june 2016

Volume 1, Number 3

Jeffry Booher, Editor In Chief

When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes

From the office of the president

Terri Thompson

I would like to thank those who helped clean the building last month: Kay Collier, Karen, Jim Hatcher, Mike Marcus, Robin McBride, Mike Packard, Antonio, Drema, and Jeff. And a special thanks to Michael Fairbanks for documenting the event for social media. I was also there and was informed that the President has the distinct honor of cleaning the toilets. Man, Presidential authority is hard work!

We are very fortunate to have a building in the Park for our own exclusive use. We are part of an association (SCACC) that is the only association in the city to have a such a resource to use as it wishes--as long as it is photography related. So we use the building for photography workshops, to host club meetings and conduct club business. But, most importantly, we use the building for displaying the photographs that we create. We share our photographs with each other. We share our photographs with other photographers when they come for workshops. We share our photographs with the world when we open the building to the public.

It is important to do our part to help preserve and protect the building we have so we can pass it on to future generations of photographers.

The Photo Arts Building was built in the early 1930’s and was used as a Fire Station until the Department relocated the Station sometime after the California Pacific International Exposition in the late 30’s. It is an old building and in dire need of major repairs and upgrades. SCACC, our parent organization, is working with the Park, the City and Various philanthropic organizations to secure funding and resources to make improvements to the building but the process is slow and tedious. In the meantime, we can continue to do our part by cleaning up after meetings, wiping up spills when they occur and performing our assigned building cleaning duties during the year.



A day at the mission

The Darkroomers were on location in San Juan Capistrano for a Day at the Mission and the weather was just absolutely wonderful. We had beautiful blue skies with a mix of sun and clouds that made for some interesting early morning shadows that really brought out the textures of the mission.

The crowds and portrait photographers started to fill in about lunch time so the away party headed down to El Adobe Capistrano for some much needed sustenance which included the obligatory guacamole made table-side.

Our itinerary took us to the historic Capistrano Train Depot after lunch but the Depot is now a restaurant so the plan was adjusted to shoot around town then head to the San Clemente Pier for sunset and hope that it was a good one.

The town-folk didn't make us feel too welcome


The weather reports leading up to the trip had been indicating a 10% chance of rain during the morning and evening hours so we had our fingers crossed that we would have something interesting to photograph at sunset.

Those of us that stayed to photograph the sunset headed to Dana Point for drinks and to see what was happening there. We ended up helping a group of prom-goers with their photographs and recovered a handbag that got left behind when they scurried off to dinner. Good thing they came back because we had no idea what to do with it...


After a quick drink in Dana Point we headed off to our rendezvous point in San Clemente to check out the sunset. The high cirrus clouds that had been building throughout the day gave us a spectacular sunset with some beautiful colors and the San Clemente Pier made for a wonderful backdrop. Plan on seeing some sunset photos from San Clemente in the June exhibition.


frequency separation

The Darkroomers Photographic Club has a weekend "On Location" outing on the odd numbered months and a Weekend Workshop Series workshop on the even numbered months. Sometimes we do more but we strive to hit those marks. The Orange Empire Railway, San Juan Capistrano and Borrego trips were our planned out of town expeditions for the 2016 program calendar. The balance of our "On Location" trips for 2016 will be short, in-town, day trips. Hopefully more of you will be able to make those trips and come shoot with your fellow club members.

Our next Darkroomers On Location excursion will be Saturday, July 24th to beautiful Downtown San Diego where we will cover the Comic-Con Zombie Walk. Sources are telling us that there will be a walk this year and hopefully we will have more details soon.



the dark alley

The Darkroomers Weekend Workshop Series continues with an Abstract Lighting and Tabletop Reflections workshop on Saturday, June 11th at 9:30am in the Photographic Arts Building which is open to both Poly Photo and Darkroomers members in good standing. The workshop is nearly full so sign up today and get a spot before they are all taken.

