Digging up Dinosaurs with Jack Horner

New Photo Organization

I have a slightly different workflow I’ve been toying with lately. It’s particular to me, so it may not apply to you, but here it is.

I have my desktop iMac here where I do most everything when I am home. It also is where my main library is hooked into. But I also have my Macbook, and I’ve been taking a ton of photos lately with my little RX100. Check the “Camera Recommendations” up there soon, as I may make it my entry-level pick! Anyway, I’ve made a special Library on my Macbook JUST for photos from that little device. They tend to be quicker shots, street shots, family shots, and the like. It seems better than commingling them with all the other huge photos that come out of the Sony A7 system.

If you want to learn more about how I manage my giant photo library, check out my Organize Your Photos tutorial over at the s

Daily Photo – Digging up Dinosaurs with Jack Horner

This was a great trip! That’s my son there being held by Jack Horner… what a great guy! We went up to the badlands to spend a few days digging up dinosaurs with him… what an experience!

Digging up Dinosaurs with Jack Horner

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 07:32:37
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashFired, Return detected
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Renee Robyn Leaves the Ranch

Photography Tips

Did you know there are heaps (as they say here in NZ) of Photography Tips here on this site? Just click on that link to see them all! It’s part of the automatic categorization process… it works the same way as “Montana” or “Yellowstone” in the tag descriptions up there.

Daily Photo – Renee Robyn Leaves the Ranch

We all had a great few days at a remote ranch in Yellowstone at our mini Arcanum retreat! You can see Curtis there sitting beside her… there was a lot of photography with her and Jessica Lark, a lot of adventuring, a lot of good conversations, and amazing fun! As she and Curtis were leaving by wagon train, I grabbed this quick photo of her as she departed… there are a lot more photos from that week too; will share them soon!

Renee Robyn Leaves the Ranch

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-07-20 02:31:42
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Riding to the Ranch

Tip: Shooting at a low f-stop in the middle of the day

I shot this photo below with the Sony A7r and the Leica 35mm all the way at f/1.4. Whenever you shoot wide-open in the daytime, often there is too much light that gets let in. I usually go into manual mode and make the shutter speed uber-fast, like 1/8000. I let the ISO float with Auto-ISO. This way, the light level is always right and the quick shutter speed ensures a sharp photo!

Daily Photo – Riding to the Ranch

Here's a photo from my recent trip to Yellowstone. I stayed at an amazing ranch there. But, in order to get to the ranch, you either have to hike for 5 hours, ride a horse for 3 hours, or take a wagon for 1.5 hours. I chose the hiking and got an early start. While walking, some of my other friends came rumbling by on the wagon, and that's when I got this photo.

Riding to the Ranch

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-07-13 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Sunset at Glacier National Park

Any fun Thanksgiving Plans for y’all?

I know it’s a US-thing, and we have readers from all over… but y’all have anything fun going on for Thanksgiving?

Daily Photo – Sunset at Glacier National Park

I’m having a nice weekend processing photos. I just completed this one a few hours ago, and it brought back good memories of Glacier National Park. I don’t think I ever really got warm there. Even in the room there was a steady chill. This is a strange memory of that place… I normally don’t mind the cold as there are a few occasions to warm up and reset my system.

Sunset at Glacier National ParkI'm having a nice weekend processing photos.  I just completed this one a few hours ago, and it brought back good memories of Glacier National Park.  I don't think I ever really got warm there.  Even in the room there was a steady chill.  This is a strange memory of that place...  I normally don't mind the cold as there are a few occasions to warm up and reset my system.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Long Road in Montana


Google+ Invites – How-to-System

This system helps your friends get into the invite queue! It may take a bit, but all systems are go. I’ve met hundreds of people in Google video hangouts so far… may see you soon too! 🙂

[Note: Once you are invited, it may take a bit to get the email as Google+ is throttling incoming members.]

1) Already in Google+?  We need your help!  Jump to step 3!

2) Come to StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and see if you can find a thread that has remaining invitations. Put your email in that thread (not on the wall).

