HDR Photography

About HDR Photography

HDR is a great, fun, new way to take photos and capture the world around you. This page will answer some of the basic questions and tendrils will drift off to other areas of the site that may interest you.

The Bamboo Forest While exploring Kyoto, I eventually found my way to this fanciful bamboo forest.  There had been a light rain most of the morning and everything was quite lovely.  The rain does strange things as it moves its way through these sorts of trees.  I waited and waited, and that was nice too.  In the early afternoon, the rain stopped while the sun peeked through the top.  It shone down while the earlier rain misted down from the tops of the trees.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A sample HDR Image that shows off the sort of vibrancy and sense of living texture you can achieve with this technique.

How to HDR photography

“Anyone can do this!” This is what I always tell people when I speak at universities, photo clubs, seminars, and the like, and I mean it! I am very open about my process, and I made a free HDR Tutorial here on StuckInCustoms.com that describes the step by step process. If you’d like to get in deeper, I also have a bunch of videos available for download at the Complete HDR Tutorial link.

What is HDR Photography?

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing task of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed.

An HDR image is commonly made by taking three photos of the same scene, each at different shutter speeds. The result is a bright, medium, and dark photo, based on the amount of light that got through the lens. A software process then combines all the photos to bring details to the shadows and highlights both. This helps to achieve the same task in the final photograph that the human eye can accomplish on the scene.

I would say that about 75% of my images use the technique, and if you are new to it, then you may notice a slightly different “look and feel” to the photographs. There are all kinds of nerdy technical things I can say about HDR, but in case you are like me, you can learn best by example. I posted a bunch of my HDR photos below.

To me, the HDR process helps the photos look more… let’s say… evocative.

I can talk a little bit more about the philosophy behind the photography style here for a quick moment. You might consider that the way the human brain keeps track of imagery is not the same way your computer keeps track of picture files. There is not one aperture, shutter speed, etc. In fact, sometimes when you are in a beautiful place or with special people and you take photos — have you ever noticed when you get back and show them to people you have to say, “Well, you really had to be there.” Even great photographers with amazing cameras can only very rarely grab the scene exactly as they saw it. Cameras, by their basic-machine-nature, are very good at capturing “images”, lines, shadows, shapes — but they are not good at capturing a scene the way the mind remembers and maps it. When you are actually there on the scene, your eye travels back and forth, letting in more light in some areas, less light in others, and you create a “patchwork-quilt” of the scene. Furthermore, you will tie in many emotions and feelings into the imagery as well, and those get associated right there beside the scene. Now, you will find that as you explore the HDR process, that photos can start to evoke those deep memories and emotions in a more tangible way. It’s really a wonderful way of “tricking” your brain into experiencing much more than a normal photograph.

What kind of camera do you need to make HDR Photos?

Really, the hardware does not matter…  The bulk of the look comes from the software process, as described in the aforementioned tutorial.

You can go to my Camera Equipment page to see what I use.

Some eBooks on HDR Photography

I’ve also written a series of books on photography. You can find those over at my sister site at FlatBooks.com.

Sample HDR Photos

Here are a few photos I’ve made over the years that are good illustrations of the technique. You can see more on at my Portfolio. I make a new one every day here on the home page at StuckInCustoms.com, so you are welcome to come back regularly.

