March 13th Meeting

Happy St. Patty’s Day ūüôā

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‚Äôs ‚ÄúExplorers of Light,‚ÄĚ specializing in nature photography. ¬†He is highly published and known for his skills as a teacher. ¬†Adam‚Äôs morning presentation is entitled ‚ÄúNature Inspirations: ¬†An inspirational nature and wildlife program‚ÄĚ and his afternoon presentation is ‚ÄúTips & Tech: ¬†Basics of flash, HDR, image stacking, using textures, and fun with software‚ÄĚ ¬†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 ūüôā

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.
PDF Word Doc icon copy

 

 

 

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

 

February 13th, 2014 Meeting

It was nice to see everyone at the First February meeting. Glad to know that snow or rain won’t keep you away.

Mike Lowery from¬†Focal Point in¬†¬†Dallas, OR was our guest speaker. If you haven’t already, take a little drive and stop in to visit. Mike loves to answer questions so come with a list ūüėČ Mike’s motto is “Promoting The Art Of Photography”. His topic this evening was on Depth Of Field. Which will be written from here on out in this post as DOF.

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What Is Depth Of Field?

¬†It’s the amount of distance between the nearest and farthest objects that appear to be in focus in a photograph. Depending on what you are trying to draw attention to in an image DOF can vary. It’s basically the amount of or part of your image that is not in focus or is blurred out to draw your attention to specific subject. Mike has been working with a medium DOF where you have 2/3 of the scene behind your subject and 1/3 in front of your subject. Point and shoot cameras are limited and don’t work as well as DSLR’s when you need a shallow DOF.

There is so much to learn when we speak of DOF, from changing your aperture and using a wider angle to using longer (zoom) lens to to make people appear closer in a room when they are literally 20 rows apart.

Bokeh is part of DOF and Mike explained it like this. Bokeh is the quality of the out of focus areas in your image. The out of focus areas should blend smoothly so that it does not draw the eye away from your subject and not be distracting in anyway. He also said that you should test all your lens’s for their ability to produce Quality Bokeh behind, as well as in front of subject. This is critical, especially if you are shooting something like a wedding.

For portrait work, don’t have your subject stand right up against the wall. By moving them off the background 6-10 feet, will give you that separation and smooth bokeh you are looking for.

There are times when we want the entire image to be in focus. To accomplish this you really need to take multiple photographs and do what is called Focus Stacking. Over lapping your images as you focus on different areas in the scene. Then blend them together in an image editor like photoshop. Or another program Mike mentioned was Zerene Staker.

Mike is working on a future presentation on “What’s Important In Photography”, so stay tuned for this one, he is always a wealth of information. Mike also offers Members Discounts at his store so stop in and see him in Dallas. Tell him Valley ¬†Viewfinders Camera Club sent you, well worth the drive.

Thanks Mike – great presentation ūüôā

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Art will be showing us how to “Develop” Snow pictures for the Third Thursday Meeting. So bring your Pictures, Laptop and Lightroom if you have it loaded.

Frank brought up a good point about our Black and White competition. We have adopted 4C’s Rules as where as long as there is only one color in your image it is considered Monochrome and is acceptable to enter. For instance Sepia Photographs are one color. You can’t have an image that is black and white then have the flower be yellow. The image has to be the same across the entire photograph.

Soon our winners of our Color Print and B&W Print competition will be ready to view. Thanks for your participation.

Collecting Travel Planning Information for Photographers
Recently we added a Travel Planning Section for photographers on our website. If you have or would like to share books, publications, or websites you use when planning your trips or vacations, please shoot me an EMAIL with information and I would gladly add it to our page.
Looking For Photography Events, Workshops, Classes, ETC. around the area
As photographers, we are always interested in Photography Events, classes, workshops, etc.,  around the area or at least within the Untied States. If you have some information on such events, again shoot me an EMAIL and I will include on our Events Page.

