Tree at the Serene Lake

Copyright Discussion – Wednesday Night

Join me at the AT&T Executive Education Center in Austin on Wednesday night at 6:30 PM. The topic being discussed is: “Copyright: How do I protect myself from legal trouble and how do I protect my content?”

I’m a panelist, so I’ll be talking about some of my experience in this arena. Some of you may know I’m engaged in a lawsuit with Time Magazine, and you also know about the Huffington Post issue. Beyond that, there’s a lot more, and we’ll see how much time we have to discuss it during the event.

The event is free if you are a AFBA member or $10 without (RSVP here)… but there will be amazing food there, I understand from @MisoHungry (who recruited me for the event). I’m not getting paid for it… just doing it out of the questionable goodness of my heart.

Anyway, if you come, be sure to come up to me before or after and say hello! 🙂

Daily Photo – Tree at the Serene Lake

Queenstown, I miss you! The summer here in Texas has been bitter-hot. I remember the long run I had along your shores… comparing that with my 100-degree run here in Texas that just makes me want to curl up into a fetal ball and cry…

When I was there in Queenstown, I took to waking up about an hour before the sunrise and brewing a whole pot of coffee. And then, I would just the take the POT in the car with me and drive around. The lake can be pretty still in the morning, and that is when I grabbed this one… I’m jealous of my friends Gordon Laing and Eden Brackstone who get to spend almost every day in these environs!

Tree at the Serene LakeQueenstown, I miss you!  The summer here in Texas has been bitter-hot.  I remember the long run I had along your shores...  comparing that with my 100-degree run here in Texas that just makes me want to curl up into a fetal ball and cry...When I was there in Queenstown, I took to waking up about an hour before the sunrise and brewing a whole pot of coffee.  And then, I would just the take the POT in the car with me and drive around.  The lake can be pretty still in the morning, and that is when I grabbed this one... I'm jealous of my friends Gordon Laing and Eden Brackstone who get to spend almost every day in these environs!- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Coming Home to the Inn After Dinner

New Video – Sharing Online

This was a great episode! We talked about topics like:

  • How to share your photos online (I give some philosophical advice in addition to logistical, practical advise)
  • Pricing your images and selling prints
  • Getting inspiration from other online photographers
  • SmugMug and how I use them  (see my full SmugMug Review here)
  • Memory cards and horror stories

So, in addition to Lisa Bettany and Leo Laporte, we had on RC Concepcion, which was really cool.  He just finished a book on this very subject, so he was a fount of knowledge.  And if you guys don’t know who RC is, well then this is a great introduction to him!

Shuttle Launch Upcoming on April 29

I hope NASA doesn’t delay this thing again! Re-organizing planes, hotels, and cars is not an easy thing. Luckily, my “inside gal” got me some quick info so I was able to re-book the hotel near Cape Canaveral before it filled up. There’s gonna be a lot of people there… I should be getting in close, about three miles away in the media section. I’m excited about seeing the rocket launch, but I’m also worried about getting an interesting shot. I’ve been thinking about it a lot… I have some ideas but nothing solid yet.

Daily Photo – Coming Home to the Inn After Dinner

This is a nice feeling — this idea of walking to dinner and arriving back at the inn with family and friends just before it gets dark. I don’t know how to explain it, but perhaps you have experienced this too.

This is in the far northern part of the South Island if New Zealand. The town is named Nelson, and I think it is one of the five biggest on that island. But all of New Zealand only has four million people, and the vast majority of those are on the north island. I wonder what has happened to towns like Nelson since the big earthquake in nearby Christchurch. Maybe some of our NZ community readers can fill us in with some on-the-ground info.

High Dynamic Range Photo<

The Soft Hills on the way to Paradise, New Zealand

Recent Article You May Have Missed

According to the stats, most people come every day, but some people come every other day or perhaps once a week. That means sometimes things may slip through the cracks!

I recently wrote a long-form article called “Nine Things For Your Photo-Brain To Consider” that you may enjoy. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Soft Hills on the way to Paradise, New Zealand

Just beyond Glenorchy, which is just a shade beyond Queenstown, lies a little place called Paradise. The road gets tinier and tinier as you get closer. A few miles before the road becomes all dirt, I pulled over to these soft rolling hills. They were covered with little sheep families, walking to and fro.

