The Sanctum of The Santa María del Mar Cathedral

Poll – How do you read eBooks?

We still have a free eBook over at Flatbooks.com when you sign up for that newsletter — and I was wondering how most people read the eBooks. Our eBooks arrive as PDF files, and you can read it in many different ways. We have a 24-hour support team, and we get all kinds of questions concerning how to read the eBook. Most of them are about “How do I get this eBook on my iPad?”

Anyway, we really have very little data about how people actually consume these eBooks, so I am very interested!

What is the primary device you use to read eBooks?

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Daily Photo – The Sanctum of the Santa María del Mar Cathedral

Here is another amazing place in Barcelona, Spain — this is the famed Santa María del Mar Cathedral.

I do like taking photos in these old churches, and I hope one day to photograph the inside of the Sagrada Família. It’s still under construction, and I think getting the right kind of permission is fairly difficult. I’d like to be there at the perfect time of day with just the right kind of lighting. I don’t mind all the construction going on — I think something pretty amazing could come out of the shot. Anyway, this is one of those things on my personal photo bucket-list!

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Barcelona Airport

Japan Charity Week Continues

The bidding started at $49 and it goes up every day. Get in there and bid! All the revenue goes to the Red Cross for Japan.
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Taking Photos of Cars

It’s been months since I mentioned Joe Farace’s amazing eBook, so I wanted to mention it again! Even though it’s a car-centric eBook, you’ll find all kinds of useful things that apply to everyday photography as well. Pop over to Joe’s book on Flatbooks and have a look! :)

Daily Photo – Barcelona Airport

This amazing airport in Barcelona was my launching point for a very long flight through Helsinki to Berlin. I am actually the kind of guy that likes to get to airports super-early. First, I don’t like the stress; second I like to explore. A lot of these international airports are these architectural wonders. I think most people just drift through them, oblivious to how awesome they are… but not me. I love ‘em!

Barcelona Airport

Extra Photo – Upon Arriving in Beijing

Many many many hours later, after leaving this airport, I landed in Beijing. I was greeted by some great people that I came to know pretty well. First, the director of this special organization met me with a bundle of flowers. Next I met my assistant and my driver, who had to carry around all my stuff. I dumped my most of my luggage at the hotel and immediately went to the Forbidden City to take some photos. It was a long day. A very very very long day!

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Free Drobo at HDR Spotting

Free Drobo over at HDR Spotting!

This month on HDRSpotting.com, we are giving away a free Drobo! We are still in beta as we add features, and I do not give out invite codes (by design – to save me some sanity…not that it helps, everyone asks anyway). But, there are many codes out there form existing members. There are also some floating around inside the HDR groups on Flickr and Facebook, I believe. Good luck to you all, and I hope you win a Drobo!

What is a Drobo? See my Drobo Review.

Problem with the “Like” button

Can anyone help me fix the new “Like” problem on Stuck In Customs? Right now, when you “Iike” one of the daily posts here on the blog, it automatically puts a thumbnail on your Facebook wall. BUT, that thumbnail is always that green “FREE VIDEOS” (or perhaps another one) thumbnail, which is not right. And it looks lame, like a spammy-advertising thing, which it certainly is not. Anyway, how do we fix this?

Daily Photo – The Shaft

Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia is one of the most awesome places in the world. My camera was very happy (and me, by extension).

This is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. That guy is amazing… It was certainly on my list to visit before the trip, and I did not really have enough time to spend there. And, I couldn’t use the tripod, but I don’t want to get into that discussion…just too frustrating.

“The Shaft” runs up the center of the casa. It reminds me of how each floor was a completely different visual experience. Taking photos in here was a challenge… I wanted to do the place justice.

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Ensared in Flame

Newsletter released! More servers Max Out!

Did you miss the newsletter that went out yesterday? Then you missed a big event! I gave away something for free that it cased some major complications! By the way, you can still get it for free – just by signing up. Also, when you get the Welcome Newsletter, I suggest you go click on Newsletter #21, which is the most recent.

The newsletter usually goes out about 6 AM, and I kind of expected everything to go smoothly. I was wrong! I woke up… got my morning green tea latte… walked into my studio here and was bombarded with support / tweets / and email issues! We maxed out our servers in about 10 minutes. It turns out that not only was everyone clicking away, but they were telling their friends and everything. So, it was a long morning trying to figure out what the heck happened and talking with a bunch of techs and our support team to get to the bottom everything. Anyway, we’ve now upped the limit to 30,000 free downloads a day, so this should help. And for those of you that had problems, you should have received another newsletter today with links to get the freebie. Enjoy!

