The Solstice

Free Stuff on the Site

First, you can look forward to a free eBook coming soon for everyone.  We’ve taken some popular content here on the site and packaged it up for something you can take with you!  It’s in the works and should not take too much longer to finish up.

I know there were some complaints on the HDR DVD page that that some people could not afford it (I should be more sensitive to a bad economy, more expensive than other instructional products, etc etc). Thanks for the feedback and, as with everything, it will drop in price over time until it finds a sweet spot for everyone. Until then, we hope you continue to enjoy the free resources here on the site.  (…and this is not a way to get you to feel bad for me… hehe… the DVDs are selling just fine… simply letting you know I understand the nature and origin of the comments.)

I guess most people don’t know this…  but there are costs involved with running the site, and we have a support team here for you too.   So, if you don’t want to buy anything, that is fine and dandy… doesn’t bother me at all!  I do invite you stay around to enjoy the following goodies:

Videos – Many hours of videos, tips, and tricks.
Reviews – A growing collection of my experiences with cameras,lenses, and software.
HDR Tutorial – Now we have three languages, and more coming soon!
HDR Spotting – a free site where you can post your photos and drive traffic to your portfolio.
Stuck In Motion Tutorial – a guide on how you can create a new style of slow-motion movies
@TreyRatcliff – and, as usual, I’m on Twitter for you to answer most questions… I have a 99.9% answer rate!

Also, of course, we have the daily photo in maximum resolution that is uploaded every day along with the EXIF data. I do my best to provide tips, conditions, and this sort of thing to help you in your own personal photo

Daily Photo – The Solstice

This came from one of my favorite nights in Iceland! This was shot around 2 AM, right when I started feeling loopy.

I was on the edge of some precipitous volcanic rock, and there was a waterfall behind me. It fed this little area of rapids that emptied out into one of the fjords. There had been a light rain for a few hours, but the setting sun cut underneath the clouds to unleash some godly colors.

About 10-20% of my HDRs are in portrait mode. I am just usually in landscape mode for some reason. Part of it has to do with the way people consume these things — on monitors. I don’t like making people scroll up and down to see a photo. That’s kind of a drag. That’s another reason I don’t like those super-wide panoramas. They are so difficult to pan around, even though there are a lot of slick tools. It’s just not a “viewing” experience while you are busy using a tool to manipulate the photo itself. Do you know what I mean?

The Solstice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-05 13:05:37
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

  • I do know what you mean, but it’s never stopped me from posting (or enjoying!) a vertical composition when It’s called for. My favorite format is square, but as you well know, with the 35mm, you usually have to plan ahead for that to work out!

  • Love the image here, Trey. I’m at a similar latitude to where you were for this shot, and I’ve seen much the same. This is beautifully rendered.

    Too bad that you took such grief on the price. It’s tough in this economy, though – hard to part with that kind of money for some of us (goodness, it’s making me think of my college days – cards maxed out on car repairs, living hand to mouth. Ouch.)…

  • casusan

    Oh wow! So beautiful Trey – the sun and beautiful clouds and reflections – awesome!!

  • Amazing! I understand the portrait vs. landscape thing though… I love using your photos as desktop pics and vertical doesn’t work so well 🙂 lol. Such a little thing to gripe about- my life really is pretty great on the whole! I hope to buy the HDR video soon too, just not there yet. Looks great though!

  • Fantastic colours. I’m inspired to get out and do more landscape work!

  • Fantastic colors!

  • Trey, this is one of your best pictures! The colors are amazing. I just love the atmosphere, the colors, composition. This picture is what I would call truly magic !!! Great work

  • Superb colors!!!. Your pic from Iceland and another ones from other photographers are doing to want myself to trip there. I loved when I was in Scotland on summer 4 years ago (and then I have only a point-to-shot camera and I think that Iceland is a paradise for landscape photographers. Congratulations and please keep on sharing more pics.

  • Absolutely brilliant photo! Then of course I’m a sucker for warm and vivid colors.

  • You actually listed the things you do for free and put down how much you pay for bandwidth? Let me see if I can put some ease for you so you can cut back a bit you poor soul.
    How often do I visit your site? Maybe once a week. Why? To make sure I am not over saturating my images and making them too soft like you do.
    How many free things you provided that I use? None
    Hope this helps you not worry so much and maybe you won’t have to list all that “free things” you do for people. Real men don’t need to list “Hey I do this for free for you” crap.

  • Extremely beautiful !!

  • Stunning photo. The range of colors is spectacular.
    And for as much as you do I am more amazed at all you offer and have time to respond to, Trey.

