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Two new eBooks - One is Free!

I have an AMAZING new eBook now available for you Canon shooters on Flatbooks.com, which is our new ebook site. It's called "Killer Tips for getting the most out of your Canon camera". It's written by the famous Joseph Linaschke, and it's over 100 pages of pure greatness. Look, honestly... I thought my own eBooks were pretty thorough, but Joseph has set a new bar of excellence with this thing.



And if you want the FREE eBook, one of my own works called "10 Principles of Beautiful Photography", simply sign up for free for the Flatbooks.com Newsletter there on the right side of the website. By now, you realize that I don't send out many emails... maybe one every four or six weeks... I try to save up the awesome stuff in a good email digest. Anyway, when you sign up, you'll get a link to that free eBook.

Speech at Adobe HQ in California - You are invited!

Adobe has opened this speech up to the public, and you are all invited! I'll be talking about the future of photography, post-processing, awesome things, HDR, and some other unconventional topics. The talk is on Feb 24 at 1 PM PDT in the Park Auditorium at 345 Park Ave in San Jose. There is more information on the Adobe Distinguished Lecture Series page.

Free PhotoWalk at SXSW in Austin

My travel schedule was too crazy last year around SXSW, but this year has allowed me to do a bit of planning! This PhotoWalk is totally free... and it's just a pure celebration of photography and creative fun. We'll have prizes and other sorts of fun activities. Never been to a PhotoWalk, no worries! Most people are newbies and you'll meet other kind and affable photographers there.

I'll have the specifics up soon on our Facebook Stuck In Customs Page and on the blog. I hope to see you there :)

Did you try the new Slider and Multiple Effects?

I'm glad you are enjoying 100 Cameras in 1! In the beginning of January, we made a major upgrade to the app that allows you to adjust the intensity of the effect using the slider bar, which you can see below. Also, you can now add multiple effects to an image. Here's a great tip: Start with one of the black and white effects, and then add more effects on top of that. You'll get something pretty cool.

Top 10 of All Apps - New Updates Coming!

The app hit the top 10 overall. We were only a few slots from Angry Birds, but did not take them down. But, there's always hope... hehe... We've had a very long run in the top 25 overall, and held out at #1 in the Photography category for weeks. Anyway, this is a huge accomplishment in an app store with over 350,000 apps, and I thank YOU for your support, telling your friends, and all that good stuff. It matters. I'm convinced that YOU are the reason we are doing so well.

See that photo above and to the right? That will be possible with the upcoming Version 2.1 update that we just submitted yesterday. We're just waiting on Apple to approve. There are many things with this update, but maybe one of the biggest is we've doubled the resolution of all the texture effects and re-mastered several of them. One of them, for example, which was kind of lame was the old "3 A.M." effect. We had a minor breakthrough and now it does something most incredible (and somewhat unpredictable) to your photo. That's what you see above to the right. Most of the time, it gives everything a sepia color while only allowing the reds to remain. A cool effect!

And yes, Version 3.0 is in the works. Wait until you see what we have planned! That upgrade will also be free... thanks for all the great feedback and the good iTunes store reviews. They help the cause!

Topaz InFocus Review

Check out my full Topaz Infocus Review. It's the latest from that company, and you can grab it right from Topaz Software. I think it's been many moons since I posted a new software review. I do try tons and tons of software, but I only review stuff I actually use. It keeps things simple, and I figure you don't have a lot of time to read reviews anyway. I could write up big reviews of all the stuff I don't like and I don't use (e.g. the Promote Control - I don't like using that thing... but that's just me... I know others do and that's cool). Anyway, that is a bit of an aside there...

High Dynamic Range Photo

A personal note...

Yes I know the newsletter normally has all the "cool stuff" that is unannounced or the items you might have missed because you were busy with real life. But maybe you want to hear some personal thoughts? I don't put it all on the blog... but I will here. I figure that if you get this email then you and I are probably kindred spirits of a sort.

It's been a crazy year so far. Getting the "100 Cameras in 1" finished and into the app store was a dramatic episode in our young history. Many of you know that I graduated with computer science, so I've always had an interest in programming and software design. It was basically me and one other guy that would meet week after week here in Austin. We'd have long breakfasts, coffees, and sit-down sessions at Dunkin' Donuts, working out all the bits and pieces. I did the design and he did the programming. We did countless iterations, threw away work, restarted old ideas again, and everything in between. And then, the thing comes out and gets in the top 10. We still can't believe it! It was kind of a risk to do this thing... it costs as much as a small German luxury car to get the app built. And you know... I'm sitting there thinking... "hmmm, college fund for the kids or an app? Well... our kids seem pretty sharp maybe they can get a scholarship or somethin' like that." Well, maybe there was more thought that went into it... but I'm happy it all worked out.

