ilili

The Greatness of Yelp

Yelp has really changed the way I go about finding places to eat! I was in the middle of New York and had a craving for some Mediterranean food. A quick trip to Yelp helped me find this place, get ratings and reviews, and then figure out how to get here. It could not have been easier, or a better recommendation!

I also recommend getting the iPhone/Android/iPad version of Yelp… it can come in handy when trying to find some new haunts!

Daily Photo – ilili

I was here alone. You can see my laptop there on the table… I like to take a long time to eat while editing photos and listening to music with my earphones on. Every other patron looks at me kind of like a freak. That’s quite okay!

Luckily, while I was waiting for the food, they let me run around the restaurant with my tripod. This is yet another thing that makes people look at me strangely. They can’t imagine why anyone would bring such a monster setup to do such a thing. Most people assume that the restaurant pays me to do it, but the staff knows that is not the case. At one point, the manager came over to talk to me — not to get mad… just to chat about art and food and life and these sorts of things. And then I ate some amazing food! I had some sort of Lebanese marinated lamb on saffron rice. I need more saffron in my life…

The Incredible Apple Store

Your Favorite Podcasts?

What are some of your favorite podcasts? I’m curious! I have several that I get on a regular basis. On the video side, I get TED Talks, Diggnation, This Week in Tech, Geekbrief TV, and Macbreak Weekly. On the audio side, I get some things from the BBC, This Week in Photography, and the Economist.

Best TED Talks

Speaking of the TED stuff above, I’ve assembled a collection of the Best TED Talks, at least in my opinion.  There are many more — I just have not had time to link them up yet!

Daily Photo – The Incredible Apple Store

I think it would be cool to be an architect that could design these kind of things. These guys are really talented — I love seeing their crazy concepts come into being. As opposed to concept cars, which never make it into production, even the most outlandish buildings seem possible.

This is one of the Apple Stores in New York City. The entire thing is a dreamy glass cube with a floating white Apple logo right in the middle. The actual store is underground.

I have a policy about getting help at the Apple store. When in doubt, talk to the guy with the beard.

Central Park in the Fall

HyperMac Review

I have a new HyperMac Review here on the site!  It’s an amazing device, and even if you are not a photographer, you will probably find a reason you need one!

Basically, it is an external battery that you can use to power up your Mac laptop and your iPhone.  I keep running into situations where I am running out of battery power on my iPhone and/or computer, and I just am not near a power outlet.

I bought mine from the Hypershop just recently, and I could not be happier! Maybe the worst thing is that all my friends are always using it to charge up their iPhones too… It’s like I’m the guy at the party that brought the beer!

New Version of Woopra Out

You guys probably know how much I love Woopra… I did a little Woopra Video Review here on the site several months ago. The product is even better now… and you can get the basic version for free. If you want all the cool features, you can upgrade, but that’s up to you! Anyway, I continue to make it part of my web-life… and I am lucky enough to be friends with the clever guy behind it. But, I’d use this thing even if I didn’t know the guy… !!

Edit: A Happy Customer Gets a New Print!

John P from OneMansBlog.com recently released this video… I will let it speak for itself!

Daily Photo – Central Park in the Fall

I had spent the afternoon alone while traveling (as usual, it seems) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the middle of New York City. It sits on the Eastern edge of Central Park. It was a little cold outside, but I decided to walk across the park anyway, just as the sun was setting. As I moved through the trees, I found this little place and thought it would be fun to share.

Central Park in the Fall

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length38mm (38mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Dramatic Reading of Negative Reviews on Amazon

A Dramatic Reading of Negative Amazon Reviews for “A World in HDR”

I made a little video this evening where I read negative Amazon Reviews for you. This is a one-time only event… I think the regulars here will appreciate it…hehe. Luckily, despite the negative Nancies (actually, I do appreciate constructive criticism), we still were able to sell out on Amazon in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Everything is back in stock now, as I understand!

BTW, I will add this to the video section — visit the Videos area here if you want to see free videos with how-tos, shooting examples, etc.

The book contest is still going on at Abduzeedo

The contest is up to about 450 entries, so if you don’t already have one, pop over there for your chance to win! While there at Abduzeedo, be sure to go look around their site some and discover other great artists. I spend a lot of time there getting inspired!

Daily Photo – Autumn in New York at Sunset

Despite my kind Tweet to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, they would not let me take a tripod on the day I arrived. So, I was forced to do a hand-held HDR shot from the roof at sunset. It was a beautiful night across central park, and I did my best to hold it steady.

In Photomatix, I did choose to “Auto-Align” images. It did a pretty good job. I always suggest that you check “Do Not Crop”, so that you can line everything up easier later in Photoshop. When it auto-crops, it resets the 0,0 x/y origin and will mix up the alignment later on for final cleanup.

