SnapShots Official Newsletter of the Capital City Camera Club August 2008
Inside this Issue Tips & Tricks Recap August Competition Photoshop Workshop Twilight Workshop Results High Speed Flash Error Code 99 and More!
Photo by Beverly Henry
Capital City Camera Club Members
Chuck Rice – President - MAR 09 Robert Thomson – Vice President
Open – Secretary Don Ball – Treasurer
Ron (Bart) Bartoszewicz Sherry Beazley - OCTOBER Anna Bishop Donna Blanks - NOVEMBER Jessica Bowman LaDonna Burks - New Member Barbara Bryan Sandra Campbell Carla Copeland Jeff Elliott Mitford Fontaine Robert Fouts Sarah Fullerton Keith George Srinivas Ginjupalli (Sri) Aleah Goode Rhonda Goode Tim Goode Jessica Govan - New Member Kathy Groves Jim Harris Sandra M. Harris Frank Heatherly Beverly Henry - NOVEMBER Jan Hoffman Jeannine Keener Ronald Klein Amanda Kuykendall - SEPTEMBER Charles Kuykendall - SEPTEMBER Jesse Kuykendall - SEPTEMBER
Nathan Kuykendall - SEPTEMBER Robert Lake Bryce Lugenbeal - New Member Sue Maherg - New Member Anita McFarland Lori Mercer Clyde Mills Curtis Miyasaka Jim Pappanastos Judi Parks - SEPTEMBER DiAnna Paulk Wayne Pratt Valencia Price Vincent Sabatine Carl (Snake) Saunders Elly Seo Diane Sims Sue Sizemore Lori Sullivan Eleanor Thomas Michael Thurman Debbie Townes Jackie Webber Constance Westover - OCTOBER *MONTHS IN RED ARE THE MONTH YOU VOLUNTEERED TO BRING REFRESHMENTS. Background photo by Rhonda Goode
A few words from the Club President
Digital Photography & Computers
eing a good photographer in the 21st century doesn’t have to include digital imaging but for most of us, it will. Because of that, photographers these days should be committed to the inevitability of learning how to work with their images on the computer. Film photographers had to spend hours learning how to develop and print their film in their darkroom. Our darkroom is the computer and we need to spend those same hours learning how to use that tool to its best advantage. From getting the images out of the camera to color correcting to sizing to storing our photos the choices we make with our computer hardware and imaging software can make the difference between our being a productive photographer and being a frustrated photographer. There are a lot of really good programs out there for managing photos. Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Elements 6, Paint Shop Pro X2, Picasa 2.7, ACDSee 10, are just a few of the programs that are available out there but whichever program you choose to use, make sure that you learn how to use it. Learn how to size your photos for the purpose to which you intend to put them. For instance, for those images you are going to put on a website, 72 dpi (dots per inch) is usually considered sufficient resolution to show well on any computer monitor. If you are going to print the image, 300 dpi is usually best. I don’t have the space here to explain what that means but it’s something you should understand if you’re going to be a digital photographer. Learn how to color correct your images. In camera setting of the white balance for your images will go a long way to make sure that the color comes out right but sometimes you need to adjust the color in the computer to get it just right. You need to know how to tell if your image’s color is not right and how to fix it. Does your camera take photos in a 35mm format? If so, then you are going to have to crop the photo to get an 8x10 image or an 11x14 or most “standard” sizes. You need to know how to crop your photo using your software. Know when a crop is “too much”, leaving you with a photo that is really not big enough for what you want to use it for. There are many, many computer techniques that you can use to enhance your photos for presentation and some of them are basic. Learn how to create a “vignette”, essentially darkening the outer edges and enhancing the subject of your image. Learn how to sharpen the image to just the right point. Sharpening can be overdone easily and this is very visible to those who know what to look for so be careful with it. Learn how to use blurring to soften images when needed. And on and on…. So, when you decide to go digital, go all the way. Commit to learning those things that go with it. And where can you learn all of this? Well, how about as a member of the Capital City Camera
Club where you have access to people who have the knowledge and are willing to share it. See ya, Chuck
Capital City Camera Club Meeting Dates 2008 Club Meetings Dates September 8 October 13 November 10 December 8
2008 Business Meeting Dates August 25 September 22 October 27 November 24 December 22
Dates are subject to change. Attend meetings or visit the club website for the most up-to-date changes.
This month’s cover photo was taken by Beverly Henry
July Club Meeting Tips ‘N Tricks
he July meeting consisted of an overview of tips and tricks that can help improve your photography skills and workflow. Some of these tips are shared here and continued on page 20 for those who couldn’t make the meeting or for those who would like to review them again. For more tips, please visit digital-photographyschool.com or ask another club member! We had three new members join: Sue Maherg, Bryce Lugenbeal and Jim Harris. Visitors included Beth Stough, Justina Fournoy and Mona Dunson.
