Welcome to DerekDrudge.com
My aunt Siddie gave me my first camera when I was about 8 years old. It was Kodak Brownie Fiesta camera (circa 1962) that we got from a flee market.
Then when I was about 12 I began taking pictures with an old 1960's Mamiya Sekor 35mm that belonged to my parents. Soon I began taking pictures at school, for the school news paper, of events and activities.
I also became interested in the process of developing film and making prints so my parents got me a black & white enlarger and the other accessories I needed for developing B&W film and making prints. I converted my bathroom into a darkroom and taught myself to process film and make prints. I continued taking pictures through high school but got away from the developing part. After I graduated in 1984 I got away from photography for for a few years only taking the occasional picture. During around 1990 I purchased a used Minolta XG1 from a co-worker and I continued taking the occasional picture.
Then consumer point & shoot digital cameras began to appear. When the price of the first models came down to where I could afford it, I got one. It was made by Philips and had a 1/3 mega pixel sensor. When I discovered what I could do with the digital camera and my 386 PC, I was hooked. Eventually I purchased a better 2.3 megapixel Fujifilm P&S camera. Then a few years ago I got my first digital SLR, a Nikon D50. I eventually sold it and got the Nikon D80 when it became available. Just recently I sold the D80 and purchased the D90 which I still have. I recently added the Nikon D7000 to my collection
Besides teaching myself to develop film and make prints, I have also taught myself most of what I know about photography. I have attended several photography training classes from Nikon as well as classes specific to photo editing software and process. I spend a great deal of time experimenting with photography, reading about it, and also researching the subject on the Internet. So I guess that saying I "taught myself" is incorrect. I actually learned most of what I know from the professionals who were kind enough to write books and create web sites on the subject.
While I consider myself a novice when it comes to photography, I believe my experience with manually operated film cameras has helped to make me better. Having to learn about choosing the correct exposure setting based on information from the light meter has given me an understanding of the relationship of the "exposure triangle" and the final results. Today's modern digital cameras with their AUTO settings make it easy for anyone to take properly exposed images under most any condition. Having an understanding of how the camera works and the relationship between the values of the exposure settings allows you to be more creative and create images that capture the mood at the time.
With the power of modern computers and image editing software available today the things you can do with digital photography are almost limitless. I know some photographers that are purist and do not believe in any post editing. They believe how the image comes out of the camera is how it should be printed. Maybe one day I will be good enough of a photographer to achieve that ideal on a regular basis. However, I have yet to find an image that I have captured that could not be improved at least a little by post processing of some kind. I am not knocking the purist, but for me photography is just as much about creating a beautiful image as it is about capturing one. If only I could paint...
Being involved in photography has helped me to look at the world around me in a very different way. To see the light as it kisses the face of a child and the shadows that create the curves of the female form. I find beauty in many things I see and enjoy taking pictures of many different subjects. Nature, and wildlife are two of my favorite subjects. I also love beautiful landscapes/cityscapes and even unique events. The galleries on this site will contain images I have taken over the past several years both locally and during my travel around the United States.
I hope you enjoy the images I have captured and created. Please take the time to sign my guest book and leave a comment. Check back often as I will update the site regularly.