Monday, 6 April 2020

Early April Update


Normally. I’d be posting a blog detailing what happened at last night’s photo club meeting.  Only problem – it and foreseeable future meetinga are currently suspended until society gets a leg up on the pandemic front. However, life must go on, and so should your creative photographic endeavours. In the interim, we are switching to a virtual, on-line mode using Facebook, Youtube, this Blog and, of course, email as our sources for dialogue and sharing.


Our March outing was to Amherst Island and 20 of our fellow members took the ferry over to the island for a great day’s photoshoot.  The individual images are available on our public Facebook page, while the video slideshow version is available at out Youtube channel.

Our Theme challenge for March was People &/or Pet Portraiture and we had 25 members submit images that ranged from formal portraits (full studio lighting set-ups) to some rather broad interpretations of the words “portraiture” and “pet”.  Lot’s of good humour was evident in the image submission – a welcome relief from current anxieties  that we all are facing.  These images and the slideshow are up on our Facebook and Youtube site for public viewing.



We have a new event underway for the month of April – called IMGO – short for Image Bingo. A Bingo card has been sent to all members with 16 marked squares that you are asked to submit images for. We will complete the cards as the images are submitted and will post them once they are completed. You just need to submit the images, sized and watermarked as normal.  To keep this manageable, we ask that you submit the images to us, a completed row, column or diagonal at a time. The idea is to have all the cards completed by the end of April.  We will also post the individual images, amalgamated under the separate 16 headings in early May – at least that’s the current plan.

The April theme challenge is entitled – Subject Placement is Everything. Here we are asking you to have a clearly identifiable subject within your image and use your compositional skills to effectively place the subject within the image frame. Your five theme images will be due in by Wednesday April 29th. Keep your cameras close at hand, especially if you do venture from the house for groceries or other essentials – always a photo op available to the trained eye!

Keep healthy, socially distant, and please stay virtually close.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Corona Virus Update

Our Executive Committee met to discuss the implications of the corona virus threat to our club operations. As the experts say, we are currently in unchartered waters. After lengthy discussion with arguments on all sides of the equation, we decided to err on the side of caution and temporarily suspend our regularly scheduled club meetings. While this may not be the optimal decision, it will certainly not be the wrong decision, nor something that we will regret in future.

The reasoning for the decision is threefold.  First, the virus was transmitted from it’s original source by human travel – and photographers, by their very nature are ardent world travellers. Second, once the virus takes up residency in an area (which it is close to doing even here in North America), it is transmitted by air borne droplets and from people touching surfaces where the virus has landed,  In this regard, close contact with others makes it easy to transfer the virus and our Library Meeting Room is quite small for the size of our membership, with limited ventilation.  Thirdly, once infected, the older a person is, and those with compromised immune systems, the greater the liklihood of a serious complication from the disease.  Our membership consists of many retirees and others in the above high risk category.

This decision will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis by your Executive. Let me be clear that we are not closing the club – just temporarily changing our mode of operations.  We plan to have more outings and smaller workshops in place of the large club meetings.

We will be asking any member that has recently travelled by air or on board a cruise ship, to not participate in club workshops/meetings until 14 days following their return. This is also applicable for anyone showing signs of colds, coughing or fever. Participation by these people in outdoor outings is optional, but we’d ask them not to come into close contact with others. This is likely overkill, but we’ve not yet seen any reasonable alternative.

Let's all keep active on the photography front and work through this threat together. 

Monday, 2 March 2020

March Session Review







Our March 1st meeting was another well attended session with great participation from our members.  We had 37 members participate in the slideshows giving us a great diversity of subject matter and photographic techniques to admire.


I started out the session with a short talk on Computer Monitors and screen resolutions – critcal for successful photo editing! We followed that up with a wintry view of the Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston. This outing was attended by 14 of our members and we literally had birds eating out of our hands!





Our featured presenter of the night was Larry Tayler - who never shies from using his photography to put an edge on matters. Larry’s topic was entitled Using Photos to Motivate. It was part of a larger set of material from a week long workshop that he will be leading at the significant Quaker gathering this summer in Virginia. His material was highly provocative and emotional.

Following our break, Doug Smith introduced his slideshow from a trip late last year to Argentina with special emphasis on the Patagonia region. The icefields and mountain ridges were utterly spectacular.

