Soaring over Tibidabo

New Luminar Presets!

I made some new presets for Luminar! Grab them here now.

And here’s a little how-to video that mentions them! 🙂 Enjoy.

Mavic vs. Phantom

I was up here with my friend Hans Mast and he had his Mavic. I had the Phantom 4 Pro and we decided to fly them together. It was Super windy and Gusty and I was 100% sure that my bigger, heavier, stronger Phantom would stand up better to the wind. Well, I could not have been more wrong! Hans’ little Mavic did just as well as mine and the video was perfectly smooth… man those guys at DJI know their stuff!

Daily Photo – Soaring over Tibidabo

We didn't make it here until our final night in Barcelona. Even though it was the middle of summer, it was a chilly and very windy night up here. There's one very strange thing about this place: there's an amusement park all around this old church. And it's a strange amusement park too. It's kind of cheapo and reminds me of a run-down Chinese amusement park from the 60's. The kids seemed to enjoy it though… that's all that matters.

Soaring over Tibidabo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-30 20:02:34
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/240
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

4 Tips for Taking Surprising Mobile Photos

It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone or an Android there are a few things you can do to get your mobile photography to the next level. All of the photos included with the tips were taken with my Google Pixel phone. I normally shoot with a big Hasselblad camera, but sometimes all I have with me is my phone. I’ve come up with some great tricks to make them look as surprising and incredible as possible.

1) Don’t hit that big circle on the screen to take the photo. Use the Vol Up button on the side! One, when you jab the screen with your finger, you’re causing camera-shake and it will make your photo more blurry. Two, using the volume up button allows you to hold the camera much more steady with one or two hands.

Image 1

This was taken an underground Turkish bath in Budapest, Hungary. This is Olya, my crazy Russian videographer, who traveled through Europe with us to make some inspirational and tutorial videos.

2) Experiment with the mobile app Snapseed! It’s free and available for Android and iOS. This is, by far, the best app for editing your photos on your phone. There are many tools in there and many different filters. One great thing about Snapseed is you can layer many different filters together to really give your photo a unique look. People will wonder how you did it!

Image 2

Here’s a fun family photo from a few months ago when we rode camels near the pyramids in Egypt. I used Snapseed filters to give it this “look.”

3) Take some cheeky street photos. If you’re like me, as you walk around the streets, you often see interesting people, crazy outfits, or just kooky things you find interesting. It can sometimes be embarrassing to blatantly aim your phone at these things, so get used to using the Volume Up button to take the photos. On the Pixel phone, for example, I can turn on the camera by double-clicking the power button. Then I move my finger to volume-up to take the photo. Your horizon will probably be off, but you can fix that later.

Image 3

Here’s a cheeky street photo I took in Budapest, Hungary. This is my assistant Tane. He’s not posing; this is literally how he looks all the time.

4) Try combining your phone with an iPad or tablet to edit your photos to the next level. Professional photographers know that a photo reads differently on a larger screen. Next time you’re at a coffee shop, why not zap your photo over to your tablet (via Google Photos or Airdrop), then use Snapseed to edit it there. A good photo always looks better bigger on a tablet, so don’t feel like you’re forced to use that tiny little screen.

Image 4

This a photo I took in Aruba. I was jogging on the beach, and of course I had my mobile phone with me. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, and there’s no way I would go on a jog and carry a Hasselblad! But it’s nice to always have the phone with me and take a ton of photos, picking out the best after I sit down to relax.

Image 5

Here’s a panorama of three different photos I took while on a walk here near my home in New Zealand. Since I have an Android, I use Google photos. One great thing about Google Photos is there’s a little AI assistant that will “gift” you a panorama if it senses you took a lot of photos close together.

Image 6

Near my home on the south island of New Zealand, there is this amazing place to watch the sunset called Lake Hayes. I forgot my big Hasselblad camera, so all I had was my phone. There’s a saying that the Best Camera is the one you have with you!

Down the coast of Barcelona

Reminder on the Burning Man Photo Walk

I always do the Burning Man photo walk at sunset on Tuesday there in Black Rock City. As with all photo walks, it’s a free event! Well, everything is free at Burning Man… so it kind of goes without saying. See more about it at the BM Photo Walk Announcement Post. Bring a friend or three! 🙂

Daily Photo – Down the coast of Barcelona

What an awesome city! The first time I was here with my wife, I was sick as a dog. I still went out and took photos because I'm a real trooper, but it was very difficult to get into the flow-state. This time, since our #80stays Tour took us there, I was able to take more time. This is the view from the top floor of the Ritz-Carlton. This is where we had my little after-party art talk at the end of the photo walk. Pretty much everyone went out on the balcony to take a photo or three! 🙂

Down the coast of Barcelona

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-29 19:53:25
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Papal Area of La Sagrada Familia

More Hasselblad Stuff

Here’s yet another one (did you miss the new Hasselblad X1D Review?) from the new camera. Like the shot yesterday, this is a vertirama made from two different vertically stacked photos. Because the widest lens I have is 30mm, whenever I want a wider shot, I have to make a little panorama then crop it later.

