Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Be Deliberate

With the advent of the digital photographic age it seems that we as photographers are trying to speed everything up. While aspects of photography like post processing, workflow, and frames per second certainly have benefits for speed there is one aspect that doesn’t. I am talking about the time it takes to create or make an image. When photographing with slide film we generally took a bit more time because each frame cost money. Not only did it cost to buy the film in the first place but it cost more in most cases to have it developed, especially if you used a professional lab. To really improve we also had to take notes for given situations and try to match them up when we received our images back after a couple weeks. It was a painful process. However, in that process we became masters of our work. We took extra time to see the tonality of the image and to ensure that everything was perfect before we clicked the button. “Fix it in Photoshop” wasn’t an option. If we didn’t get it right we wasted money and the shot was lost.

I have been guilty of moving too fast and rushing through a session or an outing. It is very easy to get in the habit of taking several shots to get it all set rather than setting it all and taking a shot. It seems that we as photographers are often under pressure, actual or perceived, to give a client hundreds of images (or even thousands for weddings) rather than a handful of great images. By doing that I am not certain that we are providing the quality service that we could. Besides, if you take the time to get it right then you can move on to other scenes or compositions. Being deliberate with your photography also helps speed up your workflow and post processing because there is less editing involved.

Sure, at a wedding you may have to move a little faster and take a few more images but that was the case back in the film days too. A wedding day is full of things needing photographed and you are on a time table! Perhaps you are a child photographer and you have to take several shots to get the expression you want. That too is fine and if you have taken the time to get everything set then when that expression shows itself you can easily get the shot. Don’t spray and then pray you got the shot. Know that you got it and move on.

This blog post is as much for me as it is for you and here is my final advice. Slow down and be deliberate. I’ll bet your images improve right away if you take the time to make them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Understanding Exposure!

Take a quick look at my quick Understanding the Basics of Exposure promo video.  It is about a minute long and shows off many of the photos from the book!

Just click the black void below to start the video!

Adobe Lightroom 4 Deal

Adobe Lightroom 4 is arguably one of the best programs for editing, sorting, and managing you photographic workflow.  It changed how I process images and I do 95% of all my editing within this one program.  Right now there is a special offer and you can get the full version for 109.99.  If this is something you have considered purchasing don't waste any time!  Perhaps you know a photographer that has been wanting to make the purchase but hasn't.  It would make a great Christmas gift.  Now is the time!

If you do make the purchase search my blog for Lightroom Tutorials.  I have several videos you can watch for free. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Understanding Aperture

Below you will find an excerpt from my book “Understanding the Basics of Exposure”. This will help you get a better idea of the books content as well as teach you a little about the Aperture and how it is used. If you know of anyone into photography please share this post. I believe that the book can help those just getting started as well as reinforce the basics for those who have been doing this for awhile. You can find out more about the book here: 


and here: 


Enjoy this excerpt and please leave a comment and let me know what you think.


What is the Aperture?

Aperture in its basic definition is a hole in which light travels through. This opening is increased or decreased using a series of blades within the lens of a DSLR. The number that is used to indicate the size of the opening is called an f-stop. The f-stop number is determined by dividing the focal length of the lens by the diameter of the pupil (or opening). Luckily in the camera world we just have to pay attention to the numbers after the “f” to know the f-stop. Smart people somewhere already did the math.
How the Aperture is Used?
The aperture is used when determining proper exposure. If you think of the aperture as a faucet and light as water it might be easier to understand. If you turn a faucet on full blast it is letting a large amount of water flow. That would be the equivalent of a wide open aperture i.e. f2.8. If you turn the water on just slightly where there is only a trickle then you have a small aperture i.e. f22.
Not only is aperture used to help determine proper exposure but it is used to determine depth of field.
• Depth of Field (DOF)
  • DOF is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a photograph that appear reasonably sharp. Think of this area as the focal plane as well. Lenses can precisely focus on a given point. However, anything closer or further away from that point begins to leave the focal plane. This is how you get the nice blurry backgrounds you see in some photographs or the tack sharpness in others.
  • The smaller the opening (higher the f-stop number) the greater depth of field. Think of it like squinting your eyes.
  • The larger the opening (smaller the f-stop number) the shallower the depth of field.
•Aperture is one of the most powerful tools in a photographer’s arsenal to creating compelling images. It vital to your photography that you fully understand what changing aperture numbers will do to your photograph.
Below is a list of typical f-stops you typically see on modern lenses and a graphical representation of what happens to the depth of field as the f-stop number changes. I highly recommend that you memorize these apertures as it will help you later when you are determining manual exposures and depth of field.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wings over Homestead

Anything aviation related has always fascinated me.  How they fly, how fast they move, and the men and women who fly them.  See, I have been a pilot since 1994.  I don't fly that much any more but I certainly never pass up the opportunity to photograph them.  Today, I headed out to the Wings over Homestead air show at the Homestead Air Force Base.  This is a show that comes every year or two and it is always entertaining.  

While it might not be a Sun-N-Fun or an Oshkosh it is a fun place to be when the jets rocket down the runway.  I would like to take this time to thank all those involved in bringing us this free air show.  More than that though I would like to thank the men and women of the armed forces for their efforts each and every day.

Take a look at some of my favorite from today.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quick Reminder

iPad Version
Hey folks, quick reminder, I recently released my book "Understanding the Basics of Exposure". This is a great gift for someone you know just getting into photography or wants to improve their photos. Consider my book as a virtual stocking stuffer for Christmas, too! It makes a great companion to any photographer's gift! The guidance works for most any camera, because Understanding the Basics of Exposure reinforces the skills of the photographer.

As a limited time bonus, you can receive a free digital copy of any photograph on my website www.eldridgestudios.com !!!! For $2.99 you can get guidance in photographing and an original photograph for your printing use! How? Leave a review of my book wherever you made the purchase. You can give the digital copy as gift to that photographer in your life, or keep it for yourself!

PDF Version

The book is available for the iPad and as standard PDF. It is 33 pages long and chock full of valuable information and beautiful photographs all for $2.99! Get yours today!

iPad Version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/understanding-basics-exposure/id570851846?mt=11#

PDF Version: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jason-eldridge/understanding-the-basics-of-exposure/ebook/product-20453300.html

Feel free to check out my blog as well. It is full of information that you can put to use and it’s free!!