New Plotagraph

TV ONE News Segment

Thanks to the team at TV ONE and Mark Hathaway for converting this from a hit-piece to a puff-piece! 🙂

DAILY PHOTO – New Plotagraph

Here’s a Plotagraph I took from the quadcopter during the live filming of the show. It was nerve-wracking to be interviewed while trying to take photos and do so many things at once! 🙂

The Dunedin Sunrise Plotagraph

More about Plotagraphs

Check out the page here on the site for more info.

New Plotagraph Tutorial!

I made a much better version of the Plotagraph Tutorial. This one shows full end-to-end and has more samples. I also talk a bit about the price as well as how to share on various social media.

Daily Photo – The Dunedin Sunrise Plotagraph

Remember, this was made out of a single JPG – how cool! I made this animation be a bit faster than most to add to the drama. But, of course, you can choose whatever speed you like. Actually, this one has two different speeds for the sky and the water (the water is barely moving).


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Crossing through Alexandra

Symmetry Tip

Whenever you take a photo of a symmetrical situation, be sure to spend a few extra moments to make sure you are absolutely in the very middle. If you’re using a mirrorless camera with an EVF, switch through to the different modes where you see the most gizmos on the screen. You can use all those horizon/tilt gizmos as triangulation bits to like up symmetrical objects in the room. Take a little extra time, because it’s really tough to fix symmetry in Photoshop!

Daily Photo – Crossing through Alexandra

I've made many road trips from Queenstown to Dunedin in the past year… every time I go through Alexandra. This is what it looks like as you cross the bridge in the middle of the Autumn. How pretty! 🙂

Crossing through Alexandra

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-04-19 03:29:13
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/180
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

New! Aurora HDR Presets Pack!

Hello Internet friends

Grab the preset expansion at or get the full Aurora HDR Bundle!

25 Presets. 2 Tutorial Videos. 20 Sample Images. Rather Redonkulously Long Preset Names that are More Problematic than Helpful.

Hello Internet friends. Trey Here. As of the time of writing this, Aurora HDR Pro has only been out less than half a year and already has 250,000+ downloads. It’s clear people love this! Well, I use this almost every day… sometimes to process dozens of photos. I honestly love it. Remember when I used to use Photomatix? Remember back in the 70’s when I used to stand up and walk over to the Magnavox to change the channel? Yeah, that was pretty lame.

In the past few months, I’ve created about 100 presets. I thought about releasing all of them, but that seemed to be too silly and information over-load, so I decided on my favorite 25. I actually had a little Google Doc, and whenever I used one, I updated the spreadsheet. Pretty geeky I know, but it helped figure out the best 25.

I’ll be honest. Every set of photos is different and some of these presets will make your photo look amazing, and others like complete garbage. There, I said it. But listen, I’m an expert in this stuff, and you just can’t have a preset that works perfectly in Daytime + Nighttime + Indoor/Outdoor + CutePet. So, some will look amazing, others not so much. But don’t give up, next time you might get the inverted results!

One of my favorite new presets is called “Girls Love them some Jon Snow.” It’s dark and moody and has just the right amount of HDR. It works great in night situations. Another great one that works with night shots is “Horrible Mistakes on Snapchat.”

Looking for a good daytime filter? This one really plays with the dynamic glow, but I keep going to it. It’s called “ROBOT TREY Calls This 101101101” which is really a stupid name but Robot Trey doesn’t think about these things. Another daytime winner is “Chocolate Increases Happiness & Shame.” You’ll notice how there are thematic connections between the presets that hint towards an artist in an endless downward shame spiral.

Have an interior shot? I’ve got this one that was a total accident that always seems to work. It’s called, “BB8 is Like Waaaay Cuter than R2-D2.” There’s another great one, even though the results come out a bit more grainy and dodgy called “Crisco Twister with Aunty”

Anyway, that’s just a taste. There’s other weird situations too. You might even try “LEVEL X – Don’t click this for 1 month,” but don’t try it for a month. It’s a test of your will. Perhaps you might click the more daring B&W preset gently entitled “I Hope My Daughter Never Comes Home with a Black & White Guy.” Actually, it turns out that preset name was too long, so it’s been shortened to “Who’s that Black & White Guy??”

