Category Archives: Club Event

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.

Also posted in Club Meeting Info, News

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!

Also posted in Club Meeting Info

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.

 

Also posted in Competition, News

December News

Help-Portrait

On Saturday, December 3rd, the “Magnificent Seven” made the trek to Eau Claire to spend the day helping Dan Thompson with the Help-Portrait event.  Help-Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists using their time, tools and expertise to give back to those in need.  All in one day photos are taken, printed, and given to the clients without charge.

Here is what Dan had to say in an email to me the next day:  “Please pass along my HUGE “THANK YOU!” to everyone from the Western Wisconsin Photography Club that joined us this year!  This year’s event was a success largely because of their efforts and willingness to share their kindness, time and talents with a bunch of total strangers!  Your gift of volunteering helps immeasurably in strengthening the spirit of people that struggle most days.  That is a wonderful and priceless gift!  I’m honored to have had a chance to meet and work with each of you.”

Sadly, a week later Dan posted on the Help-Portrait Eau Claire Facebook page:  “After 7 years in the role of Founder/Organizer of Help-Portrait Eau Claire I have decided to step down from this position. I want to say “Thank You” to all the volunteers that showed up each year to share your talents, hard work and love with the hundreds of people Help-Portrait Eau Claire has served.”

Year End Celebration

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Also posted in News

Vote for People’s Choice

As a part of our year end competition, a “People’s Choice” award will be made.   There were many deserving photos in our competition salons this year and it was difficult to narrow this group down to just nine photos.  They are all from different photographers, whose name is not included (to protect the innocent).    Please vote for three by November 20th, and send your picks using our contact form.  (And, yes, you are allowed to vote for your own.)

Be sure to click on the thumbnails!

No 1 - Deer in Little VeniceNo 2 - St Croix SunsetNo 3 - Family FishingNo 4 - Golden Mountain TopsNo 5 - Sunset PancakesNo 6 - Crane PreservationNo 7 - Fly ByNo 8 - Sunset HuesNo 9 - Prairie Butterfly

Also posted in Competition

What to Do this Friday Night?

City Lights 3 Photowalk

st-paul-across-the-river-terry-butler

St. Paul across the River – Terry Butler

Join Troy Schmidt, Bryan Leanard and me on our third city lights photowalk. Meet at 5:30 PM at the Hudson Park & Ride across from Target.  We will travel to St. Paul to capture the city skyline against the Mississippi River. We will start at Mounds Park where we will hopefully have a nice sunset. We may also try the high bridge. We will then venture down to the riverfront of the Mississippi near Harriet Island, and the Robert & Wabasha Street Bridges.

What to Bring: Tripod, remote shutter release, flashlight, and jacket…it’s that time of year!

Phipps Exhibit and Party

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Also posted in Inspiration, News

News, Important Deadline & an Invitation

October Meeting Review

canonAt the October 5 meeting Gus Gulbranson of Northwest Camera & Video Repair shared with us some tips on caring for our gear.  One of the things he told us was that it was important to format our cards in camera, as opposed to deleting them from the card via our computer.  Deleting any other way can lead to problems with writing images to the card.  I knew about that, but there were a couple of things I didn’t know before.  One of them was that our cameras can work a bit erratic with old batteries.  I have been using some that were purchased with my camera four years ago, so that explains why my camera acts a bit funky at times.  Another recommendation for that kind of camera behavior is to go into the camera’s menu system and restore the factory settings.  (This will not reset any of your custom functions.)  I’ve added a link on our home page to Gus’s Facebook page.  Our members highly recommend his work and sometimes he can even fix problems over the phone.

N4C Best of the Best

1st-place-nature-the-chase-lori-moilanen

N4C’s 1st place for nature – “The Chase” by Lori Moilanen

Also at the October, I had the honor of passing out the “Best of the Best” awards from N4C.  The N4C year runs from September to May, and at the end of their year, all images receiving first place, second place, third place and honorable mentions were judged again to determine the “Best of the Best”.  The winning images rose to the top from a total of approximately 1000 images per contest category submitted through the year.  The inspiring gallery of images is here.

Important Reminder

Our final competition salon will be held at the November meeting.  The deadline for submitting digital entries is October 12.  Up to four digital entries can be submitted if at least two of them qualify for our assignment, which is “Story Telling or Emotion.”  Here are more details on the assignment and our competition rules are here.  In addition, up to two prints can be brought to the meeting 15 minutes before it begins.  The deadline for N4C contests is always the tenth of each month.

