Last night I had the honour of meeting one of my heroes - Trey Ratcliff of StuckInCustoms.com. If you're not familiar with Trey, he's a world-renowned landscape photographer and pioneer of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. He has a thriving business on the back of continually travelling the world creating stunning pictures. He has a huge social media following - over 11 million (more than Lady Gage), and has a fantastic business model - all of us can download any of his full-resolution images for free as long as it's not for commercial use - and there are no watermarks.
I've been following him for a while and if my photos have started to improve lately, his tutorials are the reason.
He flew into Brisbane this week for a brief visit to speak at a conference and arranged a photo walk of Brisbane through Google+. I attended along with about 150 others. It was quite a sight seeing 150 of us, all with camera gear and tripods, walk in pack around Brisbane. He was really friendly and took us through, in detail, his process for his style of photography.
When you look at his portfolio you see he has some amazing skies in his photos. I asked him what he does on a photo shoot when the skies are clear blue and featureless - as is usually the case this time of year in Brisbane. I think he got what I was hinting at and he said straight off that he never does what some other photographers might do, which is mask in a sky from another photo using photoshop. I was glad to hear that because I think it's a bit disingenous if you're lucking at an amazing landscape photo which isn't the real deal.
The main objective of the night was to shoot the Santos City of Lights from South Bank. It was quite a good show, if not a little shorter than I was expecting. I'll post some more of my pics from last night at a future data. The picture above is from the beginning of the evening, and shows the entrance to Brisbane Library. The colours and glass make the building particularly interesting, and I've tried to add to this by blending in different exposures and adding contrast and clarity to create a metallic finish. I saw Trey taking the same shot so I'll be interested to see what his version looks like. No doubt it will be amazing.