Patagonia in Autumn

As is the case with every day here, I have also included a photo. This is of the indomitable Fitz Roy at sunrise buried deep in the Andes, in the hinterland between Argentina and Chile. To get this shot, it was none too easy! First, I “woke” up after a sleepless night in a two-man tent with Yuri. It was perhaps the worst night of my life and I’ve never had a panic attack before, but I honestly felt like I was pretty close. The smell combined with the pitch black, the snoring, the freezing cold, and the tiny tent was almost more than I could bear!

I woke up around 4:30 AM with -7 Celsius temperatures. It was bitter cold. I got dressed QUICKLY in the pitch black cold and then headed off with two of my Russian friends to begin scaling the mountain. They had lights on their hats; I did not. I walked between them, trying not to slip on the icy “trail” between the dodging shadows cast by their headlights. I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. We ascended 1,500 feet in less than 45 minutes so we could catch the pink rays of sunrise just as they hit the peaks.

Last, I have been interviewed about photography and more on the Pro Photo Show. It’s a free podcast that you can listen to if you want to know more about the process or just hear me ramble on about stuff you may or may not find interesting!

A Razor to the Sky

A Razor to the Sky

Patagonia in Autumn from Trey Ratcliff on Vimeo.

  • I liked the music and the composition of shots, but there was too much blurring for my tastes. I wanted to see more sharp images and detail. Got bored quickly and skimmed the last few minutes.

    I am very interested in that level attachment on your hot shoe. I gotta get one of those.

  • Wicked crazy video! I in a good way of course πŸ™‚ I like the cameo you make towards the end! Also, I’m glad you do all you do for your photography – putting up with smelly men in dark tents really says a lot for your dedication!

  • casusan

    Cool Trey….love the map too at the end! Think this proves what a master you are with your beloved camera!

  • Hehe thanks…

    Steve – Thanks for the feedback… You can hang on for the ultra-sharp photos at least πŸ™‚

  • Oh, didn’t see the end. I do like that 3d travel map effect. Very nice.

  • Chris

    I liked it but I did kind of feel frustrated by the lack of sharpness. Felt like I didn’t have my glasses on. I love and continue to be inspired by your work! Keep it up!

  • Trey, what did you use to shoot the video? A D90?

  • I really liked the shots you have in this video. I was confused at first by the blurring, but after a bit I got used to it and I also like all of the different colors there.

  • “Razor” photo is STUNNING!

  • Trey, great video. I have enjoyed watching it. However, I was constantly waiting for more sharpness, and less blur. That would have made it perfect. Good job, nice to see you also have talent for video!

  • Hey Trey, great video, who does the music for it, great choice.

  • Facebook User

    Very interesting, I wish it was all sharp though, the blur bugged my eyes a bit. It reminded me a lot of the movie Baraka, have you seen it Trey? If not its definitely worth a check out.

  • Not what I expected, very different even. But somehow I liked it. The music really adds to it. I concur with Trevor, the Razor is stunning!

  • Tom Horton

    The constant focusing and camera jitter drove me crazy. Couldn’t finish it. But keep practicing, Trey.

  • Deb

    Beautiful picture! the top of the spine of the world! LOVE it! The video was great once I got used to the blurriness. the music was a very nice complement to the video. Keep shooting the most incredible photos I’ve ever seen! And THANKS!

  • sarpent

    I see what you were trying to do there with the focus, but it didn’t work for me and, after a while, just felt like an irritating gimmick.

  • Anthony

    Is there a version that’s in focus?

  • I think you did a good job for your first video, Trey. Yes, there was some fuzziness, but also a lot of beautiful clear shots!!! And the picture is just awesome!!!! My sister and I liked the map at the end so we knew just exactly where you were, thanks!!!! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!!

  • Trevor Driscoll

    Was it just me or were there some green lines around 8:20ish

    On a separate note, I liked the video it was definitely an interesting study in focus. Bothered my eyes a bit though

  • I actually dig the video. It’s a completely different take on everything we know and love about your work, and it worked for me! Looking forward to seeing more of your videos. P.S. Loved the cameo appearance toward the end!

  • I really like this video, and the music!
    The pictures are awsome as always, I admire you to take all this pain and suffering to take this pictures, and since you are sharing it with us, i don!t have to climb up there! πŸ™‚
    Keep up the great work!

  • Thanks for the feedback all… Appreciate all the feedback.

    I am glad you like the Razor to the Sky photo.

  • Barb

    The music was perfect for the video. The constant refocusing was a bit too much. I would prefer to actually see what you were shooting rather than the out of focus and then too short moments of clarity.

