Author Archives: Terry Butler

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

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, N4C, Photowalks

Coming Up!

Photography Basics

We will be having a very special meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 6:30 pm, with a couple of very special members.  Jeff Bucklew and Michael Huber will present a program, “Photography 101 Basics”, aimed at beginning photographers.  The digital camera can be a bit overwhelming for the beginner and even for those coming from years of using film cameras.  The goal of this program is to present the basics of digital photography for those moving beyond the traditional point-and-shoot cameras. There will be a cursory review of gear, settings, composition and light as well as post processing options. You will leave the class with a basic understanding of shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how to manipulate these to create a desired image. This program is a great first step in being able to use and see the camera as a tool that can help you capture your own artistic vision. Both Jeff and Michael are award-winning photographers.  You can see Jeff’s work at Seasons on St. Croix, right here in Hudson, and other galleries in Wisconsin, and on his web site.    Our club is familiar with some of Michael’s fabulous composites which is can be seen on his web site.

Save the Date!  Sign Up!

This week I met with Anastasia Shartin, Visual Arts Director at the Phipps, to firm up the details on our upcoming group exhibit.  The exhibit will begin on December 8, 2017, and will end on January, 14, 2018.  Our work will be on view in the Riverview Gallery, formerly known as the Commons Gallery, on the second floor.  A public reception for all the galleries will be held on Friday, December 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the Phipps will provide punch and hors d’oeuvres.

This sounds like a long way off, but now is the time to start planning.  There will be a sign-up sheet at our meetings.

See you, soon, and enjoy the weekend!

Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info

Good-bye to March and Hello April

March was a busy month!  On Saturday, the 18th, we had a great turnout for the tabletop shoot.  Everyone had fun shooting flowers, creating reflections on black glass and playing with all the items I brought. In preparation for the day I had filled up my car with goodies but left my tripod home!  What kind of photographer does that?   The next day, Sunday, the 19th, we judged prints for N4C’s nature and black and white contests.  Thanks to Melissa Anderson, Naomi Belisle, Amanda Bierbaum, Betty Bryan, Steve Cole, Willie Gorham, Richard Hudson and Marilyn Rau for helping out.  With that many helpers we were able to have two sets of judges and were done in just a little over an hour.

Spring Break Wrap Up

Photo by Candiss DelCastillo

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Posted in Uncategorized

March Happenings

Photo by Michael Huber

John Gregor-March 1

March began with a bang, having John Gregor with us again on the first of the month.  I appreciate his simple approach to achieving his vision and his dedication to prints.  I am paraphrasing here, but what stuck with me was his statement about digital vs. prints: “Digital is temporary for places like Facebook, but prints are real.”  A print is an art form in itself.  To me, there is nothing better than holding a print in my hands.

Tabletop Hands-On Workshop-March 18

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, Meeting Summary, N4C, News

Upcoming Meeting and News

John Gregor Selfie

March 1 Meeting

At our March 1 meeting John Gregor will present his program “From Concept to Print”.  He will discuss the evolution of his recent work, his approach to the photographic medium, and how and why he does what he does. Over the last year he has transitioned from the traditional digital landscape photographer’s full frame DSLR camera to the Fujifilm X-T2 which features the smaller sized APS-C Xtrans sensor. He will take you through his entire process from capture to print and will discuss how and why he uses filters for his landscape images.  He will tell us why he chose the Fujifilm system, and he will discuss how his workflow has transitioned to the new mirrorless system.   He’ll also let us what he has liked and not liked about the new camera system. If you want to learn about a comprehensive photographic approach, or if you are considering a mirrorless system don’t miss this informative presentation.

John’s business is Coldsnap Photography where he leads nature and travel photography workshops, with his home base in Two Harbors, Minnesota.  This will be John’s second appearance at our club.  Last year’s program was “The Art of the Fine Art Print”, which was awesome.  I’m subscribed to his newsletter that comes out about once a month that includes information that interests me as a photographer.  He is also on Facebook.

As always, the meeting will begin at 6:30 pm in the River Room at the Phipps Center for the Arts.

Help Wanted!

On Sunday, March 19, at 2:00 pm, our club will be judging prints for N4C.  I expect there will be about 45 nature and black and white prints in total, so it shouldn’t take much more than an hour.  I could use three or four more people to help, mostly to record scores and comments and to handle the prints.  We will get started at 2:00 pm.  This is an opportunity to contribute that won’t take much of your time.  Please let me know if you can help.

