Carnival and Fair Photography

Jeff Smallwood

Long Exposure fair ride Carnivals and fairs offer such a wide variety of unique subjects, it really is one of the best opportunities to get different shots without having to travel too far from your home. From animals to people to the colorful rides themselves, take your tripod, wander the grounds and see what you can find.

If you check the photo exhibit, you might even find award winning entries by your fellow club members!

Read the full article here.

Sun Surveyor: Tracking the sun and moon

Karl Barth

Several weeks ago I wrote about an engagement shoot in DC.  During my preparation for that shoot, I needed to determine what time to do the shoot.  I was anticipating the sun being out and I wanted to do an evening shoot but I couldn’t figure out what time.  The first thing I tried searching for is a way to track the sun and where it would be for a particular time.  I tried running a Google search that would tell me but I couldn’t find anything. 

That’s when I came across a useful app called Sun Surveyor.  There are two different versions available in the iTunes and Android Stores: Sun Surveyor and Sun Surveyor Lite.  I decided to purchase the full version, Sun Surveyor, from the Android market for $6.

Sun Surveyor

I absolutely love the app and it was well worth the price.  The app allows me to turn my phone into a compass and show me the track of the sun along with the moon.  It also allows me to search the map for a particular location and show me the sun track from that location.  For this shoot, I wanted to start off at Constitutional Gardens.  With the help of this app, I was able to determine what time to start the shoot which was 5 PM.  Check out the below example.  The yellow line represents the track of the sun while the white line represents the moon.

?I’ll get some great use out of this app for future shoots.  I’ll be honest though it took me a little bit of time to familiarize myself with the app and how to use it.  The help functions are a little helpful but not great.


Cameron Davidson presents Chesapeake

Lisa Snider

On Saturday, September 15, 2012, the Calvert Photography Club met for its monthly meeting at the Prince Frederick campus of the College of Southern Maryland. We were greeted by President Guy Stephens, who introduced our host, Dr. Richard Fleming. Dr. Fleming welcomed us to the campus for our second meeting, and expressed gratitude for the partnership between the college and our club, in providing the evocative photographs which grace the walls of the ground level of the campus building. Dr. Fleming then happily shared his vision for the new campus building (2/3rds of the way completed), which is under construction nearby. That building will have 3 state-of-the-art meeting rooms to help serve selected needs of the college and the community.

By Lisa SniderPresident Guy Stephens then introduced our honored guest speaker -  Cameron Davidson – a renown photographer and aviator, who has been published in National Geographic, Vanity Fair, American Express, Smithsonian Magazine and Audubon, among many others.  After a warm round of applause, Mr. Davidson began his presentation with a brief introduction of his career, followed by an inspiring slideshow of selected photographs from his featured book, simply called “Chesapeake.” He explained that the book was a labor of love, which he funded personally. It was shot over the course of 20 years, and documents both the beauty and the environmental changes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed from the air.

Mr. Davidson’s travels took him from the beginning of the headwaters of the Bay in Cooperstown, New York, all the way down to the mouth of the Chesapeake at Virginia Beach. Over the course of 20 years, he shot 20,000 images, which had to be carefully reviewed and culled down to a manageable size for the book. Images were selected which showed both the decline of the Bay (often due to our industrial and long-term farming procedures), and also improvements made to the health of the Bay.

At the conclusion of the slideshow, Mr. Davidson entertained questions, and as the club took a 10-minute break, he invited folks to come back and meet him and/or purchase a book. “Chesapeake” was offered for sale as either a signed, limited edition version, or a signed standard edition. Club members were anxious to meet him and make a book purchase, for either a gift or their personal collections.

Mr. Davidson was also gracious enough to donate one of his books to the club’s lending library. We thank Cameron Davidson for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak to our club, and share his personal vision of photography – “to challenge the viewer to see things in a different light.” 

