Merry Christmas from the Ratcliffs!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! See my three kids there? They’re so happy you come to the blog and, in so doing, help out the family! I love photography,and I love the family, so I can’t think of a better thing to share with you on Christmas.

And thank you so much for sharing the site with your friends and family. It’s helped us to grow to hundreds of thousands of monthly readers. Some come to just look at photos. Some come to learn more about photography. So whether you’re just browsing around for fun or here to get more goodies, I’m thankful! I hope you have a great holiday.

This is the first photo I ever took with my Nikon D3X. If you want to know more about this style of photography, see my HDR Tutorial (it’s free!). If you want to know more about this camera, I have it listed on my HDR Camera page here on the site.

In this photo are my three kids… See the older Ethan in the picture? He said, “Dad, that looks just like your old camera.” I tousled his hair and told him to just be quiet and pose for the photo and be as neoRockwellian as possible with the rest of my brood.

Have a good holiday week!

Christmas HDR Photo

  • Absolutely beautiful. The best Christmas picture that I have EVER seen. Great job
    PS. I am glad to be the first who comments on your first D3X picture πŸ˜€

  • Jared Wait

    A Christams Card Photo!! Merry Christmas To you and yours Trey.

  • Dr. Electro

    Trey, are those munchkins your own? They look like they could step right out of the picture and begin unwrapping presents.

    The tree is beautiful in a slightly surreal way but it’s the star over the mantle that keeps drawing my point of view. An awesome photo, sir!

    Merry Christmas.

  • Anand

    Awesome. Congrats on d3x.

  • Hey thanks!

    I have a funny story about that star…

    I was at the studio in downtown Austin and walking behind the building one day… There is a big dumpster back there and some guy was moving out, and dumping out all of his old Christmas stuff. He hauled out that big star and I asked him if I could just have it! He said “Sure!” So I got it and brought it back into the office for the rest of the day… everyone thought I was crazy.

  • Haha yes — Those are my kids Electro! πŸ™‚

  • Kati Debelic

    This is a fantastic shot! Congrats! I love your work,style and the treatment you do to your pictures. Merry christmas to you and family and thanks for sharing!

  • Congratulations! I can only image how large (in hard disk size) a 32 bit 5 exposure HDR image will be πŸ™‚

  • Kathy

    OMG Trey this has got to be one of the best pictures you have posted on so many levels. I have never seen such a beautiful Christmas picture and your kids look radiant. Merry Christmas and as my grandmother use to say use your new camera in good health. Can’t wait for the updated tutorial. You are truly a good and giving person and must have lots of good karma built up.

  • So much red! Also, WOW! There are so many textures going on in that picture, it’s just great.

  • WOW, worth the wait for this one. Beautiful work! Looking forward to the updated tutorial. Best to you and yours!

  • Rodney

    Superb pic! May you get many years of enjoyment from your D3X. Rodney

  • Where’s the hot wife? Three kids, what looks like a lovely house, living in Texas (no endless freaking cold and snow (or at least not so’s you’d notice), and a terrific new camera to go with your immense talent. Not to mention all the traveling you get to do. Could life get any better for you? Have a good one!

  • Gail

    What a lovely picture of your kids and Christmas tree, Trey!! Your home looks so warm and inviting. Merry Christmas from a VERY snowy Seattle area where we are visiting with our son and family. Record setting snowfall here. Toooo much fun, 12 hour drive to get here!!! Have a very happy New Year in 2009 and keep taking those beautiful pictures with your new D3X camera!!!! Great Job!!!! Thanks for sharing with all of your fans!! πŸ™‚

  • DEE

    Whatever is said above is what I wish I would have said. But anyway, I agree.

  • Susan

    Merry Christmas Trey! This shot is so beautiful! I agree, the best Christmas pic I’ve ever seen! Know we will all enjoy your new DX3!!

  • Tiny Pixels

    Have to laugh about where’s the hot wife. Did you see the age of the youngest? It’s a baby! If she’s smart (and she probably is) she’s either taking advantage of that moment to be in a hot bath with a glass of red wine or is taking a long winter’s nap.

    Can’t add much to the kudos, Trey. Hill Country looks good once again.

  • Hey thanks all!