And to wrap up the meeting I’m going to quote Nelson Mills: “The best camera in the world is the one you have with you”

January 23rd 2014 Meeting

First, I want to apologize for being late on updating our January information. Unfortunately, I have been fighting the Flu / Cold which is now in it’s 3rd week. Most days I just have zero energy and find myself in bed before 7:00 pm. Today, I visited the doctor for the second time with the same anticipated response. Sorry, antibiotics will not help, but suggested I up my Vitamin C, drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest. Hope the Vitamin C works, because the other two haven’t. Okay, I’m done with the pitty party!

Onto our business at hand. We had a full house again which I am always ecstatic to see. We jumped right into Frank Lahman’s presentation of Making Silk From A Sow’s Ear. Below is Franks written presentation.

Three concepts were discussed at last night’s meeting: Picture Within a Picture, Making Silk from a Sow’s Ear, and Working the Scene. 

The overall scene depicting Opal Creek shows what you may have to start with and then sort out the key elements to include. In this instance, the dark shadow on the far bank caught my eye as an excellent backdrop for something (but what?) object in the sunlight. A little exploration resulted in a small tree being chosen as the main subject. Opal-Creek-Side-By-SideIt was then a matter of finding just the right location for placing the tripod/camera that allowed an optimal fore/mid/back-ground‚ÄĒall in front of the dark shadow. Shooting in portrait vs. landscape orientation resulted in the best composition. It was also necessary to shoot from a low angle‚ÄĒabout 3 ft. above ground to get everything positioned properly. About 18 images were shot (landscape vs. portrait, high/low camera position, zoom in/out, move left/right), checking each one and making adjustments, in order to get the ideal composition.

The set of three images of the Cedar Creek Grist Mill shows another version of working the scene. In this instance each image was taken by a different photographer‚ÄĒtwo within a day of each other in October, with one taken while standing on a bridge and the other from below the bridge. The third image was taken about 10 years earlier during the winter‚ÄĒshowing the challenges faced by varied seasons and weather. Cedar-Creek-Grist-Mill-3-Points-Of-ViewThe point to be learned is that you can learn a lot‚ÄĒon the spot‚ÄĒby taking a companion or two with you on your photo outings. I guarantee that no two photographers capture an identical image and you will be surprised at the number of varied compositions you will discover in the process of sharing results with each other.

Making Silk from a Sow’s Ear

These two pictures were taken at Silver Falls State Park about two weeks after peak fall color. Not much worthy of a photograph. But wait! Autumn-Reflection-EditThere is a bit of color on the water’s surface. Let’s move to the right in order to get clear of the foreground shrubbery and zoom in on the patch of color. That’s all it took to create a Monet-like impressionistic image.

Picture Within a Picture

I was shooting a documentary ‚ÄúThis is what it looked like from the deck of the cabin‚ÄĚ photograph¬† at Mercer Lake on a foggy September evening. That‚Äôs why the beach and marina were included. While browsing through my photos a year later the upper half of the image, with the fog and lighted homes, caught my interest. I decided to crop to a 1:3 ratio, which was essentially a matter of cutting off the bottom half of a 2:3 ratio image. Mercer-Lake-After-EditFortunately, with only a little bit of cropping at the right end, very little data was lost in creating the panorama. This is one of my all-time favorite photographs and was enlarged to 10‚ÄĚ x 30‚ÄĚ, double matted and framed.

Great Presentation Frank – thanks


Frank also mentioned that John & Barbara Gerlach (www.gerlachnaturephoto.com), 208-652-4444 are presenting a one-day seminar in Portland on Saturday April 12. It’s titled: How to Shoot Beautiful Nature Photographs. Cost is $100.

They have been featured speakers at NPPNW. Check out their Book, Digital Landscape Photography, which encompasses much of what they’ll present in the seminar. It is a good reference to go back and re-read on occasion to make sure you are getting things just right. 


Mary Collins presented our EID Winners for January. Once again, awesome photography. Keep Up The Good Work! She also mentioned our standings as far as points awarded by 4C’s, to the participating clubs. We are ranked 12th out of 19 clubs.


