Category Archives: News

Members in the Spotlight

Don Specht

“American Goldfinches” by Don Specht

Once again one of Don’s photos in the Spring/Summer edition of Nature’s Best Photography Magazine in the Backyard category.  He’s been published there several times before but he says it’s always a thrill, and that he’s received nice feedback from around the country.   It’s interesting because before they publish your photo you need to send them the original (RAW if shot in RAW or JPEG) to make sure you didn’t alter it beyond what their rules allow.  Nature’s Best Photography Magazine is a large-format, award-winning, showcase of nature as recorded by the world’s leading professional photographers, naturalists, adventurers, as well as new, emerging photographers. You will find images and the stories behind the shots on topics such as wildlife, landscapes, plant life, travel, how-to photo tips, inspirational essays, and winners from their international photography competitions.  Click here for more information about this wonderful magazine.



Marianne Diericks

“Monarchs in Motion: by Marianne Diericks

Marianne learned that her photo “Monarchs in Motion” was accepted for the Fine Arts Exhibition at the MN State Fair.  This was a fun surprise. She had never thought about entering anything in the state fair but she recently had an enlargement of the monarchs photo framed and the owner encouraged her to enter it.   The photography category had 1114 entries, of which 160 were chosen for a 2nd round of judging and 114 were then selected for the exhibit.

Mary Johnson

Photo by Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson has officially started a professional art career!  She will be in the Stillwater Art Guild Gallery, 402 N. Main Street, Stillwater, in the Isaac Staples Building on the north end of town.








Mike Chrun

Photo by Mike Chrun

Photo by Mike Chrun

Mike will have two images in the 2020 “Minnesota Weatherguide Calendar and Almanac” publications.  One will be in the Engagement Calendar and the second one will be included in phrenology pages.   More about the calendar here.







Ken Krautbauer

“Head On #2” by Ken Krautbauer

Ken and former member Jeff Bucklew have had images selected to appear in the upcoming “Confluence of Art” exhibit at the Pablo Center in Eau Claire. This is the new art center, which opened last year. It is an impressive performing and visual art center on the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers. The exhibit runs from September 13 until November 3.

Also posted in Member Spotlight

August is here!

Ms. Grant’s Hair – photo by Keith Bridges

Our August 7 meeting will feature a competition salon.   I think the salons are one of the most important learning experiences our club offers, hearing both positive comments and ideas for improvement from our judge.  And they are full of inspiration!  Our judge this month is Keith Bridges who is a photographer, playwright and director who just recently moved to the Twin Cities area. His work in commercial and portrait photography has evolved these days into primarily fine art photography with prints and exhibits. His art projects range from still life to abstracts to contextualized portraits. His most recent fine art exhibit “Man Made” – a series of still life images (with accompanying snippets of dialogue) exploring the concept of masculinity – was featured at the Arts Center of St. Peter this past fall and at the Plymouth Creek Center Gallery this past winter. He lives with his awesome wife and daughter in Plymouth.

Black and White

Argenton Reflections – Terry Butler

On August 21, I will be making a presentation: “Black and White photography – a Personal Vision”.  Over the years I have had some success with this genre and will share my insights.  I will answer the questions, “why black and white?” and “what makes a successful black and white?”   I will share capture tips, demonstrate black and white conversions using Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Nik Silver Efex Pro and the use of dodging and burning.  The presentation will also include information on layer masks and adjustment layers.  I will also share some Photoshop actions for sharpening images.


Did you take part in the Scavenger Hunt on July 10?  The deadline for choosing your favorite photos for each item on the list is August 11.  At the September 4 meeting prizes will be awarded based on your vote.  The Scavenger Hunt gallery is here.

Wisconsin Public Television’s Photography Competition

You are invited to participate in the Garden & Landscape Expo Photography Competition. Designed to bring another form of imagery and perspective to Garden & Landscape Expo, the competition allows amateur photographers to demonstrate their skills and display their work. Photographs will be juried prior to the event, and selected photographs will be exhibited at Garden & Landscape Expo for nearly 20,000 attendees to admire. There are six entry categories and the application deadline is December 15.  Here is more information and online entry.

Also posted in Club Meeting Info

July News


There was a great turnout last week for the Scavenger Hunt.  Be sure to send your photos in the next couple days to  If you need to get the submission guidelines, request them using the same email address.

