Ethics Statement

I put this little page together so everyone knows exactly what’s going on. Long time readers know this already, but I like to make it clear to old and new alike!

I’m Trey Ratcliff. Hello! Nice to meet you. I am a serious photographer that has a lot of fun. This website is an absolute pleasure for me. I love taking photos, sharing them, sharing techniques, getting feedback, seeing your photos, and more. It’s a wonderful community here and I’ve worked hard with all of you to build it.

I never “sell” editorial posts or anything like that.  This goes for the blog and all my other various social networking channels. Every post and every page is my own creation, unless I say otherwise clearly. No one pays me to do reviews or changes my opinion on anything based on payment. People do send me free stuff all the time to try, and that is good and fun. It doesn’t change my opinion on whether or not I will recommend it!

Also, as many of you know, I only review hardware and software that I actually use. The site has many sponsorships and partnerships, including advertising, affiliate marketing, and the like. For example, in the “Trey’s Book List” area, I have some Amazon links on there. I get a small percentage of every sale, but it does not cost you any more money. Often times, I am even able to offer coupon codes to people because I send so much traffic. Again, I would never even do this if I did not believe in the product.

Great examples are Nikon, Adobe, and Apple.  I love and recommend their cameras, software, and computers, even though they haven’t paid me a dime.

So, that’s it! It’s just that simple.

I know you are very busy (like me), and you come here because I am an expert in certain matters photographic. I give you my honest opinions and judgments on these things. When any of you come hang out with me, you’ll see me using the same stuff I use and recommend on the site. I believe it is very important to be transparent with the community on these matters.

I believe the future of the internet is one in which people build up networks of trusted sources, experts, and other people with whom they feel a connection. I value these connections very much and appreciate your trust. Thank you very much, and if there are ever any concerns whatsoever, feel free to contact me.

  • PJ

    I dont have Photoshop but i do have Corel X2. Will this work with your textures?

  • Good question. The whole tutorial shows you how to do everything with photoshop. I fear that some of the same things will not be the same in Corel, and I am not sure of their counterparts!

    However, if you want to get it, and you cannot “figure out” the counterparts in Corel X2 — no problem – we can give you all your money back.

  • I got the photomatix trail, and I really like it. But their is something I don’t get. It works when I combine still pictures taken at different exposures, but how do I combine action shots? I can’t take the same photo of something like a shooting star at three different shutter speeds at once, can I? And yet a lot of the pictures on this site are action shots or have a moving object in them like people or fireworks. Am I missing something?

  • Andrew, the technique for creating hdr images from actions shots is simple, especially if you shoot in raw. Take the image into your raw editor (ie Lightroom, Apeture etc..) & save additional copies of the image at multiple exposures (+1EV & -1EV, +2EV & -2EV etc…), along with the original @ 0EV. You can then take these into your hdr software to combine & tonemap the image. This “pseudo-hdr” doesn’t quite capture all of the dynamic range that shooting actual bracketed exposures will, but I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with the resulting image. It’s a great way to explore “hdr” imaging for scenes that can’t be captured with multiple exposures.

  • Ryan

    Being a fellow Apple user – do you use Aperature at all? They have just recently (or maybe one existed in the past, but I don’t believe so) come out with a plugin for HDR (HydraHDR or something like that) and was wondering if you have any experience with it?

  • I used to use aperture – but now i use Lightroom… I don’t have any experience with HydraHDR yet

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  • Jeff

    This is probably not the right place to ask, but I just have to.
    As another fellow Mac user, why did you switch from Aperture to Lightroom?

    PS Great HDR tutorial – thank you

  • Jeff – good q – mostly because I like using all Adobe products for my workflow. I think Aperture is very good — but for photo processing, I like keeping it all in the same family.

    Also, Lightroom does dominate the market, so that means there will be a long road of updates and even more possibilities for Photoshop integration.

  • Tommy B.

    Trey, have you been able to make any type of comparison between CS5’s new noise reduction in Camera Raw versus Noiseware? I had a good result using CS5 in one instance, but I don’t know if it’ll work every time compared to Noiseware. I’m just curious of your thoughts before I purchase Noiseware.

  • yiannis

    hello dear Trey,
    sometimes when i take six or seven shots for an hdr photo directly facing the sun ,after i input them in photomatix,i get a “burn” on the sun area which reminds the old film times,when the foto was “burned”.
    I have a d700 and few very good lenses.i bought all my equipment after reading your reviews. :))
    any idea why this is happening and how i can correct it ?
    many thanks in advance

  • Maryann I

    I do PS CS4 all the time trying to create something new. If I purchase HDR software do I need to have Lightroom on my Mac also?

  • No — you don’t need Lightroom at all…. LR just helps you organize your photos a bit better.

  • Maryann I

    I’m a little confuse about the software. Do I purchase the Phoatomatix software which is HDR?

  • Maryann I

    Can I use Phoatomatix software without PS CS4? I did read your article, and I get the feeling that the two don’t go together.

  • You can use photomatix by itself. In my tutorial (at ), I do recommend final cleanup in Photoshop or Photoshop elements — but it is not totally necessary.

  • Josh Fisher

    Maryann I… I am new to photography. I find Lightroom to be the easiest to use and organize you photo’s. What I do is load them into Lightroom then use the Photomatix Plugin and export straight from Lightroom to Photomatix. Merge my HDR in Photomatix, maybe make a few touch ups there and then save and re-import back into Lightroom for final cleanup. Makes it easy because the programs work together. Hope this helps. I know there are more editing options in Photoshop but it’s just hard for me to use. So I try to make the best photo before I get to post and then use these steps to make my HDR’s. Keep’s it simple and I think I get good results. 

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  • jw maine

    Thank you for an Ethics Statement. This means so much! My degree has to do with ethics and humanities (also Native American Studies) and the very notion that you wanted to write a statement about ethics is the way the world needs to become. It ought to go hand in hand with an Artist Statement. I really give you credit. By the way, I begin my graduate studies in photography this fall (an MFA program). Also I am a professional trombonist, hence the avatar.
    I think that ethics also extend to post processing, but the world is not yet to that point. Do you think so, too? Have a great summer.

  • Thank you for the honesty!

  • petervandever

    You love Nikon? Not any more lol

  • petervandever

    Nik is better for the beginner 🙂

  • Natesh shahane

    sir how is a combination of Nikon 750 D with 28/300

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