Dramatic Reading of Negative Reviews on Amazon

A Dramatic Reading of Negative Amazon Reviews for “A World in HDR”

I made a little video this evening where I read negative Amazon Reviews for you. This is a one-time only event… I think the regulars here will appreciate it…hehe. Luckily, despite the negative Nancies (actually, I do appreciate constructive criticism), we still were able to sell out on Amazon in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Everything is back in stock now, as I understand!

BTW, I will add this to the video section — visit the Videos area here if you want to see free videos with how-tos, shooting examples, etc.

The book contest is still going on at Abduzeedo

The contest is up to about 450 entries, so if you don’t already have one, pop over there for your chance to win! While there at Abduzeedo, be sure to go look around their site some and discover other great artists. I spend a lot of time there getting inspired!

Daily Photo – Autumn in New York at Sunset

Despite my kind Tweet to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, they would not let me take a tripod on the day I arrived. So, I was forced to do a hand-held HDR shot from the roof at sunset. It was a beautiful night across central park, and I did my best to hold it steady.

In Photomatix, I did choose to “Auto-Align” images. It did a pretty good job. I always suggest that you check “Do Not Crop”, so that you can line everything up easier later in Photoshop. When it auto-crops, it resets the 0,0 x/y origin and will mix up the alignment later on for final cleanup.

How to Make a Web Portfolio

A Full SmugMug Review!

I recently wrote an article entitled “How to Make an Online Photo Album” about SmugMug. Follow that link to learn more!

I feel a little late to the SmugMug party! Here is the story… I kept hearing more and more about SmugMug. And I was like… What! Why is everyone always talking about SmugMug! What a strange name. Hey… I’m on Flickr… the last thing I need is another place to host my photos… this is what I was thinking.

And then the very kind Candice Cunningham invited me to speak at the inaugural SmugMug meeting here in Austin. It was an amazing group of people and many people in there already had SmugMug portfolios and businesses! As I learned more and more, I became even more impressed. I even got to visit their HQ near San Francisco and I came away really excited about the present and future of SmugMug.

I have linked the “Visit My Portfolio” up there on the top right of the site to link to StuckInCustoms.SmugMug.com. It is really beautiful and I have decided to make it official.

I am very happy with my SmugMug Portfolio. You guys know I always want the best!

Even more Customization!

I wrote a second article on you can further Customize SmugMug. It already comes with a bunch of themes, but if you want something truly unique, you can just pay a bit extra to get something that is completely different. I reviewed four different third-party companies, all of which can give you a custom SmugMug “skin”.

Daily Photo – The Glorious Church at Stanford

During our amazingly fun Stanford photowalk, our entire unit crashed into into the church like the Allies setting up barracks inside a French cathedral.

Right before we went in, as I climbed the stairs, one of the more nervous-types that was on the photowalk said, “Uhhh, I don’t know if they will let us in because they are about to close.” I said something to the effect of, “Who cares, we’re going in anyway until they come tell us to leave!” And with that, we blew in through the front doors and spread out far and wide. I set up my camera and gave a little talk about my settings for the shot. I mentioned that in dark situations, you don’t want your multiple exposures to all be 30 seconds. You need to widen your aperture and increase the ISO so that your all your exposures get finished, with the final one at 30 seconds. In this situation, I shot 5 exposures at 1 step increments with my 5 respective shutter speeds at 2 seconds, 4 s, 8s, 15s, and 30s.

Oh, btw, now that I am one with sweet sweet SmugMug, click on the photo below to see it big and bold and proper. At the top, you can select whatever size you wish.

Google Buzz is Live! Share your address, and a new photo of Hearst Castle to celebrate!

Google Buzz is great for photography and friends!

Follow me on Google Buzz here. And, if you are a Photographer, come add a sample photo to this Buzz Thread – so that people can follow you too if they like what they see!  For the first photo I released on Buzz, I decided to add a brand new unpublished work of boats at sunset at the Portofino Hotel.