Phipps Theater Photography Opportunities

Photo by Fred Sobottka – ISO 1600, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec,

Last week Fred Sobottka answered the call to photograph a dress rehearsal at the Phipps.  The show he shot was “Weekend Comedy”, which will be running Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons until the end of this month.  Fred reported that the lead actor was so funny and had great facial expressions.  The next photo opportunity will be on Wednesday, September 11 for “Population 485”, which will be directed by Collin Geraghty.  Shoot me an email or use the contact form if you are interested.  Collin would like three to four volunteers.


John Gregor Workshop September 6-8

John Gregor is offering a 3-day landscape photography workshop at the Phipps from September 6-8. This will be a combined field and classroom workshop.  The participants will make several 8 x 10 test prints and a single12 x 18 exhibition quality fine art print.  This is a great opportunity to learn from John without the expense of travel.  Information and registration link.

N4C Convention September 19-21

This year the convention is hosted by the Des Moines Camera Club.  There will be ten speakers, 8 guided field trips, 9 independent field trip options, the opening reception Thursday evening at the hotel, and a banquet meal with awards on each Friday and Saturday night.   Offerings include topics from techniques to getting the shot, wildlife to sports, street to macro, b/w processing, and showing your work.  Guided field trips place our experts at your side at some of our favorite locations.  Keynote speakers Don Komarechka and David Thoreson are sure to be captivating and leaving you with much to think about.  See the Des Moines Camera Club for more information and to register.  Both Sue Oberstar and I have attended N4C conventions in the past and they are worthwhile.   There is nothing better than to have a weekend to focus on our passion with a group of people who feel the same way.



Also posted in Photowalks

Something for Everybody

Carl Wegener’s Macro Lighting Kit – Photo by Richard Hudson

We had a great meeting Wednesday night.    Following Peggy Boike’s presentation on macro photography, Bryan Leonard shared information on his macro gear that included extension tubes, macro couplers for reversing lenses, close-up lenses and tele-converters. Carl Wegener also brought his tabletop macro lighting kit.  Bryan will make a more complete presentation on macro next year.   Here is a pdf of Bryan and Carl’s presentation.

Photo Backup and the Cloud

Those of us who live in Hudson Township have been promised an upgrade to fiber optic cable from our provider, Baldwin Lightstream.  Ted Johnston, IT professional and former member, is one of their customers whose installation has been completed.  Ted says that the new fiber that Baldwin is laying gives you a synchronous connection.  Translation:  Most cable and DSL connections are asynchronous. The upload and download speeds are VERY different. Before the switch he had 75Mbps download and 4Mbps (or so) upload on their cable service. After the switch to fiber, he now has 75Mbps both upload and download.  Why this matters:  When backing up photos to “the cloud” you use the upload speed. This switch just increased the speed he can backup photos by almost 19 times. To give you a comparison- to get a 50Mbps synchronous connection at his office in Plymouth, Comcast quoted $450 per month.  Most people will not notice this increase in upload speed, but photographers backing up to the cloud certainly will.   A few years ago, Ted gave a presentation to the club on storage backup and the cloud.  You can still download it from our Learning page.  These days, he is recommending Backblaze for cloud storage.

Phipps Annual Call for Artists

The Phipps Annual Call for Artists deadline in July 1.  The Phipps seeks submissions from visual artists in Wisconsin and Minnesota for exhibition opportunities in 2021-2022 in the galleries of the Phipps and in four public exhibition programs in 2020: Hudson Hospital & Clinic; Westfields Hospital & Clinic in New Richmond, WI; Croixdale in Bayport, MN; and Woodland Hill in Hudson, WI.  Submissions for individuals and groups will be accepted, so this could be a great opportunity to make a submission for yourself, or to partner with someone else.  Click here for details. 


2017 Booster Days Fireworks Composite – Terry Butler

Hudson Booster Days fireworks will be on Friday, July 5 at dusk.  This year I will be taking the walking path on the south side of town that eventually parallels the I-94 bridge.  Feel free to join me…bring your tripod and bug spray.   The Booster Days parade will be on Saturday, July 6 at 11 am.   The parade could be another opportunity for getting those street photography photos that we need for the August Salon.  Stillwater fireworks will be on July 4 at 10:00 pm. Continue reading »

Also posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, Exhibits, Meeting Summary, Photowalks

Coming Up in May, Part Two

Flash Photography with Dave Johnson

On Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 pm, Dave Johnson will show us how to get the best results with your flash equipment, indoors and out. Dave has long had a passion for teaching photography, having taught at several colleges and universities in the upper Midwest. He’s done presentations at Spring Break and area camera clubs. He is currently manager of the wedding and portrait division of National Camera Exchange. He’s a member of the PPA and was awarded the MNPPA’s annual “Addie Award” for outstanding service to photography.  Bring your camera and speed lights for hands-on activities after his talk.


Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary Group Outing

  • May 18, (Saturday) 8 am
  • The correct address is  Theodore Wirth Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55411

The gardens open at 7:30 AM.  This 13 acre garden and bird sanctuary is a popular spot due to the huge variety of flowers and native plants along trails that visit bog, forest and upland prairie habitats.  There is no admission fee.  Informal photos of plants and garden areas for personal use are permitted while remaining completely on the trails at all times.  The use of tripods and other equipment is strongly discouraged. Any tripods or equipment used must remain completely on the trails at all times and must not impede other visitors’ ability to walk on a trail.  This time of the year is the best for woodland flowers and spring ephemerals.  I plan on bringing a tripod, reflector and diffuser.  Here is a link for more information on the gardens.

Help Wanted!

On Saturday May 18, 1:00-3:00 pm we will be judging the Pictorial contest for N4C.  We will need three judges, one person to operate the judging machine, one person to display images from a laptop and one person to record scores.  Please let me know if you can help by using the contact form.

May 18 Belwin Bison Festival 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Photo by Linda Luckey

  • Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields, 15601 Hudson Road, West Lakeland, MN  55082
  • Bison Release, 5K Run with the Bisons, Live Music, Food Trucks. 
  • Poster sized images by our members including Melissa Anderson, Betty Bryan, Terry Butler, Pat Chiconis, Marianne Diericks, Linda Luckey and Carl Wegener.
  • See the Belwin Conservancy website for more information.

The event is free!

Also posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, N4C

Coming Up in May, Part One

  • On Wednesday, May 1, at 6:30 pm, Bryan Hansel will be presenting his program, “Hot Spots of the North Shore”.  Spaces for the sunrise workshop he is giving on May 2 are still available.  More information about the program and workshop can be found on this post.

    Photo by Will C. Fritsch

  • May 2, 5 to 8 pm – Encore! A Celebration of Community at the Phipps Center for the Arts. There will be an open house from 5-7 pm and complimentary food  will be provided by the San Pedro Café, Seasons Tavern and Urban Olive and Vine.  Pier 500 gift certificates and theater tickets will be given as door prizes.  From 7-8 pm there will be entertainment in the main theater and performing arts and visual arts programming for the 2019-20 season will be announced.  This will be an opportunity to meet with Collin Geraghty, the Performing Arts Production Coordinator who has asked for our help.   This is a free event and more information is here.
  • May 4 – Will C. Fritsch has invited us to the Grand Opening of the Railway Art Gallery, 121 Tyler Street, Hastings, on Saturday, May 4th, from noon to 5 pm. He is one of the featured artists with ten of his photographs on display.  If you can’t make it on May 4, his exhibit runs until the end of June, but keep in mind that the gallery is open only on Saturdays from noon to 5 pm.  Congratulations, Will!

Member Portfolios

One of the benefits of club membership is this new feature that was added this year.  It’s an opportunity to display a body of work, reflecting your personal style and interests.  This is not intended as a competition, and there are virtually no rules as long as the photos follow a theme.  So far 16 member portfolios have been added to our website, with the newest one being posted for MJ Springett.  Consider joining in…the guidelines are here.


Also posted in Club Meeting Info, Exhibits, Member Portfolios

Bryan Hansel – Program and Workshop

Hot Spots of the North Shore – May 1

A lone hiker watches the sunrise over Lake Superior from Artist’s Point in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

At the May 1 meeting at 6:30 pm, professional landscape photographer Bryan Hansel will talk about his favorite locations on Minnesota’s north shore to capture the essence of what it is like to live in the north. Hansel, who has lived in Grand Marais for over a decade and a half has explored almost every gravel and dirt road in Cook County and many of the nearby counties as well. He not only has photographed the iconic locations but has found new and undocumented locations as well. He’ll present his work and explain how he made each picture and why it works as a photograph. 

