The Dance Recital

Annoying Photography Companies at Dance Recitals

One thing that REALLY makes me angry is when I go to a dance recital and they tell me I am not allowed to take photos.  And I’m not just talking about “flash” photos — but NO photos at all.  It’s because they do a deal with crappy photography companies that forbid other parents from doing so to artificially increase the sales of their video or photos.  It is, perhaps, the most insidious of all practices that photographers undertake.  The idea that a parent can’t even take a photo of their own child on stage is, well, insane.  I wish 1,000 years of bad luck on all these photography companies that undertake these methods… and you will forever have my wrath.

Daily Photo – The Dance Recital

I feel like I go to about 20 dance recitals a year!  If you have a daughter in dance, then you know what I mean.

This was a cold one, and I mean supa-cold.  It was about 20 degrees outside, and then recital was, for some reason, outside.  I was going to go sit down and cover up, but the blanket was only big enough for the rest of the family.  So I decided to keep moving and take a lot of photos.  I went back behind the crowd to get this one just before the show began…

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/10668747_nxsXfB/17073664

Austin PhotoWalk Time!

G+ PhotoWalk in Austin during SXSW! Join me!

It’s that time again!  This year is going to be huge… mega huge!

All skill levels are invited – bring your whole family… it’s great fun for all.

  • RSVP on Google Schemer: http://goo.gl/LkaKO
  • Secret Google Schemer Invite link: goo.gl/RoxQg <– shhhhhh!
  • Date: Saturday, March 10 at 2 PM.
  • Location: The hidden G+ lot (TBA!) Note: SXSW badge NOT required
  • No SXSW badge required!

We’ll have great prizes and more… stay tuned!

Daily Photo – The Endless Night Streets of Tokyo

The streets are like this all night long.  So, how can you possibly go back to the hotel room?  There’s never a good breaking point.  It is very very hard on my body here, actually, because I usually go back at the point of sheer exhaustion or hunger-breakdown.  The last thing I am thinking about is eating or sleeping… but then, once I give in to my body, that’s ALL I can think about.

The Endless Night Streets of TokyoThe streets are like this all night long.  So, how can you possibly go back to the hotel room?  There's never a good breaking point.  It is very very hard on my body here, actually, because I usually go back at the point of sheer exhaustion or hunger-breakdown.  The last thing I am thinking about is eating or sleeping... but then, once I give in to my body, that's ALL I can think about.- Trey RatcliffRead more, including some info on the SXSW G+ Photowalk, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Anyone Wanna Buy a House in Austin?

 

Strangest Post Ever

This might be my strangest blog post ever…  well, hey, I figured… why not?  Besides, maybe some of you want to see where I have lived for the past seven years or so…  and yes, we are moving to New Zealand.  More info on that later, I promise! 🙂

Daily Photo – Anyone Wanna Buy a House in Austin?

Contact me at wildcard (at) stuckincustoms.com if you are interested in finding out more… this is just a little teaser with some photos.

It’s in a great area of the hill country, about 15 mins from downtown (with no traffic!) Austin.  The neighborhood is called Jester, and it weaves in and out of a natural preserve.  It’s mega hilly with tons of trees.  Our house, as you can see below from the backyard shot (the fourth one) backs onto a natural preserve… so there is nothing for miles and miles except for little creeks and hilly forests.

The house itself is 5 bedroom, two stories, contemporary design, with all sorts of nice-to-haves.  I’m even leaving the media room with the projector, big screen, and all that stuff.  Anyway, here are a few photos below!

First, here is a photo from the street, looking down the hill at our house on the left.

HDR Photo

Second, here is another view of the front of the house at Christmas time.

HDR Photo

Below is the family room.  The kids are not included with the house.

