New Video Tomorrow!
We posted a behind-the-scenes video a few days ago, and a new one is coming tomorrow. You can see previous ones on the Videos page.
Updated Woopra Video Review (Thanks London!)
I recently updated my Woopra Review, which is a cool real-time analytics tool for your website or blog. I recommend it! You can try it for free and be up and running in just 10 minutes after a visit to the Woopra site.
Daily Photo – Ripping Through the World
I know everyone has their own various tastes for HDR, and mine is all over the map! Sometimes I really feel artsy and go crazy with one, like this car below. It’s hard with awesome cars… because the reflectivity in HDR is so off the map.
I’ve been meaning to get to one of those high-end car shows and go crazy with my tripod. I’ve heard the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach is really one of the best in the world… but maybe you all know of some other stellar car shows you can recommend?
Mega-Photowalk During SXSW? How about March 13
Yes, I am thinking about putting one together based on a series of very enthusiastic requests! I don’t have anything formally planned yet, but some pieces are coming together. I know we have people coming to Austin for SXSW from all over the world. If we hold it, it will be around sunset on Saturday evening, March 13 (it was March 14, but I understand now the Austin Photography Group meets that evening). So… pencil in the 13th !
We might even have a little contest of sorts… see who can get the most interesting Austin evening / SXSW / party / social / or Austin-y shot!
Daily Photo – The Beautiful Airport in Kuala Lumpur
Ahhhh… Asian airports. I really love them. They all remind me, for some reason, of these clean-white scenes from the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The architecture in these places is inspired and the textures are impeccably chosen. I literally cannot help myself from taking photos. Whenever I walk through them and I compose a scene with my eyes, I am compelled to get out my camera and tripod and shoot away.
And yes — this is a common question I get on Twitter and all over the place. I always carry my tripod on the plane. I’ve never had a problem except for one international flight, when they told me it was a few inches too long. Now, this might have been a fluke because I have a big tripod. I’m just sayin’.
We are just starting an amazing HDR workshop down here in Austin. It won’t be the same as being there, but a DVD will be available soon after, so be sure to sign up for the free newsletter so you can find out first!
The Austin workshop ended up being a fairly exclusive event, and we priced it at $1,000 per attendee. I knew it would be popular and that there was an enthusiastic group of people out there, but I did not expect the whole thing to sell out in 11 minutes (after crashing the StuckInCustoms server for 30 minutes after it became available!)! I’m excited the date has finally arrived and I am very excited to teach people, make new friends, and do my best to take their photography to the next level.
My other workshop next weekend with Scott Bourne in Florida is also sold out! There may be last-min cancellations, so watch for that. That will be a fun event and I look forward to meeting a bunch more people and sharing this new sport with them.
People always ask about potentially doing other workshops. I have no immediate plans, except perhaps one in New Zealand next month.
Appearance on Sunday night at BookPeople
On Sunday evening, come to BookPeople before 7 PM to the Austin Photography Group. Feel free to come by and hear my little talk on HDR. I’m also happy to meet people, sign books, and this sort of thing. Come to the presentation hall on the third floor. See you there!
New Limited Edition Print Available
Every week, we release a new print, and this week’s is One Night in Bangkok. This was shot very soon after I arrived in Thailand. It took me forever to find a good view of the famous Wat Arun. But then, not only did I find the perfect spot, but it happened to be on the deck of a delish Italian restaurant.
Daily Photo – Getting a Bottle at the Bar
What a cool place! This is another one of those photos that just has amazing detail of the incredible decor. It is an underground bar in Kuala Lumpur that I could not stop taking photos inside! As you can see, there are no bad angles in a place like this, so it is very fun to compose.
I’ll have a little challenge that I will give out at the workshop where we all shoot the same subject matter to see who can get the most interesting composition. This bar is a very cool place because there are a ton of interesting compositions, but also some bad compositions. I’m not sure one can actually “teach” composition… but I suppose I can try!
Book Sellouts on Amazon and in bookstores around the world!
“A World in HDR” is almost impossible to get!
Wow! You guys are awesome – thank you so much. I can’t even believe it… After the book was released, it almost immediately sold out on Amazon in the UK (My UK friends are cuuurazy), then Canada, and now in the USA Amazon store. It’s really crazy to sell out on Amazon – so I hardly have enough words to thank you!
Check some of the other stores on my HDR Book page to see where it is still avail – these sites typically update inventory on an hourly basis.
Daily Photo – The Temple Deep in the Caves
Borneo is known for its amazing limestone caves. Just on the other side, over in West Malaysia, there are a ton of the same strange cave structures that twist and turn in unexpected ways through old mountains. This one is called the Batu Caves, and if you walk through it long enough, you end up in the very center of the mountain, where an opening appears high overhead. Deep in this innermost sanctuary lies this unique Hindu Temple.
Some of you may remember that old woman who has never cut her hair (2nd photo below), walking up the stairs to visit the temple every day. I’ve never posted a photo of her final destination until now.
