Photography 101 – The Eyes Have It

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. When taking photos of people, pets, birds, or almost any living creature, the main point of focus should be on the eyes. When the eyes are in focus, it creates a more compelling photograph for your viewer. In a close-up shot, this becomes more critical. Depending on how your camera focuses (you might not be able to select different focus points in the camera), you may need to focus first on the eyes and then recompose the shot before finishing the capture, especially if the depth of field is very shallow.

Western Collard Lizard

Western Collard Lizard

 

All text and images © Ted Griffith 2014

All Rights Reserved

The Camera- Which One?

The Camera- Which One?

Ok, you’ve decided that you want to be a photographer, so now you need to make a decision on what is the best camera for you to buy. In my opinion, the best camera is one that you will actually use.

Some start out thinking that they need the latest and greatest in cameras, and then spend so much time trying to figure them out that they either give up or really don’t enjoy taking photographs because the whole process becomes too complicated.

Many people start out with the camera in their cell phones. Those can be a great starting place to learn the basics, but if the bug bites you will soon want to upgrade to something that allows a little (or a lot) more creativity and control. When learning to ride a bicycle, children usually start with a tricycle, then a bike with training wheels, and then the training wheels are removed. Next may come a bicycle with gears and eventually some even go into racing or other forms of competition. Start out with as much as you can enjoy, leaving some room for challenges, and work up from there.

All Images and Text © Ted Griffith 2014
All Rights Reserved

Photography 101 – Photography is an art, and everybody is a critic

Photography is an art, and everybody is a critic.

To me, what is called photography is much more than the capturing of images either on film or digitally. Photography is an expression of the vision of the photographer and the interaction with his/her audience, and as such qualifies as art.

Now, since we (or at least I) have decided that photography is an art, everyone is going to have an opinion. There will be what I call ‘purists’ that believe that any type of manipulation of an image disqualifies it from being photography. Then there are two types of ‘purist’, film and digital. If you manipulate an image, when does it stop being a photograph and start being something else? Does it matter?

For me, the answer is very simple. Pure photography is the mechanics and techniques of capturing an image with a camera. Everything after that is art. Just as there are painters that work in different types of mediums and different forms of expressions, photographers will as well.

So, if you are digital or film, manipulate images or not, color or monochrome, enjoy the art you make and don’t worry too much about the critics.

Colorado National Monument - August 2014

Colorado National Monument – August 2014

Images and text © Ted Griffith 2014
All Rights Reserved

Photography 101

Photography 101- An Introduction

I have been seriously involved in photography for the last 35 years, and over those years I have learned a lot, and unfortunately I have forgotten a lot as well. Some of what I learned was through books and articles, some through trial and error, and some through the mentoring of others. And over the years, I have taught and mentored others, passing along the lessons that I have learned.

Recently, I decided to get these lessons out of my head and into written form to help me remember and practice what I have learned. And since I am going to be writing these down, I have decided to share them through my blog as well. Topics will range from my philosophy about photography to equipment and shooting techniques and everything in between.

Being a person with ADD, the format for this is going to be very simple, a series of short memos and notes that are intended to remind and instruct.

If you follow along through these writings, I hope that somewhere you will find something to help or inspire you in your own photographic journey.

Painted Pinks

Painted Pinks

All images and text © Ted Griffith 2014
All Rights Reserved

Why Are You Following Me?

There was a time when having a lot of followers of my blogs was something that I sought, thinking that the people following were interested in what I was posting, but not now. I have noticed that a quite a few people are following my blogs now, and more follow almost every day. I have also noticed that the vast majority of them have only visited my blogs once, when they initially followed.

Why do people do this? Do they believe that because they follow my blog, I will follow theirs? Or is it merely a new type of junk mail with which they are able to get into my email with what amounts to an advertisement to follow them?

I don’t know about you, but one of the most precious commodities that I have anymore is time. When I follow someone’s blog, it means that I am interested in what they are doing, and that I will commit to stopping by from time to time. I don’t always comment, because I do have a difficult time communicating in written form.

So, please, if you are genuinely interested in what I blog about, by all means follow. However, if your only purpose in following is to get me to follow you, please don’t bother.

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

Ready to Hang

Something that I often do when I am finished processing an image is to see what kind of matting and framing I would choose. Would one or two mats work? What colors? How about frame color? And should the matting be traditional, gallery style or something different? Using Photoshop Elements helps me to see what these might look like.

Processed Image

Processed Image

 

Ready to Hang

Ready to Hang

Random Thoughts

  • Growing old only takes time, anyone can do it. Growing up takes courage, and few posses it.
  • Salvation is only the first rung on the ladder that leads to relationship with God. Some people stop on that first rung, thinking they have reached the top. Others stop because of a fear of heights. Keep climbing, it’s worth it.
  • God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain. He does promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
  • The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It is just weeds of a different color.
  • We live by faith or we do not live at all. Either we venture or we vegetate. We risk or we rust.
Forest Life Cycle

Forest Life Cycle

 

Mountain Mushrooms

Mountain Mushrooms

 

Worshiping God

Why am I here? Mankind has been searching for for the answer to that question for a very long time. I think that the answer, really, is to worship God. I think that the idea of worshiping God is distorted in the mind of many people. To most, worshiping is bowing down in prayer or singing to God or maybe praising Him for something. Worship goes far beyond that, while including those things as well. To worship God means to submit to God, placing Him before and above all other things. Before family. Before work. Before pleasure, comfort or satisfaction. Before myself, because everything listed above has to do with myself.

Satan was created to worship God. He was beautiful beyond description, in heaven and before the throne of God. What more could you want? He wanted all of the worship to be directed at him. He wanted to be like God. When he tempted Eve in the garden by telling her that she would be like God. This sounded good to her. She wanted to be the most important person in her life. And Adam choose to follow.

Often we say that God is first, but our actions don’t back that up. We place our family, our comfort, our relationships, our possessions and especially our desires ahead of God. There is only one God, and He does not share the throne with anyone or anything. When we worship God, we are saying “Yes, Lord”. All too often what we really say is “Yes, but…” or “Yes, if…”.

True worship, like true love, is unconditional. There are no strings attached. We worship God because He is God.

Backlit Leaves

Backlit Leaves