Depth of Field: Trey Ratcliff

Depth of Field: Trey Ratcliff

Meeting with Trey Ratcliff online for an interview was about as easy as pulling teeth. This guy is busy. I thought we would never make our schedules match. The irony is after a ton of emails, and a hand full of miss-connects over Skype; after finally getting the interview with him, then posting a blog post about his influence on my Creative Commons position – after all this; we ended up on the same flight from Narita (Tokyo, Japan) to SFO sitting about ten rolls apart. Strange world we live in.

Trey Ratcliff is a huge name in the HDR (High Dynamic Range) community and blog Stuck in Customs is widely popular. Recently he published his first book with our good friends over at Peachpit Press titled “A World in HDR“. It is a 200 page coffee table book of his images with a HDR tutorial at the end. To be fare, I am not very knowledgeable about  HDR, so I was not really sure what to expect from the interview. I soon found out Trey is yet another one of those “truly nice guy photographers”. We didn’t have long, this ran only 30 minutes in length, but very interesting. Trey knowledge about HDR is astounding and his joy for this medium is apparent. The guy literally sees the world in HDR. Take some time, listen to this his unique take on photography and life. Enjoy.

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About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.


  1. hasi

    Great that you interviewed him. Have you ever read anything he's written? Just wondering because if you had you would realize he probably never got a high school diploma (at least not in grammar or spelling) or doesn't have the common sense to have a reasonably intelligent person edit his writing.

  2. Matt Brandon

    OK, no need for comments like this. Remember what your mother told you, “If you don't have anything nice to say…”

  3. brianmatiash

    Hasi, it is a real shame that you find such a comment worth sharing with others and it's a pity that you completely gloss over just how brilliantly Trey captures moments in life and selflessly shares them with all of us.

    Great job with the interview, Matt. I had the luxury of spending a good chunk of this past Saturday with him and he is as friendly and unassuming as one could expect despite his global popularity in the HDR genre. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  4. Nate

    Matt, great interview! Trey, I respect your work more each day and am more inspired with every photo I lose myself in! Saving for my Pentax kx, so I can begin my own HDR journey!

  5. Peter Pham

    Hello Matt; Great interview with Trey on a subject that is different but surely catching on. I liked Trey comment on how we just need “to work on one picture a day is a good routine thing to do”.

    Trey: Your work is nice and amazing to look at. I never liked HDR, but listening to you and reading your blog makes me want to try one to see how it really work. Thanks for sharing and a great interview. Good luck and am sure you will be the man of HDR.

    When you are in Vietnam, look me up and we can do some HDR together. Hopefully. Take care both.

  6. hasi

    Actually my mother was killed by the zionist imperialists, so she didn't tell me anything. I later had christian foster parents who taught me to do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you.

  7. Cathy


    I haven't listened to this podcast yet, but I finally got round to downloading the entire motherload yesterday…and have been in podcast heaven ever since.

    Thank you so much for putting all this together, I'm having a blast listening to all these wonderful photographers and pretending they're my friends. Well..not really, that's a bit weird. But the intimacy and insight is invaluable.

    Really…it's a wonderful series. Fantastic work!

  8. Iza

    Another great interview, thanks for putting them together! What I found particularly interesting in this one was Trey explanation why NGO need to pay to use Creative Commons images. I agree with his arguments, and at the same time wonder, if the images could/should be treated as charity donations and receive a discount because of their mission. Do you have any thoughts on that?

  9. Tim Cowley

    I'm really stoked to give HDR a try. I was hoping to get Trey's recommendation on which software to use and wasn't disappointed. Thank you for this interview, Matt. Enjoyed listening to his unique sense of humor while traveling around rural Mozambique dodging goats and chickens.



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