Category Archives: News

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 Event, Club Meeting Info

Correction!

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

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!

 

Also posted in Club Meeting Info

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.

 

Also posted in Club Meeting Info

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 »

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