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January 2017 Calvert Photography Club Meeting

Gloria Occhipinti

The January 2017 meeting of the Calvert Photography Club was called to order on Saturday, January 21st by our Vice President, Anik Sales.

Guest Speaker:

Today’s guest speaker was club member Carl Occhipinti who demonstrated some of the functions of Photoshop’s Camera Raw.  Carl advised that Camera Raw has changed dramatically from Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC 2017.  The 2017 Camera Raw is exactly the same as the Lightroom develop module.  You can do all basic processing of your images in Camera Raw without even going into Photoshop.  Almost all changes made to Photoshop CC have been made to Camera Raw.  At the top of the screen is the Toolbar.  At the right of the screen are the Panels.  Starting with the panels left to right:

Basic panel:  This is where you can do all basic adjustments including exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, clarity, vibrance, saturation, temperature, and tint.  Carl recommends that you first set the white and black points.  This is done by holding down the Shift key and clicking on the each of the sliders entitled whites and blacks.  Make other adjustments using the histogram as a guide to help you get the proper exposure.  Clipping on either side of the histogram can be eliminated by adjusting the highlights and shadows.  Clarity is good for bringing out detail.

Curves panel:  Carl says this is not really needed anymore.  These adjustments can be made with either the basic panel adjustments or the adjustment brush on the Tool Bar.

Details panel:  This panel is for sharpening and noise reduction.  The noise reduction on this panel should be done prior to any sharpening because if you sharpen first it brings out more noise.  Carl says that the noise reduction here now works as well as most plug-ins.  Once you have made the necessary noise adjustments the sharpening can then be done. 
Under sharpening, Carl recommends that you hold down the Alt key and take the Masking slider to the right to eliminate any broad flat areas of the image where there is little contrast. An image with more detail will need less (or no) masking as opposed to something like a face where you may only want to sharpen the basic outlines like the hair, the eyes, the eyebrows, the outlines of the features.  Carl says it usually works best to use a radius somewhere between 1.0 and 1.4.  Sharpen as much as needed but not to the point where the image looks “crunchy”.

HSL Grayscale:  This allows you to deal with individual colors.  However, this changes everything in the image so if you just want to change adjust the color of a certain area you are better off using the adjustment brush on the Tool Bar.  You can, however, convert the image to grayscale here just by checking the box at the top of the panel.

Lens Correction:  This is used to fix any distortion that your lens may have caused.  There is a lot more to this than we were able to cover today so this will be covered in future sessions.

Effects:  This can be used to add grain if you want.  Again there are other things that can be done here which will be covered in future sessions.

Presets:  If you come up with a process that you like and would like to use repeatedly, click on the flyout menu here and save the settings.

Snapshots:  For a single image you can save several versions and go back to the same photo later and see the different versions.

White Balance:  White balance can be adjusted in several ways.  One way is to just go to the dropdown menu at the top of the Basic Panel and try the different options there.
Another way is to use the White Balance tool located in the toolbar.  But first start by holding down the Shift key and double-clicking on the white slider button.  Then do the same on the black slider button.  This gives you a starting point. Then, use the White Balance tool (3rd from the left on the toolbar) and click on something in the image that is18% or light gray.  If the RGB numbers (at the top righthand side of the screen) are all the same, you have clicked on something that is 18% gray.  Carl would argue, however, that this is a creative choice.  So basically, click on different parts of the image until you find something that satisfies you!

Straighten Tool: (7th from the left on the Toolbar) can be used to straighten an image by dragging it along a straight line in the image that should be either straight across (horizontal) or straight up and down (vertical.)

Spot Removal Tool:  (8th from the left on the Toolbar) can be used to remove spots or blemishes on the image.  Make the circle only as big as needed to cover the spot to be removed (using the left and right brackets keys) and then click on the spot. 

Batching:  Another thing that can be done in Camera Raw is batch processing a group of photos.  Say you have a group of photos that were all taken at the same time in the same kind of lighting and you will need the same basic adjustments to all of them.  In Bridge, Ctrl-click on each image that you want to batch process to select it.  Now open them in Camera Raw by either right clicking and selecting Open in Camera Raw or going up to File – Open in Camera Raw.  At the top lefthand corner of the screen you can click on Select All, then click on Synchronize.  A menu will appear and you can then check all of the boxes for the adjustments that you want to synchronize.  Then make your adjustments.  All of the selected photos will be adjusted!
 

Club Business:

Anik Sales, who handles our social media accounts, (Facebook and Instagram) urged those who would like to have their images featured on these sites to post them in Flickr.  Also members who have a business that they would like to promote, please send your website link and information to Anik as well.

The January photo assignment was “The Magic of Christmas”.  The winners were:
3rd place – Lisa Snider, 2nd place – Anik Sales, and 1st place – Mike Jones.

​Congratulations to the winners!  Your names have been added to the drawing for the end of the
year prize of a boxed version of ProShow Producer (a $250 value).  The 1st Prize Winner will also be this month’s Facebook cover photo for the month. 

The winner of the Pro-Show Producer for the 2016 photo assignments was Tammi Gorsak.

The February photo assignment is “Creative Composition”.

A slide show entitled “2016 Netherlands and Belgium” was presented by Melissa Chin.

 


A Message from Our New President - Karl Barth

Anik Sales

Members and Visitors,

I hope the new year is treating you well.  I hope this will be the first of many blogs I’ll be writing every month with club updates, news, tips, and suggestions, etc.  So be sure to check out the website (http://calvertphotographyclub.com/) along with our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/calvertphotographyclub/).  Not only will you find blogs, but you will also find information about upcoming meetings along with trips.  You’ll also see great images from other photographers on our Facebook page.

The first month of my term as President of the Calvert Photography Club is complete.  This year certainly has not started as I hoped on a personal level.

Don’t worry, no Trump jokes or comments.

For those who don’t know, I slipped on some ice in December and injured my leg.  I underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago, to repair a torn tendon and I have a 3-month recovery ahead of me.  I have to stay off my leg for eight weeks.  It’s been a tough past couple of weeks.  I just have to be patient.  I will recover and will be walking again very soon.

When I agreed to run again as President my wife thought I was crazy.  My first term as President in 2014 was rough because I didn’t know what to expect and was overwhelmed.  It made me miserable and forced me to take a break from photography altogether for a couple of years.  My inspiration suffered as well.

Our past president, T.O. Galloway was not running for President again.  I felt motivated to run again because I wanted to get the love of photography back and feel inspired.  Plus no one else was volunteering to run which I can’t blame anyone.  This job can be tough and requires commitment. 

I felt this time around; I would be better prepared and know what to expect.  Not to mention, I have a great group of people willing to help especially with my injury. 

One of my goals as President is to find ways to make the club better.  The club continues to enjoy great success, but I feel there are areas where we can improve things.  When I attended my first club meeting several years ago, I loved the comradery and friendliness of the group.  There was also that willingness to share information amongst the members.  To me that’s what makes our club successful is the great group of members we have.

The board and I are actively tossing around different ideas to make things better.  We are also relying on the annual member survey to get ideas for meetings and trips.  If you are a member and haven’t completed the survey, please do so.  We need your input.  You can also contact me with any ideas you have as well.

One of my long-term goals which I’ve brought up to the board is to improve our club website.  It needs a design overhaul which may involve going with a different company to create a site.  I feel the site should be a useful resource for our members and visitors.  It should have photography tips as well as showing off the work of our club members.  The current site doesn’t allow us to do that.

In the meantime, the board and I are actively putting together a list of trips and speakers for the rest of the year.  Even though we are only one month into the year, I’m happy to be working with a great group of people and fellow photographers.  I certainly don’t feel overwhelmed like I did the first time I was President.

Well, that’s all for now.  As my favorite photographer, Bryan Peterson, says “You keep shooting!”

Karl Barth
President
Calvert Photography Club


The Calvert Photography Club met on December 17, 2016.

Gloria Occhipinti


Guest Speaker

    Today’s guest speaker was David Blecman, a local photographer out of Annapolis who started his photographic career fresh out of high school in 1978.  Once deciding to do photography full-time he chose to focus mainly on the fashion industry, though he has done many other types of photography over the years including weddings, portraits, and commercial photography.  He still trains and mentors both models and photographers.  He started his business, Positive Negatives, in 1997 and is now an internationally recognized photographer and instructor, having taught in 13 countries over 3 continents.  David offers a 25 hour one-on-one, in-the-field photography mentoring course to individuals geared to whatever type of photography you wish to learn and taught at whatever pace is convenient for you!

Today David spoke to our group about travel photography.  He has traveled extensively and also offers several group travel workshops each year, both in the states and abroad.  You can find him at http://www.posneg.com.

When doing travel photography David’s philosophy is as follows:

Preplanning

Know your camera!  Get a good book if you do not already have one and study it. You need to know your camera and its features like the back of your hand! This eliminates a lot of wasted time and frustration when your out in the field trying to capture that perfect shot!

Know and understand the importance of the Exposure Triangle – Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Learning how each of these items works will help you to know what adjustments to make to your camera depending on the various light conditions present.

Know and understand Gray.  Every time you aim your camera at something it is trying to give you gray.  Knowing how to use a gray card will help to you to set your white balance so that the colors in your image are as accurate as possible.

Calibrate your computer moniters and LCD screen.  Get some calibration software and calibrate on a regular basis.  This is important so that you can see accurately what you are getting. 

Know the climate of the area you’re visiting and how it fluctuates from morning to night.

Know the area.  Know what’s around the place you’re going.  There are often hidden gems on side roads so look at sites like Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Street Views, and Bing Bird’s Eye View.  Look at Yelp and Tripadvisor.com.  Also watch dash cam videos on YouTube. You can often see scenery along the road and potential places you may want to stop.

Packing

Remember all of your electrical needs such as camera battery chargers (David recommends having two),  phone charger, power strips, computer related chargers & connectors, and if traveling abroad you will need the necessary electrical converter/adapter.

Camera Equipment including multiple camera bodies, multiple lens, multiple batteries, multiple small memory cards, rain protection, a Hoodman LCD Loupe, Color Checker Passport, a white balance target, filters, filter cleaning cloths, wireless remote controls, a sturdy tripod with extra plates, allen wrenches, gaffer’s tape, screwdriver set, and a speedlight.

Clothing – make sure you have the necessary climate appropriate apparel.

Pharmacy and cosmetic items including all prescription medications, allergy medication, insect repellent,and a first aid kit.

Paperwork including your passport, itineraries, flight information, hotel reservations, and transportation confirmations and emails.  David recommends taking a photo of all important documents with your phone.

On Your Trip

Once you have arrived at your destination there are all types of photographs that you can take.

Street Photography – capture emotion, humor, color/shape, street performers, culinary creations, architecture, the locals.

Iconic Landmarks – find a different perspective than everyone before you had done.  Capture it with a twist!

Sea and Sky

Landscapes – when shooting landscapes David recommends using a tripod and an aperture setting of f-16 and focusing one third of the way into the scene.  This will give you a sharp image from corner to corner.  Also, find the best perspective to block out any people or garbage that you do not want in the scene. 

Textures and Patterns

Promotional – think about shots that businesses may be interested in using for promotions. Offering these photos to the business owners can sometimes earn you discounts or free access.

David also says, shoot in RAW and overexpose by 1/3 stop.  Darkening an overexposed image is usually preferable to lightening an underexposed image which tends to result in increasing the noise in the image. 
And lastly, learn to process!  A RAW file is data stripped of everything.  So post-processing is an important and necessary step in getting a great image.


Club Business

The December photo theme was “Reflection”.  The winners for this month were:  3rd Place by Anik Sales, 2nd Place by Jim Rogers,  and 1st Place by Tammi Gorsak.

The January theme is “The Magic of Christmas”.


November Photo Club Meeting 2016

Gloria Occhipinti

Guest Speakers:

Our guest speakers today were club members, Karl Barth and Sandy Carr who gave us a presentation entitled “Shutter Speed:  Getting More Creative”.  The emphasis of this presentation was to get us to try something different.  Karl explained that there are 6 ways to use shutter speed creatively:
1. Freezing the moment – this is accomplished by using a fast shutter speed therefore “freezing” something in motion.
2. Decisive Moment – an example of this would be a candid shot of something in motion such as an athlete in motion.
3. Low Light Exposure – This would involve using a low shutter speed and a tripod
4. Abstract and Blur – using movement to create a pattern of some sort.
5. Long Exposure – using a long exposure time to get a blurred or soft exposure such as of a waterfall, or spinning lights.
6. Panning – moving your camera along with the subject in motion therefore blurring the background.

Karl suggests using manual mode for these types of shots and gave us a chart of suggested shutter speeds which can be found at: https://kattermonran.com/photography-cheats/shutter-speed/

We then spent time photographing several different objects involving movement including: bouncing balls, objects dropped into water, a slinky moving down steps, and battery powered toy cars.

Karl Strawberries


Club Business:

A slide show was given by Sandy Carr featuring photos from a trip she took to Cape Cod.  The November photo assignment was “Black and White”.  The winner for this month were:  1st place – Brenda Schillaci,  2nd Place – Gary Scribner, 3rd place – Brenda Schillaci.  The December photo assignment is “Reflection”.


Truck Graveyard

Brenda Schillaci

Truck Graveyard, Columbia, VA

Our November Photo Club Trip on November 5, 2016, was to Columbia, VA, to photograph at the Truck Graveyard.  Although that sounded kind of cool to me, it turned out to be way better than I expected! 

The drive was about 3.5 hours with a lunch break and some small detours thrown in.  The weather was lovely and there was some pretty scenery on the drive up, including remaining areas of colorful foliage.photo by Brenda Schillaci

Twelve club members joined in this trip. We were appreciative of the owner allowing us to roam the grounds.  There were a few rules, such as being allowed to open any doors or hoods that opened easily, as long as we closed them when we were done, and, of course, respect the property.

There were many makes and models of trucks, tractors, farm machinery and fire trucks in various states of rust, decay, and peeling paint.  Many had plants growing in, through, and over them, and there were hood ornaments, cracked windows, and nameplates that provided tons of details to see and photograph.photo by Brenda Schillaci
 
I was pretty tired after about 3 hours of photography in the graveyard, then taking sunset photos of the farm across the street.  I was more than ready for our dinner at the Bella Sicilia restaurant in Goochland, VA.  A nice waitress and yummy food made it a good dinner choice for the eight club members that joined this part of the trip. Thanks to Lynn Thomas for the group photo from dinner.Photo by Lynn Thomas

The long drive each way was well worth it – some of us discussed doing this trip again next year, maybe, for those that missed out this time.


 
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