More City Lights Photowalks

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Also posted in Club Meeting Info, Meeting Summary, News

Help Wanted, a Reminder and Other News

Help Wanted!

help-wanted-copyOur board of advisors is already looking forward to 2017 and we’ve started making plans.  We will have elections at the November meeting and we are hoping that others will take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to recurring tasks that make the club run smoothly.  And some of us need a break!  Please consider the positions in the “Help Wanted” poster.  Participating is a great way to get to know others, learn new things and make good friends.  Also, if you have program ideas, photowalk locations, or other recommendations, please complete our contact form and let us know.

Important Deadline

Our next meeting on October 5 will include a discussion of member submitted images.  You can submit up to three (3) images, either digital or prints, for discussion only.  These images will not be scored but will be the basis of an open discussion, which may include a new technique in capture or processing, or for general discussion and feedback.  Send them in by Monday, October 3, so we have a good discussion.

City Light Photowalk this Friday

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Also posted in Club Meeting Info, News

Stuff you need to know

Taking on a Challenge

2016-volleyballcompositeAfter being asked by the Hudson High School Girls Volleyball Team to create a team poster, Michael Huber relented, partly because he felt bad about their not having one, and partly because of the challenge it would bring.  Michael had a vision of how he wanted the end product to be, which helped in capturing and processing all the images he would need.  It helped that he already has experience in achieving the Joel Grimes look of grittiness that he wanted.  It also helped that he has a working knowledge of lighting and how to work with the girls.  So, what do you get when you have the vision to make a composite of all these images and more?

2016-volleyballThis video on our YouTube Channel shows the challenge from start to finish.

 

Greg Lundgren Follow Up

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Also posted in Club Meeting Info, Inspiration, Just for fun

About N4C and Food for Thought

I would first like to say thank-you for letting me serve as yourN4C is an acronym for the North Central Camera Club Council.   It is an organization of 43 camera clubs located in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Our club joined N4C almost two years ago.  Since we had started a new master schedule with fewer competitions at our regular meetings, we wanted to offer additional competition opportunities for our members without having it become the mainstream of our culture.

The N4C year runs from September to May so a new N4C year is about to begin!

n4cClubsN4C has competitions every month from September to May (but not December) and they refer to these as contests.  There are six digital contest categories which include Black and White, Creative, Journalism, Nature, Pictorial, and Travel.   There is also a Photo Essay contest in April, and a Panorama Print contest in the spring.

Member clubs take turns judging the month’s entries, and each image is given a score for three different criteria:

  1. Technique – focus, lighting, color rendition, exposure, print quality.
  2. Composition – arrangement of all elements within the picture area so the subject matter is presented as a harmonious, well balanced photograph.
  3. Interest – Originality, imagination, interpretation, subject, impact, mood, humor, etc.

Judging clubs are also encouraged to make constructive comments on each image.  Our club will be judging three times this N4C year, including September 17, when we will judge Black and White.

The entry deadline for contests is the tenth of each month and for details on how to enter, please see the N4C Competition Rules, for sizing, naming conventions and category descriptions as well as N4C bulletins and handbooks.  Most people have been submitting images on their own, but Michael Waterman and I will fill up as many spots as possible (up to eight for each category) by using salon images and by reaching out to members for entries.

N4C also has two conventions each year, a mini convention in the spring at Springbrook, Iowa, and a bigger convention in the fall, which is September 29-October 1 in Fargo, North Dakota, this year.  At the main convention “Best of the Best” awards will be given based upon all of the images that received 1st , 2nd, 3rd place and honorable mentions throughout the year.  We should find out by October if any of our members received any of the annual awards.  The N4C web site is here.

The Fear That Everything Has Already Been Done

Schwabacher Road - Tetons National Park - Terry Butler

Schwabacher Road – Tetons National Park – Terry Butler

A couple years ago, I submitted a photo for a competition salon that I thought was one of the best I’d ever taken.  The judge was not impressed, saying that it was one of the most photographed places in the US. At the time I hadn’t known. It took the wind out of my sails, and I let those comments change the way I felt about the photo for a long time.  Now I am back to thinking it is still a pretty great photo.  Don’t let that happen to you, letting one comment put you down.  It’s okay to compete, but it’s okay to please yourself, too.

Here is a YouTube video that touches on the subject.

Also posted in N4C