Thursday, 14 January 2021

January 2021 Club Update

We're sure you are all up on all the latest news on the Covid pandemic front so we won't rehash any of that. But we thought it advisable to update you on how it impacts our photo club activities as we move through the next few months, especially given the heightened restrictions imposed by the government. First, let us say the obvious - normal club meetings are unlikely to recur until a large majority of the population is vaccinated and that likely means September at the earliest.

We had hoped to continue with our "outings" concept, switching it to an "outings location" activity where people could go at any time of their choosing over a given week or so period. However, your Exec Committee feels that even that concept goes against the current "Stay Home except for Essentials" decree. So, for the time being, we will suspend outings. Your Executive will re-address this on a monthly basis as we move forward. Our goal is to bring this back as soon as safety protocols allow. And that also goes for other club activities - workshops, meetings, etc. which hopefully will be phased in as the pandemic winds down.



We still have our monthly theme challenges, along with one other creative monthly endeavour - i.e. January's is entitled - A Study in Black & White. You need not stray far, if at all, from your home in order to participate in these activities. It might require a little more creativity, but it certainly can be done. Over the past several months we have had great member participation in activities such as Dungeons & Daemons, Click the Light Fantastic, Kingston Night Shoot, Changing Moods, Lighting Fiesta, ... Lots of great imagery has been submitted and we have the images posted on our public Facebook page and also assembled them into entertaining slideshows on our YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure.




Our January theme challenge is Life in Winter while February's is Fifty Shades Of White. We will continue to active during this unprecedented period of time. Contact us at countyfotoclub@gmail.com for more information.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

July Club Update


Our club continues to operate even through the exceptional times that we are all going through. Our meetings and group outings/workshops have been put on hold until officials get the pandemic under control. We do not want to risk the health of any of our members, nor the public at large. However, we are determined to keep our photographic talents sharp and enhance our abilities by ongoing monthly theme challenges and additional photo-related activities.  One of our club's strengths has always been our high participation rates and that continues to this day. Instead of in-house meetings, we have temporarily turned to the web to post our images (our Public Facebook page) and also our slideshows (our YouTube Channel).

Let's sumarize what we have been doing. Our last actual club meeting was in early March and our last club outing was that same month over at Amherst Island. In easrly April, we completed and posted the YouTube slideshow for Amherst Island as well as one for our March theme challenge - People & Pet Portraiture.  For the month of April, we devised a game of image bingo - aptly named IMGO. Participants were instructed to complete their card of 16 items - here is a sample board from one of our members.

In early May, we also posted all the bingo images to our Facebook page as well as preparing four separate YouTube slidshows to display the 400 or so submitted images from 24 participants. We also prepared a YouTube slideshow for our April theme challenge -  Subject Placement is Everything! Thirty-two members contributed images for that show.


During the month of May, we engaged in a new exercise called Processing Trilogy.  Members were asked to select any image that they had previously taken and then process it in three entirely different manners. Twenty-nine of our members participated. In early June, we prepared YouTube slideshow of the results. The images were initially displayed on a single page, starting with the Raw image from the camera along with the 3 processed varieties - here is an example card.




Also in early June, we posted our May theme challenge entitled Reflections & Distortions. Thirty-two members submitted images with their interpretations of that theme.




Our June extracurricular activity was called The Hunt is On! It was a photo scavenger hunt which required participants to  complete three tiers, each of which contained 4 elements.

Above is the blank board along with a completed example to the right.









In early July, two YouTube slideshows were posted that covered all the elements of our scavenger hunt activity. Approximately the same time, we posted the June theme challege video - Spring has Sprung. Twenty-one members participated in the Hunt exercise, while 28 contributed images for our Spring show.


Activity continues as I write this blog.  We have a Double or Nothing event underway for the month of July where members are asked to select 6 subject/processing combinations (out of 9 alternatives). We then want to see a camera type jpg image along with a specific processed one to demonstrate the difference.  This event will test the processing skills of our troupe! In addition, during July we have a theme challenge entitled - It's a Small, Small World. So lot's still going on here in the County! Come and join with us!




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!