The Batmobile

New video soon from SmugMug

This last two days has been crazy… I stopped up at the SmugMug offices (aave you seen my SmugMug Review?) yesterday for one of their amazing lunches. They have this chef there in the building… makes all natural organic stuff and it’s pretty dang amazing… kind of over-the-top amazing. Anyway, they got me on video talking about a special piece of art they put up there in the office… and it might turn out interesting.

The Photoshop team at Adobe also got me on video (besides the speech), and I think they are putting that on their FB page soon — will link when it is done.

Daily Photo – The Batmobile

On one of my little Texas road trips, I saw this thing on the side of the road and it was worth a turn-around! It kind of makes me want to have an awesome and impractical car like this. Everything else I do in my life is so dang practical…I think I need an impractical car!

High Dynamic Range Photography

Five Minutes of Light in Houston

Taking Photos of Cities

I love these sorts of photos, obviously. But when I am trying to find the perfect spot, I am always reminded about how most people don’t think like photographers. Of 100 people, 97 or so would recommend that I go up in the tallest building in the city. No, I always contend — I want the tallest building to be in the shot, so I need to go up in the 2nd-10th tallest buildings that actually look back towards the west and towards the tallest building. It all requires a lot of 3D visualization and spinning of the city, and I find that most of these conversations end with confusion (and then me going back to Google Earth once again).

Daily Photo – Five Minutes of Light in Houston

When I give talks, I have a rotation of random photos that appear in the background while I talk about all sorts of things. I figure people don’t want to watch me… and a steady stream of photos is more interesting. Anyway, at some point, one of my photos of Houston appears, and I say, “This is about the prettiest you will ever see Houston.” It always gets a laugh… mostly because it’s so painfully true.

This is the 2nd or 3rd photo of downtown Houston that I have processed. There is a quick moment between sunset and dusk when the sky can turn any color… this time it turned purple, so I was lucky!

HDR Photo

Video Interview on SplashMedia

Video Interview on Splashmedia

Have you all heard of Renay San Miguel? He was an anchor on CNN, CBS, and CNBC… You’ll probably recognize him in the interview!

Thanks to Chris Kraft and the team over at Splash Media for the interview! I hope you enjoy it…

New Prints – The Adventure Tree and The Falls of Yellowstone

We release one new print a week, and I’ve been a bit remiss in mentioning them with all the travel. My bad. I can remedy that right now…

You can click on each print to go over and get details. As always, each one is part of a numbered limited edition series. Enjoy!

HDR Photo

HDR Photo

The Parachute Jump

Keeping up…. Live from Paris

Sometimes, if I have a few extra seconds, I’ll take little cellphone pics and upload them to Twitter. If you are not on Twitter, and want to see them, just click the little “Tweets” button/tab thing over on the right. It can give you the latest scoop in case you want to see what is live. For example, I am now in Paris, and I put up a few things over the day. None of these are great shots btw… just little slices of life I am capturing. I’ll repost them here below.

New Video – The Parachute Jump

Here is the video that I edited together of the big jump I made with the Golden Knights!  Enjoy!

The Golden Knights are Bad Ass

Having a Great Time at OpenCamp!

I gave a little talk yesterday called, “Clever Tricks for Making Your Blog More Beautiful and Popular”. We had a good time, and I hope the crowd enjoyed it! If you want to know more about OpenCamp and the other speakers, including Chris Pirillo, Cali Lewis, and more, see this Open Camp Day One writeup by Phillip Coxwell.

Daily Photo – The Golden Knights are Bad Ass

I have not had much time this weekend to process new photos, but I did take a moment to process this one.

This was taken during an evening demonstration on the night before OpenCamp began. It was an unforgettable night with the Knights! After falling a few miles from the sky, the skydivers would open up their chutes & pyrotechnics and let loose. Since I had jumped with them the day before, they let me get up close on the landing to get some tight shots.

I also may go out to Fort Bragg, where they are based, and do a bunch more shots in the future. I look forward to that very much!

Visit the Golden Knights on their website, and follow them on Twitter at @ArmyGK.

HDR Photo

New Ebook – Composing the Photo

New Ebook!

I’m very proud of this new eBook!

Jump over to the “How to Compose Photos: Creating Order from the Chaos” page here on the site and have a look!

I look forward to getting into your hands to see what you think. We have several reviews that have already rolled in on the page. Thanks everyone for the positive feedback.

Here are just a few examples of what is inside the 50 page eBook!

