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. Through my many free resources on this site and my photography tutorials, 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.
Software you need
I’m constantly trying new things, but I only review stuff that I actually use. That should help keep the clutter down and keep you focused on the best stuff out there. I hope these reviews are of benefit to you in your lifelong adventure of photographic fortune and glory.
- Aurora HDR Pro – I developed this software along with Macphun for HDR and general processing. I also have a free tutorial and a special video tutorial that’s over an hour long!
- Photomatix Review – if you’re on Windows, this is your best choice for HDR processing
- SmugMug Review – how I share my photos online… I think SmugMug is the best
- Macphun Review – fast, fun, and powerful post-processing tools for Macs
- 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.
Software & Tools
Trey’s photography tutorials showcase his unique teaching style combined with amazing videography. He will guide you slowly through the basics or you can jump straight to see his advanced techniques. The video tutorials include in the field instruction and detailed, step-by-step, post-processing workflow.
You’re invited to join us for a once-in-a-lifetime photo adventure of epic proportions! You’ll end up with great photos and stories, no matter your skill level.
There is a growing collection of helpful eBooks in our online store that cover everything from Trey’s artistic influences to his more advanced techniques.
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 my camera equipment that covers all the gear I use for my photography.
Good Camera: Sony a5100
Priced at under $450 for the body, this Sony mirrorless camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you at below 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 principal 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 if and when you decide down the road to upgrade to the Sony a7R2 model below.
Better Camera: Sony a6300
Starting at below $999 for the body.
The A6300 is the latest evolution of the high end Sony APS-C models. It features, amongst other great features, enhanced autofocus speed and 4K movie recording. You can read my complete Sony a6000 review, it is the model the A6300 replaces and has many of the same specs. It was also the replacement for the Sony NEX-7, which I loved. The a6000 series has a number of advantages over the lower-priced a5000 models. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, more focal points, and faster continuous shooting (11 fps vs 6 fps).
Best Camera: Sony a7R II
Starting at just over $3198
A full-on Sony a7R Review is here on the site that is full of a ton of sample photos. I’m working on the Mark 2 review right now, but just know the main differences are that it is faster, 42 Megapixel (instead of 36), and, most importantly, it has in-body stabilization. AWESOME. This is currently my main camera. I absolutely love it. It has all the power of the giant DSLR systems at a fraction of the price and size. Its Full-Frame goodness combined with a small mirrorless form factor gives you everything you need. Plus, the camera smarts inside are absolutely insane. Check on the review there to see even more!
Wildcard 2nd Camera: Sony DSC-RX100 IV
I LOVE this camera. It’s my quick one-camera camera! You can’t change lenses. It’s not full-frame. But it doesn’t matter. It’s an absolutely magical little camera. I love it so much that it was my main camera at Burning Man this year… it’s also one of my street-photography cameras. I don’t know the exact stats… but it’s like 16 photos per second. 20.1 megapixel. And it can even shoot 4K video, and slow motion 1080p at 960 FPS. What an amazing compact camera! If you have an extra $1,000 or so, just get it!!!
Here are some quick links to tutorials I have written on the site.
I have a big section of reviews here at the site as well. Below are some of the most popular.
- Photomatix Review – the software I use most for the “look” of my photos
- Topaz Adjust Review – an amazing plugin to give very nice effects
- Topaz Detail Review -another winner from Topaz
- Noiseware Review – great for reducing the “noise” in photos
- OnOne Plugin Review – a robust suite of products and great tools you should know
- Nik Review – a wide variety of post-processing filter options that are fun!
- Lucis Review – wonderful for adding sharp detail and pop
- Portraiture Review – used for making people and portraits look amazing
- Silver Efex Pro Review
- Genuine Fractals Review – you don’t know what you are missing when it comes to making photos bigger!
- Photoshop Review – a nice review of Adobe Photoshop and why you need it!
- Screenflow Review – What I use to make all those cool videos
I own a pretty good number of lenses. I will put these in the order that you should buy them if are primarily interested in landscape and secondarily interested in people/objects. Of course, there is no “correct” order, but simply a suggestion.
Note that you do not need all these lenses! Just the first one will be fine.
- Want to try out a lens? See my Lens Rental review of BorrowLenses.com – Netflix for lenses!
- Nikon 18-200 – A great all-around lens for wide-angle and zoom. Just getting started? This is what you need! (Review coming soon)
- Nikon 24-70 Review (Lens) – Perfect for mid-range stuff like landscapes, birthdays, families, close-up sports, events, holiday cheer, swinger parties
- Nikon 14-24 Review (Lens) – A great wide-angle lens for landscapes and architecture that I use for about 60% of my landscapes
- Nikon 85mm Review (Lens) – Incredible for people shots. Just. Incredible.
- Nikon 50mm Review (Lens) – Ideal for cute children, close-up objects where you like a blurry background, friends, interventions
- Nikon 70-200 Review (Lens) – A great lens for things that are kinda far away, like animals or sports or that girl you are stalking
- Here is a listing of my HDR Camera recommendations for those of you that are interested. Note that any of these work with HDR Software.
Cameras I recommend:
- The Nikon D90 – Approx $700-$900
- Mini Review – I recommend this wonderful camera because it does auto-bracketing, can hold a variety of lenses, and is an amazing camera now and for the future. You’ll be able to have this be your main body as you slowly build up a collection of lenses in the future, as you get to better know your camera. It’s solid, shoots 12 megapixels, which is plenty big, and it even does video too! My first camera was a D70, which no longer exists. If I had the d90 first, I would have been in hog heaven!
- The Nikon D700 – Approx $2,400-$2,600
- Mini Review – Now we are getting more serious! This is definitely a professional-grade camera. It’s big and tough and ready for battle. It’s got an amazing sensor — it’s still 12 megapixels like the d90, but it’s much higher quality in terms of speed and clarity. I know many photographers that have this camera and swear by it. If you already have one of the other Nikons and are looking to upgrade, you’ll be very happy with this thing. If you don’t want to spend over $5,000, then I think the D700 is certainly the best bang for your buck.
- The Nikon D3x – Approx $7,500 and up
- Mini Review -See my Nikon D3X review for the full review! It is my 24-megapixel love and it is the ultimate. I use it. It completes me. However, being realistic, I can tell you that it is only 10-20% (depending on the features you dig) better than the D700. That extra 10-20% will cost you a pretty penny, so my advice is to only do it if you have the extra cash, or this is a love where you have little willpower.
- Best Backup Camera
- The Nikon D3S – Approx $5,200 and up
- Mini Review -See my Nikon D3S review for the full review! Once you get ultra serious, you don’t want to go on a big trip and only have one camera. Anything could happen. I hate to relegate the D3S to a backup camera, but that should not take anything away from this beautiful machine. The D3S is better than the D3X in low light and in high-speed situations. Another very nice thing is that it does high-def video.
- Newsletter Software – Information on the best one I have found at the AWeber review
- Dropbox Review -This is what I use to send large files to people, share files across computers, and do backup of important files.
- Backblaze Review – My solution for ensuring all my files and photos are backed up onto the Internet in case of a big fire or theft.
- HDR Book – A book by yours truly on HDR Photography!
I only review and recommend software and hardware that I actually use. Because I am viewed as a trusted expert in their software, I end up sending the manufacturers of these applications massive traffic. Often, some of these companies will also be financial sponsors. Whether or not they are sponsors, I only use the best of breed and I recommend them accordingly.
That said, here are some words for Nikon (who is not a sponsor). I have always used Nikon’s equipment and think it is a great company. Nikon could actually make some very simple changes to make its cameras more HDR friendly.