Art Burkhalter, our 4C’s EID Rep., asked if we prefer to see the Titles of the images when judging the EID? Our club voted almost 2 to 1 against Titles being visible during judging. They feel it should be up to the viewers discretion as to what they take away from the image and not have the title influence the decision.

Don’t forget that the Quarterly EID images are due by January 31st, email your email images to: eidquarterly@columbiacameraclubs.org.

And last but not least, The 4C’s Convention will be in Vancouver Washington the first weekend in October. Schedule and Itinerary to be determined.

January’s 3rd Thursday Meeting

Art has kindly contributed his information from his 3rd Thursday Meeting.

Beginning HDR

The January 3rd Thursday meeting took a dive into “high dynamic range” (hdr) photography.¬† Hdr methods are used when the scene being shot contains bright and dark extreme areas that are beyond the ability of our cameras to record.¬† The way to work around this limitation in cameras is through a combination of bracketing the image with multiple exposures and post-capture techniques done in software.

Newcomers to hdr image capture can use the histogram in their camera to recognize when the situation might call for hdr techniques.  Clipping, or saturation as it is sometimes called, in either the brights or the darks or both is an indicator of the scene being a candidate for hdr techniques.

Figure 1 shows a histogram with clipping in both the blacks and also the whites of the image, but clipping at only one end can also call for hdr.

hdr-histo

Fig. 1  Histogram with clipping

On occasion, the use of hdr might assist in bringing more detail out of one extreme or the other even when clipping is not obviously present.

During the image capture portion of hdr, it is desirable to keep the focus point and also the depth of field constant in order to yield the best result.¬† Using a tripod and not changing the “zoom” on zoom lenses is certainly a good place to start, but the tripod is not always necessary.¬† Manual focusing will eliminate accidental shifts that might be cause by the camera’s auto-focus system.¬† Maintaining a constant depth of field is achieved by keeping the camera aperture at a single setting during the bracketing process.¬† This can be done with the camera set to ‘aperture priority’ or by using the manual mode of exposure control.¬† When bracketing the exposure, you should capture image files at steps of either 1 or 2 stops.¬† The number of exposures necessary is dependent upon the specific scene, but a minimum of three exposures (-1, 0, +1 or -2, 0, +2) should be taken.¬† It is not unusual for photographers to capture five or even seven exposures when they are doing hdr capturing.¬† (You can always toss out any unneeded exposes, but you can’t go back to get another.)

After the capture of the bracketed images, the files must be combined or ‘stacked.’¬† The easiest way to do this is to feed the files into software that does the work for you.¬† However, it is possible to accomplish a very acceptable result, by combining the bracketed exposes using layers that consist of the various exposures and judicious selections from those layers with masking techniques.

Today’s mainstream software tools for hdr processing are Photoshop and PS Elements (www.adobe.com); the Google NIK Collection’s HDR Efex Pro (www.google.com/nikcollection); and Photomatix (www.hdrsoft.com).¬† Each of these software packages will produce slightly different results, but it is not always predictable which the photographer will find the most satisfying.

Recent versions of Photoshop (and Elements) have the advantage of being able to use built in automation to create hdr images.¬† They can also be used to “manually” create your own layered hdr image.¬† The PS Elements hdr tool is a little bit limited over the full version of PS, but the result is still very useable and its difficult to argue over the cost.

The NIK HDR Efex Pro is a part of an entire collection and does not seem to be available as a standalone any more.  The entire collection is $149.  HDR Efex Pro is strictly a plug-in, but it is compatible with most recent versions of Photoshop, PS Elements, Lightroom and Aperture.  After the HDR Efex software has done the mathematics (the heavy lifting) it will produce an image file upon which the photographer can further adjust the image with numerous presents, as well as local adjustment tools.  The local adjustment tools are very highly regarded by most who have experienced them.

The other mainstream software tool is Photomatix and it was the first significant post-processing hdr software tool.  Cost of Photomatix varies from $29-$99 depending upon your needs such as plug-in, stand-alone or both.  It too is available for most recent versions of Photoshop, PS Elements, Lightroom and Aperture.  Besides doing the math, Photomatix also has a proprietary set of adjustment tools.