 Moonrise Kingdom This is one of my favorite new pieces from this year! I just shot it a few days ago.It was shot waaaay after the sun went down in Big Sur, California. This is a crazy waterfall that pours off onto the beach. You can’t see it from the road, and it requires a short walk. I found it thanks to Stuck On Earth, although I am sure other locals have known about this semi-secret place forever! You can go here too… it’s not terribly difficult. It’s called “McWay Falls” and it’s beautiful any time of the day.Also, btw, I’d like to thank those of you that have been ordering more prints recently — I am honored! :) You can always click just below the photo to check sizes and prices to find something to fit your budget. Thanks again!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Downtown Beijing After Rain Just about the only time you get a break from the smog is after a good rain. I’m sure all that nonsense just ends up down on the ground and soaks slowly into the groundwater.Anyhoo, this is the CBD (Central Business District) of Beijing. And yes, I took this with the Sony NEX-7. I’m working on that other piece I mentioned above and will put it up on the blog soon!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Long Road to New Zealand This is one of countless beautiful roads that crisscross New Zealand.  I'm afraid I've forgotten exactly where I was when I took this photo!   I know that is very lame, but I bet people around here can help me pinpoint the area.As far as the camera settings, this is the kind of shot you can get with something called "compression," a method where you use a zoom lens and zoom in quite far.  It takes images in the distance and makes them larger than life.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Inception: New York I took these photos in New York City before going to LA to prepare for Burning Man. I found this spot below in midtown during a walk from Bryant Park over to the Facebook HQ in NYC. If you check my Facebook page, you’ll see some photos that Luke shot of me while I was taking this shot. It’s the one when I was awkwardly up under my camera shooting almost straight up in the air! You know that position…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Mysterious Rock of Wonder The day in Death Valley was about 115 F (46 C). It wasn’t a dry heat either… there has been a lot of humidity here and there is flash lightning in the day and night. This location here took a lot of time, effort, and 4×4 to find. I took five gallons of water, a map, and some warnings from the place that rented the jeep that this area was inaccessible because of recent road wash-outs from rivers. Well, they were right! So getting the 4×4 over and through the washed out rivers took many more hours than expected. I only suffered one minor injury when my head slammed into the rollbar during a clumsy maneuver. But after I finally found this place I’ve always wanted to visit, it was late afternoon with plenty of time to hike around before night fell.I look forward to your theories (from the boring to the surreal) of what makes these rocks move across the playa on their own!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the entire post over at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Central Park in the Fall I had spent the afternoon alone while traveling (as usual, it seems) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the middle of New York City. It sits on the Eastern edge of Central Park.  It was a little cold outside, but I decided to walk across the park anyway, just as the sun was setting.  As I moved through the trees, I found this little place and thought it would be fun to share.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Secret Workshop of Jules Verne This is perhaps my favorite find on my most recent trip to Europe.  How can a place so wonderful exist in our world?  It's amazing.I got a recommendation from a close friend that told me I would love this place.  And he was right!  As usual, to see the full-size image, click Original in the menu that appears when you hover over the image in SmugMug.This is the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle and is one of the least-known places in Paris.  Everyone goes for the hot tourist spots, and this museum sounds rather boring, yes?  But as you can see... au contraire!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Reflections on the Eiffel Tower Isn't it romantic?  What could be more perfect than a beautiful sunset here in Paris?There was a big storm all day long, but I could see the clouds were beginning to break up a little to the west, and I knew there was a possibility the sun would dip into an opening beneath the heavy clouds.  So, with that intense possibility, I headed over to the Eiffel Tower area hoping the light would turn out right...I also made a behind-the-scenes video.  Since you guys have been so nice over on Google+, I'll share that video exclusively there first, so be sure to stay tuned... I'm still editing the thing together!- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Fourth on Lake Austin It was a tough night because I was on the edge of a bridge that was rumbling as cars went across. The evening was very windy, and there was a light driving rain right into my lens. I had to wipe down the lens after every few exposures and try to cup my hands over the top during the shot.  This ended up being the first HDR photo to hang in the Smithsonian, and it made my mom very proud.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Southern Lights in New Zealand I’m busy getting everything ready for the upcoming one-day event in Christchurch. I have a few surprises in mind, but they take a bit of preparation!I know that there will be many skill levels that I need to work with, and that’s okay. I think we’ll start really slow, then start moving faster and faster. Even when it gets a bit complex, I still think it will be interesting to new people!As for this photo, I took it during the amazing light show from the Aurora Australis down here on the south island of New Zealand.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

-The Great Wall of China-Wow I was alone here. As I walked along this ancient, original stretch of the Great Wall, I felt the ghosts haunting the old towers and little enclaves.I finally found an extremely remote part that is far enough away from civilization to stay pure. The ruins of the wall in this area has been overgrown with vegetation. When you walk along the top, you have to snake your way between huge bushes and all sorts of trees. Stairs and parts of the walkways have crumbled away in the past thousand years. The old towers are slowly fragmenting as lichens and moss cover parts of the stone that are decaying away.This has only reminded me that the main tourist part of the Great Wall is a very tiny stretch that has been re-built in recent years… so it is all fake and kind of Disney-wall. I don’t think I like that…That day I walked from tower to tower, looking at the sinuous wall as it snakes over the mountains. It’s so huge that I won’t even begin to come up with analogies… but, speaking of snakes, a family here told me to watch out for them. I kept that in mind as I hiked back in the pure black of night. I had a little flashlight to keep me company, along with my music. I didn’t see any snakes, and I didn’t fall down, so all together it was a great day and night.