TIPS: ✓ 1. Never risk losing your photos because you format a card with images on it. Make sure that you download them to your computer immediately. Snake has a process that he uses where he first makes a folder with a name identifying the images then downloads them to that folder then burns that to a CD. ✓ 2. Use a card reader, don’t download directly from your camera. This is faster and less likely to have a glitch in the middle of the download due to power issues and it frees up your camera. ✓ 3. There are other sources for information about your camera than those that come with it. I use the Magic Lantern series of books for my cameras. ✓ 4. Reformat your cards each time you reuse them. Less chance of corrupt files. ✓ 5. Keep one card just for your jpgs (snapshots) and use the others for your serious RAW files.
Above: “SwirlPool” Water Online Competition Winner by Charles Kuykendall
Jeff Elliott’s Tips & Tricks ✓ 1. To conserve battery power, turn off the “automatic picture review” feature. Review shots only when necessary. ✓ 2. To conserve battery power (part 2), don’t make a habit of reviewing and deleting recent shots in the middle of a shoot unless memory card space is really at a premium. Far better to swap in a blank memory card than to use more battery juice looking for shots to delete in order to save a little space. They can be deleted later as batteries are recharging. ✓ 3. Lens caps can pick up a lot of dust in a shirt pocket, and surely some of that dust gets transferred to the lens when it’s reattached. Sometimes I’ll keep an empty Ziplock bag in my pocket to keep it clean, but I find myself blowing off the dust from the inside of those caps after every shoot. ✓ 4. Pack up early the night before a morning shoot, to make sure you’ll have everything you’ll need when it comes time to hit the road. ✓ 5. (This might apply to Nikons only, I don’t know) Reset camera settings between each session to clear out any custom ISO, WB or other change you may have made during the previous session. ✓ 6. Always format memory cards in the camera where they will be used. Don’t share memory cards between different cameras unless they’re formatted right after being inserted.
✓ 7. When composing, zoom out or back up a little more than necessary to leave room for cropping to various ratios in post-production. ✓ 8. Turn off any beeps. They’re usually a little annoying to anyone nearby. ✓ 9. Don’t shoot black and white in-camera; do it in image editing software afterwards. The computer will do a far better job and usually offers a lot more flexibility. Also when a scene is captured in color, it can either be used as-is or it can be converted to b&w. When a scene is captured in b&w, it can’t reasonably be converted back to color.
10 Questions to Ask When Taking a Digital Photo What goes through your mind in the moments as you raise your digital camera up to take a shot and before you press the shutter? If you’re like many digital photographers you’re not thinking about too much - you just want to capture the moment and then move on. However getting in the habit of asking some simple questions can help take your images to the next level. Here’s 10 questions to get in the habit of asking while framing your shots.
1. What story am I telling? This is an important question and one that should help you to make any number of decisions in terms of composition, framing, exposure etc. In essence what you’re asking is ‘why am I taking this shot? What is it’s purpose and what am I trying to convey?’ Is it purely a way to keep a record of a moment, are you trying to capture the emotion of a moment, is it possibly a shot to give to someone, is it part of a larger series of shots or will it be the only shot to commemorate the moment etc.
2. What is the visual focal point of this shot? What will viewers of this picture naturally have their eye drawn to in this scene? Once you’ve identified this focal point you can think about where to place it in the frame (consider the rule of thirds for example). There are a variety of ways that you can enhance a focal point - some of which we explore here.
away from the image? Secondary focal points can add depth to shots but they can also be very distracting and so you might need to reposition yourself or adjust your focal length and/or depth of field to accommodate or remove them from your shots (read more on removing clutter from photography). Also keep in mind that if your shot has more than one focal point that it might be worth taking two shots, one of each focal point, in order to keep things simple.
4. What is in the background and foreground? One of most common places for distractions in digital photography is the background of your shots. Run your eyes over the space behind your subject to see what else is in the image (do the same for the foreground). Consider whether you want the background in focus or nice and blurry.
5. Am I close enough? Another common mistake in digital photography is taking shots where your subject is too small in the frame. Shots that fill the frame with your subject tend to be much more dynamic and show a lot more detail of your subject. To get this effect you have the option of moving yourself closer, moving your subject closer or using a longer focal length to give the effect of closeness.
6. What is the main source of light? Always give consideration to how your subject is lit. Without light you’ll lose detail and clarity in your image and your camera will have to compensate by doing things like increasing ISO and lengthening shutter speeds (which could lead to noisy and blurred images). What is the main source of light, where is it coming from, is there enough light, do you need artificial light sources (flash etc), do you need to stabilize your camera on a tripod to stop camera shake due to low light etc.
7. Is my Framing Straight? It’s amazing how many otherwise good photos are spoiled by framing that is slightly offline. Sloping horizons and slightly leaning people or buildings should always be in the back of your mind to check. Also related to this question is that of ‘Am I holding my Camera correctly?‘ Many people don’t and as a result suffer from camera shake and framing mistakes.
