President’s End-Of-Year Message 2021

December 9, 2021 Dear Members,

As we prepare to celebrate 2021’s member accomplishments at tonight’s Awards Banquet via Zoom, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the club’s accomplishments over the last year and to thank the members who made them possible.

Our club’s activities have been severely impacted by the presence of Covid in our community. Our in-person meetings have been suspended throughout 2021 in favor of Zoom meetings. No doubt the technology of Zoom has been a lifesaver for communications during this period. I want to thank for service beyond the call of duty Bill Stacy and Steve Muench for coordinating the logistics of the Zoom Meetings during 2021.

Important contributors to our club’s success are the program presenters and competition judges who help us hone our photography with educational presentations and competition critiques. Thank you to our Program Coordinator Lynda Stuber and her co-coordinators, Betsy Waters, Liz Lawson, and Anne Abrams for organizing the wonderful educational programs we enjoyed this year. We also thank again our stalwart Bill Stacy who is also our Judges Coordinator. He has not only made sure we had talented judges for our competition meetings each month. He has worked to expand our pool of judges utilizing the convenience of Zoom to judges’ participation from across America & Canada.

Nick Allen has managed our SRPS Website for the past few years as well as serving as our YouTube Channel Coordinator. The internet connectivity of our website has improved immensely during his tenure, and we thank him deeply for his service. Unfortunately, Nick has made the choice to step down from the Website position effective at the end of 2021. Steve Ruddy will be taken on Webmaster/YouTube Channel Coordinator positions and I want to say thanks for his willingness to step into this role for 2022. I want to also extend my thanks to Ronnie Rosenbach for managing our Facebook page activities in 2021 and continuing in that slot in 2022. As well as Jennifer Marano for coordinating our Meetup site in 2021 and continuing in 2022. I want to point out the truly behind the scenes efforts of Phil Hann (E-Group Manager) & Jennifer Marano (E-Group Mgr. – alternate) in keeping track of our “group email listing”. Finally, a special thanks to Steve Muench managing our Visual Pursuit Software which underlies our photo competition entry system, remote judge review, field trip photo critiques, and transfer of club winners to monthly N4C competitions. I can only say management of robust computer software requires a robust mind & our Steve will continue to rise to the challenge in 2022.

Late in 2020 we lost our friend Rick White unexpectedly, who was serving as our Competition Chair. Steve Muench took on that role in the last days of 2020 and was appointed same for 2021. Steve ably navigated our complex rules as Competition Chair in 2021, as well as coordinating the efforts of our ever-industrious Image Review Committee members Sherri Oster, Terry Connelly, Tamara Krautkramer, and Nancy Goodenough, and Bill Stacy. The Image Review Committee and Steve do a fantastic job of overseeing our competitions and interpreting our competition rules to ensure fairness.

One of the major achievements for our club this year was the development of a better advancement by petition process. Our VP Greg Pech and Advancement Committee members Gary Saxe, Anne Abrams, Terry Connelly, Michael Funk, and Steve Muench developed process that is based upon scoring for technical skills, artistic composition and “image impact as a whole. The assessment tool really will make our advancement by petition process not only fairer but will provide a prospective petitioner with concrete feedback results of her/his skills. Greg will be giving a presentation of this new process for everyone early in 2022. Another competition-related role is Keeper of the Scores, and we’ve all benefited from Steve Muench’s service in that role. He keeps us informed of our rankings in the club on a spreadsheet he developed – thank heavens he’s willing to do it. And thank you all for your contributions!

Tony Reynes served as our Field Trip Coordinator in 2021 and will return in 2022, organizing field trips for club members to places near and far while maintaining Covid protocols. A real challenge. In addition, he has instituted a post-field trip critique sessions utilizing Zoom & Visual Pursuit software; kudos for Bill Stacy & Steve Muench for helping Tony on this effort. The critique sessions are a hit. However, Tony efforts to serve the club have not stopped there as Mentorship Coordinator he instituted a pre-competition critique session monthly of members photos.