  • Hi Trey! Glad you made it back from that excYurision in one piece! I like the concpet and intent of the video and love the music. But please comment on the (out of) focus element. I thought it was just something in the online streaming process causing that to occur until I read all these other comments. If done intentionally, that is not a good or welcome effect. Having done a little film work myself, I know that using focus for dramatic effect should be done very judiciously and purposefully — no more than once or twice to “reveal” something very special. What this type of film — a compliation of short “scene” clips — would benefit most from is gradual, smooth FADES from scene to scene, rather than hard cuts and all that bluriness. It would flow better with the music too. If that is an effect that you inserted in editing, maybe you can recut using alternative techniques. If it was done with the camera and is now a part of your source image…well, go for a different approach next time. Your “brand” is very much grounded in SHARP, distinct, powerful visual images. This video detracts from that collection.

  • Indibang

    I agree with Steve. A lot of strain on eyes.

  • Gary

    Andean music for the video would have been more approriate.
    The scenery is great.

  • Gary

    Andean music for the video would have been more appropriate.
    The scenery is great.

  • Awesome stuff Trey, and where did you get that hot shoe level??

  • Thanks all – thanks for taking the time to comment and give feedback. I don’t mind the negative stuff at all… very constructive all around so thank you.

    People love that hotshoe! Just google…green cube… umm.. well I need a new one now because it broke.. here I found it:

  • Facebook User

    I absolutely loved this. I’ve not read the other comments, but for me the video was all about learning to see. Really. Seeing is a constant challenge. Your light, shapes, impressions, and motion – particularly the falling rain and moving water scenes – made me realize that I must go thru most of the day not noticing anything, no matter how much effort I may devote to the contrary. I will share the link and read your blog to see what you did to create this amazing video.

  • As a Cinema Projectionist I kept reaching for the focus. Loved the music and the location is fantastic, but less Bluravision would of made this more enjoyable. Love your Photography, keep up the good work.

  • wil

    the razor photo…

    gamut warnings mate…gamut warnings

  • Theo

    I have only recently found your blog and am now a huge fan of your photography! I was excited to see your video as well to see what you would do. I loved the water running over different surfaces and the precipitation from the trees very much. I like the effect of a blurred picture and having it then come into focus, but I think I was waiting for it to lead up to something. At first I thought it was images of the nature surrounding the peaks that were blurred and that the blurry aspect would slowly disintegrate over the course of the video into a series of bold, in focus photos of the peaks and surrounding area. Which would in effect force us to really appreciate the beauty of the scenes you saw. Just an idea. I really enjoyed the music and I think that added to the video. Can’t wait to see the next one!

  • Kathy

    Trey, this picture of the razor is the most beautiful picture you’ve ever taken, in my humble opinion. I’ve been a fan of yours for a while now and you never cease to amaze. Keep up the good work, I look forward to your blog every afternoon.

  • Jacques

    Trey; I am a HUGE fan of your photography, but the video did not appeal to ME. The unfocused shots bugged me. At first I thought you were going to start out in the minute with blurry shots, and later show us the focused scenes. When that did not happen, I was disappointed. Maybe it is just because I am used to seeing focused shots of landscape scenery, or at least shots that transition smoothly from being out of focus to coming into focus (or the other way on some cases). Also, I realize these were handheld because you all were off in the wilderness and the focus of the trip was not to produce a video (I imagine), but the bouncing bugged me as well. I also did not feel like there was a clear beginning, middle and end (regardless of the cool map effect at the end). It seemed just a set of random scenes cobbled together and covered up with interesting music. I feel bad saying anything negative since I never had about your work, but I this just didn’t do it for ME, though I am sure there are many out there who completely disagree and loved the video. And before anyone asks, I am not a videographer and only a mediocre photographer (so take what I say with a huge grain of salt; they are just my own impressions of the film). By the way, I almost deleted my comments before posting because mamma always told me, “if you have nothing nice to say, …” Also, while I did not read everyone comments before writing my own, I did scan them before hitting the submit button on my own: Comment 24 from Fred Schmidt put into words what I believe I am trying to say, but lack the ability to communicate as clearly as he did.

  • What I think is even the most coolest about this stream is the collection of awesome feedback from a collection of various walks of life on a first in what I am sure is bound to be many more mutli media pieces of art from our brilliant artist, Trey Ratcliff. I love this diversion and direction. I must admit that I really had no idea what to expect. I was convinced, however, from my experience in photography verses video, that your approach would be quite different as these tools are similar but radically unique. I aplaud your effort, however, you kinda lost me about 3 minutes in. LOVED the music and most of the comp. The focus think would have worked for me…if the video was shorter. MUCH shorter (for that focus effect to work for me). The length was OK and once again, the music rocked.