Hdr images produce desirable results in night and low light situations, but they also can be handy in broad daylight settings.  In addition, hdr images can be converted to excellent monochrome images.  The following figures provide a daylight example.

Tetons

Fig. 2   The bracketed exposures of a daylight scene

teton-7273_4_7

Fig. 3   A daylight hdr image derived from the exposures above

The VVCC 3rd Thursday group will meet again February 20th, and Harold Marx will be going over the capabilities and uses of the OnOne Perfect Photo Suite package.  (www.ononesoftware.com)

Click Here if you want a Printable PDF of this exact information.

Windows Life Cycle

We all knew this day was coming, we just didn’t know when. The end of Windows XP Extended Support will end on April 8th, 2014. All of our computers (oops….I mean PC based computers) have an expiration date or Life Cycle for support. This can be serious and our Anti Virus Protection may no longer protect us as we surf web.

Rather than go into too much detail I am just including a few links so that you may read more information on your own time. I will tell you this as I took some time to research information for Anti Virus support, Avast will continue to support Windows XP for another 2 years but only if you are using a browser like Chrome or Firefox. They will not support Internet Explorer.

Windows Life Cycle Fact Sheet

Support for XP is ending soon

Anti Virus Support ends (scroll to bottom once you click link)

 

Sorry For Duplicate

Hey Subscribers, I’m sorry for the 2 different versions of the Newsletter. I decided not to use New Version since we can’t seem to afford both Constant Contact and The $8 a month for the New Plugin. They were to be used as two totally separate structures. So after talking with Gary, I will just stick with the plain version for all.

But the reason for this little note was to say I am sorry for forgetting to disable it before sending out the regular Newsletter / Blog notes.

Thanks Mary for getting that all prepared for me. There was a bad link in there which is now fixed.

January 9th 2013 Meeting

The first meeting of the new year was instructive and entertaining, with a challenge to a packed house of DSLR aficionados to move out of our respective comfort zones and explore the advantages of simplicity (aka mobile photography). 

But first, a few notes on the announcements and business side:

  • ¬†Art B noted that Quarterly EID entries are due to 4Cs by midnight, January 31st.¬† Submit entries to¬†eidquarterly@columbiacameraclubs.org
  • ¬†Mary C reminded members that VVCC will be judging 4Cs monthly EID¬†entries in February, so our January winners will be submitted with February¬†winners and judged in March.¬† Evelyn S, Art B and Bill P offered to judge this¬†month’s VVCC EID competition.¬†
  • ¬†Current balance in our treasury is $1275.¬†
  • ¬†In Helen H’s absence, Gary T presented her interest in an upgraded¬†blog that would have a more professional appearance at a cost of¬†about $8 per month.¬† Suggestions for combining application capabilities for¬†the blog and newsletter were raised from the floor.¬† Gary concluded that he and Helen would review those possibilities before proceeding.¬†
  • ¬†Helen asked that members be reminded to submit their winning prints¬†promptly to her in electronic format for inclusion in the VVCC webpage.¬† For¬†added protection, remember to include a watermark‚ÄĒor request the generic¬†VVCC watermark.
  • Sally R announced that there is a display of the photographic work lifetime¬†member, George Andrus, on the upper floor of the library.¬† (For those who¬†missed it, there is an article about the exhibit in the Democrat Herald:¬†¬†http://democratherald.com/news/local/george-andrus-and-the-art-of-creativity-longtime-albany-resident/article_7ef27452-7b21-11e3-9364-001a4bcf887a.html¬†¬†

And now to the program:  Kat Sloma and Cellphone Photography.  

Kat gave a lively presentation, illustrated by many of her own photos.  From a background with an artistic family and a love of art from earliest childhood, she headed off to engineering school, made a career in that field  and took up photography only when she felt a need for creativity.  