The Papal Area of La Sagrada Familia

Somehow we got access up to where the Pope sits when he comes to services at this amazing cathedral in Barcelona. You know the Pope always gets good seats, and they don't get much better than this.

At this level, there's actually a passageway that goes around the entire church. Sometimes you have to go up some stairs and twist around some narrow corridors, but the views are amazing. I was up there with the crew and we had a handler. I didn't realize she didn't want us to go through all these passageways, but we all took off in different directions. The lady started running after me first and shut me down 30% of the way around. But my dastardly friend Rene went the other way and made it all the way around, taking pictures all the way… lucky guy!

The Papal Area of La Sagrada Familia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-30 09:12:30
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

European Photo Walk Announcement Yay!

I’m doing TEN (count ’em 10) free photo walks across Europe… also a few special day-long workshops. Wanna see the list of places? Come check out the new site at!

See your city? Tell your friends! 🙂

These photo walks are family friendly events and all are welcome. Bring a friend or two! 🙂 Anything from a mobile phone to a DSLR will do swimmingly. I share lots of tips and tricks, do Q&A, and more… even better, we get to roam part of the city taking photos together. Come on out – I can’t wait to meet you! 🙂

Walking about the Sorbonne in the evening

Photo Mystery – Ye Olde Blacksmithy

Photography eBooks over at

Here’s a list of some of our most interesting and best selling eBooks over at!

Daily Photo – Ye Olde Blacksmithy

Okay THIS is a tough one, I hope. Who can figure out where this insane place is located?

I saw it from the street… a lot of glinting metal… and I had a feeling it would be pretty awesome inside… I was right!

Ye Olde Blacksmithy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 07:37:13
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/16
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Skeletal Hallway

Live Show Later Today

I’m gearing up for the live show later today! 🙂 It will be a little wild because I JUST moved into the new place here in New Zealand and I don’t even have my computer set up in the right room yet… so… it might be kinda wheels-off for a bit. We’ll see!

Just watch the blog here and the Live Embedded player will appear if you refresh around 7 PM PT.

Daily Photo – The Skeletal Hallway

While walking through one of the amazing Gaudi homes in Barcelona, we came upon this unique hallway. I didn’t have a tripod for my full-on treatment, so I did my best to see what I could get with a single RAW. Frankly, whenever I am forced into this situation, I’m still pretty happy with what comes from that single shot.

There’s a slight chance I’m going back to Barcelona later this year… if so, I’m going to schedule more time with Gaudi! 🙂

The Skeletal Hallway

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 08:37:39
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Scott Bourne and Other Fallout from DSLR Dying article… & Saving Money


Free Workshop at Google Giveaway!

Are you in the LA area and want to join me for a great day at Google for a photography workshop?  I’ll be going through my process inside their secret vaults…  Watch my Google+ Stream today for instructions on how to win the giveaway today.  The workshop will be on Friday in Venice.

Reactions on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter

Thank you for ALL the conversation threads.  I read them all, even though commenting on all of them is almost impossible… so, I have put many amalgamated responses here!

  • Facebook Threads – Many great points and some confusion/angst too that I hope this post helps…
  • Google+ Threads – A similar discussion to Facebook that broke down along other lines
  • Twitter Threads – A lot of quick thoughts and instant reactions, including a mild disagreement with my friend Stu Maschwitz
Original Article was posted here yesterday:  My original article “DSLRs are a dying breed – 3rd Gen Cameras are the Future

Scott Bourne Analyzes the Haters

A reaction (and unexpected Defense!) from Scott Bourne went up quickly on his blog.  I will quote a bit below. What do you think?

Here is a snippet from Scott’s full article:

I read a few of them and then grew tired of some of the negativity. You have your nay sayers attacking Trey’s post. These people (in my opinion) break down into a few different groups
1. Those who just spent a ton of money on DSLRs and feel the need to defend that decision so they are upset at Trey’s predictions
2. Those who think you need a “big” or “pro-looking” camera to get pro results or to get paid – pretty sure their portfolios would speak volumes about that statement
3. Those who would disagree with Trey no matter what position he took because they think it makes them cool to fight with a genuine thought leader in the field
4. Those who didn’t read the article carefully and didn’t notice some of the qualifiers he mentioned like – the five year time frame – or the fact that people who shoot fast action (like sports or wildlife) may still have a need for DSLRs
5. Pedants who want to prove how smart they are by picking at every little thing like whether or not these really are “third generation” cameras to which I respond “who cares?”

HDR Photo

Will I be capturing images like this without a DSLR next year? Probably. If I can, you can too. It's very exciting...

