Our Night Under the Stars

Daily Photo – Our Night Under the Stars

I’m in the middle of a great trip to a ranch in Montana that I’ll never forget.

The nights here are always strange and different.  I’ve only gotten outside a few times to take photos, mostly because of inclement weather.  During the first week or so, the moon so high and bright that it caused everything to get blown out.  That’s no good and makes for a boring night.  Who needs a boring night?

The moon was just about to rise behind the mountains, and the night air was crystal clear. The soft cloud from top left to bottom right is the Milky Way, and it gave the night a nice texture.

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Prismatic Steam in Yellowstone

The Geothermal Genie on Boing Boing

Xeni Jardin and Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing have always been supportive of the site here and are big proponents of Creative Commons. I’m speaking about this subject and more at Wordca.mp in Dallas in a few months, in fact.

Xeni recently ran a story about Iceland being a safe haven for new media, and they used this photo of the genie below.

HDR-Photo

Daily Photo – Prismatic Steam in Yellowstone

The photo above reminded me very much of this one below, which I had yet to release. This is the beautiful grand prismatic spring, which you have probably seen featured here before. This is the same scene from ground level.

Getting to this exact spot is not easy. There is about a one-mile hike to get to this area. The little trail is surrounded by trees, and there is no way to get a clear shot through the trees. So I had to bushwack to get through and then stand on fallen trees that jut out into this broiling lake.

HDR-Photo

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My First Released Painting – Yellowstone on Fire

I’ve been working on this for a small eternity, and I am happy to finally release it. It turned out to be a much different experience than I ever imagined. (It’s not for sale… just a personal experiment…)

The work is just below, and under that are a few zoom-in details of various areas, in case you have further interest. There’s also a bit of a how-to down there.

HDR-Photo

More about the work

Since seeing a painting over the internet is sort of difficult, I have a few zoom-in shots, both directly overhead and from the side with a 50mm prime, in case you are interested in the details.

I have some videos on YouTube where I do these in different ways. ArtRage is pretty good, but this one is PS, where you make an invisible layer on top then use the oilpaint tool (and about 10 brushes) plus a wacom tablet to mix it the paints together. It’s cool because the angle of the brush bristles are the same as the angle of your hand above the tablet!

Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

My goal was to deliver the feeling of a fire and a sunset, one in the same


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I think all the blues turned out really well. I was inspired by, among others, the work of Clyde Aspevig.


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I found the water very hard to perfect. I remixed my paint about 100 times before I got deep colors.


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I did my best to make the edge clouds a mix of fire, clouds, and smoke


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

This signatures ensures that it will be worth more when I am dead


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I repainted the transition clouds time and time again until they felt right. Half my life, it seems, is spent staring at clouds. I did my best to show various layers of clouds in the atmosphere — from the high, wispy, icy clouds to the low, full, clouds of tumult.


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

The canvas gave everything a nice texture… feels and looks good close up and far away


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

I kept trying not to sing “Happy Little Trees” during this bit


Trey-Ratcliff-Painting

This was one of my favorite bits of the work – it came more easily than the rest


HDR-Photo

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The Wall of Fog

Server Upgrades Almost Complete

My sincere apologies that this has taken four days so far.  I’ve got the full team working on it… all in an effort to make things faster and better!  Please be patient, and we’ll see how fast we can get this perfect.

Daily Photo – The Wall of Fog

The morning in Yellowstone had the most unusual weather!

While I was driving in, the Earth-heated river was steaming in the frigid morning air.  It looked incredibly awesome, but I knew it was the kind of thing that was really tough to capture in a photo.  After a bit more exploration and random turns, the road approached a giant wall of solid fog.  I popped out of the car for a shot before getting back in to drive into the wall.  Inside, the morning light was strange when it came in at sharp angles through the trees.  Since I had to drive so slow, I pulled over to the side and took out my pack for a morning hike into the trees…  I have more of those shots to post in the future!

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Beyond the Dome

Internet Trust and Sharing

I catch a lot of flak from other photographers for my views on sharing photography and art on the Internet. That’s okay… by now, most of you know that I don’t mind going against the grain (especially when I am right). This new way of sharing art on the Internet has been expounded upon by Matt Brandon from Digital Trekker – click to see his article. Matt is a really nice guy, and I enjoyed my conversation with him.

Of my many points, I am convinced that legitimate companies do not steal. And just because my stuff is Creative Commons, it does not mean they have commercial rights to it. They simply contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com and work out a deal — our licensing team entertains dozens of emails per week. It clearly works in our situation.

I have put a little video before that I found on Matt’s site on Creative Commons, in case you are not familiar with it…

Daily Photo – Beyond the Dome

This was one of those perfect days where I woke up and had no real responsibilities. I was able to drive aimlessly around Yellowstone to explore places I had never been. I took the road up north and went down as many side-roads as I could. After a bit of driving, and listening to some good audio books, I found this remarkable place.

I have a bunch of other images from Yellowstone. As always, you can just click on that link or the category at the bottom to see more from that location.

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