Monthly Meeting December 2015

Gloria Occhipinti

The December meeting was called to order on Saturday, December 19, 2015 by our President T.O. Galloway.  The offices of Vice President and Treasurer are both up for re-election for the 2016 year.  Anik Sales has volunteered to run for Vice President and Sandy Carr has volunteered to run for Treasurer.  Ballots are being sent out this week.  We are now collecting dues for the 2016 year - Individual: $25, Family: $35, Juniors: $15.  Also, there are still a few hats available with the Calvert Photography Club logo for $18 each.  Our annual Photo Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, January 9th at the Fairview Library in Owings, MD from 1-5 p.m.  We will have a number of different stations set up where you can try some fun and interesting things!  Bring your camera!

Guest Speaker:photo by David Blecman

Our guest speaker today was David Blecman who spoke to us on the topic of Glamour Photography.  David is an accomplished photographer, businessman, educator, and mentor based out of Annapolis, MD.  He started in photography in 1978 and is self-taught.  He began doing many different types of photography including wedding photography, babies, architecture, and event photography.  In 1997 he started his company Positive Negatives (  and began to concentrate on commercial work and fashion photography.  He continues to mentor and train models and does a lot of other work in the fashion industry.  He has also organized at photography meetup group based in Annapolis ( where he mentors other photographers through workshops which include location shooting and training, some abroad!  A workshop in Western Ireland is planned for May 2016!

For David, it is all about simplicity.  He always goes with simple equipment.  Most of what he uses is equipment that he has had and used for many years.  He showed us how to take glamour shots with only one light.  David uses a 50” Photek Softlighter SL-5000 umbrella with a speedlight on one side and a white reflector on the other side to eliminate shadows and even out the light.  Even, soft light (which is not the same as flat light) is very important.  What makes the light soft is the modifier (in this case the softlighter).  The bigger the modifier the softer the light.  Also the closer the light source is to the subject the softer the light and the softer the shadows. 

Keep the model’s clothing simple too, usually black or white as opposed to bright colors.  David says when photographing someone he also wears only black or gray instead of colors or even white because it may reflect in the model’s eyes or put a color cast on the model.  Attention should go to the model’s face, particularly to the eyes.  Use the focusing square in your camera that is closest to the eye and always focus on on the eyes. 

Three important things are:  Correct focus, the right exposure, and the right white balance.  To determine the correct exposure David always uses a light meter which reads the light falling on the subject unlike using the camera which always tries to give you gray (thus, if the camera sees a lot of black it will try to lighten the image to gray, and if it sees a lot of white it will try to darken the image to gray.)  For white balance David always uses the custom white balance setting on his camera and uses a gray balance target.

When setting up your light source David says keep the light source and modifier vertical and approximately the same height as the model.  He generally uses an aperture between f-5.6 and f-8 (the sharpest part of the lens is approximately 2 stops from the largest aperture opening).  He recommends using a shutter speed of 1/125 and a lens range of 100-115 mm.  ISO should be set at ISO 100 (or the lowest ISO setting on your camera) to get the most noise free image possible. 

Never have the model pose square with the camera.  Having your model roll one knee over the other will cause one shoulder to move a little forward giving more dimension to the image.  Have the model tilt their head toward one shoulder as well – for men always have them tilt their head toward the far or back shoulder; women can tilt toward either the near or far shoulder depending on the look you want.  Shoot slightly up at the model (from bust level) to give a more statuesque appearance.

As well as Lightroom, David uses PortraitPro Studio for editing.  Find out more about David and his work at

Other Club Business:

We still need sign ups for slideshows for 2016.
The December photo assignment was “Speed”.  Photos were submitted by:  Jim Rogers, Sandy Carr, and Tammi Gorsak.  The January photo assignment is “Temperature.”  Be creative!


Mormon Temple - DC Festival of Lights

Anik Sales

photo by Anik SalesWith 650,000 lights around the temple grounds, no wonder the Annual Festival of Lights at the Mormon Temple is a must visit around this time of year! This is the place where you will see couples, families and friends enjoying the lights or experiencing the life-sized outdoor nativity.

photo by Anik SalesThis time around I wanted to enjoy the beautiful lights and not worry about a particular subject, but create something interesting with light and The Festival of Lights is absolutely perfect for this. Stacey Leece Vukelj a photographer located in New York City explains that “the beauty of night shooting is that when darkness dominates, a wonderful shot is awaiting anywhere light exists. Worry less about particular subjects, and simply shoot interesting lighting patterns or color arrays.”

