My First Released Painting – Yellowstone on Fire

I’ve been working on this for a small eternity, and I am happy to finally release it. It turned out to be a much different experience than I ever imagined. (It’s not for sale… just a personal experiment…)

The work is just below, and under that are a few zoom-in details of various areas, in case you have further interest. There’s also a bit of a how-to down there.

HDR-Photo

More about the work

Since seeing a painting over the internet is sort of difficult, I have a few zoom-in shots, both directly overhead and from the side with a 50mm prime, in case you are interested in the details.

I have some videos on YouTube where I do these in different ways. ArtRage is pretty good, but this one is PS, where you make an invisible layer on top then use the oilpaint tool (and about 10 brushes) plus a wacom tablet to mix it the paints together. It’s cool because the angle of the brush bristles are the same as the angle of your hand above the tablet!

Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

My goal was to deliver the feeling of a fire and a sunset, one in the same


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I think all the blues turned out really well. I was inspired by, among others, the work of Clyde Aspevig.


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I found the water very hard to perfect. I remixed my paint about 100 times before I got deep colors.


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I did my best to make the edge clouds a mix of fire, clouds, and smoke


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

This signatures ensures that it will be worth more when I am dead


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I repainted the transition clouds time and time again until they felt right. Half my life, it seems, is spent staring at clouds. I did my best to show various layers of clouds in the atmosphere — from the high, wispy, icy clouds to the low, full, clouds of tumult.


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

The canvas gave everything a nice texture… feels and looks good close up and far away


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I kept trying not to sing “Happy Little Trees” during this bit


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

This was one of my favorite bits of the work – it came more easily than the rest


HDR-Photo

The Wall of Fog

Server Upgrades Almost Complete

My sincere apologies that this has taken four days so far.  I’ve got the full team working on it… all in an effort to make things faster and better!  Please be patient, and we’ll see how fast we can get this perfect.

Daily Photo – The Wall of Fog

The morning in Yellowstone had the most unusual weather!

While I was driving in, the Earth-heated river was steaming in the frigid morning air.  It looked incredibly awesome, but I knew it was the kind of thing that was really tough to capture in a photo.  After a bit more exploration and random turns, the road approached a giant wall of solid fog.  I popped out of the car for a shot before getting back in to drive into the wall.  Inside, the morning light was strange when it came in at sharp angles through the trees.  Since I had to drive so slow, I pulled over to the side and took out my pack for a morning hike into the trees…  I have more of those shots to post in the future!

A Scene from the Super Volcano

Great Reads for 2010

Thanks to Abduzeedo who listed “A World in HDR” as one of the Great Reads for 2010!  Thanks Abduzeedo!

The Third and the Seventh – An Awesome Video

Here is another thing I found on Abduzeedo that I just HAVE to show you.  It’s so awesome.  I could watch this thing again and again – in fact, I have!  You can go see it on Vimeo at The Third and the Seventh.  Can you believe the whole thing is computer generated?  I can’t get over it…  I think you’ll see why I like it so much!

Daily Photo – A Scene from the Super Volcano

These charred dead trees jutting out of the strange deposits at Mammoth is quite a place.  I’m sure that maybe you’ve also heard that Yellowstone is just a simmering super volcano, waiting to erupt at any moment.  This always makes me a tiny-bit edgy as I move around the environs.  But, I figure, that if I am in any of those states around there while the volcano exploded, I’d probably be dead anyway — so why not be right in the center of the sucker where it is the prettiest?  This is not the best logic I have ever used, but it is a subtle use of it, I suppose.

A Scene from the Super Volcano

The Edge of Glacier National Park at Sunrise

New Portfolio is Up – Thanks SmugMug!

I’d like to thank the crew at SmugMug for getting me all set up with an amazing new Stuck In Customs portfolio. Cool eh? Yeah, those guys are good. I’m learning more and more about SmugMug every day… I may leave some people, out, but, I’d like to thank Candice Cunningham, Jason St. Peter, Markham Bennett, and Justin Busa, from Zoho Designs. I know there were even more people involved from SmugMug, and I thank them too.

Enjoyed Speaking Tonight – and Florida Workshop Reminder

We had a great time at the SmugMug event here in Austin too. We were at the AT&T center at UT. There were just over 100 people there, and we talked about everything from the visual spectrum to a quick tutorial. I know there were people on the waiting list that did not get in — sorry about that — I did not set the rules! hehe… but maybe there will be another event in the future some time.

One chance will be the workshop with Scott Bourne in Florida in the middle of January. Pop on over to that page to reserve a spot if you are interested.

Daily Photo – The Edge of Glacier National Park at Sunrise

While the whole family was still asleep in the nearby Many Glaciers Lodge, I woke up early to catch the sunrise. The morning light cast that pretty red glow across mountain… and you can even see the pinkness of the distant snow to the left. It was definitely frigid ice-cold, but that crispness seemed to add to the clarity of it all.

We had a discussion after the event tonight about the nature of sunrises versus sunsets. Personally, I feel like the quality of the air and clouds is very different at both, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it is the warm air turning cooler at sunset versus the opposite at sunrise. I don’t know, but it is interesting to think about.

The Edge of Glacier National Park at Sunrise

The Grand Prismatic and a new Video!

See you today at B&H Photo for the Talk!

Hey, for all those not in New York, can I pick you up anything? Just dump your whole Christmas list in the comments! hehe…

I’ll be speaking today at B&H Photo in their Event Space. It starts at 12 noon sharp, and I’ll be talking about HDR as well as giving a short tutorial… If you have your own book or want a new one signed, I’m happy to do that too!

