Dramatic Reading of Negative Reviews on Amazon

A Dramatic Reading of Negative Amazon Reviews for “A World in HDR”

I made a little video this evening where I read negative Amazon Reviews for you. This is a one-time only event… I think the regulars here will appreciate it…hehe. Luckily, despite the negative Nancies (actually, I do appreciate constructive criticism), we still were able to sell out on Amazon in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Everything is back in stock now, as I understand!

BTW, I will add this to the video section — visit the Videos area here if you want to see free videos with how-tos, shooting examples, etc.

The book contest is still going on at Abduzeedo

The contest is up to about 450 entries, so if you don’t already have one, pop over there for your chance to win! While there at Abduzeedo, be sure to go look around their site some and discover other great artists. I spend a lot of time there getting inspired!

Daily Photo – Autumn in New York at Sunset

Despite my kind Tweet to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, they would not let me take a tripod on the day I arrived. So, I was forced to do a hand-held HDR shot from the roof at sunset. It was a beautiful night across central park, and I did my best to hold it steady.

In Photomatix, I did choose to “Auto-Align” images. It did a pretty good job. I always suggest that you check “Do Not Crop”, so that you can line everything up easier later in Photoshop. When it auto-crops, it resets the 0,0 x/y origin and will mix up the alignment later on for final cleanup.

  • Facebook User

    Hahahaha. Sweeeeet. Dare you to do a whole interview in that voice

  • Hahah, you’re a better photographer than reader πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

    Don’t mind the negative reviews especially if the book is sold out (means something). At least I’m happy with my signed copy.

  • Can’t believe what an insecure dick you are. All those critics where actually constructive and imho true. But looks like you can only cope with those uncritic mindless fans you love so much. (Nevermind, I know this comment wont find the way to your private temple, eehh your blog.)

  • Ha – I love it when cowardly punks like “DUDE” attack Trey from their mom’s basement. I don’t understand what drives such petty little idiots to attack Trey unless it’s pure and simple jealousy. DUDE – go find something to do that matters. Nobody cares what a cowardly anonymous commenter like you has to say about Trey’s book. Oh yeah – the book rocks. I said that. Scott Bourne. Photofocus.com. And I’m not hiding under my mom’s skirt in the basement either πŸ™‚

  • Regarding the criticism: photography is an art and there is no objective way to qualify art. What’s I’ve come to understand is what appeals to one person will be distasteful to another. As an artist all you can really do is cook to suit your own taste.

    Thanks so much for moving the state of photography forward, Trey. I don’t do HDR much myself, but I appreciate people who do it well.

  • pbv

    haha, funny reading trey. i have to get a closer look at your book, unfortunately i hadnt had a chance yet.

    ps: i got some new HDRs on my flickrstream, constructive criticism is very appreciated! thx πŸ˜‰

  • Trey, classic!! “It was my one and only Christmas present”….who writes this stuff??!!! 2 funny! Have fun!

  • Barbara_NY

    Clever demonstration of your good sportsmanship.

  • Richard

    Oh well, if the President of the United States can only garner a 50% positive rating, what chance do the rest of us have?

  • Joe Demartino

    So Funny. Great Voice.

  • Colleen

    If Scott Bourne says this book rocks, I am going to order it now!

  • Classic! But I give you 2.5 out of 5 stars on the accent.

  • LOL, Trey!! Glad you are a good sport and ignore comments like “Dude” made. I guess we all are entitled to our own opinions. I guess I grew up learning that if you can’t say something good about someone, keep your ___ mouth shut, well not quite in those words ;-). Glad you don’t let those few negative responses bother you, you shouldn’t. Your book is great and always will be. Can we expect another?? As I gave the first one away as a gift, I hope so. Loved your accent, lol. I’d give it a 4, lol. Now back to the photo of the day, amazing photo of a sunset from across Central Park, love it!!! Now someone can say something negative about me, :-)). Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brilliant idea and indeed, classic Trey Ratcliff! LOL!

  • This was just what I needed as a post Macworld reality check. Thanks for making me laugh on this Monday morning.

  • Hehe thanks all – glad you took it in good humor !

    Paul – Yes yes I know… haha… this is why I never do public readings!

    Scott – Hehe thanks mate – especially after having to help me lug those dang things around ! Photofocus.com Photofocus.com – it’s okay there are always dudes out there. (I didn’t make fun of the constructive criticism stuff)

    Dude – I didn’t make fun of the constructive stuff… I don’t mind that at all.

    Brian – 2.5 Stars! hehe – I’ll take it. This is not my arena of expertise!

    Gail – hey thanks! It’s okay – negative comments don’t bother me (as you can tell!)