The Chinese Technopolis How boring does the "Beijing Planning Museum" sound?  Very!How surprisingly awesome is the "Beijing Planning Museum"?  Very!The museum features a few giant city-models.  And I mean GIANT!  You can get a sense of the size of this thing by looking at the waist-height red rope around the outside.  Not only is this a fully detailed model, but each of the buildings light up individually in a cascade, corresponding to a dreamy Chinese voiceover.  The voice describes each sector of the city and what makes it unique.  There is music playing in the background that I could have sworn was the same music as "Jurassic Park", so that was a very strange addition to the scene.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Lijiang at Night This is the old town of Lijiang, China, where I spent the week with Tom Anderson (the MySpace guy).  I think I mentioned him before.  Anyway, we got to be friends over the past several months, and we ended up spending a week together here in the south of China.Tom had first been here many years ago when he was setting up the MySpace office in Beijing.  He had great memories, and he thought it would be great for a big return now that he is getting more into photography.  So, it was definitely a week full of non-stop photography action.One late night after the sun had set, we weaved through the old streets until we found this place.  Looking up, I knew it would be a wonderful place to take a photo, so I set up for this one.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Secret Crystal LakeThis remote lake was so icy cold.  You would think it's about 33 degrees or something, right?  It felt like absolute zero.  I dropped a little piece of my tripod in here and my hand almost froze off trying to retrieve it.In the distance you can see where the glacier comes into contact with the glassy lake; it gives a sense of the epic scale here.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Hong Kong from the Peak on a Summer's Night If you want to see how I made this (and how you can too!), visit my HDR Tutorial. I hope it gives you some new tricks!I had a long day waking up at 5 AM to take a series of subways and trains up to Shenzen for some meetings. I had a Chinese VISA, which you don't need to get into Hong Kong, but I had to use to cross the official Chinese border after getting off the train. I didn't realize that it was a one-time use VISA, and I had to go to Shanghai the next day. This caused a lot of problems with the Chinese officials, a body of government with which I do not enjoy causing problems.Anyway, after I got back to Hong Kong after a day in Shenzen, I was hot and sweaty and in the sort of meeting clothes that aren't great for being hot and sweaty in. But, everything about Hong Kong was still awesome and I had too look hard for things to complain about. The sun was setting, and I made it up to The Peak just in time for a shot.This was a 5-exposure HDR shot at 100 ISO, and, of course, a sturdy tripod to get all the lights as steady as possible.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Sunset in Ibiza Ibiza is a fabulous island off the coast of Spain that is the "in" destination for all the Euros that like to get trashed, party, dress in white, do medium-level-drugs, and stay on the beach without many clothes.I saw this girl bouncing around and very happy about something, so I went over and said hello, introducing myself.  She didn't speak much English, but I managed to ask her if I could take a photo of her.  She enthusiastically said yes, and I explained the sitch as we walked over to the water, mostly using interpretive dance to span the language gap.  She was Italian and her name was Wendy.  I think that is a strange name for an Italian, but I didn't question it.  Anyway, I asked her just to walk off into the ocean and I would take a photo.  She did just that, and I grabbed this shot just as the sun was dipping below the horizon.- Trey RatcliffThe rest of this entry resides here at stuckincustoms.com.

The Treetop Temple Protects Kyoto I'm just finishing up almost two weeks in Japan, and it has been an amazing trip! Usually I try not to start posting shots until the trip is at its close, and this is the first.While there, I spent time all over the country. I got a rail pass and just jumped on the bullet train to take me from one remote spot to another. I ended up with a few days in Tokyo to do my best to capture the city. I'll be posting photos from the trip throughout the next few weeks, months, and years, as usual. I hope this is a new line of photographs that will be interesting to you.Photographed here is the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. The city is known for its traditional Japanese architecture, slower-paced life, natural beauty, graceful geishas, and zen peacefulness. I probably could have stayed in Kyoto capturing scenes the entire trip. I remained here until the sky turned black, and then I headed back down some winding streets to find an old small restaurant where the food was mysterious and every course was served with a gentle bow.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village What a perfect place this is!I’ve been to Japan many times, but I never had the chance to visit Mt. Fuji! This time, Tom and I made a point to do it, and this was one of our fist stops. You can see much more about it in the video above!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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.