Field trips are a socializing opportunity not to be missed! They strengthen friendships within the club and expose members to stimulating new photographic opportunities. If you haven’t participated in the past, I highly recommend them! We may not say it loudly Tony, but we truly appreciate your service and your enthusiasm.

We also want to thank Trisha Brown for her willingness to serve as our N4C Representative in 2021 and will continue in 2022. N4C is going thru organizational changes due to Covid and her calming presence in that forum has made a real difference based on feedback I see from her fellow N4C Board members. Trish thank you for taking on such a thankless job for our club.

Our Exhibition Committee had a real tough time in 2021. Tim Allen had been in negotiations with the Sebastopol Public Library for a SRPS show in September 2021. Covid interrupted all those plans. However, one of his committee members, Trisha brown landed and negotiated an exhibition opportunity with City of Santa Rosa thru her connections as a retired employee. The

“Our Walls Exhibition opened on December 3, 2021, will be continued thru January 2022. A big thank you to the Exhibition Committee of Tim Allen, Jennifer Marano, Anne Abrams, Liz Lawson, & Trisha Brown for dedicating the time and effort to bring this opportunity for SRPS to shine!

One final note concerning the Exhibition Committee. Tim Allen will step down at the end of 2021 as Exhibition Coordinator. However, Ellen Storz has stepped forward to take that position in 2022. Ellen Thanks!!!

Ronnie Rosenbach, you are a prime example of a person who is willing to step-up. Greg & I really want to thank you for being willing to take on the SRPS Marketing Coordinator position in 2022. The Board foresees challenges to our membership numbers in 2022 and marketing will be key to solving that puzzle. In addition, you have taken on the position of N4C Instagram Coordinator. N4C will be well pleased in 2022.

We lost our fellow club member, friend, LBA&GC Representative and SRPS Treasurer Cheryl Akers in January of this 2021. She has been with us in each of these roles for many years and we all miss her. I want to thank Lynda Stuber for her willingness to add LBA&GC Representative to her duties, and Bill Pitcher’s willingness to continue as an alternate to the LBA&GC Representative position in 2022. In addition, I want to specially call out Herb Gaidus for his willingness to step into the SRPS Treasurer’s role in April of 2021 and his willingness to continue forward in 2022 in that position. I can only tell all of you that the Treasurer position is the most behind the scenes position in the club while also being arguably one of the 2 or 3 most important. Herb, really Thanks!!!

With no in-person meetings there are club members who were not called on to directly serve in their committee capacities. I want to make sure I thank all of them. LBA&GC Maintenance Committee Representatives Dick Weston; Raffle Coordinator – Anne Abrams, Elizabeth Springs; Refreshment Coordinators – Lynda Stuber, Pam Pitcher; and House Monitor(s) – Terry Connelly, Dick Weston, and Liz Lawson. Thanks, and we hope to get you back to service in 2022.

We all are hoping to get back to in-person meetings in 2022. However, Covid has changed the world of group meetings. In response to these changes a small group of SRPS members were able to figure out how to facilitate Hybrid Zoom Meetings to accommodate the new world view in 2022. I want to thank Bill Stacy, Steve Muench, Nancy Goodenough, Lynda Stuber & Joel Brown (eeek me!) for their efforts and time in working the logistics of this format out for our club. Thanks to all of you!

And finally, thank you to our Board of Directors, who help to wrestle with important decisions that affect our club. These are the people who make my job easy! Vice President Greg Pech, Treasurer Herb Gaidus, Secretary Elizabeth Springs, Competition Chair Steve Muench,,

Programs Co-Coordinator Lynda Stuber, New Member and Guest Coordinator Jennifer Marano, Field trip Coordinator Tony Reynes, and at-large board member Michael Funk. Thank you again to each one of you.

It has been a pleasure to serve as your President in 2021 and look forward to a better year in 2022. It’s been fun to give back some of my time to this club, which has helped me grow as a photographer and challenged me as a leader. I encourage all members to get involved, keep the club vibrant, and take advantage of all the club has to offer in taking your photography to the next level in the years to come.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!

