Discusson Group Notes June 19, 2009

Discussion Group

Was seven, now eleven, sounds like someone's rolling the dice. We had nine LPA members plus Bonnie and Don each brought guests. I ended up at one end of the tables again so Terri volunteered to take notes for the other end.

Bonnie gave me a $30 off Costco coupon for Photoshop Elements (PE 7), good through July 5th. First come, first serve.

Art said that he had PE 5 and had gotten used to it. Then he bought PE 7 and it's so different that he wants to go back to PE 5.

Janice showed us a nice Point & Shoot (P&S) snapshot of a dog looking into the camera. I liked it but one ear was cut off on the 4x6 print. Janice said that on the 8x10 it was not cut off. This is a common problem when letting the stores change your print size for you.

Bonnie and I made plans for me to bring my model to use her (Bonnie's) studio. Since this is my first serious portrait shoot I'll be relying on what I've learned from Dave Arnold, the books, and what Bonnie can show me. If I get even one good shot then I'll enter it into the fair.

Terri led a discussion on how to use a cutter for foam boards. Janice uses a T-square on wood with a foam core cutter. She recommended buying the cutters before the stores sell out as the AV Fair take-in approaches. Bonnie said that she replaces her blade every three photos. I said that I had a nice cutter I bought from Michaels a long time ago but had not had great luck with it. The following day I attended the workshop at the Van Dam building and asked for help with my board. It turned out that it came with a piece of matte paper under the cutter and the instructions said to leave it. Well, that was my main problem and I disposed of that paper right off. Then Sue helped with my technique and now it works just fine. I'm happy as a pig in mud.

We talked more about the fair. The deadline for entries is July 11. This is my second year at entering and so I understand the process. Last year was very difficult for me because the word "entries" is normally (in the American language) associated with what you enter (pigs, pies, photos). In this case, however, "entries" means what most people would call "entry forms." The actually photos are "taken in" on August 12th. If you've ever traveled you can think of it as your reservations and money are due by July 11 but you don't arrive with your luggage until August 12. Everything else seems to be pretty straight forward.

Vivian asked about a place to practice taking photos of fireworks. I told her that last year I found a good place at the corner of Ave H and about 34th, next to the warehouse. There were some cars last year but it was not crowded. Some P&S cameras actually have a "fireworks" mode where the shutter stays open until the camera sees the flash of the fireworks then the shutter closes.

Janice talked about the Lakes and Valleys Art Guild (LVAG) which has it's studio in Lake Hughes. The LVAG is a group of artists who show and sell their work around the valley and around the world. Any serious photographers should consider joining them because they consider photography as one of the categories of art. It's a good place to show your work and gain recognition. She also described a wall with lots of metal things in it (someone else mentioned this a few weeks ago). From her description I remembered that it's in the yard of an artist who makes stuff out of steel (he also does regular welding). You go into the small community of Green Valley and turn left at the gas station. It's down just a little way on the left. Several of the other LVAG members live in Green Valley and they have annual art walks there.

Janice told me about how the light on a subject changes with the time of day and season, essentially changing the photo as each minute passes. I told her that we had talked about this at some of our other Friday night sessions and that some of the Impressionists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism would make a whole series of paintings of just one scene throughout the day.

John passed around discount coupons for Denny's so most (or all of us) left with extra cash in our pockets. This was a welcome first but I don't think I'll plan on it happening on a regular basis. But this was a discount ticket night.

Janice said that she has graduated from film to digital P&S, though she also has a Canon 50D for days when she feels brave. She said that it was a big leap from film, especially when she's still learning computers. About a year ago one of our regulars was having the same problem and Jerry went out of his way to help her. This is not an uncommon situation for people to be in. I told Janice a little about the computers in the cameras and how they do great things but have their limitations.

Bonnie mentioned that the butterfly exhibit, Pavilion of Wings, at the LA Natural History Museum is now open.

Art talked about his light table and I showed Janice and Vivian his portfolio while he (Art) was talking to the folks at the other end of the table.


Notes by Terri (thank you Terri):

Art said that he had an Omega D5 enlarger. After working with his Nikon D50 for a couple of weeks he threw it away (or maybe he just quit using it - g.o.).

Lee, Terri, and Jerry discussed taking lots of pictures of Western Gulls and the various difficulties they had at Anacapa such as having to stay on the trail and avoiding the nesting birds. They also discussed the upcoming review of the Anacapa photos at Dave Wilkins' house.

The flower workshop on July 11th at the Henry's was discussed. If you're interested then you need to sign up soon.
Flower Workshop, July 11 2009

Art described how you could build a frame to hold a pane of glass and/or cloth backdrop. The others dubbed it the "Arthur." Then they talked about materials that could be used for backdrops.

John and Art discussed Art participating in a tabletop photography workshop (possibly set for July 28).

Jerry showed a photo he took at Anacapa that he processed through the Photomatix High Dynamic Range (HDR) software. (This was a large print which I could see from my end of the table. It was a beautiful shot of a couple of arms of the island jutting into the ocean with the clouds above. The HDR software brought out detail in both the shadows and the clouds. The Photomatix software is available from http://www.hdrsoft.com/. There is a good writeup on HDR in the LPA February newsletter http://www.lpaphotography.org/Newsletter/Archives/2009/pdf/0209.pdf. At that time you could get a deep discount on this software using the discount code of "LPA25", though I don't know if it's still available.)

If you can, please join us each Friday evening at Denny's at the corner of Ave K and 20th West. We begin at 6:30 PM and usually go to at least 8:30 PM. You can drop by at anytime and stay for as long as you like (you don't even have to buy anything).


Glenn Olson
Coordinator and Moderator

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