Category Archives: Uncategorized

August Update

Hello everyone,

“ Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” Diane Arbus

“To me, photography is an art of observation.  It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”  Elliot Erwitt

It’s been awhile since I have written a monthly newsletter so here it goes. It appears as though it will be a while before we can get together in person. I don’t know about you, but I do miss seeing everyone at our meetings at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center. The only positive I can say is that I am not eating as many snacks, at least I tell myself that! Work continues behind the scenes, and Bill Stacy and Steve Meunch have been doing an excellent job making sure our zoom meetings are presented. Trisha and Joel Brown have continued to make sure we have stay at home outings that continue to test our knowledge of photography and open new horizons. Liz Lawson and Betsy Waters also continued to make sure we have the best in presentations. This year we are fortunate to have our master candidates filling our calendar with excellent information.

I enjoyed tonight’s presentations by our master candidates. Anne Abrams presentation on IPhonography certainly got me excited about getting out to use my iPhone more.  I particularly enjoyed the panorama shots and the numerous blending of images she did in the various apps she introduced us to.  Tim Allen’s presentation on better black and white images gave me a better understanding of how to achieve various tones in my black and white images. I use NIK’s Silver Efex Pro 2 like Tim does, but he showed a number of methods to improve the images in this software.  An example of this was the use of the histogram and rolling across the various zone numbers.

If you were following the recent email thread on backup strategies, you most likely have learned a great deal of information. While I am certainly not a computer guru. I do have a cloud-based backup system and two external hard drives. This discussion prompted me to check to make sure everything was working properly. In doing so I found that one of my drives needed some attention and fortunately I was able to get it rectified.

Last year I wrote a message that included my thoughts on moving to a mirrorless system. I had a Canon 5D mark iv and purchased a Canon EOS R. While there is never a perfect camera, I found I was using the mirrorless EOS R far more often than I was the DSLR. The DSLR was relegated to wildlife and nothing else. My walk around camera for landscapes, street and portrait photography became the EOS R.  I recently sold the EOS R to one of our club members and ordered a Canon R5.  While I am waiting for the R5 to arrive I am “stuck” with the 5D.  It’s a wonderful camera however I really miss the articulating screen, the face and eye detection, the electronic viewfinder (keeps me from missing correct exposures) and the smaller size of the mirrorless.   Hopefully the R5 will do everything I will ask of it.

If you have any thoughts on the operation of our club during this stay at home time please let me know.  I hope to convene a Board meeting before long to discuss how we will be closing out 2020 due to the current circumstances.

On the lighter side, thoughts about photography:

  1. Don’t lose focus
  2. You’ve got a great body, CF or SD card?
  3. The fastest way to make money from photography is to sell your camera.
  4. I came, I saw, I captured.
  5. Your camera takes really nice pictures!Thanks, I taught it everything it knows.

That’s it for now, stay well and stay safe.

Mike

 

May Update

Hello Everyone,

I trust you are all well and keeping busy with your photography and whatever else you enjoy doing.  This is a tough time for many of us and staying busy is a good way to deal with all the restrictions we have been dealing with lately.  

The N4C has decided to add Monochrome projected images to monthly competitions.  It took this step because the clubs that do prints have been unable to compete due to the restrictions placed on all of us regarding social distancing.  I have polled our board members to see if we wanted to add Monochrome as a monthly category in addition to Pictorial.  The response was that it is a good idea.  By adding Monochrome each month, we won’t be adding to the total number of images submitted to a competition, as we will retain the three-image limit for each competition.  We will just have an additional category to compete in.  This is supposed to last until those clubs that hold print competitions can begin competing with prints again.  Your guess is as good as mine as to when this will occur. 

According to Bill Stacy’s email regarding the feedback on our most recent judge there seemed to be a divide in how his judging was perceived, positive and negative.  What struck me was the number of responses Bill got to his request for feedback.  We have had at least 30 members attend our competitions, and only about half of you sent in feedback.  We would certainly like to hear from those of you who attended.  We will get a better idea of how a particular judge was received.  So, please respond and rate our judges, it helps all of us.  

I am planning on holding a Board meeting soon.  If you have ideas you would like to present to the Board for discussion please send me an email so I can add it to the agenda.  

Mike

April update

Hi Everyone,

I hope this message finds you all well, learning to adjust to our new normal.  If you tuned in to our first Zoom meeting not long ago you learned a bit about N4C and the new Portfolio competition, what they look like and some examples of how and what they should include.  This may not be for everyone, but for those who want to take advantage of this new competition it could certainly be fun.  

I need to thank Bill Stacy for coordinating our N4C presentation.  He has also been working with Steve Muench to make our first Zoom competition a reality.  Steve will be conducting our meeting along with the judge.  Steve, Bill and I will be having a test session prior to the competition to work out any bugs there may be.  If you haven’t used Zoom yet, you may want to watch a tutorial on YouTube prior so you can feel a bit more comfortable with this platform.  I noticed during our N4C presentation the appearance and location of buttons differ on various viewing platforms, iPad, desktops etc.  

