New Print Available – The Mysteries and Adventures of the New Year
Art collectors and fans rejoice! This great new Limited Edition Numbered Print is now available entitled “The Mysteries and Adventures of the New Year“. It’s so pretty and one of my favorites. I took it in Indonesia after patiently waiting through a heck of a bad storm at this ancient temple. Sometimes, if you wait through the storm just long enough, a perfect and dramatic sunset can appear. Even better, you’ll be able to enjoy it by yourself because most everyone else will be huddling inside, trying to avoid the storm.
Also, remember that every print is unique and has its own number. You can purchase now from our partners at Really Big Canvas. You can also shop more around that site — Mother’s Day is quick approaching!
Daily Photo – The Royal Entrance
It took me a long time to get this shot right. In fact, in the upcoming HDR DVD, I try to work on another version of this — a vertical one. No matter what I did, I could not get it quite sharp enough because of some camera shake. This one turned out okay.
This is one of the entry hallways into the amazing Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. Feel free, as with all the photos, to zoom into the maximum resolution version on SmugMug. And yes, I still think SmugMug is very cool and am still using it after three months. For more info, see my SmugMug Review.
Previous Shot from Nearby
I did a post a few months ago called “Dale Chihuly is My Kinda Guy” (follow link for pic), which was shot only a few hundred meters from this place. That’s one of the many cool things about Vegas. Just a few more steps away and you are in a completely different place!
Daily Photo – The Consumer Tube
This is one of the new shopping areas in Las Vegas inside the City Center. At the time I shot this, the mall had just opened and many of the stores had not yet been completed… but the architecture was all in place and it was impressive from so many angles.
While I was there, I saw another dude with a tripod setup. I like seeing other photographers around with tripods… I always give them a brotherly nod of approval.
Charging the iPad Problems
Having trouble charging your iPad? I’ve updated my HyperMac Review a bit with information on how I am using it to keep things charged on the road. My Macbook Pro just ain’t cuttin’ it!
I also have much greater luck when plugging it directly into the wall with the plug that was included. In just a few hours, the iPad is full. The USB connection to my new MacBook Pro just charges it way too slow! I think we have all gotten used to how fast the iPhone charges… and the iPad is just a different beast. I will keep testing the this battery thing and let you know how many charges it can supply… I’ll update the HyperMac review here when I figure it out. Anyway, there are two options for your charging the iPad problems – hope they help!
Daily Photo – Chihuly in Space
I know you guys don’t get tired of the Chihuly pieces, and neither do I! In fact, I like this one so much that I use it as my desktop wallpaper.
Just as much thought goes into lighting these as it does the creation. I always wonder if he has the “lighting scenario” in mind when forming the piece and its colors. Or maybe, it’s just so awesome and naturally formed that it looks good under any kind of light. Heck, it would probably even look good in a 7-11 at 1 AM when all the pasty-lonely people stumble in for a Big Gulp and a Snickers. I can say this because I am often one of those people.
By the way, you all are free to use my images as desktop wallpaper, for fun, on your blogs, etc. That is the beauty of the Creative Commons license. If you are going to use them for any commercial purposes whatsoever, contact licensing at stuckincustoms.com — the team there will take care of you.
Here is another Chihuly from just down the road… I’m sure some of you have been lucky enough to see this beautiful monstrosity in person!
SmugMug Contest Winner Announced!
He has won the fabulous prizes of:
- An Ultimate Version of the Stuck In Customs Textures Tutorial
- and… tuition payment for the new workshop: Vacation with Vanelli!
Daily Photo: Another Chihuly Masterpiece
Isn’t there some point when you can just stop saying “masterpiece”? I mean, isn’t everything he does considered a masterpiece? It’s like there should be a whole new elite lexicon – special words for descriptions, all of which mean “masterpiece” or better.
This gem is at his new gallery in Las Vegas. You just have to go see that place. The people inside were very nice and let me take my time to set up and properly get the light as it truly was. I’m not sure they could figure out what the heck I was doing with my camera and the process! But that’s okay. We kept up good conversation while I was going through my motions… and most of our conversation centered around how much we admire Dale!
Cali and Neal are doing amazing work…
If you subscribe to the free and fun-filled newsletter, you probably have heard me mention Geekbrief.TV several times and what Cali Lewis is up to over there. She uses my art in the background of her shows, and, well, I think they always look amazing. Believe it or not, I can be objective about such matters! Anyway, I was watching a recent Geekbrief.TV episode (see the hi-res too!) and I noticed that they added moving “snow” to one of my images from Whistler, up where they are preparing for the Olympics. The snow looks really great!
In other news, Jeff McCord from the Moxie Mo Show is also using my art in the backgrounds of his video podcasts as well. Fun!
Daily Photo – Laser Vision in Las Vegas
The new Vegas City Center has opened. Isn’t “City Center” one of the most boring names ever for such an awesome place? This was surely a name that was decided upon by a committee. And, this is precisely why you never see a statue of a committee.
Thankfully, the architects that designed this 21st century piece of art where not part of the naming committee. It is clear they had leeway to design something unexpected and beautiful. Howard Roark would be proud.
