Exploring the Church

Another Post-Processing Tutorial Photo

Here is the one of the final photos that I worked on in class for the HDR Video Tutorial. It was a tough one… a lot of issues that needed fixing, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

I wanted to thank my support team for really working hard to help out all the customers that got this product. Luke does an amazing and very patient job of personally helping each and every question he gets at support (at) stuckincustoms.com. I really appreciate him… glad he is around to keep everything going smoothly. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, let us know! 🙂

Daily Photo – Exploring the Church

I like all the colorful votives. They make everything a bit more festive…. Cathedrals can be sort of melancholy places, so anything to liven things up a bit are a nice change of pace. I’m not saying we should go neon-signs or blinky-text on the church’s website or anything crazy like that…. just a little somethin-somethin to spice things up a bit.

And I do like that hallway quite a lot… it’s got a nice M.C. Escher quality to it.

Exploring the ChurchI like all the colorful votives.  They make everything a bit more festive....  Cathedrals can be sort of melancholy places, so anything to liven things up a bit are a nice change of pace.  I'm not saying we should go neon-signs or blinky-text on the church's website or anything crazy like that.... just a little somethin-somethin to spice things up a bit.And I do like that hallway quite a lot... it's got a nice  M.C.Escher quality to it.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Top 5 Instagram

Top 5 people to follow in Instagram

I’m @TreyRatcliff at Instagram and I’ve been following quite a few people that are really talented… but I need more people to follow! Here is my list of my Top 5. What’s your Instagram name and who are your favorites?

1) @zarias

2) @JoshJohnson

3) @takahiroooo

4) @Aaronburden

5) @sweetness_smile

More from Spain

The Spain Photos Category here is slowly filling up with photos! I know…I know… people want more of that girl in Ibiza… MAYBE those are coming in the future… you never know…

Daily Photo – The Endless Alley

The dirt and grit and color that comes with European alleys make for great subjects for dynamic night photography. Usually I only stay out for about an hour after it gets dark, but it’s hard to stop with this kind of scenery… I mean, you can make a legitimate excuse to stay out all night!

But a lot of people warned me about how dangerous Barcelona can be… I did already meet many people that were robbed blind… I was extra-extra careful… and, in this case, decided to head back to the hotel early. Also, I was feeling pretty under the weather…so yet another excuse.

The Endless AlleyThe dirt and grit and color that comes with European alleys make for great subjects for dynamic night photography.  Usually I only stay out for about an hour after it gets dark, but it's hard to stop with this kind of scenery...  I mean, you can make a legitimate excuse to stay out all night!But a lot of people warned me about how dangerous Barcelona can be...  I did already meet many people that were robbed blind...  I was extra-extra careful... and, in this case, decided to head back to the hotel early.  Also, I was feeling pretty under the weather...so yet another excuse.- Trey RatcliffRead more, including my top-five Instagram list,  here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Gaudi Cheesecake Factory


New Newsletter Soon!

I’m working on a new newsletter that should come out soon… we have a cool new review and other goodies inside. We send out about one every month or so, and we put a ton of pretty photos in there… they are great fun to forward around to your friends and family so they can see what they are missing!

On average, our newsletter have a 125% open rate, which is pretty amazing. I think this is because people get them and forward along to other interested parties. Thanks so much! I never really thought newsletters would be so popular, but I’m glad they are… thx for letting me into your inbox!

Newsletter Sample

Want to see what it looks like? Here is Newsletter #21, one that went out a few months ago… it’s a pretty good example of what you’ll get soon.

Suggestions?

Do you guys have any suggested newsletters that you receive on a regular basis? I figured that the interesting group of people that come here have some various interests that might have cool newsletters attached to them.

Daily Photo – The Gaudi Cheesecake Factory

I was stuck doing handheld shots all over this awesome Gaudi house because the PR staff would not let me use a tripod. They also said I was not allowed to post any photos of the house on my blog. I told them this was absolutely ridiculous and of course I would post photos on the blog. They said it was not ridiculous and I should really listen. I then said, “But everyone else is here taking photos and posting on Facebook and Flickr!, right?” And they said, “Oh, well, they shouldn’t be doing that either.”

Anyway, I just don’t deal well with that kind of insanity… I found this place to be quite beautiful, and I wanted to share it with you anyway. If you want to see it yourself, visit the CASA BATLLÓ in Barcelona. Oh, I know…. PR team at Gaudi… this is so terrible… #1 Travel Blog in the world showing a beautiful photo of your property and encouraging people to go… This really is as horrible as you imagined.

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/10668747_AuyBk#1306587446_PsPxCGD-A-LB<

The Barcelona Airport

Silver Efex 2

I mentioned how I’ve been playing with the new version of Silver Efex lately. I made this photo below the other night during the Webinar. I don’t post a lot of B&W stuff, even though I do make a lot of them. Maybe I should post more?