Farewell India I had a truly wonderful time in India and I can't wait to return.  After spending most of the day exploring the Taj Mahal, I found a car to take me across the river.  The bridge was over 100 years old and crowded with every type of locomotion - from donkey to pull cart to bike.  After working my way down to the river, I found I could not quite get low enough to take the photo I wanted.  So, reluctantly, I took my camera off my tripod and buried it in the mud, about half an inch above the water.  I spent all night in the bathroom saying I was sorry to the camera... cleaning her up back into her old self once again.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Road to Mount Cook along Lake Pukaki These lenticular clouds are pretty rare — but not on the south island of New Zealand! This is called the land of the long white cloud… I’m not sure of that means these lenticular clouds or not. Maybe a smart reader here on the blog can tell me!Anyway, I do love this photo… I think it is one of my new favorites…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

  • http://anachronista.blogspot.com/ Anachronista

    Oh, thanks for the HDR camel!

  • CatXtwo

    Thanks Trey – this is great.

    It would be great if you might expound a bit as to how much PS work you do on your photos. I realize, from your HDR tutorial, that you use PS for post-processing, but I’ve always wondered how you achieve your stunning work. For example, I’ve never even seen the type of clouds you capture in your shots. Is there PS work behind them?

    Thanks!
    CatXTwo

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com tratcliff

    CatXtwo – I do use PS – but not to paint in clouds or anything like that.

    I think a lot of the cloud effect comes from using my wide angle lens… and maybe I get lucky with good clouds too!

  • Joe

    Sweet… my only question on the clouds is how you do these shots without getting ghosting from the clouds moving. When I do hdr’s I always run into this problem.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com tratcliff

    With fast moving clouds, that can be a problem. I talk a little in that tutorial how to handle ghosting with people – it is similar with clouds.

    Another good tip is to use a low fstop. For landscapes, the DOF is usually fine… the low fstop will have quick shutter speeds, minimizing cloud movement.

  • http://www.modernmusemakeupartistry.com Katie Astoria

    Wow. This is incredible! I am new to photography and I’m very slow when it comes to technology, so about 60% of all this blows right over my head, but WOW! I’m geeking out right now. This is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Nice work!

  • Colin

    Hey Trey,

    I was so inspired by your work that I bought Photomatix yesterday and started messing around with it immediately. Check out my latest entry in the Peterman’s Eye contest, under CKG, to see my first attempt.

    Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration> I’ve got a long way to go (and a lot of money to save before buying LucisArt), but it’s fun getting started.

    Keep up the good work.

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  • http://flickr.com/photos/dragonhide jallen dragonhide

    If you don’t mind me asking…

    My very limited experience with HDR shows that moving items poses a challenge to taking the handful of shots to merge.. but yet I see you pulling it off with portraiture and animals…

    I think I’m gonna start poking around your tutorials now. :)

  • Ivan

    Unbelievable.

  • Mike Cloud

    These images are stunning — thanks for sharing, and for spreading the word. I have a question though: What kind of printing do you do for these images? It seems obvious that looking at them on a monitor (I would think any monitor) isn’t going to give you the full effect (which makes editing them hard), but as I understand it, most printers even ones at print shops are 8 bit 4 color, 5 at best. I would think you would need an extreme level of color resolution and print accuracy to see what’s really in the data. Yes, no, maybe so?

    Mike

  • http://photobucket.com/hdr_imaginghdri.wetpaint.com Adrien Nash

    I’d never heard of HDR imaging until the day I saw a woman shooting pictures with a camera that takes bracketed photos. She explained it to me and that night I went online and googled HDRI and found your site. Since I’ve have been creating HDR images and pseudo HDR image for many years without knowing anything about that area of photography, I was glad to finally learn that there was a name for what I was doing. Seeing this amazing site gave me the motivation to create one of my own. So I gathered all my HDR and HDR-like images (about 60)and put them into an album within my massive Photobucket.com gallery (arnash). It’s url is http://photobucket.com/hdr_imaging
    Then I went a step further and created a Wetpaint.com website to showcase them along with explanations of what HDRI is and how I created individual images. It’s url is: http://hdri.wetpaint.com I’d like to invite all who are lovers of HDR images to see what I created over the last 7 years as I’ve sought to capture many of the amazing natural wonders found in California’s northern-most coastal county (Land of the Giant Redwoods -think Moon Endor from The Empire Strikes Back) I hope that word will spread about HDR imaging and people will learn how to create HDR images so they can capture the many amazing sights that simple snap-shots can’t.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kumaraswamy-Reddy-M/522112581 Kumaraswamy Reddy M

    Man you are so Good, keep up your work, I have become one of your fan and you have truly inspired me. All the best for your future.