Joel Brown, SRPS President

Greg Pech who as our Vice-President coordinates the Advancement Committee     sent these words on Member Advancements and the “Advance by Petition Process. Unfortunately due to death in the family he could not make the SRPS EOY Awards Banquet last night (12/9/21). Here is the summary of what he intended to present:

Date: 12/9/21

  1. Automatic advancements based on highest total scores for the year of competitions. NOTE: the final results from N4C are not yet in, which may change the point count, but will not change the advancements because there are no 3rd-Place finishers in close proximity to these high-point finishers:
  1. Basic to Intermediate: Fritz Carlson – 271 points; Laura Stansfield – 266 points; [no clusters identified: 3rd place was 232]
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Betsy Waters – 248 points; Ronnie Rosenbach – 245 points; [No clusters identified: 3rd place was 211]
  • Automatic advancements based on highest average scores for this year AND other qualifying requirements within the past 4 years.
  1. Advanced to Master Candidate: CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW – to be announced later this month. Delaying the announcement of new Masters Candidates is in our Rules: “Notification of Master candidacy, if not given at the Awards Banquet of the qualifying year, will be given by the end of January at the latest so the candidate has sufficient time to prepare the Master’s Presentation Outline.”
  • Advancements based on 2021 participation as a Master Candidate:
  1. Master Candidates to Masters:

Mike Funk – 5th-Place finish (high average) among 8 competing Master club photographers (submitted 33 images); Notable placements in N4C Master-level

  1. competitions; Master Presentation: “Wildlife/Bird Photography” on June 24, 2021.
  1. Bill Stacy – 4th-Place finish (high average) among 8 competing Master club photographers (submitted 25 images); Notable placements in N4C Master-level competitions; Master Presentation: “My Journey in Crop Sensors” on July 22, 2021.
  1. The Advancement Committee (Anne Abrams, Terry Connelly, Michael Funk, Steve Muench, Gary Saxe) and VP (Greg Pech) developed a PROCESS FOR ADVANCEMENT BY PETITION this year which includes a set of criteria that will be used for evaluating 20-image portfolios submitted by members. The criteria includes 3 MAJOR SECTIONS:
  • Technical Skills
    • Artistic Skills
    • Image as a Whole
  1. Each of these sections contain sub-sections that address STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES, such as focus, creativity, impact, etc. that will provide valuable feedback to members petitioning for advancement.
  • A paper on this subject will be released to the membership later this year providing all the details.
  • There were no advancements by petition granted by the Advancement Committee in 2021
  • Our 3 judges voluntarily utilized this new process in the EOY Competition that will be presented tonight.

MAY UPDATE

May 13, 2021 | JOEL BROWN

Hello Santa Rosa Photographic Society

May has come to Sonoma County and I think of joyful music played on warm nights while grilling in the backyard. Music, do I have favorites? I freely admit I am a Piano Guys, Luther Vandross, Santana, Miles Davis kind of guy when alone, However, this evening I am thinking of Vivaldi’s Spring (La Primavera). A technically complex and understated art piece, with studied brilliance, deep passion, and burning creativity; just like we are as SRPS photographers.  Despite the clouds of Covid, our club members have persisted in delving into our art and the quality of our photos during competition nights show that growth.

I want to especially thank and recognize Lynda Stuber and her Program Committee mates, Anne Abrams, Betsy Waters, & Liz Lawson. The past 2-programs; Harold Davis Photography, Rob Badger & Nita Winter, were presentations without any charges to the club due to this committee’s efforts. And the programs themselves, I can only describe as studied brilliance. We thank you each of you for your service!

I would like to thank Tony Reynes, for organizing the Mentoring Photo Critique sessions prior to our monthly competition nights. It has become a hit with everyone who participates in this venue, and the quality of the submitted images are evident during competition nights. In a sense, Tony, you seem to be burning off creativity that you cannot put into your own pictures (you can only submit 3 per month 😊) by giving to others. You’re like an Energizer Rabbit (capitalized)!!!