Further Thoughts… (From Trey, me…. this is getting confusing)

So, remember that I say that DSLR Cameras are indeed a “dyning breed” – it does not mean they are dead. If you (gentle reader) agree that you won’t be using a mechanical mirror-flipping device in the future, then we are in agreement. We may disagree on the rate-of-death — but that is all.

In my judgment, I think the extreme pace of technological change makes this rate-of-death faster than people think, especially given the rate that most camera-owners buy new equipment combined with the inevitable vector of Moore’s Law. I feel confident in saying that most photographers simply want to make interesting images faster and easier.

The path to that future is not one of bulky cameras with flipping innards. It is the one that has been hinted at by the full-frame Leica M9 or the amazing Sony NEX series or any other number of examples. Note that I am not paid or sponsored (now or in the past) by Nikon or Sony or Leica or Panasonic or any camera manufacturer. Because of my recent expose on Photography Magazines, most of them hate me — so I am completely independent and I can clearly state the trends I see.

By identifying these trends, perhaps I can help save you money. Don’t let the popular media goad you into having to dump more money into DSLR technology. Since I already have a good set of DSLR equipment that I will use for the next few years, I am personally not going to not spend any more money on bodies or lenses in this line of cameras. Maybe this is your situation too. (Note that if you are just getting started, then maybe this does not apply, since you are entering the world of photography at a point of tremendous technology upheaval.) I’ll be using my DSLR until these 3rd Gen Cameras make a few more iterations, which will happen faster than most people think.

Ensnared in Flame On my first evening in Barcelona, I dumped my bags in the room them went right out to explore.  Unpacking is so boring... let's face it.I started going down side-streets and back alleys to where I heard activity and motion.  I was more or less zig-zagging my way to Las Ramblas, where there's always a lot of activity.  But I didn't want to go right there.  During the weaving, I found this enormous cathedral nestled between a square of classical looking Spanish buildings.  A performer had lit a unique homemade contraption of flames and was whirling it about.  I got back behind her and set up for this shot.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Caption: I took this photo above with a DSLR, but there is nothing about it that I can’t do with some of these emerging 3rd Gen

Exploring the Church

Another Post-Processing Tutorial Photo

Here is the one of the final photos that I worked on in class for the HDR Video Tutorial. It was a tough one… a lot of issues that needed fixing, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

I wanted to thank my support team for really working hard to help out all the customers that got this product. Luke does an amazing and very patient job of personally helping each and every question he gets at support (at) I really appreciate him… glad he is around to keep everything going smoothly. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, let us know! 🙂

Daily Photo – Exploring the Church

I like all the colorful votives. They make everything a bit more festive…. Cathedrals can be sort of melancholy places, so anything to liven things up a bit are a nice change of pace. I’m not saying we should go neon-signs or blinky-text on the church’s website or anything crazy like that…. just a little somethin-somethin to spice things up a bit.

And I do like that hallway quite a lot… it’s got a nice M.C. Escher quality to it.

Exploring the ChurchI like all the colorful votives.  They make everything a bit more festive....  Cathedrals can be sort of melancholy places, so anything to liven things up a bit are a nice change of pace.  I'm not saying we should go neon-signs or blinky-text on the church's website or anything crazy like that.... just a little somethin-somethin to spice things up a bit.And I do like that hallway quite a lot... it's got a nice  M.C.Escher quality to it.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Top 5 Instagram

Top 5 people to follow in Instagram

I’m @TreyRatcliff at Instagram and I’ve been following quite a few people that are really talented… but I need more people to follow! Here is my list of my Top 5. What’s your Instagram name and who are your favorites?

1) @zarias

2) @JoshJohnson

3) @takahiroooo

4) @Aaronburden

5) @sweetness_smile

More from Spain

The Spain Photos Category here is slowly filling up with photos! I know…I know… people want more of that girl in Ibiza… MAYBE those are coming in the future… you never know…

Daily Photo – The Endless Alley

The dirt and grit and color that comes with European alleys make for great subjects for dynamic night photography. Usually I only stay out for about an hour after it gets dark, but it’s hard to stop with this kind of scenery… I mean, you can make a legitimate excuse to stay out all night!

But a lot of people warned me about how dangerous Barcelona can be… I did already meet many people that were robbed blind… I was extra-extra careful… and, in this case, decided to head back to the hotel early. Also, I was feeling pretty under the weather…so yet another excuse.

The Endless AlleyThe dirt and grit and color that comes with European alleys make for great subjects for dynamic night photography.  Usually I only stay out for about an hour after it gets dark, but it's hard to stop with this kind of scenery...  I mean, you can make a legitimate excuse to stay out all night!But a lot of people warned me about how dangerous Barcelona can be...  I did already meet many people that were robbed blind...  I was extra-extra careful... and, in this case, decided to head back to the hotel early.  Also, I was feeling pretty under the yet another excuse.- Trey RatcliffRead more, including my top-five Instagram list,  here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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