3. What competing focal points are there? Once you’ve identified what you do want your viewers eyes to be drawn towards and have placed it in the frame - scan your eyes over the shot and see if there are any competing focal points and ask yourself whether they add to or take
continued on page 20 Background photo by Barbara Bryan
Twilight Photography Workshop on July 9,2008 Montgomery Museum of Fine Art Featuring Lynn Saville By Tim Goode
he crowd began to form at 6:30 in anticipation of the 7:00 start of the Twilight Photography Workshop conducted at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. Ten members of CCCC were among the approximately thirty in attendance (Sherry Beazley, Anna Bishop, Barbara Bryan, Jeff Elliott, Rhonda Goode, Tim Goode, Beverly Henry, DiAnna Paulk, Diane Sims, Sue Sizemore). The participants traveled from locations near and far. From metropolitan Montgomery to Alexander City and counties representing most of our River Region, students arrived eagerly anticipating the opportunity to absorb the expertise of the featured artist. Lynn Saville is a well known photographer in New York City. She graciously has loaned several of her works for a showing at the MMFA. Twilight and nighttime photography in black and white is her favorite form of expression. Most of her work is done using medium format film cameras. She employs a Nikon D300 when a given situation is not favorable to the larger formats. Ms. Saville explained the technique and thought behind several of her pieces in the exhibit. Her discussion made reference to the tips that she shared earlier. However, Lynn was quick to note that this event was not about her, rather the exploration of MMFA at Twilight.
The class followed MMFA Staff personnel outside to capture the Museum’s facade, lake, and lighting with our digital cameras. (I believe two people were using film.) The barrels of lenses were pointed in every direction. Mutterings of frustration were interspersed with staccato yips of success. The band of two-legged shadows drifted across the grounds of Blount Cultural Park.
Lynn explained thirteen tips that she considers to be keys to capturing images at night: 1: low light requires longer exposures 2: be aware of contrast issues produced by waning daylight (cool light) and artificial (warm) light. 3: your camera’s meter might be confused by the uneven lighting as it “thinks” in terms of medium gray – practice helps us become familiar with our camera’s reaction 4: shoot in MANUAL if at all possible – that places YOU in control 5: use a tripod and a remote/cable release to avoid camera movement during long exposures 6: light sources vary in color (reference tip #2) - night images are cooler, while lamps, porches, and car lights produce warmer light 7: bracket your exposures to increase the opportunity for better exposure (some cameras will do this for you) 8: do not trust your camera’s LCD monitor 100% - you may find the image to be different on the computer at home 9: experiment: handhold, “paint” with a flashlight, pop your flash during a long exposure 10: try a self portrait at night, or take one of a friend, as a long exposure 11: employ some wildly different light sources – neon, car lights, flashlights, a television (be creative) 12: try switching the white balance to the various choices that your camera offers 13: try some very long exposures - 10 seconds, 1 minute, an hour!
▲ At left and above: Photos by Jeff Elliott
Opportunities were provided to get photos of the reflections in the lake, WeeTop, and the Thunder Bridge. The final subject was the Museum’s colonnade. The Park had been securely preserved in thousands of files and frames. Expressions of gratitude were given to the Staff and to Lynn Saville, as the merry band of adventurers scurried home to examine the bounty they had acquired during the great experiment. If the goal was to have fun as we learn, we achieved it. I would encourage everyone to participate in similar opportunities in the future. These events help us grow. If you are already expert in these areas, please go with us and share your knowledge. That is the essence of the Capital City Camera Club. Lynn Saville’s work may be viewed at www.lynnsaville.com.
▲ Above: Photo by Anna Bishop
Additional photos can viewed at www.photoclub.org ▼ Below: Photo by Rhonda Goode
▲ Above: Photo by Barbara Bryan
Setting up lighting for a portrait can be quite a complex task. If you, like me, are using small strobes which have no modeling light it is hard to predict what will be the outcome of each lighting array. There are however some basic lighting schemes, kind of a starting ground for new portraits. Of course, once you lay out the initial lighting you can change it, move it around and use modifiers to soften or restrict the light. Wouldn’t it be nice, though if you have a magic card that will show you what will be the final lighting of almost every lighting scheme? I think it can be pretty darn cool. So, after reading Light, Science and Magic, watching the lighting tutorials from pro photo life and getting my share of the Strobist, I decided to create the Portrait Lighting Cheat Sheet. The idea is simple: Take a great model. Now take pictures of almost every possible lighting on the model and keep them on file. Now, When ever you want to set up
some lighting, you can refer to the cheat sheet, and decide where to place the lights.
What’s in The Card?
