Discusson Group Notes January 16, 2009

Discussion Group

Again we had 7, counting Julia who helped describe her "Street Photography."

Jim told us of Mojave Airport.s new monthly event "Plane Crazy" which is supposed to be every 3rd  Saturday from 10 to 2 where they show off vintage aircraft and cars.

Jim also brought up the forum "Strobist" which states "This website is about one thing: Learning how  to use off-camera flash with your dSLR to take your photos to the next level. Or the next ten levels."  http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html

Bonnie showed us a magazine photo of the back of some guy wearing a ponytail and a vest while taking  photos at a race track. It took even me a couple moments to realize that it wasn't me. We had a good chuckle on that one. For a moment I thought I was famous (at least the back of my head).

Julia and I showed off some of our Protest March photos. Julia's first assignment as a photographer was to get pictures of people's faces and she did a great job. There were a couple of people who had a lot of character in their faces and would go great in a portfolio. Of course, that led to a  lengthy discussion of photo releases and legal implications. Bonnie has a short version of the photo release on the back of her business cards. She says that offering the subjects a copy of the photos  is usually enough payment for them. At the Protest March there were so many people that it wasn't practical to get releases from all of them and there's some question as to whether they are needed in such a setting. Some folks thought that, when I singled out individuals that took me out of the realm of public photography and into personal photography. Of course, that brings into question whether the "Street Photographers" shown on YouTube needed releases. There was some concensus that taking photos of children in a park without the parents permission was a really bad idea, legal or not. In fact, it was suggested that photographers stay away from public parks with children altogether.

Someone mentioned that AV College now offers digital photography-only classes. Without researching each course description it appears that they have accepted digital photography as the future.

We talked about the upcoming LPA competition on close-ups and what would make a good subject.  Someone mentioned a friend who makes fishing flys worthy of photographing. Other suggestions were food, flowers, small parts of things used in hobbies, in fact almost anything could be the subject of a close-up.

Jim mentioned that he takes his film to Costco and gets back both negatives and digital. John mentioned that many places do this but that the quality varies depending on where you go. There was also a comment that different places provide different Pixels-Per-Inch (PPI) settings.

Terri said that she needs to work on her composition, which brought knowing head nods around the table. This is one of my biggest problems. She likes to practice with animals and still life because they're easy. She also likes to use a tripod because hand shaking gives her fuzzy pictures. I replied that I have the same problem and I have to compensate by taking faster shutter  speeds. The rule of thumb is that, for handheld, the shutter speed should be no slower than the inverse of the focal length. That is, if you're using a 150 mm lens then your shutter speed should be no slower than 1/150th of a second. For me I try to double that to 1/300th of a second. We  then went off on a tangent on how to get fast shutter speeds with various camera settings.

There was some discussion of trips to such places as the AV Indian Museum and various Missions http://www.californiamissions.com/ in the area. Last year I took Julia to the San Fernando Mission http://www.thecaliforniamissions.com/sanfern/sanfern.html which is the closest to the Antelope Valley and offers a variety of photo opportunities. I've been working on my list of photo opportunities and have added quite a bit in the last few weeks http://home.earthlink.net/~photo_johns_1/sites.htm.

Evelyn showed us some of her snow and other pictures. Lee talked about his Minolta digital camera.

I described the Bird Walk. Bonnie told us the sad tale of the grasshopper she photographed, just before it got crunched under a boot. Terri bragged, again, about her upcoming fall trip to New England which will include two days in Quebec. They're hoping to get some good fall color photos.

Tomorrow some of us will be gathering at Cantil  (forum post here) starting at 10 am. I don't know what the weather is going to do to us but it should be interesting anyway.

Refrain: We meet each Friday at Bianco's Cafe at the South end of the Lancaster Market Place, behind and across the street from Movies 12. The core times are from 7 to 8 PM but there's typically someone there from 6:30 to at least 8:30. Bianco's will keep the lights on for you.


Glenn Olson
Coordinator and Moderator

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