Archive for the ‘General Photography’ Category


I saw the Sign!

Hey everyone!

Once again I have neglected on keeping you guys informed on all things f/Stop Brothers Photography related. And I have to sincerely apologize yet again. I was just stopping in to let people know that I have started a mobileMe portfolio page. I was hoping some of you guys would go and visit it and keep up with it if you want to see some of, what I feel is my best work.


I am going to talk my partner into making the same public as well. Until next time.


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Hey everyone, I want to apologize for my absence over the holidays. Life got incredibly busy and it was getting hard for me to find time to do a lot of photography as I would have really liked to do, but it is what it is. I have been taking pictures, just not time to get them on the web. As you have probably noticed, I have had to give up on the 365 project for now, that doesn’t mean I am stopping with the pictures, I will be making a lot of pictures, just not with a set 365 deadline as usual.

I also plan on starting the 365 project up again in April after I complete my last and final move for a little while. Finally moving out of the house and into an apartment. Because of this I am setting up a way to sell my work, so make sure you check back at the website to figure out how to order some! That’s all I have for now. Enjoy this last photo and I am going to hit the road.


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60/365 - One door closes another opens

Hey everyone. So today I am going to only spend a brief amount of time talking about this photograph because I want to really just point you in the direction of some really great photography finds I have found on the interwebs. Lately I have really felt that my photography is kind of stuck. I look back through my photos and I don’t see a style. I could just be crazy and all, but I feel that when I am not doing a job, I don’t have much of my own style. Granted when I do shoot a wedding, or headshots, or some kind of portrait shoot. I feel like I find myself and get a style down that people want from me, and most of all, what I want from me. That’s all I am going to say about me. Today is about you!

I am going to spend the rest of this time telling you guys about my favorite photography websites. They give all photographers of all talents, skills, and experience advice and help and neat tricks.

Photofocus: Now you guys know that I talk about this blog a lot. The reason is because I have never read an article on that blog that has not taught me something. Scott Bourne, Rick Sammon, and the various other people who blog there are absolutely amazing and incredibly insightful. Not only do they blog, but they also do a Podcast every 10 days. This has to be one of the best photography podcasts I have listened to. All they do during the show is answer listener questions. There are multiple ways you can ask these questions too; through Twitter with the hash tag (#) #photoqa, or to their email at photofocus@me.com. Here is a link to their latest podcast.

DIY Photography: This is a website I found way back when. It gives the aspiring, low budget photographer good ways to makes things such as a ring flash and various other lighting setups and all kinds of neat things to help improve or inspire your photographic eye. One of their new cooler projects is creating a ring flash with a little bit of a twist. Check out the article here.

MeetUp: This is probably the best way to find groups of photographers in your area who love to shoot. It is an amazing way to find photographers of all levels of experience to just learn from, collaborate with, or share artistic ideas with. There is nothing better than meeting up with people who share interests with you. What is great about MeetUp is that it’s not just for photographers, you can find MeetUp groups for just about every kind of activity there is out there. Definitely worth checking out.

Moo.com: Really neat place to get business cards. And by business cards I mean MINI business cards. They have the neatest thing there. But don’t take my word for it. Go read Nicole Young’s blog entry about them! She is an excellent stock photographer, Photofocus contributor, and blogger herself.

Photojojo: Amazing place where you can also learn some do it yourself photo projects. Not just projects for when you take pictures though, but also projects that you can do when you print or process photographs. They just came out with a book that you can go out and buy too. I definitely recommend giving them a looksee.

One thing I feel like I have not been doing enough of lately is giving back to the photo community. Which is ultimately what I want to do. So I hope that you find these websites interesting and helpful. I think tomorrow I will do an extensive search through my five major inspirations. Stay tuned for next time.


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45/365 - Lightroom 3 and Manual Settings

Okay, so as you fellows who came from my photostream on Flickr, this blog entry is about “driving stick” and the Lightroom 3 Beta that was just released today.

Driving Stick in Photography: Now I am not about to bore you with how to drive a manual transmission vehicle, although I will point out that it is not that hard, and you should definitely learn if you don’t know how. I am using this photograph as a kind of pun to talk about shooting with manual settings. Most of you know that your camera has 5 basic settings (aperture priority, shutter priority, manual mode, program mode, automatic), and I wanted to discuss the advantages of shooting in one of the first three modes.

  • First off, you have an excellent amount of control by using one of those modes. If you want to make sure you always get an awesome bokeh in the background, go to aperture priority and just set to the desired aperture and the camera will figure out the shutter speed you need. If you are shooting a sports event and know you are going to need to be shooting at fast shutter speeds, you can set the desired shutter speed and the camera will figure out the rest.
  • Second, the camera does not know what you want. By using one of these priority settings, you tell the camera exactly what you want, and it does its best to give you the desired outcome. What is excellent is the fact that you don’t need an SLR to have this control. All cameras have exposure compensation, and some aperture and shutter speed controls, they are just harder to find (consult manual for more info).
  • Lastly, it helps develop your eye better, it makes you as a photographer step back, take a deep breath and think before you shoot, which is something I find to be very important. If you take the time to think, you reduce the amount of time you are going to spend working on a photograph.

