Tuesday, February 28, 2012

REVIEW: Trey Ratcliff’s Photo Course & Discount (Post-Processing and HDR Video Tutorial)

Copyright Trey Ratcliff

Trey Ratcliff is one of my favorite photographers and Mr. HDR. His HDR Workshop DVD set was game changing in the way I thought about how to process bracketed shots and it really tipped me off on how Trey does his magic. Little things like how he uses Photomatix in a very experimental way to how he finishes up using Topaz Adjust and Color Efex’s Tonal Contrast filter to create images that give his images the “wow” factor that many photographers seek.

Use Trey’s Raw Files To Mimic Trey’s Style With Your Own Twist

Mouse over to see before, mouse out to see after
Ron’s Homework Interpretation
(Hover over for 0 EV Original)

In this tutorial you get Trey’s actual RAW files with multiple bracketed exposures of each shot. He shows how he processes most of them in Photomatix, and for many (but not all) he will show you how he processes them. These photos are good photos too, but they are effectively his runner-ups for his portfolio shots. For example, you can see below shots that I’ve processed from the homework tutorial next to Trey’s portfolio shots which are similar, but different:

Copyright Trey Ratcliff
Trey’s Coliseum Portfolio Shot

Mouse over to see before, mouse out to see after
Ron’s Homework Interpretation
(Hover over for 0 EV Original)

Copyright Trey Ratcliff
Trey’s Eiffel Tower Portfolio Shot


Mouse over to see before, mouse out to see after
Ron’s Homework Interpretation
(Hover over for 0 EV Original)

What’s Included

After downloading the Total Course with Bonus you end up with 27 folders on your hard drive of lesson images plus 10 video courses that will keep you busy for quite a while. If you bought his HDR Workshop DVD set then this is much of the same but much better done. If you passed on the DVD set due to the price, then the good news here is that this is a fraction of the price with way more content.


Honestly when Trey released his DVD Workshop I talked to him and said his content was invaluable, but that I felt the price was just too steep for most people. The process of manufacturing a DVD product is expensive, so there was little he could do to lower the price for that set. However, he got lots of feedback on that first attempt and took it all to heart. What we have here is a much more complete version at a fraction of the cost.

While I would rather a shorter version that is more to the point (or non-tutorial related parts broken into separate video files), there’s lots of good stuff here that helps you get into the mind of Trey Ratcliff as he edits photos. Due to my busy schedule I was only able to listen to a few hours of the content, so naturally my homework interpretation images don’t have the benefit of apply everything that you can learn form the course.

If you like Trey’s work and wish you knew how he does his magic, this is a must own. It’s comprehensive and features everything you need to know. Once you have that skill you can start putting your own spin on his technique to create your own look, so it’s an invaluable teaching aid for HDR enthusiasts.

Special Offer – 15% Off

Click here to view more details on how to order this awesome tutorial. Save 15% when you use the coupon code RONMART15 when checking out. You may also want to consider the Textures Tutorial

Trey's Photo Course Discout Coupon Code

Trey’s Essentials

When watching this video you realize that Trey keeps going back to the same products over and over. He has his toolbox of goodies that he likes to use like we all do, so if you want to do work like Trey you might want to pick up some of those products. Here’s my thoughts on some of those products and links to where you can get them at a discount:

  • HDRSoft Photomatix – This is where it all begins. Every HDR shot Trey does begins here. Sure he, like me, sees the merit of HDR Efex, but the performance of Photomatix still make it the HDR leader.
  • Topaz Adjust – This is 2nd only to Photomatix for Trey’s secret sauce, so if you are a huge fan of his work this is a must. I also have on their other products that he uses like B&W Effects, Remask, Star Effects, and more
  • Imagenomic Noiseware – With HDR comes noise, and this is your solution to get rid of it.
  • Nik Software Color Efex – I call it the most important plug-in you can own and its at the top of my What Plug-Ins Should I Buy? article. However, Trey frequently demonstrates the value of the Tonal Contrast filter that is loved by the pros.
  • Trey’s Textures Tutorial – This includes the textures you need to create the cool effects that give Trey’s work that otherworldly look. I talk about it in my Trey Ratcliff interview and I even use them myself in subtle ways.
  • Wacom Intuos 4 – Tablet’s make life so much easier so Trey, myself and many others depend on the Intuos 4 for detailed layer mask work.


I was provided with free access to review the Total Package with Bonus for the purpose of this review. I also may get a commission if you make purchases using links in this article.

Trey Ratcliff’s flatbooks.com is also the publisher of my Printing 101 eBook.

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