The cheat sheet shows three possible angles for setting the flash: Angling the flash down 45 degrees toward the subject; having the light on the same level as the subject and angling the flash 45 degrees up to light the subject from below. Each height position is placed on a different line. For each angle I took 8 pictures, in 45 degrees interval, so I have a full circle of lights covered. The leftmost image is frontal, then moving counter clockwise, there are seven more pictures each moving 45 degrees.
Using the Cheat Sheet Card
When ever you want to create a new lighting setup, you can refer to the card to see how each light will affect the overall subject lighting. For example, Say you want to decide where to place the key light. Since every person is unique, lights will
have different effect of different people. It depends on facial structure, nose, hair, cheeks and more. So use the card as a general reference, you will probably have to adjust a bit for every individual model. Single Light: You can see the effect of placing the key light on your model. For example, placing the flash “looking down” at a 45 degrees angle, placed 45 degrees to the left of subject will create Rembrandt lighting. Placing the light in the same level as the model, 90 degrees to the left will create edge lighting. Multiple Lights: You can use the Cheat sheet card to estimate what kind of light each new light will bring into the picture. The card can tell you how each light will add light to the subject, emphasizing cheeks, noses and chins. You will probably want to set each light to a different power level, but you can use the card to get an idea of the area of the face that will be lit as well as the direction of light.
This information came from http://www.diyphotography.net/portrait-lighting-cheat-sheet For further information on this topic, please visit the site since there are a couple additional items not included in this newsletter.
August Club Meeting Competition Night C lub competition night was exciting as always. We had 39 entries in all, the majority being in the Novice class. Our judge was Deborah Batson from Wetumpka. We appreciate Deborah taking time to judge our August competition. This was her first time judging a competition with our club. Check out Deborah’s website at www.deborahbatsonphotography.com We had two new members join the club. Please welcome LaDonna Burks and Jessica Govan. Our visitors included Barbara Bennett, Deborah Conley and Pierre Conley. Due to the American Village being closed on Saturdays, our Septem-
ber field trip has been changed to Old Alabama Town in Montgomery. Please see page 19 in this newsletter for more information. Connie Westover was the September door prize winner, receiving a digital “photo album” keychain. Sue Sizemore and Jeff Elliott provided the refreshments for the August meeting and the food was YUMMY! Judi Parks and the Kuykendall family will provide refreshments for September. Congratulations to Charles Kuykendall for winning the June and July online competitions. “Swirl Pool” won for June and “Justice for All” won for July. Carl collected orders for the new club T-shirt. Night Photography will be the topic for the September online competition. Information was distributed for the upcoming Alabama National Fair. Paul Robertson will be setting up the photos for the fair on October 2 (Thursday, the night before the fair opens) and has asked if we can assist in hanging the photos in the display area at the fairground. Several members of the club have participated in doing this in the past couple of years
Left: “Babies in Kansas” by Beverly Henry
Above: “And Justice for All” Patriotism On-Line Winner by Charles Kuykendall
and it has helped greatly. Paul volunteers his time to the club by judging our competitions so let’s all team up and help him as well. With several people helping, it reduces the setup time tremendously. Barbara Bryan and Anna Bishop have stated that they will help. A specific time to meet for that night will be coming as we get closer. Also, Paul will notify us shortly about the judging date and time so we can attend that as well.
Several club members submitted articles for this issue. What a great addition to the newsletter. Please consider being a contributor for upcoming issues.
C C C C advanced apital
“Setting the Jib” - 1st Place - Transportation by Tim Goode
“Racing Through the Yard” - 2nd Place - Transportation by Tim Goode
“Wheels Up” 3rd Place Transportation by Carl Saunders
A P C advanced ugust
Above: “Baking Day” - 1st Place - Open by Judi Parks
Above: “War Eagle” - 2nd Place - Open by Carl Saunders
Above: “Performance on the Green” HM - Open - by Tim Goode
Above: “Lily in Pink and White” 3rd Place - Open - by Judi Parks
Capital City Camera Club “Little Scooter, Big Dreams” 3rd Place Transportation by Donna Blanks
“Kowaliga Bridge”- 1st Place - Transportation by Mitford Fontaine
“Night Rider” HM - Transportation by Beverly Henry
n - 2nd Place - Transportatio “Ready for the Next Rider” by Diane Sims
“A Venetian Car” - HM - Transportation by Donna Blanks
August Print Competition
“Children’s Harbor Light House” - 1st Place - Open by Mitford Fontaine
“Summer Solstice Moon” 2n d Place Open - by Anna Bishop “Another Day at the Beach”- 3rd Place Open - by Donna Blanks
“Reflection in Chrome” HM - Open by Beverly Henry
“All My Colors Have Run Dry” HM - Open by Aleah Goode
Water Drop Flash Photography
Article and photos by Jeff Elliott
buddy at work caught me in the hallway one morning a few weeks back, all excited about something he’d just read. He had discovered a new firmware hack for his Canon point-nshoot that, among other things, could reportedly boost its maximum effective shutter speed from 1/6,000th sec to 1/60,000th sec or so. I’m a Nikon guy, but to stay in the Canon loop I followed the web link he gave me. Well, that page led to other pages showing what could be done with such incredible shutter speeds, and I soon stumbled upon the concept of “high-speed flash photography”. Once I found liquidsculpture.com, I was hooked. It’s true that modern DSLR cameras are probably fast enough by themselves to more-or-less “freeze” the action of a water drop splashing, a balloon popping, or a bullet being fired. However, getting the timing just right is difficult due to the mechanical nature of the components involved. Shutter lag isn’t always consistent. The idea behind high-speed flash photography is that the light from an electronic speedlight can be controlled far more precisely than the mechanical action of a shutter. Also, much shorter flash durations can be had than the 1/4,000th or 1/8,000th sec where most professional DSLRs max out – into the neighborhood of 1/60,000th sec. That super-fast flash is the key to stopping the action dead in its tracks. The catch (there’s always a catch, right?) is all in the timing of that flash. It’s got to fire at the exact moment of the splash, and a tenth of a second too early or too late will make all the difference in the world. Manually firing the flash while water is dripping will eventually yield some interesting shots, but that would probably become frustrating pretty quickly. To get consistent results you’ll want some way to fire the flash at just the right time, shot after shot.
