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.

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

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

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

New Video – On Eden’s Farm

New Video – On Eden’s Farm

I had a wonderful evening with Eden Brackstone, even though he uses a Canon. I can overlook these trifle matters, but I do not forget them lightly.

We were in Gibbston, New Zealand, about 20 minutes from Queenstown. After a wonderful dinner with his delightful family, I popped out onto his farm to shoot some HDR. He started recording video on his aforementioned Canon-thing, and put together the little dealio below. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Pond and the Sunset Stormclouds

Here is the final photo that was taken just before we started recording the video above.

Nikon 28-300 Review

The Lake in Queenstown

Daily Photo – The Lake in Queenstown

We are having a wonderful time in Queenstown and the surrounding area. We just can’t find a place with a bad view! Thanks again for all the suggestions and info on the various neighborhoods that people have suggested via email, twitter, and the blog comments!

Gordon from Camera Labs, who lives here, made a good point that living in Queenstown is a bit like living inside of a national park. There are beautiful national parks around the world, but you can’t actually live inside of them… so this is really a remarkable place. Even better, the main mountain range here is called “The Remarkables”!

HDR Photo

The Most Beautiful Road in the World

Visit Gordon at Camera Labs!

Among other very nice local people I have met here in the Queenstown area is Gordon Liang from Camera Labs. Be sure to pop over to his site to check out some of his reviews. He’s a very nice guy and our families had breakfast together here… after talking about all his testing, he gave me some serious camera-envy!

Daily Photo – The Most Beautiful Road in the World

I found it!

I’ve looked at travel guides and driven on a ton of beautiful, scenic roads all over the world, but I think this road to Queenstown (on the way to/from Glenorchy) is the most beautiful in the world. The road winds down one side of a perfect, fjord-like lake, and every few kilometers, the mountain views change dramatically. Depending upon the time of day you travel it, the entire landscape transforms before your eyes.

Wonder what it looks like on the other side of the lake? You won’t believe that it is in the same place! See this photo called “Mountainstorm” that I took on a previous trip to this location. It was shot later in the evening, so I wasn’t able to properly capture the road that time.

What’s the prettiest road you have ever found? I’ve seen conflicting guides of the most beautiful roads in the US… I’m sure everyone has their opinion… I’d love to know what you think!

The Most Beautiful Road in the World

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 07:30:15
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length44mm (44mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Tolkienesque Bridge – and the Texas Social Media awards

Statesman Texas Social Media Awards

I was awarded one of the 25 winners without even knowing I was nominated. Cool! Really, it’s thanks to all of you… All I do is try my best to put up an interesting photo every day and share a little bit about the circumstances and the process. I’m glad it resonates!

Be sure to check that list – you are bound to discover a few other people in the Texas landscape that you may find interesting…

The Bridge – Edited with Topaz Adjust 4

I used Topaz Adjust 4 (try it on the Topaz Website) to help add a nice touch to the bridge photo today.  Have you guys noticed much difference between it and the previous Topaz Adjust 3?  I notice the UI is better, and a few other things, but no other big bullet points I can think of.  Adjust 3 was already good enough!  It has caused a few graphics problems for me from time to time, like it doesn’t quite complete processing the image.  Has anyone else noticed that?

Daily Photo – The Tolkienesque Bridge

I normally don’t put two photos from the same city (or even country!) back-to-back in consecutive days, but I decided to award Queenstown this honor. It is very high on my list of cities to move to! I just need to check on a few things like broadband availability and a good spot to plop the family down, and I’ll be in business!

This is from the main park in Queenstown. It was as quaint as could be. The evening light made everything a little bit extra-colorful, and some clever little hobbit-engineer, found it fitting to put this nice little stone bridge across the pond. It is all quite nice, no?


Bad News for Austin Photowalk

I was thinking about planning a mega SXSW photowalk in Austin, but I have decided not to. They take a lot of work to plan out and execute on… I’m afraid I just don’t have the time to make it happen!

I know many of you are coming to Austin for SXSW – maybe I will see you around the streets!

Daily Photo – Mountainstorm

I took an evening drive to Glenorchy, which is about 50 km outside of Queenstown. It’s one of the windiest drives in the world, especially in the middle of a violent storm! The rain stopped for a short time while I went on a short hike to capture the mountains across the lake.

The wind was so intense. After setting up the tripod and setting up the interval timer, I had to shield the whole thing with my body, by leaning into the wind on the more threatening side of the camera. As I was doing this, I was wondering if anyone would really want to be my assistant. it’s not nearly as glamorous as you might think!

The Remarkable Mood

New Video – What’s in Trey’s Camera Bag?

I put this video on a special Camera Bag page here on the site — and included the link in the recent newsletter that went out a few days ago. It has a few comments on there with model numbers and the like, if you are interested!

Cali Lewis and John P met me for lunch one day in Texas, and John had his handy-dandy video camera. I was just about to leave for a long photo-adventure, and we decided to use the opportunity to document what is in my bag. I know many people are interested in this, so here we go!

Cali can be seen on and is the host of Geekbrief.TV. You can find John P at Thanks again – and I hope you guys enjoy seeing what is on the inside.

I mention some Photography Gadgets there in the video — and if you want more information on any of the things inside, see my “Reviews” area of the website.

Daily Photo – The Remarkable Mood

Oh wow do I love New Zealand!  Every city I have been to is remarkable in its own way, and I was particularly struck by the environs around Queenstown. It’s just an amazing place. I’ve been completely swamped with photo activities, but I stayed up till 4 AM in my “HomeCar” (as my daughter calls it) to process this photo. It’s all a perfectly magical place, as you can plainly see here. This was the beginning of a three-hour sunset drive that went around this same lake… every stop was more moody than the next.

That mountain range? It’s called “The Remarkables”. What a cool name.

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