Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

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Dead Tired in London

Non-Profit is not Non-Commercial

By the way, some people brought this up in yesterday’s post about the Austin Airport Not Support Artists. Not that the Ausitn Airport is a non-profit… but it did spawn a good opportunity to talk about this, since I think it will be helpful to people that are interested in licensing.

We do a lot of licensing… and I mean a lot… we handle dozens per week, and sometimes a lot more. It generates significant income from all sorts of licensees, so we have a lot experience in this area. Since all my work is Creative Commons Non-Commercial, many people think, “Oh, well that means non-profits can use it for free!” And this comes across in many emails.

However, we still charge non-profits full price. Non-profit does not mean non-commercial. Non-profits are still money-making organizations that can have significant revenue and significant expenses (often in the millions). Many non-profits want to use my imagery on websites, brochures, advertisements, and the like to generate revenue for the company. They then use these revenues to pay expenses like salaries, cars, food, air travel, and whatever other business needs. I consider buying image advertising rights to be on par with all the other expenses.

Daily Photo – Dead Tired in London

I really over-scheduled myself on this day.  It started out early and was 100% full of photography activity!  I don’t remember having a spare 5 minutes just to sit there and zone out…. I do try to plan a little zone-out time, but this day I didn’t.  I kind of build my day like I was playing an RTS game, making sure I never had any idle workers.

After I got off the tube at Marylebone station, I exited into this scene. This is the little area I crossed every day to get from the tube into my hotel. It looked so perfect in the rain that I just had to take a photo…even though I was dog-tired.

Dead Tired in London I really over-scheduled myself on this day.  It started out early and was 100% full of photography activity!  I don't remember having a spare 5 minutes just to sit there and zone out.... I do try to plan a little zone-out time, but this day I didn't.  I kind of build my day like I was playing an RTS game, making sure I never had any idle workers.After I got off the tube at Marylebone station, I exited into this scene.  This is the little area I crossed every day to get from the tube into my hotel.  It looked so perfect in the rain that I just had to take a photo...even though I was dog-tired.- Trey Ratcliff Read more, including a discussion on the difference between nonprofit and noncommercial, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Austin Airport Not Supporting Artists

Austin Airport Not Supporting Artists

This one angers me… especially since I am supposed to live in a city that respects and supports artists. Anyway, you won’t believe this story…

So, I was coming through the Austin airport many weeks ago, and in the PRIME spot at the bottom of the escalators is a huge light-up photo display. Inside, I saw a photo that looked HDRish and so I went over to investigate. Down in the corner, it said simply “photo by mapaolini.” So, I recognized that “name” because Mike had taken one of my workshops back in a 2010.

About a month later I saw Mike at the Austin photowalk during SXSW and congratulated him on getting his art up in the airport. He said, “What?”

HDR PhotoAnd so then I got very very interested. After my most recent trip to Florida, I took this photo with my iPad while waiting for my baggage and sent it to Mike so he could see! We then got into a big email conversation while I was trying to figure out what happened… it was pretty much immediately obvious to me, but I wanted to see if my suspicions were correct.

So, get this:

  1. Mike was never informed that his photo was in the airport
  2. Mike was never paid a dime (placement like this should be worth several thousand dollars to the artist, especially if they are going to use it for many months)
  3. Mike’s name is not even correct in the corner of the photo.  His name is not “mapaolini” – that is his Flickr codename!
  4. They made the WORST CROP EVER.  See his original Flickr photo!

Any one of those things is annoying — but all of them together are just embarrassing for the airport and the city of Austin.

Mike did some detective work and called the airport, who said they got it from the Austin Tourism Bureau.  They said this is considered Non Commercial.  HORSE MANURE.  Is all art in the airport non-commercial?  Does no one get paid?  How much did they pay for that huge bronze of Barbara Jordan (who looks like she is waiting on her baggage)? How much did they pay for those gut-wrenchingly awful paintings above the checkin counter for American Airlines?

It’s an insult to Mike, and, by extension, to all photographers and artists in Austin. They know what they did, and I think it’s pretty lousy…

Daily Photo – High-Tech Dining in Beijing

Beijing has some of the funkiest restaurants in the world! I think that some of the interior designers and architects really take some risks to do all sorts of things with lighting, textures, and styles. It doesn’t always work, but I  think it works pretty well here.

This restaurant was right next to the opera (see my blog post on “Amazing Opera Discovery in Beijing“). This was also built inside one of the old imperial bans in this old sector of Beijing.

High-Tech Dining in Beijing Beijing has some of the funkiest restaurants in the world!  I think that some of the interior designers and architects really take some risks to do all sorts of things with lighting, textures, and styles.  It doesn't always work, but I  think it works pretty well here.This restaurant was right next to the opera (see my blog post on "Amazing Opera Discovery in Beijing").  This was also built inside one of the old imperial bans in this old sector of Beijing.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

And, below is the photo that was taken next door at the opera just after the amazing dinner.

