The Continental Club on South Congress in Austin

Here is the next in the series of my collection of the classic spots around Austin. I actually shot this on the same night that I took the Austin Hotel shot. You can probably see a similarity in the deep blue sky that we had just after dusk that evening.

People always look at me suspiciously when I set up the tripod for a major shooting event. I’m sure that if you use a tripod that you end up with the same reaction. It’s typically 90% confusion and 10% wonder. Either way, I tend to just ignore everyone, like I’m playing a game and they are NPCs milling around.

High Dynamic Range Photo

  • Ratcliff you are such a nerd….NPCs…I absolutely love it!

    When I’m bored at work I sometimes sit looking at people wondering which part of their facial features I’d accentuate with photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools…totally nuts!

    ha ha!!

    All the best,


  • Like NPCs – I really had to laugh out loud when I read it!
    Perhaps I should try this psychological trick as well. I already get suspicious looks as soon as I pull out my DSLR…
    Anyway – another great photo here!


  • Yeah, people definitely react strange to a DSLR, and especially when one has long little legs attached to it! I just ignore them, too. Though, can’t say I imagined them as NPCs before. Creative! Very nerd-comedy.

  • Gail Moshier

    LOL, to all the above comments. I assume NPC means non-photo something? That’s not one of the shortcuts I’m familiar with, lol. Love the photo today, such warm colors!!!! Makes me want to come to Austin and see all these places. Maybe they will have one of the Air Base Reunions there that we are attending in Vegas this month. But they only occur every two years. Last post for a while, unless I am able to get online at relatives or at the Sahara in Vegas. Might sneak in some time there. They probably don’t have public computers as most people have their laptops with them. Have a wonderful October until we return. Hope those in the northern hemisphere get to experience some beautiful fall colors!!!!

  • Jacques

    Love the NPC comment. Gotta admit I have never thought of that before, but now I WILL look at all those folks as meaningless non-player characters! Maybe that will help me get away with whipping out the tripod in churches here in Europe, unless they start rushing me from their NPC spawn site! Out damn bots!

  • hehe – yes – wow I didn’t think the NPC would strike such a chord!

  • Facebook User

    Love the rich colors here, and the detail is incredible (as always!).

    I have found myself IRL wanting to whip out Photoshop just to improve what I’m seeing. That’s a bit scary, dontcha think? Like Peter Sellers in Being There, trying to remote control reality. I so get that.

  • casusan

    Oh wow! Love the colors in this – super good night shot!

  • Wow, guess I’m getting old….have no idea what an NPC is! Then again, I am not a gamer πŸ™‚ I’m assuming its a gamer thing….

    Yeah, I get that feeling a bit as well, then sometimes assume I can just hand hold a 5 exposure rapid fire exposure, only to be quite dissapointed in post. Garbage in, well, garbage out!

    Nice work as always πŸ™‚

  • Roberto

    The NPC reference brought back lots of memories. Being a photographer does feel like a game sometimes. Waiting for the right light sometimes feels like camping a mob for your epic. I sometimes wish I could FD to make people ignore me. Sometimes wish I could mez my subject or charm my animals to make them stand still.

  • PhotoKaki

    NPCs mean Non-playable Characters, that just supports your game character in a game story, much like supporting casts in a movie.

    REally liked how you described them. I do get looks when I whip out the DSLR. Maybe I should think of them just like you did. Cheers!

  • Yes, I’ve also noted a tripod can be a bit sinister. Even Ken Rockwell states that tripods are obsolete (and he’s never wrong).

    Thanks to you, I now keep in tripod in my trunk at all times and I’m a toddler to HDR. In fact, when I grow up I want to be just like you (oh, I am grown up, just experiencing a 2nd childhood thanks your images and my new obsession). A long way to go for me, but practice makes perfect.

    If time permits, is this proper usage of one of your images:

    I love this photo or yours, but will replace it with my inferior shot of the same if not?

    Caption Reads: “Bellagio Lobby Ceiling – HDR Photo, Creative Commons License – courtesy Trey Ratcliff, Stuck in Customs” (hypelinked)


  • I just had the similar experience when using the tripod standing by the street last week! I guess it was late night in BKK and normally setting up a tripod was already getting the look at, but setting it up in the right up to the street, just 2 feet away from the cars and just keep shooting sure get a lot of… what is he doing, look from the passer by in the car. But hey, just like NPCs they come and go with a smile on their face πŸ™‚ Oh, yea Thailand is land of smile, I’m sure you know that Trey πŸ˜›

  • You’re making me homesick! This image feels like its 2am at the Continental Club. πŸ™‚

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