New! Trey Ratcliff’s Complete HDR Tutorial – Now Available

100% New HDR Tutorial – A full course

I’m excited to announce this and say it’s now available for download on the Complete HDR Tutorial page!

And, as a little bonus, if you’ve enjoyed one of my previous HDR Tutorials, I wanted to give you 10% off, use the coupon code “TreyNewHDR2014″!

What’s new in this video tutorial? It’s 100% new! I’ve been doing this for years and years, and I share all of my new tricks, workflow, and post-processing techniques that will give your photos a great and unique look. There is another goal in this whole course that you will come to understand as you go through it — I will help you find your own style of photography.

Free 40 minute HDR Creation Video

So you can see a little bit of what the whole thing is about, I wanted to release this full-on teaser video. Actually, it’s way more than a teaser because it shows you a ton of stuff — you’ll see what I mean! Enjoy! :)

What’s Included?

There are over 10 hours of detailed video instruction in the course. It is aimed first at beginners but there is plenty of intermediate and advanced material too. I edit a ton of photos in every possible situation: Indoor, Outdoor, Sunrise, Sunset, Mid-Day, Mixed Indoor-Outdoor, Action, Movement, People, Nature & Landscape, Architectural, Travel, and more. There are many hours of high-production quality video as you watch me set up in these conditions, and then many more hours of screen capture, as you see me edit the photos you just saw captured in the field.

Even better, you get all of my RAW files! So you can follow along, step-by-step, and see exactly how I do each and every move.

An upcoming Live Q&A and Bonus Photo Critique session

If you get it now, you’re invited to join me on Sunday, March 30th. Mark your calendars – it’s gonna be great fun!

A great prize – An All Expenses paid trip to New Zealand

Everyone who purchases a copy of the Complete HDR Tutorial prior March 30 is eligible to enter the photo contest to win an ALL expenses paid trip, valued at over $8,000 USD, to my next photography workshop in Queenstown, New Zealand on April 28 – May 3, 2014.

EVERYTHING is included — Roundtrip airfare, Luxury accommodations, Transportation, Food,and of course, you will participate in every facet of the full 5-day photography workshop taught personally by me.

Another great prize – A new Sony A7 with the 28-70mm lens!

Just like above, I’m also giving away a Sony a7 Full-frame Mirrorless Camera valued at $2,000 USD during the live event. More details on this and everything else are over on the Complete HDR Tutorial page.

Just a few of the images we work on together in the course

Daily Photo – A Pretty Afternoon in the Shire

Here's one of images from the new course. It was a perfect day with just the kind of clouds you expect floating over the Hobbiton Movie Set!

A Pretty Afternoon in the Shire

A Pretty Afternoon in the Shire

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 19, 2013 at 12:31am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Big Announcement and Big News Coming Today

Come back to the blog later today, where I will post the big news and announcement! I’m so excited to tell you and show you this new thing… and maybe even you’ll get a chance to win a free trip to join me in New Zealand to celebrate it!

Miss News sometimes?

I know not everyone gets a chance to check the blog constantly! Hehe it’s okay – Real Life gets in the way and you might miss things. So, please sign up for our free and pretty Newsletter. You can also sign up in that slot over there on the right side of the page!

Actually, some stuff we ONLY put in the Newsletter, like the big Africa photo adventure that didn’t even have a chance to make it onto the blog before it sold out! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the newsletter. I promise not to spam you with nonsense! :)

Favorite Photos from the Newsletter

Since we’re all waiting around on the big announcement… I thought I would share some of my favorite images that have gone out with previous newsletters! :)