Here is why Google Buzz is great for photography and conversation and friends:

  • The photos go Full Screen and can be viewed in their proper glory
  • I get to see people’s photos as soon as they go up and scroll through them in a nice lightbox
  • It’s very simple and built right into the GMail interface
  • Conversations are real-time and it has all the “fun” of a chat room without the pressure

What do you think about Google Buzz?

Book Giveaway on Abudzeedo!

The editors over at Abduzeedo (who, by the way, attended my talk at the Google HQ) launched a book contest to give away a free copy of “A World in HDR“.  Even before I mentioned it, there are already over 300 entries, so pop over there and leave a quick comment to enter.  Easy and fast!

Daily Photo – So Many Wonderful Things at Hearst, So Little Time

Hearst Castle is indeed one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s just a trafficless hour north of LA, but it seems a world apart. It worked out as a perfect stopping-point for my little road trip from Hans Zimmer to Google!

I grabbed a lot of photos of this pool. And I mean a lot. I had great trouble in choosing the “best”, and there are many winners that I will be sure to include in coming weeks, months, and years!

I wonder if WF Hearst ever had one of those crazy house parties with rap video girls dancing and grinding all around the edges of the pool? I can’t imagine college girls doing jello shots and big floatees that have beer-holders. This is all just a tad too classy for that…

So Many Wonderful Things at Hearst, So Little Time

Salaryman waiting for the Bullet Train

Join my mate Vanelli for a Workshop in North Carolina

I met a heck of a nice guy when I was in Florida named Vanelli. I was introduced to him by RC Concepcion, who is normally a good judge of character — I remember him saying, “Trey, you gotta meet this guy named Vanelli!”

So, I did, and he made a good impression on me. He happens to be quite the Photoshop guru, and he absolutely loves photography. He’s a great communicator, and I’m sure he’ll put together a unique workshop. I think he’s only inviting about 10 people or so… and if you want to find out more, go to the “Vacation with Vanelli” website.

New Limited Edition Numbered Print – Hong Kong from the Peak

This week we are releasing a new print (see the print page) called “Hong Kong from the Peak“. It is a pretty one that many of you may remember, and it’s featured right towards the beginning of the book. There are smaller prints available on fine art paper all the way up to huge canvases to adorn your walls.

Hong Kong from the peak on a summer's night

Daily Photo – Salaryman waiting for the Bullet Train

I’ve always loved the Japanese word “salaryman”. It means exactly what you think it means. And whenever I say this word to Japanese people while there, they get so surprised what I know that word! Possibly, this is because I know only a few dozen words — and they consider this one to be somewhat obscure, I suppose. It’s hard to say. There is something wonderfully inscrutable about my conversations with Japanese people.

This was shot in Kyoto (to the best of my memory), on the way to Tokyo. These bullet trains are just great. I bought a week-pass on the bullet train for only a few hundred dollars — it’s a special deal for foreigners traveling to Japan. The only confusing bit was figuring out how to trade in my voucher at Narita airport. Well, there were a variety of confusing things at that airport, but that has never stopped me…

Salaryman waiting on the Bullet Train

The Stanford Church in the Photowalk Storm

Recap of the Photowalk

stanford walk

It turned out to be a great Photowalk!

I sent out a few worried tweets while en route because of the rain, and I got tweets back that there was a full complement of photowalkers waiting under the tree in The Oval. I showed up, at the very last possible second, and then said hi to everyone. It was a very upbeat crowd, and I was happy to meet all of them! I think we had around 50 there, even though the rain was rather epic, especially by California standards!

After I explained the way I do my Photowalks (half shooting, half sharing online), we set out to hit a few spots on campus. As we were moving about, Arnav Moudgil took this photo (also on the right) for the newspaper. This was taken when we were walking in one of the covered areas of the campus.

We moved around and hit several locations, including the one below. At the end, we went over to an eating area and talked for a long while about photography and stuff! I signed books, gave away all kinds of goodies from Smugmug, and this sort of thing — it was nice to meet such enthusiastic photographers. One enterprising Type A created a “Stuck In Stanford” Flickr group where people are currently sharing their photos… this is my first contribution to the group!

