Category Archives: 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.

Non-Profit Wolf Puppy Photo Workshop

A lot of mail comes to me promoting one thing or another that I don’t usually pass along, but thought this might interest some of you.  The workshop will be held July 15 and 16, in Stacy, MN. 100% of the tuition goes to the non-profit Wildlife Science Center, which is home to the wolves. The Center just moved to new facilities in March and the funds raised from tuition will be used to help complete the wolves’ new pens.

In 2016, they held a similar seminar and it sold out in a matter of days.

Photographers will have the opportunity to photograph and interact with wolf puppies in a large enclosure that has been landscaped specifically for photography. It is the last year of a long-term study on wolf puppies, and it resulted in 15 puppies being hand-raised by the Center.  No puppies are planned for the next several years, so this may be your last chance for a long time.  Emphasis will be on maximizing photographic opportunities.

Workshop information link

“White Beauty” by Melissa Anderson

And here is Melissa’s creative interpretation of one of the butterflies at the “Blooming Butterflies” exhibit.

Also posted in Photowalks

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

Also posted in N4C

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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Also posted in Club Meeting Info, Meeting Summary, N4C

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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Also posted in Club Meeting Info, N4C

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!

Also posted in Club Meeting Info, Just for fun, N4C

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 Club Event, Competition

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 Club Event

Stuff You Need to Know

Year End Party

party-invite-2016-editOur club’s year end celebration will be on Wednesday, December 14, at the home of one of our gracious and generous, member, Melissa Anderson.  Bring an appetizer, snack or dessert to share and significant others are welcome.  Be sure to RSVP by December 5, to assure we will have enough beer, wine, soda and water on hand.  Invitations were sent today by email.  If you haven’t received your invitation, please let me know by using the contact form.  It will be great fun socializing.  And last year the food was awesome!

People’s Choice Award

If you haven’t voted yet, please do!  We currently have a three-way tie, and your photo could decide the winner.  The deadline for voting is November 20 and the images you have to choose from are here.

Save the Date for Spring Break

logotcaccc

The 2017 Spring Break will be on Saturday, March 25th, 2017, at Dakota County Technical College. This is an event that has been put on by the TCACCC for over thirty years.  The day will be packed with a variety of speakers, shooting opportunities, vendors, door prizes and the Interclub Competition results.  More details will be coming out after the first of the year.

It’s time to start planning for the 2017 Interclub Competition!

The competition is one of the benefits of being a member of the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs.  As in years past, there will be a club competition where clubs go against clubs.  We will choose the best of the salon photos to enter for the club competition.  Last year we tied for second place and only a few points behind first place.   The individual competition  includes mono and color prints, and digital categories of contemporary (creative), nature and realistic.  Members can submit to four photos in each of the categories.

The entry deadline will be Sunday, February 5, 5:00 pm.  Interclub awards will be made at the 2017 Spring Break event which will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017.  The official rules for 2017 are not out yet, and there will be some minor changes. I’ll let you know when they are available, but in the meantime you can check out last year’s rules.  If you’d like to see the winners from previous years check them out here.

Our Town Exhibit

2016-our-town-announcementAs some of you may know, I was in charge of producing the Hudson Area Calendar from 2011-2015.  This was a successful fund-raising project of the garden club, and proceeds were used for beautification projects.  I’ve just delivered a selection of images from those years of the calendar for a special Healing Arts exhibit at Hudson Hospital and Clinics.  It was a project dear to my heart with more than half of the images being contributed by our members.  Be sure to head on over there to see some amazing work.

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 Club Event, Inspiration

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 Event, Club Meeting Info, Meeting Summary