What you will need to bring:

  • dSLR
  • Tripod
  • Remote Shutter Release
  • Macro Lens
  • Medium Telephoto (24-70mm)


Club news

the fairest of them all

Darkroomer Michael Fairbanks was featured in the May 12th Episode of the Pocket Lenses Podcast which was recorded in the Photographic Arts Building.

Sonny Portacio started Pocket Lenses (pocketlenses.com) to build a community of tips and techniques, podcasts and workshops for folks using small cameras producing big images. He also runs a Facebook group with the same name and Darkroomer Michael Fairbanks is a regular poster to that group with the photos he takes using his Sony A6300.


We caught up with Sonny while he interviewed Mike one Saturday afternoon in the Photo Arts building. Mike talked about how he got started in photography and what cameras and gear he uses and has used over the years. Mike attributes his success to the feedback he gets from the judge's critique he gets from the camera clubs he belongs to here in the Park.

Take a listen to what Mike has to say about his love of photography and how he got started with the art on Sonny's May 12th podcast.


Gone Quiet

We will be dark on July 6th so that you may enjoy your independence from England without the need to fight traffic and find parking during the holiday chaos. Happy Independence Day!



At the June 1st meeting we will be voting on changes to the competition and exhibition rules which are long overdue. The rules changes will be effective immediately so they will be applicable at the June 15th exhibition.

You were sent a copy of the changes in an e-mail but here is a summary of what the changes:

  1. Move the rules into the bylaws of our club’s charter to make it clear how future changes to the rules are made
  2. Remove any antiquated rules
  3. Clarify rules which were convoluted
  4. Add or Modify rules to meet current club standards

A couple of changes that should be pointed out:

  1. Black or White mats only
  2. Total mat size not to exceed 18x20



SCACC is going green.

Over the coming months the building is going to be upgraded with new energy efficient LED Par spot lighting; SCACC will also be adding more fixtures and tracks as our luminary needs have grown (and will continue to grow) over the years.

In the meantime, Darkroomer and SCACC VP of Buildings--Dave Poplawski, will be working to replace the broken fixtures and replace any burned out bulbs to ensure that the photos in our galleries are well lit.


SCACC meetings are open to the public and are the first Tuesday of every other month at 7pm. The next SCACC meeting is Tuesday, July 5th at 7pm.



Darkroomers had a good showing at the April/May Interclub Competition--taking home 8 Honorable Mentions and 1 award!

  • "Osprey with Trout" by Richard Strobel, Honorable Mention
  • "Dinner" by David Poplawski, Honorable Mention
  • "Northern Lights at the Beach" by Drema Swader, Honorable Mention
  • "Flamingo" by David Poplawski, Blue Ribbon Award
  • "Walk This Way" by Richard Strobel, Honorable Mention
  • "Coopers Hawk with Coot" by Richard Strobel, Honorable Mention
  • "Fried Egg and Meatball" by Michael Fairbanks, Honorable Mention
  • "Camden Rockport" by Joyce Muscat, Honorable Mention
  • "From The Shadows" by Terri Thompson, Honorable Mention
Flamingo by David Poplawski [Blue Ribbon Recipient, 2016 Interclub Competition]


Darkroomers is currently in 3rd place in the points standings with Poly Photo and Photonaturalists in a tie for 1st place.

Here are the current Interclub Standings:

  1. Photonaturalists: 925 Points
  2. Poly Photo: 925 Points
  3. Darkroomers: 916 Points
  4. Fallbrook: 865 Points

The next interclub competition will be July 19th at 7:30pm. Come support Darkroomers at the next competition.





There's still plenty of time to get out and get some photographs for the Quarterly Competition on June 29th. The theme is Calm and, at this point, it's still anyone's game.

ProTip: The Monochrome division had only but a few entries last quarter so your odds are seemingly better in the Monochrome division.


Winning images from the competition will hang in the Foyer Gallery during the month of July. Normally we would not hang the quarterly assigned image winners but this is one of those rare opportunities where The Darkroomers gets to hang a themed gallery so we look forward to some really great images hanging in the foyer of the building.


