Volume 2, Number 4
Jeffry Booher, Editor In Chief
If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff—Jim Richardson
state of the union
What benefits have you gleaned from joining a photography club? Why did you join?
For me, it has been several things. It was socializing with like minded people. It was having someone who could help answer questions when I needed help with equipment or processes. It was having access to workshops and presentations on a wide variety of photographic topics. And it was the inspiration I got from seeing another photographer’s work and discussing their ideas.
However, when I first joined, I was intimidated by all the amazing photography hanging in the galleries. Would I measure up? Would my photos be looked down upon or laughed at?
It is always difficult to put yourself out there.
Obviously one of the biggest benefits of our club are the monthly exhibitions. Having our images evaluated by very experienced and advanced photographers can give us a new way of looking at our images. It can help us see exactly what it is that could be improved about an image, and help you see how others view your photographs. You cannot get candid and honest information from family, from Facebook, or in most cases, from your friends. Sometimes objective feedback can be painful. Having an image you love torn apart in front of others can sometimes be disheartening. But it is often necessary to get this kind of honest and candid feedback in order to move on to the next level.
Competitions can be another benefit of joining a photography club. It can drive one to up their game; to go that extra step; to try harder to get that winning image; to improve our technical skills, and to hone and refine our photographic prowess. Friendly competition can definitely push us to be better photographers.
Camaraderie during meetings, workshops, and outings can be another useful benefit of a club. Going away for an afternoon, a day, or a weekend and enjoying a photo shoot, and coming back together to share an evening or a meal can be both rewarding and enlightening. It is time to reflect and evaluate the chosen location, and to find out who “nailed the shot”.
Critiques, competitions, camaraderie... How well are we doing? Is Darkroomers fulfilling your needs for what you are looking for in a club?
"ON LOCATION" NEWS
salt of the earth
Well who knew it was going to be 100 degrees in the Salton Sea the weekend Darkroomers wants to go out and take some pictures? The temperatures may not have broken any records but, thankfully, the traffic headed to Borrego for wildflower weekend anyway which meant there were no tourists getting in our way. It was us versus the mosquitoes, however, and, in some cases, the mosquitoes won. It was well worth it because we had some of the most gorgeous skies for our sunrise and sunset shoots but we needed more than salvation at Salvation Mountain. We needed air conditioning—and a lot of it.
It was the maiden voyage to the one time oasis in the desert for many of the Darkroomers who attended the three-day excursion but it was a gentle reminder to everyone who attended that the Salton Sea smells--Really bad... The smell was not enough to keep us photographers at bay. So we headed out into the stench to get that perfect shot.
The trees referred to as Three Sisters sit on a dry lake bed now but that did not deter the mosquitoes from attacking us. We were fresh meat and you could literally feel the vibration from the swarming insects hovering above us around the lake beds once the sun went down. We scrambled to get out of there as fast as we could but it was a full moon and, like a moth to a lightbulb, we just could not stop looking at it.
Drema may still have mosquitoes coming out of the vents of her new bmw
Salvation Mountain and Slab City were fun but East Jesus was a hidden gem. These guys had a treasure-trove of goodies from a car adorned with doll heads to a city bus named Walter that stopped in every major city in America before traveling south to Rio for the Olympics.
We stopped in Jacumba on the return visit to pay homage to the abandoned train depot. We talked with Josh, the local proprietor, who claimed that the Railroad has purchased the land and will be restoring operations again this summer. So the photos Darkroomers took of the railyard may be the last remaining historical references of the abandoned station.
darkroomers on location: Central Coast is being rescheduled to July 22-27
Rescheduling our On Location Trip to the Central Coast from May to July gives the planning team more time to plan and moves the scheduled trip from Mother's Day weekend to, well, July. Several members also have vacation planned for July which makes a week-long travel itinerary much more palatable.
our quick glance program video will return next month
Spring is in the air and we put our cameras up there too as local legend, Ev Yorobe, stops by with some aerial photography tips and shares his secrets to capturing beautiful landscapes.
The son of 1970s Filipino immigrants, Ev sells calendars online, attends art fairs and farmers markets. He works by day digitizing medical records and was a DJ in his college days—which helped him earn a cult following.
I am on contract and don't have a set schedule which is very flexible for my photography
This will be a well attended event so get there early
Each April Darkroomers Weekend Workshop Series teaches the art of Focus Stacking. This is a relatively new technique not possible with traditional darkroom processing but made possible since the advent of Photoshop and digital technology. The technique and processes helps photographers achieve super-sharp macro realities but can also be used for traditional photography like landscape photography. By using the optimal, or sharpest, aperture of your lens and your camera's native ISO, the software can stack the sharpest parts of multiple images on top of each other to achieve a dense, sharp, photo with the finest of detail.
Last year we were blessed with the teachings of Larry Vogel who gave us his perspectives on focus stacking and walked us through the process of using Helicon Remote and Helicon Focus. This year we are going to be under the direction of legendary photographer and world renowned instructor, N. David King who prefers to got low-level and use just the camera and Photoshop.
Professor King's required teaching apparatus is simple: camera, tripod, macro lens, cable release, and Photoshop. You will learn to find the critical edges of each stack using your camera's DOF preview feature so you will know where to take each shot.
This is a limited space, hands-on, workshop so you will need to signup online to secure your spot
In addition to your camera setup, you will need to bring a laptop with Photoshop CS6 or newer and a card reader (or USB cable) to download the raw files from your camera into Bridge or Lightroom. Lighting, plexiglass and inanimates will be provided for you to practice with.
Not everyone shoots macro. This is a specialty niche that does not interest everyone but, keep in mind, that focus stacking techniques can also be applied to landscape photography.
focus stacking helps landscape photographers get super sharp landscape photos
SCACC had their annual election of officers in March and Darkroomer, Michael Marcus, was elected to the office of Vice President in charge of Buildings.
We are thrilled to have Mike as our new VEEP
During the March meeting, SCACC President, Les Anderson, asked for everyone in attendance to list their top hot-button issues which then he compiled into a list that contained about 30 or so items.
We then culled the list of issues and voted on top three items to be worked on this year
- Replace the ceiling fans in the Darkroomers Gallery
- Upgrade the flooring
- Fix the ceiling leak in the reception gallery
SCACC had their first Interclub Competition for the year and the judges were Ron Garrison, Joyce Mate and Diane Peck. Together they scored 80 images from the 4 participating clubs and awarded 25 ribbons with Darkroomers bringing home 3 of those ribbons. Congratulations to Drema Swader and Cynthia Parnell for their winning images
We saw some newcomers from Fallbrook this year which made for a strong finish for the Fallbrook club. Portrait Club forfeited their entries as they were still not ready for competition. In the end, it was still Poly Photo taking home all the ribbons--9 in total and Photonaturalists coming in a close second with 7 ribbons.
And the winner is...
If you had an image that won an award or mention during any of last year's Interclub Competitions then your image was automatically entered into the Interclub end of year competition which was held the last Saturday in March. If you won an award or mention at the end of year competition then you will be honored at the end of year awards ceremony held on April 22nd at 9am in the Photographic Arts Building.
This year the Keynote presentation is by former Darkroomer and Cabrillo Artist in Residence, Bill Griswold. Bill has a new book he just published on his 30 years at the National Monument which details the life and times of the Point Loma estuary at its finest. Because he was essentially a Park Ranger, he had access to photograph at places not accessible to the general public and he could be there when the light was golden delicious.
Well we made it through the first quarter of the year by way of a Railroad Car and there were some wonderful images to vote on for the quarterly competition but, as with all competitions, there had to be a winner and there were some winners.