Discussion Group Notes July 9 and 16, 2010

Discussion Group

On the 9th we had nine contributing attendees and on the 16th we had five.

On the 9th Donna gave away some old Nikon parts including filters and a bellows.  Roger, the recipient, played with his new toys and showed us how they worked.  Phil brought in an original Nikon 35 mm camera for show.  It was quite a museum piece and heavy compared to today's cameras.

Phil passed around an article on USB hardware trojan horses.  Apparently bad software can be passed from computer to computer through thumb drives, other USB devices, and camera memory cards without being detected by current virus protection software.  It's like back to the early days of floppy disks.

I passed around a book and two magazines.

  • The book was "The Travelers'' Book of Colour Photography" by Phillips and Thomas, 1966, Hamlyn Publishing Group.  While dated, it's more of a tips-and-tricks tutorial on photography with travel being a side issue.  Chapters include "Framing the Picture," "Silver or Gold, Show Warm-Show Cold," "The Human element," and 37 other topics to help you get more interesting photos.  This book came from the Lancaster Friends of the Library store ($1) and will be donated to the LPA library.
  • The first magazine was "Photoshop Elements Made Easy," a Photomasterclass book by PhotoPlus.  It's a bit pricey at $26 but it's thick, easy to follow, and comes with a CD.  It's basically a tutorial covering both the easy stuff and the more professional work using Photoshop Elements.  Chapters range from "Get Started" and "Use Eyedroppers" to "Create a Lunar Corona."  It's really very comprehensive.  This one was purchased at Barnes & Noble.
  • The second magazine was "Digital Artist, Inspiration & Advice for the Creative Community."  Since Deborah does both computer graphics and photography I thought this would interest her.  Again a little pricey at $15 at B&N, this one is a specialty book which includes such topics as "The CS5 Painting Revolution" which talks about how to use Photoshop brushes to make your photos look like paintings.  This one too came with a CD

Lee passed around his prints of a ghost car (I was the ghost).  Since the exposure time for these shots was about 30 seconds it was easy to walk into the scene, hold still for about 10-15 seconds, then walk out leaving a ghost.  In one I was sitting in front of the car and the other I was sitting inside it with a light on my face.  It's amazing what fun grown up boys can have with colored lights, junk, and cameras.

Phil described his son's wedding which was held outdoors with spotty clouds which caused him quite a bit of trouble with white balance.  I lamented about my Canon XT's difficulty in selecting a good white balance when it comes to cloudy days.  If it's daylight or heavy clouds the camera does well but anything in-between is usually off-color and requires correction.



On the 16th I showed Larry and Rodger my old movie still-shot books which contain many B&W "film noir" images.  We talked about the work of these early cinematographers and the drama they were able to create with simple lighting and high contrast.  Think Humphrey Bogart.

I described my recent success with rebuilding an automatic transmission and the strong part documenting photos played.  When you have a hundred parts that all have to go back together in the right order you can never have too many photos (and they need to be clear and sharp).

Larry described his adventure near I and 30th West in Lancaster where he found a large number of Barn Swallows at a water runoff bridge.  At this same location he also found a hawk, Mallards, and many other birds making it a good birding location.

Larry talked about his photography skills, tools, and techniques.  He likes to use his fisheye lens, shoot off-hand, and concentrate on specific subjects such as car grills or tail lights.  He told us tales of going to LA's Garment District and Venice Beach and taking candid shots of people.  He avoids post processing but likes Topaz, an HDR software package.  Larry posts many of his photos on Flikr and Photo.net.

Bryant described his trip to Lake Balboa near the Sepulveda Dam.  That morning there were model aircraft flying around which made for good subjects.  We then went into a discussion of model aircraft, gliders, ultralights, Crystal Aire airport, Tehachapi, and other related flying activities.



If you can, please join us each Friday evening at Denny's at the corner of Ave K and 20th West. We begin about 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.

I would again like to extend a special invitation to both new members and the more expert members who would like to participate in these informal discussions.

You are welcome to visit the LPA forum and leave your comments......


Glenn Olson
Coordinator and Moderator

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