Through The Mists of Milford Sound The mornings are the best in Milford Sound, I think. I’ve been here about seven times now. Even though I had one amazing sunset, I think that the mornings tend to have better luck for photos. Note this is all anecdotal, and I’ll be more sure after I visit 100 times, which I plan to do, by the way! It’s only a few hours from my home… I really have no excuse, do I?- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Romantic Evening in the AlpsThe best time of day.  (To me.)When you are in a new place and there are too many things to see and do.  There are too many places to eat and explore.  There are too many streets and alleys to visit and photograph.  This is a good thing.  It is a nice feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.  So, in these times, there are no bad decisions.  Just go whichever way the night takes you... get lost and find pretty little things.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this entry at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Pond and the Sunset Stormclouds I had a wonderful evening with Eden Brackstone, even though he uses a Canon.  I can overlook these trifle matters, but I do not forget them lightly.We were in Gibbston, New Zealand, about 20 minutes from Queenstown.  After a wonderful dinner with his delightful family, I popped out onto his farm to shoot some HDR.  He started recording video on his aforementioned Canon-thing, and put together the little dealio at the link below.  Enjoy!Here is the final photo that was taken just before I we started recording the video.- Trey RatcliffSee the video here at Trey Ratcliff's travel photography blog, Stuck in Customs.

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.

The Magical CaveThe Baths on Virgin Gorda are filled with many tiny little caves here and there. For some, you have to crawl through sand or swim to get there. This one was one of the tightest and one of the most awesome! I thought it would be a great place to take a photo… I first went inside here with Justin Troupe and it was so awesome, I decided to return inside with my camera!Because the light levels were so extreme in here, I went with a 7-exp shot in this situation.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Alone at the Raging Waterfall of Gulfoss After two weeks of being alone I was getting a bit, shall we say, lonely. I was getting in the habit of waking up around 4 or 5 PM, having a leisurely dinner, and then jumping in the car to explore new parts of Iceland throughout the white nights.  On this particular day, I decided to head deep into the center of the island.  My goal was to go to the parts where all the major roads do not.Along that path, I arrived here at Gulfoss about 11 PM.  I've been here many times before, but there was always a few people around admiring the falls.  This time, I was alone.  It's so strange walking around a place like this while the sun is setting and no one is around.  The feeling is like those apocalypse movies where all humans have just disappeared...  just me... my gun... a trusty dog... maybe a few Icelandic elf-zombies lurking about...  the more and more time I spend alone, the more reasonable this begins to sound...- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Adventuring in the Valley Argentina is gorgeous.  Have I said that before?  Doesn't it go without saying by now?You really get to know a set of mountains when you have to hike around them.  Fortunately, in the middle of these death marches, I was able to stop and drink in some of the scenery.  It took a lot longer than necessary to get to the destination, but at least I arrived with a camera full of photos.  That beautiful peak in the distance is Fitz Roy.  I was very lucky to see it, because 90% of the time it's covered with clouds.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Lupins at Lake Tekapo I stopped at Lake Tekapo on the way to Christchurch for the great event there. Jason Law had told me all about the lupins here, so I was keen to see for myself! It was good to meet Jason and his crew there for a bit of shooting at sunset!I enjoyed this spot so much that I came back on my drive home from Christchurch. And, if I were to speculate, I think I’ll visit this place about 1,000 more times!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Benjamin Von Wong for the Arcanum?

Should we fast-track him in? Leave a comment!

So we were looking through the applications for The Arcanum, and we saw Benjamin Von Wong signed up to be a Master. I thought, wait, this must be a mistake! That can’t be The Same BVW that is like that super-awesome-talented-crazy-photographer-dude, is it? It is! We’ve had hundreds of applications in there where people sign up to be Masters, and there is some really incredible talent in there. I hate to pull him out as an example, but with this new video below, I thought it was apropos.

If you want us to Fast-Track him into a special list as the next beta-list of Masters, let me know in the comments! If there is enough public outcry, well then I know a guy that can make it happen!

We’re currently in a beta phase with the first group of Masters, and it’s going well. We’re learning a lot, doing a few iterations, and having a lot of fun! Our plan is to launch with a very small group of Masters, each of whom will select 20 Apprentices to guide through their the first two spheres of Levels. I know it’s all enshrouded in a wonderful mystery, but all will be revealed as soon as a Master selects you. Even spinning up the next set of Masters will take a while, so don’t get too excited just yet!

