Trey Ratcliff At Adobe
It was January 4th of this year when I first read about Trey Ratcliff. For those of you who don’t know about his work, he’s a pioneer in developing the finest techniques for creating stunning HDR images and shares the basics openly for aspiring photographers to, as he put it, “be awesome together”. You can learn all about him at his site, Stuck In Customs. Seven weeks ago, on January 4th, right before I read a post on kotaku.com entitled “Stunning Pictures Only A Gamer’s Eye Could Have Captured“, I could not have imagined that I would in the course of a single click, ignite a passion for photography that can be described as all-consuming. I sold my beautiful tenor saxophone to subsidize a new camera and lens and began to shoot almost 1000 frames a week.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear Trey Ratcliff at Adobe’s Distinguished Lecture series at their headquarters in San Jose. Apart from being a nice guy, he also is genuine in his passion for the art. His non-prepared remarks sound a lot like his writing voice which means that what your read on his site is actually his stream of consciousness. I like that because I find it honest, and since I’m learning a lot from him, I feel that his experiences and motives for sharing them are grounded in a desire to share his passion for the sake of producing better photographers. Not only that but his work speaks for itself. His ideas on the medium are interesting, bound in philosophical reasoning and social interplay with an emphasis on identifying the seeds of perception in the mind. Sounds heavy, and some of it is. But it all serves as an exercise to identify what we all know to be a facet of everyday observation. We like aesthetically pleasing things but don’t think about why we feel one way or another about it. How does this help? To answer that, again, go look at his stuff…
Alright, enough about him. I get uncomfortable waxing lyrically this much. I feel like it makes my seem obsessive. So, let’s focus on me now. Here’s an HDR image I took at the event site. The complex is a series of towers connected at the bottom with awesome glass bridges near the top. I wanted so much to get a picture inside of it, but alas, my level of clout could not even allow me to avoid the Adobe security guard who instructed me to take two steps back from where I took this picture…on the sidewalk.