Monday, August 30, 2010

Panning: Auto Racing and a New Experience

I am a memeber of a group here in Miami aptly named...  "Shoot Miami".  Anyway, they were invited by FARA Racing to come and photograph a FARA Race this past Sunday (8/29/2010).  I decided to go and give it a try but with no experience it took me an hour or so to really understand what I was doing.  When cars race by at 100+  mph or so they can be difficult to capture and still have a sense of movement.  You could raise your shutter speed up to 1/1000 or 1/2000 sure and have a nice crisp image.  The issue with that of course is if you do that the car that is racing by actually looks like it is setting in a parking lot.  That is not the point of auto racing photography.

I finally settled on a shutter speed of about 1/160 to 1/200 in order to get the desired effect.  There is a technique in photography called panning and it is where you follow your subject with your camera, press the shutter button and follow on through.  This shows a blurred (moving) background but the subject maintains sharpness.  No, these images are not overly artistic but they accomplish what is intended.  The background is blured, the tires look like they are spinning and the cars are in focus. 

If you decided to do something like this understand that trial and error will be the norm until you get the hang of it all.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Night Out with the Camera and Friends

Last night I decided to head out with a friend to parts unknown of Miami.  Well, we ended up in a well known part called Bayside.  This is a place that we had visited before but with limited time.  This time, we had the chance to do some exploring.  The very first place we stopped was close to Brickle.  As luck would have it the hotel that we parked at had some construction going on which mean the area near the water was devoid of people (it did have plenty of mud though).  I took several shots here but over all I was only happy with this one.  It is a nice shot that shows how peaceful the city can look when you are at a distance.  A long exposure and a small aperture allowed me to smooth the water and give a tremendous depth of field.

This next shot was one that I had seen a hundred times and attempted to find a way to make it different.  The entire side of this building looks exactly the same so a simple tilt of the camera allowed me to produce this image.  What I find fascinating here is the lines that divide the apartments both vertical and horizontal.  I think the more I look at this photo the more I am confused.

Prints available start at $50.00:
Finally, the bridge....  While exploring we found ourselves under yet another bridge in Miami.  This particular image I decided to render in black and white because of its simplicity.  The light on the water draws your eyes directly to the columns.  The way the columns are laid out lead your eyes further into the photograph.  Color versions can be seen on both our website ( and our Facebook Fan Page

This was not taken in what one might refer to as a safe place. I figured with four of us there we wouldn't have an issue. In fact, the only real contact we had with any one was a guy that just wanted a cigarette (which we didn't have)...and he had some trouble deciding whether or not to leave his shirt on... This is certainly a place that I will find myself again relatively soon. Much more to explore in Miami!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Product Review: Black Rapid RS-7

The New Black Rapid RS-7 arrived and I have had a chance to give it the once over.  This is one of those products that I thought was a bit gimmicky in the beginning.  Why mess with tradition I thought...neck pain is just part of photography.  I kept seeing great reviews of the product and various pro photographers endorsing them so I began paying a bit more attention.  My interest was really sparked when several of the photographers that I admire use them but have no affiliation with the Black Rapid company.  So, after much deliberation I decided to try it out.  I am very impressed.

  • Light weight
  • Very durable
  • Good soft ergonomic shoulder strap
  • Solid attachment to the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera (most plates have additional threads for tripods)
  • Bumpers keep the camera where you want it
  • The low profile design makes it less obvious that you are carrying around a large DSLR by keeping the camera hip level and at the ready
  • It is very quick to bring up to your eyes and allows for easy vertical use as well
  • The RS-7 is compatible with the modular system allowing for small pouches to be added
  • Quick release clip allows for fast detachment from the adapter
  • The attachment adapter comes out relatively fast if you plan on doing tripod work

  • While the attachment adapter comes out quickly there is no sure fire way to transition extremely quick from hand held with the strap to the tripod.  However, most of the time if I shoot from the tripod I generally transport it over my shoulder.

  • The attachment adapter is low profile but does add a minor obstacle for vertical hand holding (if you have a large DSLR or one with a battery grip).  This is not a deal breaker as it is very manageable

  • The Joey-1 Pouch was listed as being able to hold a smart phone (iPhone in particular) with a medium sized case.  I have an Otter Box for my iPhone (which is pretty big) and it does not even come close.  Now, the Joey-1 contains all my CF cards so there is certainly a use for the pouch.
Overall this item is well worth the price.  You can find it here:
If you happen to have one please leave a comment and let us all know what you think.  If you have any questions about this product drop me an e-mail or give me a call.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moisture on your Lens

This time of year all photographers are plagued with the same problem…moisture on the lens. I cannot tell you how many times I would get to the location just in time to snap off a few shots only to find that my lens was fogged over. No matter what I would do the fog would just come back. Why does this happen and how do we fix it?