  • Gail in Montana

    This is one of my favorite photos, Trey. Absolutely stunning, love all the beautiful colors, stream, rocks with water cascading over them, and the sunrise? with the beautiful color in the clouds. Don’t pay any attention to negetive comments, I’m sure you know by now that they are just one person’s opinion. You are a “real” man and a generous one! There’s nothing wrong with letting folks know how much you are doing to bring us this website. That way we appreciate it that much more!!!! So that’s this person’s opinion. You “rock”, fitting comment for this post’s photo, 😉

  • Stephanie


  • Absolutely tremendous – reminds me of a similar one i took in Tenerife earlier in the year.

    Servalpe i love your Scotland pics – i’m luck enough to live about a half-hour cycle from the hills infact I may go there tomorrow and have a walk!

  • Great photo!

  • Wow Thomas…that was a bit….snarky….

    Trey, beautiful image…I am continuing to learn the process, but would love to share my favorite image I have created so far…


  • Dayton

    Beautiful picture and color. It complements yesterday’s photo quite well, too. Your site has by far more and better instruction than any other photoblog I read – thanks for sharing how you get consistently awesome pictures.

  • Sorry if I appeared Snarky. Not my intention. Here is a guy who is getting paid very well at what he does and don’t let him kid ya that he is not. I am not against that. Just don’t need someone saying “This is how much free I do for you” like it is some charity work when HDR and Tone Mapping and way beyond Trey now. People do images with HDR that totally blows away the over saturated fluffu cotton candy look that Trey does and you can find these people blogs all over the place and Youtube videos all over teaching you how to do it and I haven’t seen any saying “Remember that I pay for bandwidth and here are the free things I do for you.” Thats all I was saying and yes I do think his latest image one of his best from his stuff. But then there is David Hill, Calvin Hollywood, Amy Dresser, Jill Greenburge and so many more that have taken HDR Tone Mapping to a whole new level without them saying “Look what free things I do for you.”

    Thank you

  • Thx @ Andy Bird for your comments about my pics. I am re-editing these days using Topaz Adjust and Details and more Photoshopping that I have have learnt during these last 4 years. When I was there, I didn’t know so much about photography. Congratulations, you are lucky to live near to these great landscapes …

  • Rimmer

    Thomas… I would love if you could link to the other HDR photographers you mention.

  • I really don’t understand the need to put down another artist/photographer (referring to various commentors over time, not you Trey!) It’s called art, and it’s subjective. We all see the world around us differently; everyone perceives color and light uniquely, we have varying degrees of depth perception, and let’s not even get into how our individual brain synapses work. HDR gives us a way to take a SOC photograph and transform it into our perception of a scene or object. If you don’t enjoy someone’s style (heaven knows, mine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!), that’s ok. There’s more than enough HDR available on the internet for us to all find something we appreciate. Why waste time on a site you don’t thoroughly enjoy?

  • casusan

    Yeah, I agree with Jennifer – put a lid on it Thomas!

  • Gail in Montana

    Me too, Casusan!!!!

  • Rimmer:

    I am not complaining about Treys over saturated HDRTM images. I am saying a real man don’t have to be shoving it down people throats of how much Free stuff he does for people and complain “I pay $10,000 dollars for bandwidth.” Put a lid on that Trey.
    Trey’s art is getting better since the first blurry one that is in the Smith’

  • casusan

    Thomas – you say you only come here once a week? Well so far you’ve been here three times today! Give us a break!

  • Bianca

    I want to buy this one for our new house, amazing! Get a life, Thomas. Why don’t you post one of your properly saturated images so we can critique your work?

  • That photo is a real show stopper! The colors are fantastic and the sky looks liquid. Love it!

  • and here is what other people think of my HDR image of Londons actress and Model Aleasha Benoit in case you think no one sees it. Enjoy

  • casusan

    Ok so 5 times today and you are still on Trey’s site – promoting your work – get a life Thomas!

  • Here is Thomas’ Flickr page of his HDR work.

  • Derek

    As always Trey, beautiful picture! Thanks for the thought of lowering the prices, I will probably try getting one now. But even if they remained the same, I have no complaints. All the things that you do and information you provide have helped me SO much. Keep up the good work and as always, cant wait to see the next pic!

  • Rimmer

    The Dave Hill stuff is really neat (mostly because I have no idea how it’s done).

  • chase c

    This is one of the best!!!!!

  • Lenny

    I happen to fall into your 10-20 percentile of fans with portrait monitors. I’ve got 2 x 21′ side-by-side tilted 90 deg. The good part is that I get to enjoy each portrait longer until the next one comes along rather than having to choose all of the time… Thanks Trey – good work!

  • jim underwood

    your photos are unbeleaveable keep up the great work!!!

  • i can’t wait for this year’s solstice…and everytime i visited your website i would laugh sometimes because of the avatar that would always show up…it’s so funny but from my last post it’s changed…it’s different now…before it was this funny little face…

  • This picture is really beautiful

  • yes.!!! very beautiful,very beautiful,more

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