The Mysteries of the Boudoir

New Zealand Photowalks and Talks Finalized!

We are looking at Auckland on Feb 19 and Christchurch on Mar 4.  Both events will include a talk, which you are welcome to attend.  I look forward to meeting all you nice Kiwis!  There is more information on the New Zealand page here!

Daily Photo – The Mysteries of the Boudoir

For the photo mystery of the week, what exactly is the photo below?  Be sure you zoom into the big size and poke around for clues….

I found this gem while in New York during the book launch party there.  It’s one of those times when I am happy I carry my camera almost everywhere.  It’s a real pain, especially when I had a major disaster in a tiny robot-bathroom in Tokyo.  That is a story I can’t share on the blog because it’s all too wheels-off.  But, in this circumstance, having a camera worked out well.

Isn’t this the strangest thing in the world?  But it’s so interesting….  I could not stop looking at it!

New Screenshots of Topaz Detail 2

Below is a screenshot I took while helping the define some the details in this photo. You can see more on my Topaz Detail Review here on the site. Sometimes, I find the HDR process can make some lines and contrast wash out, and the eye still likes to latch onto lines… Anyway, a longer story, but there is more info if you are interested.

Topaz Detail 2 - Desat Brush

Grand Central Station and a Workshop Weekend with Scott Bourne

For Artists and Photographers that want to follow another path

I am going to mention this tomorrow during the workshop with Scott Bourne, but I get inspiration and ideas from a great variety of sources outside of photography. Unfortunately, I find that photographers stay in the bubble too much and keep reading the same sort of thing. I put together “Trey’s Book List” here on the site for you. It’s filled with all types of subject matter from genetics to physics. For example, if I ever run into a fellow artist that also has a passion for Richard Feynman, we always become fast friends!

Another Nice Testimonial for HDR Spotting

I am glad some more people are getting into the private beta of HDRspotting.com – as always, the goal of the site is to showcase interesting HDRs from all over the world to drive more traffic and attention to YOUR website. It’s built on top of something we call an “Attention Generation Engine”. As we tweak all this out and iterate, we hope to open it up to more and more people!

There are invite codes out there – just ask around on Twitter or look in the HDR groups in Flickr or FB — NOTE – I do not give them out – so sorry I can’t help you (by design!).

Here is a nice testimonial from Gaensler (see his latest amazing shot on Flickr)

Since uploading my images on HDR Spotting the attention I get on my work increases tremendous! This encourages me to upload one image every single day, which is a great challenge due to the matter of only sending my best images. So HDR Spotting is pushing me further in my work and the comments I get from the community refuels my creativity!

Daily Photo – Grand Central Station

When I was in NYC a few weeks ago for the book party, I took some time one rainy evening to invade Grand Central Station without a tripod pass. I did not even know I could get such a thing easily, because the process for picking one up requires looking in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’. (tip of the hat to the great Douglas Adams).

But even with my illegal tripod in hand, and in cool and casual defiance of the three-legged police, I strode around Grand Central Station taking photos with reckless aplomb. I really wanted to get on a train and go somewhere! But, I didn’t… I just walked out the exit and right into another amazing photographic situation!

The Grand Central Station

Grand Central on a Rainy Night During the Holidays

HDR Spotting Testimonial

I started HDRSpotting.com (and see the Editor’s Picks too) with a friend to help bring more attention to other HDR photographers out there. We developed a cutting-edge “attention generation engine”, designed to increase traffic for new and old artists all over the world. The site is still in beta, and thus, invite only. You have to know someone to get an invite (don’t ask me – I don’t hand them out). But you can pick up extra in the HDR group on Facebook, Flickr, and keep searching Twitter for when people have extras to give away.

Here is a testimonial from Brian Matiash:

I was first drawn to HDR Spotting because of the high quality HDR images that were shared by some very talented photographers. Since then, posting my best HDR images to HDR Spotting has become a natural part of my post-processing workflow. When a shot is finalized and ready to share, one of its first stops is at HDR Spotting. Now, most of my images average at least 1,500 views and my Editor’s Choice shots average between 7,000 – 8,500 extra views!! I really am loving this added visibility to my work. Great job with the site, keep up the great work!

Smashing Magazine Book

Do you guys know Smashing Magazine? It’s a great design resource, and they were kind enough to run this controversial piece by me called “10 Easy Steps to Advanced Photography Skills“.

They have a new book out that is doing very well. It’s called the “The Smashing Book“, and if you are a designer or just interested in the subject matter, it’s a great resource!

Daily Photo – Grand Central on a Rainy Night During the Holidays

I took this about the same time I went into Grand Central Station and performed my unique star-pattern maneuver to evade security guards. I described it in detail the next day when I spoke at B&H.

I’ve perfected a panoply of techniques to circumnavigate and befuddle security guards who don’t like tripods. Maybe I will write a little e-book on this some day.

