The Airship Isabella

Daily Photo(s): The Airship Isabella

During SXSW, I ended up at a party that had a pretty big steampunk contingent, which is of course very cool to me. I thought I had some good steampunk stuff from Burning Man until I saw these guys…

This was at the Big Bang Bordello Party put on by True Ventures and Tunehopper. It was super-crowded, like most decent SXSW parties, and there was a raucous stage show with a bunch of gals in lingerie and stuff. Is it lame that I hung out with all the steampunk guys in the back? Yes, probably.

Many of them were crew from the Airship Isabella, and they had all kinds of inventive steam-powered goodies. What is Steampunk? Follow that link for the Wikipedia entry… and also, you may remember the Steampunk photo from Burning Man. If you’re looking for a good book in this genre, try “Boneshaker.”

HDR Photo

The Airship IsabellaDuring SXSW, I ended up at a party that had a pretty big steampunk contingent, which is of course very cool to me.  I thought I had some good steampunk stuff from Burning Man until I saw these guys...This was at the Big Bang Bordello Party put on by True Ventures and Tunehopper.  It was super-crowded, like most decent SXSW parties, and there was a raucous stage show with a bunch of gals in lingerie and stuff.  Is it lame that I hung out with all the steampunk guys in the back?  Yes, probably.Many of them were crew from the Airship Isabella, and they had all kinds of inventive steam-powered goodies.  What is Steampunk?  Follow that link for the Wikipedia entry...  and also, you may remember the Steampunk photo from Burning Man.- Trey RatcliffSee all three of these here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

HDR Photo

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New PhotoWalk Video

Facebook Likey Likey

All my Facebook friends are full, but if you click “Like” below, then you can stay involved there too. Cool.


New Video of the PhotoWalk

Thanks to Pinhead Doll Productions for this great video !

Award Party Soon!

The coaches/judges on the PhotoWalk are currently going through the submitted photos to the PhotoWalk SXSW Flickr Group. We’ll have a little gathering down at Mozart’s here in Austin to hand out the prizes, hang out, and have a bit of coffee. I’m not sure when that date will be, but I’m sure good man Jack Hollingsworth will help me figure it out!

Daily Photo – The Pub

Now, I did not take this one on the PhotoWalk in Austin — at least, not on THIS PhotoWalk. My apologizes, but this has been a busy time for me and I haven’t had a lot of time to process the most recent photos from SXSW! I do have a few, and they are coming up quite soon.

Also, you can tell this was taken in the winter, because the sign mentions that the rooftop is heated. In the Texas summer, all rooftops are automatically heated!

High Dynamic Range Photo

This reminds me of another photo I took on South Congress of the famous Continental Club. Maybe you have heard of this place?

High Dynamic Range Photo

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PhotoWalk Recap and The New Austin

Video of the PhotoWalk

Thanks to Pinhead Doll Productions for this great video !

Recap of the PhotoWalk

One of our coaches made a nice writeup of the event – see James Brandon’s Blog. There are dozens more out there, but I wanted to mention another random one here by Jackie Danicki.

The Flickr Group for the PhotoWalk

Want to submit some photos from the walk? Visit the PhotoWalk SXSW Flickr Group! There’s also a great discussion area. For example, go read all about the coaches on the PhotoWalk – I thank them very much for their help. Also, the sponsors who are giving out amazing prizes to winners of the contest!

The PhotoWalk Group

Thanks to Mike Connell for taking this photo. An amazing group of hundreds, and we picked up more on the way!

High Dynamic Range Photo
High Dynamic Range Photo

Daily Photo – The New Austin

I don’t think I can do a better job of a writeup than many of the other attendees, so here’s just a quick recap. We began the PhotoWalk by walking down 6th street down towards Momo’s, where we met Leo Laporte and Lisa Bettany for a quick hello. After that, we weaved through the streets together, talking about all sorts of things. I also made about five other stops where I talked through my setup and my shots. On my final shot, we were working our way back towards The Driskill when I took set up for the scene below.

It was a standard HDR with five exposures. I was having some trouble grabbing an autofocus spot, so I just went to manual focus just to be sure the lens didn’t try to re-focus on the multiple exposures.

Thanks again to everyone that came out! It was great getting to know you during the walk, and after the walk back at The Driskill.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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The Batmobile

New video soon from SmugMug

This last two days has been crazy… I stopped up at the SmugMug offices (aave you seen my SmugMug Review?) yesterday for one of their amazing lunches. They have this chef there in the building… makes all natural organic stuff and it’s pretty dang amazing… kind of over-the-top amazing. Anyway, they got me on video talking about a special piece of art they put up there in the office… and it might turn out interesting.

The Photoshop team at Adobe also got me on video (besides the speech), and I think they are putting that on their FB page soon — will link when it is done.

Daily Photo – The Batmobile

On one of my little Texas road trips, I saw this thing on the side of the road and it was worth a turn-around! It kind of makes me want to have an awesome and impractical car like this. Everything else I do in my life is so dang practical…I think I need an impractical car!

High Dynamic Range Photography

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Five Minutes of Light in Houston

Taking Photos of Cities

I love these sorts of photos, obviously. But when I am trying to find the perfect spot, I am always reminded about how most people don’t think like photographers. Of 100 people, 97 or so would recommend that I go up in the tallest building in the city. No, I always contend — I want the tallest building to be in the shot, so I need to go up in the 2nd-10th tallest buildings that actually look back towards the west and towards the tallest building. It all requires a lot of 3D visualization and spinning of the city, and I find that most of these conversations end with confusion (and then me going back to Google Earth once again).

