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

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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

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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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The Moments Between Episode 3: 140 seconds in New York

Upcoming Events and Appearances

I have a few cool events and appearances coming up. The first one is the book party in SOHO in New York this Monday on the 14th. We shut off all invitations, and if you simply must get in, don’t ask me — It’s best to ask the June Arunga, the event organizer. You can contact her at akinyiarunga@gmail.com.

Other Upcoming Events:

  • New York, Dec 15th – B&H Photo Event Room – A Firehose of HDR with Trey Ratcliff.  (Free) More info.
  • Austin, Dec 16th – Smugmug Meeting – Guest Speaker Trey Ratcliff. (Free)  More info
  • Tampa, FL, Jan 16/17 - HDR Workshop with Scott Bourne. (Not Free, but almost) More info.

The Moments Between Episode 3: 140 seconds in New York

The Nikon Festival (please leave comments there too!) is a fun thing where anyone can submit a video of “My Day”.

I recently spent a day in New York and recorded many of the little things I saw in between the moments. The real title, should perhaps be “14 Seconds in New York”, because a lot can happen in those 14 seconds.

For more info on this technique, and to see other videos, visit the “Stuck In Motion” page.

And here are a few of my favorite New York shots:
Central Park  as dusk falls from the top of Rockefeller Center

Afternoon Near Ground Zero

Little Boxes at Night

Times Square Looking Uptown

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Thanks to Austin!

Austin Party – Thanks for coming!

I hope everyone that came to the event had a nice time and had some good stuff out of it. I enjoyed meeting you and thanks for the encouragement! We had a few people pick up their books early, and that is cool.

We’ll endeavor to get the other pre-orders sent out as quickly as humanly possible! It takes a long time to sign all the books, get them together with the prints, and then re-ship everything out… but we are doing our best!

You can see the Driskill fan page on Facebook, where you can submit photos for the contest. I talked with Brett and he confirmed with me that only the winning photo will be granting rights so that the Driskill can use it… Not all submissions – so no worries about that! :)

Interview on CBS

I was on the CBS news yesterday here in Austin about the new HDR book. Jason Wheeler was a cool guy and a traveler himself, so we got along quite well… at least for those wild five minutes that we met. That sounds bad.

Trey Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Develop

Austin is cool

Austin is one of those cool places where the favorite past time seems to be “talking about how cool Austin is”. That’s it! There’s never anything specific… just a general “cool” feeling, and that’s kinda nice. Below are a few shots from around the environs…

Heart of Satan - What it looks like when fireworks explode inside of a storm cloud over a river

The Mysterious Shack with the Unusual Flyers

Another Sunset in Austin

The Batmobile

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An Amazing Day at the Met

The Big Picture

I know most of you are not on Twitter yet, or perhaps you just are following people who tell you what they just ordered at Starbucks, but those of you that follow me get to see amazing links like this one to the Big Picture.  I try to post several links a week to other photographers, art, and other inspirational things I find…  It’s a good medium for quick finds where I don’t have time to write a whole blog post.

If you are new to Twitter, try out my Twitter Lists to find some good people to follow!

Interview on ReadyPhotoSite

A new short interview went up yesterday over at ReadyPhotoSite.  It’s a short and sweet one.

Daily Photo – An Amazing Day at the Met

On Sunday, I set aside about six hours to spend alone at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Most of you may know by now how I am obsessed with the Impressionists.  Don’t ever go to a museum with me, because I will bore you for hours on end with strange tidbits.  Anyway, the Met has a fantastic collection that kept me busy most of the time…  It’s rather nice of them to hang on to my paintings for me.  One day, when I get some time, I’m going to make a little page here and show some of my favorites.

The Man would not let me take a tripod inside, so that was unfortunate.  I did manage to do a few hand-held HDRs however… here is one that I have processed thus far.

An Amazing Day at the Met

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New York is Alive and Well, and Cali Lewis learning HDR

Join the Facebook Fan Club!

We have a nice growing community over there, and I drop in on occasion to put in little bits of news that just can’t wait on the daily blog post. I do want to keep the blog a regular once-a-day event. However, sometimes there are cool things you might want to know over on the Fan Page. I also encourage discussion, finding more friends, and the like there. So, come join and have a good time!

I had a great time in New York!

I just got back from NYC, where I went out to get ready for the book launch party. While there, I shot a secret video with Steve Simon, which may not be secret for long… stay tuned for that.

Also, I went out with Cali Lewis to shoot some HDRs in Times Square! This was a bit of an in-person version of the HDR Tutorial here on the site. Cali is the host of Geekbrief.TV – a show you should watch for sure if you like tech and spunkiness (plus, you can see she uses my photos on her backgrounds!). Anyway, after shooting some HDRs, we went and had Italian food with Cali, Neil (her hubby), and my friend June Arunga. I handed Neil my camera and he shot this pic of us together…

Cali Dinner

Daily Photo – New York is Alive and Well

It’s been a few years since I have been to New York, and Times Square is better than before! I was actually in New York on 9/11, so it’s always good to go back to the city and see everything is still awesome. Maybe next time I come, we can all do a flash mob and hit B&H Photo for a while – that would be fun!

New York is Alive and Well

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11.0
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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From New York to Tokyo

This is the boring part of Times Square, as you can plainly see. Hardly anything happens there… not much to see… hardly any lights… not much activity on the street. Quite dull, really.

I have a long photo adventure scheduled for Japan, and I’m very excited! I have a rail pass and not much of a plan… other than visiting a few places I’ve always wanted to go. After seeing countless movies, I have quite a romantic vision of what it will be like out in the countryside. I just am not sure what to expect… Do you guys and gals have any suggestions for must-sees or must-dos in Japan? I’ve been to Tokyo before, but never out in the rest of the country, which I plan to do this time.

And also, I am very glad you guys like the new feature here on the site. It looks like many of you have been dragging photos to Facebook, Twitter, and the like! I hope that “mouseover” works well for you… remember that that little thing does not appear unless you actually put your pointer on top.

From New York to Tokyo

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China Taking Over New York

This was taken in New York when crossing over towards Manhattan. There was a huge cargo ship from China pulling into harbor with the buildings of New York in the distance. I thought it was a fitting subject, so I snapped a quick one.

I also wanted to thank Cameron — a fellow photographer I met here in Las Vegas today. He works at the Lion King stage show here and he was nice enough to give my family a backstage tour after the event. It was really remarkable to see how everything worked… and my son and daughter were thrilled to meet Simba. It was quite a thrill! Thanks again Cameron — that was cool!

China Taking Over New York (by Stuck in Customs)

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New York on Fire at Dusk

I am jealous for all the people that live in New York! They have a city that looks different at every moment of the day from every slightly different angle. I think if I lived there, I’d feel kind of guilty if I didn’t make it out several times a week at sunset to go shooting.

I shot this one from the top of the Rockefeller Center. They don’t let you take tripods up there, but I always see that as somewhat of a challenge to my manhood, and I take offense. So, consequently, I set my mind to smuggling my tripod in there, usually inside my overcoat or a big shopping bag. I mean, you have to, right? There is no other way to get a good night or evening shot without a stable surface (or a high ISO, which I don’t like).

Anyway, this was a perfect night. Later, after I shot this, I was graciously invited over to have dessert with Rudy Maxa (he has a travel show) and his daughter in Brooklyn. It was great to meet him and he was a super guy. I figured since I mentioned Rick Steves yesterday (who people on my Facebook comments were saying was not such a nice guy), today it was time for the very nice Rudy Maxa.

New York on Fire at Dusk

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