Daily Photo – The Barcelona Airport II

This is another reason I like to get to airports early. Not only do I hate being rushed, but I like to take time to explore with my camera. Well, I guess that only is in the case where the airport happens to be particularly beautiful, like the one here in Barcelona.

I always start out extremely rushed, because I picture security closing down on me from every angle. So, my first shot is usually rushed and not perfectly centered. Then, if the guards don’t gang-tackle me like I’m streaking at Yankee Stadium, then I keep adjusting my position and the camera until things are more and more aligned and composed to my satisfaction. This one was even a little bit tilted, but I fixed that bit with the crop tool later in Photoshop (as people saw).

The Barcelona Airport II This is another reason I like to get to airports early.  Not only do I hate being rushed, but I like to take time to explore with my camera.  Well, I guess that only is in the case where the airport happens to be particularly beautiful, like the one here in Barcelona.  I always start out extremely rushed, because I picture security closing down on me from every angle.  So, my first shot is usually rushed and not perfectly centered.  Then, if the guards don't gang-tackle me like I'm streaking at Yankee Stadium, then I keep adjusting my position and the camera until things are more and more aligned and composed to my satisfaction.  This one was even a little bit tilted, but I fixed that bit with the crop tool later in Photoshop (as people saw).  - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Prismatic Cathedral

The EG Program

At the EG Conference, they give everyone a unique program and a set of specialized playing cards, each adorned with customized art. Their team takes all the presenters and portrays them in some kind of a scene. For example, last year they did “movies”, and this year they did “fine art.” Anyway, you can thumb through their program and see if you can find me! (If you are mega bored…)

One other cool thing about the playing cards is that people often get “special” one-time cards in there that are prizes. Most prizes are very unique and are offered by one of the speakers. The one I traded for ended up being a balloon ride with Jonathan Trappe, one of the other speakers there. Know who he is? Ever hear of that guy that started tying balloons to his office chair until it took off? That’s him! I don’t know where we’ll do our balloon ride yet… I’m trying to talk him into Myanmar.

Daily Photo – The Prismatic Cathedral

In the webinar, I gave people a small set of images for homework. This is the second of the two sets (the first I posted yesterday). I didn’t mean for both to be from Spain, but I guess they are! Anyway, I thought it was kind of fun for people all over the world to be processing my images while I am processing them… kind of strange but cool. I will try to post things on a regular basis as we work on them together.

The Prismatic Cathedral In the webinar, I gave people a small set of images for homework.  This is the second of the two sets (the first I posted yesterday).  I didn't mean for both to be from Spain, but I guess they are!  Anyway, I thought it was kind of fun for people all over the world to be processing my images while I am processing them... kind of strange but cool.  I will try to post things on a regular basis as we work on them together. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at stuckincustoms.com.

Trains Across Europe

The Rebekka Project

You all remember Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir? How could you forget a last name like that? Over 3 years ago, I met her in Iceland and did a post called “Rebekka in Action“, in case you have not heard of her…

Anyway, Rebekka has a new photography project, and she’s accepting donations for people that want to be part of it.

Daily Photo – Trains Across Europe

The Europeans are so lucky to have a semi-functional train system. I’m sure many of them find reasons to complain, but to me, it’s all pretty awesome. The idea of a working train system is pretty foreign to Americans.

This notion that you can get on a train in one city and then hop-skip your way to another city is kind of a novel idea to us! If you’re in Houston, for example, and you decide to go to Dallas, then “getting on the train” isn’t even one of the things that crosses your mind. I don’t know that much about the passenger rail system in the US, and I guess that means its in pretty dire shape. Without even asking, I can almost guarantee our biggest passenger rail service is subsidized by the government. And that, of course, means that I am personally paying for something that I know nothing about.

I’m reminded of this when I go to Europe and can get on a train in Montpellier and end up here, in Barcelona. And not only that, but the train stations are all pretty interesting to explore.

Trains Across Europe The Europeans are so lucky to have a semi-functional train system.  I'm sure many of them find reasons to complain, but to me, it's all pretty awesome.  The idea of a working train system is pretty foreign to Americans.  This notion that you can get on a train in one city and then hop-skip your way to another city is kind of a novel idea to us!  If you're in Houston, for example, and you decide to go to Dallas, then "getting on the train" isn't even one of the things that crosses your mind.  I don't know that much about the passenger rail system in the US, and I guess that means its in pretty dire shape.  Without even asking, I can almost guarantee our biggest passenger rail service is subsidized by the government.  And that, of course, means that I am personally paying for something that I know nothing about.  I'm reminded of this when I go to Europe and can get on a train in Montpellier and end up here, in Barcelona.  And not only that, but the train stations are all pretty interesting to explore. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Myst Staircase

The RED Epic

I made the decision. Red has been contacted and now I’m just sitting here, waiting…waiting…waiting… Don’t know what it is? Check out the RED Epic page. I’m so excited… oh jeez trying not to think about it…

Daily Photo – The Myst Staircase

I wish I could have met Gaudi. The only thing I know about him is his art, but I’m guessing he was an interesting guy.

