Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's in a name?

Don't worry, you are in the right place. I wanted to use the Eldridge name but until now I couldn't find just the right one... Eldridge Studios is the name that will stick. It sounds good, represents the family that I am very proud of and should Zackeal (my 19 month old) ever decide to go into the family business he will already have a brand. If you have Creations Mirror saved as a favorite you can keep it that way and it is likely that another site baring that name will surface sooner or later. Currently Creation's Mirror points to Eldridge Studios so there is no confusion. Thanks for bearing with me in this time of minor transition.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breaking the rules!

Photography, like most things, has a set of rules that people typically follow. For example: The Rule of Thirds. Imagine that an image has a big tic-tac-toe board drawn on over the entire image. The location where the lines cross is considered the sweet spot for the main subject’s location. The rule says that an image is most powerful when this occurs… I found myself doing this for every single image that I composed for a good period of time and more often than not it worked like a charm. However, it took me awhile to realize that this rule can be effectively broken at times. So, what am I telling you to do? You guessed it…. Go and BREAK the rules of photography… because if all of our images looked the same what would be the point.

This photograph is a great example.  Notice how the light and dark sides are separated in the middle and that the horizon separates the middle of the photo.  The rule of thirds is not used here but it is still an effective photograph.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pixels are Free

I went to a seminar a coule of years back that was being hosted by one of my all time favorite photographers (John Shaw) and while there he made a simple statement that I repeat all the time… “Pixels are Free”…. You know what? He’s right. Not too long ago I was really into film photography. It was expensive. Each roll of slide film cost about $8.00 for 36 exposures of Fuji Velvia 50. Additionally, it cost about $8.00 to have it processed. That is $16.00 for 36 exposures. You had to be certain about what you were photographing each time you pressed the shutter button. Then, the digital revolution and the advent of pixels showed up. The concept of taking shots that were nearly guaranteed to be good (or safe) was gone. However, the idea of trying new things was foreign because of the previous mindset of cost. In order to help myself break this old mindset I got in the habit of repeating the phrase over and over… Especially when I would find myself standing in the same spot taking the same photographs I did last time. Get out there and try crazy stuff!!!!! Set the camera for a long exposure, wind up the strap, push the shutter button, release the camera, watch it twirl and see what happens.... After all, “PIXELS ARE FREE”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Equipment Caveat

Photography is loaded with equipment and one could spend thousands if they get bitten by the equipment bug. I know I have certainly been in this boat before and to an extent will always be. There is however a potential problem with this. People can get so caught up into the buying of new equipment that they forget why they are making the purchase. Now, if you just like to collect photography stuff then that is fine…just don’t expect to get better just because you have the best equipment. I have seen some amazing shots come from a $250.00 point and shoot. Additionally, I have seen terrible shots come from pro level cameras costing $6000.00. If you are serious about your art then let the equipment aid you and not be your driving force. Equipment does not a good photographer make.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taking my own advise.

The three of us (Myself, Wife and Son) just got back from Stuart, Florida. If you ever have a chance to go you should. It is a quiet little town that has some great photographic opportunities. I was sent on business by my "day" job so for me there was work involved. At times I had to fight the urge to go back to the hotel and crash. However, I managed to make it out most evenings and even got up early for a sunrise or two on the beach. Check out the gallery for some new images under Cityscapes and Landscapes to see what I captured. It was well worth the trip. Had I given into my human feelings and crashed at the hotel I would not have gotten any of these. Take off that lens cap and get out the door!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Get out the door!!!

You get home from a hard day at work and you’re hungry. You fix dinner set down for a few minutes to eat and get up ready for your photo trip… Suddenly you notice that it is dark outside and another opportunity is missed. I would encourage you to grab something quick, take it with you and eat on location. It is very difficult to take a sunset picture if you are stuck in your house (some might even say it is impossible). Need to spend some time with the family? That is easy, pick a location that is family friendly once in awhile and load them up. Spouses are great gear bags!

I encourage you to find friends with common interests and form a group. This is another motivation because you generally set up meeting times and throw in a restaurant after the shoot. They can also help you in your skills because everyone sees things differently. Remember, get out there and snap the shutter, it is MUCH easier to take photographs that way.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shoot where you are.

I started getting into photography in the mid ‘90s when I took a B&W course in college. Yes, those were back in the film days when post processing took hours in a dark room for a hand full of photographs. I didn’t really go head over heels until 2001 when I was able to get a decent camera (Nikon F100). My wife and I were living in East TN near the Great Smoky Mountains. After just a few trips to the ‘Smokies’ I fell in love with the environment and just couldn’t wait for the next sunrise trip. For years this was my location of choice. Well, life has a way of changing and we now live in South Florida (just south of Miami). To be honest… I lost some of that love of photography because the majestic landscapes were gone. No rushing streams or waterfalls to photograph. Just birds and some gators… or so I thought. My wife kept on me saying photograph where you are because you will miss it if we leave here. So, feeling grumpy I took my camera out to some local places just to look for things/places to photograph. I wasn’t expecting much. Yes, she was right again. There is so much here to capture, so many things to explore… and I almost missed out.

Photograph where you are and recapture that love you once had.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some great books.

If photography is something that you are interested in there are a few books that you can read to get started.

John Shaw's "Nature Photography" is still among my favorite books. It is a bit dated since it only deals with film. The lessons you learn reading this book apply to digital as well. If you can take a great photo with film then you have half the battle one with digital. If you enjoy or think you would enjoy nature photography then his is certainly a great choice.

Scott Kelby "The Digital Photography Book", volume 1, 2 and 3... Scott Kelby is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. He gives simple (low tech) answer to questions. He doesn't bore you with technical detail for the purpose of showing the world how smart he is... Check it out; I don't think you will be disappointed.