Merry Christmas from the land of the Free where Tripods are Illegal (but I used one anyway)

Some more goodies for Christmas!

Yesterday, I recommended a bunch of the best iPhone Games and Apps for the holiday season. Now, if you have a fresh new Amazon Gift Card or Kindle and are looking to fill it up, here are some great suggestions. For always-up-to-date list, check out the book section visit the full “Trey’s Book List“.

The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation

by Matt Ridley
I think Matt Ridley is one of the most awesome people on Earth. I really do. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and even got some quotes from him for my book, which you may have noticed. Of his many books, which are all awesome, please start on this one! From Amazon: “Human life, scientific journalist Matt Ridley suggests, is a complex balancing act: we behave with self-interest foremost in mind, but also in ways that do not harm, and sometimes even benefit, others. This behavior, in a strange way, makes us good…”

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson
Oh god this must sound boring – but it is really a wonderful story of everything, even if you are already a smarty pants…you’ll still have an amazing time. From Amazon: “From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations…”

Jacobson’s Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell

Lyall Watson
A fascinating book about an organ we all have that hardly anyone knows about. There’s little doubt that smell plays a significant role in the lives of humans. Jacobson’s Organ, also called the vomeronasal organ, consists of two small pits in front of the nasal septum with nerves feeding directly to the most primitive, limbic area of the brain. Scientists believe that the vomeronasal organ in humans, as in reptiles, can sense large molecules that have no impact on our ordinary sense of smell…

Daily Photo – Christmas at The Rock in the Rain

Beautiful Rockefeller Center in New York has one of the most amazing Christmas displays in the world. It’s famous, and always presents a majestic scene right in front of the ice skating rink.

As soon as the guards see me with a tripod, they come over and escort me away. Damn them! Actually – it’s not their fault – it’s the goddamed lawyers who feed off a tort-happy system. The tripod may trip someone, you see. And then they can file a law suit against the property owner. We increasingly live in a world where you have to second-guess the most natural of actions for fear of being looted by the organized wealth redistribution system of tort-happy lawyers.

Anyway, to spite them all, I kept coming back and setting up my tripod in the thundering rain until I got the shot. Let them try to arrest me some day – I’m obviously a real threat to society as a photographer. It’s amazing how hard we all have to work in the USA, land of the free, to be creative and capture beauty… just another reason I’m Coming to New Zealand, where there are no tort lawsuits!

Christmas at The Rock in the Rain

  • It looks like a vortex from another dimension is opening up to swallow the building. Amazing!

  • Damn Lawyers!!! Trey, I think this is one of your best images!

  • Merry Christmas Trey!!

    This is a beautiful shot! I’ve been to Rockefeller Center at Christmas before, but I was never able to capture this scene from such a vantage point. It has always been so crowded, and I couldn’t figure out from where to photograph.

    Also, just wanted to let you know that I’ve included one of your holiday photos in my “Holiday Lights around the World” gallery on Flickr!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  • Totally worth it way to sick it to the man. I love that, “Oh people could trip on them,” excuse wow what will they think of next!

  • Daniel

    Great shot Trey, damn the man!

  • casusan

    Wonderful shot Trey! Merry Christmas to you and yours and thanks for all the great photos!!

  • I admire your tenacity! I got hassled about half a dozen times while there back in October. I even had 2 security guys jump on me (not literally) simultaneously when I made the mistake of opening the unextended legs of the tripod to put it down while taking this same shot handheld. Apparently, tripods have to be placed flat on the ground while not being used since, in any other orientation, they are a huge threat to public safety. I kept wondering why a stationary tripod was more of a risk than hundreds of milling tourists who stop suddenly or the large number of small kids running around but I guess, not being a lawyer, I don’t really understand all the implications.

  • Its total crap that they consider tripods as a big threat. Not to forget one of the best las vegas view is from Stratosphere and they do not let you take tripod up. 🙁

    Forgot in this mess one of the finest captures Trey… Probably I would have added a twinkling (star ‘y ) effect to both the lights.

  • Yep, definitely one of your best. Love how the building disappears into the clouds. Great work, Trey.

    And let’s line all lawyers up in a row and shoot them.

  • Mark

    Lovely shot Trey, the story goes well with song that got to #1 in the UK charts. Well done for sticking at it. Merry Christmas!

  • Great shot! It has a mysterious look to it. Merry Christmas!

  • Oh yes, land of the free. Well good thing we had the guys in D.C. come through last night. We know how much they want to preserve our individuality and freedom. Tshh…

    Great image Trey, really like this one.

    I was not allowed to take my tripod into the Infantry Memorial in GA last week. Its sad that I cant take my tripod into a place dedicated to men that fought for our country and its freedom.

  • John Wilkinson

    Thanks for the pointer to the Bryson book. I was cleaning the bookshelves yesterday, and found it sitting there. (Must have been one that my husband bought for himself.)

    It’s now in my ever-growing stack of books to read.

  • Merry Christmas Trey.

    Your HDR book was waiting for me under the Christmas tree this morning courtesy of my brother. I love it and can’t wait to put the tips and techniques to use. I’m totally fascinated with HDR photos and am hoping to progress beyond my very amateur level.

  • Merry Christmas Trey!

    This is a wonderful shot :). I could never figure out a spot from where to photograph Rockefeller Center, but you did a masterful job. It’s a total shame they look down upon tripod use too.

  • Trey,

    Your work inspires me. The “language” disappoints me…

  • breathtaking shot!GREAT!

  • This is beautiful, makes me want to visit, never been that far east! Keep doing what you do! It enables people like me to see and experience places, people, things I would not be able to otherwise.

  • Robert Moore

    Merry Christmas Ratcliff family!

    Amazing shot Trey. Love the composition and colors! The sky is phenomenal.

  • Thanks all – I hope you have a merry christmas too! 🙂

  • Wow! a really dramatic shot! I love the way the fog is illuminated!
    Loving the little logo in the URL bar by the way 🙂 I need one for my blog…

  • I have people ask me “Is that legal?”, when I pop my tripod open in NYC. I have yet to be stopped by a cop on the street but I have heard of it happening. Happy Holidays to you all.

  • Ann Courtney

    Awesome shot – I’m so pleased you evaded the security people! I hope that you have had a great Christmas.

  • Amazing you made there! I really like your work! Congrats!
    It’s such a strange world we’re living where tripod is forbidden…
    Have a great ending year!

  • Paul Parent

    The “no-tripod” rules out there stink, especially if you’re an HDR aficionado. Unless you can get away with a tabletop tripod, the only option I’ve found is this:

    Not as stable but works.

  • Ed

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas Trey and family. Matt Ridley is a great writer, I haven’t read that one yet so it’ll go on the list.

  • Merry Christmas!

    Great image, looks like the building is right going into heaven. Just the part where people are ice skating is way too dark, IMHO.

  • Antoine

    You sound like a goddamned republican sometimes, tell me it aint so!

  • Eileen Westgate

    Great photo. An inspiration to delve into your tutorials.

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