  • http://www.webblisa.blogspot.com lisa webb

    Just got turned on to your blog from digital photoraphy school, and wow how inspired are your photographs! I am so exicited you share so much info on how you do your work, so inspiring! Thanks!
    your newest blog stalker, Lisa

  • http://www.thehyperfocaldistance.com Bob Beerbower

    Trey,
    Just caught the interview you did on Pro Photography Podcast, awesome job. What struck me most about the interview was the passion you have not only for creating these images but with sharing what you have earned with others. I listened to a few other podcasts where the focus of the discussion revolved around defending HDR as a legitimate form of photography. It was refreshing to listen to someone for whom its not a question and likely not even a concern.

    There is one aspect of HDR that I seldom hear about, actually two aspects but there related. In all the tutorials and podcast’s I’ve seen on HDR little if any reference is made to applying HDR to B&W or to applying HDR to interior photography. It’s easy to understand how dramatic and colorful landscapes can show off what HDR has to offer but it leaves me wondering if some aspects of HDR are being left in the dark (OK bad pun).

    It could be argued that B&W is more dependent on a wide range light and tone then is so in color. This would seem to imply that B&W HDR could in some respects lead to even more dramatic shots then color.

    HDR would also seem to offer some significant advantages for interior architectural photography although in this case the advantage would seem to be more technical then artistic. I’ve seen HDR used to great effect in capturing the dark corner of a room without blowing out light coming through the windows. Yet for all the advantages it offers interior HDR does not seem to get much attention.

    Bias, conspiracy, or am I just off on a tangent?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    THanks all!

    Yes – HDR is great for architecture and for B&W. You might notice some of my cambodia shots are really HDR B&W with a sepia feel.

  • http://www.bazna.com Dulal Ahmed

    Hi,

    Just want to know how you get multiple shots of moving objects such as the camel above for your various exposures without getting ghosting?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    Dulal – I talk about that step there in the HDR tutorial

  • sacha ryder

    hi, thank you so much for sharing this amazing style /format /ethos.

    The shot with the fireworks going off, the road sunset, and the blue mountains are my favourites, though the camel shot is right up there.

    they are so beautiful , I totally understand where your coming from with the emotion/feeling link to imagery. sometimes the camera can’t come close to the depth that you felt when you took the shot, but with HDR we can seek to bring baxck the emotion/

    Superb.. i am almost brought to tears.

  • Kate

    Hi Trey!
    I absolutely love your photography; the camel one above never fails to make me laugh!
    Once I found your site, I decided to try a little with HDR. I think I’m rapidly improving, but there’s one thing I was curious about. Your clouds all seem so beautiful. Unless I capture a sunset, sometimes my skies and clouds fail to look as nice as the rest of the picture. How do I keep my white fluffs from turning to that nasty gray?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    Kate – thanks! I have a step for that in my HDR Tutorial here on the site… it involves remixing with the orig Raw. See the HDR Tutorial link there on the right? Try that one out! :)

  • Horacio

    I have a question. How you can make HDR of people? What I understad is that to do a HDR you need at leas to shots. Am I right? so, how can I get HDR of people who is moving all the time?
    thanx
    p.d. great picts

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    I would not HDR people… maybe the background or the clothes a bit… HDR people always look a bit strange.

  • Irm Hollenbach

    Blown away by your pictures. They are just amazing!!
    Got here by chance and have spent a most enjoyable half hour, gasping and exclaiming.
    Wow!

  • http://www.peligra.com/photography Mike

    Hi,

    I love your site and you have given me much more to think about than just bracking and pressing the button.

    In a few weeks I am hoping to walk all the way to Mount Everest Base Camp. Do you have and hint, tips, or just thing I should be aware of for photography at high altitude or when taking pictures of mountains in general?

    One thing I can never understand is how to you get so sharp an HDR image from scene that is constanly moving. I followed your tutorial on the NY Time SQ scene and I understand the idea of using the original image to remove ghosting, but is this the only method? Do you do this alot?

    Any insights would be great.

    Thanks

    Mike

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    Thanks

    Have a good time in Everest.. I suggest just taking a good camera that will be hardy in that weather and wind.

    That’s the best method – I have others but too long to write about here – sorry bsy here mate

  • Bryan

    which version of photoshop do you recommend?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    I think the Basic version is just fine… in Fact you can probably get CS3 pretty cheap nowadays!

  • http://adamglick.net/Photography Adam

    i like your stuff.

