The Mighty Peaks and Soft River

Thanks again commenting friends!

I wanted to take a moment here and thank you all again for your comments! I read them all, and I get to know you through your comments. Even better, my MOM gets to know you all even better than me… when we talk on the phone she just goes on and on about so-and-so…. you have no idea… I should record one of our conversations and let you hear! She’s very sharp, has an encyclopedic memory, and has a full psychoanalysis of each one of you! 🙂

Daily Photo – The Mighty Peaks and Soft River

I’m going up again soon to the northern part of Iceland to visit some friends, and it will be great fun. This time, I’ll have to convince them to come out with me on a little photo adventure…

Right before you get to Akureyri, the road twists along a valley that runs beside these mountains. They are beautiful and scenic, but very difficult to photograph. You keep looking and looking and looking for an angle, and it never quite works out. I found this one by accident.

There was a little side road that looked interesting. I took it, and then it almost immediately went off the side of a hill! It turns out it wasn’t a side-road at all, but some kind of fake-road meant to trick dumb people like me. So, after sliding to a stop, I went out to see if my 4th wheel was dangling over the side. It wasn’t, but I did see a little path that went down by the river. I thought there might be a good vantage point, so I took my rig down there to get this shot.

The Mighty Peaks and Soft RiverI'm going up again soon to the northern part of Iceland to visit some friends, and it will be great fun.  This time, I'll have to convince them to come out with me on a little photo adventure...Right before you get to Akureyri, the road twists along a valley that runs beside these mountains.  They are beautiful and scenic, but very difficult to photograph.  You keep looking and looking and looking for an angle, and it never quite works out.  I found this one by accident.  There was a little side road that looked interesting.  I took it, and then it almost immediately went off the side of a hill!  It turns out it wasn't a side-road at all, but some kind of fake-road meant to trick dumb people like me.  So, after sliding to a stop, I went out to see if my 4th wheel was dangling over the side.  It wasn't, but I did see a little path that went down by the river.  I thought there might be a good vantage point, so I took my rig down there to get this shot.-Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

New HDR Tutorial

Trey Ratcliff’s Photography, HDR, and Post-Processing Course

We have a new HDR Video Tutorial! Exciting! I just ate dinner with one of my students (and friends, now), Cliff Baise. He was down from Dallas and came to listen to my talk the other evening about blogging and photography… We talked a little about this new course, and I told him that I feel a little funny when people like him keep attending all of my various classes and stuff. I try to only put something out when it is new and fresh so there is not a lot of old, rehashed stuff. Anyway, I think you’ll enjoy it… and thank you Cliff for your kind words last night.

Here is a little video preview for you! To see more and get a full course listing, just visit the HDR Video Tutorial page.

Daily Photo – Nobody Needs Dramatic Sheep

I’ve posted two Iceland photos in a row! This is unlike me…yes, but I’m excited about Iceland. And, this is one of the photos I made in the video above.

I think people that rarely see sheep are fascinated by sheep. This is very confusing to people that spend a lot of time around sheep. I’m sure people in Iceland find that outsiders find sheep WAY too interesting. But, to us outsiders, we see these wonderful little white puffs, milling around… the gentle way they drift over the soft turf like clouds on a green sky

If you zoom in tight on this one, you’ll see there are actually three sheep there on the left… the one in the back is just being a little sheepish.

Nobody Needs Dramatic SheepI've posted two Iceland photos in a row!  This is unlike me...yes, but I'm excited about Iceland.  And, this is one of the photos I made in the video above.I think people that rarely see sheep are fascinated by sheep.  This is very confusing to people that spend a lot of time around sheep.  I'm sure people in Iceland find that outsiders find sheep WAY too interesting.  But, to us outsiders, we see these wonderful little white puffs, milling around... the gentle way they drift over the soft turf like clouds on a green sky...If you zoom in tight on this one, you'll see there are actually three sheep there on the left... the one in the back is just being a little sheepish.-Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Long Curvy Road Around Iceland

New HDR Video Tutorial in 24 Hours!