What’s needed is a trigger/timer device. This contraption involves a sensor that detects when a drip first forms, then waits for the drip to fall to the surface of the water, and fires the flash at just the right time. The shutter is wide open all the while, but the room will be darkened so that there’s not enough light getting into the camera to affect the exposure until the flash finally goes off. My initial investment was just $18 for a do-it-yourself kit from hiviz.com. They offer two kits for motion detection setups: one for low-speed subjects such as dripping liquids, and another for high-speed subjects such as BBs fired from an air gun. They also offer a third “sound trigger” kit which includes a small microphone to pick up the sound of, say, a balloon popping or a paintball splattering against a wall. They all include a delay circuit to allow a variable amount of time to pass between the subject tripping the trigger and firing the flash. The Hiviz kits work fine, though they do require some basic electronics assembly. They’re also rather fragile, and aren’t much to look at. I didn’t like the finicky timer adjustment mechanism (which involves a flashlight and a jeweler’s screwdriver), so I spent a little more money for the Universal Photo Timer from universaltimer. com. This is an enclosed, hand-held unit with a 4-digit LED display and scrolling text, pushbutton-operated menu system, and both internal and external sensors for light and sound detection. It is highly programmable for various setups, and also includes wireless shutter release, time lapse, and flash slave capabilities. The supplied “external optical slot sensor” is a plastic, U-shaped device about an inch across with a tiny LED on one prong and a tiny light sensing diode on the other. When a drop of liquid passes
continued on page 16
This is one project where you have complete control over the results, and it’s sure to get the “oohs” and “aahs” from your audience!
continued from page 14 between these prongs, the sensor picks up on the change in light and sends a signal down the 6 ft. cable to the timer to start a countdown. I taped the sensor down along the length of a wooden ruler so the prongs protrude just a bit, and taped the other end of the ruler to a shelf on my computer desk hutch. This is suspended about 30” above the water bowl. One or two speedlights plug in to the timer as well. The Hiviz kits support just a single speedlight, but I optically slaved a second one off the first and got pretty decent results – my SB-800s are quick enough in that setup to prevent ghosting. The Universal Timer allows two speedlights to be connected so they’re both fired simultaneously. Additional flash units could be slaved off those for different lighting effects. They can be pointed directly at the subject or bounced for different effects, and can be diffused or gelled as well.
Let’s dig in. Here’s the equipment involved: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Camera, set to bulb mode, mounted on a sturdy tripod. Favorite macro lens. Speedlight(s) in manual mode, set at 1/128th to 1/32nd power. Flash sync cord for each speedlight. Soup or salad bowl, filled with ordinary tap water. Eyedropper filled with water. Timer device with external optical slot sensor. A means of securing the external sensor directly above the center of the bowl. 9. Suitable colorful backdrops. Once all this is set up, the process itself is very simple: Turn all the equipment on, dim the lights, open the shutter, and squeeze out just
one drip of water between the sensor’s prongs. Then wait for the flash and close the shutter. Getting good results depends on a handful of little details, so you’ll want to review each shot, adjust the timer delay, perhaps adjust focus, and repeat. You can also tweak the speedlights’ power setting and camera aperture for proper exposure and depth of field. Oh, and don’t look directly at the speedlights when they pop! The room doesn’t have to be completely dark; you’ll want enough light to see what you’re doing but not enough to affect the exposure. Also you’ll want to start with a wide angle lens setting until you see the drop somewhere in the frame, then you can fine-tune the delay. I’ve found focus to be tricky, but no more so than in other macro photography. That’s about it! Once I started getting consistent results, I adjusted the timer by a few milliseconds at a time in order to get different shots over the “lifetime” of the splash. There are several distinct phases a simple water drop goes through, each one as interesting as the others. See the many good slow-motion water splash videos on youtube.com. Experiment with colored gels over the flash units and by varying the water depth in the receiving bowl or plate. Try using bowls with different interior colors and patterns. For composition, a martini glass or wooden bowl make good material. Vary the sensor height from the water’s surface to get taller or shorter splashes. Also try liquids other than water – I’ve experimented with tea, cola, milk, coffee, wine, food coloring, and glycerin mixtures. Watch for splash residue on your lens surface. Try star filters. Use flags or snoots to keep light away from dark backgrounds. I got real tired of holding the eyedropper up higher than my head and eventually rigged up a gallon milk jug with some aquarium air tubing to gravity-feed water to the sensor more reliably than I could by hand.