Why? It has to do with taking your gear from inside a dry air-conditioned place to a hot and humid environment. When this happens condensation builds up instantly and it cannot be removed UNTIL….

How do we fix this issue? There is pretty much one way to fix this problem. Your gear has to warm up to the ambient temperature before the condensation goes away. The best way that I have found is to take your gear bag with all the equipment and place it out side while still closed. In about 20 to 30min. you should be fine. This allows the temperature inside the bag to slowly rise to the ambient. Using this method will ensure that you can take shots when you are ready without the worry of condensation. However, this does take some additional planning (make sure to show up early!!).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Life in the Abstract

I am not an abstract photographer... However, there are times when I find something interesting that I feel just needs to be photographed. Looking below you will see three images that are not self evident upon first glance. They are unique pieces of work that were of interest to me...surprisingly. If you find a subject and you feel that you have photographed it as much as you can switch to some abstract work. You can do much of this with a simple macro set up but evenn that is not always necessary. You can find it fun and rewarding though you may get more comments like "what's that" than "nice work"... But still, it is fun none-the-less and it teaches you to look beyond the obvious.
Veins of an Elephant Ear Plant

Damaged section of an old Fraisur Fur Tree

Sun shining and bubbles from 25 feet under the ocean.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Little Boredom

Earlier today I was sitting around the house wishing the heat would come down just a tad so I could go take some photos without a heat stroke. That didn't happen so I sat around a little bit longer then, I grabbed my camera, some lights and just about anything I could think of to photograph. There’s nothing like a bit of boredom to get creative juices going. Here is one of my favorites that I took during my down time... Let me know what you think.

Prints available at starting at $50.00

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Returning to Your Roots

When I first started into photography I learned the traditional methods of black and white film development.  In truth, technology has left this method behind.  Personally, I am thankful.  The darkroom could steal hours of your life for only a few prints.  With today's methods I can process an entire shoot in the length of time it would take me to process a hand full of darkroom images.  Sill, there is something about my roots that draw me back to the black and white process.  It seems that nearly every image I process I find myself seeing what it would look like in black and white.  In fact, there are several photos that I shift to b&w and leave them there.

Prints available at starting at $50.00

If you want to improve your photographic skills try limiting yourself to only taking pictures specifically for B&W.  I am not saying only do this but for an outing or two it could really change your perspective.  Remember that if you are photographing a bright blue sky then it will be just as gray as a cloudy day.  This gives you a reason to go out and shoot B&W images when the weather is bad because the sky becomes interesting during a storm (that applies to color too). 

Sometimes I like both the color and the B&W versions...  Why not have both?!?!...  That is the beauty of technology because it is a matter of a few clicks and a couple of sliders. 

I really don't miss that much about the traditional dark room but I am so glad that is where I started. I am a better photographer because of my roots.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dharma Studio Exhibit: Press Release!

Hydrographics by Jason Eldridge – Eldridge Studios to Show at Coconut Grove, Florida’s Dharma Studio

Dharma Studio in Coconut Grove, Florida will present an exhibition of photographic works by Jason Eldridge entitled, Hydrographics during the Coconut Grove Art Stroll. The exhibition will open for the evening of Saturday, September 4, for one night. It will be the first opportunity for the public to view these beautiful photographs at Dharma Studio.

Jason Eldridge resides in Homestead, Florida and began his photographic career in Tennessee in 2001. While he participates in other photographic genres such as portraiture and fine art, his passion has always been nature and wildlife photography. His photographs capture spectacular and fragile moments that are truly gifts from God.

The show Hydrographic will feature captured moments of water landscapes found in Florida. Locations featured include Everglades National Park, Jensen Beach and Hutchinson Island.

Jason Eldridge photographs nature and events. He has attended seminars with world renowned photographer John Shaw and received portraiture instruction from local photographer Robert Holmes. His photography received first and second place in a photography show at the Jefferson County Fair in Tennessee. His most recent work involved the Roxy Theatre Group of Miami where he captured their magical and musical performance in “Once Upon a Mattress.” Examples of his landscape and event photography can be viewed in his online gallery

For further information about Dharma Studio, call 305.461.1777, email at, or visit

For further info about Jason Eldridge, call 305.989.3279, e-mail or on the web at and

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Always look around.

Recently I had the privlage of working with the Roxy Theatre Group (see previous post).  While there I was tasked with getting some portraits of people prior to the start of the play/musical.  During one of the slow times between portraits I managed to get a couple of shots at random.  Basically, I was just passing the time.  I realized two things. 

1) Keep your eyes open for oportunities. I had been looking at these bottles lined up all night and I suddenly decided to take the photo. The light from the out-of-focus background really helped bring interest the spirits. The shadows cast a mysterious light on the bar tender.

Prints available at starting at $50.00

2)  There is art in the mundane.  This scene sparked my interest because of the colors, lines and angles.