High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a genre of photography which is best learnt through Trey Ratcliff’s video tutorials on HDR. Until a decade ago, not many people were aware of what is HDR, and why it should be used. Trey’s original thinking and experimentation with HDR revealed a whole new way of looking at photography, which made photographs real and surreal all at the same time.

From Trey’s “About Me” on his website stuckincustoms.com :

I grew up blind in one eye and this might have changed the way I view the world. I don’t know. It’s hard to be objective about the way one’s brain was wired. My background is in computer science and math, so I bring an algorithm-like process to capturing the scene in such a way that it evokes memories in a palpable manner. Whatever that means. My promise to you: one photo every day. This is very hard… to produce 365 photos that I think are worthy every year. I will probably break this promise about 10 times during the year, so it’s really not much of a promise.

Trey identified the limitations of the camera vis-a-vis the human eye, and found an easy solution to overcome that limitation: High Dynamic Range. The solution was to use a software that can tap into the different levels of exposures in different parts of a photograph, and across multiple photographs,  to combine them all to give the best exposure for each part of the scene – automatically (with a little tweaking from your side, ofcourse). Pretty cool, eh?

According to Trey:

The human eye can see so much more than a single shot from your camera! I say there is no need to accept the limitations of the camera. You can use the camera in a simple and innovative way to replicate what the eye can do. You’ll be using a combination of the camera and some software to achieve the final look.

The human eye can see about 11 stops of light. A stop is a measurable amount of light. A camera can see about 3 stops of light. This means you’ll be setting up your camera to take multiple photos of a scene, all at different shutter speeds, so you get the full range of light. Don’t worry, it’s easy!

He made the entire process, easy, fun and doable. And that is really what most people usually need to get started on some project they want to do but are not sure if they can do it. He brought HDR into main stream photography.

Farewell India I had a truly wonderful time in India and I can't wait to return.  After spending most of the day exploring the Taj Mahal, I found a car to take me across the river.  The bridge was over 100 years old and crowded with every type of locomotion - from donkey to pull cart to bike.  After working my way down to the river, I found I could not quite get low enough to take the photo I wanted.  So, reluctantly, I took my camera off my tripod and buried it in the mud, about half an inch above the water.  I spent all night in the bathroom saying I was sorry to the camera... cleaning her up back into her old self once again.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.



  • Don’t let any limitation become a limitation. This is the starting point of your creative play!
  • Be at it. Make a few promises to yourself & others which are doable, and at the same time can also be challenging occasionally, and keep your word to yourself.
  • Do whatever makes you feel fulfilled.
  • Share, share, share. The more you share your work with others, the more you overcome your own tiny fears and gain the ability to take big strides in life. All of Trey’s work is licenses under a Creative Commons license, allowing people to use his photos for non-commercial uses, with attribution. This gets him credit as well as good will and appreciation!
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Be Creative! 🙂

Categories: Creative

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