Thanks for coming to the Chicago Party
I really enjoyed meeting you guys and gals that came. It was a great event and I want to thank you all! We do have a fun photowalk that we will be doing Sunday at 10 AM – meeting in the lobby of the Hotel Sax. Anyone is welcome!
Daily Photo – The Way to the Penthouse
This incredible spot is located at the bottom of the MGM Grand in Vegas. It’s one of those places that you will walk by after a day of visual-overload in Vegas and not even notice! It has taken me some practice, but I try to look at each new room anew, and do my best to bring it back to you!
Facebook Wall Chat on Monday, Dec 21, at 1:00 pm PST
Come join me for a fun chat on Monday! To join,
1) come become a fan of Peachpit on Facebook.
2) post a Question on that page as a comment until the end of the chat.
A few random fans will win a free copy of the book! So come on in…
Drobo Contest Still Going Strong
We have just over 1,000 comments on the Drobo contest. It ends soon, so come spend 20 seconds and enter to win!
Daily Photo – Chihuly is Awesome
I’ve always admired the artist Dale Chihuly. He makes the most outrageous and colorful art in the world. I’d love to learn to blow glass. I saw a great documentary on him in high def about a show he did in Venice… they made all sorts of beautiful things and hung them over the canals. I wish I was there to photograph it! Personally, I think the best way to properly capture the light in these images is with HDR techniques. Other methods of shooting these awesome pieces always come up a bit short, at least, to me.
I shot this a few weeks ago at his new gallery in Las Vegas right in the middle of City Center, which you can see in the background. This is just one shot of many, and I have a lot more jewels from Chihuly to come!
Austin Party in a few days!
Soon to be followed by Chicago and New York, I look forward to meeting you at the Austin Launch Party! The Austin one will be extra-great because there is a combined Photowalk where you can win $500 for the best photo of the Driskill at Christmas!
Remember, you don’t have to buy a book or anything… I look forward to meeting and talking whether or not you buy one… no problemo! It’s a typical low-key Austin artsy event… comon down!
Pre-orders for special packages end in a day – time is running out!
We are taking the special HDR Book preorders here on the site until Dec 6th at midnight. If you want the autographed copy or the one with the limited edition print, that is the only way. We will have to cut off special orders after that so that I can get everything signed and re-shipped out! Now, of course, you can still pre-order from Peachpit, Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble — these are all other options for you if you simply want the book.
Your Home At Christmas? It could be!
The publisher was kind enough to send me an early copy that rolled off the printing press. Everything is gearing up! I know you guys wanted me to peel open the book and show you more of the fabulous insides, but you’ll just have to wait!
Yours truly, freezing in the desert
On Thursday morning, I woke up at 3:45 AM to go catch the sunrise in the high Nevada desert. One of my friends, Cameron Grant, picked me up at 4 AM to drive out into the wild part of Nevada, straight up a mountain, and into sub-freezing weather. We got out of the car, and I was almost instantly encased in carbonite!
While I was shooting and solidifying in 25 degree weather, Cameron was sneaky in the shadows behind me… he took this photo and then sent it to me, right before he is off to Luxor on an HDR adventure of his own. I wish him well!
I’ve always thought the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures are some of the coolest things in the world. I’d love to learn how to blow glass. It always looks dangerous and exotic. I remember when I got my HDTV a few years ago, one of the first shows I saw was when Chihuly was doing this exhibit in Venice. He spent some time in Murano, which is near Venice and a famous place for glass blowing. They made these amazing sculptures then hung them all over Venice. I wish I could have gone there to take photographs of the event!
In other news, I was interviewed yesterday by an extremely nice guy named Victor Cajiao who hosts a podcast called “Typical Shutterbug“. Click there and you can hear my interview. We talk a little about the upcoming book, HDR, do’s and don’t, and this sort of thing. If you enjoyed the show, leave him a comment there — I’m sure he’d appreciate it!
It was a busy day in Vegas (is any day here not?). We went all over creation… thank you for all the suggestions here on the blog and in Twitter!
The first shot below is from the recent expansion from the Venetian shopping area. It’s really beautiful inside and these designers should be given some kind of award! The best I can do here is try to honor their design with good photo of the place. It’s actually quite a difficult venue to capture! I have it from a few angles. There are many other beautiful ones, including one from down below looking up. I’ll be sure to include that at some point in the future!
After this, my friend Andrew Mayne (of WeirdThings.com) recommended that we go to see the Mac King Comedy Magic Show. It was a great recommendation! I have pretty high standards (without being a snob), and this guy was just amazing. Ethan even got pulled up on stage to do all kinds of stuff… he was in heaven. After the finale, we went to meet him and I snapped this photo of Mac and Ethan. Anyway, I also recommend the show. It’s totally hilarious, family-friendly, and the magic is original and amazing.
There is an amazing hallway that connects the The Hotel at Mandalay Bay with the rest of the casino. It’s long and at its end is a cool bar, which is a welcome respite no matter what kind of night you had in Vegas. Actually, I wouldn’t really know since I don’t drink… but, I do like to hang out in them, drink tomato juice, and process photos on my latptop. Yes, this is lame, I know.
I’ll be going to Vegas again in two weekends. I’ve got a list of places I want to visit with the camera… any suggestions?