The Yellowstone How-To Video on Grand-Prismatic

Here is another free video for you all. This one is a bit different than the others, and I go into more details of everything that went into the shot of the Grand Prismatic Spring, which you can see below. Enjoy. And let me know if you want to see more videos like this in the future!

Daily Photo – The Grand Prismatic

This place is awesome and huge. Want to know how huge? Look at those people standing there on the boardwalk towards the top. Amazing, eh?

Getting this shot (and all my others!) was no cake walk! But I am happy with the way it turned out. One thing you don’t see in the video is how dirty I got on the way down the mountain when I decided to take a “short cut”. It was a bad idea for both me and my jeans.

The Grand Prismatic

Entering the Forest Alone

All Prints Going Offline – Going Dark

We are changing the way we handle prints here. In the past, we have done what everyone else does, which is dump a ton of prints into an online printing service. I’m not convinced that’s the best way thing for our customers. We are going to do something different and bold, and we are launching in a few days. I think it will be much more meaningful for fans, collectors, and everyone in between.

For now, we are taking all printing options offline. Stay tuned for Friday for the big announcement!

Photoblog Awards – Come Vote

Thanks for all the votes already!  There are just a few days left, so now is the perfect time to vote.  If you do enjoy the images here and think the world should know, then I would certainly appreciate it!

Daily Photo – Entering The Forest Alone

It’s not often I use a zoom lens to do landscape photography (this is 125mm), since the conditions have to be just right (at least, for me).  You do get this strange thing called “compression”, which will be a new concept for people that come here not familiar with photography techniques.  Maybe you have seen this in horror movies…  You know, someone gets some shocking news, and then the camera does this strange thing where it pulls out and the background flexes while the actor remains still.  Well, compression is kind like that, but not really.  But it can bring things in the far distance “forward” to appear bigger than they really are, as is the case with the distant blue forest in this shot from Yellowstone.

Believe it or not, I was so exhausted after I took this shot, I pulled over and slept for two hours in the backseat.  There is nothing worse than waking up, groggy in the backseat of a strange car, and a tripod jamming you in the small of the back.

Entering the Forest Alone

The Frozen Granite

Lenses I want for Christmas

I have two lenses on my Christmas list this year. They are the Nikon 300mm 2.8 and the 85mm 1.4. Both look like a lot of fun! If anyone has an older one they are selling, let me know. What’s on your list?

I have another discussion thread on this on the FB fan page.

Daily Photo – The Frozen Granite

Getting to this spot in Glacier National Park wasn’t easy. It was even tougher trying to get Ethan and Tina into the exact spot too. Even though this area had all this cool granite around it, there was a bit of a swamp there that we had to traverse first. And, just around the corner was a nice sandy beach!

The Cleaved Granite

The Shapes in the Shire, and a new behind-the-scenes video

New York, New York

I’m coming to Manhattan very soon! Rick Sammon gave me his ultimate secret spot for shooting some HDR, so I’m excited about that. I’m also going to be making another Stuck in Motion style video while there, so I’m looking forward to that. Keep an eye out for me if your in those parts! I’ll be the one with the camera.

Previous Videos

I’ve been adding a lot of videos in the last 6 months eh? There is a new one below, and I’ll be adding more soon with the upcoming book. It makes reference to a few unreleased videos here on the site, so I’ll be sure to get them up soon. If you want to see previous one, just see the “Videos” section there on the right!

Daily Photo (and bonus video!): The Shapes in the Shire

This is another shot from Yellowstone accompanied by a little video I shot with my Flip video camera. It’s not a high quality camera, and it’s awfully shaky. Sorry for that. But, I hope the content is good for you. I know people always like to know how many exposures I’m taking… this and that… so I’ve got all that info in there.

In the video, I show another photo, which you can see large right here.

The Shapes in the Shire, and a new behind-the-scenes video

The Dirt Road to the Nuclear Blast Site (And onOne Plugin Suite 5 avail)

I felt lucky to have a wild sunset in Yellowstone! I’ve probably been to Yellowstone 5 or 6 times, and you never know what you’ll get! This night was perfect… I had woken up early, so I was tired by mid-afternoon.. I took a catnap in my car and woke up to see the sun was going down in less than an hour! So, I looked at my map and figured out some good spots to go. While walking down this little dirt road, I thought the sky was too perfect to ignore, so I set up for a quick shot!

Also, I got a note from Patrick at onOne software. Their new Plugin Suite 5 is avail! Cool! I use their plugins a lot with my photos. Although I haven’t done a full review, I did review Genuine Fractals, which is part of their suite. I understand that the “STUCKINCUSTOMS” code will save you 20% on all their products. Whenever I have time to write the full review, I will!

The Dirt Road to the Nuclear Blast Site

Steam from the Earth, an upcoming video, and a book preview!

The photo below was shot in the Norris Geysir Basin of Yellowstone. I put together another “Walking Around Yellowstone” video with some HDR how-to activity. I think you will like it! I go through three shots and show three finished products. This is one of them. I should release it sometime in the next week or so.

Also, I got good news on A World in HDR, the new book that’s shipping before the holidays! Our publisher, Peachpit, is going to put about 20 pages from Chapter 2 online for viewing on Friday! So, come back around 1 AM CST or so on Friday morning and I’ll put up a sneak preview! Very exciting! I know you guys and gals have really been anticipating it, so I’m happy for you to see it!

Steam from the Earth, an upcoming video, and a book prev

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