Truck stop
So, what happened to this Ben guy who hasn't updated his blog since mid-December?

He's been living life and not caring what the neighbors think. Here's a quote from a recent interview that might give you an glimpse into my recent attitude: 

"Shut off your computer, turn off the TV, put down that book, turn off your cell phone, then go outside and live your own life instead of reading/watching/talking about what everyone else is doing… blaze your own trail! Don't wait until you retire because you just might not have the energy or ability to get around compared to what you can do today. Why not keep your old cell phone, your older car and stop trying to keep up with your neighbors and spend that money on living more life more vividly right now?"

Here's a quick rundown of where I've been since my last post:
  1. Moved the bus to San Diego for the winter.
  2. Spent a few weeks over the holidays hanging out with friends in Maui, HI 
  3. Attended a vintage bus rally in Arizona where I was about a dozen buses similar to what I've been thinking about buying (would cost half as much as my current bus and have a lot more style)
  4. Test drove a 1956 Chevy Nomad that I was thinking of using to replace my Jeep Liberty 
  5. Flew to Florida, taught a three-day hands-on HDR class and then spoke at a conference known as Fotofusion 
  6. Spoke at the Connecticut Professional Photographers Association convention
  7. Started using Facebook. Please only send a friend request if I'd actually recognize you, otherwise become a fan (just don't want to read too many updates from people I don't know all that well)
  8. I shaved off all my facial hair just to see what was hiding under there  
  9. Been working on a new product that should be ready by mid-March (you have no idea what it is, so don't start guessing) 
  10. A bunch of other stuff that I can't recall at the moment, but usually involved visiting friends or trying new things. 

Here are a few random photos related to the items above:


I guess I haven't been posting here because I haven't gotten too many new finished images to post and I feel like I should always include a photo with each post. I've been updating my facebook page much more often instead. 

Most of the photos I've been taken over the last few months have been nudes, which is why I haven't been posting them here. Here's one that doesn't reveal much that I show in Maui just to give you a taste of what I've been up to. I shot this image in a dark room and lit it using only a flashlight. 


I've added a new mini-map to the left sidebar of this blog to indicate where my current location is. I can update that via many different web pages and iPhone apps via FireEagle. I'll try to remember to update it any time I change cities. In the future, I'd like to have a similar map that would show where I've been in the past and to show the photos I've taken in each location, but I just haven't spent the time to figure out the right service for that kind of stuff. 

OK, that's all I can think of for now… I've been meaning to post something here for quite a while and it was only after messing with the truck stop image above that I really thought I'd have the text and photos I usually use when posting.

The photograph at the top of this post is a nine shot HDR panorama composite that was taken in December near Sierra Blanca, TX. When it comes to the panorama, that's three images. But, each of those images is made from three exposures that were merged into an HDR image before being combined with others to make up the panorama. Only after the three HDR shots where stitched did I tone map the image using Photomatix to make it look good. I then saved the result as a flattened 16-bit TIFF file and opened it through Camera Raw for further enhancement. Most of this stuff is covered on my High Dynamic Range (HDR) Mastery DVD. As usual, you can click the image to see a larger version.