The Infinite Stairs to the Oubliette

Sorry for Japan

I hope the portion of our community that is in Japan is doing okay. I’ve been watching the live stream on Aljazeera — it looks horrible. So, I’m sure I speak for the rest of the community here when I say we are thinking of you.

SmugMug still going strong

I’m still happy with my move to SmugMug (see my SmugMug Review) for all my photos. I saw that we recently passed 60 million total views, and the SmugMug servers have been real workhorses. I don’t know much about the infrastructure… I was wondering if maybe they used Amazon S3?

Do you all do any printing through SmugMug? I don’t, but I know many people do. I’ve heard that a lot of people take photos of ballet recitals, soccer games, etc etc and then sell the prints to the other parents. Not a bad idea! I even think there is a way to set it up so other parents can come in and order themselves, after they pick out their favorite photos. Anyway, I’ve never done any of this…wondered if you have?

Daily Photo – The Infinite Stairs to the Oubliette

This is one of the areas where the French kept Marie Antoinette in the conciergerie. There were many mysterious parts of these chambers, and this was one of the most interesting.

I one time designed a set of stairs like this back in the day with a Quake level editor. There was a website where you could upload your creations that could be shared by other level designers. I uploaded my stairs, but I don’t know if they were ever used or not. I thought I saw them in E1M4, but then I realized that those stairs were actually 5x better than mine.

High Dynamic Range Photo

  • Looks like a creepy place up those stairs! Interesting vantage.

  • Haha Quake level editors – that brings back memories! I often tried to use the Doom level editor that came with PC Gamer evey month – alas my brain couldn’t work out all the vertexes and sectors and all that stuff so well done for managing to make something as ornate in style as these stairs in the no-doubt more advanced Quake level creator!

    What is it about spiral staircases that attract photographers anyway? There’s millions of these images all over flickr but every time I see one I can’t help myself and shoot it even though I know my time would be better spent shooting something else hehe! Great Work!!

  • Great shot mate. I need to find myself some stairs, I think I’m uploading a little too much scenery! Haha, here is my latest (and favorite) waterfall shot:

  • Gail in Montana

    I just saw the news about the quake and Tsunami when I turned the TV on. I feel sorry to Tokyo, too. It looks awful, Trey. Keeping the folks in Tokyo and all affected in my prayers. Be back later after I get my coffee and breakfast. Really sad, who’s next?

  • Gail in Montana

    Speaking of devastation, I watched the movie, “2012” last night on stars. With so many things happening around the earth, makes you wonder if all the ancient peoples knew something when they predicted the end of our world in 2012!!! Be ready!! It sure was a tense movie, had me at the edge of my seat ’til the end!
    Now, back to the photo. Great photo of the stairway!! Thanks for sharing, and we are all praying for Japan!! Have an uneventful weekend, all!!

  • Simon Morris

    I like the texture and subtle detail, excellent!
    SmugMug looks appealing and I’m tempted at signing up for a Pro account, especially when you compare the annual subscription cost to what’s included. However, there’s a lot of competition out there for posting and hosting images… one in particular being Flickr, which still appears to take numero uno place.
    I plan on launching my photoblog site soon… nothing fancy, just a simple Blogger template that will host a daily image of Canterbury (NZ) and beyond. It’ll be nice to earn some revenue from the images. I recently stumbled across Fotomoto, which has a clean and simple interface to allow folk to order prints, canvas or just send an eCard… all within my Blogger site! Regarding prints, they happen to use the services of Bay Photo… the same company that SmugMug use 😉 That said, I still think SmugMug has what I’m after regarding complete package 🙂
    My heartfelt sympathy to those in Japan and surrounds, our thoughts here in NZ are with you… stay safe!

  • Gail in Montana

    P.S. They changed the magnitude of the earthquake to 8.9!! And they are saying the Tsunami could reach all areas in the Pacific, including New Zealand, Hawaii, and all of the west coast of North America. So lots of folks to keep in our prayers!!!! :-O

  • JIm

    Trey, that is some kind of post processing. looks like you had a ton of highlights to deal with. Great work. Here is my impressionistic HDR version of a stair case at Shaker Village in Kentucky.

  • You’re right, Smugmug uses S3. I have an account there and I’m just not getting the hang of it, though. It’s probably my fault, but I just don’t care for the user interface, the display of images, or the lack of community involvement. I had higher hopes for using the service. It seems that if you want a good experience, you have to delve into a lot of customization that I just never seem the to find time to do.

  • Thanks all

    William – the default display of images isn’t for everyone — but you can customize, which is kinda cool. It’s true about no community involvement… Flickr is much better for that.

  • casusan

    Cool shot Trey! Looks like nothing to hold on to so I would not be for going up there!

  • Love the Quake reference.

    I recently signed up to SmugMug because family members have been asking me for photos so they can print. This makes it easy for them to download full resolution or just order prints. The quality is superior to the mega-marts that offer printing and price wise it’s not that much more.

  • About taking photos at events for others: I have done this in the past for several sports teams at the junior high and high school level. I use a different website than SmugMug, but wanted to say the endeavor as a whole can be quite rewarding. As a true fan of high school sports, I enjoy shooting events whether my kids are involved or not, and I usually get enough purchases from other parents to make the time spent worthwhile. It does help to have some sort of connection to the team via another parent or contact at the school.

    And love the photo here….love the tones and textures.

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  • Cool shot! That stone work is amazing!

  • Hi Trey,

    I’m in Tokyo now…as luck would have it. It was pretty intense. I was up on the 9th floor of a giant office building so I was quite safe and was more…intrigued…than scared but it went on for a long long time. Continuing with bad luck, my mother happened to be in Sendai visiting my aunt when the quake and tsunami struck but thankfully just an hour or so ago, we got word from my mother that her and my aunt and the rest of the family in Sendai are ok and holed up in apartments and hospitals… Going to be a long time for her to come home I think…but at least she is safe. Aftershocks continue, even felt in Tokyo…but things are slowly coming back to normal at least here…

  • Tim ! Wow – it looks like Sendai got the worst of it — that is good news for you – thanks for the update !

  • Beautiful stairs! I was watching the news too much to check your site last night 🙁
    I finished 2 images while watching and worrying for family and friends in Japan and around the Pacific Rim. I decided today to donate 50% of the profits towards Japanese earthquake victims… you can see the two pics at I went through a 7.2 earthquake as a kid and I can’t even imagine an 8.9!

  • Simon Morris

    Wonderful images Kelley and all for a good cause… hope all is well with your family and friends!

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