Author Archives: Terry Butler

August Events

Minnesota State Capitol Photowalk

MN State Capitol Dome by Terry Butler

Some of the best things of taking part in a photowalk is to visit locations we may not get to on our own, get to know other members and to learn from each other.

  • Sunday, August 13, 1:00 pm
  • Meet at the Hudson Exit 2 Park & Ride at 12:30pm for carpooling or meet at the Capitol when it opens at 1:00 pm.
  • ­75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
  • Recommended equipment: tripod, remote shutter release, zoom lens and fisheye lens.
  • Parking: Parking is no longer allowed in front of the building.  Download a parking map here.

We will guide ourselves around the capitol building and photograph this amazing piece of architecture. Admission is free and 45-minute tours are given on the hour for a donation of $5.00. Tripods are welcome, but please make sure they have rubber feet as to avoid damage to the floors. Please be aware that they may be busy with tours and other visitors, so be careful to avoid tripping others with tripods, and safeguard your equipment.

Solar Eclipse Information from Bryan Leonard

In case you haven’t heard, a total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017.  The path of total darkness will start on the west coast in Oregon and move across the central Unites States to the east coast in South Carolina.  Any spot along the path will be dark for 2-3 minutes.  But, the entire continental U.S. may see the eclipse, even though it may be a partial eclipse.  Hudson, WI will see an estimated 85% eclipse.  Times for Hudson will be: Continue reading »

Posted in Club Event, Inspiration, Photowalks

August Meeting and News

At the August 2 meeting, held at 6:30 pm in the River Room at the Phipps Center for the Arts, Rikk Flohr will be our judge for a competition salon.  I have been a member of the club since 2011 and I have learned so much by hearing the judges’ comments.  I don’t always agree; after all, judges have some preferences that are difficult to overcome.   I submit images that I think are pretty darn good, but there are usually insights to gain from someone who hasn’t fallen in love with your image.  Taking part in the salons has been one of the most important learning tools for me over the years.  And I am always inspired by the work of other members.  Don’t forget that you may bring two prints 15 minutes before the meeting begins to have them included in the judging.

Rikk Flohr is a professional photographer, image consultant and instructor, serving the imaging community with a variety of services related to photography, graphic design and instruction. In addition to full studio operations, Rikk shoots corporate events around the US. and is also currently employed by Adobe as the Community Manager for Adobe Voice.  One of his web sites is a link on the education section where you can see his work, learn and be inspired.

Help Wanted!

  • I’d like to put together a committee to start planning programs and speakers for 2018. I’m looking for members with ideas.  The committee will start meeting in September and if you’d like to be involved, please use the contact form.
  • Let’s get some photowalks going! I’ll get one scheduled in August for the Minnesota State Capitol building that underwent a $310 million restoration.  If you have more ideas and are willing to scout them out, I’ll get them put on the calendar and will promote them in a blog post.

Scavenger Hunt News

We had a great turnout and members have been submitting their photos the past few days.  I’m amazed at the variety and quality of images that have been submitted so far.  Every member who captured all ten items on my “secret list” will take home a prize.  The scavenger hunt gallery is here and participants will vote on their favorites for additional prizes.

Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, News

Correction!

The deadline to submit for the August salon is Wednesday, July 12.

Posted in News

July Meeting and Important Deadlines

Photo Scavenger Hunt & Ice Cream Social

We’ll be meeting at 6:30 pm next Wednesday, July 12, in the River Room at the Phipps.  Bring your gear for this meeting because we’ll be having a photo scavenger hunt.  I’ll reveal my “secret list” of objects to find and capture in Hudson before the end of the day.  Members will have a week to process their images that will be put in a gallery.  Every member who captures all of the items will receive a prize.  Other prizes will be awarded based on popular vote by participants.  On all the photowalks I’ve been involved with, I am always amazed at the variety of images that are made by members going to the same place.   Here is a gallery of images from the 2015 Scavenger Hunt.

We’ll take a break around 8:00 pm and return to the meeting room for an ice cream social.  It will be a big help if you can bring an ice cream scoop.  Significant others are also welcome to join in!

Submission Reminders

  • We will have our third competition salon at the August 2 meeting that will be judged by Rikk Flohr. Each member may submit two digital images plus two additional images that meet the assignment of black and white (or monochrome). Also, members may bring two prints 15 minutes before the meeting begins to be included in the judging.  The digital images need to be submitted by July 12.  See the Club Salon Rules here.  If this is the first time for you, Bryan Leonard, our Salon Coordinator, is very helpful.  Don’t hesitate.
  • Submissions for the Phipps Members Spotlight is July 21. For more information see the Phipps web page here.

