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Come visit me in Queenstown, New Zealand!

You're invited to my hometown in New Zealand for a once-in-a-lifetime photo adventure of epic proportions! You’ll end up with amazing photos and stories at this Landscape Photography workshop, no matter your skill level. We’ve prepared a pretty intense plan for your time here. You won’t get much rest. At the end of the adventure, your head will be full of amazing new skills and your computer will be full of awesome photos.

Special Offer for Newsletter Subscribers - Save 25%!

The next workshop is October 28 - November 2, 2013. October is beautiful Springtime in New Zealand. If you register for the October workshop before the end of July and use the code STUCKNEWS then you will pay just $4,099 USD. That is a savings of 25% off of the standard price! You can lock-in the discounted rate and reserve your spot with a $1,000 non-refundable deposit. The remaining balance will be due 30 days prior to the workshop.

Visit the New Zealand October 2013 page for additional details.



Hello Sony. Goodbye Nikon.

During my most recent trip to China I decided I would use my Sony NEX-7 camera as my main shooter and put my Nikon D800 into a back-up role. This is a role-reversal for my cameras! Soon after the China trip the transition is complete. I've decided to switch and stop using DSLRs as my main weapon. Visit my blog to read the results of using the Sony NEX in China -- Hello Sony. Goodbye Nikon!

I realize this has been a controversial decision so Frederick Van Johnson, host of This Week in Photo, wanted to do an interview. You can watch the full interview below.



What is it like to wear Google Glass in China?

My recent trip to China was my fifth visit, and the pollution in Beijing gets worse and worse every time. This makes shooting things far away very difficult. While I was there, I was most interested in the reactions of people to Google Glass in China. People’s reactions in China were totally different. Now, of course this is all anecdotal, so you can hardly figure out a cultural trend-line from my observations, but it is interesting nonetheless. Visit my blog to read the full story and see photos of Google Glass in Dystopian China.

I'm now on Weibo!

I recently joined Weibo, one of the most popular social media sites in China. I also recorded this ridiculous video welcoming people to my Weibo account… you can see me struggling! hehe… but it was fun to make… and I ended it with some of my favorite photos from China.



Release the Google Internet Balloons!

A few weeks ago I got a strange email from Google. Just sign the paperwork they say. We can’t tell you anything. I sign, assuming it’s gotta be cool with an approach like that. Next thing I knew, I was up in a helicopter over Tekapo, New Zealand, sitting by Steven Levy from Wired magazine tracking balloons as they headed for the stratosphere. I was just a few hours north of my home in Queenstown, so I was excited to check out this secret Google X project called Project Loon right in my own backyard! Visit my blog to read the whole story.

I also shot a video with Google Glass that shows some of the behind-the-scenes activities. Can’t see it in your country? Here’s the Vimeo version. is New and Improved!

We've been really pleased with the feedback about the fresh new look of the Flatbooks website! If you haven't been to the site recently I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. We've extended our special offer for newsletter subscribers. Use the code "EBOOKS4NEWSLETTER" at checkout to save 20% on all eBooks at!

As always, we keep adding new beautiful, informative, eBooks each month. We recently published Outdoor Flash Photography by Charlie Borland and the Essence of a Place by Ralph Velasco.



Want to try HDR? Start with Photomatix!

Photomatix Pro from HDRsoft is an integral part of my HDR processing. If you would like to purchase Photomatix Pro (or get a free trial) be sure to use the Photomatix Coupon Code code "TREYRATCLIFF" at checkout to save some money. You can find the software for Mac or Windows at the HDRSoft website.

You can also check out Trey's new Photomatix Presets at the Stuck in Customs store!


Reminder: The Text HDR Tutorial is Always Free!

I keep a completely FREE HDR Tutorial on my website. It is a living document that continues to evolve over the years. It goes over everything you need to get started and is a great introduction to the basics of HDR photography and post processing.


Check Out What You Missed!

Have you missed a past issue of the most beautiful newsletter on the Internet? Well, we've got great news! We've been saving them all along just for you.

Thanks from Trey! is the photographic work and shared adventures of Trey Ratcliff. Actually, this is Trey writing about this in third person. Both Trey and I appreciate your support very much!

If you think your family or friends might like the Newsletter (Subscribe Free), please feel free to forward this to them. It'll make a fun email chain!

Catch my live weekly show, Trey's Variety Hour, each Monday evening or subscribe to the video podcast.

Join me on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.





More Beijing at Night
HDR Photo

This was another one of those cases where I was not quite used to the 10-18mm lens. I normally walk RIGHT to the spot I want to be in then pop the 14-24 on my Nikon and fire away. But now, I’m always off by a few steps with the NEX-7! But, I quickly re-adjust then shoot.


The Sprawling City
HDR Photo

I’m experimenting with this style of city photography. I like this idea of reflection that is imperfect. I shot this from the top of one of the only television stations in Beijing. It was a perfect night without any wind. There was a lot of pollution, so the warm city lights cast a red glow into the ether…


Golden Tree Path
HDR Photo

In many ways, it’s the kind of place you can easily walk through and not notice because it was on the way to somewhere else. I was trying to walk down to Lake Hayes via a new route form my house, and I saw this on the way. I feel like I’m always alert, but then sometimes I’m looking at a scene like this and I think, “Hey, I should take a photo!”


The Daytime Lights of Front Gate Street
HDR Photo

Here’s a shot from a really great street in Beijing called “Front Gate” — it’s certainly worth a trip. I was lucky that it rained hard all morning and I really got taking photos after it stopped. When the streets are nice and wet and I am personally not getting wet – that is one of the best times!


The Corner Store in Old China
HDR Photo

When I walk down some of these streets and see these places that sell exotic foods when you walk up to the window — it is hard to pass them all by. When I do go up there, I tend to just pick totally random things… I give them a random amount of money, and then there is a random adventure in my mouth.


The Mysterious UFO Device
HDR Photo

I was being driven around by a very nice driver with Tom and he took me through this technology park. Most of it was rather banal, but this one structure was so unusual, I had to get out and examine it.


Dark Street with Lanterns in China
HDR Photo

I’m always a sucker for these Chinese lanterns. They just always seem so authentic, even though I am sure that most of the time they are just strange anachronisms and no longer the most efficient way to light up the area.


Swimming On Top of Beijing
HDR Photo

I spent the morning and the night up on top of this building shooting downtown. I didn’t even realize this awesome room was here until I came down to the bathroom! So I decided to have some fun moving around and taking photos!


Super Moon Sets Over Queenstown
HDR Photo

I saw the moon setting behind the mountain near my house, so I got out my NEX-7 with the 55-210mm lens and shot away...


Path Through the Snow
HDR Photo

On the way home after the Winter Festival in downtown Queenstown, I saw this scene just off the road. I jumped out of the car and got in a good spot to take a photo.