Grand Central on a Rainy Night During the Holidays

Merry Christmas from the land of the Free where Tripods are Illegal (but I used one anyway)

Some more goodies for Christmas!

Yesterday, I recommended a bunch of the best iPhone Games and Apps for the holiday season. Now, if you have a fresh new Amazon Gift Card or Kindle and are looking to fill it up, here are some great suggestions. For more, visit the full “Trey’s Book List“.

The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation

by Matt Ridley
I think Matt Ridley is one of the most awesome people on Earth. I really do. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and even got some quotes from him for my book, which you may have noticed. Of his many books, which are all awesome, please start on this one! From Amazon: “Human life, scientific journalist Matt Ridley suggests, is a complex balancing act: we behave with self-interest foremost in mind, but also in ways that do not harm, and sometimes even benefit, others. This behavior, in a strange way, makes us good…”

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson
Oh god this must sound boring – but it is really a wonderful story of everything, even if you are already a smarty pants…you’ll still have an amazing time. From Amazon: “From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations…”

Jacobson’s Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell

Lyall Watson
A fascinating book about an organ we all have that hardly anyone knows about. There’s little doubt that smell plays a significant role in the lives of humans. Jacobson’s Organ, also called the vomeronasal organ, consists of two small pits in front of the nasal septum with nerves feeding directly to the most primitive, limbic area of the brain. Scientists believe that the vomeronasal organ in humans, as in reptiles, can sense large molecules that have no impact on our ordinary sense of smell… more…

Daily Photo – Christmas at The Rock in the Rain

Beautiful Rockefeller Center in New York has one of the most amazing Christmas displays in the world. It’s famous, and always presents a majestic scene right in front of the ice skating rink.

As soon as the guards see me with a tripod, they come over and escort me away. Damn them! Actually – it’s not their fault – it’s the goddamed lawyers who feed off a tort-happy system. The tripod may trip someone, you see. And then they can file a law suit against the property owner. We increasingly live in a world where you have to second-guess the most natural of actions for fear of being looted by the organized wealth redistribution system of tort-happy lawyers.

Anyway, to spite them all, I kept coming back and setting up my tripod in the thundering rain until I got the shot. Let them try to arrest me some day – I’m obviously a real threat to society as a photographer. It’s amazing how hard we all have to work in the USA, land of the free, to be creative and capture beauty… just another reason I’m Coming to New Zealand, where there are no tort lawsuits!

Christmas at The Rock in the Rain

Cartier in New York during the Holidays

A Beautiful Newsletter Going Out Today! (Don’t tell the Aussies)

Our free newsletter goes out live today! There is mention of a secret trip to New Zealand… but shh… don’t tell those Aussies because they get all upset about this talk. I have no desire to earn their ire, even though they are generally too laid back to do anything about it.

Isn’t it the prettiest newsletter in the world? All I ask is that you share it with your friends, family, and other people that you think like beautiful things.

My Favorite Software products of the Year

Two great tools out there for you: See my Nik Review and my Topaz Adjust Review.

And, of course, I am sure most of you have already seen my Photomatix Review. That thing is awesome and I use it all the time! In fact, just the other night during the SmugMug event, I gave people a quick 15-minute demo.

Daily Photo – Cartier in New York during the Holidays

I shot this a few days ago when I was in New York City. It was a cold and rainy night, so shooting with this bulbous 14-24 mm lens is an exercise in frustration! If you aim it just slightly in the air, it gets soaked in about 2 seconds! So, I set the aperture to 2.8 so the 5 exposures would be as fast as Nikonably possible.

Fifth Avenue in New York is amazing at Christmas. It’s everything you imagine. I’ve done my best to capture the spirit of it here, and I have a lot more shots in the pipeline… stay tuned!

Cartier in New York during the Holidays

The Edges of the Flatiron, and yes, B&W HDRs are fun!

New Book Images Coming Online

Books are still hitting the warehouses and causing a light holiday panic!  Cool!  I put up some new images of how gorgeous the book looks on the inside on the HDR Book page.  Here are a few quick samples for you!

Book shots (23 of 26)

Book shots (18 of 26)

Book shots (12 of 26)

An Interview at Scott Wyden’s Blog

Scott sent me a very nice interview, and he has just published it.  It’s a quick read for you!

Daily Photo – The Edges of the Flatiron (and yes, B&W HDRs are fun!)

This is the famous Flatiron building in NYC.  I shot it a few weeks ago when I was scouting the location for the book party.

One of the topics we will cover in the HDR Workshop with Scott Bourne in Florida is the topic of creating HDRs in Black and White.  I also have a new article coming out soon about that very subject on Scott’s blog.  I’ll be sure to give everyone a heads up before that hits! :)

The edges of the Flatiron

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