Connecting the community, my Twitter strategy, and American Airlines at DFW

I thought, to commemorate this entry on connecting people, that I’d include a photo of an airplane from one of the busiest airports in the world – DFW in Dallas. This is the same plane that I flew to Tokyo on just recently. It was shot from high above in the Admiral’s Club. It was an awfully stormy day, and I was worried that maybe the flight wouldn’t go off on time! We were delayed a few hours… but that gave me plenty of time to set up all my equipment in there like dork!

You guys should meet! Put your info below!

We have a great community here, so I wanted to extend this optional invitation for you all to meet one another!

So, what’s your Twitter or Facebook or both? Put it in the comments below! I know many of you have friended or followed me — that’s great — but I think you should all connect with one other too! There are many people from various backgrounds and I think you all would find some unexpected connections! On FB, some people are open about friending (like me), but on Twitter, you can follow anyone without their consent.

When you put your Twitter or Facebook below in the comments, kindly put it in the web format so people can easily follow or find you (like http://www.twitter.com/TreyRatcliff or http://www.facebook.com/TreyRatcliff). I put an example below in the comments.

Edit:  A lot of names below, see here on how to follow them!

First, here is a Twitter list of the Stuck In Customs Community. I suggest you go through there and follow people!

Second, soon, Tweetdeck will release the ability for you to auto-import a list and make it a column. Don’t know what I mean? Go ahead and download Tweetdeck and start gettin’ the hang of it. I’ll update this post as soon as you can add a “List” as a column along with instructions.

What’s my Twitter strategy?

First, I use Twitter the “right” way. That is, I have taken time to carefully build, re-build, cull, and personalize a list of several hundred people to follow. These are people I have discovered that are interesting, inspirational, or just guilty pleasures. I look at Twitter several times a day to get new ideas, unexpected finds, and news from people that have similar tastes to mine.

Second, and less importantly, I use Twitter to filter the world for anyone curious enough to follow me. I try to keep a balance of: 33% inspirational and/or artistic finds that I share, 33% sharing of my own work with everyone, and 33% connecting people who should know one another! Oh, and 1% WILDCARD. At least, this is my goal! I may not always hit those ratios, but I do my best.

Last, here are 10 Things You Need to Stop Tweeting About ! It’s really funny… those of you that don’t like Twitter probably are:

1) Following people that are full of BS that do many things on that list
2) Or you don’t want to tell the world what you are doing (THAT is okay — but… you don’t have to tell people! You can still follow people you find interesting without even sending out a tweet.)
3) You have yet to realize Trey’s Twitter Truth: “Twitter is cool because it’s a nonstop party you don’t have to hang out in a small group of mostly annoying people.”

Connecting the community, my Twitter strategy, and American Airlines at DFW

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A Topaz Adjust Review – and the ’57 Chevy

I’ve found a wonderful new piece of software!

It’s a Photoshop plugin called Topaz Adjust and I’ve written a full Topaz Adjust Review here on the site. People send me software all the time to review, but I only end up reviewing stuff that I actually use. Eric Yang, one of the gurus over at Topaz, also gave me a Topaz Adjust Coupon Code of “STUCKINCUSTOMS” for 10% off to pass along to my readers. I think you will like it as much as I do! I actually recommend the Topaz Bundle (for MAC or PC), but you can read more about why inside the review.

Below is a shot of a ’57 Chevy. I saw it when walking back to the Magnolia Hotel on Friday night after dinner in Dallas. I took a photo of this pretty car under the blue lights of the porte-cochere, went upstairs to my room, downloaded the Topaz Bundle software, made the adjustments, and had the whole thing finished in less than 30 minutes. That quick turnaround speaks to how easy the software is to use. I’ve since used it on a number of other images, including some unpublished ones that are coming soon.

Topaz Adjust Review - and The 57 Chevy (by Stuck in Customs)

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The Bizarre Da Vinci Styled Hotel

This was shot in the lobby of The Joule Hotel in Dallas. All the architecture and decor inside is related to energy. I found it by accident while walking down the street on last night after dark with my rig. I saw some interesting lights inside, then peered closer to see a giant gearworks rotating around. I ducked inside for some shots and ended up talking to some very nice people behind the front desk. The hotel itself is filled with all sorts of art, and they gave me a nice little guide so I could work myself around and drink it all in.

