The Prismatic Cathedral

The EG Program

At the EG Conference, they give everyone a unique program and a set of specialized playing cards, each adorned with customized art. Their team takes all the presenters and portrays them in some kind of a scene. For example, last year they did “movies”, and this year they did “fine art.” Anyway, you can thumb through their program and see if you can find me! (If you are mega bored…)

One other cool thing about the playing cards is that people often get “special” one-time cards in there that are prizes. Most prizes are very unique and are offered by one of the speakers. The one I traded for ended up being a balloon ride with Jonathan Trappe, one of the other speakers there. Know who he is? Ever hear of that guy that started tying balloons to his office chair until it took off? That’s him! I don’t know where we’ll do our balloon ride yet… I’m trying to talk him into Myanmar.

Daily Photo – The Prismatic Cathedral

In the webinar, I gave people a small set of images for homework. This is the second of the two sets (the first I posted yesterday). I didn’t mean for both to be from Spain, but I guess they are! Anyway, I thought it was kind of fun for people all over the world to be processing my images while I am processing them… kind of strange but cool. I will try to post things on a regular basis as we work on them together.

The Prismatic Cathedral In the webinar, I gave people a small set of images for homework.  This is the second of the two sets (the first I posted yesterday).  I didn't mean for both to be from Spain, but I guess they are!  Anyway, I thought it was kind of fun for people all over the world to be processing my images while I am processing them... kind of strange but cool.  I will try to post things on a regular basis as we work on them together. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at stuckincustoms.com.

Distant Rocks Off Ibiza

Giveaway and Feedback

Thanks you guys so much for the good feedback on the Webinar. P.S. Don’t forget to reply on that thread if you want to enter to win the grand prize.

It was fun to start it on Mother’s Day, and we were able to give away a Drobo to Celia from TN. She sent Andrea a note that said, “This was such a surprise ending to the 1st class. This is the cherry on top of my already wonderful Mother’s Day. I look forward to making great use of the Drobo. The Stuck In Customs crew did a GREAT job on the first in the series of the webinar classes. I am looking forward to 8 more great classes.”

It’s not too late to join us! www.StuckInCustoms.com/webinar

Daily Homework: Distant Rocks Off Ibiza

I gave the class 138 of my original RAW photos, right out of the camera. Their assignment was to begin working with these ones off Ibiza. I made this during class, so I wanted to go ahead and post it here. BTW, if you’re having trouble logging into the Clubhouse to get the files, be sure to contact support@stuckincustoms.com.

I took photos all throughout the sunset, before and after. I visited this spot 3 different times. Of the three times, this was one of the best. There was about a quarter-mile strip of beach and rock, all of which had good angles. So I kind of worked my way back and forth as the light changed…

Distant Rocks Off Ibiza I gave the class 138 of my original RAW photos, right out of the camera.  Their assignment was to begin working with these ones off Ibiza.  I made this during class, so I wanted to go ahead and post it here.  BTW, if you're having trouble logging into the Clubhouse to get the files, be sure to contact support@stuckincustoms.com.  I took photos all throughout the sunset, before and after.  I visited this spot 3 different times.  Of the three times, this was one of the best.  There was about a quarter-mile strip of beach and rock, all of which had good angles.  So I kind of worked my way back and forth as the light changed...  - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Trains Across Europe

The Rebekka Project

You all remember Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir? How could you forget a last name like that? Over 3 years ago, I met her in Iceland and did a post called “Rebekka in Action“, in case you have not heard of her…

Anyway, Rebekka has a new photography project, and she’s accepting donations for people that want to be part of it.

Daily Photo – Trains Across Europe

The Europeans are so lucky to have a semi-functional train system. I’m sure many of them find reasons to complain, but to me, it’s all pretty awesome. The idea of a working train system is pretty foreign to Americans.

This notion that you can get on a train in one city and then hop-skip your way to another city is kind of a novel idea to us! If you’re in Houston, for example, and you decide to go to Dallas, then “getting on the train” isn’t even one of the things that crosses your mind. I don’t know that much about the passenger rail system in the US, and I guess that means its in pretty dire shape. Without even asking, I can almost guarantee our biggest passenger rail service is subsidized by the government. And that, of course, means that I am personally paying for something that I know nothing about.

I’m reminded of this when I go to Europe and can get on a train in Montpellier and end up here, in Barcelona. And not only that, but the train stations are all pretty interesting to explore.

Trains Across Europe The Europeans are so lucky to have a semi-functional train system.  I'm sure many of them find reasons to complain, but to me, it's all pretty awesome.  The idea of a working train system is pretty foreign to Americans.  This notion that you can get on a train in one city and then hop-skip your way to another city is kind of a novel idea to us!  If you're in Houston, for example, and you decide to go to Dallas, then "getting on the train" isn't even one of the things that crosses your mind.  I don't know that much about the passenger rail system in the US, and I guess that means its in pretty dire shape.  Without even asking, I can almost guarantee our biggest passenger rail service is subsidized by the government.  And that, of course, means that I am personally paying for something that I know nothing about.  I'm reminded of this when I go to Europe and can get on a train in Montpellier and end up here, in Barcelona.  And not only that, but the train stations are all pretty interesting to explore. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Night View from Balcony in Ibiza

Another Jetsetter Win

This (the photo below) is the third Jetsetter place I have stayed, and they’ve all been winners so far. It’s a little weird, because Jetsetter isn’t really conducive to my style of travel because I often plan ahead. But, if I happen to be going somewhere, I will check to see if they have a special in that location. Anyway, I’ve never had a problem… and the hotels have always been pretty awesome and unique.