One the rare occasion when I am in the field with students, I have them notice a bunch of things. I’ve touched on this before, and this is another good example. It has to do with the location of the sunlight. There are three elements that can be lit here – the hills and/or the mountains and/or the clouds. Every combination looks dramatically different in the final shot. When you are there on the scene, the light changes so gradually, you don’t notice. So you have to teach yourself to be mindful of the untimely flow of light.

High Dynamic Range Photography

A Week of HDR Tips!

Huge Geekbeat Contest

Cali Lewis and John P are giving away my downloadable HDR Video tutorial. Head over to the Geekbeat.TV page to find out how to enter.

A Week of HDR Tips!

I’ve got a special thing-thing for you this week! A special week of HDR tips! Rick Sammon and I are doing this thing together for fun, and I hope it helps give you some good ideas to take your art in new directions. 

Go see HDR Tip #1, along with links over to Rick’s blog as well!

This first tip is entitled, “Create Your Own Future”.

High Dynamic Range Photo


Daily Photo – A Gentle Stream Through New Zealand

All this news out of New Zealand is still upsetting. I’ve got a lot of contacts and friends down there… and I know it’s a rough time. Not much I can do… feel a little useless… so about the best I can do is post some serene and gentle photos of the nicer side of nature. I hope all my friends down there find it gets a little easier as the days move forward.

High Dynamic Range Photography

Upcoming Events and Queenstown from Above

Upcoming Events for You

Adobe Talk

Cost: Free
Time: Feb 24th at 1 PM
Location: Park Auditorium at 345 Park Ave, San Jose

I’ll be talking about the future-present of photography, post-processing, and coming trends. See more on the Adobe Distinguished Lecture Series page.

SXSW PhotoWalk

Cost: Free
Time: March 13 at 6:30 PM
Location: The Driskill Hotel, Austin

All skill levels welcome! Get more details and join us on the Plancast event page.

EG Conference

Cost: $4000 (Register)
Time: April 7
Location: Monterey, CA

It looks to be an amazing time there in Monterey, and I put some more info below. I think I’ll plan a photowalk while there too (that will be free).

The EG Conference

EG ConferenceThere is more info on the EG Conference website, and I think there is a pretty good chance they will be recording a video that I can share here after the event.

I’m excited about this thing – it should be a blast! See that Freeman Dyson is going to be there?  I’ve got a whole list of questions for him… like, in that episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, you know, the one with the Dyson sphere (“Relics” – Star Trek wiki), well, like, how did Scotty survive all that time in the transporter loop, and like, wouldn’t he lose some weight?  And well, yes, I guess you wouldn’t know that, but, why would any species capable of building a Dyson sphere build it around an unstable star?  I mean, that seems kinda dumb, right Dyson?  Right?

But seriously, I will also have a free photowalk one evening there in the Monterey area.  I’m not sure where exactly… maybe even over in Carmel, but I will announce that soon.

Daily Photo – Queenstown From Above

Ack! I miss Queenstown. When can I get back there? I need to make this happen.

My friend Gordon from Camera Labs (be sure to visit his site) goes up here to test a lot of his cameras and lenses. There’s a mountain here that you can reach by gondola, and the view is, well, as you can see, quite perfect! In this case, I used my new 28-300 lens, which worked out pretty well.

I’ve gotten to know the little town there pretty well. It’s fun looking down and knowing where I can get the best burger, the best chocolate, and five places that all serve great coffee. Jeez… just writing about it makes me want to go back even more!

High Dynamic Range Photo

Speech at Adobe and another geeky Lost reference

Speech at Adobe HQ

Come join me in San Jose! Thanks to the nice people at Adobe, the event is free, so I look forward to meeting you!

I’ve been invited to speak as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by the Advanced Technology Labs at Adobe. The talk is on Feb 24 at 1 PM PDT in the Park Auditorium at 345 Park Ave in San Jose. I’ll be talking about the future-present of photography, post-processing, HDR, and a little bit of everything.

