Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Careful Composition

Some of these spots are Extremely Difficult to get into. I’m not kidding. I have to get my body in positions that are not only downright awkward, but seem patently inhuman. The instinct is just to get the shot and get out of there. It’s not a game of inches — it’s a game of millimeters. When I am in these delicate spots, I try really hard to make sure that the tripod is exactly right and the framing is exactly right. If things aren’t perfect when you take the shot, sometimes you just can’t save it in post

Daily Photo – Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Is this place hot?

Yes.

Did I dump a bottle of water on my head every 15 minutes?

Yes.

Was I completely dry for 14 minutes between each dumping?

Yes.

Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-08-18 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Beauty of Zion and Photomatix Betas

The New Photomatix

If you’ve already bought Photomatix (or, if not, visit the Photomatix page and use the coupon code “TREYRATCLIFF” to save 15%) then you should be trying out the new beta! It’s really awesome. I used it to make this image below from Zion National Park. I keep forgetting to go to the beta page and get the newest version. They seem to release them on a fairly regular basis. There are so many changes that it is hard for me to keep track of it all, but I do no each subsequent version gets better and better.

Do you primarily use a Mac to edit your photos? If so, then check out Aurora HDR Pro! I worked with Macphun for over a year to build the ultimate HDR software!

Multi-Language Versions of the HDR Tutorial!

And speaking of Photomatix and HDR, we’re always adding new versions… here is the latest list.

HDR Tutorial (English)
?????? ??????? HDR ???? ??
HDR Tutoriál v ?eském jazyce
HDR handleiding in het Nederlands
Tutoriel HDR en français
HDR-Kurs auf Deutsch
Tutorial HDR in italiano
????HDR???????
Tutorial HDR em Português
??????? ?? HDR ??-??????
Tutorial HDR en Español
or Contact us to help with translations.

Daily Photo – The Beauty of Zion

Here’s one of the first photos I got while rolling into Zion National Park. It was my first time to ever visit the park, so I was completely transfixed and blown away. It wasn’t that I had low expectations — it’s that I had NO expectations. But it was so colorful and full of trees and little rivers and everything… it was like being inside of a painting. Sorry it took me so long, Utah! 🙂

The Beauty of Zion

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-08-19 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Photomatix 5 in Open Beta – And Last Night in Tokyo

Aurora HDR Pro

Do you primarily use a Mac to edit your photos? If so, then check out Aurora HDR Pro! I worked with Macphun for over a year to build the ultimate HDR software!

New Photomatix 5 and Tonemapping!

Now it’s finally available for beta download on this special Photomatix page. There is all new tonemapping algorithm and all kinds of cool stuff a’goin’ on. Also, if you decide to buy the full version (you’ll get the free upgrade), we have a new Photomatix coupon code of TREYRATCLIFF. Or, if you’re completely new to this software, I have a how-to over on the HDR Tutorial.

Last night in Tokyo

Here is some behind the scenes for you that I just got up on my YouTube channel (free subscriptions welcome)! 🙂

Daily Photo – The Infinity of Tokyo

We also had a huge PhotoWalk ended at this Italian restaurant atop a building in Harajuku. There were over a hundred people inside at the party. I gave a speech about the effects of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints on the Impressionist movement and how this tradition now continues online with Google+.

Right after that, I discovered there was a huge balcony out the side door with an amazing view of the city! I went out there with Vic Gundotra, Bradley Horowitz and a few others to grab a shot of the view.

Here are more photos from the PhotoWalk.

The Infinity of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-03 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.7

Photomatix 5 Preview!

New Photomatix soooooon???

I wanted to announce this first on the blog since it is so cool and I was excited!

It’s not available yet – I got one early since I am in the private beta. I asked if it was okay to share a few early things (I’m not into spilling secrets), and they said it was cool — the public beta will be very soon, so no need to contact Photomatix!

I assume you know that Photomatix is a common tool I use in processing my photos. If you’ve never heard of it and want to try it, you can get it cheaper over at the Photomatix page with the coupon of TREYRATCLIFF. I also have more about it over on the HDR Tutorial here on the site.

The new Photomatix 5 will have some awesome stuff that is pretty cool. For one, the auto-align algorithm is continuing to improve. There is even an added option (as you can see below) for images that are taken on tripods. I can attest that not all images on tripods are necessarily aligned, so this is a cool tweak to the algorithm which itself has made tremendous strides even in recent point releases after Photomatix 4.

Regarding the Upgrade policy (many questions about this — this is from their website):

The upgrade to Photomatix Pro version 5 will be free of charge for customers who purchased a license of Photomatix Pro version 4.0 or higher through our website or authorised resellers (Photomatix Pro 4.0 was released on October 2010).

One of the other many new features is a new algorithm called Exposure/Fusion-Realistic which looks promising. That’s all I’ll share for now, but I’ll be sure to update the reviews and everything when it is ready!

HDR Photo

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Frolicking Horses in Iceland

Here’s one of the best situations to use Photomatix — when you are shooting a landscape scene with a lot of different light levels. In this case, it does not get much more extreme than staring right into the sun while shooting these lovely horses on a farm in Iceland.

Frolicking Horses in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 08:06:16
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Aliens over Big Sur

Reposting the smugmug Review show

This was such a fun show that I wanted to repost it! I also added it to the full SmugMug Review here on the site.

Daily Photo – Aliens over Big Sur

I went out one night to see the meteors go crazy, but it turned out to be a little bit weak on the meteor part. And then the most interesting thing would be when cars would crest over the hill to come towards me.