2008 Field Trips February 16, 2008 Montgomery Zoo Montgomery, Alabama March 15, 2008 Lowndesboro Spring Fling Lowndesboro, Alabama April 19, 2008 Spring Festival Westville, Georgia May 24/25, 2008 Balloon Festival Decatur, Alabama June 14, 2008 Chewacla State Park and Auburn Univ August 16, 2008 Photoshop Workshop w/Phil Scarsbrook Montgomery, Alabama September 13, 2008 Old Alabama Town Montgomery, AL October 11, 2008 Pike Pioneer Days Troy, Alabama November 8/9, 2008 Thunderbird Powwow Niceville, Florida
August Workshop Using Photoshop by Phil Scarsbrook - August 16th Club members turned out early for the 9:00 a.m. Saturday workshop taught by Phil Scarsbrook. Phil went over the different tools in the tool bar and different techniques that he uses in Photoshop. We appreciate the time that Phil donates to the club in teaching classes and acting as a judge during our Capital City Camera Club competitions. Thanks Phil!!!!
September Field Trip Saturday, Sept.13, 2008 9:00 a.m. - Noon If you like music and a good time, you’ll love Old Alabama Town’s Saturday Jam Sessions from 9 am until noon at the 1840s Rose House. Musicians, bring your acoustic instruments and join in the fun! Tickets to the Jam Sessions are free. Tickets to tour Old Alabama Town are available in the Reception Center.
SAVE $1.50 if you want to tour Old
Alabama Town. Visit www.oldalabamatown.com/ other_dis.html to print the coupon below. Sample Shown
Join other club members on September 13 at Old Alabama Town. Field Trip may continue to downtown Montgomery if there are enough interested in going. Think of some of the places you would like to go and check out. Some suggestions are the Sate Capitol, Union Train Station, the Riverwalk and of course, maybe a stop at Chris’ Hot Dogs. AND DON’T FORGET TO WEAR YOUR NEW CAPITAL CITY CAMERA CLUB TSHIRT!!
Photo by Chuck Rice
Old Alabama Town 301 Columbus Street • Montgomery, Alabama Call us 334-240-4500 www.oldalabamatown.com
Tips & Tricks continued on page 5 8. What other perspectives could I capture this subject from? Put 10 digital camera owners in front of a scene and most of them will take exactly the same shot from the same position. Make your images stand out from the crowd by challenging yourself to not only take the standard shots that everyone else will get but to find creative and fresh angles and perspectives to shoot from.
zontal). There are a lot of instances when you’d want to follow this rule pretty carefully (like in most landscapes where a horizon should probably be straight) - but breaking it can lead to images with drama, a feeling of energy and action and fun. The key with breaking this rule is to not to ’slightly break it’ (or you’ll have people wondering if you meant it or not) but to give your wrist a real twist and to break it obviously.
Break the Rule of Thirds
Many photographers get into the habit of always holding their camera the same way (horizontally/landscape or vertically/portrait). While it’s OK to have a preference one way or the other it’s also worth remembering that changing the format can drastically change the impact of the shot. Don’t forget you can also hold your camera at an angle for an effective result too.
The good old ‘rule of thirds‘ makes a lot of sense in many types of photography (if you don’t know what the rule of thirds is see out tutorial on it). The Rule of Thirds does work well as a compositional rule in many situations - however placing your subject dead center in an image can also produce powerful and confronting images - particularly portraits where the subject is looking directly down the barrel or where you are presented with a scene with real symmetry like the one to the left. Next time you’re out with your camera experiment with composing shots both to follow and break the rule of thirds - you’ll find in doing so you can end up with two very different interpretations of the same scene.