See you next week!

 

Posted in Club Meeting Info, News

July is here!

Fireworks are one of the first things that come to mind when I think of Independence Day.  This year Hudson’s fireworks display will be at Lakefront Park on Sunday, July 2, at dusk.  It will cap off the Booster Days festivities that includes live music, a beer garden, carnival rides, and a parade and more.   Stillwater’s fireworks display will be on Tuesday, the 4th,  beginning at dusk (around 10:00 pm).

Shooting Fireworks

Here is a shot I got a couple years ago at Lakefront Park.  Fireworks are so bright that you want to keep the ISO low at 100.  Before the fireworks began, I focused on a distant spot at f/11 and put my camera on bulb mode.  When I heard the boom of the fireworks shooting skyward, I pressed the shutter release and held it, in this case, for 15 seconds.  Timing is everything and I’m happy to get one or two keepers.  (This was taken shortly after 10:00 pm, so apparently dusk in Hudson is at the same time as dusk in Stillwater!)  That’s my quick tip.

Everything you could possibly want to know about shooting fireworks is contained in this video by John Cornicello that he did for Creative Live.  It’s an hour long, but as I said, it includes everything, including making double exposures for getting more bang in one shot.

Important:  July Meeting Date

I’ll be making another blog post, but for now, please remember that we will be meeting on the second Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 pm, instead of July 5.

Calling All Creatives!

The Phipps is seeking submissions for the Members’ Spotlight.  Together, members of The Phipps are a creative network joined by the belief in the center’s mission to “celebrate the creative spirit.” All members are encouraged to share their unique creative talents in the 2017 Members’ Spotlight and connect with other members who have similar creative inclinations.

This year’s events include:

  • GALLERIES EXHIBIT | August 3-September 10
  • RECEPTION AND OPEN STAGE | Thursday, August 3, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • MEMBERS’ BASH | A ticketed event for ages 18+, Thursday, August 3, 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Submissions are being sought in any and all forms including photography.  Participants may submit one or two items to be shown in The Galleries exhibition

All participants must be at least 18 years old and a current member of The Phipps.  Not a member? Not a problem!  New members are encouraged to participate. Information about membership can be found by calling 715.386.2305, and donations may be enclosed with entry forms.  For more information, including a link for the entry forms, click hereEntry forms are due Friday, July 21.

 

Posted in Club Meeting Info, News

Photo Opportunities

Milky Way Photo Walk

Deer Park Milky Way

Yesterday we had a “new moon”, which means for a few days before and after, it’s a good time to capture the Milky Way.  We are still experiencing spring weather with lots of thunderstorms and rain, but according to the forecast, Monday night may be good.  If the skies are clear Bryan Leonard and I will go to one of our favorite places, the cemetery just south of Deer Park.  It’s a great place if you are just starting out, since it is relatively close to home.  It doesn’t compare to photos you can take in some of the national parks out west or along the Gunflint Trail, but I’ve been pretty satisfied with the images I’ve made closer to home.  Besides, it’s always fun to enjoy the wonder of the night sky and to do it with friends.  We need to wait until two hours after sunset to get a dark sky, so that means being on location by 10:30 or so.   If you are interested in joining us, please let me know by using the contact form and I’ll update you via email with more information as we get closer to clear skies.  Here is a Milky Way Primer that you can download.

 

 

Blooming Butterflies at Como Park

We go from capturing photos of our galaxy to capturing photos of some of the most beautiful small creatures, right here on earth.  I get the newsletter from Como Park and Conservatory but I didn’t take the plunge until Melissa Anderson gave me a nudge.  That’s one of the bonuses of belonging to this club!  Melissa and I visited the exhibit on its opening day, this past Tuesday.  I was overwhelmed with the number of butterflies and all the shooting opportunities.  I will go back soon.

Trip Tips

  • The conservatory and exhibit tent opens at 10:00 am. Get there at least 15 minutes early to get a good parking space.
  • Tripods are not allowed nor are backpacks.
  • Macro lenses are the way to go. I used a 180 mm macro to get in close, but many of the butterflies are only an arm’s length away.
  • For handheld, I used a higher ISO to guarantee a faster shutter speed.
  • Try to line up your shot so that the plane of the butterfly matches the plane of your camera.

