A WHOLE NEW WAY TO LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY
I’ve spoken with thousands of people who — despite the beginner or even intermediate courses they’ve taken — are still confused about the basic elements of photography. It’s obvious that many traditional methods of teaching photography just don’t work!
I’ve developed my own style of teaching. It’s based on an artist’s natural instincts of curiosity and discovery which quickly produces dramatic results. In this series, you’ll learn about photography in a whole new way. I will help you take your first few steps the path to creating your own kind of art.
Five Pieces of Software you should have
- Photomatix Review – this standalone software I use most for the “look” of my photos
- SmugMug Review – how I share my photos online… I think SmugMug is the best
- Nik Software Review – a wide variety of post-processing filter options that are fun!
- Topaz Adjust Review – an amazing plugin to give very nice effects
- OnOne Software Review – a robust suite of products and great tools you should know
I have many more photo software reviews of packages I’ve used and recommend.
Photo Editing Tools
Following are some tools and presets you will find invaluable.
- Trey’s Lightroom 5 Presets – Trey took the Best of the Best from his personal collection of 1,000+ presets and made them look awesome for Lightroom 5! You’ll get 49 new and fresh presets that will give you a wide variety of looks.
- Trey’s Lightroom Presets – a collection of over 75 of Trey’s Lightroom Presets. I think you’ll come away more-than-impressed with what these HDR-in-Lightroom presets can do to your photos.
- Trey’s Photomatix Presets – these 23 Photomatix Presets will help you feel happy and creative. You’ll weave digital art that will make all your dreams come true. Well, a few of them.
Online Photography Tutorials
For more information about my post-processing “process”, please check out one of my tutorials.
- FREE HDR Tutorial – a completely FREE step-by-step guide to HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.
- HDR Video Tutorial – Trey’s best selling tutorial! Over 11 hours of instruction by Trey about his HDR photography and post-processing techniques.
- Discover the Art of Photography – an introduction to photography for beginning and intermediate photographers. You will learn how about setting up your camera, properly composing a photo, finding your artistic style, and improving the quality and beauty of your photos.
- Midnight in Paris – Fine Art Photography – Combines Miss Aniela’s dramatic fine art photography and Trey Ratcliff’s beautiful landscapes into an hands-on photoshoot and post-processing tutorial
- NEW! Landscape & Travel Photography Tutorial: New Zealand – this online photography course includes over four hours of step-by-step instruction. You will see how Trey sets up his camera to take photos, how he composes the shot, and how he performs HDR processing plus hundreds of other little tricks to make your photos look prettier.
- Textures Tutorial – learn Trey’s tricks to using textures to give your photos a unique look.
- Lucis Pro Tutorial – see how Trey uses this amazing software package to improve his photos.
- Online Photo Album – how to create an online photo album with SmugMug.
eBooks on Photography Tips and Techniques
- The Beauty of Ambiguity
- 10 Principles of Beautiful Photography
- Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them
- Digital Workflow for Photographers
- 10 Essential Photoshop Skills
- Composing the Photo
Find many more beautiful and informative books at Flatbooks.com
Trey’s Variety Hour Podcast
I hope you enjoy the podcast! Don’t forget to tell your friends Subscribe for free to My YouTube channel.
Live Show Time and Location:
- We are live every Monday night at 7 PM PT (sample World Time for a show)
- Watch live on here on http://www.StuckInCustoms.com!
Cameras I Recommend
Below is a list of cameras I recommend that should work for any skill level or budget. In addition, I have a more complete list of Camera Lens Reviews that covers all the lens I use for my photography. Plus here’s a look at I’ve got in my Photo Bag.
Good Camera: Sony NEX-3N
Priced at about $499, this Sony mirrorless camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you at around the $500 level.
If budget is not a concern, I suggest you jump down to the “Better” or “Best” recommendations. However, if budget is your principle concern, then no worries this Sony is the way to go! One great thing about it is that all the lenses that you get for this camera can also be used when if you decide down the road to upgrade to the Sony NEX-7 below.
Better Camera: Nikon D800
Starting at $2,800 for the camera body. (don’t worry, the BEST camera, strangely, is HALF the price!
Even though I recommend the Sony NEX-7 below (and the Sony NEX-7 is my main camera), I know that we are currently in a transition period where many people like to use bigger, professional DSLRs. I used to have the Nikon D800 as my main camera, and I shot with it for over a year, so it is a system I know very well. If you are going with a big DSLR, this is the right choice! See my full Nikon D800 Review.
Best Camera: Sony NEX-7
Starting around $1,100 which includes an 18-55mm lens.
See my full Sony NEX-7 Review. I use this camera. It can be used in almost any photographic situation and is one of the best models available in this class. I use it to take photos of everything, from kids to landscapes to architecture to objects. This tiny 24 megapixel beast has a thousand other features that those clever Japanese crammed inside… see the full Sony NEX-7 Review for more information and sample photos.
Sony NEX – First Three Lenses
If you are just getting started and want recommendations on your first three lenses, here they are. Often times a camera will come with a “kit lens” that is pretty versatile and can get you a long way. The Sony NEX-7 comes with a 18-55mm lens that produces great pictures. But there are many lenses that are better for more specialized situations.
- Sony 18-200mm (Amazon | B&H Photo) – This lens is a little big but its versatility is perfect for mid-range stuff like landscapes, birthdays, sports, etc.
- Sony 10-18 F/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – A great new lens that gives you maximum wide-angle flexibility for landscapes and architecture
- Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 Leica Lens (Amazon | B&H Photo) – This is a beautiful and amazing lens. You will also need a Leica lens adapter for the Sony (Amazon | B&H Photo) plus you will have to use manual focus but it’s worth it!
Nikon – First Three Lenses
Following are the first three lenses I would recommend getting if you bought a professional Nikon camera.
- Nikon 14-24 Review – A great wide-angle lens for landscapes and architecture
- Nikon 28-300 Review – Perfect walk-around lens mid-range stuff like landscapes, birthdays, sports, etc.
- Nikon 50mm Review – Ideal for cute children, family and close-up objects where you like a blurry background
I only write reviews for lenses that I use and recommend. Here is a complete list of camera lens reviews.
Tripod and Head
My best advice for tripods is to visit your local camera store and try them out! Find one that you find easy to use… I’ve tried many, and my recommendations are below. A tripod is composed of two parts – the Legs and the Head. The head simply attaches to the legs, and these have universal connections.
What I carry
- TVC-33 Tripod Legs from Really Right Stuff – An excellent set of legs for most small to medium-sized cameras. I recently switched from the high-end Gitzo tripod legs to these from Really Right Stuff. I love them, they are lighter and stronger than the comparable Gitzo.
- BH-55 Head from Really Right Stuff – This company makes remarkable products… When you go to the site, you can choose the best setup for your camera. This is what I use on my professional cameras.
- L-Plate bracket for the NEX-7 from Really Right Stuff
- L-Plate bracket for the Nikon D800 from Really Right Stuff
Entry Level Tripod and Head
- Manfrotto 190XB 3 Section Aluminum Tripod – An excellent set of legs for most small to medium-sized cameras such as the Sony mentioned above. It supports 11 pounds, so you have room to grow.
- Giottos MH-1000 Large Ball Head w/ Built-in Quick Release – A simple and easy to use quick-release head that you will enjoy.
More Reviews and recommendations
I have many other reviews and recommendations you may find helpful!
- Photo Editing Software Reviews – reviews of five must-have software packages along with many others
- Photo Bag – a look at what’s in my photo bag
- My Favorite Things – I often get asked about the things I uses in my professional and personal life so I decided to compile this list of my favorite things!
- Other Reviews – various other software and hardware reviews