Sunrise on the River – May 2

Join Bryan on the shore of the river for a sunrise and golden hour mini-workshop. The workshop will cover composition for sunrise as well as filters. The mini-workshop starts at 5am and ends at 9am. Cost is $60.  Bryan tells me that the workshop will be held along the St. Croix River.   To reserve your spot, please use the contact form to let me know as soon as possible since there will be a limit in the number of participants.  The fee of $60.00 will be payable to Bryan Hansel.

Also posted in Club Meeting Info

February News

Spring Break Update – Programs are Set!

Superior Storm – Mike Chrun

I’ve been helping out with the Spring Break event this year that will be held on March 30.  All the programs have been set and it looks like a great line-up, so if you have been waiting to register to see what will be offered now would be a great time to register.  Two of the programs at Spring Break will also be presented at our club meetings this year.  Michelle Terrell will be presenting her program “On Being a Birding Bird Photographer” on March 6 and Mike Chrun will present his program on “North Shore Winter Photography” later this year.  Our own Carl Wegener will also be making a presentation on his Recycle Your Camera for Kids project.  You can download the day’s schedule here and speaker bios and detailed program descriptions here.  More details and registration link are on the Spring Break page.



 2019 Interclub Judging

On Saturday, February 16, we arranged for the judging of all the digital entries for the 2019 Interclub Competition.  960 images were judged over a 5-hour period.   Our three judges were Alec Johnson, Layne Kennedy and Mike Shaw.  Though time did not allow for comments on all the images, there were some interesting discussions when it came to selecting the award winners.  Thanks to Steve Cole, Mary Johnson, Sarah Nieminen, Becky VanDyk, and Jane Neumiller-Bustad for helping out.  A special thanks goes to Melissa Anderson who made sure we had coffee and tea in the morning and lunch when we took a break.



Also posted in Competition, Educational, Meeting Summary

News you need to know

Interclub Competition Deadline is Saturday

These next few cold, blustery days will be a good time to look for some of your best photos to enter the 2019 Interclub Competition.  The deadline for entering is this Saturday, February 2, at 5:00 pm.  The digital entries are all done by email, but the prints need to be delivered to the drop off site by the same deadline.  Bring your prints to the Phipps lobby between 2 and 3 pm on Saturday to get them delivered.  Rules and entry forms are here and on the Camera Council website.

February 6 Meeting

Our first meeting in February will feature a club salon.   Our salons serve two purposes.  Some of our members enjoy the competition aspect where scores reflect their level of skill and progress in improving, and their skill compared to other members.  The verbal critique has educational value to both the photographer and to other members.  We ask the judge to express what they like about every image and what the photographer might have done to improve. I always submit what I think are real winners, and a judge will help me to see what I’ve missed with an image I have fallen in love with.   I learn something at every salon and because the critiques are about real images that real members of our club have submitted, it has more relevance.


  • “Wish upon a Star”, a portfolio image from Pat Chiconis

    If you haven’t already paid your 2019 dues, bring a check or cash to the meeting. Dues are $35.00 per year for a single membership and are payable in January every year.  Family membership is $35.00 plus $10.00 for each family member living under the same roof. 

  • It’s not too late to commit to a photography goal for 2019. Please use the contact form to make a formal commitment.  We will share your achievements at the January 2020 meeting.
  • Consider putting together a portfolio, a new benefit of membership. These are not intended to be competitive and there are no rules other than the images need to fit a theme.  They make a great introduction of your work and interests to other members.  There are already 11 member portfolios on our web site.  See if you can find them! 
Also posted in Club Meeting Info, Competition, Member Portfolios

Spring Break and the Interclub Competition

Save the Date for Spring Break!

The Spring Break event will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019!   This is an event that area photographers have looked forward to since 1985.

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Place: Mounds View High School, 1900 Lake Valentine Road, Arden Hills, MN 55112
Cost: $45 (includes lunch)
Cost with student ID: $20
Presenter and topic details: will be updated on the Camera Council web site periodically.

REGISTRATION must be made in advance. There is no registration available at the door.

What’s included: Keynote speaker Craig Blacklock will start the day with a 2-hour program followed by a variety of other speakers and topics to choose from. Lunch, snacks and coffee breaks are included in your registration fee. Numerous vendors will be present, and the Raptor Center will be bringing birds, including a bald eagle, to photograph during the lunch period. The 2019 Interclub awards for individual and club photo competitions will be announced.  Though the speaker schedule has not been completed yet, you can depend upon a great lineup. 

The 2019 Interclub Competition

Continue reading »

Also posted in Competition, Educational