Daily Photo – The Stanford Church in the Photowalk Storm

The rain situation was betwixt sprinkles and torrent.  There was enough rain to moisten my bulbous 12-24 (that sounds dirty), so I wanted to be quick.  Usually, I let people look through my lens to see the composition, but, it would have gotten too wet… so I just fired away quickly then put on my little trombone-cover-thing.

Now, maybe my smart audience can help me figure this out.  Some people on the walk told me that “HDR” was “invented” here at Stanford.  Others tell me MIT.  A few people told me that the first HDRs ever taken were inside this very church (where I also collected some shots, for publication soon).  Anyway, this all sounds very intriguing… and I am interested to know the real answers!

The Stanford Church in the Photowalk Storm

The Sunset in San Clemente California

Win my book over on Layers Magazine

My friend RC Conception tweeted me about a contest he is running on Layers magazine along with Brad Moore to give away a copy of my book. You can see more by visiting his contest post on his website.

Reminder of Kelby Article

Speaking of Brad Moore, he was the nice gentleman that helped me with this long guest post on Scott Kelby’s blog a few months ago. If you missed it the first time, you might enjoy it now. It’s called “Being an artist sucks. Being an artist is awesome.

Daily Photo – The Sunset in San Clemente California

We had a great photowalk down in San Clemente! Thanks again to everyone that came along… I enjoyed it very much. Now I am finally getting a chance to post-process some of the images. If you were there, you may remember when I took this one!

Want to see other photos from the Photowalkers? Visit Victor’s Typical Shutterbug site (also has a great podcast!) where you can get a link to the proper Flickr group.

The sunset was just as good as you can get, which was very lucky after many days of rain before. We were all quite worried about a rain-out! But, the gods shined on us and everything turned out great. It’s always nice to walk around with other photographers and geek out on this stuff!

The sky got a bit noisy for me in this one. I used Noiseware to get rid of it – for more info, see my Noiseware Review here on the site.

The Sunset in San Clemente California

A Scene from the Super Volcano

Great Reads for 2010

Thanks to Abduzeedo who listed “A World in HDR” as one of the Great Reads for 2010!  Thanks Abduzeedo!

The Third and the Seventh – An Awesome Video

Here is another thing I found on Abduzeedo that I just HAVE to show you.  It’s so awesome.  I could watch this thing again and again – in fact, I have!  You can go see it on Vimeo at The Third and the Seventh.  Can you believe the whole thing is computer generated?  I can’t get over it…  I think you’ll see why I like it so much!

Daily Photo – A Scene from the Super Volcano

These charred dead trees jutting out of the strange deposits at Mammoth is quite a place.  I’m sure that maybe you’ve also heard that Yellowstone is just a simmering super volcano, waiting to erupt at any moment.  This always makes me a tiny-bit edgy as I move around the environs.  But, I figure, that if I am in any of those states around there while the volcano exploded, I’d probably be dead anyway — so why not be right in the center of the sucker where it is the prettiest?  This is not the best logic I have ever used, but it is a subtle use of it, I suppose.

A Scene from the Super Volcano

In Petaluma to see Leo Laporte in Action!

Stopping in Petaluma to see the TWIT Cottage

I spent the night up in Napa where I was visiting my mom and grandmother (so I have extra fudge for everyone!). Since I was coming back to the Palo Alto area anyway, I drove through Petaluma. While there, I stopped by the TWIT cottage to meet with Dane. Whilst there, Leo happened to be taping a show, so I ducked in a for a few moments to see everything in person.
Cool! I am in the TWIT cottage watching @LeoLaporte talkin' b... on Twitpic

So, what is cool about this? Well, for one thing, I’ve always like Leo and the scene he’s throwin’ down. Did you know he also sees out of just one eye? The one-eyed guys have to stick together.

Also, he runs a huge media empire out of this little cottage in Petaluma! It’s really an impressive feat. He has several shows on his network that I think are interesting. You can either get the podcast on iTunes or watch live at http://live.twit.tv/. I recommend TWIT (This Week in Technology). There is another good show called “Macbreak Weekly” which is very good. Last, you should try to catch the science stuff with Dr. Kiki. She was there too – a very nice gal…

I thought about setting up for a major hardcore HDR in his studio, but I didn’t want to impose… It was my first time in there (previous appearances on TWIP – This Week in Photography) were all remote via Skype, so I got a kick out of seeing the operation in person!