Nick Allen, I want to give a loud “shout out” for the behind the scenes work you did on enabling our Zoom Meeting announcements access thru our website. Now that both members & the public can access our programs thru our website, there is a large potential for spreading the word for our activities just by word of mouth; “go to our website my friend”!! A technically complex piece of software use in your understated way. & thanks to Erin as well when you don’t have the answer at your fingertips.

The final gracious thanks is for Bill Stacy our Judges Chair person & Zoom Meeting coordinator. Bill’s work as the judge’s coordinator is simply outstanding. He has also taken on the role of Zoom Meeting coordinator over the past year; being present for dealing with any technical difficulties during our competition and program nights. His deep passion for photography which he shares with us not only in his pictures but his willingness to volunteer is outstanding.

Which comes back to the largest SRPS need; more Volunteerism from our members who are not already donating their time to various club positions.  As a club we have indicated a real desire to continue our virtual meetings alongside our meetings at LBA&GC. We do have the technical expertise between Bill, Nick & Steve. However, the burden on their time bluntly needs to be reduced by others in the club volunteering to learn what they do and be there as alternates if they are away taking pictures like the rest of us. I see a need for alternates in the following positions:

  • Zoom Meeting Coordinator alternates (must be willing to learn how to troubleshoot zoom meetings)
  • LBA&GC representative
  • Competition Chair alternates (willingness to learn Visual Pursuit Software in case Steve gets lost in the ethernet and cannot find his way back)
  • Website Coordinator alternate (willingness to learn our website management software, in case Nick gets eaten by a zombie bunny rabbit}
  • Projection Chair alternate (willingness to run competition laptop at our in-person meetings, learn ICM software, Steve cannot do both when we return to LBA&GC)

I am going to let this simmer for now, but this needs to become a prime goal for all of us. Share the load so that all of us can have more time to take pictures.

Some upcoming events. Tim Allen (Exhibition Coordinator) is organizing or our September Photographic Exhibition at the Sebastopol Regional Library. He has begun sending out emails on theme of the show, as well as trying to gauge participation levels. Please respond to him!!

As to when can we return to LBA&GC, the following is a summary from Cindy Moore (LBA&GC Board President) received 5/3/21: “The Center is classified as a Community Organization and Event Center, which puts us under the larger category of Convention Centers in Sonoma County.  Both the CDC and the County instructions do not allow these types of places to open until the green status.  That said, I think we can follow the guidelines to open on a limited, modified basis starting with smaller meetings and then working our way up to Workshops, Open to the Public meetings and finally opening our outside Event business. We will need to continue to monitor the official status closely and send out regular updates once we agree on a plan. We will also begin to tentatively book the calendar at that time.  Hopefully things will move quickly, and we can all get back to our next version of normal.” I will keep the club in the loop on LBA&GC’s progress. 

Some of the future activities being developed by the Board are as follows:

  • Setting up a post-Field trip photo salon which utilizes a combination of Zoom & our photo competition software Visual Pursuits so members can talk about what they shot for that trip. Steve & Tony are close on this activity. [Nearly close on this activity. Tony has done 1 or 2 sessions post field trip but moving the photo submittals to Visual Pursuits has caused an overload of the software. Stay tuned, the VP software group is working on a fix.]
  • Setting up a Photo Critique & Photo Processing Technique Salons which will focus on providing helpful information and creative sharing outlets to our members in a safe & caring environment. The salons will utilize the same technical combination of Zoom & our photo competition software Visual Pursuits. The club team of Terry Connelly, Nancy Goodenough, Steve Muench, Nick Allen, & Joel Brown are still working out details of technical and format issues but stay tuned.  [On the back burner at this time]
  • We hope to enable access to our Competition and Program Night Zoom Meetings directly thru the Club web site. The feature will allow not only club members but non-club members who visit our web site direct access our public events. [Complete, whoo-hoo!]
  • Run our Club Meetings at LBA&GC in parallel with a virtual interface meeting format, i.e. Zoom or other software. Will allow remote attendance by members and the public, plus increase the pool of judges and programs from local to national & international. [1-meeting to date of the committee; N. Goodenough has pointed out a similar activity by Science Buzz Cafe in Sebastopol scheduled to start in September which will be investigated.]

