10 Principles of Beautiful Photography and the Verdant Bough

Wow I have a lot of reading for you today! I hope you have a coffee, a stiff drink, and/or some good music to accompany you!

First, my new photo today is entitled “The Verdant Bough”. The photo was shot at this really cool place in Wyoming I found while running around Yellowstone with my rig. I’m glad I didn’t fall down that cliff while shooting, but I guess that goes without saying.

Second, I had an article posted today in Smashing Magazine. It was originally titled 10 Principles of Beautiful Photography. That links here to my website, or you can visit the Smashing Magazine as well, although it’s filled with a negative nancies down at the bottom with their own flavor of commentary. No worries… I have a thick skin and I enjoy all kinds of feedback. Both articles are the same, but I like the one here on the site a little since I think the photos are best appreciated in their larger size. The eye needs to surf across them to accept all the light levels and not let your brain reject them. It’s a longer diatribe… but part of the reason this blog is soooo wide… 900 pixels across for each shot.

Oh, also, you can DIGG the article here! πŸ™‚

The Verdent Bough (by Stuck in Customs)

And here are a few photos from the article that you may never have seen if you are new to the blog!

The Lonely Trinity (by Stuck in Customs)

Stuck in India - Humayun's Tomb (by Stuck in Customs)

Hindu Ascent

  • And I bet the people who post here are nicer ( :
    I really enjoy the site your hosting here and the large format pictures. Thanks for the work your sharing and being a inspiration to so many people!

  • Wow Trey, I guess you really have a way of sparking comments from the most ignorant people out on the web. lol After reading those public displays of ignorance, I had to reply with my own. haha Bottom line, keep up what you love. (Which I know you will)


  • Deb

    LOVE the “Verdant Bough”!!! You really do wonder to some very interesting places! Keep doing what you love, you are GREAT at it! I Thank You again for sharing with us! Of course, I’m saving the “Verdant Bough” to my collection. THANKS!!!

  • Gail in Montana

    Wow, Trey, (I say that a lot on here, lol) the Verdant Bough is so very beautiful!!!! Glad you didn’t fall over that cliff! All of your pictures are very good that I’ve seen. How long have I been viewing them now?? I can’t remember when yahoo offered your site as an add-on a while ago, but I’m so glad I added it!!! Take it from your fans, you were born to do what you do. God has given you a wonderful talent, and, thank goodness, you are using it!! Congrats on taking breath-taking pictures, and thank you for sharing them with us here. I know it takes a lot of your time to do so!!!! πŸ™‚

  • Dale Martin

    Wow… A bunch of haters over there at smashing peoples art magazine.

    My question? How many of them had prints hang in the Smithsonian?

    Keep up the good work Trey!

  • Hi! Have been following your site for a while and it’s been a great inspiration. The places you visit are just breathtaking πŸ™‚
    I dabble in a bit of HDR and other photography myself, but still on the “psychedelic” side though.
    Your pictures are truly awesome, whatever the guys at smashing magazine say πŸ˜›

  • Me thinks they do protest too much. It’s quite possible they don’t know how to duplicate your results and are jealous. Or maybe they are just purists, resisting change. It doesn’t really matter. Just keep doing what you know is true to you. Btw, some friends recently asked me to HDR the rooms in their new house so they could have photos to show absent friends. They came out great, and the friends couldn’t be more pleased. They treated me to dinner at a very expensive (and excellent) restaurant. Since my current HDR style owes a lot to you…Thanks! Dinner was delicious. Heh.

  • Mike

    Hi Trey,

    Just took a look at the link, i guess everyone has there own likes and disikes, styles and tastes etc, Keep on with what you do best, because you do it brilliantly.

    It’s a real pleasure to visit here everyday, and see the places you photograph, i personnally love HDR, so i guess i’m a little biased.

    Nice to see and hear what you have to say too every now and again “ie radio and magazine interviews”

    Your a real inspiration

    All the best


  • hehe thanks all — good to read your comments… a little controversy here and there is good!

  • Ditto Gail in Montana – I found the link to your pictures as an add-on from Yahoo, and I am hooked! I am amazed daily by the images you provide and your “philosophy”. A breath of fresh air does not compare. Thanks!!

  • Beautiful work! What an inspiration.

  • This is a stunning shot Trey…breathtaking..

    Hope things are well with you. πŸ˜‰

  • I think the negative feedback are the result from posting your text to this magazine without adjusting it to the audience. Probably it was originally written for visitors of your page who visit because they like your stuff. But entering another “territory” with this “look, this is great and this is how it has to be done” kind of attitude, you ran a little bit against a wall. The readers of this mag are a different crowd than on here, it might have helped to express things more carefully, maybe collaborate with photographers who have different takes on photography? Many people are already sick and tired of HDR and tone mapping, looking at your images accompanied by this headline might just annoy them. Maybe even laugh out loudly.
    Oh, and I like your work!

  • Elaine Bennett

    I’m never one to care what the “critics” say, I just know what I like. And your stuff–I LIKE! Thanks for sharing your technique, results, and inspiration!

  • ha! Thanks you guys — cool to hear.

  • Rossoneri

    WOW! the first photo kind of remind me from the Lord of the rings movies, beautiful landscape, I would like to go there some day

  • Thanks for sharing your great work Trey!

    I read some of the rather rude criticism from SM. I think that anyone that argues against any photographic or graphic technique simply doesn’t understand the subject. Whether a single or multiple exposure technique is used; edited, or unedited; a photograph is just an interpretation of the scene, and a message from the photographer to the viewer. Personally, I would rather the photographer be the judge of how that message should be presented, rather than leave it up to a machine.

    If the critics can’t buy that, they should ask themselves the last time they took in a scene full of background bokeh with the naked eye (while not under the influence that is!).

  • Thanks for sharing your work on this blog Trey!

    I read some of the particularly rude (and non-constructive) criticism from SM. Funny, how they mention their children and Photoshop, I certainly hope they are not teaching their children how to provide effective feedback to others also.

    I think that anyone that argues against any photographic technique whether during capture or processing simply doesn’t understand the subject. Whether a single or multiple exposure technique is used; edited, or unedited; film or digital; a photograph is just an interpretation of the scene, and a message from the photographer to the viewer. Personally, I would rather the photographer be the judge of how that message should be presented, rather than leave it up to a machine.

    Besides, for the so-called “purists” out there, image manipulation begins before the shutter is released. If I take a picture of a moon at 400 mm it’s going to look larger than life. On the flip side, take a picture of a mountain range at 12 mm and it will look insignificant in comparison to the foreground (assuming a 35mm camera body). Exposure length, and aperture adjustments are also common ways to manipulate an image at exposure time. When was the last time a person took in an actual scene with a background full of silky bokeh? At least while not intoxicated!

    All of these techniques are used by the photographer to create the message, via their image, to the viewer. The camera is a tool, just as the software used to process the image. Limiting your options only means limiting your expression.

    I enjoy your pictures…thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks! Wayne all of that is nice of you to say – thanks again! πŸ™‚

  • Pingback: Portfolio “Trey Ratcliff” » Guru 2.0()

  • You have a great blog here and it is Nice to read some well written posts that have some relevancy…keep up the good work πŸ˜‰

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