Big Sur in the Morning

Big Sur in the Morning
good morning america com
Image by Stuck in Customs
Destination Google!
On Monday Feb 1, I’m speaking at Google for their Authors@Google program. The whole thing will be recorded, so I’ll be able to share it back with the world here once it goes up. You can find out more by following @GoogleTalks. And thanks to Mike Wiacek @MikeWiacek who is the head of the Google Photog Club and to Cliff Redeker @mcrsquared for getting the whole thing set up… I am excited!

Later that afternoon, I’m giving a private photography workshop to people at Google back in one of their secret rooms… That should be a lot of fun too. I’ll be going through, in person, what I have in the HDR Tutorial here on the site.

There is a public photowalk and talk on Thursday, Feb 4 at Stanford. We’ll meet at 4 PM at the The Oval, and then meet at 5:30 in one of the auditoriums for the talk.

Private Tour at Hearst Castle
I’m driving up the coast towards Silicon Valley, and I decided to take my time and leisurely drive up Highway 1. I’m doing my best to fill the trip with planned and unplanned adventures.

I spent a big chunk of the day up at Hearst Castle. I was given a private tour whilst guarded by one of LAPD’s finest, who is now a security guard at the castle. I had carte blanche to go anywhere and shoot everything – it was totally amazing! I got into the wine cellar, into the top two spires where there are tiny bedrooms, and all over the place. It was just amazing — I have not had time to process the photos yet… but… you won’t believe it!

Daily Photo – Big Sur in the Morning
5:30 AM. Alarm goes off. It’s always painful. People that say they are "morning people" — I think they are lying. But, when in a beautiful place, I always force myself, military style, to pop out of bed. There are hikes to be made and photos to take!

I stayed at the Ragged Point Inn. My room had a little fireplace and everything (which made it even harder to get out of bed!). After I got downstairs, I started a little hike to get a good vantage of the coast and the sunrise. Of course, there was a fence blocking the best bit, so I jumped over it like Carl Lewis (a much older, whiter, and less jumpy Carl Lewis), and edged along the rocky coast to get a good spot. I forgot to put on my hiking shoes and mistakenly donned my Cole-Haans while in the dark. Big mistake. Those don’t make for good hiking shoes, especially after five minutes of getting soaked in morning dew from the foliage I was ripping my way through.

But, I had on my earphones and was blasting away music… all was good… the sun came up, the clouds were perfect, and I took this photo.

from Trey Ratcliff at

A Morning at the Secret Lake

A Morning at the Secret Lake
good morning america com
Image by Stuck in Customs
The book is "Officially" out

I understand warehouses are filling up and orders should be shipping any time! For sure, I stayed up all night signing things for the pre-orders that went through this site. My signatures are all real… and not fake stamps like so many others. I walked into a Barnes & Noble tonight here in New York to see if they had my book yet… They say any minute! But, on the way out, I saw Alton Brown’s cookbook that was an "Autographed Copy". It was so obviously a stamp that was infused into the jacket! Anyway, I am sorry if they got a little messy around 6 AM, but at least you know they are real! I wanted to make sure we got these out to everyone ASAP… it’s important to you, I know, so it’s important to me.

If you have the book already, why not pop over to Amazon and give the book a review? We now live in a world that is powered by people like you and your opinions — and I would appreciate that very much!

HuffingtonPost Uses My Son’s Photo in very Uncool Way

Thanks for all the feedback and interest in this story –…

Daily Photo: A Morning at the Secret Lake
This was shot in the Andes of Southern Argentina just near the border of Chile.

I spent several hours of hiking in the dark just so I could get to this spot at sunrise. All the darkness in the lower half is the shadow of the mountain behind me as the morning sun rose above it. I was so thirsty from the hike, and had not brought any water with me. Looking on Google Earth beforehand, I knew there was a lake up here and I could fill up… so I got down on my hands and knees and drank like a horse… oh boy that was some good fresh water… You can see my little footprints in the snow there on the left.

From the blog at