The Alps from Above

Interesting Photo Talk

In case you missed the most recent show, we talked about a bunch of things you may enjoy:
- Some complaints and thoughts about Facebook and promoted posts (Alex did an experiment where he paid $40)
- We all share new photos (Alex from a Russian dungeon costume party, Thomas from Decompression, Karen from a recent trip, and me from a car trip here in New Zealand last weekend)
- How we are surprised at feedback on photos
- The new Google Nexus phone and photo-sphere mode
- How a Human Face looks with different lenses

Daily Photo – The Alps from Above

Scott Kublin and I took the train from Zermatt through the Alps to St. Moritz. Right after we arrived, we went to the top of the nearest mountain to take photos and have dinner. This place seemed to fit the bill!

If you ever want to take that train — I recommend it! Thanks to everyone on the blog here that recommended it to me to begin with! It’s called the Glacier Express… be sure to take your camera! :)

The Alps from Above

The Alps from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length32mm (32mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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The Matterhorn over the Village

New Film Coming Friday

I’ve spent over 300 hours working on a new film. It’s 6 minutes long and 4K in resolution…. I can’t wait for you to see it… so get ready to watch it Full Screen with Good Speakers! I’m putting the final touches on it right now….

I also have a Making-Of, but that is taking longer than expected! But I’ll get that done at some point…

Daily Photo – The Matterhorn over the Village

While taking the train up a nearby mountain in the town of Zermatt, there is one quick moment when you get this perfect view of the village and the Matterhorn together.

I think I really liked this place because I remember riding the Matterhorn with my dad when I was a kid, and my child-mind could not conceive of an actual Matterhorn!

The Matterhorn over the Village

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/3.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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Romantic Evening in the Alps

 

Other great mountain-towns?

Zermatt was really one of the best mountain-towns I have visited.  Maybe you know of many more – any recommendations?  I’m guessing, for example, there are some real gems in Germany I have never heard of…

Daily Photo – Romantic Evening in the Alps

The best time of day.  (To me.)

When you are in a new place and there are too many things to see and do.  There are too many places to eat and explore.  There are too many streets and alleys to visit and photograph.  This is a good thing.  It is a nice feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.  So, in these times, there are no bad decisions.  Just go whichever way the night takes you… get lost and find pretty little things.

Romantic Evening in the AlpsThe best time of day.  (To me.)When you are in a new place and there are too many things to see and do.  There are too many places to eat and explore.  There are too many streets and alleys to visit and photograph.  This is a good thing.  It is a nice feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.  So, in these times, there are no bad decisions.  Just go whichever way the night takes you... get lost and find pretty little things.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this entry at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Go Ahead, Steal this Photo and Make Prints

 

What’s he gettin’ at?

This is the most common “complaint” (note, the complaint only comes from Photographers – not regular people!)  I get in the comments when I talk about copyright and Creative Commons Noncommercial.  Every day, like today, I upload a maximum resolution photo here to the website.  People hem and haw, “Well, aren’t you afraid that people will just download your work and print it themselves?”  No, I’m not afraid.  And generally, I don’t live in fear.  If people want to do this, it’s not the end of the world.  Maybe they are just a fan that has very little money and they just want to make a small personal print to enjoy on their own.  They know they are not getting the best quality or a Limited Edition copy, but at least they get to enjoy the art.  In fact, I think that is kind of nice.

I believe the world is mostly full of people who would rather do the right thing for the artist and see the Good Reasons to buy a print now or in the future.

Good reasons to Buy This Print (btw, every day we offer up a new print, where there is a link to purchase it right under the photo).

  • Purchasing a print ensures it is Limited Edition and more rare.  This makes each one unique and a collector’s item.
  • Purchasing a print supports the artist directly, who most people know spend a lot of time, effort, and finances to produce the imagery.
  • Purchasing a print results in a vastly superior print, which can come on canvas, high-quality fiber-paper, or metal.

So, to me, these are three pretty compelling reasons to purchase the print.  I believe the most people out there are good, so we provide affordable options so people can make something custom that works perfectly in their home.

