The Night Before Chinese New Year in London

Sprouting Photographer

We just finished a really fun podcast for The Arcanum over at The Sprouting Photographer. Be sure to pop over there and have a listen!

Daily Photo – The Night Before Chinese New Year in London

Here I am in Chinatown in London around midnight. It was the evening before the Chinese New Year and everyone was getting pretty excited. The next night was to be absolute chaos, but this night things still had a nice electricity in the air.

I also made a little video here of what things looked and felt like… sometimes I record little videos here and there to remind myself. I don't usually publish them because the editing takes so long! So I just kind of save them for myself. It helps when I edit the photo later to remind me of how things felt at the time.

The Night Before Chinese New Year in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

London PhotoWalk Recap!

First announced in the Newsletter?

What? You didn’t already read this in the newsletter? Oh no! Be sure to subscribe for free here!

Not your last chance to win a DJI Inspire Quadcopter!

Even if you were not the Grand Prize winner in London, you can still win by dropping a comment on the YouTube video below. It’s a crazy one where I dressed up like a pilot with Kai in Hong Kong… what a fun guy and fun video!

PhotoWalk Recap!

Here’s a great photo of the crowd before the London photowalk. It’s hard to see me, but do you see that statue of the Holy Crusader holding the Crucifix Sword with +2 to Holy Damage? I’m the little guy just to the left of that standing up on the 2nd level. Thanks Naf Selmani for taking this cool photo before the event!

The Winners!

Thanks again to EVERYONE that came along and entered. I really enjoyed looking at all the photos. I scanned the hashtag everywhere from FB to G+ to Flickr to Instagram to Twitter to Pinterest — you name it! Anyway, here are the winners, and thanks again! If you won, please contact [email protected] to find out how to get your goodies!

Grand Prize winner of the DJI Inspire! Carl Crosby for this amazing shot of the PhotoWalkers on the way to the London eye.

And the following 5 get an unlimited shopping spree of all downloadable products in the Stuck in Customs Store!

More London PhotoWalk goodies

Daily Photo – Tower Bridge

I didn't take this during the PhotoWalk, but I took it the next evening. If you want to see all the photos I turn during the walk, just check the photos above.

As for this one, I had just seen a Very Strange play by myself called The Nether. Whoa that was some weird stuff… Anyway, it put me in a strange mood, and I think it helped me capture this scene!

Tower Bridge

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

London PhotoWalk! Feb 14, 3 PM

Join Me in London for a fun and free photowalk!

The last one we did 5 years ago in 2010 was Absolutely Amazing, and I want to do it again with y’all! I am SO Excited for this event. It will be quite strange to come back from the remote bits of sensory-deprived Antarctica to the opposite-world of sensory-overload London!

If you’ve never been to a photowalk before, no worries. Come, bring a friend or your family, get a camera in everyone’s hands, and yes, mobile phones and things like this are perfectly fine! :) We’ll combine this one with a really fun photo contest, and there are more details on that below.

TWO Grand Prizes! Stuck in Customs Shopping Spree and a DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter!

At first, we were just giving away a bunch of Shopping Sprees inside the Stuck In Customs Store, but now we are also giving away a DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter too!

I absolutely LOVE taking photos with this amazing machine… it’s so cool to use that XBox controller thing to finely control the camera and get compositions that have otherwise always been impossible. Finally, all these years of playing video games has paid off! Anyway, I’m MEGA excited to give it to one of you in London during the PhotoWalk. More details on how to win below! :)

The deets

Google+ Event Page

Facebook Event Page

Hashtag: #TRLondon2015

Time Start: Saturday, February 14, 3 PM

Time End: Probably around 6 PM at a pub where we can all buy drinks, hang out, etc. We can keep on taking pictures in the bar! haha :)

Location: South Bank right outside the National Theatre (Google Map and How to get to the National Theatre)

Location End: Slug and Lettuce Bar – http://goo.gl/djxIMK

Route: http://goo.gl/SwJMRm

Plan: I’ll say hello to everyone and give everyone some artistic and technical goals for the day. I’ll talk through my camera setup and discuss the whole plan for the evening. Then we’ll all walk around like a huge centipede to find our photographic muses for the day! I’ll stop 5 or so times and we’ll all congeal into a slime-mold at which point I’ll set up for a formal shot and talk about my settings, framings, what I’m trying to communicate with the shot, etc. You are ALWAYS welcome to ask me questions any time… Please don’t hesitate! :)

GRAND Prize – 5 Unlimited SIC Shopping Sprees!