Her passion for photography blossomed in 2009 during a temporary assignment in Milan, Italy.¬† Her camera of choice was a single lens reflex and she was stimulated not only by the new environment but by the art museums in her vicinity.¬† While she started by viewing her photos as a record of “places”, she soon came to realize that “places” were her means of self-expression‚ÄĒa way to interpret what she sees and to share that vision.¬†¬†

Returning to the U.S., she “kept seeing Europe,” and found herself in a crisis of sorts, in which photography lost its appeal.¬† But then, after a year of doing essentially nothing, and just by chance, she discovered mobile photography.¬†¬†

Her sense was that she’d regained a feeling for self-expression she’d been missing since her return to the U.S.¬† By the summer of 2013, it wasn’t her DSLR that accompanied her on a trip to China and Taiwan; it was her iPhone 5.¬† With it, she seeks to “create a pause”, allowing herself and her viewer to take in what’s seen.¬† Interestingly, she names ALL her photos, believing that the words and image enhance one another. ¬†¬†

As for the differences between mobile and conventional photography, Kat pointed to the freedom allowed by the fact that image capture and processing call all be done on the mobile device, with real-time connectivity and sharing both easy and fast. 

With a DSLR, the user must first transfer images to a computer for editing and sharing.  Once your image is transferred, you are generally free to choose from a wide range of applications.  For mobile users, the choice of a device determines the apps and processing you can use.  For the great variety of available apps, Kat chooses to stay with Apple rather than Android devices.  

She likes the fact that use of a computer is optional prior to sharing images, though she does use Lightroom as her means of archiving photos.  

The “disadvantages” of a mobile device:

  • ¬†fixed field of view (approx. 35mm)¬†
  • ¬†no optical zoom (You must use your feet.)¬†
  • ¬†fixed aperture (iPhone 5 is 2.4; iPhone 5S is 2.2.)¬†
  • ¬†no shutter speed or ISO control (though some is available through apps‚ÄĒ¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Kat recommends ProCamera 7 for iPhone)¬†
  • ¬†resolution is somewhat limited (8 megapixels for iPhone 5)¬†
  • ¬†caution is needed with apps ‚Äďe.g., some downsize images with the¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†assumption that the images will be shared online.¬†
  • ¬†power management can be problematic ¬†
  • ¬†file management is a problem for which you must devise a system¬†

The “advantages” of the devices:¬†

  • ¬†portability –¬† doesn’t require you to set out on a photo excursion.¬† The phone¬†is just there when ¬†you are struck by an image.¬†
  • ¬†accessible (in your pocket)¬†
  • ¬†unobtrusive¬†
  • ¬†easy to process and share¬†
  • ¬†capable device‚ÄĒfrom landscapes to macro close-ups and even, with apps,¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†exposure control¬†
  • ¬†allows photographer to focus on composition‚ÄĒangle, perspective, framing,¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†etc., without worry about gear‚ÄĒthe¬†tripod, lenses, filters, etc.¬†
  • ¬†absence of zoom brings the photographer into closer proximity to subject (a¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†plus as well as a minus)¬†
  • ¬†easy to change aspect ratio in the camera rather than after the fact¬†
  • ¬†freedom from concern about zoom, ISO, shutter speed, etc.¬†¬†

In conclusion Kat noted that the Art Center in Corvallis will be exhibiting mobile photos later this year.  Below are the links Kat provided, including that Call to Artists:  

The Arts Center Call to Artists for mobile photography exhibition: http://theartscenter.net/opportunity/deadline-june-2-2014-expanding-vision-the-contribution-of-mobile-photography/

Links on Kat’s site (kateyestudio.com):

Mobile Tutorials, Articles and Resources: http://kateyestudio.com/mobile-apps-tutorials-resources

Upcoming workshops on mobile photography: http://kateyestudio.com/on-location-workshops

Other general photography resources: http://kateyestudio.com/free-blog-series

In addition, Kat says:¬† “I’m always available via email for questions!” http://kateyestudio.com/

The print competition was judged, as  usual, at the break, and winners should be available for viewing on the VVCC website shortly.