The Peony Pavilion at The Imperial Granary I was invited to go see a very special event here in Beijing.  There is an old area that has the ancient Imperial Granaries that date back hundreds and hundreds of years.  One of these has been converted to an intimate opera house.  They bring in some of the best opera actors from all over China to perform here.If you haven't seen a Chinese opera, you are in store for something totally original!This particular performance was called The Peony Pavillion, which was written during the Ming dynasty and is a love story about all kinds of crazy mythical stuff that I don't want to spoil for you.  But it's really a must-see if you are into unique forms of entertainment.  And you do feel a bit like a time-traveller, watching a scene from hundreds of years ago.Even more interesting, there is a trendy and delicious restaurant next door.  Everyone eats together and has a wonderful leisurely meal before meandering over next door to enjoy the opera.  It's a great experience!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Magic Bullet PhotoLooks Review

New Review – PhotoLooks

I’ve been working on the PhotoLooks Review here, and now it is finally ready for release!  If you decide to grab it, the team there said my readers can use the code  STUCK20 to save 20%.  Or, you can just grab a trial at: Red Giant Software – Magic Bullet PhotoLooks.

It’s very easy to use, but I don’t want to steal all the thunder from the full review.  I’ve included a ton of photos and samples so you can get an idea.  I’ll put a few of them here below and link each one to the review.  Some of these are photos that I worked on in the Webinar and then put a finishing “touch” on in PhotoLooks.

PhotoLooks Review

Above is a good example of the interface and power.  To the left are a bunch of different preview thumbnails.  I found one called “Unbloom”, clicked on it, and then it very quickly rendered the big version of it to the right.

PhotoLooks Review

Above, you can see the detailed control panel appearing on the right whenever the mouse moves over to that side of the screen.  As opposed to the left side of the screen, this is where you can add even more granular effects to your creation.

PhotoLooks Review

Above is the effect of the “Miami” filter, which is the same filter you see on CSI: Miami when that soulless redheaded detective says something campy like, “Looks like what we have here…[dramatic pause as sunglasses are whipped off]…is a ceramic cat that’s got himself one hell of a hairball.”

The Unknown Land

New YouTube Channel – What do you want to see live?

Come subscribe to my YouTube Channel! We’ve just been upgraded to a full YouTube partner, which is pretty exciting. It means we can do live shows and stuff… so let me know what you’d like to see live, and maybe we can plan something for the future. I don’t have a lot of time, but I’m always up for experimentation.

Daily Photo – The Unknown Land

After a while, my boat driver thought I was insane. We started before the sunrise and kept going, and going, and going, and going… he kept giving me the international head movement for “we really should be returning for a spot of tea,” but I kept motioning him further up the river.

To me, the river got most interesting when we saw no more people, except for the occasional fisherman that still had remote hut for his family along the river. I had plenty of battery power, amazing music on my iPod, a full array of snacks, a ton of drinks, and nothing to do for the rest of the day and night… so I was perfectly content just going until our gas tank reached 50%. And that took a long time… and who would want to stop with views like this around every other turn?

[And yes, this was made with effects from my textures tutorial, in case you were wonderin’]

The Unknown Land

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Gaudi Cheesecake Factory


New Newsletter Soon!

I’m working on a new newsletter that should come out soon… we have a cool new review and other goodies inside. We send out about one every month or so, and we put a ton of pretty photos in there… they are great fun to forward around to your friends and family so they can see what they are missing!

On average, our newsletter have a 125% open rate, which is pretty amazing. I think this is because people get them and forward along to other interested parties. Thanks so much! I never really thought newsletters would be so popular, but I’m glad they are… thx for letting me into your inbox!

Newsletter Sample

Want to see what it looks like? Here is Newsletter #21, one that went out a few months ago… it’s a pretty good example of what you’ll get soon.

Suggestions?

Do you guys have any suggested newsletters that you receive on a regular basis? I figured that the interesting group of people that come here have some various interests that might have cool newsletters attached to them.

Daily Photo – The Gaudi Cheesecake Factory

I was stuck doing handheld shots all over this awesome Gaudi house because the PR staff would not let me use a tripod. They also said I was not allowed to post any photos of the house on my blog. I told them this was absolutely ridiculous and of course I would post photos on the blog. They said it was not ridiculous and I should really listen. I then said, “But everyone else is here taking photos and posting on Facebook and Flickr!, right?” And they said, “Oh, well, they shouldn’t be doing that either.”

Anyway, I just don’t deal well with that kind of insanity… I found this place to be quite beautiful, and I wanted to share it with you anyway. If you want to see it yourself, visit the CASA BATLLÓ in Barcelona. Oh, I know…. PR team at Gaudi… this is so terrible… #1 Travel Blog in the world showing a beautiful photo of your property and encouraging people to go… This really is as horrible as you imagined.

The Gaudi Cheesecake Factory I was stuck doing handheld shots all over this awesome Gaudi house because the PR staff would not let me use a tripod.  They also said I was not allowed to post any photos of the house on my blog.  I told them this was absolutely ridiculous and of course I would post photos on the blog.  They said it was not ridiculous and I should really listen.  I then said, "But everyone else is here taking photos and posting on Facebook and Flickr!, right?"  And they said, "Oh, well, they shouldn't be doing that either."Anyway, I just don't deal well with that kind of insanity... I found this place to be quite beautiful, and I wanted to share it with you anyway.  If you want to see it yourself, visit the Casa Bastilo in Barcelona.  Oh, I know.... PR team at Gaudi... this is so terrible... #1 Travel Blog in the world showing a beautiful photo of your property and encouraging people to go...  This really is as horrible as you imagined. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at stuckincustoms.com.

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