Daily Photo – Five Minutes of Light in Houston

When I give talks, I have a rotation of random photos that appear in the background while I talk about all sorts of things. I figure people don’t want to watch me… and a steady stream of photos is more interesting. Anyway, at some point, one of my photos of Houston appears, and I say, “This is about the prettiest you will ever see Houston.” It always gets a laugh… mostly because it’s so painfully true.

This is the 2nd or 3rd photo of downtown Houston that I have processed. There is a quick moment between sunset and dusk when the sky can turn any color… this time it turned purple, so I was lucky!

HDR Photo

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Video Interview on SplashMedia

Video Interview on Splashmedia

Have you all heard of Renay San Miguel? He was an anchor on CNN, CBS, and CNBC… You’ll probably recognize him in the interview!

Thanks to Chris Kraft and the team over at Splash Media for the interview! I hope you enjoy it…

New Prints – The Adventure Tree and The Falls of Yellowstone

We release one new print a week, and I’ve been a bit remiss in mentioning them with all the travel. My bad. I can remedy that right now…

You can click on each print to go over and get details. As always, each one is part of a numbered limited edition series. Enjoy!

HDR Photo

HDR Photo

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The Parachute Jump

Keeping up…. Live from Paris

Sometimes, if I have a few extra seconds, I’ll take little cellphone pics and upload them to Twitter. If you are not on Twitter, and want to see them, just click the little “Tweets” button/tab thing over on the right. It can give you the latest scoop in case you want to see what is live. For example, I am now in Paris, and I put up a few things over the day. None of these are great shots btw… just little slices of life I am capturing. I’ll repost them here below.

New Video – The Parachute Jump

Here is the video that I edited together of the big jump I made with the Golden Knights!  Enjoy!

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The Golden Knights are Bad Ass

Having a Great Time at OpenCamp!

I gave a little talk yesterday called, “Clever Tricks for Making Your Blog More Beautiful and Popular”. We had a good time, and I hope the crowd enjoyed it! If you want to know more about OpenCamp and the other speakers, including Chris Pirillo, Cali Lewis, and more, see this Open Camp Day One writeup by Phillip Coxwell.

Daily Photo – The Golden Knights are Bad Ass

I have not had much time this weekend to process new photos, but I did take a moment to process this one.

This was taken during an evening demonstration on the night before OpenCamp began. It was an unforgettable night with the Knights! After falling a few miles from the sky, the skydivers would open up their chutes & pyrotechnics and let loose. Since I had jumped with them the day before, they let me get up close on the landing to get some tight shots.

I also may go out to Fort Bragg, where they are based, and do a bunch more shots in the future. I look forward to that very much!

Visit the Golden Knights on their website, and follow them on Twitter at @ArmyGK.

HDR Photo

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New Ebook – Composing the Photo

New Ebook!

I’m very proud of this new eBook!

Jump over to the “How to Compose Photos: Creating Order from the Chaos” page here on the site and have a look!

I look forward to getting into your hands to see what you think. We have several reviews that have already rolled in on the page. Thanks everyone for the positive feedback.

Here are just a few examples of what is inside the 50 page eBook!

  • A detailed how-to about how to Compose Photos
  • Countless examples of the how/when/why of setting up a shot on the scene
  • Postprocessing:  the how/when/why to crop your image for more meaning and power
  • Deep discussions on how viewers react to different compositions
  • There is an equal emphasis on composing landscapes and composing people

Composing the Photo

On the way to the Jump!

This is what I look like right before I leave this mortal coil.

Giovanni (@Giovanni) grabbed this shot of me on the way to my parachute jump with the Golden Knights… more to come soon… but I know many people were asking, so here is a quick one for you.

HDR Photo

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A Night with Harley

My Unexpected 24-70mm Usage

As a landscape photographer, I tend to go wide-angle a lot… Actually, I don’t particularly “like” (not facebook-like, like-like) being called a “landscape photographer” — but I know people like to categorize, and it’s better than being called a “underwear tester”.

So back to the wide-angle bit. I love my Nikon 14-24 lens… and when I go on trips, I expect to use that the most! However, I notice that this current photo-adventure in Iceland, I am using my 24-70 most of the time. About 70% of the time! I find it gets me the compression and framing I need for so many landscape situations.

I’ll have to add more photos soon to my Nikon 24-70 Review here on the site… but it is a very versatile lens!

Daily Photo – A Night with Harley

These bikes are really a fun subject for photography. I get excited every time I head out for one of these events. There are so many styles, customizations, and characters behind them… you never see the same thing twice.

Setting up for these photos is also somewhat of a fun challenge. Getting the right “background” is very important to me… sometimes it just does not work out, so I have to move on and leave a pretty bike alone. The other thing about these bikes, which you don’t realize until you take thousands of photos of them, is that you probably only have a 12.5% chance of getting a good composition and background. I break it down thusly:

  • 50% chance that the bike is on its kick stand and leaning the direction you want.  These are just too hard to shoot from the downward-leaning side.
  • Compounded by a 50% chance the background area is boring, distracting, inappropriate, or otherwise unpalatable
  • Compounded by another 50% chance that the bike will be blocked by another bike, since these tend to travel in flocking patterns, like their riders.

HDR-Photo

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