Daily Photo – The Glaciers of the Alps

Getting to the top of these mountains happened just in time, late on a cool, crisp day on one of my first afternoons in Switzerland.  I knew things would be beautiful way up here in the upper atmosphere, but I honestly did not expect the streaming confluence of flowing ice.  This is always a nice and unexpected aspect of glaciers – how they look like they are flowing and still at the same time.

The Glaciers of the AlpsGetting to the top of these mountains happened just in time, late on a cool, crisp day on one of my first afternoons in Switzerland.  I knew things would be beautiful way up here in the upper atmosphere, but I honestly did not expect the streaming confluence of flowing ice.  This is always a nice and unexpected aspect of glaciers - how they look like they are flowing and still at the same time.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

 

While you’re at it, here are some more to Steal

Hehe… or, well, you can get the Limited Edition copy below each one.

The Bay at Portofino This isn’t really Portofino, but it sure does look like it, eh? We might even make the case that it is more pretty than the real Portofino! This is a beautiful resort in Orlando, over at Universal Studios.  All the colors in the sky and the buildings seemed to melt together, so I stopped for a quick photo.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Bay at Portofino – Order your Limited Edition print of this photo

The Secret Passageway to the Treasure After the crowds of Angkor Wat, it was nice to go find a remote temple in the jungle and be alone. This temple laid under the jungle, completely undiscovered for centuries.  The hallway and mysterious chambers seemed to go on forever.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Secret Passageway to the Treasure – Order your Limited Edition print of this photo

-The Great Wall of China-Wow I was alone here. As I walked along this ancient, original stretch of the Great Wall, I felt the ghosts haunting the old towers and little enclaves.I finally found an extremely remote part that is far enough away from civilization to stay pure. The ruins of the wall in this area has been overgrown with vegetation. When you walk along the top, you have to snake your way between huge bushes and all sorts of trees. Stairs and parts of the walkways have crumbled away in the past thousand years. The old towers are slowly fragmenting as lichens and moss cover parts of the stone that are decaying away.This has only reminded me that the main tourist part of the Great Wall is a very tiny stretch that has been re-built in recent years… so it is all fake and kind of Disney-wall. I don’t think I like that…That day I walked from tower to tower, looking at the sinuous wall as it snakes over the mountains. It’s so huge that I won’t even begin to come up with analogies… but, speaking of snakes, a family here told me to watch out for them. I kept that in mind as I hiked back in the pure black of night. I had a little flashlight to keep me company, along with my music. I didn’t see any snakes, and I didn’t fall down, so all together it was a great day and night.

Alone on the Ancient Great Wall – Order your Limited Edition print of this photo

The Long Road to New Zealand This is one of countless beautiful roads that crisscross New Zealand.  I'm afraid I've forgotten exactly where I was when I took this photo!   I know that is very lame, but I bet people around here can help me pinpoint the area.As far as the camera settings, this is the kind of shot you can get with something called "compression," a method where you use a zoom lens and zoom in quite far.  It takes images in the distance and makes them larger than life.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Long Road to New Zealand – Order your Limited Edition print of this photo

 

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Zermatt in the Evening

Looking-forward-to-the-thing

Sometimes I think about the nature of looking forward to something.  This is good, you know, looking forward to things.  And sometimes I wonder if it is as good as the thing-itself.  Okay this is a weird subject… stick with me…  like, for example, spending all day looking forward to eating a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies is on par with actually eating the cookies.  Know what I mean?  Or did I already lose you.  Because when you look forward to something, you get a little excited about it.  And them, if you add up all those little excitements, it roughly equals the amount of excitement you actually get from the thing itself.

I don’t know why I’m talking about this.

Daily Photo – Zermatt in the Evening

This is one of my favorite times of night while traveling.  It’s that blue dusk after a long day.  I’m hungry and tired and just trying to capture a little bit more light before finding some food for the night.

This is the town of Zermatt, a cozy little mountain village nestled up in the Alps.  It’s charming and filled with all the sorts of things you would hope would fill a little mountain town.

