Google Acquires Nik Software

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Google has acquired Nik Software. The key asset in the deal appears to be Nik’s iOS photo app Snapseed. My main concern, however, is what this means for the future of Nik’s professional-level plugins for Apeture and Lightroom? If Google starts killing off these plugins, today could be remembered as a very dark day for photo processing software.

Discount Code – Trey Ratcliff’s Discover the Art of Photography

July 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Trey Ratcliff is offering a brand new online seminar called Discover the Art of Photography1 During this final week of registration, Trey is offering 20% the registration code when using the code DiscoverArt20.

The course description is:

Discover the Art of Photography is a video tutorial series made specifically for individuals interested in learning the basics of photography or have recently invested in a new camera but do not fully understand how to use it.

Register for the Course


  1. Affiliate Link 

New Home on Linode

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I have been looking for a way to do some programming-related things, particularly some Ruby development. In order to freshen up my skills on various tools, command line techniques, etc… I decided it was time to move my website to a host that I had more control over. If this post is visibile, it means I’ve completed my move over to Linode.

Wall Art

November 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I recently switched my study into a different room in my house. As part of that move, I decided to rearrange my art collection. This was the final result:

The art is broken down into two major sections: commissions (and one print) of my favorite character, Harley Quinn, and commissions from Robert Wilson IV.

Harley Quinn

The pieces in this section: (click the artist name for a closeup)


Robert Wilson IV

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of Robert’s artwork. I love his style and I think that he has an excellent grasp of anatomy in his drawings. I have a feeling that my collection of his work will continue to grow.

Buying a Printer v. Using a Photolab

September 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Over at Photofocus Scott Bourne has a post of questions to ask yourself as you try to decide whether or not to invest in a photo printer versus using a lab printing service.

I use a WHCC for all of my printing. Mr. Bourne lists the two reasons I do:

You don’t have time or interest in learning color management, printer profiling, etc.

You can’t financially justify the cost of a printer, paper and ink against the cost of the lab’s costs.

Sums it up for me.

Trey Ratcliff Offers a 9-Class, 3-Week Webinar

April 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Trey Ratcliff has announced a new photography webinar. The webinar lasts 3 weeks, starting on May 8th and includes 3 days of classes per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday). Here is a more detailed description:

We will start from the beginning. Even though it is indeed an HDR-centric class, we will actually be talking about all sorts of photography and post-processing topics. For example, if you’re having trouble understanding how I use Photoshop in a certain way, then you will see many examples of me doing this in person. 9 hours of hearing me talk and watching how I create photos on the screen should be more than enough to get you up and running!

Also, you get full access to the Clubhouse, which is a private forum area of Stuck In Customs. We’ll even make a special section just for the class where you can download any sessions that you missed. After the class, you’ll be able to access the main part of the clubhouse to talk with all the other members, share techniques, and get the latest scoop on all sorts of fun stuff.

Based on my previous experience with Trey’s HDR DVDs, I have pretty high hopes for what this webinar can offer. Unfortunately, the dates are right at the cross road of my law school finals and the beginning of studying for the bar. I hope that he ends up offering the webinar for video download to non-attendees later in the year.1

Link to Webinar


  1. As with all products offered by Stuck in Customs, I do get a small referral fee for people who sign up via my website. I do not think that has any impact on my opinions of the products, however, feel free to take it into account. 

The Stages of an Amateur Photographer

March 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jorge Quinteros recently quoted Dan Biggins about the stages of an amateur Photographer.

1st Stage: You aimlessly wander around shooting anything that looks vaguely interesting. “Look, a squirrel…! – click, click, click.

2nd Stage: You’ve just discovered the power of depth of field and you ultimately lose count of the number of coffee mugs or inanimate objects you’ve shot just so you could blur the background.

3rd Stage: You’re gaining confidence you can capture something of interest on your next photographic venture so you take 500 shots with hopes that at least 3 of them would look as good as they did on the LCD screen.

I think I’m comfortably in the 3rd Stage at this point (even if I haven’t been shooting as much recently as I was during the summer). I agree with Jorge about where I’d like to be:

The ideal place to be would be past stage three where I assume any description would involve you talking about your interested in more than just photography.

I think you have to have a deep curiosity for something in order for it to translate as something interesting . That’s the spot I want to be at.

Is Flare by Iconfactory an Instagram for Mac?

March 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I have been playing with Flare by The Iconfactory for a few weeks now. I have had mixed feelings, mostly because I use Aperture for all of my photo process. The presets are nice enough, but I am not sure they are all exactly my style. On the other hand, if you are someone who is looking for a Instagram-like set of filters on the Mac, then maybe this is the answer. Since I don’t think I am going to use the program in enough detail to write a full review, I would refer you to the MacStories Flare Review for more in-depth analysis and examples.

When should you start selling for your work?

February 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

To put it another way, you should charge for your photographs for the same reason that you charged for the lemonade that you sold at the edge of your driveway in the summertime. You certainly weren’t a professional lemonade maker, but you provided a product that had real value to those who bought it from you. You put your time and effort into the process, and even if some of your customers were only your parents’ friends, the monetary intent of those transactions was real.

I completely agree. Do not wait to start selling your work.

(via The Photoletariat)

The Girl Who Played with Fire – Review

January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson<br/> My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the moment I first heard about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I was intrigued by the one of main characters: Lisbeth Salander. Early buzz was about a punky, computer hacker hacker with a dragon tattoo and I thought that sounded like just the type of character I wanted to read about. Of course, that initial book revealed that Lisbeth was much more than the initial buzz led me to believe. <br/><br/>Though Lisbeth is the title character in both The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, she is much more central to the latter. The The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was Lisbeth’s Raider of the Lost Ark. It was a book that had an overarching story that introduced a multilayered and fascinating protagonist, but was not a book about her. The Girl Who Played with Fire is more a “Lisbeth Salander in Story XYZ” book. The book is much more about her. Since I find Lisbeth so interesting, I do not necessarily mind this. <br/><br/>It’s impossible for me to rate The Girl who Played with Fire in a vacuum. Obviously, anyone who reads this will have already read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As a character study of a fascinating character, it excels. As a stand alone story, however, it falls short of its predecessor. <br/><br/> View all my reviews

Review Originally Posted At: Blog.Kivus.com

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