Tuesday, 10 July 2018

July Print Display & Evaluation Meeting

Another full house was in store for last night’s Print Display & Valuation photo club meeting. We were given tremendous support from our local Library who allowed us the use of the upstairs portion of the Wellington Library for displaying our images. And you, the membership, really stepped up and brought in over 50 high quality images for us all to admire.

Joe Leduc attempted to prepare us all for the night’s judging process. Joe has vast experience as a judge and knows what to look for – the things that generate a real “wow” factor or tell a story, as well as some of the more obvious errors & omissions. His presentation ended with an impressive set of images that would get high consideration from most judges in photographic competitions.

I next stepped to the plate, and provided a more simplistic and time efficient way for us to evaluate the prints that were waiting for us upstairs. We handed out the scoring forms along with a covering cheat sheet, and then spent the next 30 minutes or so, engrossed in our assigned task of evaluating the images.

After all the forms were completed and handed in, Margaret & Bert beavered away in the back room, inputting the data into a spreadsheet for scoring and sorting purposes while the rest of us enjoyed the next hour’s proceedings from the comforts of our chairs!

Our first slideshow of the night was from our June Kingston Theme Day outing. Eighteen of our members participated in a different sort of outing where participants picked unique themes out of a hat that they were responsible for covering. The slideshow was up tempo and many of the assigned themes related directly to popular song titles. The slideshow ended with the group having lunch (& a few liquid beverages) at the Kingston Brewing Company.

We were then treated to another dazzling display of Night Landscape Photography by Dave Tugwood. Dave provided us with tips and techniques that he has used to great success in the field at night and whetted our appetites for some up and coming night photography outings planned for the near future.

Our theme challenge for the month of June was Sweet Light – and how sweet it was! Thirty two members submitted over 160 images for the slideshow. The sweetness of light got interpreted in many different and wonderful ways. If you weren’t there to see the images, do drop over to our public Facebook page to have a good look!

Then, finally, Bert & Margaret emerged from the depths of their spreadsheet activity to announce and show the 13 images that the membership had rated at a score of 8 or higher. No winner to be announced here – just some fine images for us to see and appreciate.

The theme challenges for the next 2 months were handed out – A Creative Eye on Summer for the month of July and Dance, Music & Performance for August. Our outing for this month will be a trip up the Trent/Severn Canal – with stops at Glen Ross and then at the Ranney Gorge in Campbellford. It will be held this coming Sunday July 15th.

Thanks again for your wonderful support and participation.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

June Meeting Recap

Another enthusiastic and inquisitive crowd was in attendance for our June meeting this past Sunday. Our member participation rates continue to be very encouraging with 35 members contributing images for the session. We had a very full agenda which did cause a little runover in time, but no-one appeared anxious to head to the exits!

Mike Montgomery started the meeting off by giving us a talk on Lens Technology – to assist any of us that might be in the market for some new glass. Mike discussed a vast variety of lens options out there on the market today and things we should look for when buying some new glass.

Our first slideshow of the night was from our recent Gould Lake outing. Eleven of our members made the trek up north of Kingston to this hidden nature area. The images have been posted to our public Facebook page for your viewing pleasure.

I took over centre stage for a discussion of the Exposure Triangle and how a photographer could use each of the three exposure elements (ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed) to best advantage to not only obtain proper exposure, but to also do it in an artistic/photographic manner.

Our resident canoeist and kayaker – Marilyn Sprissler – kicked off the second half with a breathtaking slideshow of three recent trips she took to French River (Northern Ont), Quetico Provincial Park and San Juan River in Utah. Her images captured a unique view of the various canyon walls and forested shores from the low river perspective - gorgeous imagery throughout, taken from sunrise til sunset on her various excursions.

Larry Tayler was our next speaker where he explained why it was “Hip to be Square”. Larry has recently become entranced with the 1:1 square image format, taken in-camera (not cropped via photo-shop). He discussed the works of several photographers who have inspired him in this pursuit including Cig Harvey and Aida Muluneh. Larry ended his presentation with an eye-catching slideshow he recently shot in Australia called Tasmanian Treasures – all taken in the 1:1 format.

Our final slideshow of the evening was the Fresh Start theme challenge to which 33 individuals submitted images. The images represented an upbeat start to our outdoor nature season here in Ontario.

The theme challenges for the next 2 months were handed out – Sweet Light for June and A Creative Eye on Summer for the month of July.

Thanks to everyone for another very successful meeting.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A "Twisted" May Meeting

Our May meeting was another well attended event with tremendous creativity and comical originality in many of the theme images that were on display.  The meeting hadn't even started when we blew a fuse in our main audio system.  Fortunately several of our local Wellington members rushed to help and we managed to jerry rig a back-up system for the night.

We also had a sensor cleaning clinic underway in our newly available front meeting room area.  Many thanks to Douglas Banks for lending his expertise to this very necessary Spring Cleaning chore.

