Being Enough

Did you miss Nic Stover’s program that he did on Monday night on the “Psychology of Photoography” for the TCACCC?  Nic will also be doing a program on light for us and the St. Croix Valley Camera Club on March 15.  See this post for more information.   Here is the recording of Monday’s program:

From a recent newsletter from Nic he said some things that really hit home. “There are 7.6 billion people on this planet. 3.5 billion Smartphones, which technically means there are 3.5 billion photographers.  How many of them pursue beyond a hobby or a way to capture what they ate for dinner? And how few of them call themselves professionals?  We can’t judge how crowded things are based on looking at these metrics.  The only way we can look at it is to look at ourselves and our perspectives related to what we need and what we seek.

“Tuetonia Sunrise” by Nic Stover

“We as humans regardless of the number of zeros in our bank accounts need to be content with one thing. Being Enough. Some of us don’t have enough of what is needed internally and we supplement that in some other ways through external validation. For the photographers who complain of it being too crowded they are focused on what they don’t have vs what they already have. Images, places, clients, fans, money, followers.

“So for today. I am enough. What I do is enough.  There is more than enough beauty to go around.  Enough for us all to share and to find a small slice of what we find special or unique.  Someday I will turn into the shadows in my images in the dust that creates atmosphere within my images. My Ledger will zero out and only then will I have had enough of this world.”

“But until that time I will keep on keeping on, knowing that what I already have is … well … enough.” 

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Inspiration

March News

At our Wednesday, March 3 meeting, Chap Achen will share a program that will consist of images from his artist in residence stay in Quzhou, China.  It will include a brief history of the artist exchange program, which goes back to the 1942 raid on Tokyo by the Doolittle Raiders flying B-25’s off the USS Hornet and subsequent rescue of the flyers in China.  He will present a present a video highlighting images of the trip and follow up with additional background info of the images and he will take comments and questions from the club.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm and a link to the meeting will be sent to all members that morning.

About Chap

Chap Achen

“I have been photographing for over 60 years; my father was a professional photographer and introduced me to the darkroom and the enjoyment that comes from making traditional images with film and silver papers. Much of my earlier work was primarily done in black and white, But for the last twenty years digital technology has allowed me the opportunity to work in both color and black and white.  Combining texture, patterns, light and dark tones, and using good compositional elements, I try to create photographs that you will enjoy and remember.  For the past 30 years I have been actively engaged with the Arts Community in Red Wing and have served on its board of directors for much of that time.  I have had the good fortune to participate in several programs that Red Wing Arts initiated, and am grateful for those experiences.  In 2015 through the Anderson Center in Red Wing, I spent one month in Salzburg, Austria as their artist in residence. In 2018 I spent one month as an exchange artist in Red Wing’s sister city of Quzhou, China. 

“I maintain a gallery and studio in my home here in Red Wing. My work can be seen in numerous public institutions and buildings throughout Red Wing as well as exhibitions at the Red Wing Arts gallery in the Historic Railroad Depot and at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts.”

For more opportunity to view Chap’s work you can visit his website at


Posted in Club Meeting Info, News

Dr. Mike Shaw Program Details

On Wednesday, February 10, 7:00 pm in conjunction with the St. Croix Valley Camera Club, Dr. Mike Shaw will give a presentation of “The Photographer’s Eye – The Art and Science of Composition.”

When Mike first started studying photography in earnest, he was shocked to find that there were universal concepts for compelling compositions that anyone could learn. You’ve probably heard of a few of them: The Rule of Thirds, leading lines, and so on. At first, he was disappointed that attractive compositions appeared to be so prescriptive. “I wanted the art of strong compositions to be, well, art, not a recipe anyone could follow. But I quickly realized that truly great compositions were more elusive; that they required a willingness to bend and break the rules to achieve something extraordinary. In this presentation, you will learn the theories underlying good photographic composition. You may well find that you can immediately improve your images by considering one or more of these ideas. But equally, if not more important, you’ll discover ways to transcend these fundamentals to develop your own, unique style – your distinct, personal photographer’s eye!”