10. How will the eye travel through this image?
Ignore the ‘Active Space’ Rule for Moving Subjects
9. How would holding the camera in the other format change this shot?
This is related to asking about focal points but gets in touch with the fact that while you’re photographing a still image your viewers eyes don’t remain still as they look at an image. People tend to follow lines and are attracted to shapes and colors so considering all of these different visual elements and cues can help improve your shots considerably. Read more on horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines and how they impact a shot. Of course you probably won’t remember all the questions and you’re unlikely to go through each of them with every shot you take - however next time you head out with your digital camera concentrate on asking yourself at least one or two of them as you take your shots. As you do you’ll find that they become more automatic and in time you’ll naturally take digital photography shots that take into account all of these elements.
Various Tips Hold Your Camera on an Angle This post belongs to our series of posts on breaking rules of photography to get great images. One of the ‘rules’ of photography that I talked about very early in the development of Digital Photography School was to do everything you can to keep your images ’straight’ (and your horizons hori-
Another rule of composition that we’ve talked about previously is creating Active Space for moving subjects to move into. The idea is that if you are photographing a subject that is moving you should place more empty space in front of it than behind it. This gives the viewer of the image a sense of where the subject is moving and creates a sense of anticipation. While following this rule can produce some excellent results, breaking it can add a little tension and intrigue to your images. It can also convey a sense of speed and/or give the viewer a sense of where the subject has been rather than where they are headed. For instance - the image to the left would not have been as dramatic without the trailing smoke behind the place. The fact that it’s approaching the top edge of the frame also gives a sense of speed as it almost bursts out of the frame (not to mention the clever mirroring and contrasts in the image).
Experiment with Different Framings with Portraits In a similar way to our previous post on breaking the rule of ‘Active Space’ when photographing moving subjects - a similar technique can be used when photographing people. When taking portraits it is customary to position your subject with more space on the side of their head where they are facing (or give them space to look into). If your subject is looking off to one side you would generally give them a little extra room to look into. This creates balance and gives
viewers of the shot a sense of where your subject is looking. However, as we’ve found with other broken rules in this series of posts, breaking this rule can produce some eye catching shots also. So next time you’re doing some portrait work experiment with different poses and framing. Take some shots with your subject looking directly at the camera, some with them looking to one side with more space to look into and some the other way around. You’ll find that you’ll end up with three quite different moods in the three different framings.
Taking Unfocused Photos Beautifully sharp and detailed images are something we all aspire for in the majority of our shots - I know I do. However purposely leaving your main subject (or even your whole shot) out of focus can also create stunningly dreamy images also. There are two main strategies if you’re wanting to explore purposely ‘unfocused’ images: 1. You might choose to focus on a seemingly unimportant element of the scene (do this by choosing a wide aperture which will give a narrow depth of field and focus on something in front of or behind your main subject). 2. The other option is to make your full image out of focus but choosing to focus well beyond or in front of your main subject. Again, a wide aperture will help here and you will probably need to switch your camera to manual focusing mode or it will attempt to find something to focus upon. This second option will take a little experimentation. Get things too unfocused and you’ll end up with a completely unrecognizable subject - the key is to have enough focus for it to be recognizable but out of focus enough to create a wonderful dreamy mood.
concluding that this technique is getting more and more difficult as an in camera technique because manufacturers are getting better and better at eliminating noise and grain from high ISO settings. In the ‘old day’s of film this was a lot easier to do as high ISO films naturally had lovely gritty grain to them. Some cameras will end up with muddy/ murky shots instead. A better route is probably to take a shot at a lower ISO and do some post production work to get the grainy effect that you’re after - however sometimes it’s more fun to try to get these effects in camera.
Move Your Camera to Create Motion Blur One of the most common tips that are given in photography tutorials is to ’secure your camera’. Usually the method is by attaching your camera to a tripod or monopod to avoid camera shake - however purposeful camera shake can actually give an image a sense of movement, excitement and energy. It can also result in shots with a more ‘candid’ or ‘voyeuristic’ feel. You might want to do this simply by selecting a shutter speed that is slightly slower than normal and moving your camera during the exposure. In fact with even just slightly slower shutter speed than normal just trying to handhold your camera while taking your shot will probably give it the effect that you’re looking for. In a sense, panning is an example of this - as is camera tossing…. (not for the faint hearted).
