MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Have you ever taken a picture of that perfect sunrise or sunset only to find it doesn’t look nearly as perfect in your photo? That’s what happened to Trey Ratcliff who turned a disappointing picture into a picture-perfect career.READ MORE: Florida Senate Ready To Pass Controversial Protest Bill
Ratcliff is a jovial, self-effacing regular guy who happens to be the “IT” photographer of the time.
“I feel like I’m living someone else’s life sometimes,” he told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.
But it is his life and his blog StuckInCustoms.com is the number one photography blog on the internet.
At age 44, Tray has traveled the world capturing photos in his own very unique way. He uses what’s called HDR Photography, an acronym for High Dynamic Range. What he’s created is a software using HDR that has changed the way people take and see their photos.
His images are so spectacular; it’s hard to believe he didn’t purchase his first camera until he was 35 years old.
“The basic process is this, you take 3 photos, a dark, a medium and bright and then we developed software that combines them all into one. Then, the photo feels and looks like it did when you were there at the time,” Ratcliff explained.
Last year, Trey and his team came up with the idea to hit 13 cities across the U.S. and host photo walks teaching people the best ways to take pictures.
Recently, he held a tour in Miami. He began at the Ritz Carlton South Beach and then ventured out to familiar spots.
“People come to these walks at all levels. They are beginners, intermediate to advanced and we all move around the city together,” he explained. “They take photos together and then we share them on the internet and give lots of tips and tricks to help people with creativity. They are tremendous events.”READ MORE: ‘Billionaire Boxer’ Joe Fournier Ready To Settle Score With Reggaeton Singer Reykon In The Ring
Each day, Trey posts a new photo to his website. His photos are tracked by google. Some have been seen more than 90 billion times.
“When you take photos of people outside you don’t want to be in direct sun.”
That’s one tip he gives. He also gives tips for people with simple camera phones.
Stay out of bright light and the key to getting a good people shot is to get in close and focus on the eyes.
“So if you can come in close and touch on the little box on the camera on his face, it will focus on his face and birds of paradise behind him will be fuzzy. When the subject is in focus and the background is blurry, it feels like professional took it,” he said.
Then there’s the dreaded selfie and Trey has tips on that as well. It’s all in the click, don’t stab and slowly let go of the button.
“Most people think when you stab a photo it takes a great picture, but actually it shakes the camera and makes it blurry and you don’t want a blurry selfie. Touch the button lightly. The picture is taken when you remove your finger, so do it slowly, don’t stab it,” he explained.
Also raise the camera and don’t pose the same way every time.
“People don’t want an idealized version of you looking amazing all the time in incredible places. People want to see the real you. It’s hard to be vulnerable but when you let yourself be natural, the right people will come into your life,” he said.MORE NEWS: CDC Study Finds Leaving Middle Seat Open On Airplanes Could Reduce COVID Exposure For Passengers
If you want to learn more about Trey and how to take amazing pictures, go to stuckincustoms.com.