Vivaldi’s Spring (La Primavera); technically complex but understated, studied brilliance with deep passion, and burning creativity. Yeah, that is us!!!! Let’s spring forward and don’t let Covid rain on our parade!!!.

“Life is short and precious, so one must make every Shutter Click count!” – unknown photographer.

MARCH UPDATE

March 11, 2021 | JOEL BROWN

Hello Santa Rosa Photography Society

It is March 11, 2021, approximately 3 days short of one year (3/14/21) since Sonoma County declared a Covid-19 lockdown for its residents 65 and over.  I personally see signs of hope in that more of our 65 & over members are talking about how they have received either their 1st or 2nd vaccination. If you have received the vaccination let us keep our vigilance up for a few more months until our under 65 members receive their shots.

While we are awaiting those future milestones, let us all congratulate Tamara Krautkramer & Betsy Waters for their published articles to the N4C Foto Fanfare March 2021 edition. Tamara Krautkramer’s article on “Insider Tips for African Safaris” is very helpful for anyone’s future “bucket list” trip to the veldt lands of the African continent. Betsy Water’s article “Photography for Aging Boomers” is so “a right time” primer for our club membership. A very specific congratulations from the President to both of you because it really is harder to open up with the written word for others one’s feelings and knowledge about their passions.

At the N4C 2020 Annual Competition Judging Awards on Sunday 2/21/21 via Zoom the following members won recognition:

Pictorial Projected

  • BASIC: Fritz Carlson (HM), Joel David Brown (HM)
  • INTERMEDIATE: Steve Gibbs (1st)
  • MASTERS: Tamara Krautkramer (3rd)

Monochrome Projected

  • BASIC: Pat Carlson (HM)
  • INTERMEDIATE: Steve Gibbs (1st, 5th), Frances Williams (3rd), Guy Miller (4th), Lynda Stuber (HM)
  • ADVANCED: Herbert Gaidus (3rd)

Travel Projected

  • ADVANCED: Herbert Gaidus (HM)
  • MASTERS: Tamara Krautkramer (4th, HM)

Journalism Projected

  • BASIC: Joel David Brown (2nd)
  • INTERMEDIATE: Betsy Waters (1st), Lynda Stuber (3rd), Ellen Storz (HM)
  • ADVANCED: Bill Stacy (HM)
  • MASTERS: Tamara Krautkramer (4th)

Nature Projected

  • BASIC: Fritz Carlson (2nd)
  • INTERMEDIATE: Betsy Waters (1st), Lynda Stuber (3rd), Ellen Storz (HM)
  • ADVANCED: Bill Stacy (4th), Jennifer Marano (HM)
  • MASTERS: Tamara Krautkramer (HM)

Creative Projected

  • BASIC: Pat Carlson (HM)
  • INTERMEDIATE: Steve Gibbs(5th)
  • ADVANCED: Bill Stacy (3rd), Michael Funk (HM), Trisha Brown (HM)
  • MASTERS: Nancy Goodenough (HM)

Portfolio Projected (out of 57 entries)

  • Tamara Krautkramer – “Pilgrims of Lalibela” (4th)
  • Tara Pavis – “Taken out of context” (5th)
  • Trisha Brown – “After John Coplans” (HM)
  • Nancy Goodenough – “Animals with Attitudes” (HM)
  • Bill Stacy – “Wine Country Polo” (HM)
  • Timothy S. Allen – “Fun at the Carnival” (HM)

Bravo…Bravo…Bravo!!!!!

We are in the midst of our March Field Trip to Quarry Hill (March 7 – 13, 2021) which has been arranged by Tony Reynes our Field Trip Coordinator; details can be found by either contacting Tony directly or visiting our website’s Events Calendar. Our March 25, 2021 Program features a presentation by noted photographer Harold Davis, titled “Photography as Poetry”. Details can be found by contacting Lynda Stuber our Programs Coordinator or visiting our website’s Events Calendar.