Our Field Trip committee has been doing a great job of coming up with at home field trips and I am looking forward to seeing the various images that come out of these at home excursions.  Tony Reynes is still doing critiques so make sure to give him a call when he announces the dates and times for your image review.  

Fascinating facts, believe them or not: 

Anyone who knows anything about photography is familiar with Adobe Photoshop.  But most people don’t know the software was originally developed by the Knoll brothers in 1987 and titled ImagePro.  It was then purchased by Adobe and turned into Photoshop.  

Photography paper used to be made out of asphalt.  

35mm form at film was first introduced in 1925 by Leica. 

The first person who invented the negative was Fox Talbot.  This occurred in 1839, the first year Hippolyte Bayard presented the first positive print to the world.

The term “megapixel” was first used in 1984.  

If you are a member of our Facebook page you may have seen a post by Terry Connelly about “The 25 best movies about real photographers.”  If you are looking for a way to pass the time at home, please check them out.  I have seen three so far and enjoyed every one of them. 

Mike

February update

Hello Everyone,

It has been a busy month, competition wise for the SRPS.  We held our monthly competition February 13th, and N4C held their annual awards banquet this past Sunday to announce the annual awards.  We have a very talented group of photographers in our club. I was very happy to attend the banquet along with Jennifer Marano and her husband Alan, Liz Lawson, Trisha and Joel Brown and Betsy and Gary Waters. I am listing the major awards below and I am attaching the complete list of projected images from N4C.  

N4C Annual Awards:

Tamara Krautkramer won Best in Show, Journalism with her Pilgrim images and Betsy Waters won Best in Show, Nature for her Egrets images.  Herb Gaidus won a 1st place for his Cellular Absorption image in Monochrome, and Jennifer Marano won a 1st for her Cowgirl images in Journalism.  There were many other winning images from our members so please make sure to see all the winners in the attachment at the end of this email.  

At our last competition the 1st place winners were:

Creative:  B- Pat Carlson, A-Steve Gibbs, AA-Mike Funk, M-Terry Connelly

Nature:    B-Pat Carlson, A-Greg Pech, AA-Bill Stacy, M-Tamara Krautkramer

Pictorial:  B-Fritz Carlson, A-Steve Gibbs, AA-Trisha Brown, M-Tamara Krautkramer

I hope you are planning to attend our Journalism program Thursday evening.  It is being presented by Adrian Mendoza.  I don’t know about you, but Journalism is not one of my strong suits, so I am hoping to up my skills in this category of our competitions.   Speaking of programs, we will have some excellent programs this year as our Master candidates do their presentations as part of their journey to the Master level.  Keep your eyes open for announcements regarding these presentations. 

The Board will be meeting March 5th at the LBAGC to discuss a number of issues including our website and incorporating the Forum Steve Ruddy has been working on.  There is a lot if interest in this, so I am looking forward to getting the bugs worked out so we can all utilize this valuable tool. If you have an item you would like the Board to discuss, please attend or let me know and I will bring it up for you.  

Don’t forget to check the list of field trips Trisha sent out recently, and if you would sign up to lead a trip that will be greatly appreciated.  I hope to see you Thursday at our Journalism program. 

Mike

January update

Hi Everyone,

Congratulations those photographers who took first place in the last competition.  They are as follows:

Pictorial:                                              Monochrome:

B.    Pat Carlson                                   B.    Joel Brown

A.    Sherri Oster                                  A.    Francis Williams

AA. Bill Stacy                                       AA.  Jennifer Marano

M.  Anne Abrams                                M.   Tim Allen

Journalism:                                          Travel:

B. Joel Brown                                      B.  Betsy Waters

A. Herb Gaidus                                    A.  Herb Gaidus

AA.  Bill Stacy                                      AA.  Bill Clark

M.  Tamara Krautkramer                    M.  Terry Connelly

If you haven’t seen the “Year in Pictures” insert in last Sunday’s Press Democrat, please take the time to look at it.  They are an amazing series of photographs taken by the Press Democrat’s staff.  Certainly, a learning experience for your Journalism entries.  

The new President of N4C, Doug Stinson has sent our board a couple of questionnaires to be reviewed for input. The questions deal with items the membership will be interested in.  They are very thorough, and I believe, can lead to changes in the way N4C operates and have a positive impact on our photo club and N4C.  As soon as Mr. Stinson finalizes the questionnaires, I am sure you will be seeing them, and given the opportunity to respond.  I am certainly looking forward to answering the questions I saw.  

Below are some photography quotes I thought you may find interesting.  

  • “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
    — Don McCullin
  • “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
    — Edward Steichen
  • “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”
    — Andy Warhol
  • “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
    — Dorothea Lange

“You might be a photographer if… Your eyesight from staring at the computer has gone from F11 to F1.8.”
– Naman Pokarna’s Photography

Now for some fascinating facts:  Believe them or not.

1.  Color photography first appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1959. The photo was of an American flag.

2.  Founded in 1853, London’s Royal Photographic Society is the world’s oldest photographic society in continuous existence.  

3.  The thread size of the tripod attachment on your camera is the same as the bolt on a typical lampshade.  That means you can pull the shade off any old lamp and have your own jury-rigged tripod. (Who knew facts about photography could be so useful?)

