Discusson Group Notes July 17, 2009

Discussion Group

I missed Friday the 10th because I was in Las Vegas. No one took notes last week and I heard that only four people showed up. Summer seems to be taking its toll.

Friday the 17th, though, we had eight conversationalists and the subjects were so enthralling that I didn't take as many notes as usual.

Bonnie passed out copies of papers she had on lighting, focusing, and such. She also loaned out some magazines, which I helped myself to.

I described my Las Vegas trip. It was productive, 2,200 photos of genealogy documents in 10 hours, but very tiring. Still, it beats running them through a scanner. Now I'm building a genealogy web site for the family, some of which goes back to the 10th century. I keep telling myself not to volunteer.

I showed my photos of my Las Vegas-to-Mojave (cut short at Harper Lake) photo journey http://www.glenn-olson.com/photos/journeys/journeys.htm. I'm having way too much fun with my camera.

Art talked about his strobe and other lights as well as his tabletop studio. Bonnie pointed out related material in her handouts.

Bonnie talked about the difference (and possible confusion) between hairlights and backlights used in portraiture. Then we got into a discussion on backdrops. Bonnie has a few in her studio including mottled, gray, and (as I recall) dark blue. I have some navy blue, red, yellow, and patterned orange and multi-colored upholstery fabric, some of which came from yard sales. I've decided to order some chromakey green fabric for portrait work.

An important factor in doing portraits is distance. Lyle recommends about 9 ft between the camera and the subject (to maintain perspective) and another 9 ft between the subject and the background to blur it out. Bonnie's instructor suggests 7-9 ft to the camera and about 3 ft behind the subject. I think that it depends on what you have available and what effect you want.

Someone mentioned that about 97% of the photos Life magazine http://www.life.com collects never make it into their magazine and therefore they have a large volume of unpublished photos in their archives http://www.life.com/archive/gallery. I've looked at the Life, and many other, web sites where photos are a dominant theme, and I find a lot of inspiration and understanding in these. If you want some fun, try out their "Real or Fake" gallery.

Art led a humorous play-on-words discussion on light boxes. I.E., do they float in the air, do you use them to view x-ray images, and what about light boxers (there are at least two possibilities here)?

Art suggested checking out ALZO.com http://alzodigital.com/online_store/selection_product_photography_kits.htm which has some nice tabletop setups. Even if you can't afford these at least you can see how the lights are placed then go down to the local hardware store and pick up stuff that will do the trick. Deborah has built a 20 inch light cube from old window screens and fabric that we had laying around. The only thing she had to buy was a little velcro for about $1.79 and a large sheet of white heavy paper for the backdrop (about $1.29).

There was more but I had too much fun talking and listening to take notes.


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). Denny's has graciously provided us a section to ourselves and the service is great.

All photography related subjects are fair game and there's never a planned agenda. You can bring in your questions, your stories, your equipment, your photos (paper or digital), or even just yourself to sit, listen, and/or talk.


Glenn Olson
Coordinator and Moderator

Share It

Login required to comment
Be the first to comment

Coming Up...


LPA Breakfast


General Meeting



PSA & S4C News

Get your S4C UEN here

My Account