Our club members approved the proposed changes to Section 4.0 of the SRPS Competition Rules by a 19-0 vote margin. I want to say thank you to all the Advancement Committee members for a long and serious discussion of the changes, and the solid changes to these rules will make it better for the entire club membership.

SRPS is currently going thru a reach out effort for a volunteer to take over the Treasurer position form our one-&-only Cheryl Akers. Unfortunately, Cheryl strongly feels that she needs to pass her role onto to a younger member (smile). I want to add that there are many of our members who are strong future candidates for Advancement to masters in the next 1-3 years. (I talk with both the Review Committee & Advancement Committee members!). Club service is required for advancement to Masters level. Yes, this is your opportunity Grasshopper if you are willing to seize the day!!!! I will probably be calling some of you directly, smile!!!

Some of the future activities being developed by the Board are as follows:

  • Setting up a post-Field trip photo salon which utilizes a combination of Zoom & our photo competition software Visual Pursuits so members can talk about what they shot for that trip. Steve & Tony are close on this activity.
  • Setting up a Photo Critique & Photo Processing Technique Salons which will focus on providing helpful information and creative sharing outlets to our members in a safe & caring environment. The salons will utilize the same technical combination of Zoom & our photo competition software Visual Pursuits. The club team of Terry Connelly, Nancy Goodenough, Steve Muench, Nick Allen, & Joel Brown are still working out details of technical and format issues but stay tuned. 
  • We hope to enable access to our Competition and Program Night Zoom Meetings directly thru the Club web site. The feature will allow not only club members but non-club members who visit our web site direct access our public events.

Well for now I have run out of words. We really are one “rocking” club…thank you for everyone’s participation and passion for photography!

“Life is short and precious, so one must make every Shutter Click count!” – unknown photographer.

JANUARY UPDATE

JANUARY 14, 2021 | JOEL BROWN

Hello Santa Rosa Photography Society

I welcome everyone to the 2021 world of the Santa Rosa Photography Society. Last year, 2020, was a challenging year for Sonoma County, California, our country & the world. Political turmoil throughout the year; the return of fire danger to Sonoma County; the tragic loss of our members Richard White and Jim Radford, as well as Ben Braver who was the partner of our Ronnie Rosenbach; and the all-encompassing impact of Covid-19.  Our club has been forced to embrace an increasing reliance on the digital landscape where our website, Zoom, Facebook, and email has become our communication lifelines. However, despite the difficulties of minimizing the feeling of isolation inherent to utilizing digital mediums for all our communications. Our SRPS membership has continued to try to join in solidarity as a human family. In that spirit I offer the below pictures excerpted from the 1955 “Family of Man” photo exhibit, and the hope we can get thru these challenging times with smiles on our faces.

1955 “Family of Man” photo exhibit, pages 154 – 155

I introduce myself for the first time as Joel Brown, SRPS president, taking over from Michael Funk. I hope to do this job at least ½ as well as Michael has done these past 2-years. Our current board consists of Greg Pech, Cheryl Akers, Elizabeth Springs, Steve Muench, Jennifer Marano, Lynda Stuber, Michael Funk. I want to especially thank Steve Muench, in stepping in as Competition Chair at the end of 2020.  

Going into 2021 still burdened by Covid-19, please expect our club meetings and field trips to continue electronically. There does seem to be some hope that by the summer 2021 the Covid-19 vaccination program will be sufficiently widespread that we may begin again to meet in person. I want to assure all members that SRPS continues to pay lease fees for the LBGC in anticipation of our return to face-face meetings.

I want to congratulate the following for advancing up thru our competition process and encourage new members to enter our monthly competitions to improve photographic skills.