After the break and book signing, club member Sharon Shifflett treated the club to a slideshow of her photographs, set to the sound track of “Beauty and the Beast.” The photos featured her granddaughter and a cast of supporting characters, as they
acted out the beloved Disney classic, “Beauty and the Beast.” We thank Sharon for sharing her work with us. 

Guy then opened the “Club Business” portion of the meeting by announcing that final selections for the Solomon’s Island Fall Exhibit have been made, and the winning entries should be hung within about 2 weeks. He followed his announcement with a short slideshow, showing all of the entries, including the winners.

An election committee will be selected in October to begin the process of elections for our Board of Directors for 2013. Help is needed to serve on the election committee, and those who are interested are encouraged to run for office. Both President Guy Stephens and Vice President Jeff Smallwood have each served in their current role for 2 years, so under current bylaws, they can’t run for the same position again.

The club has grown by leaps and bounds, so help is always needed to keep things running smoothly, and alleviate some of the burden on current Board members. Anyone interested in helping with club business, in any capacity, is encouraged to e-mail Guy directly.

New LogoThe Board has been very busy, and after working with a graphic designer and several rounds of choices, has selected a logo for the club. The logo was fashioned after the Cove Point Lighthouse, and features the colors yellow, green and black. Guy unveiled the design, and advised that it will be used for materials which are produced by the club, including possible tee shirts and hats. Guy thanked the other Board members for their thoughtful input and work in making the final selection.

Next up was the Treasurer’s report by Bonnie Bryant. Bonnie advised that the club now has 52 paid members, plus several other

individuals who paid their dues at today’s meeting. Prior to today’s collection of dues, the CPC had a $1,200 balance in the club’s account. Thirty-four people have signed up to participate at the club’s Photography Boot camp, and a disbursement of $300.00 is anticipated to cover expenses for that.

Bonnie continues to maintain the snack sign-up sheet, and is in need of a snack volunteer for November. Bonnie also circulates the monthly sign-in sheet, which she encouraged everyone to sign. 

Finally, Library Coordinator Spencer Johnson provided a reminder about the club’s lending library, and the vast resources available to borrow. Club members should see Spencer if they are interested in borrowing a book, which titles are listed in the “Club Members’ Only” section of our web site.

Club members are also reminded that for the price of writing a review/blog post, Guy can obtain a brand-new photography book for the club member to keep, from either Peach Pit or O’Reilly Press, both of which have a relationship with the club.   

In the absence of Education Program Coordinator Robbin Haigler, Guy provided a quick update on the club’s annual picnic, scheduled for
3:00 p.m. on October 6th at Spider Hall Farm. The cost will be $8.00 per person, which will include admission to the 8-acre farm and permission to photograph it (with some limited exceptions), a hay ride, and your own pumpkin to take home. Club members are also asked to bring a dish to share, keeping in mind that electrical outlets at this venue will be limited. Please sign up with the name of the dish you will bring, and the number of guests attending with you (if any), as soon as possible. Sign up sheets were available at the end of the meeting. Those who have not yet signed up, and wish to attend, should e-mail Robbin directly with the above information at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Our next shooting assignment is “Nature,” and our next meeting will be held on Saturday, October 20th at the Drum Point Club, which has graciously agreed to host us. Club members are encouraged to bring their cameras to that meeting and a picnic lunch, to enjoy at the conclusion of the formal meeting on the club grounds.  ?
The last segment of the meeting featured 5 images taken by our club members depicting this month’s shooting assignment, “HDR.” Each image was allotted 4 minutes for the critique session, which was led by two members of our critique team, Jim Rogers and Daniel Coughlin. They each cited what they liked about the image, as well as offering constructive criticism, when appropriate.  The rest of the club members were then invited to offer their critiques, until the allotted time was up. Our featured guest, Cameron Davidson, even offered up his expert opinion on the images featured. Club members are reminded that they will be invited to submit their “Nature” images (our next shooting assignment) for critique at our October meeting. Watch for an e-mail from Guy, announcing the same.