Everything in the new Stuck In Customs store that is downloadable can be yours! (A total value of $3,000 USD)

How to Win the Shopping Spree? Take an interesting photo of one or more fellow PhotoWalkers and then post it to any social media channel with the #TRLondon2015 hashtag. Be creative and try new things! Get close, get far, get low, get high (hehe), get interesting subject matter in the background, etc. Have fun with it — you can take and post and share as many photos as you like! Of course, all the time we’ll be taking photos of other things too, the amazing buildings, landscapes, bridges, and the like, but only the photos of fellow PhotoWalkers will be eligible for the prize. I know photographers often really enjoy taking “street photos” of other people but sometimes can be a bit shy or afraid to ask. Well not here, you all have permission…it’s open season! :)

How will I choose the 5 winners for the Shopping Spree? I’ll scan all social media about a week after the event for that #TRLondon2015 tag and choose 5 of the photos that I think are the most interesting! Each winner will get an Unlimited Shopping Spree in the new Stuck In Customs store.

GRAND, Grand Prize – DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter!!!

We are giving away a brand new DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter. This thing is amaze-maze! Imagine 4K video, 12mp camera, real-time pilot app, vision positioning system and so much more! ($2,900 USD value)

How will I choose the winner for the DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter? I’ll look for the same #TRLondon2015 hashtag on social media (see above) and I’ll choose the image that SURPRISES me most! So, a bit tricky there, yes? What will surprise me? I don’t know — that is the very nature of surprises. But I know for sure that one of you will really surprise me with a photo I did not expect… it’s really anyone’s game. And, often times, it is total beginners that surprise me with something I would have never considered… it can be a mobile phone shot, or, well anything!

Photos from the first London Photowalk!

Images from the Trey Ratcliff HDR Walk

Photowalk London

HDR Photo

Some of my favorite photos from London – I can’t wait to get back!

Grey London in ColorIt's so hard to carry a tripod with a big camera AND an umbrella.  The number of ways you can severely pinch yourself must be in the thousands.There is the right-hand-hold-the-umbrella-and-camera-together method.  This keeps the left hand free to zoom, but there is no hand left to secure the ballhead.  So, that only kinda works, but you have to do the strange reach-around.  It's about as much fun as using your left hand to get exactly 45 cents out of your right pocket.Another method is using your neck to secure the umbrella, but that gets out of control very very quickly in the wind.  The last method is usually the one I do -- and that is just to let myself get soaked.  I feel only a tiny bit miserable, but I can sometimes be so focused that I can push that discomfort away while I'm focused on the photography bit.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Approaching London The afternoon yesterday had a typical London rainshower.  But it cleared up just before sunset to reveal magnificent clouds.  I crisscrossed the Thames River many times to find the right light.  After the sun dipped below the horizon, the light finally fell behind Westminster with a delicate palette.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Old London From Above It's a long walk to the top of St. Paul's.  And by long walk, I should throw in that there are a lot of stairs.  But, after you finally arrive, you're greeted by a wonderful view of the city.  As long as you don't have too much of an issue with heights, you'll be in for a treat.Even though I saw all sorts of stuff while I was up there, I enjoyed working on this photo too.  I was able to zoom into 100% and look at all the details and little buildings/bridges/shops once again.  It reminded me of walking around many of them at ground level.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The London Underground - Piccadilly Piccadilly Circus is one of the most popular places in London for tourists.  I don't like to always hit all the obvious places, but, then again, I kind of have to hit the obvious places, yes?  So, when I went to this famous spot, I tried my best to find some interesting angles and compositions.This was a standard HDR shot - five exposures from -2 to +2.  To fix the ghosting problem with the people, I did the same thing I always do!  I think that's on page 2 or 3 of the HDR Tutorial...  (maybe that is the #1 Question about HDR!)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Rainbow over the London Eye Today's shot is of the newly famous London Eye.  It's more than just a ferris wheel.  I can understand why it was so controversial when it was being built.  What proper city would want a carnival-esque attraction right in the middle of it all?  Well, this is no regular ferris wheel.  It's at least four times bigger than most, and each capsule is like a tiny plane.  Sadly, I didn't have a chance to go inside for a ride...   - Trey Ratcliff Find out why here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Sunday Brunch in London I don't know London very well at all.  I can't ever decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing.   It's just a thing, I suppose.  And it's neither nor.While walking through the streets you come across places that you should probably know what they are.  Or maybe you see a charming old pub and you just assume that it's quite famous.  But I don't know.  I can't tell one thing from the next...But I did see this little restaurant one morning.  The outside was covered in ivy and flowers, and this old couple was sitting outside on the bench.  I don't know why I set up for a picture...  it was both mundane and not.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Art Hangar The Millennium Bridge crosses the Thames and terminates here, at the Tate Museum.  They don't like you to take photos in here.  Heaven forbid someone should make art in a museum.I mean really... isn't it insulting?  Who runs the committee at the Tate that decides, "Oh, we mustn't let people take photos in this part of the museum.  They might be making art!  What possible reason would they have?  Quite nefarious, no doubt!"Anyway, I find it insulting how these museums treat me like a child.  I hope they secretly have somewhat empty lives... and perhaps when they are in some ultra-modern part of the museum and prattling on about the hidden meaning of clump of steel and fluff... that they secretly know they are just spouting a bunch of nonsense in a grandiose effort to placate other fakers around them.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Wicked London So, I just got finished watching Wicked in London.  It was a very cool experience.  I would have enjoyed getting a few more shots of the environs and actors/actresses -- maybe next time!  The stage was wonderfully elaborate and fantasy-steampunk.  I didn't expect so much steampunk stuff in my life lately...  - Trey Ratcliff Read the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

