There are some photographers with massive egos. Trey Ratcliff is not one of them. However, dogone it, the guy is good! If anyone should have an ego it should be Trey!
I first ran across Trey’s website, stuckincustoms.com, while surfing the net for workshops and photo tours. I generally quickly browse these sites, take some notes and move on – but the images on Trey’s site not only kept me looking, I had to bookmark it and return again and again. About the time I discovered Trey and his work, he was just about to come out with a new book on HDR titled A World in HDR which quickly sold out on Amazon in the UK and then in the USA when first released! I felt fortunate to have had the forethought to pre-order a signed copy from Trey prior to the initial release.Then I found out Trey was going to do a workshop in Tampa – I signed up immediately and asked if he would grant an interview for my upcoming podcast. The answer was, “yes”!
It is very interesting meeting someone with so much talent and yet so humble. Especially for someone who picked up his first camera and became intersted in photography only three years ago. He even has one of his prints hanging in the Smithsonian. Not bad!
Like a lot of photographers who are pursuing HDR (high dynamic range) images, he has received more than his fair share of criticism – but most of that is coming from other photographers who just don’t get it. However, his fan base is growing wider by the minute thanks to the social networks and public galleries such as Flickr. I believe a lot of his success is also due to his willingness to share his techniques including all the tutorials he has posted on his website. He did tell me during the interview that he does not plan on conducting additional workshops, but he is very accessible on Facebook and has begun to include video tutorials on his website.
If you are not familiar with HDR (high dynamic range images), it is essentially a technique of shooting multiple exposures of a scene and then later combining them into a special format that covers a much wider range of exposures than a standard photograph. This image cannot be displayed on regular monitors and so the image needs to be tonemapped to narrow the range for ordinary display or for printing – and this is where the magic occurs.
Finally, anyone who travels as much as Trey does is OK in my book! I just don’t see where he finds the time to post one of his fine HDR images every day. I recommend you check out his book and bookmark his website. Even if you believe you don’t care for HDR, prepare to be inspired!