The Treetop Temple in Kyoto of Kiyomizu-dera

Passport Sunday Party!

Today for Passport Members is a special and fun edit because you get to see me re-master the photo from Kyoto below and transform it into the new version. This is the 2nd of 3 photos I am re-mastering for Series 2 of the fine art series at TreyRatcliff.com.

First, here is the photo I made about 7 years ago. I still quite like it… but I think I’ve improved upon it a bit.

The Temple Protects Kyoto

Kyoto Remastered

Want to follow along and edit with my same files? Well you’re in luck because here are my 5 RAW files for this temple in Kyoto.

If you’re enjoying Passport, why not recommend it (or gift it!) to a friend? It’s a great present because people get new stuff every week! Think of it like a wine of the month club, except it’s weekly, and without the wine. That’s not the best sales pitch I’ve ever made.

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Daily Photo – The Treetop Temple in Kyoto of Kiyomizu-dera

Ahhh, beautiful Kyoto! It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, so going back to re-master this one, seven years later, was still as much of a joy as the first time. It was also great to use better tools like Aurora HDR. to give it a better “look.” Before, I think I might have just used the sliders in Photomatix and not even done any touchup in Photoshop. I’ve also learned a lot more about color theory and this sort of thing in the time betwixt.

The Treetop Temple in Kyoto of Kiyomizu-dera

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2009-09-29 03:54:08
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Over Monte Carlo

Euro Tour

Check out this highlight video of our European Photo Walk Tour!

Listen to Sam Harris talk with Yuval Noah Harari (author of Sapiens)

Also, here is an interesting podcast I just finished listening to where Yuval Noah Harari talks about his new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. It is a wide-ranging discussion which is well worth some of your Sunday.

Passport Sunday – Art Talk in Glenorchy

If you ever find yourself in New Zealand, check out Camp Glenorchy as a place to stay. I was there a couple of weeks ago to do an art talk and not only is it a gorgeous location, but they also have the best projector known to humankind. In today’s Passport video, which is the complete talk, you’ll not get to experience the projector in all its glory but you will get to hear some stories from my travels along with a fun Q+A session towards the end which focuses on art, life and creativity.

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Daily Photo – Over Monte Carlo

On the European Tour, we stopped in Monte Carlo one day to take photos and have a dinner before getting back on the bus to drive overnight to Cinque Terre. I had been to Monte Carlo a long time ago with my dad and I remembered being down by the marina. When I looked at the map, I saw there were two marinas, and I was not sure which one to be dropped off at. I chose the wrong one! And there were no taxis or Ubers around, so we had to walk up this mountain… when we got to the top, I turned around to take this picture of the scene below. Yeah, it’s a cool marina, but not as cool as the one on the other side!

Over Monte Carlo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-01 19:46:32
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Complete Photography Bundle – $2,500 products for just $89

Featuring the likes of Zack Arias, Photoserge, Skylum, Phlearn and some guy called Trey…

Time to decide fast, because it’s time for the Complete Photography Bundle from 5DayDeal. It’s packed with photography resources which are 100% brand-new. No repeated products. Period.

There are over $2,500 worth of products for just $89. This year it includes two of my most awesome new video tutorials, one for total photography beginners and the other for drone newbies, who will quickly get addicted to this fun new form of photography and videography. Elsewhere in the 5DayDeal product, you’ll find courses on Lightroom, Photoshop, model photography, color grading, wedding photography and even zero gravity product photography. Seriously.


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And if that isn’t enough, a portion of every sale goes to charity. Everyone wins!

Click here to grab it now, all of the products can be downloaded immediately.

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Aurora HDR 2019 Launch Day!

Today’s the Big Day that Aurora HDR 2019 is ready for download! Come grab it pronto in our store.

Last year, we won Apple’s App of the year, and that was very unexpected and exciting. We have over 3 million downloads from their store and our stores, so it looks like we really hit a nerve for this thing. It’s especially great for beginners that want to add a special look to their photos.

The new features include noise-free results immediately, no halos, better for interior architecture shots with bright windows, new HDR sliders, and better processing for RAW files. I have a TON of videos I recently made that show off all the features over on YouTube.

I think this new tool is really gonna get your creative juices flowing! 🙂

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Pre-order Aurora HDR 2019 now

Entirely New HDR Algorithm with Artificial Intelligence

How do you follow up from Mac’s App of the Year in 2018? That’s a tough one but we put our heads together with the team from Skylum and we’ve done it!

i-ZjfXKWw.jpgAurora HDR 2019 uses Skylum’s new Quantum HDR Engine. It is a completely redesigned HDR algorithm, paired with artificial intelligence, which took 3 years of development by Skylum’s AI lab. My favorite thing about this new version is you no longer need to make corrections on the initial results because it virtually eliminates noise, halos, and other little issues you often needed to fix. This means you can focus on your creative side. Begin by trying out the new “looks” (formerly called presets, a few of mine are included for free). And try tweaking out the “HDR-ness” of your creation with the new and improved HDR Enhance and Smart Structure sliders.

Pre-Order prior to October 4th to save $$ and get tons of freebies!

Existing users can check this link to see if you qualify for an upgrade for just $49. New users may purchase Aurora HDR 2019 for just $89.