3) Accept your invite when it arrives, then return to the StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and pay it forward by saying, “I have 10-15 (whatever) invites for Google+ so leave your email below and I’ll get you in!”

4) To invite people in, create a new circle and fill it with email addresses that need access.

5) Share a post or photo with that circle, and it will ask you if you want to email people not in Google+. Say yes, and they will get an email invite!

And, if you are looking for me in Google+, here is My Google Profile.

Google+ Tips

– Come see this thread if you are looking for Tips on video Hangouts!

– Here is a Photographer’s List in Google+

– Here is Part 2 of the Photographer’s List in Google+

Daily Photo – Long Road in Montana

This is the road I got stuck on after my 4-wheeler caught on fire. Now, of course, I had all my photography equipment with me… who wouldn’t take a whole host of photo equipment on a 4-wheeler joyride? I don’t know! I mean, you gotta be ready just in case the dang thing catches on fire!

Long Road in MontanaThis is the road I got stuck on after my 4-wheeler caught on fire.  Now, of course, I had all my photography equipment with me... who wouldn't take a whole host of photo equipment on a 4-wheeler joyride?  I don't know!  I mean, you gotta be ready just in case the dang thing catches on fire!- Trey RatcliffRead more, including some info on how to snag a Google+ invite, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

And further down that road, a few days later, I saw this… I posted this a while ago, but I’m re-posting in case you missed it…


Four Horses

TWIT Photography Show 2

Here’s another show for you full of helpful tips! It was a good one with Lisa Bettany and Leo Laporte. We talked a lot about mobile photography, and I spoke a lot about creativity. We also touched on things like the Space Shuttle launch, some fun gear from my bag, and more. If you have comments for the hosts, it’s best to leave the on the YouTube page.

And… shhh… this isn’t officially announced, yet, but it is available in the App Store. Version 3.0 of 100 Cameras in 1 is out — featuring a brand new camera interface! (see screenshot)

Daily Photo – Four Horses

It was one of those long summer afternoons when you are sure it must be 5 PM, and you check the clock and it’s only 2 PM! You know these days. Anyway, I decided to pick up my camera and walk around the ranch in Yellowstone for a little while The stable area is always a target, rich environment, so I headed right over there to find these four horses lined up so nicely.

High Dynamic Range Photo

Jack Horner De-choppering

Less than a week until the big PhotoWalk!

Coming up this Sunday is the PhotoWalk here in Austin! It’s a family-friendly event, so feel free to bring your kids and this sort of thing. We’re just walking together in one big group through the streets of Austin, having a good old time.

See Event Details on Plancast here. It’s totally free, and you don’t need a SXSW badge to attend. I’m looking forward to it!

EG Conference – About a Month Away

So, today’s photo is Jack Horner, the famous paleontologist (dinosaur-guy). He’s also speaking at the EG Conference in Monterey with me. The tickets are a little pricey (about $4,000 per person), and I think there are some remaining on the conference website.

Daily Photo – Jack Horner De-choppering

This is another picture from that mysterious ranch in Montana that I hint at from time to time. The only way to get there is a 3 to 4 hour horse ride or to take a private helicopter over the Rockies… it descends into a secret green valley… something right out of Galt’s Gulch.

Every few days, new guests arrive and depart. And, on this day, the chopper brought in the great Jack Horner. He’s one of those guys that’s awesome and doesn’t even try to be. He just is. Later that night, he gave a talk in front of everyone about some of his new discoveries in the world of dinosaurs. It turns out that Triceratops and Torosaurus are the same dinosaur! Cool. He had shown me research a year earlier at his underground (literally) lab in Montana that rests underneath the dinosaur museum. He had huge computer screens showing the bone histology, and how it changes as the dinosaurs age. Very interesting stuff.

High Dynamic Range Photo

The Mark Nason Bag

My New Laptop Bag!

This is one of my favorite Christmas presents!  For the full scoop, see my Mark Nason Bags review here on the site…  You can see Mark Nason’s store on Amazon here. — it’s kind of expensive, but you can check out the pros and cons for yourself on the review page.

