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

Mastering the Art of Composition with Ian Plant

At our discussion salons, we hear so much about an image’s composition. In photography, composition involves the selection and arrangement of visual elements within a defined space. Composing a pleasing image can be challenging, even intimidating, because there is no set formula to follow.

If you are looking to improve your own photography or to develop a keener eye for evaluating others’ work, Ian Plant has a helpful tutorial in this video:

Ian explains why things like leading lines, shadows, perspective, framing (and more) are visually pleasing, and he shows how to use them to produce well-composed images. Experts and novices alike will find his explanations helpful and his photography inspiring.

Some of you may remember Ian Plant.  He spoke at the Camera Council’s 2016 spring break and he gave a presentation to our club in 2015. You can find him at www.ianplant.com.

Posted in Creative/Artistic, Educational Tagged , |

Hello 2017 – Good-bye 2016

Our first meeting of the year, January 4, 6:30 pm, will feature a discussion salon and we need your images!  Please submit up to three (3) images, either digital or prints.  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.  Or they could show a before and after processing.  Short video clips will work also, so anything goes.  Please send these in by Tuesday, January 3 to photos@wiphotoclub.com.

Creating Composites

Ocean Barrel – Michael Huber

At the same meeting, due to popular request, Michael Huber will demonstrate a few of the basics in creating a composite image.  This is done by combining multiple photos to create one new image using Adobe Photoshop.  Several tools discussed will be the use of layers, masks and brushes.

Reminders

Consider entering photos for the N4C contests that are held each month.  There are six digital categories:  Black and White, Creative, Journalism, Nature, Pictorial, and Travel.  The complete rules are here.  All N4C deadlines are on the tenth of the month.

Our first competition salon will be at the February 1 meeting.  The deadline for entry is Wednesday, January 11, 5:00 pm, and the assignment is leading lines.  The club competition rules are here and all the assignments for 2017 are posted here.

Farewell to 2016

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, Creative/Artistic

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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Posted in Club Event, News

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.

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

Posted in Club Event, Competition

November Meeting

Our last regular meeting of the year, on Wednesday, November 2, will be jam packed with content.

Judged Salon

sandi-coates

Sandi Coates

Our guest judge, Sandi Coates, will comment on the images that make up our final competition salon.  Sandi was employed as a photographic specialist with the  Lifetouch company in Eden Prairie.  Her tenure at Lifetouch provided continual exposure to photography, educational opportunities plus print competition through PPA, the Professional Photographers of America. Through PPA, she attended workshops, entered annual print competitions, earning print merits for accepted images. With a combination of education and print merits, she was awarded the PPA designation of Master Photographer in 2014. Since then, she’s continued to earn print merits, receiving the Silver Photographer Award in 2015; and will soon receive the Gold Photographer Award at the upcoming convention in January 2017.

I always look forward to the competition salons.  I appreciate getting feedback on my own work and hearing the comments on the work of others is always educational.  I am also inspired by the great talent in our club.

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Posted in Club Meeting Info

What to Do this Friday Night?

City Lights 3 Photowalk

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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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Posted in Club Event, 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

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