Daily Photo – The Little-Known Submarine Secret Dropoff Location in Lost

What would a week be if I didn’t make arcane references to Lost, Firefly, Arrested Development, Burn Notice, the Simpsons, or Sledgehammer? Well… here goes the weekly quota…

Te Anau is one of the most stunning locations in the world. Located near the distant southern tip of the south island of New Zealand, it’s the home base for countless breathtaking excursions. About two hours from Te Anau is this place at Milford Sound. It’s called a “sound”, but it’s really a fjord. I heard an explanation of why it was not named correctly, but that escapes me now. I’m sure our smart members of the community here that are Kiwis can clear this up for us!

High Dynamic Range Photo

New New Zealand

HDR Photo

HDR Video Tutorial – End of Year Goodies

We’ve been having a lot of activity with the HDR Video Tutorial this week! Newsletter subscribers got a cool discount that expires at the end of the year. Even though the newsletter went out, the welcome email still has a link to #20. Enjoy!

New New Zealand

It’s no huge surprise that I’m enamored with the landscapes in New Zealand. So, today, I’m posting a new photo from the South Island.

There is a gondola ride that goes to the top of one of the mountains in Queenstown. It’s not one of the ski areas — just an area for hanging out, seeing the sites, the luge, dinner, and this sort of thing. But it’s always stunning. I went up there a few times.

They have one of those giant buffet dinners up there where I took the family. It’s one of those high-end ones where you try a little bit of everything and then realize that you are way too full and bloated… I tried to shake off the guilt by running outside at dusk to take this photo!

High Dynamic Range Photo

And here are bunch of other favorites from New Zealand, sticking with the “retrospective” theme of this week.

The Franz Josef Glacier

Tasman Sea at Dusk

HDR Photo

The Silent Tree

The Lonely Church


Fields of New Zealand



From My Forest Home

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

THe Old House

The Tolkien Bridge

Interview in Queenstown Part 1

Interview in Queenstown Part 1

Mark Stagi from Digital Photo Buzz sent me some interview questions, and I answered them all on video. I split it into two parts because of YouTube upload limitations… and here is part 1! Enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Range at Night

I drove to Glenorchy (a not-bustling suburb of Queenstown) late in the afternoon. After doing a bit of shooting and snacking, I took a perfect little road back to Queenstown. It runs along a long and perfect lake. The sun had dropped to an interesting spot, and I could see the heavens were boiling away… so I pulled over to take this quick shot.

High Dynamic Range Photo

Name That Bird!

A 14mm prime

If you had a 14mm prime, what would you take photos of? We are having this discussion in the clubhouse… and I was kind of curious what everyone thought.

Daily Photo – Name That Bird!

We had left Dunedin, in the very south of New Zealand, before switchbacking our way up a steep mountain to visit this castle. It’s called the Larncach Castle, and it was very beautiful. The gardens were immaculate, and there were many interesting subjects for photography.

I found this little guy over by a pond and bent over with my 14-24mm to take a shot. You have to get in close with this lens, and I felt a little strange getting so close to such a strange beasty. Anyone know what it is?

HDR Photo

From Bilbo’s Hobbit Hole

The Hobbit in New Zealand

It’s funny that I happen to be in New Zealand while all the financial wrangling about The Hobbit movie’s future. It’s all they talk about on the local news and the radio!

I only have a cursory understanding of what is going on, but I believe it had something to do with the unions, and the movie studio was getting a bit worried about committing a bunch of money to something unstable. At the last second, the NZ gov’t jumped in to toss $10mm in guarantees into the deal to ensure that the 2-part movie is made here.

Daily Photo – From Bilbo’s Hobbit Hole

When I was in a little town called Matamata, which Peter Jackson’s team selected as the perfect place for Hobbiton, I was lucky enough to receive a private tour from Ian Brodie (see Hobbiton Tours for more info!). Ian is also quite the HDR enthusiast (see Ian’s Photo Website), so it was great to spend several hours with the guy! I put a video of us together below… and we talked a bit about taking photos of the party tree.

After that, we got to adventure inside of Bilbo’s actual hole! Cool! I turned around to take a photo from the inside out. The huge tree there is the famous party tree, where Bilbo had his birthday party with Frodo before he slipped on the ring.

HDR Photo

Video – HDR in Hobbiton

I took this video earlier in the year with Ian. You can take the tour too! Just go visit Hobbiton Tours, and be sure to say hi to Ian if you see him while running around Hobbiton!

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!