Click this link or more information.  A donation of $3.00 is welcome. Continue reading »

Posted in News, Photowalks

June Special Mid-Month Meeting: Focus on Black and White

Michael Waterman

At the special meeting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, June 14, Michael Waterman will demonstrate converting color photos to black and white.  Why black and white?  Let’s face it, some photos are all about color.  On the other hand black and white removes the distraction of color, making it easier for the viewer to appreciate form, values (lights and darks), and texture.  It is an art form deserving of study and practice.   It’s why I chose black and white as the assignment for the August salon.  Black and white is also a choice of many street photographers since it helps to focus on the story and also gives an aura of authenticity.

If you attended the May meeting you will remember that Alec Johnson was our judge.   Alec is a master of black and white and following the remarks on our images he made a presentation on the subject.  According to my notes, he had a few tips for us:

  • keep the scene simple
  • look for contrast
  • set a black point – (some really dark darks adds impact and carries the image)

For inspiration, check out one of Alec’s galleries here.

My heartfelt thanks to Michael Waterman for taking my place at this meeting.  Following his demonstration of black and white, he will also include a presentation of before and after simple improvements that can be made to images that will add impact.  And here is a before and after of one of his award-winning images in an N4C Black and White contest…a great illustration that answers the question, “why black and white?”

 

Posted in Club Meeting Info

June Meeting Information

What a great speaker we have coming up on June 7, 6:30 pm!  Dr. Mike Shaw will tell us “How to Plan and Execute Trophy Nightscapes and Time-Lapses”

Dr. Mike Shaw is “Your Nightscape Professor!” He is an award-winning night and nature photography book author, workshop leader and outreach educator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his B.S. from UC Berkeley, his M.S. from the Ohio State University, his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara and completed a post-doctoral appointment at Cambridge University. Before his photography career took off, he worked as a physics and astronomy professor for over fifteen years, and an applied physics research scientist for over ten years. His research publications include topics in aerospace, electronics, biomaterials and renewable energy.

His new book, “The Complete Guide to Landscape Astrophotography –Understanding, Planning, Creating and Processing Nightscape Images,” Routledge/Focal Press. This groundbreaking work integrates astronomy, photography and planning methods to allow you to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment and knowledge to get your shot right the first time.

Mike has traveled with his camera to remote wilderness areas around the world. He is known for his friendly, down-to-earth teaching style and enjoys collaborating with others; he currently offers his online course, “Stars Trails and Night Photography,” through the Bryan Peterson School of Photography. His work has appeared on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Good Morning America, NASA, Minnesota Monthly, Destination Duluth, The World At Night (TWAN), PhotoPills, Space.com and in the US National Park Service.

Finally, you probably have seen his recent viral video, “Ice Bubbles,” shown on CNN,NBC, ABC and Good Morning America; and which has been viewed over a million times on CNN alone. You can view it again on his Facebook page.  And here is his website.

See you all then!

Posted in Club Meeting Info

Presidents, Pixels & Pines

The 61st annual N4C Convention will be held on Thursday September 21 to Sunday, September 24, 2017.  It will be hosted by the Black Hills Photography Club and will be in Rapid City, South Dakota.  I plan on attending and the only drawback is that there are so many great speakers and field trips that it will be hard to decide which ones to choose.  The great thing about the field trips is that they will be led by photographers who really know the area.  Let’s get a group together and go!

 

Quick Facts & Links

Posted in N4C, News

May 3 Meeting and Short Notice Photowalk

Photo by Alec Johnson

At the May 3 meeting, we will have a competition salon judged by Alec Johnson.  Alec is a fine art photographer, and has won national and international acclaim for his work.  He was Executive Producer and was Director of Photography for the documentary, “The Story of Winter:  Minnesota’s Most Iconic Season”.  He is widely known for being a dynamic and inspirational teacher, honing his teaching skills as a professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Saint Thomas and is a regular speaker and salon judge with Twin City area camera clubs.  I have always held Alec as a master of black and white photography and after the judging he will share a short program on the subject.  Here is where you can see Alec’s black and white photography on Lake Superior.  Everything he does has been touched with his unique style.

MN State Capitol Photo Walk

Continue reading »

Posted in Club Meeting Info, N4C, Photowalks