    I would have lived to have seen about 1 to 2 minutes of this audio and effect, then fade out and crossfade to about 1 minute of walking and your dialogue…with NO music for this scene, then about 30 seconds of team introductions (Yuri and friends), then about 30 seconds of team banter with a continuation of the same music, ending with the intention of the next days hike, then a crossfade into new even more dramatic music, then footage of the dark hike in the AM, then finally, some kinda average video of what is really an extremely incredible sunrise…..however, the video sensor doesnt really capture that tonal range……until a crescendo in the music is a que for 5 or so images (HDR by Trey Ratcliff work of course) to SLOWLY fade onto the screen…one by one…held for about 8 seconds each…a somewhat finale’ to the trek that was previuosly expressed. An end to a goal if you would.

    Well, thats a dufferent piece altogether I guess…..

    Sorry, carry on folks

    Michael S.
    just my .02

  • Mike

    Photos are always so sharp but this vid confused the heck out of me. Seems there were some repeated scenes, too. I guess I just don’t understand the appeal. You’re photos are great and I think that anyone that liked this vid is just being a little too loyal. I would like to see another attempt in the future though because you sure do have an eye.

  • Sorry, me again. I do LOVE that you are exploring and reaching artistically and so readily willing to share it with the world. Thanks for that πŸ™‚

  • I am NOT an artsy person at all. I go to a museum and only like the stuff that looks like something, not the other things that look like someone spilled paint on the canvas. That might explain why I didn’t care for this that much. Some of the blurring I liked, but to me there was just too much. The times when you started blurred then came into focus I enjoyed, and of course the in focus stuff. I liked your cameo and the map at the end. The music was fantastic! I’m going to have to go check them out.

    Having said all that, if it were all in focus I’m not sure that would have worked either. For me, there needed to be more in focus, maybe some blurry fading from one to another, but still keep some blurry. That added to the feeling a lot. You mention what your thoughts are on HDR and how you think about it. I’d be interested in what your thoughts are on the way you created this, why so much was blurry. And I’m not saying it’s wrong at all, just was too much for me.

    Still, I enjoyed being able to see that part of the world in video. Thanks for creating that, and I hope you do more in the future! πŸ™‚

  • I like that you trying something different. I’ll always enjoyed films as much as photo but it’s a more difficult media. Harder to process and the demand of the setting is on another level. But here are some thought of what could have been done different:

    The music made me stress up and didn’t match the scenery (think it could be solved by slowing the drum speed). The location would have made more sens in the beginning than at the end.

    I feel I been up to something not to different as the story to the photo this weekend. Been of on an orienteering competition. Sleeping in a big tent and the mild temperature of 0 degree at least compared to your story. Didn’t sleep that well ether through. Then up and running before the first daylight in the forest a 10 km long track and with a lamp that quits working at the early stage of the race. Then you have to relay on your opponents to led you to the right place. Not to different I guess.



    i love your work and your ability to photograph the beautiful scenes so that others acutually feel it. i watched the video and i felt as if i was standing in the midst of each scene. i am not a photographer but i know what moves my soul and your work does.
    peace and prosperity.

  • mike

    Hi, love the photo, the video is OK and i get the idea of trying something different but have to agree with everyone else, there’s no need for the blurring at all! video is (kind of) continous photography, the viewer needs detail and as much visual information as possible to enjoy it, this is not the case when it’s blurred! would have been an lovely video if we could see where you were!
    keep up the amazing photography though, and I’ll keep an eye out for your next video!

  • Charlie

    Hey Trey!

    Just got a chance to listen to your interview with Pro Photo Show, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to hear all those tips and get some new direction on my photography.

    The video was well done! Although, I do agree with the others comments about the blurriness. Other than that, congratulations on a splendid venture in short films!

    In some strange way, I find it gratifying to hear a professional, such as youself (or I would say, a God of Photography), accepting constructive criticism so well.

  • Hey Tery… nice picture. Always enjoy looking at your pictures. The video is good, but not to the standards I have come to expect from your work. Since this is your first video there is only room for improvement. Hope to see some good stuff soon.

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  • It seems that, although you are the master of the D3X, and can do things with that piece of equipment I can only dream of, it seems your skills are lacking in the video area. πŸ™‚ I was also hoping for a little more commentary. On the bright side, what an adventurous life you lead, the likes of which most only dream.


  • WTG, Trey, that was so beautiful!! And I love that haunting background music, good job in picking that one. Glad I finally took the time to watch your video!!! Congrats on a job well done. You show us so much of your creativity, in photo’s, drawing, and now videos with music!!!!

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