I took today’s photo with a drone. I also got a lot of video… I’m just kind of collecting cool video from all over the place. At some point, I’ll find time to make a new compilation video of some of these amazing places. Anyway, lock this place into your memory, as you may see it again in a future video! 🙂
Daily Photo – Tuefelsberg, the Devil's Mountain, the cold-war listening station
How cool is this abandoned place? I had never heard of it until our most recent trip to Berlin. There's a hill here that rises up about 80 meters. There's also an abandoned Nazi military-technical college. I bet that was gonna be quite the party school. Anyway, on the very top is this listening station. Now it's been taken over by graffiti artists and there's all kinds of crazy stuff happening inside. It's right out of Fallout. There are creepy people milling about, strange shut-ins, etc – the whole thing is wonderfully post-apocalyptic. You can buy a ticket to get in, but they make you leave (quite forcefully) after sunset.
In this one, I did kind of a fun technique where I took the bottom half of the photo and flipped it horizontally and reflected it. Most of the reason is because there were a ton of tourists and I was too lazy to remove them. The other is that I thought it looked cooler with a fountain on each side. I went in and made a few other smaller changes so the reflection was not perfect.
Daily Photo – Reflections on the Louvre
On the final day in Paris, our bus was pulling out to go to the next destination. Since one of our partners was Flixbus, they liked us to get photos of the bus in all these cool locations. So we stopped here for a moment to get some photos. After those, I ran over here to get a few quick photos of the Louvre. I can't be there and not take at least a few!
I know MOST photographers are too shy or afraid to ask people to take their photos. Don’t be afraid. What’s the worst that can happen? That they say no? If that’s the worst that can happen, I really don’t think that’s so bad, yo.
Daily Photo – Girl in Coffee Shop in St. Petersburg
We really had a great time for our one day, exploring St. Petersburg. At one point, we went to this really trendy and hipster coffee shop. It was so hipster, they almost didn't let hipsters inside. Anyway, I saw this girl sitting in the corner. I asked if I could take her photo, and, in broken English, she responded, “Oh no, please don't. I am too fat.” I told her she was not fat and she was very beautiful. Then she smiled and said okay.
Hey all – what’s the current State of Affairs of my computers and gadgets and goodies? I made a video, but remember you can check out my KIT for a listing of all my goodies!
A Big Thanks
I’ll take this opportunity to send a big thanks to the whole team that helps out around here. There’s a lot of things behind the scenes you don’t see. They all work really hard to make everything happen. Thanks again guys and gals! 🙂
Hehe – they are all great. Here's three of them. That's Tane, my assistant in the front left. Then Olya is on the right, our crazy Russian videographer. They are both kind of like models, so I take a lot of photos of them looking wistfully in various directions. In the back is Seth, our other videographer! I took this in Budapest right before the Hans Zimmer concert.
Drum roll… 100,000,000 HDR photos (actual number!) have been made with Aurora HDR, and now… more dramatic drum roll… The NEWEST iteration of Aurora HDR is announced, and this time it’s launching for PC and Mac at the same time! Yes, finally, all of you Windows people (including me nowadays), can experience the greatness of this software!
It’s now gone through 10 iterations. I can’t spill all the new features yet, but I can say the HDR algorithms are at least twice as fast, there’s a fresh new user interface, lens corrections, and a whole lot more. The Mac and PC versions will be available for pre-order in the Stuck in Customs store on September 12!
Watch this awesome (and silly) video about Aurora HDR 2018!
Mark your calendar for September 12!
Aurora HDR 2018 will be available for pre-order in my store on Sep 12, and released on Sep 28. Current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade at a special pre-order price of $49. New users can pre-order Aurora HDR 2018 for just $89.
Aurora HDR’s Key Features
If you’re new to Aurora HDR, here’s some of the best features!
Total HDR editing experience with the most complete set of tools available
Fast, powerful RAW processing engine
Tone-mapping algorithm to achieve both realistic and dramatic HDR images
Over 70 presets that give photos an amazing HDR look in just one click
Luminosity masking that automatically makes advanced selections within HDR images based on the Zone System
Unique layer system that supports blend modes, custom textures and using original exposures as source images
Image Radiance, brushes, masks, lighting, vignettes and much more help users achieve their artistic vision
Highly versatile batch processing
Works as a standalone app, or a plug-in to Photoshop and Lightroom
A sneak peek into what’s new in Aurora HDR 2018
Lens Correction Tool – The new Lens correction filter easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel to pincushion, to chromatic aberration and vignetting.
New User Interface – Redesigned from scratch, the modern and responsive user interface brings a powerful, yet joyful experience to HDR photo editing.
Cross-platform version – Aurora HDR 2018 will be available both for Mac and PC users. Files are interchangeable and mixed-computer households can share the same product key.
Speed Improvements – Up to 4x improvement in RAW image processing, and up to 200% faster merging and masking performance means that Aurora HDR 2018 is dramatically faster than the last version.
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Here’s a fun video from one of my new friends I met on the European photo walks! Hi Phillip! 🙂
Portugal Travel Tip
If you’re on a limited budget, be sure to check out Portugal! It’s quite inexpensive and extremely beautiful. There are so many places to go see here. The country is much bigger than it looks on a map. I think people think of it as tiny because it looks smallish on the map, with Spain just dominating most of the peninsula. But when you’re on the ground, driving around, etc, you realize how big it is and how much there is to explore.
Daily Photo – In the streets of Sintra, Portugal
What a cool little town this was. We only spent one morning here after visiting the palace, but we had some crazy desserts. I never feel as bad about myself as when I start eating dessert at 10 AM. But hey, it's Europe, and I figure a lot of that sort of stuff happens all the time here.
Plotagraph Review, here is a new one I made right on the iPad. This is based on a digital painting I did several years ago. I wondered what it would be like to animate it, and I’m very happy with the results!
My First Time in Milan
One of my first real solo photo trips was in Italy. I remember REALLY falling in love with HDR photography here in the Duomo. Below is my first photo I took there, which was maybe eight years ago or so…
Daily Photo – Back to the Duomo in Milan
And here's the new one I took about a month ago. They're pretty different eh? I'm not too judgmental on my older work… I try not to think better or worse, but just different. But then one part of my brain thinks the newer one is maybe just a litttttle bit better! 🙂
Note, I was not disappointed with Prague; I’m disappointed I didn’t get more and better photos of it! I was only there from, hmmm, maybe noon until midnight. It was my first time here, and I’ve always wanted to go… so I felt a bit rushed to see as much as possible. I’m probably a bit hard on myself… but I’ll be back some day and take my time! 🙂
Daily Photo – Bridges of Prague
I had a bit of trouble finding the best spot to take photos in Prague because I was there for such a short time. But I think this spot is not so bad. There's a park that's nearby that has an elevated area for looking at all these beautiful bridges. I usually move around a bit more, but this evening, I just parked myself here and watched the world go by.