And even better, I’m including 20 of my photos you can play with (6 sets of 3 JPGs and 1 RAW file) as well as 2 Tutorial Videos showing you how I use these 25 presets!

Buy them

Aurora HDR Pro is Live!

It’s been 10 long days, now it’s here!

Want to see what the new Aurora HDR Pro is all about? Here’s a Deep Dive video that shows how fun and amazing the software is!

It’s really just incredible… I use it to make all my HDR images. It has layers, curves, special glows, and more! I think you’re gonna love it. Here it is in our store!

And here’s a list of all the features! 🙂

  • Revolutionary tone-mapping technology (less noise, realistic results).
  • Advanced high quality image processing engine.
  • JPEG, PNG, TIFF support
  • Adobe RGB wide color profile support.
  • ProPhoto wide color profile support.
  • Built-in sample photos.
  • Native RAW files support (Aurora HDR Pro)
  • Real-time image processing.
  • 38 HDR presets in 5 categories.
  • Signature presets by Trey Ratcliff (Aurora HDR Pro)
  • Custom presets import and export.
  • Layers & Masking.
  • Support of different Blend modes for Layers.
  • Custom texture overlays
  • Luminosity masking.
  • Custom brush for selective editing.
  • Gradient masking tool.
  • Layer source changing.
  • Masking with brackets.
  • Color clipping preview.
  • Duplicate layer.
  • Advanced Tone Mapping controls.
  • Smart Tone technology
  • Highlights / Midtones / Shadows adjusters.
  • Whites & Blacks.
  • Advanced Structure & Clarity technology.
  • HDR denoise.
  • Image Radiance effect.
  • Color contrast tool.
  • Image Details enhancer tool.
  • Glow effect.
  • Graduated ND filter emulation (“Top & Bottom Lighting”).
  • Tone curve tool.
  • Color filter tool – Selective coloring.
  • Color toning.
  • Vignette.
  • Automatic Alignment
  • Automatic Deghosting
  • Automatic Chromatic aberration reduction.
  • Histogram.
  • Crop tool.
  • Align image.
  • Quick compare
  • Side by side comparison.
  • Image navigator window.
  • Full Screen preview mode.
  • Facebook sharing.
  • Flickr sharing.
  • SmugMug sharing.
  • Export to email.
  • Export to iMessage.
  • Export to other apps.
  • Export to Photos for Mac.
  • Export to Creative Kit apps.
  • Photoshop plug-in (Aurora HDR Pro)
  • Lightroom plug-in (Aurora HDR Pro)
  • Aperture plug-in (Aurora HDR Pro)

Some of my favorite Aurora HDR Pro Images!

Before the Aurora!

A recap of San Francisco

Wow that San Francisco Photowalk was amazing! Here’s our recapped video for you of all the highlights.

Daily Photo – Before the Aurora!

I know I keep talkin' about the new Aurora HDR Pro, but I'm so darned excited about it! I was especially just thinking about it because of today's photo from San Francisco. I processed this one with Photomatix, and I got that strange banding and chunky noise in the sky. I don't have those problems with noise in Aurora HDR Pro because there are two ways to get rid of it, using HDR Denoise and a tricky Clarity slider

Before the Aurora!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-09-20 11:47:40
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time13
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length43.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Holy Aurora Batman! I made my own HDR Software for Macs and it’s available now!

Aurora HDR Pro Pre-order Now Available

Grab the Pre-order for Aurora HDR Pro now! I’m so excited! This is the only software I use now for my photos that I edit on my Macs — it’s just incredible. It will be released in just 10 days, but you can grab get the pre-order package now.

Over the past year I’ve been slaving away on this with our partners at Macphun. You probably know many of the other Macphun products… I’ve been using their plugins for years and I think they are an amazing company. Well, about a year ago, we decided to combine forces to build the ultimate HDR Software.