    Victor – hehe sure thing! Everyone – Victor has a photography podcast you might like – http://typicalmacuser.com/typicalmediagroup/podcasts.html — he interviewed me at http://typicalshutterbug.com/wordpress/2009/09/04/tsb09-hdr-explained-by-trey-radcliff-the-master-also-nikon-d90-talk/

    Michael – Thanks mate – hey btw – I have a special surprise coming to you guys who were here in Austin soon.

  • Amit

    Scott – do you think the book provides enough info about the HDR process and how the individual photos were made?

  • Facebook User

    Very funny! lol

  • Love the voice!! I hadn’t read the nay sayers… Some people are so pompous!! Where’s their books?

  • Five Stars!

    When I was in graduate school I had the good fortune to access to the data accumulated from a study of several thousand voters in the Nixon-McGovern election. Every media input was starched; voter’s changes in perceptions were captured in weekly interviews. Its conclusion: the media was singularly unsuccessful at influencing voters’ thoughts. It was, however, extremely successful at setting his or her agenda or influencing what he or she thought about.

    All of which demonstrates P. T Barnum’s genius when he told reporters covering his shows, and I paraphrase, “Write whatever you like. Just spell my name correctly.”

  • I give you 5 stars for that performance.. LMAO!! πŸ˜€

    Truly Oscar worthy.

  • delladolittle

    Hi Trey,
    That was fabulous!!What a fun and unique idea! I love your big green cup! I read those silly reviews and thought those people missed the point completely. The book is awesome. I love my signed copy too! It even gave me a new quote (pg. 69) to add to my list of favorite quotes!

    Thanks Trey, that put a smile on my face this morning!

  • To be honest I think alot of people were expecting the book to be some kind of HDR holy grail but thats not what the book is about. It’s about a journey, going from one amazing place to the next and getting in an insight into what was going through his head at the time. I wasn’t expecting to see anything new in the book, sure you can see all the images on the site, but its not the same as the fancy glossy paper its printed on!

  • kelly

    I love that you can laugh about the negative. Great attitude! And it always makes me laugh to see the negative comments on a post like this. They think they have to get the last word in, but alas, not this time!

  • Haha thanks everyone — glad you get it… In fact, in the book, I tell people to be wary of the over-instructional style of most books… Once I can get people to think a little differently about light and show them them basics, then I want people to take it in fun new directions.

    Also, I will make a very detailed HDR how-to video soon… we took screencaps while at the workshop, so if people want to follow along, that is another option.

  • casusan

    I just cracked up laughing at your reading Trey – too funny and a clever idea! New York at sunset is beautiful!! I liked Scott Bourne’s comments about Dude – too good!

  • Trey, you shouldn’t let a few negative, and at times constructive, reviews bother you. Overall, your book’s getting rave reviews, so move on. By the way, your Norwegian accent is terrible πŸ˜‰

  • Anthony

    I found the dramatic reading pathetic. I mean, the negative reviews did have substance. Rather than address the critics head-on, or probably wiser- ignore them, you resort to ridicule. That’s lame. Maybe this is your attempt to fire up your fan base and get some better reviews or maybe skin really is this thin.

    I enjoy your work but some of your photos do look like snapshots. Often it is the processing that makes them interesting, not the composition. But it’s a journey and I have enjoyed watching your progress.

  • This reading of negative reviews was a bit disappointing. Back in the day, we used American accents to make fun of negative reviews. Without the overprocessed English accent, it would be very plain and overhyped.

  • High Five Meistro!

  • John

    I gotta say Trey, after reading the reviews of your book, which were all very polite and respectful, and genuinely helpful thought out reviews, what you are doing here is just mocking people who spent their own money because they value what you do. For you to display such disregard for their opinions or concerns is pretty sad in my opinion.

  • Jane

    I give you 5 out of 5 stars for the Firefly theme used over the end. Priceless!

  • Lol at 1:57. All that is missing is the fireplace, robe and pipe. Thanks for starting my week with a good laugh! Love the editing.

  • Matt

    I thought it was pretty funny. People need to lighten up. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you are entitled to mock them. Regardless of whether the criticism is “valid”, I always find it interesting when(and how) people poke holes at others and their endeavors via the internet.

  • Hehe yes Cliff I needed a fireplace too !

    No worries all… you can see I don’t take any of this stuff too seriously… just having fun with it! πŸ™‚

  • I gotta work in Photomatix some more so I can produce HDR images like this…

  • David

    Glad you are having fun with it! Nice job on the book by the way.

  • Ha ha very funny! I love the book, although the British accent needs a little work!! You need to come over here to England to practice it! Although, you may have to be here for a while to wait for the clouds and rain to go to get a good sunset!

  • Facebook User

    Loved your high brow interpretation of those reviews!!! Can’t please all the people all the time, ey???