And so here you can see this amazing video Benjamin Von Wong did with SmugMug. If you don’t know what that is, see my shiny SmugMug Review!

Daily Photo – Looking forward to more Tokyo photography

Last trip to Tokyo, I finally hit this neighborhood below. I'm looking forward to going back here and taking more photos! Mostly I think I am excited just because I have a new camera, and I know things are gonna be even crazier. This time, I'm gonna spend a bit more time doing street photography with the A7r and some Leica lenses. It's a great place to practice because most people there don't seem to mind when you take their photo!

Looking forward to more Tokyo photography

Looking forward to more Tokyo photography

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 16, 2013 at 6:36pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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The Spa at Aro-Ha

Cold Dip and Hot Dip

I got into doing this cold-dip thing. You dunk your whole body in water that is just above freezing for one minute, and then you get into a hot tub or a Finnish sauna, then rinse and repeat three times. It’s kind of a sweet torture, but you sure do feel better inside after. But I’m not sure if it is just in your brain or not… it reminds me of that joke by Stephen Wright: “I love hitting myself repeatedly in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when I stop.”

Daily Photo – The Spa at Aro-Ha

Hey, that rhymes! And it's one of my favorite places after a long day of working my body and mind. This is an absolute gem of a place, by the way. It's a spa and wellness retreat in New Zealand called Aro-Ha, and it gets my absolute highest recommendation. The hiking trails are amazing, the food is super-tasty (and healthy!), and even better, you get a massage every single day. Maybe I should capitalize that. Massage Every Single Day.

In fact, right there in the hot-tub on the left (you can't quite see him) is Michel. He's was one of my favorite masseurs. He's French and his hands were like Jean-Claude Van Damme in his prime. Well, probably twice as strong. And no, he did not massage me in the hot tub, although now that I think about it, I should have asked him to! Haha oh yeah! :)

The Spa at Aro-Ha

The Spa at Aro-Ha

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 13, 2014 at 8:54pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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Tasting Wines at Mt Difficulty Wines

New Photomatix Release

In a world of auto-updating software, sometimes we miss little revisions, like THIS one! You can go grab the new Photomatix Pro release that lets you use your Sony A7(r) RAW photos directly. There’s a bunch of other changes I will list below too. If you don’t know much about it, see the Photomatix Review here on the site.

- Added support for RAW files of recent camera models such as the Nikon Df, Pentax K-3, and Sony A7 and A7R.
- On Batch Bracketed Photos, added a “Previous Session (non-batch)” item to the list of the Preset pop-up menu.
- Changed the item selected by default on the File Format combo-box for saving tonemapped/fused images from TIFF to JPEG (selected item is “sticky”, so change only affects first use).
- Bug fixed: When using the Lightroom Plugin to export to Photomatix Pro on Mac OS 10.9, Photomatix Pro would sometimes not open when the OS is set to a language other than English.
- Bug fixed: Alignment for the “taken on tripod” option did not support 64-bit addressing, which resulted in a crash when aligning a bracketed set composed of a very high number of bracketed photos.
- Bug fixed: On Batch Bracketed Photos, separators disappeared from the list of the Preset pop-up menu when the Filter was used.
- Bug fixed: On Batch Bracketed Photos, the dialog for entering custom settings or multiple presets referred to custom settings as “User Preset” in the ‘Settings Type’ column of the Preset list box.

Your Favorite Winery?

Do you have a favorite winery that you’ve toured somewhere in the world? Where is it? Do tell! :)

Daily Photo – Tasting at Mt Difficulty Wines

Out in Bannockburn, which is basically in Cromwell, about an hour from Queenstown, is a hotbed of wineries. There's many great ones around here! One of the only ones that serves lunch is Mt. Difficulty Wines, and they have a beautiful wine-tasting as well. It's fairly well-known around the world, and they have a wide variety of wines. I've now had two meals here and two wine tastings – both have been amazing. Anyway, I highly recommend this place.

Tasting Wines at Mount Difficulty Winery

Tasting at Mt Difficulty Wines

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 1, 2014 at 2:33pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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