Zermatt in the EveningThis is one of my favorite times of night while traveling.  It's that blue dusk after a long day.  I'm hungry and tired and just trying to capture a little bit more light before finding some food for the night.This is the town of Zermatt, a cozy little mountain village nestled up in the Alps.  It's charming and filled with all the sorts of things you would hope would fill a little mountain town.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this entry at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Live Photosharing Hangout Tonight

 

Photosharing Live Hangout Tonight!

I’ve planned to have a video hangout tonight to share some of the photos from the LA PhotoWalk last night.  Join us live for the event!

Want to subscribe to the free podcast so you can watch it later?  Go see our PoPodcast page!

Daily Photo – The Impossible Bridge

I took this photo out the window of the train I was on – the same train you can see in the photo!  This is the Glacier Express, a crazy-awesome train that goes through the Alps and connects Zermatt and St. Moritz.  It was recommended by many nice people here on the blog, and here I am re-recommending it! :)

The Impossible Bridge I took this photo out the window of the train I was on – the same train you can see in the photo!  This is the Glacier Express, a crazy-awesome train that goes through the Alps and connects Zermatt and St. Moritz.  It was recommended by many nice people here on the blog, and here I am re-recommending it! :)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

 

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The Matterhorn

New Silver Efex Pro

I’m still really enjoying the new Silver Efex Pro — I did not update my review Silver Efex Pro review with new screenshots, mostly because the interface is still the same.

Daily Photo – The Matterhorn

For most of my life, I’ve generally only known the Matterhorn for the ride in Disneyland! I mean, I always knew it was a real mountain… and I’ve seen photos of it and stuff… but seeing it there in the middle of the Alps was really cool.

I think I was lucky while here in Zermatt, Switzerland. I understand that it is often occluded by clouds, so this was a lucky day indeed!

Zermatt was a really great little town — I’d love to go back and spend some more time there!

The MatterhornFor most of my life, I've generally only known the Matterhorn for the ride in Disneyland!  I mean, I always knew it was a real mountain... and I've seen photos of it and stuff... but seeing it there in the middle of the Alps was really cool.  I think I was lucky while here in Zermatt, Switzerland.  I understand that it is often occluded by clouds, so this was a lucky day indeed!  Zermatt was a really great little town -- I'd love to go back and spend some more time there!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest, and some info on the new Silver Efx Pro, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The Alps in the Afternoon and Why I Don’t Use Watermarks

Why I Don’t Use Watermarks 2.0

BTW, this spawned a hot discussion in this Google+ Thread!

I’ve recently updated this list… so I thought you might like the new version and explanation since i get this question a lot.

I know my opinion is different than many other photographers, and that is okay.

As you may know, my work is all Creative Commons Non-Commercial. That means people, as long as they give credit and link back to http://www.StuckInCustoms.com, can use my images on their blogs, wallpaper, personal use – anything – as long as it is not used commercially. Every day, I upload a HUGE 6000+ pixel max-resolution image to the Internet. I do not have any fear at all… Believe me, it’s quite liberating living in a world without internet-stealth-fear.

People that want to license our images regularly contact our licensing team – we get many of these every day of the week.

So why don’t I use watermarks? It’s a multi-part philosophy –

1) Watermarks look ugly. Whenever I look at a photo with a watermark, often times, ALL I can think about is that watermark! It’s so distracting. Maybe this is just me.

2) Legitimate companies do not steal images to use commercially. So I don’t have any logical fear there.

3) There are other services, like Tineye (and Google) that can help my team easily find bottom-feeders.

4) We do register our images with the copyright office, so if someone uses an image commercially without a proper license, it is an easy lawsuit.

5) I don’t have to maintain two versions of each image – one with a watermark and one without.

6) NOT using watermarks and using creative commons helps more and more people to use your image freely for fun, which increases traffic and builds something I call “internet-trust.”

7) As image search and image recognition get better and better, there will be no need to watermark things. In 1 year+, we’ll be able to r-click an image and choose “Google-find the original creator” — there is a bit trail to first-on-the-internet.