    I live in Austin and am taking more and more HDR shots around town.

    I also spent a ton of time in Argentina – as, apparently, did You.

    Anyway, Nice work!

  • http://theofficialbumsite.blogspot.com/ whia

    really great pictures here. You’ve just inspired me to try making hdr photos. But i have a question. Will the sony cybershot DSC-T77 do?

  • http://www.rjamason.com Robert Jamason

    Hey Trey
    im a huge fan of your work! I have never been able to do well with landscapes at all.. But I find shooting people my main love and I do them in HDR only.. if you get a chance please check out my work and let me know what you think :-)
    and congrats on your new book i plan on buying one :-)
    Robert

  • ozlem tekin

    I love your work. Your pictures are mesmerizing. Thanks for all the great tips. I’m just getting into photography and HDR. There’s a lot that I need to learn. I’m thinking about getting a wide angle lens. What do you think about Tamron lenses? I’m thinking about getting Tamron 10-24 lens.
    Thanks!!!

  • Neil P.

    I absolutely LOVE your photo’s! Based mainly from info from your site I have downloaded the demo model of photomatix and started playing with varying success. Before I buy all the software I want to have a little more confidence in my ability to work through the processing. One question (if you know): I have an old version of Photoshop (6.0). Is it possible to use your masking techniques with the version?

  • Neil P.

    One other question (if I may). I read your opinion on the wide angle zoom with interest. Your 14-24 sounds (and looks from your results) to be an awesome piece of glass. Any recommendations for those of us shooting with smaller sensor camera?

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  • Reneta

    I like the HDR photos and am wanting to learn how to do them. I would like to know your recomendation on a monitor. I am thinking about getting Photomatix and I already have Adobe C3.

  • http://www.robcoldicott.com Rob

    Hi Trey – love your work and find it a real inspiration. I’ve been playing around with Photomatix to try and achieve ‘the look’, often with limted success, but wondered if you had any experience of HDR Photostudio which seems an interesting product ?

  • Rod Lee

    This is superb! What can I say more?

  • Rod Lee

    Will it work with Photoshop Elements 5.0?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    Thanks!

    Yes – you can do this sort of thing with Elements – all that is required is layers — you can still follow my http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial

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  • http://www.victusspiritus.com Mark Essel

    Great collection, and I’ve seen them all!

    My goal for 2010 is to have at least 50 great images and back links to StuckinCustoms.com from my blog (VictusSpiritus.com). I think I’m close already :D

  • http://twitter.com/Mac_xim Macxim

    This is great and amazing, as always !
    Your photos always let me speechless.
    They seem so unreal that they take you to a whole new world and at the same time offer a completely different way to look at the planet we’re living in…
    A million thanks for sharing.

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  • http://www.web30textures.com HDR Textures

    A lot of great inspiration! Thanks for this post!

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  • Lister Coleman

    Hi, I just wanted to pop in and tell you that your work is absolutely beautiful. There are some stunning images in this small collection. If I had a fraction of this talent with a camera and Photoshop editing, I would be happy. Of course, it all starts with a great image and you have that covered 9 ways to Sunday. Great stuff, thanks for the inspiration.

  • Frank Urquhart

    Hi Trey.

    I am new to digital photography and really love your subjects and capture. Its just I am not sure I am blown away by HDR. I dont fully understand the process, but It’s the effect I am not sure I like. The end result often looks ‘unatural’ or ‘too perfect’ to be real, and although there are some HDR photo’s that are enhanced and still look ‘real’ by the process, most look picture card perfect.

    Am I missing something???

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    No – you’re not missing anything…. maybe there is some “newness” to it still. Also, not everyone sees the world quite like this, and that is okay too.

  • Mick Clark

    A picture paints a thousand words is a well known saying. Your pictures paints a million words

  • Greg

    This is truly amazing work you have Trey! many many thanks for sharing! i have to try this one out..

  • http://flickr.com/teroxx Rafael Hoyos

    Hi Trey, Just to tell you im from Argentina. Last March I went 1 month to the states (Dallas) with my girlfriend. Then traveled 2 days to Austin, and the first thing I did when I hit the book store was search for your book!.. Sorry I didnt buy it… But I spent 3/4 hour reading it!!!

  • http://www.asmussenfoto.dk fotograf Asmussen

    WOW!!! This is some of the best hdr I have EVER seen!!! So beautiful

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  • http://www.chk-foto.de.tl CHKfoto

    i’m very impressed. fantastic pictures here!! whish you all the best!!

