This is going to be a special blog post for me. It’s special because of who i’m writing about, Trey Ratcliff. Those of you who are familiar with my photography know that I am a big fan of HDR photography when it is done correctly. And by that I mean done with finesse and not ridiculously over processed. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for extreme processing and it can create a wonderfully artistic image, but I appreciate the use of restraint with HDR. My ideal use of HDR is to create images that are more “ultra realistic” than they are “surreal” or “cartoonish”. HDR is a tool a photographer can use to create images that are simply impossible to capture with current camera technologies. It gives us the ability to share more of “what it’s like to be there” than what we traditionally see with a single photo.
That brings us to Trey Ratcliff. The vast majority of photographers who know of Trey would agree that he is the father of modern HDR photography. He is also the leading teacher of HDR techniques in the world and one heck of a nice guy. Trey is the reason I'm so fond of HDR photography and the driving force behind my continual quest to hone my skills.
Trey began his HDR journey here in Austin, TX but has recently moved to New Zealand for the seemingly unlimited number of incredible landscapes to photograph.
One of his early HDR images “Fourth on Lake Austin” was the first HDR photograph to hang in the Smithsonian Museum:
Trey does as much teaching as he does photography and his web site Stuck In Customs has become a veritable encyclopedia of HDR knowledge, instructional video’s, product reviews, social media and photography networking info as well as consistently updated photographs created by Trey. If you are a photographer or simply appreciate incredible imagery you owe it to yourself to explore his site, sign up for his newsletter, watch his podcasts and learn more about Trey Ratcliff and his talents.
Here is the HDR photo I shot overlooking the bridge that Trey shot his fireworks photo from: