January 3 2008
Our first meeting of the New Year is January 2008. Two of our fellow club members will be conducting in-house workshops. Karen Littlefield will show us how to put on a digital slide show and Chuck Rohn will go over making prints. I don't know about you, but I am quite a way from being happy with the outcomes of my printing efforts. So, I am looking forward to Chuck's presentation. Karen should help us make interesting presentations, replacing the "traditional" slide show.
We are hoping to have a 30 minute break period between the two presentations. During which time I urge members who have questions about their digital cameras or who have questions about image making to "ask around" and see if a good answer can be found. I would like to see us make our meetings more informative.
January 17 2008
January 17 is competition night. Topic is: Maine Postcard. Enter something that you may find on a post card rack at one of Maine's tourist hot spots, or something you think really says "Maine!"
REMEMBER: you can put the letter "C" after your entry number if you would like to hear comments about your image. This is intended to be a positive experience. So, do not be shy about taking advantage of your fellow club members' observations.
This Winter Revisit Places You’ve Been Before
And the same is true of locations. Even if you’ve taken a photograph in one location, it does not follow that you’ll take exactly the same image a few days, months or years later. The light will be different, your skills will be different… and so will you.
So far this is a "Picture winter" I can't remember a winter where every storm looks like a postcard. Lets hit some basics about how to photograph snow. At this Thursdays meeting we are going to have a 1/2 hour break to ask questions. Please ask me to help with snow. Grey snow is almost as bad a yellow snow.
With film and digital your meter thinks everything is 18 percent grey. Remember the meter has no idea what subjects you are pointing at. You need to tell the camera you are shooting snow. To do this is simple. Shooting on spot meter, manual, you meter the snow and plus 2 for pure white snow. If it is snow with shadows it will be 1 stop. (The snow is darker) With the magic of digital we now have a histogram. You can now see your exposures, making sure you have enough detail in the shadow and highlight area. The histogram is a graph that shows the tonal range, exposure, and contrast in your photographs. It most often looks like a mountain sitting on the horizon, with highlights to the right and shadows to the left. (Over exposed to the right, not exposed to the left) Ideally, the mountain should not be cut off at either side but should slope down towards the horizon on both sides. You are losing shadow detail when the mountain is cut off on the left, and blowing or washing out the highlights when it is cut off on the right. When shooting in snow, you'll need to compensate from plus 1 to plus 2. Take a test picture and check your histogram. Look for the the mountain to not be cut off and your snow will be pure white. This is a mystery that takes a bit of time to learn. Before club on Thursday take some snow pictures with different setting and bring your camera in. We can check the histogram.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Give up chocolate, Work less and photograph more,
Make plans for photography trips. (I plan to keep 2 out of the 3)
The thing about resolutions is to pick a resolution you want and need to keep! I need to take more trips. Many of us in the club have gone to Machias Seal Island and those of you who have not had the privilege need to make plans. Machias Seal Island is one of the few places where you can visit Atlantic puffins and razorbills and terns up close and personal. It's a marvelous experience and it is in Maine.
On the Island you photograph out of blinds. As you are photographing you can hear the puffins walk on the roof. The birds are so close that I have had souvenirs left on the end of lens hood hanging out of the blind. The blinds are meant for four observers. Quarters are tight with four folks, and more than two serious photographers leads to quite a bit of jostling. It is great to share the blind with a ‘scout’ calling out interesting incoming.
Before you go
# Practice flight photography. Practice on gulls to get the hang of flying speed.
# Make reservations for the last 2 weeks in June, all of July, or the first 2 weeks of August. Those are thee best weeks.
# Look at puffin pictures. Make a plan of what you like so you have a plan of how to photograph. Every time I go I do this so I take shots I don’t have yet.
When you go.
# Bring your longest lens. I like a 200 – 400 because you can get close-ups and environmental shots.
# Don’t bother with a tripod. It is too tight in the blind. Bring a beanbag.
# Only bring a short lens for shots of the lighthouse and the island. Birds are too small.
Plan to stay in Jonesport overnight
Remember I said photograph more and work less. Jonesport is a wealth of photograph possibilities. It is one of the best Downeast working harbors. I think I could stay here a week and never repeat two photos. Great Lobster prices at the co-op. Campground on (almost in) the harbor. You can hear the boats go out at dawn. Bring a kayak. Lots of sheltered areas to boat.
# Jonesport is a peninsula already six miles out in the ocean. It puts you at the start in the edge of the birds of the ocean.
# Jonesport has probably the most uninhabited islands of any town along the Maine coast.
# The islands make great nesting areas for eider, cormorant, gulls, razor bill auks, guillemots, loons, black ducks, grebes and eagles.
# It also makes sheltered water for the seals to have their young and raise them.
This and That
Frank Howd Scholarship Fund
This is a scholarship for a high school student. We are looking for students.
Group field trips
How to break out of your box. Any ideas for a group field trip. With the snow so like a postcard every where we look is a postcard. ANY IDEAS FOR A FIELD TRIP.
Every year we are looking for workers for the fair. What are you doing the last of July? Please help.
What do you think of this as a format for a newsletter? I think I took over this Newsletter in 1996 when I missed a meeting and was voted on. Then I photocopied and mailed out about 50 letters. Now I mail out about 5. I never saw a blog at New Years 2007. Now I am writing one.
Technology is great!