Ramesh Pooran started off the session with a short, non-technical review of Macro Photography Basics. This was geared to getting us all in the right head-set for the warmer weather and the wildflowers and tiny, yet photogenic insects that spring to life.

The first slideshow of the evening was a reminder of the rough winter-like weather that we have just exited from.  With an ice-storm as our backdrop, eight of our members ventured out to Little Bluff Conservation Area to brave the elements and capture rough seas and an ice covered shoreline.

Next up was Mike Gaudaur, who gave a great discussion of numerous Printing, Matting and Framing options that we as photographers need to think about.  He had lots of examples of print medium (including glossy, metallic, matte, cotton, canvas and many fine art selections), mat options, archival printing and various glass and frame options. His message was to get us to think carefully about where our prints will be hung and for what purpose before we rush and print our image.

Alan Jenner kicked off the second half with a colourful and frigid display of images from the Hotel Glace - Ice Hotel in Quebec City from a few years ago.  His images were beautiful, but there didn't appear to be a lot of takers in the room to spend a night in one of the luxury suites!

Following a short introduction from Ansel Adams, four of our members (Margaret Liddon, Joe Leduc, Gail Hamilton & Dave Robinet) participated in our on-going Processing by Others agenda item.  Each of the four, anonymously supplied one raw file image that was processed by each of the participants. The results were then compared and discussed at the meeting.  Well the results were as expected, quite different  - all being very effective. Gail really brought the house down with one of her very humorous processing gems of civic workers shovelling out her mailbox!  Many thanks to all four participants for being such great sports.

Our final slideshow was from 33 of our members interpreting the theme challenge - Everyday Items with a Twist.  I had no idea we had such a warped sense of humour amongst our members!  I'll never look at a lot of Everyday Things the same way, ever again!  Great creativity here and a real lot of fun.

In wrapping up, we set the theme challenges for the next 2 months - Fresh Start for May (due at the end of the month) and Sweet Light for June. In addition, we discussed an upcoming Fitness & Glamour Workshop that will be held mid July with 2 professional models on the shores of Lake Ontario at Point Petre.  We have a limited number of spots and we're filing them up on a first-come first-served basis.

Thanks to all for participating - it's what our club is all about!

Monday, 9 April 2018

April Meeting Sets New Heights

We had in excess of 50 people at our April 8th meeting. That number was almost matched by the 30 individuals who participated in our club outing for the month and the 40 members who contributed images to our theme challenge. These are fantastic participation numbers and indicates a great level of enthusiasm for photography in the County & surrounds!

The meeting started with a slideshow from our Honey Wagon Farms outing last month. This property, located just outside of Picton, has wonderful trails though productive maple forests and rows of tall pines as well as thick white birch stands. Scattered throughout were old farm and agricultural relics from years long gone by. It was a virtual treasure trove of items to be found and photographed. And to touch it off was an idyllic “sugar shack”, where our host Ed Taylor was busy boiling maple sap which had been collected using traditional tree taps and buckets. Several of our members stayed until night fell upon the property in order to get some unusual shots of the sugar shack in the dark using stobes and gels.

Margaret Liddon was our feature presenter of the evening with another in her series of The Art of Seeing. This time, the title was A Roadmap to Better Composition, where Margaret picked up from John Dufour’s human eye/mind perception presentation this past February. Margaret stressed the need to train our eyes and to focus on line, shape, texture & form rather than on the specific subject matter. She proposed a 20 point roadmap for us to consider when taking as well as when processing our images to end up with a more artistically attractive image.

Mary & Dave Robinet aired their slideshow on Hawaii from from a recent vacation on the island of Kauai. Needless to say, the imagery was awe-inspiring and, with both of them being sports advocates, we got to witness some great surfers at peak wave action.

Dave Tugwood discussed ways to Modify the Light in order to get better images. He demonstrated the use of reflectors, diffusers, shapers and gels. Even though he was hampered by a very poor model (yours' truly!), he was still able to impart the message that by adding or modifying the light available, you can significantly improve your images. It doesn’t need to be expensive – get a flash, reflector and go out and experiment.

The theme challenge this month received almost 200 entries from 40 individual members, so it was split into two sections. Fifty Shades of Grey was the topic with lots of great monochrome imagery on display. These images, along with the outing photos have been uploaded to our public Facebook account. In addition, the two presentations are being uploaded to our Youtube channel.

The theme challenges for the next two months have been assigned – for April, Everyday Items with a Twist! (due at the end of the month) and for May, Fresh Start.

Thanks to all who attended and participated with us in our photographic endeavours!

Monday, 5 March 2018

March Meeting - Behind Bars!

We had a stellar turn-out at last night’s meeting, attesting to the power of the creative still image – even during Hollywood’s special Oscar global gala. The meeting represented the fifth anniversary of our commencement as a photography club. We’ve come a long way in that time, as evidenced by the quality of the images and presentation material. But most importantly, our member participation continues to grow with a full 40 members contributing towards last night’s proceedings.