Daily Photo – Night View from Balcony in Ibiza

Ibiza is a really strange place. This hotel (Ibiza Gran) seemed to be typical of hotels in Ibiza when it came to the clientele. Here’s the deal… if you have never heard this, you’ll think it sounds pretty strange — and it is.

So a lot of people in Ibiza dress in all white. White pants, white shirt, free-flowing fabrics, and cavalier attitudes flow in and out of the hotel lobby, bar, poolside restaurant, and the spa. It’s all very strange. It’s sort of a combination of a Clockwork Orange and a Euro Sci-Fi Orgy. I can’t quite explain it… I’m not sure I understand it, and I didn’t succumb, even though everyone did seem very comfy.

After a long day of exploring and shooting, I went out on the balcony to get a shot of the pool and the moon behind the clouds.

HDR Photo

The Myst Staircase

The RED Epic

I made the decision. Red has been contacted and now I’m just sitting here, waiting…waiting…waiting… Don’t know what it is? Check out the RED Epic page. I’m so excited… oh jeez trying not to think about it…

Daily Photo – The Myst Staircase

I wish I could have met Gaudi. The only thing I know about him is his art, but I’m guessing he was an interesting guy.

I also would have like to own one of his houses, but then I’d be in a pickle. He only designed and built a few of these houses, and I think living inside of them would be amazing. But, since it is such a work of art, I’d feel compelled to share it with the world. You can’t live in it AND open it up to the public – so what to do? I’d like to say I’d be noble and open it up to the world, but the wonderfully selfish side of me would want it all to myself. Maybe it’s not that different than owning a Renoir. Not that I own one of those either… but it is an interesting decision to think about.

This is one of the many beautiful staircases in the Casa Batlló, located in central Barcelona on Passeig de Gràcia. It’s also called the “House of Bones”, and it reminds me of the good old days playing Myst…

High Dynamic Range Photo

Exploring Ibiza at Night

Survey Results

I posted a survey a few days ago to help me know what to include in my upcoming live webinar photography course. I love the answers to the survey question, “Why are you so interested in photography?”

There are so many reasons why people like taking photos.

They range from passion:
“It is a passion I have had since I first looked through the viewfinder.”

to sanity:
“It’s a hobby/side gig that keeps me sane.”

to attracting women:
“Chicks dig fast glass.”

to sobriety:
“I gave up crack cocaine to pursue photography.”

to self-expression:
“Because in everything there is beauty and interest. Through the lens of my camera, images often express what I cannot say with words.”

to showing off:
“Like wowing people with great images.”

to social responsibility:
“I love sharing not only my stories from different cultures, but those of the people I visit as well. I believe that as a photographer, I have a responsibility to show people’s lives just as beautifully as the people themselves live them.”

Why are YOU so interested in photography? Tell Me Here, and it will also be a tremendous help for planning the course too.

Daily Photo – Exploring Ibiza at Night

The old medieval town of Ibiza is an awesome place for exploration at night. Every nook, cranny, alley, and cobblestone street was built for photography. And it was doubly-awesome after a little rain gave everything a reflective sheen.

After we finished dinner, we started the long walk back to the hotel. It took 10x as long as normal with all the stops along the way. But comon… how can you walk past something like this and not take a photo? Impossible!

HDR Photo

Peter Lik – Your Thoughts?

High Dynamic Range Photo

Peter Takes Times Square

This is a weird one. Now, I don’t know Peter Lik, and I can’t figure out why in the world he would do this on his Facebook page I got a ton of tweets and emails about it. Anyway, it seems like a pretty sorry thing to do.

I don’t really understand. Peter’s photos are just fine on their own… he (and/or his team) should not need to do something like this. What do you think?

Also, see this video of Lik’s new TV show.

All my photos are Creative Commons Noncommercial. It means anyone can use them with proper credit, as long as it is not for commercial purposes. So, kind of two strikes here. No credit AND this is a commercial purpose. The Internet Knows All. For reference, the original New York City shot is here.

Update:
1) A rambunctious discussion started on Facebook, and then
2) Peter Lik’s team removed the post (a copy for reference), and then
3) A gentleman from their social media team apologized on our Facebook wall.

My Facebook Page

Lest you be confused, pop over to good ol’ “Trey’s Facebook Page”, where you are welcome to continue sharing your own work and I can leave comments for you!

365 New Photos a Year

This is tough! A daily photo that I consider worthy! I’ve kept it going at a good 99% rate here for the past few years, but it takes a lot of work. I’m not gonna lie. This came up in the recent Mostly Photo show with Leo Laporte and Lisa Bettany (PS Leave comments there on YouTube for feedback). I guess people might think it is easy to do this every day… or maybe I am accidentally making it look easy. But, rest assured, it’s hard as hell.

Daily Photo – The Pier at the End of Times

Here is a good tip for you when it comes to sunsets. It also works if you have something in the center worthy of attention, which is commonly the case with sunsets.

When you use a wide-angle lens, like this 14-24, you will automagically get a feeling that everything is pointed to the middle. That is obvious, but you can “help the cause” and make the effect more pronounced by doing the following. If the there are repeating elements of roughly the same size (in this case: 1- slats of a dock and 2- blobs of clouds), then those elements will create leading lines to the horizon as they get logarithmically smaller towards the infinity point. In a sense, the slats only do part of the job, but the clouds do the rest of the job. Then, this allows you to have leading lines that take people in and out and back around the work.

So, one thing to look for when shooting with the wide angle lens is multiple objects of roughly the same shape. After that, you can try to set up so they repeat ever smaller towards the horizon.

This particular photo was taken in Ibiza one evening, just after the sun dipped into the Mediterranean.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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!

[poll id=”5″]

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!

High Dynamic Range Photo

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.
High Dynamic Range Photo

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!

High Dynamic Range Photo

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.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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