Spring Break Program Update

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, N4C, News

Special Meeting & Spring Break Update

Special Meeting this month on the 15th!

After being wowed by the wedding photos of a friend, Ted Johnston contacted the photographer, Benjamin Wilson, about his making a presentation to our club.  Benjamin accepted and will be at a special mid-month meeting on February 15, 7:00 pm.  His program is “Creativity Reboot”.   Benjamin’s web site is at Wilson Aesthetics and you can also find him on FacebookPlease note the special time (7:00 pm) and location (the theater) inside the Phipps.  On your way to the theater be sure to check out Michael Huber’s cast photos for the Children’s Theater production of “Peter Pan”.

I don’t think that wedding photography is in my future, but one of our assignments this year is “Humanity”, and I’m looking forward to the inspiration and tips.

Registration for Spring Break is now open!

Spring Break will be held on March 25, 2017, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN.  It will be a one-day event this year including a full day of programs, with a variety of great speakers to choose from.  The $40 registration fee will include lunch, coffee breaks, photo vendors, special shooting opportunities, door prizes, and the Interclub awards.   One of my favorite things about this event is the camaraderie of being with old and new photography friends.  Full details of the speaker lineup will soon be completed and will be posted on the Camera Council website.   Here is the online Registration Link.

Just for Fun

Did you know that N4C has a photo essay contest?  N4C’s definition of a photo essay is “is a series of projectable images accompanied by music and/or a narrative which tell an integrated story presented in a pleasing and understandable manner.”  In other words, a slide show.  Two years ago, I submitted one and it got kicked to the curb and rolled down the gutter!  The good thing is that I got some valuable feedback and last year I sent a draft to Dwight Corrin, who is the Photo-Essay Chair.  He gave me some suggestions and my entry earned an Honorable Mention last year.  Since the deadline for entry is March 31, I’ve been working on a new essay.  Here is my first draft:

If you are interested in entering a Photo Essay slide show, here are the rules and entry form for the Photo-Essay contest.  They can also be found on the N4C Contest Rules.

See you on the 15th!

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Just for fun, N4C, News

Upcoming February Meeting

J. Arthur Anderson

The meeting comes early this month on Wednesday, February 1, 6:30 pm, and it will be a good one.  Our first competition salon of the year was judged by J. Arthur Anderson, an accomplished nature and event photographer.  He is often called upon to judge for local camera clubs.  John will comment as the images are projected, explaining his reasoning for the scores and will include ideas for improvement.  I’ve been a member of WWPC for over five years now and I always look forward to these salons.  I’ve learned something new every time, whether it is specific to one of my own shots or if it concerns other images.  And every time I am inspired by many of the images that are shown.  Don’t forget to bring up to two prints 15 minutes before the meeting begins so they can be included in the judging.

The February meeting is also a good time to pay your 2017 dues.  Here is a graphic that shows how our money was spent in 2016.  The biggest piece of the pie went to speakers in our continuing effort to bring quality learning opportunities to the members.

TCACCC Interclub Competition Entry Deadline is Sunday, February 5

If you are entering prints in the Interclub Competition, (up to four color prints and 4 monochrome prints) bring those to the meeting, too.  I will get them delivered to the drop off location by the entry deadline.  If you haven’t already, please consider entering this contest, either prints or digital images or both.  It is one of the benefits of our club belonging to the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs, and is free.  Everything you need to know can be found here.  Galleries of past award winners from out club is here.

One of the questions I get asked about the Interclub competition is whether they can enter the same image that was entered in N4C or our own club competitions.  The only images that cannot be entered are ones that received an Interclub acceptance in prior years and the same image cannot be entered in more than one category.  If you have other questions, bring them up at the meeting or complete our contact form.

“Hold On” by Willie Gorham won a 1st Place in Journalism in N4C

N4C Award Winners

After the break we will be treated to more inspiration and information.  Several of our members will tell us about their vision, and the capture and processing details that went into their award winning shots.

 

 

 

Just for Fun

 

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Competition, Just for fun, N4C

Interclub Rules Corrected!