  • A detailed how-to about how to Compose Photos
  • Countless examples of the how/when/why of setting up a shot on the scene
  • Postprocessing:  the how/when/why to crop your image for more meaning and power
  • Deep discussions on how viewers react to different compositions
  • There is an equal emphasis on composing landscapes and composing people

Composing the Photo

On the way to the Jump!

This is what I look like right before I leave this mortal coil.

Giovanni (@Giovanni) grabbed this shot of me on the way to my parachute jump with the Golden Knights… more to come soon… but I know many people were asking, so here is a quick one for you.

HDR Photo

A Night with Harley

My Unexpected 24-70mm Usage

As a landscape photographer, I tend to go wide-angle a lot… Actually, I don’t particularly “like” (not facebook-like, like-like) being called a “landscape photographer” — but I know people like to categorize, and it’s better than being called a “underwear tester”.

So back to the wide-angle bit. I love my Nikon 14-24 lens… and when I go on trips, I expect to use that the most! However, I notice that this current photo-adventure in Iceland, I am using my 24-70 most of the time. About 70% of the time! I find it gets me the compression and framing I need for so many landscape situations.

I’ll have to add more photos soon to my Nikon 24-70 Review here on the site… but it is a very versatile lens!

Daily Photo – A Night with Harley

These bikes are really a fun subject for photography. I get excited every time I head out for one of these events. There are so many styles, customizations, and characters behind them… you never see the same thing twice.

Setting up for these photos is also somewhat of a fun challenge. Getting the right “background” is very important to me… sometimes it just does not work out, so I have to move on and leave a pretty bike alone. The other thing about these bikes, which you don’t realize until you take thousands of photos of them, is that you probably only have a 12.5% chance of getting a good composition and background. I break it down thusly:

  • 50% chance that the bike is on its kick stand and leaning the direction you want.  These are just too hard to shoot from the downward-leaning side.
  • Compounded by a 50% chance the background area is boring, distracting, inappropriate, or otherwise unpalatable
  • Compounded by another 50% chance that the bike will be blocked by another bike, since these tend to travel in flocking patterns, like their riders.

HDR-Photo

The Driskill at Night

HDR DVD getting closer!

I know there is rampant demand for the HDR DVD, and I wanted to give you an update. The production is about to come to a close, and we can get it to everyone as soon as possible. I’ve been getting early cuts of some of the sections, and they look really sharp. They are filled with many, many examples of my exact workflow, showing how I make layers in Photoshop, how I do my settings in Photomatix, the best order of operations, how I “think through images”, and more. You’ll love it!

To make sure you are the first to know, be sure to sign up for the free newsletter right here!


Daily Photo – The Driskill at Night

Here is one of the photos that I process on the HDR DVD.

During the Austin Workshop, we had a professional team in place to make sure everything went off without a hitch. We started the weekend with a long photowalk through the streets of Austin. I stopped to take a photo of The Driskill hotel, which happened to be the same place we held the actual workshop. I talked through the shot a little bit and what I was trying to accomplish.

During the actual workshop, I did not process this photo. But I have since done so, and I recorded the whole session to be on the DVD as well. It’s one of those classic “problems” where there is a lot of ghosting from the car movement.

HDR-Photo

Mozart’s Coffee in Austin

Photoshop Tools

I’m in the middle of my weekend workshop here in Tokyo and we are having a great time. People flew in from Hong Kong and Shanghai for the event – cool! I gave everyone a bunch of homework… we will see how they do!

During the class, I’ve been showing people some of my other tools that I use regularly. In case you do not have them, I suggest you check out the:

Daily Photo – Mozart’s Coffee in Austin

This is one of my favorite places in Austin!  Like many other are coffee shops, it’s one of those spots that techies go to be alone, together.  If you know what I mean.

It’s full of Macbook laptops, coffee, coffee-related products, and sweet sweet Web 2.0 geeks.  It used to be uncool to be a geek… but now it is quite socially acceptable.  The ironic thing is that geeks gave up the concept of social acceptability a long time ago… so we are all somewhat aloof to this newfound status.

The Lime Couches

Daily Photo – The Lime Couches

One of my favorite sites for finding boutique hotels is Tablet Hotels.  They are not an advertiser or anything…  I just wanted to thank them for having an awesome service!  I quite like staying at boutique hotels.  These are usually smaller, quaint, with unexpected interiors.  Often times, I like them better than the huge hotels because they seem more intimate and I sometimes get more personalized services.

This hotel is The Magnolia in Houston.  At least, I am 95% sure that is the name of the place!  It was one of those I found on Tablet…  give it a try next time you travel and let me know if you like it too!

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