30 Days and 30 Nights in Queenstown, New Zealand

How-To coming soon

I’m working on a how-to video that I will release to everyone soon. It shows how I did the photography, post-processing, editing and mixing, etc of this, along with all the tools. I do list out my equipment on the Stuff You Need page here on the site if you simply can’t wait.

30 Days and 30 Nights in Queenstown

(watch this 4K video in Full Screen in HD with good speakers/earphones! )

I’ve just moved to New Zealand, and my first 30 days and 30 nights here made a powerful impression on me. I’ve never done anything quite like this before, so I thought I would share what I felt with you.

(In Germany or can’t see the YouTube video? Here is the Vimeo Version.)

The music is from my friend… one of the few people on earth that makes my heart beat a little faster than normal… Hans Zimmer. Just go ahead and buy all of Hans Zimmer’s work… let it be the soundtrack of your life. πŸ™‚

Over 300 hours of work went into the film’s creation. The Full How-To Video is coming soon, but I did everything myself… the shooting, the post-processing, the editing and sync, etc etc… I used a violent mixture of many tools: Photomatix Pro (Photomatix Review), Magic Bullet Looks (Magic Bullet Looks Review) , Topaz Adjust (Topaz Adjust Review), Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, LRTimelapse, Twixtor Pro, Final Cut X. Also thank you for logistical help to my assistant Abraham Stephenson.

I created the entire piece myself here in Queenstown, New Zealand. All of the shots are from this little fertile crescent. I get many questions about that interior shot, and that is from the Commonage Villas. I stayed there for about a month while house-shopping, and I think it has some of the best views in Queenstown! Besides that location, every shot was less than a fifteen minute drive from my home.

What hardware tools did I use? With the exception of the Syrp Genie, I list out my hardware and software tools that I use on the site.

  • Frank Childress

    Very nice Trey .. given your typical schedule 300 hrs is a huge investment. Give up sleeping when you moved πŸ˜‰

  • Don Denesiuk

    As I’ve commented elsewhere, it’s great to see you trying new things.
    This time lapse video is amazing and I look forward to the details on how it was done.

  • Whoa, u never stop to amaze Trey !!! Thanks for all that you create and share !!!

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks Don! πŸ™‚

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thank you Sathya πŸ™‚

  • Trey Ratcliff

    I DO need a nap! πŸ™‚

  • sneuweger

    will this also be available on vimeo for us poor german people having to deal with youtube-GEMA-issues??

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Sure – just got it uploaded there for my German friends at https://vimeo.com/47271274

  • sneuweger

    great Trey, thanks so much.

  • sneuweger

    you might be interested in this piece of software: http://lrtimelapse.com/ (if you don’t know it already)

  • John Cox

    Ixellunt Muster RetCluff !

  • Catherine Martin

    Totally radical – amazing – I cannot wait to find out how you did that!

  • allbeefpaddy

    That was intense! I loved the ebb and flow of the clouds and that full moon shot. It’s an awesome piece and a nice evolution of your work.

  • paulbellinger

    I check stuckincustoms weekly but rarely ever comment. This is amazing! Totally blew my mind. My wife even liked it. Awesome Hans Zimmer too. I bought an intervalometer a few weeks ago, but now I’m really pumped to get it out of the bag.

  • Andrea Boyle

    Love it! You are very sensitive to the musical nuances, too. I notices a dip in the music about half way through – scene was dark–a small note and a boat streaks across the lake like a water spider. Then another, and another… a great visual choreography. Oh, and those clouds and scenery… I hope I get there someday. In the meantime I’ll just have to wait for your “how to” video…

  • susan ratcliff

    So awesome Trey – loved all of it and the music by Hans was awesome too – what a beautiful place you live in! πŸ™‚

  • Casper van Zyl

    Loved the video,could not sign in earlier second time round A ok.Your presets are great as well for LR4.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks everyone πŸ™‚

  • Trey Ratcliff

    thanks – glad you liked these little things πŸ™‚

  • Trey Ratcliff

    I used it! πŸ™‚

  • Stefan Neuweger


  • DennyLittle

    All I can say is WOW. Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful spot you found.
    Best Denny

  • Very nice. Was this taken with your Red camera? Great job editing and syncing the soundtrack. I am very impressed.

