Category Archives: 2014

Accueillir de France – Welcome from France

By: Terry Tallis

We visited France this July on a small river boat (when do they determine when it is a boat or a ship? – but that is a different story). 0223There were 46 of us who ventured from Nice (it was), France, to Paris (it was okay) France worming our way up the Soan river. Geographiles will know it does not go all the way to Paris nor come from Nice. It is just stuck in the middle of the country where all the fine wine is. Nice!

Anyway, to get back to what Helen might want in this epistle. It’s a tour, Terry! Get over it! You will be herded here and there and told to stand back, move along, lets do it at noon, keep up and watch your wallets from the pickpockets. And it helps to speak the language! When Napoleon went to the Balkans, he took all the consonants with him and left the vowels in France. Ugh! I digress.

Approaching this trip, I had several decisions to make. What was the purpose of my photography. That became rather simple. I wanted to document the trip. (We always make a photo book of our adventure). So ideas of getting that early morning, or late night classic photograph was out of the question. We ate then! As a group! In boring places!

So do I lug the Canon 70D or something smaller. The 70D was out of the picture (weight, and, remember, pickpockets) so I had my Canon G1X. It too was to large to stuff in a pocket unless I went disguised as a kangaroo. Enter my friendly photo guy, Mike Lowery at Focal Point  (Is this a commercial – yep) and traded my G1X in for a Canon G16. Wow! Just the ticket!  Loaded on a wrist strap so if someone in Paris tried to grab it, they would have had to take an arm.

This little critter worked great. Most of the time I was on program mode, but if I had a chance, I could immediately switch to aperture priority or other mode and “work” a photograph, 1647while the rest of the tour listened to the tour guide explain why Monet moved from Paris to Giverney without telling his best friend. (By the way, we did get on the grounds first, before all the Asian five decker busses arrived). And was able to shoot many photos in RAW.

I did get some great pictures. The best were when I lagged behind and turned around! We had those little gadgets that the guide used to tell us all the history (I am glad we only had two 0750hundred years to learn here in America) so when I started hearing static (out of range) I could know to catch up. We had a number of other folks who were good photographers on the trip. I would look at where they were shooting and generally look the other way. Between all of us, we did use up a lot of pixels.

A tripod was not necessary, but took along a little bean bag that came in handy for night shots (the G16 takes great night shots). And at the last minute I threw in my remote shutter release. Also, I carried two extra batteries. And needed them, even though I charged them each night. Number them, so you know where you are. Une, deux, trois!

Upon arriving home, I loaded the best of the best onto iBooks and created a nice table top book to remember the trip by and share them with others. photo-books-pixThere may be others that will show up in the competitions and still others from which I will do a painting.

Another handy thing I picked up over there was a man-purse. All the natives had them, so not to look too out of place with my argyle socks, golf hat and white belt, I bought one. Worked great to carry water, maps and camera and saved my camera when I fell flat in an intersection the last day. Tripped. Remember the pickpockets? They were quick to help you up. I held on to my man-purse like a football. They got nothing!  I got a hip pointer.

September 11, 2014 meeting

Great to see everyone at the meeting tonight. Not a bad turnout for the first meeting of the year. Our new President (Jeannette Knower) handled her new position like a Pro.

We discussed changing the Blog/Newsletter “What’s Going On At VVCC” Blog to more of a Travel Blog. When I first set up the Blog, I thought it would be easy to maintain, but it quickly became very time consuming. I only had 2 people help take notes when I couldn’t be at the meetings.

During a board meeting earlier this Summer, it was mentioned that having all the information we discuss at our meetings, available on the Blog for the public to view, might not be the best idea. It isn’t fair to our Paid Members who actually come to the meetings to get the information first hand.

So, we are going to try something different. We are changing the Blog/Newsletter to a Photography Travel Blog called “Who’s Traveling This Week?”. In particular we are looking for stories related to Travel Photography. Tell us where you traveled – How you planned your travels to include photography – What gear you planned to take – Include pictures if you can – try to paint a picture for us (not literally), about your entire experience.  Send me an Email with your story and any pictures you would like to share. Give me a Title for the Story and I will add it to our Travelers Blog.

For those who have already subscribed to the Blog/Newsletter that do not want to receive Travel Blog information, you may Unsubscribe by clicking on the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the Newsletter if you wish. We hope that you continue to read the Blog and even contribute your story.

See You All September 25th.


April 10th Meeting

Loved the Sun more then the chilly days and clouds…. just say’n!