BASIC TO INTERMEDIATE: Joel Brown, Pat Carlson, Ronnie Rosenbach

INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED: Steve Gibbs, Guy Miller, Lynda Stuber

ADVANCED TO MASTERS CANDIDATE: Bill Stacy, Michael Funk

MC to MASTERS: Anne Abrams, Nick Allen, Tim Allen, Tamara Krautkramer, Tony Reynes, Steve Ruddy

There were 8-entries from SRPS to the N4C Portfolio competition and my understanding is that N4C will be contacting each of you with submitted portfolios soon on the judge’s evaluation of your work. Our on-line Exhibition thru Smug Mug is going well; thanks for the setup by Tim Allen & Steve Muench. Our Facebook page, overseen by Ronnie Rosenbach has become a common space to post pictures. Tony Reynes’ pre-competition photo review sessions seem to be always full. We have a SRPS YouTube Channel set up by Nick Allen; and Bill Stacy & Tony Reynes post our meetings to the channel for members viewing at their leisure. In summary, SRPS despite the challenges of 2020 continues to grow.

One of my primary goals as president is to help identify what “best practices” we can retain from this temporary period of all communications thru digital means and continue to use productively once the world is more normal. Well to cut this short, I look forward to working to make the club stronger and practicing the art and skill pf photography with all of you in 2021.

“Life is short and precious, so one must make every Shutter Click count!” – unknown photographer.

Thank you

Hello everyone,

What a year it has been. A year I am sure many of us would like to forget. When I look back, I try my best to find the positives that have taken place and discard the negatives.  (no pun intended)

The most recent positive is the fact the club voted to award Steve Muench Honorary membership for all the hard work he put in since we lost Rick White as Competition Chair.  We all know that Steve made it possible for us to continue as a club with our competitions, meetings and even an exhibition.  What most of you may not know is that Steve created what I believe he called “Mind Maps.” When I first looked at these mind maps with the Board of Directors, I thought I was looking at the diagram for an electrical system of a nuclear submarine.  I am still trying to wrap my head around how he did all this.  He is an amazing person and I have written a personal note thanking him and advising him of his Honorary membership. 

It has been an honor to serve as President of the Santa Rosa Photographic Society these past two years.  I got to know many of you a bit better, and along the way I hope I have become a better person and a better photographer.  I do have to apologize for not being as involved in the past several months as I would have liked, but I have had things going on that have kept me busy with other endeavors.  I think this is a perfect time for Joel Brown to move into the position as President and I am looking forward to working with him in any way I can. 

I also have to thank all the other members of the Board of Directors, committee members and volunteers who make this club possible.  Without these people I couldn’t have made it longer than the first several months.  Our club is so much better with their participation and leadership. If you haven’t yet volunteered to be involved in one of our committees, please don’t hesitate to do so.  You will find out it is more fun than work. Thank you for showing me your kindness, sharing your wisdom, and creating an opportunity for me to grow as a photographer. 

Finally, thank you very much for your very generous gift certificate to Safari West.  I plan to take our 5-year-old grandson so he can see the wonders of the animal kingdom.  Oh, and I won’t forget my telephoto lens.  I guess that means I will have to bring Nancy along so I can be busy taking pictures for our Nature competitions. 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a joyous Holiday season.

Mike

End of Year message

,Hello Everyone,

“Life is like Photography. You need the negatives to develop.”  Ziad K. Abdelnour

“photography is an itch that won’t go away. No matter how much you scratch it.”  T.A

“ Whosoever possesses a camera should never know boredom.”  Wayne Gerard Trotman

I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  What a year this has been.  I’m sure we are all ready for a change and hopefully that will be coming in 2021.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone in person again and getting away from zoom.  Meeting via zoom has had its challenges, however I believe it went better than could have been expected.  This is, of course, due to the hard work of our resident technology guru Steve Muench and his sidekick in this endeavor, Bill Stacy.  We owe them a great deal of gratitude.  

Unfortunately, this year we also lost two of our members, Jim Radford and Rick White.  My thoughts go out to their families and I have missed their participation in the club. They each brought something unique to our organization.  With Rick’s passing we had to adapt quickly in order to keep up with the responsibilities of the Competition Chair.  Fortunately, we had a group of members who stepped up to the plate to fill in and help streamline our competitions and end of year events.   Their work will enable us to quickly adapt if someone leaves the club for any reason.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly missed being able to head out with other members on various field trips.  We really missed out on so much during the year.  Thanks to our Field Trip Committee we did have the opportunity to do some innovative photography in our homes and yards.  Thanks to Trisha, Joel and Elizabeth for keeping us busy during this stay at home period.  We were also fortunate to have many great programs put on by our Master Candidates.  If you didn’t learn anything from them, you weren’t paying attention.  We have a very talented group of potential Masters. 