 

Next up was a new agenda item - The Road to the Winner's Circle -  where we had 6 of our award winners from last year’s Awards Gala (Ian Dickinson, Daphne Creasy, Alan Jenner, Margaret Liddon, Gail Hamilton & John Dufour), tell us about their winning image and why it was so effective. Interestingly, chance timing seemed to play a role in a number of the shots, along with swift and effective action from the knowledgeable group of photographers. It was agreed that all six had well defended their winning entries and should therefore retain their trophies for the current year! Thanks to all of them for this fun discussion.

Our final slideshow of the night was our theme challenge entitled – High Key!  Thirty-five members submitted images that were shot with an emphasis on the right hand side of the histogram (whites and light tones predominate). These images, along with our Lemoine Point shots have been uploaded to our public Facebook page for anyone to view (facebook.com/countyfotoclub).

Our theme challenge for March is People & Pet Photography, while April’s theme challenge is Subject Placement is Everything! 

Thanks to all who participated during the month.

Monday, 3 February 2020

February Meeting Recap





Super B Sunday was an event attended by approx 40 of our members. We commenced the session with our Dunes Outing slideshow that 20 of us attended during a rather nasty weather weekend in mid January. The images were daunting – Sandbanks devoid of human interaction, barring a few appreciative photographers – what a delight!




Next up was an upbeat Joseph Leduc, who’s enthusiasm for photography is highly infectious. As Joe put it, "I love faces" and his presentation on Portrait Photography stressed creativity and fun while still paying heed to the critical details of light, shadow, backgrounds, posing - all essential for effective results.


Following our break, Daphne Creasy put on her slideshow – Roma & The Allure of Tuscany – images taken during a guided photo tour to Italy last May. The music and imagery certainly demonstrated the unique charm of that ancient area of Europe.

Our next speaker was Bert Jenkins who dicussed the Colour Grading technique as a method to further improve our landscape imagery. Using Adobe Photoshop’s Gradient Mapping and Blend-If functions, Bert demonstrated subtle but noticeable improvements in scenic images.


We ended the night with our theme challenge slideshow – Structurally Speaking... to which 31 members participated. Photos of local man-made structures, as well as those of far-off locations around the globe, adorned the screen. These images, along with the Dunes Outing photos have now been uploaded to our public Facebook page for all to see.


Our theme challenges for the next two months are – High Key for February and People & Pet Photography for March. Our outing this month will be at the Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston.

Thanks to all who attended and especially those who participated during the month.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

First Meeting of the New Year


The new year and the new decade started out on a very positive note with 46 of our members having participated in our January slideshows.  That’s getting into record territory for our club and we thank you all. Mike Montgomery started off our meeting with a quick topic item entitled High Key Imagery – all about having the majority of your image very light and airy (on the right hand side of the histogram). Sounds like a great idea for an upcoming theme challenge – see below!

Although we didn’t hold a club outing in December, we still had images from our November outing to the National Air Force Museum in Trenton to view.  Twenty of our members made the trek up to Trenton and came away with some very creative takes on the many planes and air paraphenalia that was strewn around the museum grounds.

 Next up was our major presenter for the evening – Gilles Bisson - with a visually stimulating discussion on Photo Composition. This is Gilles’ second “kick at the cat”, so to speak.  He recapped some of the material that he had discussed with us last August and then delved into additional compositional elements for us to consider when making an image.  As always, Gilles’ imagery was captivating.


Following our half time break, we commenced with a slideshow from a Night Workshop that we held early last Fall at the Lake-on-the-Mountain. Eighteen of our members attended that mini workshop. We had intended to do some night sky photography, but when we arrived there, the sky was full of clouds.  So we started to do a bit of light painting along with some ambient light photography around the brightly lit Inn.  Then as fortune would have it, the skies cleared and the Milky Way became visible. It turned out very well indeed!

Our last slideshow of the evening was for our December theme challenge, entitled Picture Perfect! We had tremendous participation from the membership – so much so that we had to separate it into two halfs.  Forty-four members submitted images depicting a vast array of subject matter and photographic styles.  Impressive imagery for sure - see for yourself on our public Facebook page which now contains all of our slideshow images.

In between the two halfs of the theme show, we managed to squeeze in our annual Show & Tell segment where members talked about recently acquired, photo-related items including new cameras, scanner, monitor, mouse, drone, holster and remote tethering equipment.