Our meeting began with several potential New Members introducing themselves.  I didn’t count, but I would say about 4 or 5 at least. All of them said they found us Via our Website 🙂 That excites me as the Webmaster because that means all the work I have been doing on this site this season is paying off. Let’s keep our fingers crossed it keeps working.  I (Helen) also briefly went over our Website Analytics or approximately how many visitors we have to our Website on a monthly basis. Originally we started out with 321 overall visitors, but after I narrowed it down to just the city’s surrounding Albany, we have 218 visitor’s, visiting our website every month. And the good news is, over half of them are returning for more information. Awesome!

We went right into Evelyn and Jerry Smith’s presentation. It was listed on our schedule as Wildlife Photography, but Evelyn changed it up a bit and included some breathtaking images of Silver Falls from earlier this year during our freeze. She began by telling us that to achieve the type of images we were about to see of the waterfalls, you really need to have 2 or more consecutive days of temps of 20 degrees or lower.  She had 4 or 5 images of beautiful cascading falls with walls of ice and icicle. By accident, Evelyn had bumped into some that were behind the falls and hanging from the ceiling. She said that sound was just beautiful as they shattered to pieces on the trail floor. They also recommended that if you are venturing out into areas like this, where you know that the trail will be slick, it’s best to wear Snow Tracks that easily slip over your hiking boots and have spikes on them to help your legs stay under you when traversing these frozen trails.  They also wore their bike helmets just in case some of the ice decided to give way. The images were so breathtaking that you really had to be there to see them.

The second part of their presentation was a slideshow she had put together for a friend that was not in good health and she knew she better get it done ASAP, because he wasn’t going to be with us much longer. He was a long time member of the ICL – Institute for Continued Learning and her presentation was on Preservation Of Water Conservation and how it effects everything we do. Unfortunately, her friend passed away the next day having never laid eyes upon her slideshow, but I can tell you after seeing it myself, he would have been very impressed and happy to have her keeping him up to date.  Thanks for the presentation Evelyn.   To see more of their Wildlife Photography see EJ Photo Adventures.

Guess what time it is?? It’s Scavenger Hunt Time! You do need to be a Paid Member to participate. You can see all the details HERE.

Allen Brooks reminded us that when submitting images in the print competitions they need to meet certain criteria. The smallest images cannot be less than 80 square inches (this is for the image alone and doesn’t include the matting), and the entire set up cannot be any larger than 96 square inches. For more information See The Gold Book.

If you have anything Photography Equipment you would like to sell, List it in our Club Classifieds.

If anyone has any idea if there is an App out there for Android phones that will allow someone to watermark images before uploading them to Social Media sites, let us know. We have some members that would be very interested in it.

Our next Meeting on April 24th is a must see. Chris Germano is going to show us some more of his layering and compositing techniques. He does some amazing work. Please give him a warm welcome. He is a friend of mine and I invited him to speak, but unfortunately I cannot make it to this meeting.

Anyone who is a Paid Member and would like to participate in our Private Community on Google+ for Image Critique, shoot me (Helen) and Email.

Dont forget that EID images are due by April 19th. See you all next time.

March 27th Meeting

Can you believe it’s already April? Where has the time gone. I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say, “I am so ready for Summer”! I want to be able to get out and shoot and not have to lug my coat, my umbrella (for my camera of course), extra clothing and shoes, etc., Bring on the Warm Sunny Days!

First, I want to begin by saying Congratulations to three of our club members, Dina Ratzlaf, Stephanie Low and Nancy Hunt, who took part in the Albany’s Vistor’s Association Photo Contest and came out on the winning side. Take a look at some of the images Here. Great Job Ladies!

Next, John Merrell gave an wonderful presentation on Bird Photography. He gave us all some great advice….., or as he put it, “what works well for him in the field”. For those of you who were not able to make it to this meeting, or for those who just need a recap, here is John’s complete Bird Photography Presentation. John did answer a few questions, including mine. I asked him if he uses Flash, and if so, was it on or off camera. He said when he uses Flash, it’s mainly off camera. He also said that, depending on your subject, you may need to set up 2-3 off camera flashes. For example: when shooting hummingbirds.

Oh yes, FYI, there was one other tip that was shared which I never really thought about and that is that, Geese will tend to land into the wind. Good to know! Now maybe I can get the front end of the goose for a change 🙂

John, Thank you, You inspire many!

Our EID (Electronic Image Display) winners are now uploaded. Follow this Link: March EID 2014. Then once you have browsed the images, take a look at the Scoresheet right under the Album. This is the first time we have listed the results of the scoring and the comments from the Judges.