A Neo-Rockwellian Christmas When dad is a photographer, then there is a major degree of pressure to deliver photos on all the requisite holidays and celebrations! So, I decided to try to re-invent the family Christmas photo with HDR. Please note that many of my inventions go down in flames, but, as Winston Churchill said, “success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm”.Christmas scenes have a lot of light levels. The lights on the tree, the deep greens withn the branches, a roaring fire, lights in the room, reflections off the ornaments, and the like. It’s wild! I’m pretty sure this is why people like Christmas scenes so much - a wonderful treat for the eyes that is rich in texture and rich in light. Traditionally, it’s been very difficult to capture so much richness in a single photo, saving a lucky and heroic combination of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and lenses.The tree lights made the faces of my three stunt-children (who are also my real children) glow perfectly. No flash could have achieved this, unless you are the kind of Rambo-flash guy that would go bury one inside the tree to hit their faces from the left. But, let’s face it. That’s hard.This was a 5-exposure HDR. You will notice that I often use 5 exposures, but note I could have done it with 3 exposures at -2, 0, and +2. Some silly Nikon cameras, like the D3X I use, will not let you step by twos, so I had to take 5 at -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2. The middle exposure, from which the kid’s faces were masked in and perfectly lit, was shot at f/4 aperture, shutter speed of 1/250, 100 ISO, and at 28mm.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Fourth, here is a view off the back deck.  The first dip you see down below leads to a quaint little bubbling brook that tumbles away on rainy mornings, like when I took this photo.

HDR Ph
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The Cheerful Austin Christmas Dragon

PhotoWalks…

Have you ever been on a PhotoWalk or PhotoWalk curious? I find that MOST people that come to these have never been on one before. So, it’s still a new thing to everyone. It’s generally my plan to come to YOUR city (or area!) to do one of these some day.

Daily Photo – The Cheerful Austin Christmas Dragon

It was a great PhotoWalk in Austin last night! Remember to tag your photos with #gplusaustin — and click around to see some stuff. We had over 100 sign up on plancast, and it got pretty crazy because a lot of people brought friends and family. It was a lot of fun to meet people.

We had one guy come in from South Africa, a gal Karen Hutton come in from California, and many more from all around the Texas area. Everyone we very nice and fun as usual.

I had an autographed 2012 calendar to give away, but I forgot! Sorry that was lame of me… I had it on the floorboard of my car and everything, but with getting the kids out and everything, I forgot – you know how it is.

The Cheerful Austin Christmas DragonIt was a great PhotoWalk in Austin last night! Remember to tag your photos with #gplusaustin -- and click around to see some stuff. We had over 100 sign up on plancast, and it got pretty crazy because a lot of people brought friends and family. It was a lot of fun to meet people.We had one guy come in from South Africa, a gal Karen Hutton come in from California, and many more from all around the Texas area. Everyone we very nice and fun as usual.I had an autographed 2012 calendar to give away, but I forgot! Sorry that was lame of me... I had it on the floorboard of my car and everything, but with getting the kids out and everything, I forgot - you know how it is.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

How I took the shot

Paul Terry Walhus was taking a video the whole time. You can see a bit more about the PhotoWalk and how I took this shot in the video below! Thanks Paul!

The Pennybacker Bridge

Free Austin PhotoWalk

It’s gonna be a great one! Come get all the details and RSVP on this page! 🙂

Daily Photo – The Pennybacker Bridge

This place is right by my house…. I really have no excuse for not going up here almost every night! It takes less than 10 minutes to drive and hike up here… sometimes I actually feel bad about my laziness in this area.

It’s usually not too crowded up here. Maybe a couple or two will sit and watch the sunset. It’s a bit dangerous – a sharp cliff that drops off into the freeway on one side and the water on the other.

The Pennybacker Bridge This place is right by my house…. I really have no excuse for not going up here almost every night! It takes less than 10 minutes to drive and hike up here… sometimes I actually feel bad about my laziness in this area.It’s usually not too crowded up here. Maybe a couple or two will sit and watch the sunset. It’s a bit dangerous – a sharp cliff that drops off into the freeway on one side and the water on the other.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Last Night in Austin

Travel Best and Someday???

I started a little Travel page on Google+ and posted a question… If you’re on G+, come on in and let me know the favorite travel memory you have and some place you’d like to go someday…

Daily Photo – Last Night in Austin

I was down on South Congress having a little secret dinner meeting about this new app we are building… and then the sun started to go down. Did I have my camera and tripod? Yes yes… of course.. if you invite me to dinner, chances are I’ll be bringing them along.

I waited for the right moment before running into the middle lane to get this. It was… exciting. Perhaps a bit more exciting than I anticipated… but, I grabbed it, then stopped at a little local market to get some goodies to gnaw on while driving back home…

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/10668747_AuyBk/1575199219_Mqswz

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

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

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

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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