Use a High ISO to Create Grainy Shots Today we’re going to continue our Breaking the Rules of Photography series by suggesting you experiment with a high ISO. Don’t know what ISO is? Read this introduction to ISO before reading on. While not really a ‘rule’ of photography - it is generally accepted in most photographic tutorials that you should avoid noise in your images at all costs by choosing the lowest ISO possible for the light situation that you’re shooting in. This will leave you with shots that are as smooth, clean and sharp as possible for the lighting conditions that you’re in. While this is a recommended practice in most shooting circumstances - there are times where ramping up your ISO setting to it’s maximum can create some interesting effects. Grainy or noisy shots can give your image a gritty and raw quality that creates a completely different mood in your shots. I should say in
Background photo by Connie Westover
By Connie Westover
ver the July 4th holiday we went to Chattanooga, TN to see the aquarium, Rock City, Ruby Falls and some other local attractions. I took along my Canon 20 D, three cards, two batteries, one Canon Lens and a Sigma lens, along with my camera’s manual. I was really excited to be going since I hadn’t been there before and was looking forward to all the photo opportunities. Things started out well as we went to the aquarium first and spent most of the day there. We then went to Big River for dinner (highly recommend this restaurant, YUM!) and decided to take a walk over the bridge. That’s where the first sign of trouble began. I started getting Error 99 on my LCD panel. I really didn’t think too much about it since I had seen this before and remembered I had simply taken my battery out for a little while and then put it back in. So that’s what I did. The camera would shoot a couple times and then Error 99 popped back up again. This sequence of events kept repeating itself. Later when we ended up back at the hotel, I got the manual out and it stated that this error could occur if you were shooting a lens other than a Canon. However, I did have my Canon lens on the camera. I changed the batteries out and changed the cards out, praying it would work. The next day we went to Rock City and unfortunately, the scenario repeated itself. I had to “fight” for each shot, getting off a couple, then having to reset the camera by turning it off, removing the battery, putting it back in, etc. Obviously, this was Lover’s Leap at Rock City. frustrating. It was also very crowded since it was the July
4th weekend and I couldn’t just stay in the “prime picture taking spot” until I could get “the” shot. The last day we were there, we went to the National Cemetery. I didn’t know they had one there. It was very impressive, quiet and beautiful. I decided to try the Sigma lens and I DID NOT get the Error 99 message. However, this lens was a little much for what I wanted to do. But at least I could get a couple shots with it. When we got back home, I got on the internet and started reading the blogs. The eraser cleaning technique (shown on opposite page) seemed hopeful. I did this but no luck. After reading the blogs, I ended up calling Canon and explaining my situation to the technician. I also told him the shutter seemed to be “sticking” as well. He stated to go ahead and send the body and the lens in since he couldn’t say which one was really causing the problem and it would save time. He went into detail on how to ship it, what to include in the note that I needed to put in the box (such as serial number, email address, etc.). So, I boxed the body and lens up, took it to a UPS Service Center and sent it on its way on a Tuesday. I received notices via email on the status of the package, the estimate, etc. After they repaired both the lens and body, they sent it back Fed Ex overnight. It ended up taking one week for everything. I’ve tested it since I’ve gotten it back and everything seems to be working fine. In fact, before getting it repaired, it seemed like the focus was off somewhat, and now it seems sharp. I can only speak for my own experience in dealing with Canon. I found the technician friendly and helpful and certainly can’t complain about the repair time. The repair cost for these items was expensive, but for me at this time, it was the best route to go instead of buying a new body. My camera body and lens were both four years old, so when you think about it, it was probably time for it to be serviced anyway. The solution steps on the next page are off Canon’s consumer web site in case you find yourself getting this message.
Issue: Camera displays an “Err 99” error code.
5. Solution: If all troubleshooting has failed, please have your EOS 20D serviced.
1. Solution: Remove and replace the battery.
Power the camera off Remove the battery. Wait 15 seconds. Replace the battery. Power the camera on.
2. Solution: Remove the 3rd party accessory. Please remove the 3rd party accessory and replace it with a genuine Canon accessory.
3. Solution: Remove third party lens and try with Canon EF or EF-S lens.
Remove third party lens and try with Canon EF or EF-S lens
4. Solution: Clean the lens contacts. Clean the lens contacts on the rear portion of the lens with a clean pencil eraser.
Mount the lens on the camera.
Take a picture.
If the error persists, the camera and/or lens may need be serviced by a qualified Canon Service Technician.
If all troubleshooting steps have failed, then the issue you describe seems to indicate that your product requires repair service. Canon has excellent service options and we are eager to provide any assistance you may need. Links to the service options that are available for your product are listed below: Request a Repair Online: You can conveniently prearrange repair service with a Canon Factory Service Center through Canon’s website. Find a Service Location: Search to locate a repair service center and obtain further instructions. If you still have questions about the issue you are experiencing, a Technical Support Representative will be happy to answer any question you may have. You can contact us through the phone numbers listed below. For toll-free technical support, please call 1 (800) 8284040 during regular business hours (currently MondayFriday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 midnight. EST, Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., excluding holidays). Toll-free TDD Support Line for the Hearing Impaired is available Monday - Saturday (excluding holidays) at 1-866-251-3752
“Before I had the camera repaired, the focus seemed off. This photo was taken of Snowball after the body and lens were repaired. I’m happy with the sharpness of the image”.
OCTOBER CLUB COMPETITION
Jewelry & Open Club Members Only - Dues Must be Up-to-Date Visit www.photoclub.org to review the 2008 competition rules! Photo by Ginjupalli Srinivas
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