Monday, March 7, 2011

Color and Light


In honor of this, my 200th post, I thought I would kill a couple of birds (and redeem myself as a good Texan) with one post.

It’s new header time!!!


In honor of Texas Independence Day, which I missed on March 2, we are looking at the work of Austin resident Trey Ratcliff, specialist in High Dynamic range (HDR) photography and creator of Stuck in Customs, a blog devoted to his pictures and the process he uses to make them.  What is HDR photography exactly?  A dry definition, courtesy of wikipedia, explains it thusly:

[…] set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight.

It’s a bit easier to see the difference, however:


According to the photographer “… it was shot about two hours outside of Austin in a little town called Brady.  You’d like it.  They have a Sonic there.”  Omg I WOULD like it!



In fact, Trey’s picture of Fourth of July fireworks over Lake Austin was the first ever HDR image to be shown in the Smithsonian Institution.  Not too shabby, eh?


from Trey Ratcliff at

A shout out to my Savannah relatives!



“I found this beauty salon one evening when driving between Houston and Austin. It was just sitting there, all neglected…. and I felt like someone needed to pay attention to it, so I did for a short while.”  By the way, I’d totally get my hair did there.



“A Sea of Glass- The Chihuly Exhibit at the Belagio” God, I could go for some Skittles about now


In a weird way, this is kind of how I see the world… or at least how I try to see it.  If it’s gonna be in color, then why not Technicolor, right!? It’s certainly no wonder that some of the movies I have recommended previously (Amelie, The Fall) are skewed through a similar lens.  Even before I saw some of Trey’s work I would photoshop my pictures trying to evoke not necessarily what the camera saw, but the image I remembered, ambiance and all.  Two examples from my D.C. trip:

2011-02-25 18.13.30  2011-02-25 18.13.30redo

Before           and                       After

2011-02-25 17.19.32  2011-02-25 17.19.49

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not even beginning to try and compare myself to the above. For one, my camera consists of, well, my phone. While they may turn out relatively well for small proportioned blog usage, their nowhere NEAR Smithsonian standards. Photography is the one medium of visual art that I think I might even have the capability of doing well, and this style has certainly intrigued me.  So forget that watch (because I’m sure some of you were juuuuust about to buy it for me)… daddy wants a CAMERA!!!

Oh, and speeeaaaaaking of photography, I thought this would be the perfect time to announce that tomorrow I am starting my new job as Assistant Director at the John Cleary Gallery!!!!!  (You may recall I have posted about it ummmm here and here and here and here ad infinitum… … …) I’ll actually be the one to read about this in a GoogleAlert email tomorrow at work :)

That’s right, baby, I can now check something off of my list of life “to-do’s”!!!  It’s not ever really been something I’ve talked about, but I’ve always thought it would be the most glamorous thing to work in a gallery.  Which just goes to show—blog about something enough and who knows where it’ll lead!!! (It maybe also helps to know the owner?)  It’s just a three month stint until I head away to Europe again this summer, but I am going to revel every. single. day of it!

2010-12-04 19.50.42


Artist: Stephen Sondheim/ Album: Sunday in the Park with George


  1. Ha! I'm so glad I can fulfill a dream! Get ready to realize how un-glamorous a life it is!

  2. Congrats! I think Catherine has done a very smart thing in hiring you. Now go sell some of her wonderful photographs.


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