That’s all for now, see you at the next competition.

Mike

another update

January Update:

Hi Everyone,

Our next competition is Thursday evening, I hope to see you there.  We are also having a dinner at the East West Café with our judge prior to the competition.  If you would like to attend, please contact Bill Stacy as soon as possible, so he can notify the restaurant to expect you.  

You should have received a list of potential field trips from Trisha, Joel and Elizabeth.  Please make sure to bring the completed form to the meeting or send it via email so they have your feedback.  Don’t be shy about leading a field trip, it is easy and doesn’t take much time.  I have volunteered to lead the field trip to Preston Castle.  I hadn’t heard of Preston Castle, knew nothing about it, but after doing some quick research I thought it would be a fun trip to go on, and hopefully get some interesting photographs.  As I get more information, I will pass it on.  

For those of you who are new to our club, a significant part of your dues go to the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center.  We pay $30.00 for each regular and associate member and this gives us the use of the facility for 13 meetings.  If we use the facility for additional meetings, such as a board meeting, we pay an additional $40.00 for its use.    If you have any questions about your dues please contact Cheryl Akers, our very capable treasurer.  

Steve Ruddy one of our new members, has volunteered to resurrect our SRPS forum.  The forum was used quite a bit by members in the past however in the recent years it has been underutilized.  Many of you may not even know we have a forum for your participation.  Steve is going to bring this forum back and try to update it to the needs of our current membership.  He is currently working on a test forum and when that is ready to go, he will let me know.  I would encourage you to visit the current forum, take a look around and send Steve any thoughts you have on how we can best utilize it.  This is not only for image critique but for questions about software and its utilization if you have questions on how to do something in a particular software such as Photoshop, Luminar, the Nik collection etc.  Steve looks at this as something that will evolve over time as members take advantage of it.  Please take the time to visit the forum.  You will have to create an account first.  Don’t worry it is easy and painless.  Take a look around and send Steve your thoughts on ideas as to what you would like to see included as part of the forum.  The forum address is srps.proboards.com.  Please send comments to Steve at steve@steveruddyphotography.com.  

I want to apologize to Tony Reynes for omitting him in my last update, and letting you know he was the first-place winner in the master’s Pictorial category.  Tony also does person to person critiques on your images. He told me he did five in the last session and he had not yet received any letter bombs.  It sounds as if that is going well.  If you would like Tony to do an individual critique, please sign up for one of his available slots. 

If you haven’t already reserved your space, please consider attending the N4C Annual Awards Luncheon in Walnut Creek.  It is a lot of fun and you will see some amazing print photos on display.  It is February 23rd.  

Bill Stacy and Liz Lawson are working on having a presentation to the club on Portfolios.  The presentation will include the rules, and topics such as the over-all purpose of this new competition, and why you might want to participate in the portfolio competition.  Examples of portfolios will be shown and critiqued. We will keep you posted on this important program as details become available.  

Lastly, here are some fascinating facts, believe them or not:

1.  The word KODAK is totally made up.  Unlike Canon, which means a rule or law, KODAK means absolutely nothing.  George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, just like the sound of the letter “K” so he created a whole world about it.  

2.  During the 1800s, one of the most popular subjects for photography were dead bodies (“postmortem photography”) While it was primarily famous people who were photographed, many regular people were also photographed after their deaths.  

3. The equivalent f-stop values for the human eye are f8.3 in bright environments and f2 in the dark.  

See you soon,

Mike

January Update

Hi Everyone,

We had a great turnout at our first competition of the year.  Thanks to all who attended and submitted images for making it a fun experience for all of us.  Our judge, Charles Ginsburgh, did an excellent job as usual, and even did a brief tutorial on water droplet photography at the conclusion of the competition.   

Congratulations to the first-place winners in each category:

Pictorial:

B. Joel Brown

A. Steve Gibbs

AA. Gary Saxe

M.  Tony Reynes

Creative:

B. Joel Brown

A. Steve Gibbs

AA. Bill Stacy

M.  Terry Connelly

Nature:

B. Betsy Waters

A. Guy Miller

AA. Jennifer Marano

M. Marilyn Caven

Best in Show:  Steve Gibbs 

There are quite a few great field trip ideas for the coming year created by our field trip committee of Joel and Trisha Brown and Elizabeth Springs.   I hope you managed to get the list titled Field Trip Wish List 2020.  If not, I am attaching a pdf copy for you.  Please let the committee know by January 23rd of your desires. 

The members nominated as Master’s Candidates have begun to submit their ideas for their presentations to Greg Pech and his committee.  We should be seeing some very interesting and informative presentations from these very talented photographers.  

Our next competition is January 23rd and will be judged by a relatively new judge, Ouliana Panova.  I watched her judge at a Marin Photo club print competition last year.  It was her first judging assignment after completing the N4C judging classes.  I was quite impressed and suggested to Bill Stacy, our judge’s coordinator, he try to line her up for one of our competitions.   So please come out and attend our next competition, I think you will enjoy her style of judging.  There will be a dinner before at the East West Café at 5PM if you care to join us.  

That is all for now, 

Mike