Tomorrow, I’ll be posting some of the best and most successful Twitter and Facebook contests I have seen. We are going to be having the good people at @Peachpit run a few contest to give away copies of the book after release! I’d like you guys and gals to pick your favorites. So please, if you have more suggestions, let me know. I’ve got a great list already, so let’s keep ‘em comin! Note that I don’t want to do just boring, obvious contests. I’d like them to be fun, different, and engaging. Know what I mean? So, if you’ve seen some that are successful, please pass them along!
I think I could stay in Kyoto for a few years and go out taking photos every day and night! What a picturesque place… I feel like someone designed it a thousand years ago just for HDR! Now, I think this is a pretty darned good example of HDR. When you are there, you do see all these colors and light levels. Absolutely! Thank goodness for the sweet lady HDR and all her little tricks.
As you guys know, I’ve been using Twitter for the past 27 years or so. Over that time, I’ve built up a good list of people to follow. Now, I can share this list and more very easily with you. When you visit the links below, you can “Follow” the list. Or, you can also go through and follow the individuals. Any questions? Just ask below!
Stuck In Customs Community – This is a list of everyone around here! This is a great “channel” to listen into to hear everything that’s going on with all of us! If you ever need advice, have questions, or just want to share, be sure to follow the people inside and talk it up… that’s what Twitter is for! *Add yourself and make recommendations here! (yes it is totally cool to recommend yourself!)
Do the good people on here a favor. Follow the list, and then go through and follow some of the most interesting individuals inside. Twitter is better once you build your own personalized list, and this will be a really good injection of inspiration into your world, I hope!
How to Use Tweetdeck
I made a video to show you how to use Tweetdeck to stay connected to members of the Stuck In Customs community!
Whatever interests you, make a “Search” column for it. For example, my mom loves “General Hospital”, so I made a new Tweetdeck column for her with it. Now, whenever anyone on twitter mentions something about General Hospital, she is the first to know!
Turn off the annoying sounds and the little popup notifier under the settings. For me, it gets to be too much to constantly see updates!
After you follow the lists and some people therein…
Then you can then easily switch to that “channel” in Twitter to see the latest. Also, very soon you’ll be able to add that List as a Column in Tweetdeck, a program I highly recommend. As soon as they enable this, I’ll come update this post!
And, of course, be sure to tell your friends the fun of lists, especially those new to Twitter. If people start out by getting good links with nice art and funny comments, it makes it a much better experience from the beginning!
Daly Photo – The Bamboo Forest
Today’s daily photo was taken while exploring the wilds outside of Kyoto a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful place! The walk took me into this giant bamboo forest. After strolling through it for a short eternity, I set up for shot. This is a standard 5-exposure HDR; it was shot with a 14-24mm lens. For those of you new to the site, you can find out more about my process in the HDR Tutorial.
One evening after dinner in Kyoto, I visited a unique garden that was maintained by a sect of monks in Kyoto. I understood that the best time to go was at night because they had painstakingly decorated the entire expanse with lights and unique effects. It sounded perfect for photography, so of course I had to go!
When I arrived, I had to take off my shoes at the entrance. The inside was a traditional Japanese structure, raised off the floor, covered with mats and separated by rice paper walls. The monks lived and worked inside. This was plain as I moved from room to room via darkly lit hallways. I took this photo while barefoot. Little blue lights covered the grass and shone like stars. The whole place was quite unbelievable, fun, and unexpected.
The night had been dark for many hours by the time I hiked to this point. It was raining and somehow the wetness seemed to make everything even more black. There were old and new crypts, spider webs, lonely rotting wood, creaking trees in the heavy rain, and more strange sounds from the woods. Talk about eerie! Japanese cemeteries are not places that people visit very often. It’s bad luck. Naturally, I don’t believe in any of that, so it was my good luck it was empty for photography!
Of all the spots around Kyoto, this is probably my favorite. There is an area of 1,000 Red Gates that flow up and around a picturesque little mountain. This cemetery is about halfway up the trek and it shoots off to the right. It is both great and annoying to shoot in the rain. I had to carry an umbrella, tripod, bag of camera goodies, and the like, and everything gets all jumbled up when it comes time to set up for a shot. I need an assistant!
How did I do this one? There were three exposures +1, 0, -1. Normally I do 5 from +2 to -2, but in this case, it was so dark that the shutter speeds were outrageous enough. I kept the ISO at 200. The 14-24 lens was at 15mm (on a D3X). It was aperture priority at f/5.6. The three shutter speeds were 2/4/8 seconds. If you zoom into the Original size on Flickr – you can see all kinds of details.
Here is one special thing I did on the last exposure. It was DARK out there. And I mean DARK. I had my SB-800 in my bag. On the last exposure, I ran over behind the gate to the right like Carl Lewis, and jammed the “Test” button about 5 times in every direction to light up that area. I almost slipped and died… I have no idea what a police investigator might assume if they found me in the morning.
This is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, so of course I had to go. It’s sort of like going to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Rudy’s BBQ in Austin.
It was originally built back in 1397 and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The building itself is as meticulous as the gardens around it. The Japanese really know how to tend a garden! There was a fleet of workers all over the grounds, sweeping up and rearranging little bits here and there. It was all very quaint and wonderful.
I’m just finishing up almost two weeks in Japan, and it has been an amazing trip! Usually I try not to start posting shots until the trip is at its close, and this is the first.
While there, I spent time all over the country. I got a rail pass and just jumped on the bullet train to take me from one remote spot to another. I ended up with a few days in Tokyo to do my best to capture the city. I’ll be posting photos from the trip throughout the next few weeks, months, and years, as usual. I hope this is a new line of photographs that will be interesting to you.
Photographed here is the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. The city is known for its traditional Japanese architecture, slower-paced life, natural beauty, graceful geishas, and zen peacefulness. I probably could have stayed in Kyoto capturing scenes the entire trip. I remained here until the sky turned black, and then I headed back down some winding streets to find an old small restaurant where the food was mysterious and every course was served with a gentle bow.