In closing the meeting, Guy invited our club members who did not offer their HDR pictures for critique, but brought them to the meeting, to share them with the group. 

Until we meet again, remember that “we are the strongest filter we can place before the lens. We point the lens both outward and inward.” – John Paul Caponigro

Taking a critique and running with it

Megan Snider

One of the great things about meeting up with other photographers is the chance to see your work differently.

Despite having my Canon Rebel T1i for almost two years, I’m nowhere near advanced. Thanks to the great work and tireless enthusiasm of the Calvert Photography Club, I understand basics like exposure and shutter speed and ISO. A few years back, these concepts were foreign to me - and I wouldn’t have known where to begin. But once I took a step back, got my camera off that “Auto” mode and opened my mind, I’ve been able to branch out in new directions.

Having my work critiqued is one of them. Though it can be intimidating to see your photo on a projector while others discuss both its strengths and weaknesses, keeping an open mind regarding others’ suggestions is how we grow. It’s how we learn, improve, get better. It’s how we really “tell our stories” through photos – in whatever way we choose. And just as my writing gets assessed in my day job, my photos get assessed, too.

Thankfully, the CPC features a group of talented, kindhearted and professional individuals - and no one is going to rip you to shreds. For our latest photography assignment, playing with high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, I submitted a shot of the Western New York countryside I snapped in August.

One of the first suggested edits, per Jim, included cropping out a branch on the left. My eye usually goes straight to those sorts of outliers, but it didn’t - and that’s where another set of eyes comes in. Sandy mentioned the photo might be a tad overexposed. Another comment mentioned the wandering path being a little distracting, and guest and amazing photographer Cameron Davidson mentioned the photo being too divided into equal parts sky/ground.

Taking this feedback into account, I opened my original HDR-composite picture in Photoshop and got to work. The branch was the first thing to go, and I didn’t keep my original image proportions; I narrowed the photo to include less ground and more sky. I dropped the exposure a tad but adding some contrast, mostly so the clouds would stay white and pop a bit, and I used the “clone” stamp in Photoshop to remove the farm path.

The changes are subtle, but I’m pleased with the result - and definitely see an improvement in the visual impact of the shot. I wanted to evoke a sense of peace and tranquility while wandering through the country, especially since I’m a suburban girl, and I hope I captured that.

Or started to, anyway. There’s always room for more editing!

By Megan Snider

Our club members are the best!

Robbin Haigler

“Come anytime and just sign in” were the words of our host relayed to us at our meeting just 2 weeks ago.  An early start with cloudy skies, warm temperatures, high humidity and nearly 20 members expected -  it’s the beginning of our club’s scheduled monthly photo opportunity at the B&B Salvage in Upper Marlboro.  Expectations were high with hopes of shooting to practice our newly acquired information on HDR processing and/or the possibilities of photographing textures, patterns and unusual ‘stuff’.  However, upon our arrival it is soon discovered that the business is closed for the holiday week-end!  One by one cars continued to pull in and members were greeted with “they’re closed!” 

By Robbin HaiglerNot one single club member left when hearing that news.  Everyone gathered in the lot - some went out and about the parking lot photographing its contents, others walked down the road to ‘discover’ what was there, most just congregated trying to come up with someplace new for the day’s adventure.  Kenny Sampson announced that there was a car show in Edgewater at the Green Turtle scheduled to begin at 9:00am.  Our new destination was found - and was acceptable by almost everyone!  The timing was perfect too - it gave us time to wait for any late comers before we moved on. 

Kind of ironic that we would move from scrap metal, parts and pieces to one of a kind, hand built, shiny machines!  . . .  Kind of wonderful that our members have the attitude to smile and move on to make the best of a mishap beyond our control!
I think everyone enjoyed the car show as much as I did . . .  I know it is my pleasure to enjoy your company at these scheduled (and not so scheduled) events and I’m looking forward to sharing many more with all of you in the future!

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