Hope to see you all at the 3rd Thursday Meeting January 16th, also held at the Library 

December’s 3rd Thursday Meeting

Happy New Year ūüôā

In my continuing effort to get our club and website noticed for it’s great photographers and awesome educators, I asked Art Burkhalter (leader of the 3rd Thursday Group) to write a piece on what he presented or discussed at the December meeting. A number of us never make it to this Third Thursday Meeting for one reason or another, to see first hand what goes on there (sadly, myself included). Having been at earlier meetings I know we are all missing some great “FREE” information. Anyway, I felt that maybe getting a little written rundown each month might give us all incentive to attend more often. At the very least, having this information available to us with links to PDF’s (if available) will gives us just another “LINK” in that proverbial¬†chain for more education on anything Photography. So here is what Art so graciously provided for us today. ¬† ¬† ¬†~ ¬† Enjoy!

The 3rd Thursday primary topic for December was black and white conversions using Lightroom, Photoshop and PS Elements.  Here is a PDF of some conversions.

After a discussion about the differences between color images and b/w (aka grayscale) images, we also covered why it’s actually nicer to do the conversion from color files than it was to use b/w film.¬† Examples of “destructive conversions” were shown for the sake of completeness, but we tried to dwell more on methods of making “non-destructive conversions” to grayscale.¬† The illustration below was used to demonstrate the parallel relationship between shooting b/w film and the world of digital capture and conversion.

Conversions To B&W

Thank you – Art Burkhalter

December 12th Meeting

Good Morning Ya’ll. I have to start today’s review of our meeting by saying “What Troopers We Had At The Meeting” Thursday night. We had a full house, which I was surprised to see after the weather we had this past week where we experience some of the coldest and snowiest days that Oregon has seen since about the 30’s. Happy to see most of our members at the meeting, and to those who were not with us, We Miss You Happy Holidays.

We started this meeting in a different way this year. This time of year is truly tough for so many people and if there was a way to help even if just a little, I wanted to. Then at the last minute I came up with this idea and passed it by Gary Thurman (President of VVCC). “What do you think about doing our own Canned Food Drive with our club? Can you mention it in one of your bulletins and have people bring in a donation of canned or non-perishable food to be given to a charity of our choice?” So since I missed the time frame for the main meeting bulletin, he added it to the Weather Alert Bulletin the day before our meeting. With such short notice I wasn’t expecting too much.¬†Oh My Gosh! Was I ever wrong. I’m very happy to say “We will be donating just over 57 Pounds of non-perishable food for those in need this year.” I can’t Thank you all enough for participating.

Onto our main events.

Frank Lahman talked to us about Exposing To The Right :). ¬†No, no, no, not that type of exposing, geesh! Frank is talking about using your Histogram¬†in camera and Exposing To The Right.HistogramMeaning, instead of a darker picture, you want a brighter but not blown out image. When you start seeing the graph crawling up the wall on the right of your histogram, you know something is clipping or is (blown out or you have lost information). Half the data available for the entire image is found in the brightest f/stop on the histogram – at the far right of the histogram and we don’t want to loose that information. Frank admits that when he first started using this technique, he was skeptical. Especially when he would look at the back of his camera and the image seemed a little too bright. But he reminded us that what we are seeing on our camera display is just a quick jpeg rendering of what the camera thinks the image should look like, and not to rely on that image alone, but use your histogram and expose to the right if possible without clipping.

Frank brought in 2 of the same images. One exposed to what looked correct on his camera display and the second using his histogram to properly expose the entire image. Then using a magnifying glass had us look over the light and dark areas of each picture. All be darned, the picture that was exposed properly to the right had much more sharp (no noise) information and the other, well, let’s just say…… was not desirable. There was so much noise (graininess) in the shadows and dark areas. Who would have thought??? I myself have to admit, I never use my histogram, but after tonight and even though I’m more of a portrait photographer, I will start using my histogram to expose my images to the right keeping more of my information for printing, intact. Thank you Frank.

