Discusson Group Notes April 2, 2010

Discussion Group

This day we had eight of the usual suspects.

Deborah, Julia, and I missed the May 26 meeting because we made a short-notice trip to Oregon and Washington looking for greener pastures.  Most of the pastures we saw were green alright, and the cows were standing in water up to their ankles.  We saw lots of rain, some periods with just cloudy skies, and an occasional ray of sunshine.  Everywhere we went I saw something interesting to photograph and remembered Noella talking about staying in one place and photographing all day.  But we didn't have that much time so we only brought back a few photos to show the group.

My Version of the Astoria Bridge

Deborah's Version

link:1 alt:0 Steps in a Park

Old Pilings, New Hotels

Tug Boat

Road to the Astoria Column

Art showed us his tulip photo collection which "wowed" everyone.  Some looked like they were lit from the inside but were just lit from above.  Actually Art had the tulips suspended upside down to keep the stems straight and lit them from below, but they looked great.  He also had some macros that were so close that part of a single petal presented a colorful and abstract, yet pleasing, image to the eye (yes, I've been reading too many photo books).  Art said that his technique was to focus the camera as close as it would go, touch the flower with the lens, hold down the shutter button, then move the camera back until the image came into focus and the camera triggered itself.  This is a great technique that I didn't know the camera would do.

John showed off his "large" (about 13x18) portfolio, mostly of birds.  These photos were surprisingly sharp.  John said that his technique is to do a little sharpening in Photoshop (either JPG or TIFF) then move the file into the Canon software and sharpen it more.  Another successful technique I hadn't heard of but want to try.

Vivien showed us her photos which included some nice shots of Fiddlenecks and other flowers.  She said that she has trouble getting a good focus, to which I reassured her that a lot of us have that problem.

Deborah showed everyone a print of a composite shot she made.  She had taken a photo of a friend's daughter in our studio (the Cave) against a green chromakey backdrop.  She then added in a graffiti wall background that she had made in Poser.  The result is an entertaining image of a young "gangsta" that pleased her parents (who knew the process) but caused consternation to her relatives who live down below.

Gangsta Ashley

Mary showed us her photos of Death Valley and flowers.  Mary has an interesting style which is not quite high key but light and colorful with the effect of drawing the viewer in and enticing them to be part of the image.

We talked around the table about having a "Show & Tell" at our general meetings (except on competition nights), an idea that drew general agreement.  My idea was to set up tables along the walls where members could display a few of their favorite photos and maybe place a card out that listed the camera and settings and maybe the circumstances of the shot.  The China Lake Photographic Society is all digital but they have a similar event at each meeting called "Show-off Shots" where everyone gets to submit up to three of their favorite photos for everyone to see.

We talked a little about Noella Ballenger's workshop and the Wednesday field trip (Saturday's hadn't happened yet).  Someone mentioned that they especially liked the part where Noella recommended breaking the rules.

I told of my epiphany on how to make money from photography which came to me on our Oregon/Washington trip.  Basically it's to take Noella's suggestion of staying in one place and taking lots of photos then posting them on one of the websites that sell photos.  There's so much more to this idea that I posted it on my own website as a blog.

Terri showed off her coffee-table/scrapbook of their Panama trip to those who hadn't seen it yet and answered questions about how it was created.

I mentioned Photoshop Online which I've seen the kids use but have no experience with myself.  Basically you just sign up on the Photoshop website and use their online software free to adjust your photos.  The kids were doing some great things with it.

John said that he uses an inexpensive LED flashlight for taking macro shots of flower stamen rather than an expensive ringlight.  I told him of the relatively bright LED lights that I've picked up at the 99 Cent Only stores.  These have a total of 12 bright LEDs that I might be able to restructure into a ringlight arrangement.



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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