8) Yes, last, there will be bottom-feeders that steal your stuff. I call this the cost of doing business on the internet. These are the Tic-Tacs that are stolen from the 7-11. It is impossible to maintain 100% of your digital inventory, so wanting “perfection” in your online strategy is an illusion.

Daily Photo – The Alps in the Afternoon

The more rugged the mountains, the better they look with a low angle of incidence of the light. Of course, they also look great in the middle of the day, but since the rugged peaks are in three dimensions, you get many extra angles of contrast when the sun is low.

These kind of shots help me remember the fake symbology built up in my head of the shape-of-mountains. I got a bit of this when I was learning to draw… when drawing a human face, it takes a long time to get rid of that thing that is drilled into you as a kid — that the eye is sort of the shape of a football. If you try to do that with a good drawing, it never works. And, it’s sort of the same way with mountains. In my head, I still have to stop thinking of them as a rugged 2D line. It’s thousands of 2D lines, crawling this way and that, but I can usually only see one of them. But, on late afternoons like this, you can start to see hundreds of more lines.

The Alps in the AfternoonThe more rugged the mountains, the better they look with a low angle of incidence of the light.  Of course, they also look great in the middle of the day, but since the rugged peaks are in three dimensions, you get many extra angles of contrast when the sun is low.These kind of shots help me remember the fake symbology built up in my head of the shape-of-mountains.  I got a bit of this when I was learning to draw...  when drawing a human face, it takes a long time to get rid of that thing that is drilled into you as a kid -- that the eye is sort of the shape of a football.  If you try to do that with a good drawing, it never works.  And, it's sort of the same way with mountains.  In my head, I still have to stop thinking of them as a rugged 2D line.  It's thousands of 2D lines, crawling this way and that, but I can usually only see one of them.  But, on late afternoons like this, you can start to see hundreds of more lines.- Trey RatcliffRead more, including a post about why I don't watermark, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Shooting the Matterhorn

An offer to buy blog posts

If you try to buy blog posts on here, you will fail miserably… I think people and companies that offer this do not know me. The most recent example (it happens quite a bit) is from Tamron. You can read the post/discussion here on Google+.

A Photo of Me!

Hehe… I usually don’t post these, but I thought my friend Scott Kublin grabbed a nice one. I guess I could throw in more photos of me, but… I figure that there are many things out there that are much more interesting to look at!

Daily Photo – Shooting the Matterhorn

Scott and I had just come from France together, and we were excited to be up in the mountains. The conditions were pretty good, so we were trying to get as many shots as possible while the skies were interesting. This isn’t even an HDR shot, and you can see how strange the clouds were! I have not yet processed my own shots from this event… but I look forward to it very much.

Shooting the MatterhornScott and I had just come from France together, and we were excited to be up in the mountains. The conditions were pretty good, so we were trying to get as many shots as possible while the skies were interesting. This isn't even an HDR shot, and you can see how strange the clouds were! I have not yet processed my own shots from this event... but I look forward to it very much.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The Streets of Zermatt

Glacier Express

Thank you again for all the amazing suggestions for Switzerland. Obviously, I could not do all of them, but one of the great ones was the Glacier Express. Seven hours through the alps… it was amazing. And, it brought me here…

Daily Photo – The Streets of Zermatt

After dinner one evening, I went out with my iPod to explore the streets alone. There was a light cool rain, but it didn’t bother me a bit. It added to the mood and everything felt great. The warm cabins, the cool sky, the wet streets, people hurrying to and fro to get warm food and drinks… I do my best to capture this feeling all in one image.

The Streets of ZermattAfter dinner one evening, I went out with my iPod to explore the streets alone.  There was a light cool rain, but it didn't bother me a bit.  It added to the mood and everything felt great.  The warm cabins, the cool sky, the wet streets, people hurrying to and fro to get warm food and drinks...  I do my best to capture this feeling all in one image.- Trey RatcliffSee the rest of this blog entry here at stuckincustoms.com.

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