Anik SalesNo matter if you view Christmas lights as a symbol of Christ’s eternal light, or a symbol of Christmas joy, or a symbol of hope and good in the world, don’t put down your camera when the light is scarce and make this a wonderful opportunity to capture the moment and make this into an annual opportunity to share a time of solidarity and joy with others as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas.

Wilmington & Western Railroad/Haunted History Tour blog by Tammi Gorsak

Brenda Schillaci

November’s photo trip was a dual opportunity to view the lovely fall foliage in Wilmington, Delaware and to meet up in Havre de Grace for dinner and a Haunted History Tour. The weather was a bit iffy at the beginning but it turned out to be a nice day.

We met up and boarded the Wilmington & Western Railroad train. We departed at 12:30 in the open-air seating car.  It was a bit chilly, but the open windows made taking pictures easier. The trip was 1 ½-hour round-trip. We saw a covered bridge, colorful leaves, and other unique things to take pictures of. Half way through we stopped at Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove for a quick lunch along the banks of the Red Clay Creek before heading back to the by Tammi Gorsak

After the train ride we walked around the area and saw a lot of interesting things. A Swedish wedding was about to begin and we saw some of the wedding party in their
kilts. The girls had different fall color dresses on.  Some us went over and took pictures of sheep and we saw a local cat that posed for us. We took pictures by the train tracks and talked about how we used to put coins on the tracks when we were younger. photo by Tammi Gorsak

Then we headed to Havre de Grace for dinner. We had a few minutes before our meeting time of 5:00 p.m., so we checked out some of the local shops. I wish we’d had more
time because one of the stores had some very unique items.

There were 12 of us for dinner at Laurrapin Grill. There was a unique mural on the wall with the men’s bathroom door entrance hidden in the scene. They get most of the
food from local farmers. The food was by Tammi Gorsak

After that, 6 of us headed over to the Haunted History Tour. The wind had died down and it felt warmer than it did earlier in the day.  We had a young tour guide and she told us stories that were told to them by the locals. Some of the houses and churches were very nice. The tour could have been a bit scarier and it would have been nice if the stories were more complete. The highlight was when we saw a fox. Be sure to check out the two fox pictures Beth posted on Calvert County Photography Club’s Flickr site.

Some of us spent the night in Havre de Grace and explored the city the next day before heading back to Calvert County. It was wonderful trip!photo by Tammi Gorsak

Monthly Meeting November 2015

Gloria Occhipinti

The November meeting was called to order by our President, T.O. Galloway, who introduced our guest
speaker, Greg Knott.

Guest Speaker:

Greg is a photographic artist with a studio at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia.  He has done a number of different kinds of photography over the years including commercial portraits and wedding photography.  However, he describes his current work as photographic “puzzles.”  Each work is a multi-paneled set of pieces that breaks down and illustrates a common phrase or idea, a sport, a recipe, or maybe even a child’s by Greg Knott
In addition to The Torpedo Factory, Greg exhibits at local galleries and multiple art festivals throughout the East Coast, but he is also in high demand as a provider of custom artwork.  Greg says he tries to incorporate items belonging to the clients in his custom pieces whenever he can.  “Listen to your clients,” advises Greg.  He delivers and will even hang the artwork for his by Greg Knott

Greg also has a book called “Simplest Pieces” that was published in 2014. Check out his work at or on, Facebook at Greg Knott by Greg Knott

Club Business:

The Vice President and Treasurer positions are both up for election this year.  Anyone wishing to fill either of these positions please contact T.O. Galloway.

Debbie McIntosh put together a wonderful slideshow of member photos from our recent trip to Wilmington and Western Scenic Railroad and Havre de Grace.

The November photo assignment was “Boo!”  Photos were submitted by Sharon Shifflett, Tammi Gorsak, and Gloria Occhipinti.

The photo assignment for December – illustrate the concept of “Speed”.