This is always controversial, and will be even more so this year, because my pick for Photofocus 2011 Photographer of the Year is none other than Trey Ratcliff. Is Trey controversial? Not in MY opinion. But as the current guru of HDR – and high dynamic range photography being controversial, I’m sure I’ll hear lots of noise. But – I don’t care. Trey deserves this pick and here’s why.

Trey Ratcliff is in every sense of the word, an artist. His art is something he believes in deeply. He works very hard at HDR photography and travels the world making images that never cease to amaze me. Like most successful artists, he has a great passion for what he does. He practices at it regularly. He refines it. He stretches its boundaries. Then he does it again.

Not only is Trey an amazing photographer, but he’s an internationally-recognized thought leader in the space. He writes books and e-books, provides an HDR tutorial, hosts Google+ hangouts, and creates some of the coolest iPhone/iPad applications.

What I really like about Trey’s images is that he has managed to do something I’ve never ever seen before. He’s managed to take his knowledge of science and math (he’s a programmer at heart) and mix it with a great, artistic eye. If you’ve ever met Trey, you’d realize he’s the guy many would describe as a “nerd.” It doesn’t matter if you agree with that assessment or not. It’s who Trey really is that counts. Under the geek facade there is the soul of a communicator, a dreamer and yes – an artist.

Visit Stuckincustoms.com and see for yourself. His daily photos are always interesting, and because Trey travels the world, it’s like watching the Discovery Channel – but you don’t need a television.

For his work as an evangelist in the field of HDR photography, for his vision, for his willingness to share and teach, Photofocus names Trey Ratcliff as the 2011 Photographer of the Year.

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