Dr. Mike Shaw is an astrophotographer and the author of “Creative Nightscapes and Time-Lapses,” (2018) and “The Complete Guide to Landscape Astrophotography,” (2017). In addition to his own photography webinars and workshops, he creates inter-active online lessons for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, he teaches in the online Bryan Peterson School of Photography, offers classes at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and leads an interactive “Nightscapes Star Party Live!” weekly on He licenses his work through Science Photo Library in London. He is a Delegate to the International Dark Sky Association and recently completed his Resident Artist Research Project at the Bell Museum in Minneapolis that explores novel immersive experiences for making the night sky and the effects of light pollution more accessible to the general public. 

See also


Posted in Uncategorized

Phipps Center for the Arts News

Club Exhibit

2017 Phipps Exhibit Promotion

Beginning September 17 we will have a club group exhibit in the Riverview gallery at the Phipps.  This is open to all paid members.  At a previous exhibit there, we had 31 pieces in the exhibit.   The exhibit will end on October 24.  If you are interested in taking part, please use our contact form and I will pass your information to Barb Stahlmann who will be in charge.  Here is a promotion we did for the 2017 exhibit.

In-Person Gallery Exhibition

  • “Belwin Conservancy at 50”
  • Ending Date: February 21, 2021

In 2016, we began a club project, “Capturing the Western Prairie.”  The object was to combine our talents to produce photographs that can be used to raise awareness and understanding of our local landscape.   We partnered with our state and regional Departments of Natural Resources and private non-profit groups like the Prairie Enthusiasts.  We’ve visited acreage set aside by the DNR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and individual landowners.  Group photo outings included guidance by more experienced shooters.  This resulted in outdoor exhibits at Belwin Conservancy, at the Phipps and a collection of photos that that were exhibited in the Phipps’ Healing Arts program.  Some of these pieces will be included in the current exhibit at the Phipps.  For more information:

This video was created using many of the project images.  It is one of the many videos on our YouTube channel.

Posted in Club Event, Exhibits, News

Evaluating and Working with Light in Photography

On March 15, 6:30 pm Nic Stover will give a presentation to our club and the St. Croix Valley Camera Club. Thanks to Mike Chrun for arranging this and for sharing the cost with us!

Join professional landscape photographer Nic Stover for this session to talk about Not too Heavy, Not too Light.  Just right.  The word “photography” literally means “drawing with light” from the Greek words phos, (genitive: photós) meaning “light”, and graphê meaning “drawing or writing”.  There are so many ways to think about the different types of light within our photography and what we can do with what we get in the field but also when we get back in front of our computer to process our images we “harvested” in the field.

In this presentation Nic will talk about how the most important thing in photography is you and how you look through the light harvester (IE the camera) and the choices and decisions you make on how to collect the light that is falling in front of you onto your subjects of choice.  Nic doesn’t have mastery of light nor the power to control it but he will talk about what he CAN control is how he reacts to the light he is given, not the light he wants, but the light he is given.  Nic considers the science and study of light to be one of our most important pursuits in photography.  This presentation will increase your understanding of how to work with light.   

Some of the topics covered in this presentation include but are not limited to:

  1. How to think about light.
  2. How we view light vs how our camera (light harvester) views light.
  3. How do we actually see light from the warms and cools to the brights and darks.
  4. What is the true value of light in our images?
  5. How do photographers describe and talk about light?
  6. What are the 4 ways in which light interacts with our scenes?
  7. How can you most effectively use light in your images.
  8. Ways you can break out of your normal mode of working with light.

As part of this session you will get a follow up with a reference sheet of 15 ways to describe light, and a recording of the presentation. 

Stover is based in San Luis Obispo, California and focuses on landscape photography classes and workshops encouraging his class participants to develop their skills, explore their capabilities, and to create meaningful work.  Additional information can be found at

Ian Plant Freebie

Here is a link for a FREE reference sheet of ways to take better photographs from one of the masters, Ian Plant. 

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Educational

Happy New Year!

Mike Prokosch

On Wednesday, January 6, 6:30 pm, we will have meeting that will reveal our 2020 Year-end awards.  With the April Salon meeting being cancelled, and the print categories being discontinued, there will be no awards for prints this year.   This was the first year that we have the assignment category with the largest number of images submitted.  Michael Prokosch thanked our club for being asked to judge and was impressed with the quality and diversity of our salons.  The galleries will be posted after the meeting.  An invitation to the meeting will be sent by email to all members on the morning of the meeting.