From the Streets of London

Enjoying Soundcloud

I’m continuing to add a favorites to My Soundcloud Account… If you’re looking for new music, then maybe you’ll like some of those!

Daily Photo – From the Streets of London

Oh how I want to get back to London again soon for some more photography! Actually, I need to get all over the UK… I’ve been really lame in exploring that part of the world. After all, now that i am a member of the commonwealth here in New Zealand, I gotta get up there to the mother country and do some more exploring, pay my respects to the queen, this sort of thing.

From the Streets of London

From the Streets of London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture22
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Old Londontown

PhotoWalks!

The Austin SXSW PhotoWalk is coming up soon! Check that link for details :)

By the way, remember the great London PhotoWalk? There’s a little recap on that link! :)

Many people took many “behind the scenes shots of the event”. Some interesting ones from Gergio Amiti (5ERG10) and KBTimages.co.uk(uk_photo_art). Just click on the photos below to jump over to their photostreams to see more!

Images from the Trey Ratcliff HDR Walk

Photowalk London

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Old Londontown

Here’s a fun photo I took while crossing the bridge on the way to Westminster Abbey. You’ll also notice it as one of the main shots featured in that video we put up on the StuckInCustoms YouTube video.

A big reason I ended up tilting the photo wasn’t just to be quirky or artsy or whatever, but I felt like I really wanted that cool light fixture in the photo without losing balance. A normal shot ends up with the light and abbey quite prominent, but a lot of “dead space” in the upper left. I don’t know if I explained that right… I don’t mind white space in a shot, but I feel like it should still be balanced.

Old Londontown Thames

Old Londontown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24mm (24mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

London’s Times Square

 

Are you a “Photographer”?

I’m starting to wonder what that word even means any more.  I think there there are over a billion people now that take photos.  But, very few of them would call themselves a “photographer.”  But, that is certainly what they are doing.  Maybe, the them, the word photographer indicates some kind of expertise in the craft of photography, although that is a very grey area too.

To me, the “category” or what you call yourself doesn’t even matter.  Either you enjoy taking photos for yourself or you don’t.  I don’t think it needs a word…  you guys probably know I don’t get caught up in categorizations…

Daily Photo – London’s Times Square

London’s Piccadilly Circus is a treasure trove of angles and compositions for all photographers.  It doesn’t even matter if you formally call yourself a “photographer” or not, because I think anyone even with a mobile phone would be busy snapping photos.  It’s really wild to see, actually.  It’s like a non-stop photowalk with random people, everyone taking photos in every direction… and I think this trend will continue.

London’s Times Square London’s Piccadilly Circus is a treasure trove of angles and compositions for all photographers.  It doesn’t even matter if you formally call yourself a “photographer” or not, because I think anyone even with a mobile phone would be busy snapping photos.  It’s really wild to see, actually.  It’s like a non-stop photowalk with random people, everyone taking photos in every direction… and I think this trend will continue.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Old London From Above

New Show – Subscribe Now

The podcast of the latest show should come out today.  You’ll get it first if you are subscribed at http://twit.tv/tvh or iTunes Link: goo.gl/ZAKd8.  And tell your friends!