There is also this awesome swimming pool ( pic from their website ) with a glass front that juts out over Main street in Dallas. It was under repair, so she said I could not photograph it…. but maybe next time!

Note this photo is not HDR. It uses some new software that I am in the process of reviewing… I hope to get it up soon!

The Bizarre Da Vinci Styled Hotel

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The Rolling Hills of Dallas

My last downtown photo of Dallas went over pretty well, so here is another from a different perspective.  This is shot from the south side of Dallas, which is rarely seen since most of the commercial development is immediately to the north side of the city.  I see this perspective a lot when driving up from Austin on regular trips up to the city.  On the last trip, we were able to have a bit of extra time to go visit some of the Impressionist works at the museum here in downtown.  It was nice to make it there after dodging all the modern art that just takes up a lot of space.  I’m sure that’s sort of a heretical thing to say, for someone so deep into the digital mediums, but I find most modern art to be inane.  Any piece of modern art that requires a douche in a black turtleneck to describe what I am seeing is something that probably simply represents two minutes of my life I will never get back.  Anyway, I’m sure some people like it… that’s fine… just not for me.

I’ll be sure to add some of my favorite Impressionist paintings in the next iteration of the “Things That Inspire Me” area of the site!

The Rolling Hills of Dallas

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Top 10 Twitter to follow for February, and a new photo of Dallas

I have this promise here to upload one new unique photo per day.  This has turned out to be a bad promise, because I mess it up about 10 times a year.  Before you get to my daily shot (this one from a little-known flower market from the backside of Dallas), I wanted to do something a little different for those of you that are just getting on Twitter for the first time.

I’ll give you all a list of interesting photographers to follow.  If you guys have more suggestions, send me a message at @treyratcliff. Note this is not my list of top 10 photographers in the world… just cool people that make interesting Twitter updates.  I’ll try to make a new list every month or so…since it’s hard to get to know 50 people at once, I’ll roll them out slowly!

#1 – @stevesimon – This guy cracks me up.  I first heard him on the TWIP (This Week in Photography) Podcast.  He has a wonderful sense of humor, and I generally agree with everything he says.  I’m putting him first on my list because I wish more photographers were like him.

#2 – @thomashawk – Who doesn’t know this guy?  He’s nice as heck, and his Type A personality keeps his overachievement in high-gear.  We’re also in agreement about many of the bad things about Flickr…  it’s so close to being an even better service!

#3 – @kk – Kris Krug is a great photographer.  There is something creative and nice about his work.

#4 – @scottbourne – I like Scott even though he made a snide comment about me on TWIP.  I was mentioned on their site of the week and he’s not much of a fan of Creative Commons, I can tell.  But he’s still a pretty nice guy and he takes great pics of birds.

#5 – @dcjill – The great Jill Greenberg!  She’s protected her updates… but maybe if we all request, she will give in and show us behind the wizard’s curtain.

#6 – @scottkelby – This is another guy everyone probably knows, especially if they watch Photoshop User TV.  I was looking for his sidekicks Matt and Dave on Twitter — anyone know their @’s?

#7 – @chasejarvis – An amazingly cool photographer.  You can tell he is cool just from his portfolio.

#8 – @mostlylisa – She’s a humble photographer that has a really nice net presence.  She also gave me the name of the guy that did her portfolio website, so I owe her one!

#9 – @jessicaclaire – Hey a wedding photographer!  She’s a cool gal with a nice sense of style about her photography.

#10 – @alexlindsay – He is smart as a whip and is very active on Twitter.  He’s one of those cool people to follow because you find out something that’s useful in real time!

Remember, if you have suggestions for next month’s list, be sure to leave them below or send me a twitter message!

Daily Photo: Downtown Dallas from the Flower Market

And finally… here is that photo of Dallas I promised.

Downtown Dallas from the Flower Market (by Stuck in Customs)

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