Taking Long Exposures

Jeff Smallwood

We’ve all seen the classic soft waterfall shots, the smooth ocean around the rocky shore, the star trails in the night sky, or the busy city street where all the people and cars become ghosts of blur. I think those are interesting photos as they give us a way to visualize the motion of the world using something that doesn’t move. A movie of a still subject is boring, but a still photo of the world in motion can be quite the opposite.

Dive into the world of long exposures. Club member Jeff Smallwood gives some tips and pointers in an article on how to take long exposures.

Getting organized in March

Megan Snider

The March meeting of the Calvert Photography Club brought a big giveaway, an informative presentation and another fine batch of Lisa Stephens? fine key lime cupcakes from Imagine It Iced for the gobbling.

Photo by Megan SniderAfter president Guy Stephens asked attendees to introduce themselves and their passion for photography, Guy gave an update on the club?s current web presence ? including page views to our main site, Facebook ?likes? and Twitter followers. We?ve made strides in all areas and are attracting interest, which is great!

Treasurer Bonnie Bryant gave an update on the club?s bank account and our current funds, plus reminded members to consider officially ?joining? the Calvert Photography Club by paying just $20 each for the year. All are reminded that payment is not necessary to enjoy our meetings or attend field trips; funds will simply help us expand and consider investing in a club projector in the future.

Jeff Smallwood was then called upon to introduce Jen Smallwood, Creative Memories unit leader, for her presentation on organizing, storing and preserving photos. Though no one present has any trouble filling up their memory cards, deciding what to do with the countless images we take can be difficult. Jen gave an awesome presentation on the many options available for photo preservation and fun products designed with our images, and reminded us of some important terms:

  • A product boasting it is ?photo-safe? means that the material is acid-free, lignin-free, buffered and bleed-resistant. This is what you?re looking for when purchasing products that will ensure the quality of your pictures for years to come.
  • A product stating it is ?acid free? simply tells us its pH level falls within a certain range ? not that it is completely acid free. Items that fall into this category include paper, stickers, frames, mattes, paper, glue and plastic protectors. We want to make sure anything that touches our photos is completely ?photo-safe,? not just ?acid free.?

Jen also provided great solutions for storing photos with items from Creative Memories, which are all available through her website. Her own ?power sort box? keeps her organized before she?s ready to scrapbook the photos she has printed.

Photo by Megan SniderAfter Jen?s informative talk, Guy gave a rundown on Nik Software, a series of professional imaging tools with professional features and demos, many of which are offered for free on the Nik website. The company has recommendations for workflow and offers six different products designed for output. Guy walked us through each one, showing great before-and-after shots highlighting the capabilities of the six products. Nik generously provided a copy of Silver Efex Pro, too, which was raffled off to lucky attendee Justin. (For a Nik coupon code exclusive to Calvert Photography Club members, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).)

Group members shared shots from our February assignment, ?glass,? and admired the many interpretations of the theme. Our next assignment is ?rain,? so bring your best rainy shots ? interpreted however you like ? to our meeting at Southern Community Center in Lusby from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16. Our next photo trip is to Blackwater Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, April 9. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than 25,000 acres on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore and has been designated a “Wetlands of International Importance” by the Ramsar Convention. Bring your gear and meet the group there!

Photo trip to Washington, D.C.

Megan Snider

On a blustery Saturday morning, March 5, members of the Calvert Photography Club convened in Washington, D.C., to photograph many of the monuments that make the District great.

Photo by Megan SniderDespite being born and raised in the D.C. area, Megan had never actually stood at the base of the monument—so it was immediately a unique experience! Spencer, Lisa and Megan found Jerry at the monument, too, and snapped a few photos of visiting geese before heading to the World War II Memorial, where they found Bonnie, Debbie and Jeff.

After speaking with a kind tour guide at the World War II Memorial, the group took shots of the fountain—just turned on for the season—and the gray skies surrounding the Washington Monument. It was off to Constitution Garden Pond, a hideaway near the Vietnam Wall, where members took photos of the bare trees and ducks trying to catch a few errant rays of sunshine. The Vietnam Wall and the Lincoln Memorial were next on the agenda, and Jeff captured a group picture before we disbanded to pour over our shots from the morning.

Washington is full of great photographic opportunities: the unique architecture; the tourists and crowd shots; the ever-changing weather. Despite the fact that many of us have visited or worked in the city for years, always been on the lookout for a unique angle. Try to snap what you?ve never captured before.

And, in Megan?s case, if you?re visiting on a gray day? Just convert to black-and-white when you get home. Some of the ?mediocre? shots she took were transformed just by removing what little color was in each photo and upping the contrast. A different look, and a way to alter a ?boring? picture.

Love photography and enjoy reading?

Guy Stephens

If so I have some great news!  The Calvert Photography Club is now part of the O’Reilly User Group ProgramO’Reilly Media is a well known name in the world of tech books and has some great titles related to digital photography.  O’Reilly is known for spreading the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, research, and conferences. They are an active participant in the technology community and the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

As part of the O’Reilly User Group Program our members will be eligible for special discounts and promotions.  O?Reilly also regularly donates books and other promotional items for raffles and auctions to help clubs raise money, or even for meeting door prizes.  We will also be able to get review copies of books if we agree to write a review and publish it on our website.  I am really excited about the potential of members reading and reviewing books.  It is a great way for our members to get new photography related books and to share what they learn with the club and beyond.

So are you interested in a free book to review?  Let me share with you some great O?Reilly titles:

PSE 9Photoshop Elements 9: The Missing Manual
By Barbara Brundage
Publisher: O’Reilly Media / Pogue Press
Released: September 2010

Elements 9 offers much of Photoshop’s power without the huge price tag. It’s an ideal tool for most image-editing buffs—including scrapbookers, photographers, and aspiring graphic artists. But Elements still doesn’t come with a decent manual. This bestselling book will help you get the most out of the program, from the basics to advanced tips for both Windows and Mac.

PS CS5Adobe Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
By Deke McClelland
Publisher: O’Reilly Media / Deke Press
Released: July 2010

Master the fundamentals of Photoshop CS5 with One-on-One, Deke McClelland’s unique and effective learning system. This book includes step-by-step tutorials, hours of video demonstrations, and lots of hands-on projects to help you improve your knowledge and hone your skills. Once you read about a particular technique, watch the video to see how it’s done—then try it yourself.

Why photos workWhy Photographs Work
52 Great Images: Who Made Them, What Makes Them Special and Why
By George Barr
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Released: December 2010

Every photographer, from amateur to pro, can learn by studying the “greats”. In Why Photographs Work, author/photographer George Barr analyzes 52 striking images by some of the world’s top photographers. Accompanying Barr’s analysis of each image is an explanation by the photographer describing the making of the image, including not only the how, but also the why. Also included is a brief technical description of the equipment used in making each image.

WordPressHead First WordPress (maybe you want to learn more about blogging)
A Brain-Friendly Guide to Creating Your Own Custom WordPress Blog
By Jeff Siarto
Publisher: O’Reilly Media
Released: July 2010

Whether you’re promoting your business or writing about your travel adventures, Head First WordPress will teach you not only how to make your blog look unique and attention-grabbing, but also how to dig into the more complex functionality available on the WordPress platform. You’ll learn how to customize your blog with your own URL, templates, plugin functionality, and more.

If you?re are interested in reviewing these books or another O?Reilly title let me know and we will arrange to get the book for you.  This is a great opportunity please consider reviewing a book if you have time.