The rest of the evening was spent with our Print and EID competition. The Theme was purple for our prints. Great photos! I’m very happy to see more and more members competing in the EID competition. It might have just been me, but I think tonight’s EID images were some of the best we have had as of yet. Great Job everyone. Don’t forget to send your 1st-3rd place winning images to me here (VVCC Webmaster) so that I can get them up on our website for others to see what beautiful work our club does.

There has been a new area added to our Education Section of the website called DIY or Do It Yourself. If you are like me and tend to build some of your own equipment to save money, please share “your plans, blue prints, or information”, with us. It could be step by step directions or even a video or a link to information you found. If you would like to share your information, please provide me with all the info and I will add the link to DIY under Education.

Also, don’t forget about the Classified Ads section if you are looking to buy or sell any photography related gear or equipment. And if you have something you want to add to the Classifieds, just email me with the requested information and I will get your sale items up as soon as possible. Your item will remain up for 30 days. If you haven’t sold it within 30 days you can choose to keep it listed. How you ask? Five days before the item expires you will receive an email letting you know your item will expire. However, you can choose to keep it listed for another 30 days or until sold by confirming the email link you receive. If you sell and item, please contact me VVCC Webmaster to remove it or just wait out your 30 days, at which time the sale item will expire on its own.

One more thing, Art Burkhalter reminded us that we will be having our Third Thursday meeting on December 19th, where he will show various ways to do Black & White Conversions. Meet us at the Library at 7:00 and bring your questions.

Well, that’s it for this month. See You All Next Year ūüôā

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ~ Helen

November 14th Meeting

We had a Full House at Thursday nights meeting. There was a lot on the agenda. First, we did our usual “check with the officers” to see if they had anything new to report. The webmaster “Helen”, which is me, asked the members if they felt the Blog was necessary to the website. Not many commented one way or the other, so for now we will keep the blog going. However, I am looking for someone who wouldn’t mind being the “Blog Writer” for the club. Basically just giving a run down of what happened during the meeting, such as changes, new events coming up, presenters, etc. Someone who could make the blog interesting and keep readers engaged and interested in the content. So if you know of anyone…….. pass this information on. This information is meant for those who couldn’t make it to a meeting or needed a reminder of what we talked about.

Next we moved right into our Presentation for the night by John Ritchie. He does some incredible night photography work and he was kind enough to share some of his tips, tricks and techniques.   He also provided us with all the links to the other images he shared from other photographers. Thanks John for a great presentation!

John Ritchie
http://johnritchieimages.com
The Nocturnes ‚Äď night photography, galleries of photographers
http://www.thenocturnes.com/gallery.html
Tom Phelan ‚Äď Full moon photography looks like day
http://www.tomphelanphotography.com/
Ian Norman ‚Äď Milky Way
http://www.lonelyspeck.com/how-to-make-an-amazing-photo-of-the-milky-way-galaxy/
Troy Paiva ‚Äď Light painting with color flashes
http://lostamerica.com
Darren Rowse ‚Äď Light Trails
http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-shoot-light-trails

We also had our Print competition and our EID. Be watching our Gallery for new images.

Diane Hubbard mentioned she had some Lenses to sell. This brings us to another subject. Gary Thurman talked to me about the possibility of adding a “Classified Ads” section to our website. You all keep challenging me that is for sure, but after thinking about it over night, we now have an official CLASSIFIED ADS page. Although anyone can view this information the actual Ads that are placed are only for Paid VVCC Club Members ONLY. They will automatically be disabled after 30 days unless the owner of the item renews the ad via an email He/She will receive. For now, I will be adding these items to this page. So if you are interested, just shoot me an email with up to 4 images of the item, description, price, email you wish to be contacted by and a phone number if you also want to share that. If you sell the item, please send me and email so that I can delete it from the list. We already have 2 items on list for sale ūüôā

Don’t forget about our 3rd Thursday meeting coming up on November 21st at the Library. And remember there is no meeting at the end of the month this month or next.

See you all December 12th.