  • Trey – This is amazing, very dramatic cloud scenes and love the music. Clouds above the water scene looks like a serpent dance, the cottage window scene i am speechless. The price of te cottage for one night is super expensive, hope you will be able to strike a deal with them for some discount which will help us :). I can understand the amount of pain you would have gone in processing each photo and then clubbing them as a video. The place is awesome it’s a paradise for your photography to be available in such short distance. I tried my best to avoid my travel, I guess I need to wait a little longer to meet you in person. Looking forward for your NZ invite towards end of this year.

  • Wow – Felt like I was watching a battle scene from LOTR with that soundtrack πŸ™‚ Kept waiting to hear some lighter stuff – guess NZ really is that dramatic!

  • Wow, wonderful video Trey!!! I really enjoyed it. Your Mom shared a video with me of you know what. Thanks Susan, so very much!! No wonder you wanted to move to Queenstown!! Enjoy your new life with your family, and have a wonderful Saturday!!! πŸ™‚ I forgot to say that I guessed who did the music for your video. He sure has amazing talent!!!

  • David Campbell

    Awesome. Reminds me of a higher-adrenalin Godfrey Reggio film, which is a good thing!

  • Chris Allen

    This looks like the next Planet Earth DVD! Cool stuff Trey. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jon M

    Excellent job! This is really cool. I love how those clouds in some of the scenes seem to be alive….growing and contracting, but more or less staying in the same general area.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Trey Ratcliff

    No – most was done with my Nikon D3S

  • Amazing, simply amazing. Fantastic video to watch, I’m literally stunned you managed to make the video actually look like how you process your photos. Another string to the bow!

  • Pratyush Pattanaik

    Speechless! Waiting eagerly to see how you actually did it. Thank you Trey for sharing this awesome video!

  • In2photos

    You’ve been a busy boy making more cutting edge art. It’s fun watching you constantly expanding whats possible.


    ~ Keith Cuddeback

  • Scotty Graham

    Outstanding, Trey!! You always manage to stay on top of the game!! Can’t wait to learn how to do that time lapse stuff…been wanting to do that here in Jakarta for some time… Thanks for all you do for the Photographic community!! Cheers, Scotty

  • Tyler Thompson

    I am beginning to think that you can do anything. Bravo. Have enjoyed following you for years on the blog and am glad you are getting the success you deserve.

  • Andreas Bank

    Thank you so much! You are the best!
    Great work and great care for his fans! πŸ™‚

  • Love it Trey – My favorite parts were the close ups of the city, there is some trippy processing going on there – I just got lost looking at the way things move.

  • @google-c1ec23de8292d904dc213eba8bf1d17d:disqus that was so incredible that I really have no words. The music by Hans definitely tops is off. I loved that one scene at the edge of the water where you were moving the camera to the left. So cool! Can you tell me what time frame you were shooting at and what your video fps final video output was set to?

  • beautiful, that’s just great! enjoyed it! love the drama….although i would have expected the the frames a bit ~faster…more in sync with the soundtrack…..but great work as always, loved the roundabout with the bus dissapearing and coming back ….;-) best regards!

  • del..

  • Alex Sefrin

    many thanks for the vimeo version! Awesome video and music!

  • Wow stunning Trey! I Love your work. Are you now living in Queenstown permanently? If so I certainly hope to meet you someday, I live in Alexandra NZ only an hour away and I often visit Queenstown. Your blog is a huge source of inspiration for my HDR work and your tutorials play a large part in how my photography has developed over the years. You’re an advocate for quality HDR photography proving that the highly stereotyped over-saturated & ghosted images are not what HDR is all about. It would be an honor to me if i could show you one of my favorite HDRs of Walter Peak Station near Queenstown that was inspired by your work.
    http://www.viewbug.com/photo/2022461. I Appreciate all your inspiration and guidance, thanks Trey.

  • Trey, I only took the time to watch this now. I wish I watched it sooner. Very dramatic! You used some very nice effects there. Thanks for sharing!

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