Anyone Wanna Buy a House in Austin? – Stuck in Customs

Anyone Wanna Buy a House in Austin?


Strangest Post Ever

This might be my strangest blog post ever…  well, hey, I figured… why not?  Besides, maybe some of you want to see where I have lived for the past seven years or so…  and yes, we are moving to New Zealand.  More info on that later, I promise! 🙂

Daily Photo – Anyone Wanna Buy a House in Austin?

Contact me at wildcard (at) if you are interested in finding out more… this is just a little teaser with some photos.

It’s in a great area of the hill country, about 15 mins from downtown (with no traffic!) Austin.  The neighborhood is called Jester, and it weaves in and out of a natural preserve.  It’s mega hilly with tons of trees.  Our house, as you can see below from the backyard shot (the fourth one) backs onto a natural preserve… so there is nothing for miles and miles except for little creeks and hilly forests.

The house itself is 5 bedroom, two stories, contemporary design, with all sorts of nice-to-haves.  I’m even leaving the media room with the projector, big screen, and all that stuff.  Anyway, here are a few photos below!

First, here is a photo from the street, looking down the hill at our house on the left.

HDR Photo

Second, here is another view of the front of the house at Christmas time.

HDR Photo

Below is the family room.  The kids are not included with the house.

A Neo-Rockwellian Christmas When dad is a photographer, then there is a major degree of pressure to deliver photos on all the requisite holidays and celebrations! So, I decided to try to re-invent the family Christmas photo with HDR. Please note that many of my inventions go down in flames, but, as Winston Churchill said, “success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm”.Christmas scenes have a lot of light levels. The lights on the tree, the deep greens withn the branches, a roaring fire, lights in the room, reflections off the ornaments, and the like. It’s wild! I’m pretty sure this is why people like Christmas scenes so much - a wonderful treat for the eyes that is rich in texture and rich in light. Traditionally, it’s been very difficult to capture so much richness in a single photo, saving a lucky and heroic combination of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and lenses.The tree lights made the faces of my three stunt-children (who are also my real children) glow perfectly. No flash could have achieved this, unless you are the kind of Rambo-flash guy that would go bury one inside the tree to hit their faces from the left. But, let’s face it. That’s hard.This was a 5-exposure HDR. You will notice that I often use 5 exposures, but note I could have done it with 3 exposures at -2, 0, and +2. Some silly Nikon cameras, like the D3X I use, will not let you step by twos, so I had to take 5 at -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2. The middle exposure, from which the kid’s faces were masked in and perfectly lit, was shot at f/4 aperture, shutter speed of 1/250, 100 ISO, and at 28mm.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Fourth, here is a view off the back deck.  The first dip you see down below leads to a quaint little bubbling brook that tumbles away on rainy mornings, like when I took this photo.

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