A collection of bonuses are included with every purchase:

  • $300 USD OFF a multi-day Iceland Photo Tour
  • Landscape Photography Handbook by David Johnston
  • Exclusive interior Aurora Looks by Richard Harrington
  • Burning Mood Looks by Richard Harrington
  • 3-month 500px Pro membership
  • Video Tutorial: Getting the Most from Aurora HDR 2019 by Trey Ratcliff

What else is new in Aurora HDR 2019?

I’m also impressed with the vastly improved results of interior architecture images. These are often problematic when it’s quite bright outside but dark inside. Previous versions of Aurora HDR would handle this in a bit of a sloppy manner. And competitors to Aurora HDR still struggle with interior shots.

Aurora HDR 2019 also includes Lookup Tables (LUTs) which allows you to give your finished image a “movie / film” appearance. They’re adjustable with sliders so you can get a little bit, or a whole lot of, that “Wes Anderson / Mad Max / Blade Runner” feel. Last but not least, there’s even more dynamic range if you choose to process a single RAW image, which I now do over 50% of the time.

And YES, the Windows version and the Mac version are now exactly the same. Huzzah! Go grab it pronto! If you’re not 100% satisfied you can, of course, have all your money back with no worries. It’s a perfect risk to reward ratio. In fact, mathematically, it’s a 1::infinity ratio, so you’re in a cozy mathematical nesting of absolute certainty.

How does Aurora HDR 2019 Compare?

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Here’s a few images I created with Aurora HDR 2019!

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Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

Working on a new China Video

While in China over the past year, I’ve done quite a few drone flights. I used the Mavic Pro almost exclusively, and it held up perfectly. I’m currently in the middle of a longer project where I’m putting together my favorite aerial footage into an all-China from the air video. I hope to have it ready within a week or so! I’m having my friend Stephan Bollinger put some finishing touches on the titling and credits area.

Daily Photo – Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

This might be one of my favorite new photos! I took this from the Sky Lounge around the 50th floor of the Ritz-Carlton on the Pudong side of Shanghai. These cool ships sail up and down the river and right in front of the warmly-lit Bund area. Those old colonial buildings have hardly changed in over 100 years while the rest of the city has built up behind it. Along the riverfront there, you can see a bunch of people walking around – that is the same place we had our awesome photo walk a few weeks ago. Thanks again everyone for coming out for the event!

Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-20 23:04:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length91.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

Aurora HDR Tip – Reflections

This is a video that shows how I enhance reflections using Aurora HDR 2018. I took this photo at a cool outdoor shopping area in Singapore. Believe it or not, they air-condition the OUTSIDE, which seems like a ridiculous waste of money… but hey, Singapore is a pretty wealthy spot!

Daily Photo – Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

It was fun to spend some time with Liz out of New Zealand! She joined me as part of the #80Stays tour in Kuala Lumpur. Boy, was it hot while we were there! It was probably over 90 degrees when we went into this mosque where we had to put on these heavy robes. Outside, there was a little bit of a breeze, at least. It had recently rained and left a thin layer of water on the marble… so it made for a nice reflection shot. Find out more about Liz's story from her visit on her blog.

Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-31 23:16:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A Moody Day in Central Otago

Another fun how-to Passport Day!

If you are a Passport Member today we have a making-of video for today’s photo. I woke up on Saturday here at home in Queenstown, New Zealand to see some beautiful and moody clouds through the valley. So I got up the drone to take some photos. After I sat down, I decided to record the making-of video for you.

Here I show I took three photos, stitched them together, then ran them through Aurora HDR 2018.

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Daily Photo – A Moody Day in Central Otago

I don't exactly understand the weather conditions that make this happen a few times a year, but I think it's pretty cool. This was taken on the last day of summer this year here in Queenstown (a few weeks ago), and as the seasons change, sometimes the weather gets a little funky like this!

A Moody Day in Central Otago

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-03 09:35:21
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.34

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Fort Lauderdale Beaches

New Video Tip

Here’s another how-to video showing how to enhance details in your photos using Aurora HDR 2018. This particular tool, as you’ll see, can only be detected when you are zoomed into 100% or 200% on the image.

Daily Photo – Fort Lauderdale Beaches

Here's my friend Katie Ann out enjoying the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She came down with her boyfriend to meet me for the day and take some fun photos. I don't do a lot of this sort of thing, but I was getting a little bored of JUST taking photos of sand and water and clouds. Don't get me wrong, I love that sort of thing, but after several thousand, I wanted to mix it up a little. She's not a professional model or anything, just a cool gal with giant buns.

Fort Lauderdale Beaches

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-11 02:11:06
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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The Dart River Valley

Video Tip on Denoising Mobile Shots

Many of you may have my Google Pixel 2 Review on the site, so you know I take a lot more mobile photos than usual. As great as the camera is, there is still some noise in sunset photos and night photos. This video below shows you how I get rid of the noise using Aurora HDR 2018.

Daily Photo – The Dart River Valley

I took this from a helicopter while my friend Choppy was flying me out on a work for a patron. I flew over this delta probably about 10 times, and it looks different every time. This is one of my favorite shots with the shadows of the mountains falling halfway across it.

There is a jet-boat adventure you can do through here. I still haven't tried it, but it's on my to-do list!

The Dart River Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-03-30 05:56:49
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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