Here are a few images of the bag…  I think I have six or so on the review page.

Mark Nason Bag Photo

One aspect this image doesn't portray is how soft this thing is. It is like a soft cuddly cow crawled up and died on your lap.

Mark Nason Bag Photo

The big pouch on the outside is too small for most of my guns (perhaps a small ladies' gun), but it does fit a ziplock full of pork and beans for those lonely nights on the range... This side pocket is pretty handy too for your mobile phone or 18th-century Western iPod.

Mark Nason Bag Photo

The bag is big enough for me to fit my 17" Macbook Pro. It's not big enough to also hold my camera equipment, but... that's not what I use it for...

Daily Photo – Liftoff at the Ranch

I ran out into the field to capture this just as the helicopter takes off after unloading another group of guests. The lighting and angle were perfect, so I was curious to see if I could catch the helicopter blade totally still. I did! A good experiment… note that many of my experiments fail… but this one worked out.

And yes, obviously, this is an HDR from a single RAW.

High Dynamic Range Photography

Yellowstone Through the Years

Thanks SmugMug!

You guys know I love SmugMug, and we’ve sent thousands of people over there to share their photos online. If you want to learn more, see my SmugMug Review here on the site. They are great, even if they have that not-so-great Comic Sans font in their logo. Let’s all talk them into upgrading their logo! hehe…

So, I’ve been putting up a lot of images this week, and the SmugMug servers have been cranking away. We are up to 29 million views this year, all served up from SmugMug. Here is a little SmugMug trick for you:

This website is wide, yes? Yes. I did this on purpose since I think a lot of people that love looking at art online have good resolution and good bandwidth. It cuts some people out, which is too bad, but it is a decision I went forward with. Anyway, the blog portion of this is 900 pixels across. Now, when images come in, I can bring them in at a higher resolution and then put width=”900″ in the HTML. However, this is bad because it makes the browser do all the recalculation AND it is a waste of bandwidth since we are sending down a version that is too big.

So something you can do with SmugMug is make their servers do the work of resizing. I change the JPG address from




And that ensures that the image will be 900 pixels across (or tall). It helps everything load quickly!

Yellowstone Through the Years

The first photo below is a new one from just on the north side of Yellowstone. I took it just after one of those afternoon thunderstorms that sometimes pass across the countryside. This path was made by many years of horse-drawn wagons. There’s a ranch out this way, and motorized cars are forbidden… so it took a long time to make these tracks.

High Dynamic Range Photo

And here are some of my favorites from Yellowstone from over the years.

Below: The Stable

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: A Storm Brewing in the Valley

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below:Sun Through the Trees
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: Horses Wild

Below: Wall of Fog

Below: Horses of Yellowstone
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: Morning. Coffee.  Yellowstone.
HDR Photo

Below: The Particolored Stream

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below:  The Atomic Mushroom Cloud
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: The Falls of Yellowstone

HDR Photo

A Painting of Yellowstone

In case you missed this earlier in the year – I did a painting of Yellowstone that I put below. If you want to see more, see “Yellowstone on Fire“.


Horse in Window

Daily Photo – Horse in Window

I can never decide if I enjoy naming photos or not!

I think I enjoy it when I come up with a good name, and I don’t like when I come up with a boring name. Let’s take this one for example: “Horse in Window.” I mean, how uncreative can I be? What’s wrong with me?

When I am editing photos, and the muse visits, I am like a man possessed. I can rip through a bunch of photos and make some nice little creations. But then I click “Save As…”, and I just blank out on a name. I think the creative part of my brain for making photos is different than the part for naming things.

I do enjoy writing, and I often find that the words flow easily. This bit of me seems disconnected from the photo-editing bit, though.

There is a small slice of solace, I think, in considering the names of some of the great paintings from my impressionist heroes. They have names like “Girl in Field” and “Sun on Water.” Not too exciting, but they do stand the test of time. But “Horse in Window”? I think not!

HDR Photo

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!