The old video tutorial has been taken down, and will never be available again – but don’t lament! The new one will officially launch tomorrow and I think you’ll love it… If you already had the DVD and wondered about the new thing, here’s a nice quote for you:

“I was initially uncertain as to whether to ‘attend’ this webinar. I had purchased Treys’ DVD and wondered why I should spend more money on this. I must say that I enjoyed the webinars even more than the DVD’s & was surprised in how much I learned. Thanks again for an excellent presentation. I did & will continue to enjoy and learn. It was money well spent!!!’ – Jon Barney, Virginia

Daily Photo – The Long Curvy Road Around Iceland

I’m packing now for another summer solstice at 66 degrees north. It’ll be a great one!

I’m also trying out some new photo bags… people send me stuff to try out all the time. Hehe… I make it clear to all of them that I only review and recommend stuff that I actually use… if I don’t like it, I won’t rip on it, I just won’t mention it. If it turns out to be good, I’ll give it a big thumbs up and tell you all about it… so I am about to go through the big ceremonial process of moving all my stuff from one bag to another… you know that process. It’s actually kind of fun, to tell you the truth… Also, it’s down there in my ethics statement. I only review and recommend stuff I actually use rather than giving you 20 reviews a week. I think that keeps it simple, and also, you aren’t forced to read a bunch of reviews that hem and haw about this and that…

And when I get to Iceland, I’ll be up on this wonderful road again… this gentle curving road that circumnavigates the island… sleeping days and staying up through the white nights… I can’t wait!

The Long Curvy Road Around Iceland I'm packing now for another summer solstice at 66 degrees north.  It'll be a great one!I'm also trying out some new photo bags... people send me stuff to try out all the time.  Hehe... I make it clear to all of them that I only review and recommend stuff that I actually use... if I don't like it, I won't rip on it, I just won't mention it.  If it turns out to be good, I'll give it a big thumbs up and tell you all about it... so I am about to go through the big ceremonial process of moving all my stuff from one bag to another... you know that process.  It's actually kind of fun, to tell you the truth...  Also, it's down there in my ethics statement.  I only review and recommend stuff I actually use rather than giving you 20 reviews a week.  I think that keeps it simple, and also, you aren't forced to read a bunch of reviews that hem and haw about this and that...And when I get to Iceland, I'll be up on this wonderful road again... this gentle curving road that circumnavigates the island... sleeping days and staying up through the white nights...  I can't wait!- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Hello Instagram! Now add 100 New Effects to your creations!

The First Camera App to Integrate with Instagram

I’m happy (and honored) to announce that we are the first camera app to use the amazing Send-to-Instagram feature! 100 Cameras in 1 (iPhone link and iPad link) is now ready for download with the new feature.

Now our hundreds of thousands of users can make use of the amazing Instagram network. I’ve been using it for a long time, and I’m a big fan. It’s free, so why not grab it? My name on there is @TreyRatcliff. What’s yours?

100 Cameras in 1 Instagram

The Very Serious Press Release

What Makes a Good Photo Great? The Morning Smell of Waffles and the Power of Instagram

On April 29, 2011, the world paused to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down the aisle in a stunning, fairytale wedding. Indeed, it was a veritable union of brawn and beauty, royalty and humble beginnings, tradition and reckless love. On May 30, 2011, the world will again witness a marriage of epic proportion as the photo-sharing juggernaut, Instagram, merges with the elegant and poetic camera app, 100 Cameras in 1. Combined, these apps represent almost 5 million users, a hundred million pictures, memories, and stories, and infinite possibility. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t pull off a feat so massive.

Read the rest of the press release

Daily Photo – Red Boat in Fjord Before Storm

As soon as I drove into Isafjordur in the very remote area of NW Iceland, I went right to the docks. The water was so calm and perfect that it was beyond belief. I was super-tired, and I thought that the still water MUST be a unique phenomenon, so I toughened up to go take a bunch of photos.

It was extra-hard because I knew I was ready to go to sleep… and I knew it was about to rain… and it’s one of my favorite things to sleep in the rain. So this worked out nicely since I also like to take a bunch of photos right before it rains. So I took photos till I almost collapsed, found my hotel room, jammed a lot of chocolate, and then fell asleep in that endorphin-laden serum to the gentle rainstorm.

