APRIL 2016

Volume 1, Number 1

Elizabeth Sanchez, Editor

Jeff Booher, Contributing Editor

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."- Mark Twain.


This month is our inaugural issue of the Darkroomers’ Newsletter with its new name, IN FOCUS.

When I think how easy it is to use auto-focus to capture clear images, I wish it were the same in real life. It would be great to have our minds ‘auto-focus’ on our priorities; zooming in on what needs our attention and bringing clarity to situations. Even an in-focus image needs other factors to make it a good image. It might be interesting to consider these when focusing on life decisions or choices:

Composition: Take a look from another perspective. Try different approaches to situations; maybe the usual way, or your way, isn’t the best way.

Lighting: Is the right amount of light where it should be? Waiting for another day, another time, may be the best option in dealing with situations.

Shutter-Speed: Are you going full-speed ahead, passing up opportunities; is the day a big blur? Try taking your time, slow down a bit; smell the roses (but don’t miss the bus either).

Reduce the noise: Try eliminating negative outside influences or isolate your focus to give you clarity. By Terri Thompson, President

It is very exciting to launch this newsletter which will inform and inspire you on a monthly basis with all things photographic. It is time for new goals as well as renewed energy to get our Club involved and in the know. We want this newsletter to be valuable for you so please, share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve.


The wind created a dust storm that was too much to contend with for our wildflower shoot at Henderson Canyon during our Borrego overnight trip last month but The Darkroomers made it through with a stop at the Visitor's Center for wildflowers which begs the question: are the flowers really wild when they are irrigated?

The Milky Way shoot, however, was incredible! We could not have asked for better conditions and we fully expect to see some fun Milky Way submissions to the April exhibition.

Our next On Location excursion will be a day trip to San Juan Capistrano Mission on May 21st. More details will come in the May newsletter so watch for that if you are interested.

If you want to help plan or can carpool or you just want to be more involved with the San Juan Capistrano trip then talk to Terri Thompson or Jeff Booher.

other program news

The Darkroomers Photographic Club is excited to offer a Weekend Workshop Series workshop on focus stacking that will be led by Larry Vogel on April 9th at 9:30am. This is a members only workshop so it is not open to the general public. Leave your friends and neighbors at home because space is limited.



Focus stacking requires patience, tenacity, equipment, software and time so bring something to drink along with the manifest of equipment listed below:

  • dSLR and a Macro lens (sorry, no point and shoots: must be fully capable of manual mode)
  • Tripod
  • Cable Release
  • Flash with diffuser (softbox works well)
  • Laptop Computer with USB cable or card reader
  • Helicon Focus (heliconsoft.com)

Helicon is giving Darkroomers an exclusive discount for this workshop but there is a trial version available if you are not ready to make the commitment. Don't worry, you can buy it later but we are certain you are going to enjoy working with the software that you will want to buy it. So consider the trial a down payment...

Enter code 45K2D47FVV when checking out to get 20% off your purchase

If you do not have all of the stuff you need (or any of the stuff for that matter) you can still come, watch and take notes. This will be an invaluable learning experience and you may want to talk to Larry about taking his Focus Stacking workshop privately at his Oceanside studio.


We will have workstations setup for photographing inanimates with natural side lighting, continuous lighting and flash with softbox setups. We will have reflectors, softboxes and stands for folks to use to get the desired lighting so you do not need to bring your own stands and reflectors.

Larry will not only demonstrate how to use Helicon Focus but he will also demonstrate how to focus stack with just a camera in fully manual mode taking several photos then using Photoshop to blend them together. You will really love how Helicon Focus does it, though...

The workshop ends at 12:30 and we will need you to help cleanup


Madam Secretary

We will kick off the April 20th meeting with a vote on the changes to the constitution and bylaws which were sent to you on March 2nd and again on March 31st. The constitution change will be a roll-call vote which requires a super-majority (more on this later) to pass. Changes to the bylaws will be cast for each change independently but only require a simple majority to pass so there will be 4 total votes.

We are the only SCACC member club that has a constitution that requires a 3/4th majority, or super majority, of the membership to vote in the affirmative in order to ratify a change. Our founders made it incredibly difficult to make changes to the constitution and our constitution is becoming antiquated so we are asking for your help to modernize the club's charter.

We have scheduled the first of a series of votes to update the club's charter to take place at the April 20th meeting. We did so in hopes that we will have a good showing because it is a critique night. If you cannot make the April 20th meeting then you will need to either vote by e-mail or sign a proxy giving the board the authority to vote on your behalf.

If you want to vote electronically, you may do so by sending an e-mail with the text: "I wish to add Secretary to the list of officers in the constitution" to vote@darkroomers.com.

There will be more changes that we will be making throughout the year that we will need your help to ratify. Having a proxy on file with the board will allow the board to vote on your behalf in your absence on those future changes to the constitution.

You can submit a proxy electronically by scanning a signed copy of the Darkroomers Proxy Form and sending it to vote@darkroomers.com.