We have two more meetings in January.  Check out the calendar page with information about Mike Moats (Macro) and Cameron Darnell (Creative Lighting for Bird Photography).  Watch for meeting invitations in your email no later than the day of those meetings, but get the dates on your calendar now.

Architecture Examples

The February 3, 6:30 pm meeting will be the first salon meeting of the year.  The assignment is Architecture and the submission deadline is January 13.   


  • Be sure to enter the 2021 Interclub Competition! It’s a benefit of our club being a member of the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs.  The deadline is Saturday, February 6, 5 pm.  The rules and entry form is here.  And you can see how our club has done in the past here.
  • After a brief hiatus, the N4C contests resume this month.  The entry deadline is the tenth of each month.  Here is how to enter.
Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, Competition, Educational

Mike Moats on Macro Photography

On Saturday, January 16, 3:00 pm, Mike Moats will present “The Properly Equipped Macro Photographer.”  Being a properly equipped macro photographer is not just about the equipment, but also equipping yourself with the how-to knowledge of macro photography, how to control depth of field, a little about composition, and subject matter.

Mike Moats is an international award-winning, full time pro macro photographer from Michigan.  He is a Tamron Image Master, and his articles and images have been published in many photo magazines for over 15 years.  He has a Macro Photo Club online with over 2,000 members from 18 countries.  Mike teaches workshops and speaks at photo conferences throughout the US.

You can see more of his work and more about his Macro Photo Club here.  Special thanks to Steve Cole and Richard Hudson for arranging this.  A link to join this meeting will be sent to all members as soon as it is available.

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Educational, News

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Mars

Stellarium Capture by Bryan Leonard

For four centuries we’ve waited to have the opportunity to see and photograph this rare astronomical event and we’ll have to wait until 2080 to enjoy it again!  It will happen on December 21st.  Both planets will appear in the sky just 0.1 degrees apart.  Bryan is planning to go to Birkmose Park.  He tells me we should be able to see it in the southwest sky around 6 pm.  I plan on joining him with hot chocolate and binoculars.

There are other things to see in December’s night sky.  The information on the conjunction is about 1 minute and 20 seconds into this short video from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Posted in Inspiration, Just for fun

Vote for Peoples Choice Award!

We need help from “We the People” to decide on the Peoples Choice award.

You can select up to three of your favorites (and you can vote for your own if it’s here).  I had a terrible time selecting the images because so many this year were outstanding.  Please send your votes to by this Saturday, December 12.  You may give the title, or just the number preceding the title.

Posted in Competition, News

December News

The end of this year marks six full years as my being president of the club.  This has been such a wonderful experience for me in so many ways.  The best part has been all the friendships I’ve made.   But it’s time for me to step into the background and to give others the chance to steer the future of the club.  With Covid extra challenges faced us…the worst of which for our club is the fact that we haven’t been able to have meetings in person and the resulting challenges of bringing value to our members.

We have a great board that is willing to take over most of my responsibilities.  We will be having a meeting on Wednesday, December 9 at 7 pm.  Please consider joining the board or attending this virtual meeting.  Just use the contact form and I’ll send an invitation to join the meeting.

Year-end Club Competition

The digital acceptances from the salons this year, the ones scoring 8 points or more, will be sent to a judge who will choose the awards this year.  Since we had only one salon that included prints, they will not be included.  The awards meeting will be on January 6, 2021.  Members who have competed in our salons will be sent a list of their scores for this year in the next few days.  We will need your help to select the “Peoples Choice” Award.  There will be more about that soon.

N4C News Update

N4C has cancelled all their print competitions and their Spring Convention.  They are still expecting (hoping?) that the Fall Convention will take place in Duluth.  I had been told earlier that the awards for the 2019-20 Best of the Best would be held for pickup at the Fall Convention.  Instead, I have arranged for them to come to me in the mail and I expect to get them early next week.  Here is the gallery of winners.

Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, Competition, N4C, News