The original rules posted here and on the Camera Council website had an invalid email address for entries. The correct email address is mnnatureinterclub@gmail.com

Entry by email for digital images is the preferred method.

The revised rules can be download from here.

Posted in Competition

Stuff You Need to Know

Indoor Photowalk

On Saturday, January 21, we will have a group shoot at Como Park Conservatory and Zoo.  We will meet at 9:30 am at the WI exit 2 Park & Ride for carpooling.  The conservatory and zoo opens at 10:00 am for those who want to drive directly.  Entry is free, but $3 donations for adults are encouraged. Tripods will not be allowed inside, but I just use a higher ISO and a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number).  It’s not just about flowers…I’ve seen some great shots of primates in the zoo.  Photowalks are great way of making new friends and getting photo tips and inspiration.  When all is done, we’ll have a gallery.  What is amazing to me about these group outings is seeing the diverse results.  And won’t it be fun to take pictures of something green again?

Club Competitions Update

At the February meeting we will have a competition salon and this year, we will be asking our judges to score on a 1-10 point system.  Images that score 8 or more will be considered “accepted” for our year end competition and will go into a gallery.   The rules have also been tweaked a bit to inform participants that images from the salons may also be entered into the N4C contests and used on our web site to promote the club.  We are also giving advance notification that all prints scoring 8 or more need to be brought to the November meeting so they can be judged for year end.  Check out and download the updated rules here.

Assignments and the Rule of Odds

The reason we have assignments is to encourage members to try new things or to look at subjects and composition in a new way.  The payback for members who try something new is that it allows them to submit more images, as well as mastering a challenge.  For that reason, to qualify, the “bonus” images need to be captured after the assignment has been posted.

I believe that we are more attracted to odd numbers. Even numbers of objects seem to be static and less interesting.  Three is an especially magic odd number.  Lines connecting three objects create a triangle that moves the eye around the image multiple times.  Here is a more lengthy discussion of the rule of odds.

Another example of the Rule of Odds – “Flying High” – Betty Bryan

Twin City Area Council of Camera Clubs Interclub Competition

The annual competition is one of the benefits of our club being one of the 24 member clubs of the TCACCC.  Our members can submit up to four photos in the three digital categories of Contemporary (Creative), Nature and Realistic.  These digital submission can be done by email.  There are also two print categories:  Color and Monotone.  Submission of prints in recent years has diminished and the Council is considering eliminating prints from the competition after this year.  I consider this a mistake.  Fine art prints are a form of art that should be promoted.  Increasing the number of prints submitted this year will help make the case of keeping that part of the competition.  Please bring your best prints to the February meeting and I will get them delivered for you.  The deadline for entry is Sunday, February 5, 5:00 pm, and all the rules and forms that you need can be found here.   If you would like to participate, but want some help, send me an email, or use the contact form and your message will come to me.

4H Photography Opportunity

At the January meeting Kay Jacobsen told us about a 4H photography program that she is running for young people, who range in age from 4th grade to high school.  She is looking for people who would give a presentation on just about any photography subject.  Let me know through the contact form if you would like more information from Kay.

 

Posted in Club Event, Competition, News

January Meeting Summary & More

Michael Huber’s PSA Award Winner

Considering the cold weather, we had a great turnout (and better parking spots close to the building).  After Gene Schwope, representing the PSA, gave Michael Huber his first place award for “Basket Ballin’”, Michael went on to demonstrate how he makes his creative compositions in Photoshop.  This included how he started out by filling a layer  50% gray.  Then he masked images using the quick select tool and moving them into the composition.  It also included replacing the sky using a mask with a gradient, and other uses of layer masks and brushes.  I was enthralled by one of the custom brushes that he used to create mood with lighting effects and how he transformed it to suit the composition.  One of the tips he provided was reducing the saturation of some of the layers to help them match the rest of the composition.  Though this session was not recorded, he made a video a while back on the award-winning image.  You can find it on a previous post here.  Scroll to the bottom for the video.

More from Michael

Michael has uploaded another fresh video on the club’s YouTube channel.  Since he’s been doing all the cast photos for the Phipps Children’s Theater productions for the last couple years, he wanted to share the process with us.  Thanks, Michael!  This may come in handy for capturing and processing portraits for the “Humanity” assignment we have later this year

Itten’s Theory of Composition – Contrasts in Photography

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, Educational, Inspiration