So, I'll continue to try new things, and we keep most everything (98% or so) of the stuff on Stuck In Customs for free. It seems to work out just fine. 2% of people find a way to give back, and that is more than enough with the traffic we have. You'll notice we don't have any ads on the site (ever thought about that??? hehe), because I think they are ugly. There's enough ugly stuff in the world... that's why I like everything the team does on the site to be pretty and awesome. To me, life is too short not to be awesome, or at least to give it a good shot.

I've got just over 40,000 unprocessed photos, and I have a bunch of fun new photo-adventures planned this year. So, never fear, I'll keep churning out cool stuff to share with you. As I come upon happenstance discoveries, you'll be the first to know. Anyway, thanks again...truly. I'm not sure how I ended up getting your support, but I certainly appreciate it. If you've read this far, then I think we are certainly simpatico in many ways.

Other Updated Reviews

I've got a ton of reviews on the site, and I usually put up reviews before they are quite complete. I just like to get the basics up there, and then add to it over time. In that light, I've been adding more meat to some stuff. Recently, I've updated the Photography Gadgets, the Topaz Adjust review, and the Nikon 14-24 review with new goodies.

Announcing the Roku Stuck In Customs Screensaver!

Sometimes I save the most awesome stuff for the end of the newsletter!

The team at Roku has partnered with Stuck In Customs to bring you an amazing screensaver to your home television! It's both a channel where you can look at all the photos in stunning hi-def and a screensaver. It's live, so we can always add new photos and fresh content. Don't know what a Roku is or want to learn more? See our Roku Channel Page!



Did you miss the previous newsletters? Here is a guide:

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Join our fun Facebook Stuck In Customs Page. See you there!

The Best Tweets of the Recent Past

In case you don't follow me on Twitter, then I have assembled some of my most popular tweets below. If you are new to twitter and looking for other good people to follow, see my Great Twitter Lists.

  • Amazing cello performance! See these guys do Smooth Criminal! - LINK
  • Hilarious video (with great Typography!) ... making fun of ppl that leave idiotic reviews enjoy @Abduzeedo - LINK
  • Holy Electron Photography Batman! Look at these freaky things... I need to salt my skin more. - LINK
  • "it is better to travel well than to arrive." - Buddha "But don't eat all your Toblerone in the first hour of the flight" - Trey
  • "Make it Better" - Amazing artistic video w typography by artists Sebastián Baptista & Climent Canal - LINK
  • Science just proved it takes 37 muscles to make a sad emoticon and only 22 to make a happy emoticon.
  • This smart high-speed photographer, Edward Horsford, dyed the water before he popped the balloons: - LINK
  • Just got back from the movies... yes, I spent my New Years Eve watching Natalie Portman masturbate for 2 hours.
  • Why 3D Doesn't Work and Never Will - great article link today at Thx @Brainpicker - LINK
  • A TINY camera DSLR! Hide it inside the palm of your hand! from @mistercharlie @wired - LINK
  • RT @shwood: this putt-putt shot is, without doubt, the greatest in history: (thx andynewman) - LINK
  • My 4-year old daughter, Isabella, just said, "I love you in all of the days we are going to have."
  • RT @petapixel: Create a shaped bokeh lens cap: - LINK
  • RT @guykawasaki: Slow motion water sculptures [video] - LINK
  • AMAZING photographer & artist named Maisie Crow - see her sad but incredible work Thx @egtweet - LINK
  • Here are some Landscape photos made out of FOOD. Thx to Dave Walker from our FB page for the link! - LINK
  • It is important to have small mysteries in your art. This allows people fill in those gaps with their truth.
  • Hilarious! Did you guys see Natalie Portman laughing at the Golden Globes? - LINK
  • Finding out about Santa Claus is a child's first M. Night Shyamalan moment.
  • My latest works... Forward and share!

    To see more and get some inside scoop, just come on over to StuckInCustoms.com! :)

    Thanks from Trey!

    StuckInCustoms.com is the photographic work and fun and life and everything of Trey Ratcliff. Actually, this is Trey writing about this in third person. Both Trey and I appreciate your support very much!

    More importantly, thank you for sharing the newsletter with your friends and family. We try to keep it as pretty as possible to make inboxes more beautiful. People like to forward along pretty emails with nice photos, yes? So make it so ! This tactic in the past has helped the newsletter audience grow wildly around the world, so thank you!

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