Thanks again for all the interest in the HDR Workshop we announced a few days ago. All sorts of people have come out of the woodwork with great ideas, bonus offerings, and the like. It’s gonna be awesome. The available slots go on sale on Friday morning (right after midnight CST.) From the looks of the first responses for HDR seminar, I think we could get over 100 there! But, I’m only opening 10-15 slots because I want there to be plenty of one-on-one time.
I wrote a short Woopra Review and included a video. What the heck is Woopra? You should know if you have a blog or website! Cali Lewis from Geekbrief.TV told me about it – so a big thanks to her! (watch her show… she’s a member of the Stuck In Customs Community List!)
Okay, here is a great mystery. I know you guys like it when I post a photo and you have to guess where it is. Y’all are so dang smart that you figure it out in just a few hours. This one is harder. I’ll be very impressed if anyone can figure out this humid place. Look at those wonderful trees! Who can believe something so cool is here in Earth…
There is a very cool and swank area of Kuala Lumpur that has a collection of trendy and well-designed restaurants. The whole place is a photographer’s paradise! The only problem is that the entire place is quite dimly lit. But, as you know, I’m a nerd that takes my tripod everywhere, so that doesn’t pose too much of a problem! Well, it does pose a problem when it comes time for dinner and all my gear takes up an entire table. I don’t like to put it in the corner. Nobody puts baby in the corner.
Kuala Lumpur has one of the best Airport-to-city train systems in the world. It’s fast, efficient, and comfy. It stops here at this train station which is always a nice spot for all kinds of activity. All of the girders, struts, and light makes it a good spot for HDR Photography.
Speaking of that, I heard that many of you are over checking out www.HDRSpotting.com. This site has not been officially announced yet, and it’s still in early testing. Many are asking me personally for access, but I don’t control that list of who gets early private invites… (anyway I am indirectly asking that you don’t email me to “get you in”!) hehe… You can sign up, however, and I know they are keeping track of a list. When the formal announcement comes, I’ll describe more in detail what it’s about. Essentially, it’s a new, eye-candy rich gallery that is designed to drive traffic and attention to YOUR website, YOUR portfolio, or whatever site you might wish.
Isn’t this place awesome? It’s a bar on top of a roof of the Trader’s Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It looks out across the new skyline at the Petronas Towers. Malaysia is a pretty hot and humid country, so sometimes it’s not quite so comfy to sit outside. I don’t like to sit outside in muggy conditions… I just don’t. I remember that I played indoor soccer there in Kuala Lumpur on another night and it was one of my top 10 sweaty nights. Afterward, the only way to cool off was to drink about 128 oz of iced carrot-milk. That doesn’t sound very good, but it is.
Also, I’ve gotten a few questions about how to make those videos. I use Screenflow, and I I have a little review there along with a video. It’s a great program — only for the Mac, I’m afraid… but very cool and fun to use.
In completely unrelated news (if you follow my Twitter, you already get these little life-tidbits), my 3-year old daughter Isabella will no longer sleep alone because she is scared of the Burger King after she saw this commercial. BTW, I try to keep my tweets about 34% inspirational art finds from other artists, 33% interesting life tid-bits (and no, I don’t tweet when I am standing in line at a coffee shop), and 33% links to new works/projects of my own.
This was a totally new way of dealing with death to me.
Malacca is a small seaside town in southern Malaysia. It has many Chinese residents, a majority of whom are still quite poor. When the family members die, there is usually very little money to give them a grave in a graveyard, so there are a multitude of shrines and temples in which families erect these miniature tombstones, stacked deep in rows. There are thousands and thousands of them. A photo is attached to each one, and most waste away with time. A few solitary ones remain behind.
In other news, there was a recent interview by the Homebody Blogger that I have been meaning to post. It has the over-the-top title of “Master of HDR Photography, Trey Ratcliff”. Well I don’t know about all that (!), but here is a link to the interview for you.
I spent a few weekends in the Chinese area of Melaka, which is on the southern coast. After it gets dark outside and you walk down the streets, you can always see little glowing lights coming from inside homes that are crammed together in the streets. There is a general clatter of Chinese voices with the clanking and scraping of dinner being made and shared. One of them had the door slightly ajar with a good mood coming out (picked up by my Jacobson’s Organ), so I craned my neck around inside with a smile to see what was happening. I had my camera in plain sight, and it’s always novel for them to see a whitey in this area of town. I gave an international greeting of “howdy”, and then the international sign of “can I take a photo of your interesting living area”, and then I snapped a single RAW for conversion to HDR later.
There are all kinds of interesting things inside if you look close… like a massive amount of eggs for a small home and also the ever-present Milo, which all Malaysians love and have in ready supply.
I checked the Facebook fan club today, which I should do more, and saw that it had broken 1,000 fans! Thanks everyone – that is cool. I am not sure the best thing to do on there yet; I’d like to occasionally do fun things there, like I do on Twitter, for people that like to see real-time updates or behind-the-scenes activity. If you have any ideas, feel free to start up a discussion thread there on the fan site and I’ll be sure to check in to see what I can do to help out!