We began a Portfolio competition for the first time, and if you were at our last meeting you got to see the wonderful, creative and substantial work a small group of our members put into this competition.  I wish them well at the N4C level.   This year we will be doing our first Zoom exhibition.  Not exactly as good as being able to display our work at a local venue, but hopefully we will reach out to a wide audience and perhaps even make some money for the club.  I am looking forward to seeing all the amazing work our club members have submitted.  

With the new year we will have new leadership, Joel Brown will be taking the helm as President and I am thrilled he has accepted the position.  Also, a big thanks to Elizabeth Springs who will be our new secretary.  I am looking forward to working with Joel and the other members of the Board and the various committees.  The club does not run itself; this year was a stark reminder of that.  

I hope to see you at our zoom exhibition on December 10th.  Please stay healthy and safe.  

Mike

“Taking a picture is like giving a piece of your soul away. You allow other people to see the world through your eyes.”  Katja Michael

“Regarding the creative: never assume you’re the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you’re masterful.”  Don Roff

October update

Hello Everyone,

“When your heart jumps every time your camera locks focus…you’ve become a photographer”

-Mark Denman

It is getting to be that time of year when we bring everything together as a result of all your hard work taking, processing and submitting images to our competitions.  We also have our elections at the first meeting in November.  According to our bylaws you will be given an opportunity to nominate someone for a position on the board.  In 2021 I won’t be able to fulfill the position of President, so one or more will need to be nominated for this position.  Additionally, Cris Gondak will not be able to serve in her capacity as Secretary.  We already have two nominations for these positions.  Joel Brown has accepted a nomination for President and Elizabeth Springs has accepted the nomination for Secretary.  If you have anyone else in mind, please be prepared to bring up their name at our next meeting before the vote.  The nominee must have consented to serve prior to the vote.     

Additionally, the board of directors met yesterday to discuss all the various competition awards, and the upcoming zoom exhibition.  There is an incredible amount of work that goes into ensuring all the proper awards get collated.  Bill Stacy has arranged to have four judges review the 454 images that are eligible for the end of year awards.  As you can imagine a daunting task.  Steve Muench has also been working diligently behind the scenes as the new Competition Chair. One of the problems he has found, which creates an enormous amount of work, are the various levels of competition, B, A, AA and M.  N4C doesn’t use these levels and it creates additional work to make sure your entry is submitted to N4C in the correct category, and mistakes can easily be made.  The board has proposed we align our competition levels with those of N4C. They use Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Master.  As this is a rule change, we need you to ask you to approve the change.  

Please vote to approve or disapprove the change from:

B to Basic

A to Intermediate

AA to Advanced

M to Master

We also need to change the wording in our Competition Rules and Bylaws.  This is due to the timing we receive the winners from our last competition from N4C.  There is very little time to collate all the scores before the banquet and it will be easier if we have the ability to change the date of the Awards Banquet. This gives us much more flexibility.    

The change would be as follows:

Competition rules, change from Section 7.0 currently “at the annual awards banquet in December of each year.” to “at the annual awards banquet.”

Bylaws change article 7 section 7.3 from “in December on a date to be announced.” to “a date to be announced.” leaving out the month December. 

Reply to me with your vote YES or NO on each of the changes.

There is a great deal of information that will be coming your way very soon.  Please be on the lookout for updates on how to enter your image into the zoom exhibition with SmugMug.  At our next meeting, in addition to viewing the submissions to the Field Trip competition, we will also be including a preview of the 8 Portfolio entries that were submitted to the N4C Portfolio competition.  This is a new competition and I am really looking forward to seeing those entries.  I am told they are outstanding.  

That’s it for now, don’t forget to vote on the above changes.  When the minutes of our board meeting are completed, I will be forwarding them to you.  

Take care and be safe,


Mike

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