the Portal

Amazon Sold Out in the UK

Thank you London! (and all over UK, obviously!) I can’t believe it… I saw the Tweet earlier today that Amazon UK is out of stock… that is amazing! (But not yet at the U.S. Amazon store!)

I know from looking at the website and newsletter stats what incredible fans we have in London and all over the UK. I can’t thank you enough… I hope you are enjoying the website, and I know you will enjoy the book when you finally get it. We need to do a celebratory photowalk over there eh? !!

[EDIT – I understand it is sold out in Canada too. Thanks cool Canadiens!]

My article on Scott Kelby’s Blog “Being an Artist Sucks. Being an artist is awesome.”

I wrote this long piece recently for Kelby’s blog. I’d like to thank RC Conception for helping to make this happen. It gave me a great chance to write a longer-format piece. I think there are many people here that will find it of use, perhaps. Please drop your comments over there on Kelby’s blog, and I’ll be sure to read them!

Daily Photo – Guarding the Portal

I really wanted to see what was on the other side of these little doors. I imagined scenes from “The Fall” inside there (has anyone seen that movie??). I tried to negotiate with this gentleman, but he just bobbed his head like he didn’t understand. I would have offered him my own shoes, but I left them on the other side of the temple with a young boy.

I never got inside, but we did exchange some pleasant conversation, even though we never really understood a single word.

Guarding the Portal

The Timeless Tomb — and the book launch parties announced

Book Parties Announced!

More details to come soon, but save the dates and come RSVP on Facebook! I’ll be signing books, meeting you, and hanging out. I hope you can make it! Don’t worry about coming alone… you’ll make friends with the nice people there soon enough!

The Timeless Tomb

The Taj Mahal is an awesome place. I mentioned it last night in the live video chat (thanks to those of you that could make it — we should have a recording up soon). I spent the day taking photos of the place, and I was dog-tired when it was all done. Plus, my feet were hella dirty. You have to take off your shoes there. It turned out, actually, to keep me pretty cool. It was a very hot day; the marble was nice and cool on my feet.

I obviously used a special texture treatment on this one — if you’d like to find out more, there is indeed a “Textures Tutorial” here on the site.

The Timeless Tomb and Three Book Parties Announced!

Getting Water for the Village

Here is a wonderful scene from India. I am sure that people here find these women to be rather commonplace and uninteresting, but I thought all their little movements were photo-worthy. I’m sure they thought I was a nut following them around, so I tried to remain fairly clandestine, so as to not to interrupt their natural behavior. I sort of felt like I was tracking wild animals in their native habitat. That sounds strange, I’m sure!

Yes, I used a texture on this one from one of the texture tutorial packages. Note that I won’t do this for everyone, but I wanted to point you to my friend Scotty Graham’s blog in Indonesia, who is re-selling these textures. If you buy from there, he is donating his profits to children that suffered from the earthquakes in Sumatra. Anyway, as you can tell, he’s a nice guy, and his site is certainly worth a visit!

Getting Water for the Village

Romance in India

 

Daily Photo – Romance in India

My first impression of romance in India came from Bollywood. I was pretty sure that everyone fell in love then spent a long time dancing around a grapefruit tree. There are other dancers involved, nearby, of course, as well as a series of fountains, slow-motion cattle, Hinduesque yodeling.

But then, after being there, I saw romance was the same as just about everywhere else. I did capture this couple together, exploring Humayun’s Tomb in the middle of Delhi. Enjoy!

Romance in India

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14mm (21mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Flowers of Diwali in India

When walking around New Delhi and getting lost in the backstreets, I came to an active area where everyone was selling accoutrements for the Diwali festival. I think the ladies knew that I was not a potential buyer, but all of them on the street were very happy to show me what they had to sell. Delhi itself is a very gray and dusty town, so it makes these colorful outfits and flowers stand out even more.

Diwali

The Blood-Colored Walls of Tomb

This is Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. It’s a wonderful place full of a rich bouquet of textures and light. There isn’t a bad shot of it to be had in this well-preserved Moghul tomb, and these light levels were made for HDR.

I’ve put another image of this tomb in the upcoming book. I talked a little more about the shot and some additional explanation about how it was made. When I go around and give talks, get feedback, and hear all the comments here on the blog, flickr, and facebook, I get a lot of repeat questions. I think the book will be a good chance to get them all in a nice definitive place where almost everything can be addressed. At least, I hope so!

The Blood-Colored Walls of Tomb (by Stuck in Customs)

Approaching the Taj

The Taj Mahal is an extremely crowded place! People from all over India, which tends to have a lot of people, come visit this mausoleum from every corner of the country. It’s right near the northern border of the country, and I know first hand how difficult the journey can be to get to this point.

Just beyond one of the official entrances to the Taj is the interior of a huge gatehouse, that was teaming with people trying to get a closer look. I held the camera high in the air after trying to position myself as centered as possible to try to capture a sense of the huddled masses.

Approaching the Taj (by Stuck in Customs)

Scooping Junk in Mumbai

These three guys spent at least eight hours out in the bay of Mumbai (Bombay is the British name) scooping up junk into their little boat. I know this because I kept passing the same place over and over again by the seafront. This was actually right by the Taj Mahal Hotel that was recently bombed, so I remember it very well.

After my third go-around, I leaned over the sea wall as they approached. After I got a few shots in, they all waved happily. There were not many white people around there, so I think I kinda stuck out, especially with the big ol’ camera.

Scooping Junk in Mumbai

The Bats in the Belfry

India is full of timeless slices of life like this.

I set up for this shot and then sat there for a while.  I had heard some sort of aviary commotion and hoped that creatures would come streaming out at some surprise moment.  I kept my finger over the trigger just in case, and then, like magic, they all came ripping out with quite a commotion.  After this, I packed up my tripod and decided to head towards this little temple to see what was inside.  I’ll be sure to put those up in coming weeks…

The Bats in the Belfry (by Stuck in Customs)

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