    Happy holidays to you Tiny Pixels, SUSAN, DEE, Gail, Fenraven, Rodney, Michael, Stephen, Kathy, Roger, Kati, Anand, Electro, Jared, and Kourosh!

  • Barb

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! You got a real deal on the star.

  • franielee38

    Merry Christmas!

    I will also enjoy your new camera, and thank you for that!

  • Birgit

    Now thats what I call a christmas tree, amazing – as is the picture! Looking forward to more eye candys with your new camera! Happy Christmay and happy shooting

  • Merry Christmas Trey, your little ones look ready to rip open the gifts, hope they’re doing that for real today!

  • Thanks!

    Merry Christmas to you Barb, franielee, and Birgit – always enjoy reading your comments! πŸ™‚

  • Reina

    How did I not notice you had another kid?

  • You gotta keep up girl…! πŸ™‚

  • Merry Christmas!! Thank you for all the beautiful images you have shared!

  • Trey,
    very cool family photo.

  • Merry Christmas Bob and Andy!

  • Merry xmas Trey πŸ™‚

  • Hey Trey, I had a question with Photomatix. Anyone that knows can answer that knows actually. With the program, how well does it handle lining the images up, say on a windy day? That is what my main concern is. Thanks. Meery Christmas.

  • Merry xmas Shaolin and Matthew!

    Matthew – Photomatix does a pretty good job with that “auto-align” option. Now, if you are shooting trees or grass or something where there is MASSIVE movement of everything, it will do a horrible job…but if there are strong angular objects, you should be a-ok.

  • Okay, thanks Trey!

  • Mike from New Orleans

    Love the composition and shadow/light tonalities in the walls and alcoves in the wall under the windows. (It could use a Santa and Reindeer Sleigh spanning both windows.)
    Thanks for sharing…now go spend time with those adorable kids!

  • wee

    happy new year, the kids are beautiful~

  • Thanks! Happy Holidays Mike and Wee πŸ™‚

  • great Christmas/family photo…
    it’s also nice to see someone who is not afraid to paint the walls red!

  • OMG this is magnificent. I love the color of your walls – is this really the color? Wonderful, warm picture. Thank you!

  • Thanks! Lena yes those are the real colors… a deep red…

  • ???????, ? ? ???? ???? ??????????? πŸ™‚

  • stephen henderson

    Wow what an amazing picture and with christmas getting nearer it fills my heart with makes the perfect picture postcard.Only came across your website today and already you are down as my favourite photographer.
    Keep up the great work.

    Merry Xmas for 2009

  • David Hanks

    Trey, I too only came across your site today, having just bought Photomatix. This wonderful picture is clearly the work of an expert and being in my sixties I shall have to go some to emulate it, maybe in my seventies!! I look forward to seeing more of your work and will be spreading the word here in the UK that the Photomatix Prophet is a generous exponent of his craft. Have another good one with those gorgeous kids.

  • Pingback: A Photographers Interview with Trey Ratcliff β€” Scott Wyden Imagery()

  • This is the cutest christmas picture ever:-)donno if its the colour of the walls or the tree or the 5 socks (Mom,Dad and three kids hehe)or just ur cute kids…but something that makes it look like a scene from ‘Fairy Tale Theatre’ that i used to watch as a child πŸ™‚

  • Amazing!!
    Which is this painting or photography???

  • Thanks! It’s a photo! πŸ™‚


    This is absolutely stunning! It looks like a postcard! Beautiful, beautiful portrait!

  • Wow, I’m at a loss for words. I clicked on a link from your about page and it led me here. I just sat here with my mouth gapped open in wonder. I can’t imagine how to capture a photo like this. I know you are likely not to read this, but if you do, I am deeply curious about whether or not you used any photo editing software to achieve this amazing capture. I have three precious little angels of my own and have just began to experiment with my 1st Nikkon DSLR. I’m still figuring out the basics, but one day (before my kids are too old to let me) I’d like to take a picture just like this. But I’m wondering how you got this to look like a work of art . .. literally, like a painting. I don’t know, but true to word you have an amazing talent. I hope as I grow in the art of photography I could eventually produce photos like yours. I am truly WOWED!

  • Hi Dianna,

    There are many resources around the page to help you along, like the free HDR Tutorial:

    And several video tutorials that are chock full of information on how Trey processes his images:

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