HDR Photo

Gentle Green Slopes to Rocky Curved Crags

New Video – PSDs to JPGs

That is maybe the worst title for a video ever, but it does get to the non-romantic heart of the matter. I’ve gotten this question a lot… well, I get a lot of questions a lot… so I figured I would just go ahead and make a little screencast video that shows how and why I manipulate files in one particular area of my workflow. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Gentle Green Slopes to Rocky Curved Crags

After you are driving around Iceland for a few weeks, you get so used to wild landscapes that it’s hard to be objective. I force myself to wake up and be objective about the matter… and then, I suddenly come to my senses and I realize that scenes like this are entirely unique! So, that helps me to pop out of my truck and go on a short hike to get a good vantage point. And then I get back… process it many months later… and I am happy that I took the time to recognize it was indeed a special place.

Gentle Green Slopes to Rocky Curved Crags After you are driving around Iceland for a few weeks, you get so used to wild landscapes that it's hard to be objective.  I force myself to wake up and be objective about the matter... and then, I suddenly come to my senses and I realize that scenes like this are entirely unique!  So, that helps me to pop out of my truck and go on a short hike to get a good vantage point.  And then I get back... process it many months later... and I am happy that I took the time to recognize it was indeed a special place.  - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Golden Horse in Iceland

Charity Update

Thanks again everyone for contributing to Team Stuck In Customs on Kiva. I think we are over $11,000, and that is great. What have your experiences been like? Are people paying you back and you are reinvesting? I think all of my little loans have been paid back, so I gotta get back in there and find some new good entrepreneurs to support!

Daily Photo: The Golden Horse in Iceland

We worked on this one tonight in the webinar, and I hope people didn’t get too bored. It’s very strange, because I am talking to myself for over an hour, and I only get occasional feedback when Andrea stops watching reruns of Ricki Lake. Anyway, I’ll just assume that people like seeing it, since people keep showing up.

The Golden Horse in Iceland We worked on this one tonight in the webinar, and I hope people didn't get too bored.  It's very strange, because I am talking to myself for over an hour, and I only get occasional feedback when Andrea stops watching reruns of Ricki Lake.  Anyway, I'll just assume that people like seeing it, since people keep showing up. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at www.stuckincustoms.com.

Church in the Fog and Interview with Nikon

HDR Tutorial in 6 Languages

And growing… find your language below and enjoy!

Welcome to the International HDR Tutorial!

New Interview with Nikon

Nikon has an official podcast where they talk all about Nikon stuff and stuff stuff like that. I didn’t know what it was going to be like before I was on, and I envisioned it would go like this:

[begin Stock Music Intro reminiscent of background music in porn movies]
Host: “So do you like stuff?”
Trey: “What, like Nikon stuff?”
Host: “Oh yeah, totally.”
Trey: “Well, yes, I do like Nikon stuff.”
Host: “Like all the Nikon stuff?”
Trey: “Well not all the Nikon stuff, but you know, some of the stuff.”
Host “Yeah totally.”
[fade out with same silly music]

But it turned out not to be quite like that…well, except for the music which I was spot on about… BTW, Nikon doesn’t pay me or give me free stuff stuff or any of that stuff.

Just click that lonely looking play button below:
[display_podcast]

If you want to see all my camera and lens suggestions (yes there is even a Canon in there, ahem!), see my HDR Camera recommendations page.

Daily Photo – Church in the Fog

I was driving along the southern coast of Iceland on the way to Vik, and I started going throw an area of lowlands. Around midnight or so, the sun was getting pretty low in the west, and it gave the sky a slight pink glow in almost every direction.

I shot this one at a 200mm at F/6.7. I don’t often take out my zooms for landscapes, but it does provide a nice compression that gives an unexpected feel to the final photo. It’s really hard to explain in words, but maybe you can sense of this framing in the final result. It just can’t be done with a wide-angle lens, even if I was a lot closer.

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/10668747_AuyBk#1279298374_Z3LWwws-A-LB

Exploring the Peninsula at Sunrise

48 Hours Left At Early Bird Pricing

The cleverly named Trey Ratcliff’s Photography Webinar will increase in price on Thursday to $247 for the 9-day course. Even though it is live, you can still download the sessions later if you miss it.  Sorry the early pricing is ending so soon, but the big event itself starts on Sunday.  It’s gonna be a blast, and you’ll learn some great skills.