I was wondering… if someone from a few thousand years ago were to be transported in time to be standing there with me — would they have any concept of the car being driven by a human, or would they just think it is an alien ship? I mean, if they could not see inside (it was dark) — would people have any idea that the car was a human-created and powered-device, or would that notion not even enter their heads?

Aliens over Big Sur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-04-22 00:00:00
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A strange night in the Rocks

Africa?

If you were to to Africa, what country would you suggest? What areas? I’m interested in your opinion… I may be planning something for 2014! 🙂

Daily Photo – A strange night in the Rocks

Curtis and I went around to the other side of Virgin Gorda one night to explore. While there, we found a very cool outcropping of rocks that held some still water inside. It turned out to be a place to get a nice clean reflection of a most unusual dusk set of clouds. How lucky we were! But some people say that luck is the residue of design…

A strange night in the Rocks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-05-10 00:00:00
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Dark Street with Lanterns in China & Optometrists and Google Glass

Optometrists and Google Glass

I asked my Optometrist, Danielle Pretty, of Eyes on Ardmore ( http://eyesonardmore.co.nz/ ) in Wanaka, New Zealand, about Google Glass when I went in for a checkup. She was very excited about them – so I flipped on my android phone to make a quick video because I thought you would find her observations interesting. That strange jello-effect in the video is bc of the YouTube stabilization… I couldn’t decide if you wanted to see a shaky video or one with funky-jello. Maybe it will look cooler if you do some shrooms while watching it…

I was glad she was so excited about it… I was kind of thinking that optometrists might be a little skittish about the whole thing. Obviously, she does not represent all optometrists, but her opinion seems pretty valid and measured to me. This “Above the Horizon” thing we talk about is something that you won’t really understand until you wear them for a while. This means a lot for driving and stuff. I think people are afraid they get in the way of driving, but they don’t. I even find that maps, for example, are less distracting than looking over at your center console (or worse, what I fear most people do, looking down at your mobile phone). In fact, after a while you just stop looking at the screen as you get used to the map data hitting your retina. It’s a strange effect, but quite awesome!

New Stuck On Earth for the Mac – Wanna Test?

Wow – look at that… over 2500 pixels across or however much your Mac monitors can muster! This is the ultimate way to use the app… we’re looking for a few good testers before it is released. Hit it hard and give us your feedback!

And yes, it is already available for free on the Android and the iPad – check StuckOnEarthApp.com! 🙂

StuckOnEarthMac_and_Techmeme-2

Daily Photo – Dark Street with Lanterns in China

Here’s another night scene from China a few weeks ago. I’m always a sucker for these Chinese lanterns. They just always seem so authentic, even though I am sure that most of the time they are just strange anachronisms and no longer the most efficient way to light up the area. But, as far as anachronisms go, it’s one of my favorites!

Dark Street with Lanterns in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-05-27 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

The Skies of Sydney and Photomatix Presets

Photomatix Presets

Do you have (my!) Trey’s Photomatix Presets? I still use Photomatix all the time, as many of you noticed from my recent tutorial video. I think my presets are much more interesting than the ones that come with Photomatix, but you can be the judge! If you don’t agree, you can have all your money back… no problemo!

Here’s a screenshot for ya!

Daily Photo – The Skies of Sydney

Sydney? Check. Sunset? Check. Easy photo? Check!

Man, this was such a lay up… I can’t claim much credit for it. I just kinda walked up and it was like this. Good sunset shots are not always easy, but this one was… I admit it! 🙂 Now, it was made a bit easier with post-processing through Photomatix, but I kind of take that for granted now.

The Skies of Sydney

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-09-25 00:00:00
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Lost Cliffs of Oahu – And Photomatix Presets!

Photomatix Presets now in the mix!

Get the new Photomatix Presets!

Ever since one of the newer versions of Photomatix (Don’t have Photomatix yet? Visit the Photomatix page and use the coupon code “TREYRATCLIFF” to save 15%. I’ve been trying out a bunch of different presets. Those thumbnails really do a good job of giving you some indication as to the results of the preset. I’ve created a ton of these, and whittled them down to my favorite 23 for this package.

You’ll notice that some of the presets look great for some photos and horrible on others. Then, when you load in a different set of photos, the situation will be reversed! This is because some of the presets are better for interiors, some better for exteriors, a mix, etc etc. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Lost Cliffs of Oahu

This is a very very very rare re-processing of a photo! I usually never go back to a work.. so, this is more the exception than the rule.

But I started trying a few different things with Photomatix (that you can see in the presets above), and I just like the overall feel of the photo better than the previous version. I don’t see myself going back to re-do whole swaths of photos… this one just grabbed me for some reason.

The Lost Cliffs of Oahu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 08:06:17
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length58mm (58mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Long Path to the Temple of Heaven

Announcement! A Photography Workshop at Google Giveaway!

Are you in LA and want to join me for a great day at Google for a photography workshop? Watch my Google+ Stream today for instructions on how to win the giveaway. It will be an amazing time!

Textures

This photo below, like others you see on occasion, use a texture method that I get a lot of questions about. We have a popular Textures Tutorial here on the site that comes with a ton of different textures in case you are curious to learn more…

Daily Photo – The Long Path to the Temple of Heaven

It was a beautiful morning in Beijing. It was cool and crisp, and I walked around this historic area while locals were doing yoga and various other exercises. There are many ancient, repeating structures that cover the grounds in a very orderly manner. This is one of the many long structures that helps to connect various areas of the complex.

The Long Path to the Temple of HeavenIt was a beautiful morning in Beijing. It was cool and crisp, and I walked around this historic area while locals were doing yoga and various other exercises. There are many ancient, repeating structures that cover the grounds in a very orderly manner. This is one of the many long structures that helps to connect various areas of the complex.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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