Something most people think, and are quite wrong about, is that a camera makes the photographer. I know I bring this up a lot, but this time it really ties in with what I am saying here. With that last point, what people, photographers and viewers alike, like to think is that a photograph starts with the camera. An amazing shot that you look at (at least 80% of the time) was a shot that was very well thought out before the photographer even brought the camera to the subject. I will admit that I don’t always do this, but I find that when I go out with a plan and idea, that my shots come out 10x better than when I just go out to take a picture. Remember MAKE photographs.

Lightroom 3 Beta: Okay fellow photographers. Adobe just released the Lightroom 3 Beta. So NOW is the time to try out Lightroom. Downloading this beta is free and has all the Lightroom features. My Lightroom 2 trial was about to end, so this came out at a perfect time for me. Also goes to show that you should always try before you buy. Had I gone out and bought Lightroom 2, I would have been kicking myself when Lightroom 3 came out. Now I could spend my time here talking about all the new features, but I am going to direct you to this article by Scott Kelby at his Photoshop Insider Blog. He covers everything.

My favorite feature has to be the Flickr Export button integrated write into Lightroom 3 just drag and drop, then click publish and VIOLA! Can you find the feature (click photo to view large):
Screen shot 2009-10-22 at 2.18.03 PM

And as always,

Stay Focused on the Moment,
Ben Riddick

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43|365-Into the Wild Blue Yonder?

Today’s photograph is more than just a shot I did to honor my commitment to the 365 project, taking one picture, every day, for threehundredsixtyfive days. Today I got to do a collaborative project with a wonderful young lady I met on Flickr. I have been following Sammie’s work for a little while now, but we just started talking week or so ago, and it has been truly awesome getting to know someone so interesting and talented. Just recently we decided we should do a project together and this is what came of it. Although we live far apart, it’s always good to know that no matter where people are, you always share the same sky =).

This is a testament to the fact that you should always keep yourself out there. Don’t be a hermit photographer. Go out and work with others, who knows, you may meet someone you actually like talking to, and someone who will inspire you. Get to know other photographers, talk to them, try to copy them in style and technique, and just be social. The best way to push yourself out there is to make friends, clients, and so forth. So my challenge to any other photographer reading this blog is to go out there and work with another photographer, in your area, in your country, really, as long as they are on the same planet, go work with someone else. It can be a lot of fun. That is all my “sappy” talking for this entry though. I think you guys are getting the basic gist of what I am trying to say.

Sammie will also be a guest blogger today, sharing her photo, and her story of how it came out. I have to point out that doing self portraits is a very strange experience. Especially when you are out in public. For those of you who live in the Winter Springs area, I was at the Central Winds park near the high school and of course, today is the day that there are bird watchers (I kid you not, actual bird watchers) and picnickers in the field I never see people in when I go there otherwise. You get some funny looks. So I took some pictures of my sandals too, which I will post on my Flickr later today. Probably after my acting class. Anyways, self portraiture is not something I think is very much for me. I may do them every once in a while, but other than that, don’t expect to see a lot of my actual physical self in photographs. Hopefully you can see me in my photography. I try to push myself to the point where I am putting myself in every picture, in the figurative sense of course.

Anyways that is all I have for you all today. Sammie will probably have an entry up here later for you guys to read =)

Stay Focused on the Moment,
Ben Riddick

PS – Here are some other shots I got today while I was walking around looking for a place to shoot for this project.

Flippy Floppys

Sit and Reflect

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Textures are Here!

Textures Tutorial:

In this tutorial I will show you how to apply textures to a photograph, which is incredibly easy won’t take that long to get the hang of. It is all about playing around with it.

The first thing you have to do is open your base and texture images in Photoshop.

Screen shot 2009-10-18 at 5.59.20 PM

On your base image you are going to want to create a new layer on top of the image itself. Make sure it has an “invisible” background.

Screen shot 2009-10-18 at 6.39.28 PM

Next what we are going to do is go to the texture and press Command+A (CTRL+A if on Windows) which will select the entire image. Then you are going to Copy (Edit>Copy) the image and move to your base image, and Paste (Edit>Paste) it on the new layer.

Screen shot 2009-10-18 at 6.39.17 PM

The next step is to right click in the image on the texture layer and click Free Transform. Stretch the texture across the entire image.

Screen shot 2009-10-18 at 6.39.41 PM

Then go to the layers box and in Layer Options set the layer to Overlay. Then you can play with the opacity or use the eraser to only apply the texture on certain parts of the image.

Screen shot 2009-10-18 at 6.40.03 PM

That’s all you have to do. It is just as easy as that. Play around with it some, you can achieve some really awesome effects. Don’t forget to go download all the Textures I shot for you guys here. Or you can download them individually on my Flickr in the Textures set. If you do choose to use my textures please use the tag “benridtext” so I can find it on Flickr. Or email me the photos at fstopbrothers@gmail.com. I would love to feature some of the wonderful photos you come up with here on the blog!

Stay Focused on the Moment,
Ben Riddick

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Hey guys. Thought I would leave you a little crossword puzzle to do. So here is the deal:

Figure out all the answers and send an email to fstopbrothers@gmail.com. If you get them all right, your name goes into an electronic hat, and if you win, I will print one photo that I, Ben Riddick, have taken and mail it you. Because I know EVERYONE wants one of my pictures haha. I know it’s not that big of a prize but it is all fun. I’ll pick a winner at the end of the week.

Stay Focused on the Moment,

Ben Riddick

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