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  • http://www.heartthoughts.net Heart Thoughts

    Oh, thanks for the HDR Taj Mahal! Wah Taj!

  • Umberto

    I’ve have just stumble apon your site. I can’t wait to start trying. I’m an old fart (60)but like they say… it’s never… Thanks, this is fantastic!

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  • http://pallis pallis

    Hi, I like this web page.I’m really don’t know about photography I usually take snaps of my friends and family when we have some occasions. After seeing this page i’m planning to go for some sought of training in photography. And the web page is awesome. please suggest some more tips for beginners. Thanks & Regards
    pallis

  • Kathy

    Hi, I personally LOVE these photos and would be proud to display them if only I had the talent….
    I have spent some time coming to terms with HDR and whether I like it or not and I have come up with this…. I think HDR Photography is an art form on its own. A cross between a photograph as being an exact snapshot of a scene and an artwork where the artist brings another dimension to the image to highlight his or her interpration of the scene.
    Thanks Trey.. awesome pics

  • http://www.yahoo.com/ Geralyn

    Thanks alot – your answer solved all my problems after several days sturgligng

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  • Bill Pekala

    Trey,

    Nice finally meeting you a the last shuttle launch. Hope your images worked out well.

  • csarnold

    These are beaautiful; I love your work. I’m still in college and started using a Nikon D40 a few years ago. I can’t upgrade to anything nicer for a while, but can would I be able to try anything like this with it? Also, can you use HDR for night shots?
    Thanks!

  • Gfoley

    Bottom line, I appreciate the look and effort you go through to make the pics.

    However, and there is always a “however” as you know, I do not believe the eye really sees things in the way you portray. I would more or so relate to the cheap rugs you see on display on a road-side set up. You know, the bblluurreedd-ffuuzzyy pics you see on the rugs, which look, at best very colorful but fake at the same time.

    Honestly, my eyes do not see a blurry water stream while a back ground scene is absolutely clear, sorry. However, for fun I can see having fun with this type of photography. But I wouldn’t give up a day job to do it, that’s all.

    Take care, and great work by the way.

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  • kjsensenig

    Hey i was wondering would a canon rebel t3i work for HDR?….I love your work

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  • Dan

    I am intreagued and dabbling in HDR as we speak. I am looking at your course. I take a lot of dusk, sunset or night hdr shots and have a problem with noise. Does your workshop cover this and do you recommend one noise removal tool over the other? I want to ensure that I have a proper noise removal tool at hand. I currently use LR3, CS5, Photomatix Pro and Topaz Adjust. Do you suggest any others?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/teepee12 Marilyn Armstrong

    Just wondering how the effect of building layers in PS compares with HDR. I’ve achieved similar effects by layering, though not as dramatic. To be fair, I am not usually trying for dramatic, but do want the almost 3-dimensional effect and the ultra sharpness. Also, do you use a tripod? Are you steady enough to produce sequential images hand-held? Do you use bracketed bursts? I should think bracketed bursts would be the answer, but was wondering.

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  • http://shantistar.blogspot.com/ Esther

    Beautiful, this is how I want to take photos. Absolutely inspiring. Thank you. I look forward to delving into this. Just gorgeous.

  • Gordon

    Quick question. Can HDR be done using Photoshop Elements 9 or 10? I really want to try HDR but there’s no way I can justify the cost of CS5, I’ve got a family to feed! As usual finding answers off manufacturers websites is like wading through mollasses…..

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  • Diane

    I am going to purchase the tutorial through my work for a PC. I also want to be able to download it to my personal Mac. Is this going to be possible for the one time payment of $97?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Trey Ratcliff

    Diane – Absolutely – it won’t be a problem at all – people do this all the time :)

  • Kevin Meier

    Your photos are amazing and I hope someday I can create something even half as good. I would love to know how you created the Christmas photo as I would like to create something similar with my children for Christmas cards. Was it created using standard HDR techniques or was there a lot of Photoshop work?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7EVJPSEGNQOAN4RDALODZVEIEU Bullbar

    HI TREY MY NAME IS BOB WILSON FROM MACKAY AUSTRALIA I’AM SO INTERESTED IN YOUR WORK SEEMS GREAT MINDS THINK A LIKE, I DIDN’T THINK WORK LIKE YOURS HAS MADE A SUCH BIG IMPACT TO PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART, I STILL THINK PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE REALLY ARTISTS WITH MECHANICAL MEANS AND BEING A SCOUT FROM YESTERYEAR I STILL HAVE A PASSION FOR THE LANDSCAPE AND OCEAN SCENES. LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR NEXT NEWSLETTER….CHEERS BOB WILSON

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  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.k.britt Thomas Britt

    Dude — this is some seriously beautiful photography. In fact, it goes beyond beautiful. It is transcendent. Great eye, and crazy mad skillz. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.snyder.15 Jamie Snyder

    I have never seen photography so beautiful! I am fascinated!!!