  • tom

    It seems to me that the negative reviews you read are reasonable opinions regarding the content of the book and not personal attacks or the standard slams on HDR. I enjoy your work, but this just seems a tad petty.

  • I’m going to have to echo the 5 of 5 stars using the firefly/serenity theme at the end. 5 of 5 on the book as well.

  • Rick

    This actually left a bad taste in my mouth. I went to Amazon and read all the reviews and found them all actually quite valid and well thought out. I’m grateful for the negative reviews. As a starving student I have very limited resources and was on the fence about buying this book. I’ve dabbled in HDR and have wanted to improve my technique. From the description of the book I was expecting a pretty detailed description of the process that went into many of the photos. However thankfully I found out the truth before I bought it that pretty much all the information in the book is the same found on the website and is an art book rather than an instructional book. I’m thankful that I didn’t waste my money then. I can especially relate with the guy that you made fun of who could afford only this book for Christmas. Some of us can’t afford or choose not to spend a lot of money on our photographic hobby. If buying the book doesn’t give me information or photos that I don’t already have access to then I can’t justify it’s purchase. I find it very petty to mock these people who spent their hard earned money supporting you. The comments left were not vindicative and actually very rationally written. In the past I have always enjoyed your interviews Trey and am disappointed in this. I usually have a great sense of humor about things and normally wouldn’t do this, but this video really bothered me. It also doesn’t help answer criticism that the book is a giant ego stroke when you make a video like this.

  • Thelonious Gonzo

    AHHH!!!!! LMAO!!!!!

    Trey!! Dude!!! You nailed that!!
    That – was – AWESOME!!!!
    How can anyone watch that and not get how much fun you were having with it? Anyone that complained about that is missing the point entirely. Oh man. I seriously have not laughed that hard in awhile.
    I figured out along time ago that no matter what you do half the people will hate it and (if you’re skilled/lucky) half will like it. Speaking as a long time hater of all things Trey – I appreciated you breaking out and showing us a little bit of the other side of you. So far I see you as a guy who keeps his friends in a tight circle and keeps his own counsel. This was a little look inside. Thanks bro.


  • hehe thanks – yes just having a bit of fun with it all πŸ™‚

    Duncan – I do need to get over to the UK – so many nice friends/fans over there. We can work on the accent together… you can slap me with a white glove whenever I say something wrong! πŸ™‚

    Rick – thanks for the feedback. For people on a budget – I am sensitive to that. You know, the HDR Tutorial here on the site is totally free. It’s very thorough and exactly what I do. Most people think it is generous of me to spend thousands of hours on becoming an expert on something then sharing it all for free. I don’t force anyone to buy the book. I, of course, disagree with the criticism, especially when it comes to the merits of my technique and the way I choose to explain it.

    Thelonious — hehe – thanks mate – glad you get it… all quite light-hearted.

  • Joe

    Its not funny… Really… I tried hard to ignore this post, but could not! Humour seems to be something that you are not good at! Please leave it to the talk show hosts!

    If you were as sincere as you seem to be, you would have ignored these comments, instead of taking those people who were your customers. Did you realize that you live out of the dollars handed over by that guy for your boo? In appropriate! and not the way that anybody should treat their customers. You would do the same to every other guy who is doing the business with you. Brother, you are not doing charity here. You do business. You sell ads and books. So please measure up.

    You seem to be so bothered by those negative comments, that you went on to create a video to take on those negative commentators. It is as if you dared them to comment negative for your book! You should have had the title of your post – “Dare comment negative”

    I felt this would have been okay if it had been from a 15 year old’s new cam. Not from a man of your repute. I would say it is a silly idea.

    I respect the work that you do. You were an inspiration for me for my HDR. But it is disappointing and sad that you had to mock at people who said something about your book!

  • Good fun, Trey. And yes, I did have to look up “eleemosynary” (p.8), but I like the book anyway.

    I think your video would be more convincing with additional swirling of the brandy snifter, and perhaps you could be idly stroking a haughty white cat …

    I try not to be too much the fanboy, but honestly I did find the vid entertaining. I guess it’s because I didn’t feel so much that you were mocking the critics as poking fun at yourself. Levity good.

    Mucho bonus points for the Firefly theme.

  • @Michelle Greer: your comment is soooo funny!! You rock.

  • rick gratton

    Geeez, i kind of felt as uncomfortable watching this as the doctor who is examining a patient on the table and after a couple minutes says, “Mr. Sanford, I’m sorry but your going to have to stop masturbating.” Mr. Sanford says, “why???” The doc replies, “Because I’m still trying to examine you!”