Some of my favorite features of the new software

Not only are the HDR results simply amazing, but this tool is so jam-packed with features and bells and whistles that it’s all you need. Some of you that have been watching my other HDR Tutorials know how I used MANY tools including Lightroom, Photoshop, and other plugins. Well now I don’t use ANY of those —just this!

Aurora HDR Pro has LAYERS, HDR de-noise, that special “glow” effect you see in my photos sometimes that give them that fairy-tale look, curves, adjustments for the “HDRness” of the Top or Bottom of the photo, color filters, and, well, 100 other little things!

What’s going on with the Pre-order?

Many things! The actual release date is November 19th — but if you’re as excited as me and ready to get it now then you’ll get some special bonuses! The Pre-Order includes:

  • Aurora HDR Pro for Mac (Available for download Nov 19th)
  • 20 minute Aurora HDR tutorial video by me
  • Bonus presets to get you started
  • 11 HD wallpapers I made with Aurora HDR
  • 11 sets of my bracketed images you can use for practice


Pre-Order Aurora HDR Pro for just $89! Includes exclusive bonuses!
Offer ends November 18th

Pre-Order Now

Here’s some sample images!

I made all of these with ONLY Aurora HDR Pro. Some of these literally only took a few minutes. It’s SO fast!

https://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Misc/Aurora-HDR-Pro/i-H7rVsw

Awesome Buildings in Tokyo

Lightroom Presets

I thought about re-packaging some of my presets for different kind of categories. Maybe a black & white package… a sandstorm package… I can’t actually decide because I don’t want to make it too confusing. Okay, I just talked myself out of

Daily Photo – Awesome Buildings in Tokyo

I don’t do a lot of single-shots of buildings, but when I’m in Tokyo I make an exception. I know nothing about architecture or how to make a cool building, but I’d like to think that if I was an architect that I could make something like this. I don’t know how these guys come up with ideas like this!

Awesome Buildings in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-23 20:14:04
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Textures of Venice

Forbes Travel Guide Interview

I did an interview with the Forbes Travel Guide all about the tour and more! It was a fun interview… it was actually over the telephone, and she transcribed what I said into sentences… a few little mistakes in there (like I said “Police State” instead of “Police Stage”), but you’ll get the general idea, I think! 🙂

Mixing Textures

This one comes from the Textures Tutorial — I did use about 7 different textures here, mixing them all together like you might remember from the video

Daily Photo – The Textures of Venice

Getting smooth water in Venice is not super easy, because all the canals are often busy with boat traffic. For some reason, I found this one that was perfectly still, so I jumped on the opportunity!

The Textures of Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-05-10 13:18:27
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Ten Hours in Singapore

New Presets!

Don’t forget today’s the day for the half-price Lightroom Presets for October! Enjoy! Here’s the names of the new presets — I came up with a few awesome and crazy new presets at Burning Man this year!

“Arya Blinded”
“Batmanmobile”
“Bunny Beers”
“Greenman Juice”
“Night Beach Party”
“Sandy Robot”
“SoftHDR Blue”
“Swayze Crotch”
“The Mono Blaster”
“Undo the Sandy”

The Fluffy Cat Demands you buy them now

See his demanding fluffy stare.

Awesome Singapore

I want to go back and spend more time here for sure… Now that I live in New Zealand, whenever I go to Europe, it’s just as easy to stop here as it is Dubai. So I’ll see if I can make more time here next time… maybe have a photowalk or som

Daily Photo – Ten Hours in Singapore

I connected in Singapore on the way from Vietnam back home to New Zealand, so of course I had to go out and shoot! I grabbed a taxi immediately and then headed to the hot zone down here! I haven’t been here since they added all this crazy-awesome stuff… I was taking non-stop photos. In this part, I’m way up high on this sky bridge between electric trees.

Ten Hours in Singapore

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-05-20 19:31:44
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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