  • Elle Putman

    Amazing

  • Anonymous

    Hi Trey! So when I first saw your photos a few months ago, I didn’t really know if I liked HDR photography. I was on the fence because…well, I thought they looked so fake! But now that I’m back exploring your site, I find that your photographs make me feel something wonderful that I can’t explain. They really are beautiful and beyond that, they’re powerful because of how they can help me to feel and experience. So anyway, great job! Love your site and your behind the scenes videos. :)

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  • Navi Mustaine

    Amazing.

  • http://www.voresstoredag.dk Bryllupsfotograf VoresStoreDag

    WOW!!! Amazing Work!! Never seen anything so beautiful. Do you have a book out ??

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ Luke Lakatosh (SIC Support)

    Trey had previously had a physical book through Peachpit, but now all of his publishing is done in eBook form over at flatbooks.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1429668218 Tom Herriman

    Some of the surreal looks are enjoyable: like the fireworks scene above. But for the most part, the images on this page feel almost insulting. Particularly since I read your text first and heard you say something about capturing the scene the way we remember it. 
    None the less, I appreciate the difference in artistic flavor and certainly do appreciate you sharing the tutorial with us.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ Luke Lakatosh (SIC Support)

    Hi Tom,

    We don’t all have to agree on “how we remember it.”  Personally, I think Trey’s style of HDR creates images that are much closer to the vivid reality I walk through, and I feel like we’ve been conditioned to regard traditional photography as “the real deal,” when the camera processes light differently than our eyes/brains do.  That said, while I can’t speak for Trey, I can say that nobody wants you to feel insulted by the images!

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  • tonbo0422

    The one of the pool looks to me to be the pool at Hearst Castle. That is, in my opinion, the creepiest pool I’ve ever seen, and I DON’T KNOW WHY. Maybe it’s the uniform 10-foot depth — nowhere to stand up, that sends a brief amount of panic through me. Ot maybe it’s the lighting. Pools that don’t have a clear light blue bottom disturb me, somehow . . .

    WHAT IS IT THAT CREEPS ME OUT ABOUT THIS POOL???? Incidentally, that’s a great HDR of it, but somehow it creeps me out EVEN MORE.

  • tonbo0422

    I have a Rebel T3. All you need is a tripod, a remote cable and Photomatix and you’re set.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rplauderez Paul Lauderez

    Great collection here. If you want more check out my own collection of stunning HDR photography, http://designecho.com/inspirations/35-stunning-hdr-photography-examples/
    Thanks!
    :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.press.184 Ben Press

    can would i be able to? and you’re in college? Jesus

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1540682496 Uàkinthos Onomamerdae

    I think you‘ve just sparked off a great interest in hdr photography in me.

  • Photography Learning

    Great photos! Thanks for sharing

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  • Douglas Gillingham

    Your photos are amazing and the way that they trick your brain,wow,A lot went into this HDR stuff as far as thought and ideas.You truly are very smart about the whole process. I don’t have any wants about becoming a photographer or getting into this hobby,but I wicked like what I’ve learned about this process from what you wrote.I guess I’m intrigued about it and surprised about the feelings that I get while looking at the pics. I did check out Paul L’s stuff real quick and found it to be the same as far as feelings and the 3D appearance and the quality of the pics.They are really cool.Thank you for sharing and good luck to you with your future.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lotus011 Lotus Flower

    I am so inspired by your photography. Thank you.

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  • jackson potter

    if I shoot three exposures to process in hdr will I get as good a result as shooting a single raw image

  • treyratcliff

    You can still get a good result, but it is better with three exposures.

  • Satya

    Amazing shoots and processing. Looking forward to learn a lot from you :)

  • treyratcliff

    Thanks! :)

  • Warren Angeles

    Nice Pictures and captured…Willing to learn techniques from you…Thanks

  • Morten

    Your photos have such quality! Is it mp amount or just editing?

  • jessica

    AMAZING!!?! THANK U FOR SHARING. I LOVE IT

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