  • Trey, I attended your work shop in Tampa, although informative it might have been helpful if you and Scott had written hand outs of some of the topics that where discussed. I like your book but the tutorial on HDR was short, me personally am new to HDR so I went out and got High Dynamic Range Digital Photography for Dummies by Robert Correll which really went step by step on the process from Lightroom to Photomatix Pro and Photoshop and everything in between. These are what you went through in your work shop but it was confusing to some if they where not good with these programs! To get better and understand HDR, one needs to just go out and shoot, and also understand how to navigate your camera! But with Photography practice makes perfect, think every thing through and be nice!!! Keep up the good work and best of luck Trey.

  • That was hilarious, and I now have the urge to go rewatch firefly

  • Drew

    I’m a huge fan of this site and I’m extremely grateful for the free HDR tutorial and all of the beautiful photos. I check out the site almost daily. But I must say, I was extremely turned off by this video. I know you claim that it was “all in good fun” and most of your fans seem to believe that, but it came off as petty and actually rather vindictive. Sure, the accent is goofy and light-hearted, but it clearly attempts to invalidate these reviewers’ opinions which mostly seemed thoughtful and reasonable. I don’t want to become one of those party-poopers who comes onto a blog and talks trash to its owner, but I’m posting my two cents because I genuinely enjoy your work and just wanted to echo the sentiment expressed by others here that not everyone found this video very tasteful.

  • Thanks for the comments – I read em all — sorry if you some of you found it in bad taste, but I’ve never been one to shy away from critical comments that are off-base. To suggest that the HDR Tutorial is somehow inferior — that is wrong.

    Just havin’ a laugh, as they say on Extras…. and, maybe I should take everything more seriously, but this is a fault of mine, I admit.

  • Cole

    I like your work and all, but this video also turned me off a little bit..

    And people giving a very honest opinion about your tutorial where at a couple points can be vague, you just flat out say is wrong.

    I don’t know, just rubs me the wrong way that you can not take any bad criticism whatsoever.

  • ePhoto

    Hello Trey,

    This is going to be a little tought to take but I have to do this, and I will feel bad because I am going to be a little nasty here.

    I sometimes think that you are rolling on a train which is going downhill, there is no real steam and power. You are riding on a success story that has been built over a long period of time, and thats about it.

    I saw some of your photos, some of them are great, some of them seem like they are taken by an amateur who has just learn HDR. I mean how can there be so much difference in photos taken by the same guy!

    I also think that you have been striving hard to come up with a style of your own, but you have failed to do so. Many pictures that you create come across as too hard an attempt to make something beautiful. Some are overly saturated, and some dont even probbaly deserve to be HDRs to look at their best.

    You might say it is subjective, but then your photos are out their for people like us to comment, arent they?

    I have been in your shoes and I know what it is to like to get to where you are now and maintain that position, but I tell you, one day it will eat your sleep and you will be forced to ask if you are really that good in photography (let alone HDRs).

    I have seen tons of people’s work and many of them are much better and mature than yours with the exception of probably one: they havent marketed themselves as well.

    I will not comment on each photo you have posted and point out where you have gone overboard like a child since its none of my business to teach the newbies and your blog readers go gaga over something like this.

    And yes, this blog post wasnt a good idea, because no matter what you saw, you ARE affected with negative comments and that you will suffer mentally of this lame attempot at showing off your bravado by reading people’s negative comments (read by you as constructive!) on YOUR own book.

    GOod luck with rest of your journey.

  • Thanks for the comments as always…

    In all my talks I always say there are many great HDR photographers that are better than me.. I think it’s a shame they don’t get any attention – that is why I started HDR spotting – to get people more attention.

    I do welcome constructive criticism, but other criticism doesn’t bother me at all. I’m allowed to disagree with criticism I believe is ill-founded. If you think that’s foolish — it’s your right.

  • Cole

    I leave a comment about how you can’t take bad criticism and you delete my comment. Thanks for proving my point good sir.

  • ePhoto

    @trey: Yes everyone is allowed to disagree, but my friend, that has to be done and accepted with in your heart, not like this. The response you are getting here proves this. The best you can do is to accept silently you have made a mistake this time, learn from it, and let it go. The hurt will stay for a while but it will teach an important lesson of not making any sort of un/intentional mockery of feedback from the people who view your products and take time to comment.

    I have been through the cycle, trust me, you wheel may be just larger.

    @Cole: It is there.

  • Rimmer

    “yes just having a bit of fun with it all”

    By insulting the people who bought your book? You’re an above average photographer who has marketed himself very well. I think a lot of people are beginning to realize that your persona is totally fabricated.

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  • John

    Excellent comment Rick.

    I would like to agree and stress one point Rick made and that was

    ” I find it very petty to mock these people who spent their hard earned money supporting you.”

  • Ordered your book from amazon today.
    I won’t be able to give a review like that when I’m done it, my annual shipment of pretentious has not yet arrived…

    Cheers, Trey!

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  • stupid comments

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