Our theme challenge for January is Structurally Speaking ..., while the challenge for February will be High Key.

Thanks again for coming out and happy shooting throughout the Roaring 20’s decade!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

2019 Awards Gala at the Scarlet Regency Cabaret


What a great celebration of photography at our seventh annual Awards Gala!  The Scarlet Regency Cabaret was decked out in it’s finest speakeasy decor – all bathed in warm glowing red light. Art deco lamps, feathers and many nostalgic accessories were strewn around our night club. Even a table was dedicated to the display of cameras from years long past.  Music and videos of the 1920’s & 30’s were streamed through our AV equipment. Best of all, many members donned period costumes to make the evening feel quite authentic. And food, glorious food, overflowed our serving tables – a treat for every taste bud. Thank you to everyone who participated in this event to make it such a "roaring" success.

We started a bit early this year so that it wouldn't be too late when we were eating.  Two slideshows came before the meal – the first was a gorgeous scenic show from Gilles Bisson on his trip this past summer to Newfoundland. Following that, we up-tempo'ed the music and saw a spirited interpretation by our members of the month’s theme challenge -’Round the Bend! The later set of images have been uploaded to our public Facebook page for your review.

Following our meal, the audience was introduced to their hosts for the Awards Presentation, fresh back from a trip to New York.  Luckily they had a great camera crew along with them for their trip, consisting of Chris Ward, Mike Montgomery and Dave Robinet.  The rest, well if you weren’t there, you will need to hear from someone who was.  David Gilbert & I did hear a lot of laughter going on, prior to our entry!


Then we got down to serious business – namely, handing out well-deserved awards in 23 categories of photography.  For each of our award categories, we had four competing images. The winners and runners-up will be posted on our webblog shortly. In addition, I will be posting the full awards presentation slides on our Youtube channel.  In total, 21 individuals took home awards hardware.

About half way through our awards show, we paused to watch a 7 minute review of everything the club has been up to, over the past 12 months.  It was fast paced and backed by up-beat cabaret music. And finally, the awards show ended with a little “soft shoe” from David & myself - with a little help from some well know performers from the 1920s – 1940s.

At the end of the night, I was actually awarded with a trophy as Best Club President – the first thing that I’ve won in seven years at the club.  Not sure exactly who my competition was though, seeing I’ve been the only club president over that time frame!  The trophy was appropriately filled with Smarties – I heard somebody say something about “smarty-pants” or something like that!  I do, very much appreciate the heart felt sentiment. Thanks to you all.

Here are the 2019 winners of the respective award categories:

Award
Winner
Image Title
Use of Colour
Mary Robinet

Umbrella Haven
Candid/Portrait
Ian Dickinson

Proud Mother
Wildlife/Animal
John Dufour

Out Foxed!
Shallow
Janice Ruggles-Bolton

Three Little Chicks
Nightscape
Dave Tugwood

Night Reflections
Fall Splendor
Joanne Arbuckle

Morning Mist
Funniest Foto
Joseph Leduc

Long Exposure
Urban Life
Leonard Buffett

Urban Transport
Architecture
Mags Kandis

City Tribute
Slideshow of the Year
Larry Tayler

Tasmanian Grace
Monochrome Plus
Marilyn Sprissler

Towering Sanctuary
Photographic Print
Don Taylor

Nepal Holy Man
Feathered Friend
Daphne Creasy

A Bird's Eye View
Winter Scene
Joseph Leduc

Mush!
Abstract
Margaret Liddon

Enchanted Forest
Use of Texture
Paula Martin

Checkers
Classic Composition
Deb Walters

Motherhood
Macro
Don Taylor

Swallowtail in Flight
Use of Space
Bert Jenkins

Mystery Island
Floral
Gail Hamilton

Tulip Classic
Landscape
Mike Montgomery

Mist Rising
Use of Light
Alan Jenner

Daybreak

The major award of the night – Photographer of the Year – was awarded to Gilles Bisson.  Gilles was very deserving of the award, consistently producing exceptional images throughout the year, while actively participating in many of our theme challenges and outings. In addition, he assisted with club presentations and member slideshows over the course of 2019. Congratulations to Gilles.



Our Theme Challenges for the coming two months are – Picture Perfect for December and Structurally Speaking for January.

We wish everyone a very safe, happy and healthy Christmas and holiday season.