We started with a reminder of “A Moment in Time” photo show by ten of our members that is currently on display at the John M Parrott Art Gallery in Belleville and continues until March 21st

Our first presenter of the night was Bert Jenkins who explained the impact of a camera’s sensor size on hyperfocal distance (HFD). Notwithstanding mathematical formulae and tables galore, the key take-away was that smaller sensor cameras such as micro four-thirds are excellent alternatives for landscape type photography where you want everything from close-up to far away in sharp focus. Larger full-frame cameras have shallower depth-of-field (all things being equal) and are a favoured choice by portrait and wedding photographers where HFD is not the key criterion.

The first slideshow of the night was from the nineteen members who attended our Belleville Moira River Walk on a snowy grey winter’s day last month. Following our trek into downtown Belleville, we ended up gorging ourselves at Bourbon Street Pizza.

Our feature presenter of the evening was one of our new recruits - Joseph Leduc who has been in the photography business for many decades. He teaches and puts on workshops at a number of other photography clubs. Earlier this year, Joe offered to put on a workshop for some of our members. Our Executive Committee members leapt at the opportunity and were tutored by Joe in early January. After escaping from Joe’s in-house jail cell, the group was put through their paces on some really neat macro workstations. At last night’s meeting, Joe re-capped his Fire & Water workshop and his simple, yet creative approach to photographic magic! He treated us all to a humorous and informative account of macro photography the “Leduc” way.

We started the second half with a short slideshow of the Exec Committee’s macro photo images from Joe’s aforementioned workshop – even the pyrotechnics!

Next up, I put on a short discussion on How to Make an Effective Slideshow. We discussed various pre-planning, image selection/ordering, audio prep and video encoding ideas, including a number of excellent (and free!) software programs to get the job done right.

Our final slideshow of the night was our theme challenge entitled – Line, Shape, Texture & Rhythm. Thirty-five members contributed images to this challenge, so we broke it into two separate parts. The images, along with those from the Belleville outing and the Macro Workshop, have now been uploaded to our public Facebook page – do go over and have a look as there is some really superb imagery there.

The theme challenges for the next two months have been handed down – Fifty Shades of Grey for March and Everyday Items with a Twist! for April.

Thanks to all those who came out to the meeting and we look forward to another great month of photography ahead of us all!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Super(Bowl) Sunday in Review

Nothing like a bit of inclement weather to identify the real hard core photo enthusiasts in our group!  Neither the nasty weather, nor the competing Super Bowl could keep 30 avid members from attending last night’s session.  My role for the night was to be time keeper and I must admit that I didn’t do a very good job as we certainly ran into overtime – aah but what wonderful images!!!

We started the meeting with Derek Figuiera taking the quick topic entitled Trap Focus.  He discussed a little known technique for setting up your camera to automatically trip the shutter when something enters a narrow focus zone.  It sounded very useful for situations where you could predict where your subject was likely to land – such as photographing birds at feeders.

The first slideshow of the evening was our club outing on a very cold Sunday in January to Wellington Beach that was attended by 24 of our compatriots.  The imagery was quite diverse and creative for such a relatively short walk. It was really surprising to see some of the things that Wellington Beach has to offer –  swans, ducks, vole, otter and even a walrus!  Take a look for yourselves.

One of our recent recruits, Dave Robinet, has been a professional photographer for many years and we asked him to talk to us about one of his specialities – Sports Photography.  Dave provided us with a pretty good idea of a typical work day – starting at 5 am and finishing near midnight, all the while shooting many thousands of jpg images that must be almost immediately uploaded to the web!  He demonstrated the gear he uses and some of the techniques he uses to get those “money shots” that are so highly sought after.

Our second half commenced with a four part slideshow from Janice Ruggles-Bolton that covered a multitude of excursions she made during 2017.  It started with a cruise along the Danube, then off to a road trip of Alberta, BC and the Yukon. Following that, she took us on a photo excursion of the Faroe Islands and ended up with a tour of Wales and Iona (Scotland).  What is this girl running from???

Next up was John Dufour who talked to us about the Human Visual System and how our brains interpret multiple stimuli to produce visual images.  He also discussed what constitutes a Great Photograph – emotion, intrigue, story-telling, ... - and how we can use our cameras to produce an “aesthetic” result.

Our final slideshow of the evening was a rather lengthy one with the interpretation of our Frozen theme challenge from 32 of our compatriots.  This really is a must see collection of images with some great use of natural light on our frigid surroundings.  These along with our Wellington Outing images have been posted to our public Facebook page – go and take a look!

The theme challenge for February is Line, Shape, Texture & Rhythm – picking up from Bert Jenkins talk about Freeman Patterson’s approach from last month.  The March theme challenge is Fifty Shades of Grey.

Thanks to those who made it out last night and also to the 35 people who contributed images to last night’s meeting in order to make it such a success.