Discusson Group Notes August 7, 2009

Discussion Group

There's an old story about a statistician who put one hand in cold water and the other in hot water and said "On the average it's just about right."  Last week we had two participants and this week we had 17, by my count.  This means our average for the two weeks was 8.5, just about right. ;-)

Being the moderator I try to encourage everyone to participate.  So, when I noticed two people, whom I knew had something in common, just listening I suggested to one that she discuss the subject with the other.  Deborah just about slapped me for thinking I could tell her, my girlfriend, what to do.  I found that I can still backpedal at high speed.  In the end she grinned at me and I knew I'd been had.

Bonnie showed us some photos of a couple of Salsa Dancers that she took during an LPA-subgroup portrait workshop the previous weekend.  These photos were so good Costco gave her a hard time about reprinting professional photos.  Anyway, Bonnie went on to describe the techniques and equipment they used.  This was her first time with the group.  Bonnie now has her own strobes in her studio and I'm still setting up my studio with hot lights.  I think I'm having strobe envy.

I asked Bill, a newcomer, what he likes to photograph and he said that he's still trying to figure that out.  I told him "welcome to the club" since a lot of us are still there.

Vivian had a question about printing on 8 1/2 x 11 paper when her printer wanted to print her photo at 7 x 10.  I suggested filling the outside with a 3/4 inch border which would bring it up to her paper size.

Bill and Jason talked about cameras.  Jason showed him the features of his Canon S3.

Cheryl showed us a flyer on PSA's "Individualized Photography Course" http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1306/is_4_75/ai_n31636830/ which she's signing up for.

I presented Bonnie with her repaired 5-in-1 reflector arm which had a broken plastic thing-a-ma-bob.  I had glued it then braced the weak point with aluminum angle pieces.  Then Deborah heard someone whisper "I know who to see when something of mine breaks." and now I'm nervous.  But I had fun working on it.  Metal work is another of my hobbies.

Cheryl showed some comparative prints from Adorama and Costco.  The photos came out about the same but Adorama has an option to have an expert make adjustments for you.  For this particular print she liked the Costco one better but, with the cost of driving to Costco, plus the obligatory pizza (Jim added), the Adorama one was cheaper.

Bonnie and Art discussed Studio lighting, at length.

Bonnie recommended doing another table-top workshop.  The last one, led by Art, was great but to give everyone more opportunity to get hands-on we need more stations.  I volunteered Deborah and I (I had to duck on that one) and our many hand-made light-tents (if I call them light-boxes I'll have to duck from Art).  Speaking of ducking, I can't wait till duck season.  For the next workshop I promise to be there instead of sailing on Lake Isabella (and that's a story best told over a glass of wine).

I explained that Deborah and I received our chromakey backdrop and are building a light wall (AV Fair prep has put a lot of stuff on hold) to go into our makeshift studio.  I brought up Julia and my little trip to Devil's Punchbowl the day before.  I only carried Julia's Point & Shoot (P&S) but was amazed at what there was to photograph.  I now have a collection of interesting "backgrounds" as well as texture (granite), patterns (steps in the trail), oddities (holes in the rock face that look like eyes), and etc.  It came to me that this short, 1-mile, trail would make a great location for a photo "scavenger hunt"

Photos to collect could include things like flora, fauna, texture, panorama, contrast (size, color, brightness), close-ups, and etc.  We really do need to wait for cooler weather though.  Meanwhile I did get photos of a bluejay, Julia holding and petting an owl, a tortoise eating an apple, and more.  I was just pickled tink with my tigital dreasures.

I showed off my free book from King's, "Digital Color Management & Printing Guidebook" (my thanks to Stokely (King Photo Supply) for handing them out and Arley for telling us about them).  It's a good read (technical, but sugar coated).  Cheryl said that she picked up two and is looking into setting up a club library.

If you read last week's notes, Bill was trying to decide what kind of digital camera to get.  Well, this week Donna gave him her old P&S, complete with instructions, so now he can get started.  Donna, you're an angel.  Bill's new (to him) camera is an HP Photo Smart, not so old, rugged, and simple.  I probably should have started with something like that.

Cheryl showed her table-top images on her lap-top of fruits, glasses, wine & etc.  She discussed techniques with Art, our guru, for a while.  For now she's using artificial flowers and etc. but, from what I saw, they're already turning out great.  Deborah has taken over part of our living room to practice her table-top photography now.

Jason, another newcomer, showed off his large Bristlecone Pine prints and they were so good I had to interrupt the other discussions to show them off.  They were some of the best I've ever seen.  He also had some large prints of bright, sharp flamingos and other subjects.  These photos were well worth staring at and will likely inspire folks to take a trip to the high country to create their own pictures.

Well, by this time my writing hand was cramping and my head filled with so many cool ideas I could have danced home.  Fortunately, Deborah nixed that idea.  I'm too old for that stuff.  Still, it was another great Friday night.


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.  Here, there's time enough.


Glenn Olson
Coordinator and Moderator

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