We are cutting off all book pre-orders for “A World in HDR” in about a week at 11:59 PM on December 6. After that, of course you can still get the book, but all the signed Limited Edition Numbered prints will be taken off the market forever. And yes… this is all exciting, because it means we are shipping soon!
Daily Photo – Tokyo from the Air
Wow this city is amazing. I have to go back soon!
I found one of the tallest buildings and scooted my way around inside until I found an elevator to the top. On the way up, I was lucky to be on a glass elevator. I was as shocked as you when I saw that soccer field on top of a building! How cool! I’d love to get up there and play around with those guys. If you’d like to see the details there, or anywhere else, be sure to see the original sized version. You can find that by following the photo to the Flickr site, clicking on “All Sizes” and then “Original”.
Not Much Time Left to Secure a Limited Edition print with the Pre-Order
We are starting to count down the final days of the pre-order for “A World in HDR“. One of the two packages comes with a Limited Edition Numbered print that I’ll be signing. We are not going to offer this print after we turn off the pre-orders, so it will be a collector’s item.
The Austin book launch party and Photowalk should have over 300-400 people in attendance. If you are coming to the party, we will have your pre-order there waiting for you (need your name and address). I know many people are excited about the book, so I wanted to make sure you didn’t wait till the last minute to get all the bonus stuff!
Daily Photo – A Bar with a View
This is an incredible bar in that overlooks the amazing city of Tokyo. The place was amazingly awesome, and I could see it becoming a major hangout if I lived in the city. Then again, everywhere I went I could picture as a major hangout! Can anyone figure out exactly where this was taken? These little photo mysteries don’t last long around here!
This Thursday, November 19th, at 7 PM CST (5 PM PST), I’ll be hosting a live video chat here on the site! I’ll also be making a special announcement at the beginning of the chat. You don’t need anything special, just come to that page! You’ll see my live video mugshot along with Sara Jane Todd from Peachpit. There is a chat window where you all can ask questions, and Sara Jane will pull random ones and ask me… I’ll answer to the best of my ability! This is all QUITE experimental, so I hope you come along to join us! And please, don’t crash my server like that night we opened the Workshop for registrations!
We have a newsletter going out today. It’s a free thing to sign up for and it will make your inbox pretty! It’s a great way to share photos with friends and family. Also, this is very interesting — someone sent me this full “analysis” of our newsletter! Hehe. It is entitled “Is it Ever OK to Break Best Practices?” I know that most users here have a high screen resolution, good bandwidth, and enjoy seeing big, pretty pics. I can’t make everyone happy, but we decided to keep that newsletter pretty big and bold!
Daily Photo – Zipping Through Tokyo
I think it rained almost every day I was in Tokyo, but that’s just fine with me. It gives you all these “Black Rain” conditions, and makes the place twice as moody as it already was. I walked through Rappongi one evening to find a secret Italian restaurant. I ended up having to cross the road so many times on these overpasses, that I finally decided to stop and take a photo of the action underneath.
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.
We got good news from Peachpit! You guys in many international locations can finally pre-order the book. Now, I’m afraid that you cannot get the one available here that is autographed and comes with the Limited Edition print. However, someday when I meet you in your country, I’ll be happy to sign it in person!
Today we have a fun one from Tokyo at dusk. What a cool place! I think I could climb up to the top of a different building every day at sunset and just shoot in every direction. None were bad! There is that perfect time just before the sun sets when all the lights are coming on… they sort of have that soft glow while they are getting warmed up.
First, I’d like to thank everyone that expressed their interest and gave feedback to the HDR Workshop yesterday. Great stuff. I’m shocked. Really.
Second, I am glad so many of you are getting a kick out of my Five Twitter Lists! I KNOW you guys are finding some interesting people to follow on Twitter. As always, I’m open to suggestions, especially if you would like to join the Stuck In Customs Community List. Follow it, make a suggestion or recommendation (even recommend yourself – no prob!). I’ll take care of it.
Third, for today’s photo! What an amazing place. Now, knowing the crowd around here, you will be able to identify this secret spot in Tokyo. I really thank everyone out there for being so kind and introducing me to these great spots for photography. I feel quite lucky that when I travel, I have instant friends everywhere. I can’t believe it! Anyway, the gentleman who ushered me into this incredible lair was Alfie. Be sure to hit that link if you ever visit Tokyo and want to get some lessons WHILE seeing great places around the city.
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.
Like any big city, Tokyo has many huge neighborhoods, each with their own personality. One of the quirkiest is an area called “Harajuku”. I don’t know if I can accurately describe it, but I’ll try!
It’s a place where the most outrageous of the outrageous congregate. You’ve probably seen those Japanese people that like to dress up like anime characters and the like. Well that’s kind of the starting point. It goes onward from there, with everything from girls covered in pink frills to goth men wearing gas masks. In fact, in that little video I made, you can see a pair of legs/shoes in differing colors that I shot in Harajuku. This guy below was with a group of extreme rockers that were parading around the streets. They all seemed to love having their photo taken… which was cool. I could have gone to that place every day to take photos… I’ve got some other crazy ones in the hopper too for the future!
When I was in Tokyo, I had a great time out with Altus! He stayed with me here in Austin, and we were able to meet up for a fun time of photography out in Tokyo. That’s one of the BEST things about having a blog, I must say! It gives me the chance to meet all kinds of nice people like YOU that extend gracious invitations for photography!
After dark, Altus took me to this cool restaurant (btw, the original sized version has nice details on Flickr!) The manager was very nice and let us sit where we wanted and then a carte-blanche for taking photos. He asked if I would send him photos and if I charge… and I told him no… I do this stuff for fun! So, we have a smart and well-movied community here – who can tell me the name of this restaurant?
Peachpit definitely has the sample from my book up on their website now. Just click on “Sample Content” and you’ll be in good shape. There are some very good tips just in that 20 pages! 🙂
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.