I also would have like to own one of his houses, but then I’d be in a pickle. He only designed and built a few of these houses, and I think living inside of them would be amazing. But, since it is such a work of art, I’d feel compelled to share it with the world. You can’t live in it AND open it up to the public – so what to do? I’d like to say I’d be noble and open it up to the world, but the wonderfully selfish side of me would want it all to myself. Maybe it’s not that different than owning a Renoir. Not that I own one of those either… but it is an interesting decision to think about.

This is one of the many beautiful staircases in the Casa Batlló, located in central Barcelona on Passeig de Gràcia. It’s also called the “House of Bones”, and it reminds me of the good old days playing Myst…

High Dynamic Range Photo

The Sanctum of The Santa María del Mar Cathedral!

Poll – How do you read eBooks?

We still have a free eBook over at Flatbooks.com when you sign up for that newsletter — and I was wondering how most people read the eBooks. Our eBooks arrive as PDF files, and you can read it in many different ways. We have a 24-hour support team, and we get all kinds of questions concerning how to read the eBook. Most of them are about “How do I get this eBook on my iPad?”

Anyway, we really have very little data about how people actually consume these eBooks, so I am very interested!

[poll id=”5″]

Daily Photo – The Sanctum of the Santa María del Mar Cathedral

Here is another amazing place in Barcelona, Spain — this is the famed Santa María del Mar Cathedral.

I do like taking photos in these old churches, and I hope one day to photograph the inside of the Sagrada Família. It’s still under construction, and I think getting the right kind of permission is fairly difficult. I’d like to be there at the perfect time of day with just the right kind of lighting. I don’t mind all the construction going on — I think something pretty amazing could come out of the shot. Anyway, this is one of those things on my personal photo bucket-list!

High Dynamic Range Photo

Barcelona Airport

Japan Charity Week Continues

The bidding started at $49 and it goes up every day. Get in there and bid! All the revenue goes to the Red Cross for Japan.
High Dynamic Range Photo

Taking Photos of Cars

It’s been months since I mentioned Joe Farace’s amazing eBook, so I wanted to mention it again! Even though it’s a car-centric eBook, you’ll find all kinds of useful things that apply to everyday photography as well. Pop over to Joe’s book on Flatbooks and have a look! 🙂

Daily Photo – Barcelona Airport

This amazing airport in Barcelona was my launching point for a very long flight through Helsinki to Berlin. I am actually the kind of guy that likes to get to airports super-early. First, I don’t like the stress; second I like to explore. A lot of these international airports are these architectural wonders. I think most people just drift through them, oblivious to how awesome they are… but not me. I love ’em!

Barcelona Airport

Extra Photo – Upon Arriving in Beijing

Many many many hours later, after leaving this airport, I landed in Beijing. I was greeted by some great people that I came to know pretty well. First, the director of this special organization met me with a bundle of flowers. Next I met my assistant and my driver, who had to carry around all my stuff. I dumped my most of my luggage at the hotel and immediately went to the Forbidden City to take some photos. It was a long day. A very very very long day!

High Dynamic Range Photo

Free Drobo at HDR Spotting

Free Drobo over at HDR Spotting!

This month on HDRSpotting.com, we are giving away a free Drobo! We are still in beta as we add features, and I do not give out invite codes (by design – to save me some sanity…not that it helps, everyone asks anyway). But, there are many codes out there form existing members. There are also some floating around inside the HDR groups on Flickr and Facebook, I believe. Good luck to you all, and I hope you win a Drobo!

What is a Drobo? See my Drobo Review.

Problem with the “Like” button

Can anyone help me fix the new “Like” problem on Stuck In Customs? Right now, when you “Iike” one of the daily posts here on the blog, it automatically puts a thumbnail on your Facebook wall. BUT, that thumbnail is always that green “FREE VIDEOS” (or perhaps another one) thumbnail, which is not right. And it looks lame, like a spammy-advertising thing, which it certainly is not. Anyway, how do we fix this?

Daily Photo – The Shaft

Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia is one of the most awesome places in the world. My camera was very happy (and me, by extension).

This is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. That guy is amazing… It was certainly on my list to visit before the trip, and I did not really have enough time to spend there. And, I couldn’t use the tripod, but I don’t want to get into that discussion…just too frustrating.

“The Shaft” runs up the center of the casa. It reminds me of how each floor was a completely different visual experience. Taking photos in here was a challenge… I wanted to do the place justice.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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