Extra Books at the Stanford Event?

I’m all out of copies of A World in HDR (but I am bringing some homemade fudge from my mom to hand out)! We totally sold out at the Google speech, which was way more popular than I anticipated… Also, some of you may remember that Amazon sold out in several countries, so it can be a little tough to get copies… they don’t exactly grow on trees! But, Amazon, Borders, B&H, and all the others replenish their supplies all the time.

If you already have a book, I am more than happy to sign it for you… it would be my pleasure!

Daily Photo – The Lonely Barn

Note that this is not the aforementioned TWIT Cottage.

Along the road from Napa to Petaluma, there are countless photo ops. I stopped here and there on the side of the road to jump out and take some shots. This one I took with my 85mm prime lens – I will soon add it to the Nikon 85mm Review page along with the other sample photos.

It was a foggy and overcast morning, so I had to look for other sorts of subject in the landscape that were interesting… which is pretty easy to do here in the wine country!

In Petaluma to see Leo Laporte in Action!

The Gothic Study – The Private Library of William Randolph Hearst

Stanford Walk

I’ll meet you all at The Oval on Thursday at 4 PM. There is ONE bit of bad news. There was going to be a talk afterward at 5:30 PM, but it looks like the auditorium at Stanford fell through. This was a surprise to me too – so, my apologies… however, the walk is still on and I look forward to meeting y’all.

As a bonus, I’ll be giving away a lot of Smugmug goodies! So be sure to come with room to take home something special!

Topaz Detail Review

Topaz Detail just upgraded their cool software. I have written a quick Topaz Detail Review, which I will add to more in coming weeks. It’s a really nice and fun program – I invite you to check it out!

Daily Photo – The Gothic Study

Note this is the “small” library. I’ll post the main library in a few weeks!

As always, you can zoom in to see the details by clicking through. The details are quite incredible, and I am sure you will delight in seeing the closeups of the hand-carved wooden arches and the painted Spanish ceilings… it was all amazing! If you look closely at the full res version towards the middle, you can see a portrait of WR Hearst when he was 31-years-old.

The Gothic Study - The Private Library of William Randolph Hearst

A Great Day at the Google HQ!

Check Out this Workshop near LA

For you are in the LA Area (or willing to travel for an interesting workshop), join my friends Frederick Van and Joeseph Linashke for their workshop at nearby Joshua Tree.  These guys have worked hard to put together a really excellent program… you can visit the website to see everything that is included!

New Interview Up with Ron Martinsen

I had an interview with the extremely nice Ron Martinsen.  Head on over Ron’s photography blog to have a loosee!  He also has a nice discount code on my textures tutorial, in case you have been waiting for a good deal!’

Daily Photo – A Great Day at the Google HQ!

Wow that was a cool experience.  Those guys and gals over there are super-nice.  You never know…  I guess maybe Google seems somewhat intimidating from the outside, but after I met guys like Cliff, Brian, and Chip — I felt right at home.

I gave an hour-long talk in one of their theaters there.  It was super-packed and people were standing all around because seats were gone.  We were graced with the presence of one Sara Jane Todd from @Peachpit to help out selling books – and we sold out!  Also, my Brazilian friend Fabio, the editor of Abduzeedo was there too, so it was great to see him.

The [email protected] (video link) program has a neat deal where they subsidize books, so Googlers don’t have to pay full price.  I saw all kinds of cool stuff and took a lot of pics.  I have to get most cleared with Google Corp Comms before I can release… but I nabbed shots of a spaceship, a new pseudo-holodeck, and more mysteries await!  We even got to eat lunch there in the Google cafeteria, which had some of the most excellent food I’ve ever had in such a setting… they even have a small organic farm on the campus… well, I could go on and on…  but I was very impressed and happy to meet so many enthusiastic people!

The video should be done in the next 2-3 weeks or so.  We’ve got good-man Brian at Google slaving away on editing the whole thing together!

A Great Day at the Google HQ!

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