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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
The September meeting of the Calvert Photography Club was held on September 18, 2016 at our new location at the College of Southern Maryland in Prince Frederick, MD.
Our guest speakers today were Terry and Belinda Kilby, who spoke to us about Drone Photography. Terry and Belinda began working with drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, in 2009 when Terry became interested in building them. At that time, since drones were still pretty expensive, building your own was really the only affordable option. Terry, who was a mobile software engineer, had always enjoyed tinkering with remote control cars and helicopters in his spare time. And Belinda, a visual art teacher and aspiring fine art painter, saw great potential in this new venture from an artistic standpoint. As their knowledge and experience grew, they were able to transform their hobby into a business and thus Elevated Element, Maryland’s premiere Aerial Imaging company, was founded.
Terry initially purchased a small lightweight digital camera known as a gum-stick camera and attached it to a small store bought remote control helicopter. After the Go-Pro camera was released, however, Terry began building his first custom tricopter prototype for mounting the Go-Pro. Once they realized the potential that lay in capturing images from an aerial perspective they began to look toward creating a custom built flying device that could carry a better quality camera and thus capture higher quality images. They sought information on the subject through the online community getting to know other multi-copter enthusiasts from all over the world. Through this online community they also became exposed to the Maker Movement, a subculture of do it yourself problem solvers and builders who apply their practical skills to creating new things.
Though the Go-Pro images were pleasing and inspired them to further pursue their interest, they found that the quality of the prints when enlarged were somewhat grainy. They began to learn more about photography including HDR and other post processing in Photoshop which eventually led to obtaining better cameras. They also say that the Smartphone has been a key ingredient in advancing the industry due to GPS and other applications that can be used to control the drone. Advancements in technology have made it possible to gain more control of their vehicles, making them easier to stabilize in the air and thus less subject to movement due to wind and weather conditions.
Early on in this endeavor they captured images of some of Baltimore’s iconic architecture, usually working in early mornings when there were fewer people and cars around. They soon found, however, that there are many uses for unmanned aerial vehicles other than artistic. They have been used for things such as infrastructure inspections of bridges, roofs, or other high structures, search and rescue operations, and even precision agriculture (flying over a field to see where more water or fertilizer may be needed.) Terry and Belinda have done video footage that was used in a commercial for the Maryland Board of Tourism. They have been published in other media outlets, as well, including National Geographic, CBS Sunday Morning, and Entrepreneur Magazine. They have worked for notable clients such as Nike, The U.S. Army, The State Department, and several TV and film productions often combining different technologies such as 3D animation, video, and still photographs.
Terry pilots the drone while Belinda controls the camera. They say that this 2 person system gives them the best control over the images they are able to capture. Battery time lasts only about 20 minutes so it is essential to make the most of the time you have in the air. Most of the camera functions can be controlled from the ground through an IPAD. There are a number of FAA regulations that must be followed when flying a drone, including keeping the vehicle within your line of sight. They are also limited to a height of 400 feet (except in certain instances such as an inspection.)
The services they offer include aerial photography, Cinematography, Photogrammetry (photographing a subject from many different perspectives, then stitching those flat 2D images into a 3D object using software algorithms), and software development. They have also been active in Outreach to educate the general public about the many capabilities of drones and their positive uses.
They have written two books on drone photography: Drone Art, Baltimore released in October 2013, and Make: Getting Started with Drones, released in October 2015.
You can find Elevated Element on the web at: http://elevatedelement.com/ You. can also view their work on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCszCsimT0AdBHH8RMJzOmVA/videos Or f.ollow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
The photo assignment for September was “Backlight and Silhouette”. The winners for this month were: 3rd Place by Beth Phifer, 2nd Place by Sandy Carr, and 1st Place by Tammi Gorsak.
Two slide shows were presented by Tammi Gorsak entitled “2016 Massachusetts” and “2016 MAFF Fireworks”. The October photography assignment is “Color, Color, and More Color”.