This most recent show was a little bit different…  a conversation with another artist outside of the realm of photography that is very influential to me.

Daily Photo – Old London From Above

It’s a long walk to the top of St. Paul’s.  And by long walk, I should throw in that there are a lot of stairs.  But, after you finally arrive, you’re greeted by a wonderful view of the city.  As long as you don’t have too much of an issue with heights, you’ll be in for a treat.

Even though I saw all sorts of stuff while I was up there, I enjoyed working on this photo too.  I was able to zoom into 100% and look at all the details and little buildings/bridges/shops once again.  It reminded me of walking around many of them at ground level.

Old London From Above It's a long walk to the top of St. Paul's.  And by long walk, I should throw in that there are a lot of stairs.  But, after you finally arrive, you're greeted by a wonderful view of the city.  As long as you don't have too much of an issue with heights, you'll be in for a treat.Even though I saw all sorts of stuff while I was up there, I enjoyed working on this photo too.  I was able to zoom into 100% and look at all the details and little buildings/bridges/shops once again.  It reminded me of walking around many of them at ground level.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Entering the Chunnel

Art.com Feature

Pop over to Art.com and check out the front page – does that guy look familiar?

SOPA / PIPA – Why I’m Against It

I think that we, the architects of the internet, are able to create bottom-up solutions for current and future problems. A good example of this is Creative Commons, and here I am at Google talking about how it affects “piracy” in my world of digital photography.  Jump ahead to the 11 min mark, when I start talking about this subject in particular.

Daily Photo – Entering the Chunnel

I remember the day as a kid I first heard about the Chunnel (the famous tunnel that connects England and France).  I wanted to go through it as soon as I could!  Well, it took a long time but eventually it happened.

I bought the tickets ahead of time and was sure to get to the station in London to take photos ahead of time.  I love all train stations – old and new.  Even the new train stations in London have sort of an old feel… it’s hard to explain.

When I was on the train and we left the station, I decided to turn on the GPS on my Android.  I’ll never forget it.  I saw my little dot ripping across the English countryside.   It was so awesome.  And then it disappeared when we hit the water.

Entering the Chunnel I remember the day as a kid I first heard about the Chunnel (the famous tunnel that connects England and France).  I wanted to go through it as soon as I could!  Well, it took a long time but eventually it happened.I bought the tickets ahead of time and was sure to get to the station in London to take photos ahead of time.  I love all train stations – old and new.  Even the new train stations in London have sort of an old feel… it’s hard to explain.When I was on the train and we left the station, I decided to turn on the GPS on my Android.  I’ll never forget it.  I saw my little dot ripping across the English countryside.   It was so awesome.  And then it disappeared when we hit the water.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Wicked Show

FlatBooks on Google+

I made a Flatbooks Google+ page with all the details of the free eBook. But maybe some of you have already seen this… if not, enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Wicked Show

I was in a hangout the other night with Chee Chew from Google, and, somehow, the topic of musicals came up. It turns out that he’s a huge fan of musicals and he saw Wicked here in London also. I would have never taken that guy for a big fan of musicals… and I suppose there are many lurker-musical fans out there… are you one of them? It’s okay… you can admit it… you’re amongst friends here :)

The Wicked ShowI was in a hangout the other night with Chee Chew from Google, and, somehow, the topic of musicals came up. It turns out that he's a huge fan of musicals and he saw Wicked here in London also. I would have never taken that guy for a big fan of musicals... and I suppose there are many lurker-musical fans out there... are you one of them? It's okay... you can admit it... you're amongst friends here :)- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Walking Through London

All calm in London, I assume

There was all that media stuff about a month ago… and I know we have many people here that are from London. I guess they would be good people to ask how things are there… I assume the media scared a lot of people and whatnot…but I wondered what the current situation was like.

Daily Photo – Walking Through London

There are many nice things to see and do all over… It’s one of those cities that when you’re doing one thing — you’re pretty sure that you are missing something else! And it’s that same way with this fleeting sunset… the light was great almost everywhere… and I did run around quite a bit to see how many compositions I could squeeze into the fleeting time. My friend Scott Kublin was with me, running up and down the other side of the street while I was on this one.

Walking Through LondonThere are many nice things to see and do all over... It's one of those cities that when you're doing one thing -- you're pretty sure that you are missing something else! And it's that same way with this fleeting sunset... the light was great almost everywhere... and I did run around quite a bit to see how many compositions I could squeeze into the fleeting time. My friend Scott Kublin was with me, running up and down the other side of the street while I was on this one.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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