Trey Ratcliff

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Trey Ratcliff
Born (1971-07-07) July 7, 1971 (age 42)
Dallas, Texas, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Photographer, blogger, entrepreneur, and author
Spouse(s) Tina Ratcliff
Children Ethan, Isabella, and Scarlett
Parents Susan and Raymond Ratcliff

Trey Ratcliff (born July 7, 1971) is a photographer, artist, public speaker and writer. He posts a new photo each day on his travel blog StuckInCustoms[1] of the destinations and situations he finds himself in as he travels the world. His work has been featured on the BBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC.[2]

Ratcliff studied computer science and mathematics at Southern Methodist University graduating in 1995. He pioneered the field of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. Originally a hobbyist photographer, he started exploring HDR because he was disappointed that the landscape photographs he had taken did not appear as he remembered the scenes. After exploring and developing techniques in the then relatively obscure HDR method, he began featuring his photographic work on his blog in 2005. His photographic work is licensed through Creative Commons Noncommercial.

Early in Ratcliff's career, two of his HDR photographs were selected as winners of the Smithsonian Magazine's 4th Annual Photo Contest.,[3] The two photos "Fourth at Lake Austin"[4] and "A macaque monkey sits on a wall in Kuala Lumpur"[5] hang in the Smithsonian Institute.


His first book, "A World in HDR", published in 2009,[6] quickly sold out in several countries.[7] He began releasing eBooks in 2010, the first of which was "Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them." All of his photography eBooks are on Flatbooks a website Ratcliff created in 2011 to be a collection of eBooks focusing on the topic of HDR photography.

Ratcliff also launched the website HDRSpotting along with Denis Khoo.[8] Guest editors at have included Jason St. Peter, Chris Nowakowski, Brian Matiash, Kay Gaensler, John Rogers, Scott Wyden Kivowitz, Mike Criswell, and James Brandon.[9]

In 2010, Ratcliff released his first HDR tutorial, a compilation of HDR instructional workshop footage.[10] Since that initial release, Ratcliff has created additional tutorials covering topics for novice photographers as well as seasoned veterans.[11]

Ratcliff's endeavors also include iOS and Android apps such as 100CamerasIn1,[12] an application that allows users to process mobile photos with different effects and then post the finished product to their social media sites, and Stuck on Earth,[13] a travel application that shows users places in the world to visit, photograph, and experience. His most recent release, Light Camera – Mark 1,[14] allows for real-time viewing of filters and effects allowing the user to see the end result of a photo before it has been taken. Like his other camera applications, users can then upload their finished product to their social media sites.

He also supports charitable causes through Kiva Microfunds. As of September 2013, the Stuck in Customs Kiva team has raised and contributed more than $36,000.[15]

Speaking Engagements and Workshops[edit]

Ratcliff has given speeches at Google,[16] Pinterest,[17] Kent State University[18] and various conferences[19][20] around the world.[21]

Ratcliff teaches photography and post-processing at workshops staged around the world in locations like Paris, Christchurch and Queenstown, New Zealand.[22]


Early controversy of Ratcliff focused on HDR photography, where the nature of its post-processing was heavily criticized.[23]

Other controversies Ratcliff has encountered have focused on the use of the Creative Commons Noncommercial licensing model,[24] DSLR vs. mirror-less cameras,[25] and the use of watermarks when publishing online[26]


  1. ^ "". 
  2. ^ "About Me – Trey Ratcliff and Stuck in Customs". Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Smithsonian Photography Contest – Two of the Top Ten Winners!". Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Fourth at Lake Austin". April 23, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "A macaque monkey sits on a wall in Kuala Lumpur". October 20, 2006. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "A Book Announcement". July 7, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The World in HDR sold out on amazon...". January 6, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ "About HDR Spotting". Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ "HDR Spotting Guest Editors". Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ "HDR Tutorial – How to Make Beautiful HDR Photos With Ease!". March 25, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Photography Tutorials". October 22, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ "100 Cameras in 1 – Best iPhone Camera". Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Stuck in Customs Newsletter #27". Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Light Camera, Mark 1". Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Lending Team: Team Stuck In Customs". Kiva. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ "The World We Design – Trey Ratcliff Zeitgeist Americas 2012". zeitgeistminds channel on YouTube. October 16, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Pinterest". September 16, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Trey Ratcliff Headlines First Presidential Speaker Series". Kent State University. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Biography of Trey Ratcliff". The E-G. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Speakers". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Speaking Engagements". Stuck in Customs. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Photograph Workshops". Stuck in Customs. October 3, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Why I Hate HDR Photo Technology Porn". August 7, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Go Ahead and Steal this Photo and make prints". March 1, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  25. ^ "HELLO SONY. GOODBYE NIKON. THE STORY OF WHY I AM SWITCHING FROM NIKON TO SONY". July 4, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Miss Aniela Extravaganza". July 8, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.