We finished out the evening with a Presentation on China from Steve O’Hare. He and his wife traveled around China for 29 days. Some would think that would be easy, right? Well, Steve put it in perspective for us. He said that China is roughly the size of the United States. The Population of China is about 1.3 Billion and the U.S. is a mere 311 Million. Can you imagine trying to tour the United States in only 29 days? Wow, I had no idea! Steve also added that all land in China is owned by the Government and that most of their energy is generated by coal.

This is another reason I love coming to these meetings, so much information I just never knew.

Great presentation Steve – Thank you 🙂

Oh yes, last but not least, we have set up a Private Community for VVCC Image Critique on Google+, for our club members only.  It’s by invitation ONLY. So if you are interested in participating in this feature you will need to set up a Google+ (gmail account). If you already have one, great, just shoot me (Helen), an Email saying you would like me to send you an invite and be sure to let me know the email address you wish to use. You will receive your invitation via email, of which you will need to choose to “Follow”. If you have any questions about this Private Community, also email me (Helen). Thank you 🙂

Our next meeting is on April 10th.  Our Print Competition Theme is (Long Exposure). Don’t miss the Presentation by Evelyn & Jerry Smith on Wildlife Photography.

See You All There 🙂



March 13th Meeting

Happy St. Patty’s Day 🙂

Gary opened the meeting right away asking the board members if they had anything to share before getting into Allen Norby’s presentation.

Helen (me, the webmaster), began by sharing new information about NEW content on our website. First, is that I have put together 3 Image Resizing – Video’s, meant to help our members prepare images for the EID, Email or web related transfer. Although we are most concerned about image size for our Photo Gallery, it’s equally important for EID and for emailing images to family or friends. Our image resizing requirements have changed for the last time: keeping our images to dimensions of 1024 pixels wide X 768 pixels tall, will give us nice large quality images when enlarged and viewed on screen. Take a look at our Side by Side Gallery to see how just keeping the pixels to these dimensions gives us the best viewable image. And second, we our putting together 2 areas that might interest you all. Upcoming Workshops and a Travel Planning Resource for Photographers. Check them out and if you have something to add, please send me the information via EMAIL.

Allen Brooks, our color print chair presented Harold Marx with a
4C’s Award Of Merit for his image Dark Shadows.
2nd Theme Small Dark Shadows by Harold Marx

Great Work Harold!

Frank reminded us that the NPPNW (Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest) will be holding their Spring Meeting April 5th and their featured speaker is Adam Jones: “Adam is a member of CANON’s “Explorers of Light,” specializing in nature photography.  He is highly published and known for his skills as a teacher.  Adam’s morning presentation is entitled “Nature Inspirations:  An inspirational nature and wildlife program” and his afternoon presentation is “Tips & Tech:  Basics of flash, HDR, image stacking, using textures, and fun with software”  All this for only $10 per person if preregistered. For folks within the same household, add $5 per person.  The location is Centralia College, Centralia WA. Doors open at 8:30 and the program begins at 10:00am. Sensor cleaning is available and vendors will be on site.

Art Burkhalter is looking for someone in our club to stand in and manage the third Thursday meeting in April. If you are interested, email Helen and she will contact Art.

If you feel that you need to know more about your DSLR and how it works, then Dileep’s class is for you. His class Enhance Your DSLR Skills (CRN# 47013) begins April 9th at Linn-Benton in the Mckenzie Hall, Cost is $59. Register online or in person.

Now Presenting Allen Norby’s Wildlife Photography. Allen has mastered his technique over the years and it shows in his wildlife photography. Here are 5 key elements to getting those once in a life time shots.

  • Know Your Gear
  • Know Your Subject
  • Lighting
  • Conceal Yourself
  • Patience

Allen uses a lightweight collapsible blind that he can pack easily or some type of concealment almost every time he is taking pictures of Wildlife. Most of his pictures were taken within about an 8 miles radius of his own backyard. And much of it at E. E. Wilson Wildlife Area just North of Corvallis off Hwy 99.  He is a believer in using a tripod or at the very least a monopod to get those images as sharp as possible, allowing for tighter cropping later. Another thing he mentioned was that his equipment is Insured. So in the event the unmentionable happens while he is out in the field, he can be rest assured that replacement will be much easier on the pocket book.

Great Presentation Allen, Thank You 🙂

At the meeting before this one, Stephanie handed out a very short questionaire regarding the future of our Club. Choose your version below if you are interested in the results.
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We are working on a way for our club to interact on images in more ways than at our monthly meetings. Be watching for an Email over the next few days labeled VVCC – Image Critique. Then you can decide if you want to be participate or not.

I hope you are finding this Newsletter / Blog informative and helps keep you up-to-date