SCACC news

Our Parent Organization, The Southern California Association of Camera Clubs (SCACC.us), begins a new fiscal year on April 1st and, with it, ushers in a new set of officers including Darkroomer David Poplawski taking over as Vice President in charge of Buildings and SCACC first lady, Mary Anderson, taking over as Vice President in charge of Programs.

On the agenda this year for SCACC is upgrades to the flooring and repainting the interior so watch for news about building improvements in the coming months...


Out with the old...

SCACC held its 2015 Interclub Year End Competition last month and congratulations goes out to Darkroomer Rich Strobel. His image "Scorpius Comes Alive" took Second Place in the overall scoring and will hang in the Foyer Gallery next year. Congratulations Rich!

"Scorpius Comes Alive" by Rich Strobel, 2nd Place SCACC 2016 Interclub award recipient

The SCACC Interclub Year End Awards Ceremony will be Saturday, April 23rd at 9:30am with all competitive clubs providing refreshments. This year will feature a presentation by Rinus Baak and his travels through the Galapagos islands. All club members are invited but those who won should come to accept their award and get their photo taken for the SCACC website.

Mother may i?

We kicked-off the 2016 Interclub year with 5 honorable mentions and 1 award so let's keep it going with more great images.

  • "Sandhill Crane Duo" by Richard Strobel, Honorable Mention
  • "Root Dreams" by Michael Fairbanks, Honorable Mention
  • "Watching..." by Jeff Booher, Honorable Mention
  • "Malayan Tiger" by Richard Strobel, Honorable Mention
  • "Hamnøy, Norway" by Drema Swader, Honorable Mention
  • "Northern Lights At Haukland Beach" by Drema Swader, Blue Ribbon Award
Northern Lights At Haukland Beach by Drema Swader [Blue Ribbon Recipient, 2016 Interclub Competition]



There's still plenty of time to get out and find something silly to photograph to submit to the Quarterly Competition on April 6th. Remember this is a "People's Choice" award so you are not aiming for technical excellence--just something fun and silly to share.

We rely on the community at large to vote on our images at our Quarterly Competitions. We advertise and host the open house event through our Social Media outlets and Meetup partners but we are not drawing as much attention as we normally do so we need your help getting the word out. So tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Tell anyone you know to come celebrate the arts by spending the evening with us and vote in our competition.

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters

To add to the evening's festivities, we will also be showing "Brief Encounters", a Documentary on photographer Gregory Crewdson, during the program. If you are not familiar with his work; even if you are familiar with his work, he is wonderful to watch and the film is a great exposé of his work. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

I think my pictures are really about a kind of tension between my need to make a perfect picture and the impossibility of doing so. Something always fails, there’s always a problem, and photography fails in a certain sense… This is what drives you to the next picture.

Our May Program will be "The Art of Fine Art Photography" by David King; Wednesday May 4th 7:30pm.


Our Judge for April is John Sisti. Many of you already know John. He is a former President of The Darkroomers and he is very excited to come back and see how the club has grown and transformed since he has left.

John started in photography in his early teens, doing all of his own film development and print work in both black & white and color. He was president of his college’s photo club, as well as yearbook photographer and editor. He is a juried artist of photography at the Spanish Village Art Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park. His prints have been shown at the San Diego County Fair, winning awards and honorable mentions. John has also exhibited at the Mission Trails Regional Park.

John has worked in industrial, product, promotional, event, music and fine art photography.


To be fair...

Don't forget to get your photos submitted to this year's Exhibition of Photography at the San Diego Fair. You have just a little over 2 weeks to get your photos submitted. You do not want to wait until the last minute when there is bound to be technical glitches that plague the upload process which may cause you to miss the deadline...

Last year Darkroomers had nearly 40 images hanging in the exhibit and had won several awards.

Canon Photography Workshop

April 17th 10am-3pm. This is a free event at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad but you do have to pay to get on the grounds. Look for the bright red Canon tents in the field from 10 am to 3 pm. Canon professionals will be there loaning out equipment and answering questions. Nature Photography from Canon Explorer of Light, Adam Jones at 10 and travel photography from Jerome Hamilton’s lecture from 1 to 2 pm in the barn.


The American Association of Zoo Keepers is hosting 2 workshops in April. The first is on April 3rd at the San Diego Zoo and the second on April 23rd at the Safari Park. Both workshops are from 3:30 to 5:30 and sound like great opportunities to get behind the scenes access.

The workshops are free but do require a $10 donation to the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Eventbrite also has a service charge and you will need to pay admission into the park if you are not a Zoo member.

Photos used in this newsletter from Jeff Booher, Terri Thompson, Michael Fairbanks, Drema Swader, Richard Strobel are used with permission and are subject to international copyright restrictions from the original copyright holder. All rights reserved.

Darkroomers and the In Focus logo are Trademarks of the Darkroomers Photographic Club

Copyright MMXVI Darkroomers Photographic Club. All rights reserved.

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Elizabeth Sanchez

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