Other goodies in our monthly (more or less) newsletter:

  • Details on upcoming events, giveaways, and inside info
  • A digest of the best photos of the past month, in easy-to-see and easy-to-forward email
  • You’re helping to prove Jason Calacanis wrong and beat his newsletter… he’s wont to making snide comments to me on Twitter, and I’m very competitive about these things.

Daily Photo – Ensnared in Flame

On my first evening in Barcelona, I dumped my bags in the room them went right out to explore. Unpacking is so boring… let’s face it.

I started going down side-streets and back alleys to where I heard activity and motion. I was more or less zig-zagging my way to Las Ramblas, where there’s always a lot of activity. But I didn’t want to go right there. During the weaving, I found this enormous cathedral nestled between a square of classical looking Spanish buildings. A performer had lit a unique homemade contraption of flames and was whirling it about. I got back behind her and set up for this shot.

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The Azure Cathedral

Getting Back to Spain

I need this to happen!  I had a great time while in Barcelona, and I need to spend more time in the country.  Plus, I know there are many other places…  a few days was not enough.  It’s like a tapas sampler plate… literally. Tonight, my friend Jack Hollingsworth (@PhotoJack) told me about a pretty awesome area of Madrid I need to visit!

Daily Photo – The Azure Cathedral

While walking through the streets around the edges of Las Ramblas, I found this secret place.  I’m not sure I could even find it again.  Maybe one of our smart readers knows exactly where it is.  Anyway, the place was quite beautiful, as you can see.  It was also pretty much empty, so I had no trouble moving around to find the interesting shots.

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Window of Life

Daily Photo–The Window of Life

The beautiful Bacelona is home for fanciful masterpieces of Antonio Gaudi. I thought I’d had pretty good grasp on the architectures of Gaudi’s but I didn’t anticipate the subtle interior design when I get into some of his buildings.

This is the fanciful Casa Batlló. I was surprised by every turn when I was inside, and it was always inspirational. I wonder whether you have ever played Myst? This place reminded me of Myst–except Gaudi had come up with the ideas so long ago–in 1877! And those designs were not only for beauty but large sums of functionality built-ins too. Simply moving cool air from room to room is stylish and unexpected.

I took lots of other photos in Barcelon that are coming up soon. I tried my best to take good photos at the places where I’d been but caught up by the flu. And that put my productivity into half–so that’s the bummer–yet also another good reason to go back!

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The Markets at Night

Facebook Fan Page

Facebook! Now with 50% more moms!

I’d love it if you guys came and joined up with our Facebook Fan Page too. I know there is also a chunk of our online lives over thataway — and I think it’s a nice way not just to connect with me, but also for you to connect with each other! I find that curious and interesting people are attracted to this site… and you all do tend to get along well!

I’ve started adding more and more to the Facebook page and have some interesting ideas there…  Sometimes I’m able to quickly share stuff there that doesn’t always make it onto the blog.

Come on in!  I hope to see you there!

Daily Photo – The Market at Night

I arrived in Barcelona very late. Actually, this may be the only time in which Barcelona even exists.

There is a fabulous market right in this very location that is apparently open in something called the ‘daytime”. The “daytime” is a mystical time that most people in Barcelona don’t even know exists.

I know this for sure because the next morning, at 9 AM on a WEEKDAY, I could not find any place open to buy coffee. People sleep in until approximately 3 PM. They then roll around in bed, thinking about getting up until 4 PM. They then get up, have some chocolate and churros, and then take a quick nap before it gets dark. And then they party.

Stuck in Customs

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Spanish Tomatoes

Your favorite weird veggie recipe?

I never really liked eggplant until we started pan-baking them with olive oil. Now those things are the pinnacle of my dinners… We bake them until they are a tiny bit caramelized, and all is right with the world.

Do you have any crazy-good veggie recipes that you’ve discovered? (and no, I’m not a vegetarian).

Daily Photo – Spanish Tomatoes

I was walking through this famous market in Barcelona when one of the editors from Peachpit Press recognized me! What a small world. He is not the editor that worked on my book, but he did a lot of other photography books up there. He was a super-nice guy…and doing the same thing as me…hunting around for photos!

I bought and ate a lot of different things at this place… I wasn’t even hungry… but I just kept buying and eating and buying and eating. I felt like the Hedonismbot from Futurama

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