Join me today Live

I’ll be on Live today at with Dane Sanders. Check the website for the countdown!

Daily Photo – Exploring the Peninsula at Sunrise

I weaved in and out of these little roads as the sun was coming up in Iceland. I was trying to find a certain rock formation off in the ocean, which I never found. But that’s okay. These roads are very windy, and that makes setting up for a shot very difficult. Every curve of the road is a new geometry, and this causes endless possibilities and problems! When you come across a nice old farmhouse like this, you hope the road is curving the right way so that you get a nice setup with the composition.

HDR Photo

The Best Fish Evar

You guys are insane – Thanks!

Wow I didn’t think yesterday’s post about the Photoshop Giveaway to announce the Webinar would generate so much traffic. It shows how many “lurkers” there are on here. You know, guys, you don’t have to wait until I give something away to leave a comment! hehe… no problemo… I already know from the stats that less than 1% ever comment. That’s cool… if you’re quiet, I’ll just assume that everything is a-ok. I’m kind of a quiet person too, really…

A great bootleg video from EG

I got to see this live at EG – it was one of the most amazing things… So, these two guys, Jake Shimabukuro and Charles Yang had just met the night before! Jake is the most famous ukelele player in the world right now… if you think that sounds lame, well then wait till you see this. And Charles Yang is from here in Austin, and he’s currently finishing his degree at Julliard. Thank God I did not have to speak right after them!

Daily Photo – The Best Fish Evar

I have a restaurant suggestion!

The best fish I have ever had is in that little viking-house there to the right. You have to duck to get through the door. Once inside, you emerge into a darkened viking-style dining hall (imagine the great hall where Gríma Wormtongue held powah over King Théoden of Rohan).

This spot is pretty well-known restaurant called Tjöruhúsið in the little town of Isafjordur. There is a little window in the back where the fishermen come every morning to deliver the fresh fish in exchange for getting to eat there for free. They bring you the food inside giant iron-clad pans… it was so awesome. I’m going back in a few months and I’m going to gorge myself here with giant dinners before heading out for all-night shooting.

High Dynamic Range Photo

The Simplicity of Life

Peter Lik Update

A few weeks ago I ran a story about Peter Lik using one of my images in a promotional way on is Facebook Fan Page. I pointed out that I thought this was bad-internet-behavior.

I’ve since received countless emails, tweets, FB messages, and more about the subject, so I wanted to give an update. I also updated the original post, but I realize that people don’t always go back and read what happened.

Here is a quick history and the resolution.

Peter’s Facebook Fan Page showed my New York Times Square image and underneath it said, “Peter Takes Times Square”. Also, along the top, it says, “Peter Lik Fine Art Photography’s Photos”, which is both wrong and facebooky-grammatically-incorrect. Once I found out from multiple sources, of course I was a little upset and confused. After all, Peter is an accomplished photographer and there is no need to use someone else’s photos.

After people complained, they finally took down the image. Peter never apologized, but someone from his social media team did come to my Facebook Page and left a wall post (which I found a while later after it had scrolled to page 2). I have posted that exchange on the right.

And, just to be clear, since everyone is not familiar with Creative Commons Non-Commercial, I’m happy to explain it again for the thousands of artists out there that subscribe to it like me. It is simple. People are allowed to use my photos in non-commercial ways for personal use, for blogs, for wallpapers, for fun, as the basis for new paintings, and this sort of thing. Simple. If people are going to use it in this manner, they must give credit to Trey Ratcliff and link back here to http://www.StuckInCustoms.com. Simple. In this case, even giving credit alone would not have been enough, since this was clearly for a commercial purpose.

In a sense, Creative Commons Non-Commercial just puts plain language around common sense.

Daily Photo – The Simplicity of Life

A delicate photo for you today.

There was a silent lake in the north of Iceland around 1 AM where I stopped for a stroll. I had bathed myself in this light for over a week, and this non-stop dream of solstice nights was getting deep into my mind. There is that strange moment between sleep and wake – you know the one – but that moment was elongated to hours on end as the elements drifted around me. Certain feelings around this are hard to explain, but perhaps you know what I mean.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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