Stop Taking Crappy Pictures!

Hi. My name is Elliot Madriss and I teach a successful class at the continuing education facility as part of the University of New Mexico called “Stop Taking Crappy Pictures!”. This class was created as a direct result of my reaction to the very poor quality of images being posted on the Internet and on many professional sites – in my opinion, collectively we are losing our ability to take great photographs. With the advent of incredible cell phone technologies…

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From The Window Seat

To be honest, it’s not a deal breaker for me. I’m perfectly happy wherever I sit on a plane, as long as it’s not in the cargo hold (although I imagine the luggage could be quite comfy to lie on). I don’t specifically request a window seat. More often than not I’m fast asleep before the plane takes off until after it lands. That usually helps me be rested enough to go out shooting as soon as I’ve checked in…

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Season For Air Shows

Summer is usually the season for air shows and that means yet another reason and opportunity to go out shooting. I had intended to visit the Farnborough Air Show this year but unfortunately an exhaust muffler decided to divorce itself from the underside of my car and reconciling the two became my whole day instead. Undoubtedly there’ll be other air shows for me to visit this summer but for now these images here are from previous shows, including the one at…

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Finding Contemplation

For the past few weeks the United Kingdom has been undergoing a period of turbulent, momentous and mesmerising political events. Rest assured I have no intention of discussing politics here; this site is not for that. But there are decades when nothing much happens for weeks on end and then suddenly a week when a decade’s worth of events thunders down in a blurry, breakneck deluge. Instead of trying to keep up with the speed of our evolving future I…

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What to Photograph in Pittsburgh

On May 15th I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh is a vibrant city, known for its industrial heritage. Downtown is located at the convergence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers into the Ohio River, called “The Point.” The hills surrounding the city offer excellent viewpoints for photos. I spent my last two semesters at CMU (August through May) creating images of Pittsburgh’s skyline and architecture during my free time. Twenty of my favorite images are shown…

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And a Few More Flowers

I know flower posts have been submitted here before and I surely have nothing original to offer but they do make a versatile subject, allowing an appreciation of colour, texture, form and placement. These were all taken inside the Walled Garden at the stunning Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire just before my Eastern/Central/Somewhere In Europe trip. The vivid specimens are a fitting testament to the diligence and vision of the team of gardeners there who braved the heat to maintain the…

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An Interesting Hour

Like many folks after I’ve been working hard, either physically or mentally, I like to grab a camera and relax by capturing a few images. This afternoon I finished building a ‘honey-do’ project in the backyard and I had a little bit of available time. So, I grabbed one of my cameras and headed off to Hendrie Valley where I spent an interesting hour capturing some images of birds in flight.

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Sometimes Shorter is Better

For most folks who enjoy photographing wildlife in general, and birds-in-flight in particular, having additional ‘reach’ with their gear is always preferred. I was out yesterday morning attempting to capture some Purple Martin in flight and came to the realization that sometimes shorter is better.

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After the Rain

One of my favourite times to photograph garden plants and flowers is first thing in the morning after a fresh rain. All of the colours and textures seem richer after the rain dapples them with water droplets.

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Photographing Birds-in-Flight with Nikon 1 J5

I’ve been quite busy with client work lately and I decided that I needed a break. So, today I headed out to photograph birds-in-flight with my Nikon 1 J5. As most folks know, this camera does not have a viewfinder, so I used four, thick elastic bands to attach my Zacuto Z-Finder to the rear of the J5. It ended up being reasonably snug against the back of the camera. While not particularly elegant looking, it did get the job done.

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A Local Car Show

Now no one’s ever going to accuse me of being a motorhead any more than they could accuse me of being a gearhead. Cars don’t provoke a tachycardic enthusiasm from me in the same way as other subjects do. But there happened to be a car show at a summer festival nearby yesterday so I ambled along with my camera to see the display. I was certainly tempted by the beautiful lines, form and colour of classic car anatomy.

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My Self-Imposed 23mm Challenge with a Fuji X100T

The past few months I have fallen victim to a creative slump, a rut, a lack of enthusiasm around my photography. Call it what you want, I felt uninspired. Although I love nature and bird photography, I found myself struggling to make time to get out and shoot. We live on the gulf coast of southern Mississippi. There is an abundance of wonderful birdlife, beautiful sunsets and unique cypress swamps full of wildlife begging to be photographed. When I did…

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Overcoming “No Viewfinder” Concerns

I can still remember buying my first camera, a Nikkormat, back in 1974. Since then every camera I ever owned had a viewfinder of some sort built into it. The prospect of ever owning a camera that didn’t have a viewfinder was so foreign to me that I simply dismissed buying the Nikon 1 J5 out-of-hand. Well, the combination of the delay in an updated V-Series body and the lure of improved image quality of the J5’s 20.8MP BSI sensor finally…

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Defeating The Slump

Not a very positive article to post from the perpetually optimistic Alpha Whiskey, or to pull me away from the exciting Euro soccer tournament (although this particularly pedestrian game will forgive me the distraction of writing this). But on a recent escapade a friend of mine seemed to be missing her photographic mojo. I’m not sure what happened but it had definitely vacated her previously enthusiastic demeanour. Perturbed to see my friend so forlorn I rationed a few brain cells (not having…

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Photographing the Humpback Whales of Tonga

Photographing the humpback whales of Tonga has been on my personal bucket list for a number of years and finally in 2015 I got to spend nearly three weeks in Neiafu, the main town in the Vavu’a island group in the north of the archipelago, where the majority of the whale watching takes place. The 170+ islands that make up the nation of Tonga are stretched out over a 800km long archipelago,  located about 1600 km north-east of New Zealand…

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A Look Back at the Intimate, Otherworldly Photography of Fan Ho

I am sad to say that the world of photography lost one of its true masters this past Sunday. Chinese photographer Fan Ho, known for his intimate street photographs of 1950’s Hong Kong, died of pneumonia at the age of 84. His photographs are more than simply beautiful; they show an understanding of light and composition is truly unparalleled. I cannot write anything that does justice to work like this, so I will leave with one of Fan Ho’s quotes…

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Image Blending: The Landscape Photography Revolution

The transition from film to digital was one of the most dramatic shifts in the history of photography, and countless new techniques arose along the way. Everything from exposing to the right to the ability to review photos on-the-fly dramatically changed the photographic world. Of all these changes, though, one has transformed landscape photography far more than any other: the advent of digital image blending.

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California Dreaming

We were in the Marina of Santa Barbara and I was looking for a cheap restaurant. Then I spotted On The Alley and rushed to the place. The song California Dreaming (a hit of The Mamas & The Papas) was playing and the attendants were dancing animatedly. When they saw me, they blushed. I just laughed and they immediately started serving me (and the service was excellent). I and my wife, Nina, enjoyed the food and left the place very…

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