Pardon the interruption...

Our June 29th program will also include a double-feature showing of Snapshot featuring Tim Mantoani. Tim is a local San Diego photographer who has photographed just about every major athlete from Peyton Manning to Mike Piazza.

Snapshot was a miniseries exposé featuring Tim and his photography. Each episode would put Tim into the life of someone in San Diego who has an interesting story to tell and Tim would help tell that story through his Photography. You should come just to watch the program even if you do not on enter anything into the Competition. The show is excellent and you will be amazed at Tim's photography plus it all takes place here in San Diego. There will be a few other surprises that we will tell you about at the June 29th meeting so you will not want to miss it.



Sandy Zelasko

Our judge for the month of June will be Sandy Zelasko. Sandy is an award winning and published photographer, who makes her home in sunny Southern California. She has been seriously studying the art of photography since picking up her first camera at a very early age and traveling the United States is her passion, which shows in many of her images.

I have to thank my parents for introducing me to the travel bug. They sacrificed much to share their love of nature with me and my siblings as we were growing up

Sandy spreads her passion to others with her infectious personality. She is currently teaching and working in the field of commercial, assignment and stock photography and has amassed a large body of images on many subjects. She is also the program director for the North County Photographic Society.



San diego fair

The month of June kicks off with the opening of the the San Diego Fair's Exhibition of Photography Artist Reception on June 2nd at 7pm. Exhibitors and their guests get behind the scenes access to the fairgrounds to see the photography exhibit before it opens while sampling hors d'oeuvres and enjoying drinks and live music. Come hob-nob with your fellow Darkroomers at this gala event and show your support for the ever-growing amateur photography community in San Diego. Winners of the competition are made public at the reception and photographers can pick up their awards.


The club is organizing an information booth to host at the fair--more like a table really. If you would like to host and talk with the other photographers about the club, or other SCACC clubs, then let Jeff or Terri know. We are looking to do this on a Saturday and/or Sunday that has good workshops so that we can rotate members in and out of workshops and hosting duty.

Take a look at the schedule and, if there are dates that you plan to be there or want to help us out, let us know. Hint: this would be a good opportunity for Presidents of newly formed clubs who are also members of Darkroomers to host and talk to the public about their new club.




Summer brings longer days and shorter nights. So many of the museums and attractions at the park will be staying open later. Well, they may not be open "after dark" but, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can enjoy extended evening hours at ten museums including The San Diego Museum of Art which is offering Art After Hours every Friday and a $5 admission price and The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) which will be staying open until 8pm on Thursdays. Food trucks and Live entertainment will complement the park's festive summer atmosphere at this first-annual event


Defying Darkness: Photography at Night

Opening June 4th at MOPA; through October 2nd

Lou Stoumen, Black Cat, San Juan Waterfront, Puerto Rico, 1942, gelatin silver print, Bequest of the Lou Stoumen Estate.

Defying Darkness: Photography at Night, drawn exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection, surveys the ways in which photographers have used the camera to explore the visual and symbolic potential of the nocturnal image. Night photography began as an artistic genre more than a century ago and in the ensuing years many of the modern era’s leading photographers have been drawn to the challenge of making images after dark.

Night only suggests things, it doesn't fully reveal them. Night unnerves us and surprises us with its strangeness; it frees powers within us which were controlled by reason during the day… -- Brassaï

Defying Darkness features photographs by Berenice Abbott, Brassaï, Larry Clark, Bill Henson, André Kertész, Chris McCaw, Richard Misrach, Alexander Rodchenko, Sebastiao Salgado, Edward Steichen, Weegee and many others.


Open Show organizes live social events worldwide where the public can experience compelling visual stories and interact directly with photographers, filmmakers and multimedia producers and it's coming to San Diego.

The Museum of Photographic Arts is hosting 4 Open Shows--where five different presenters from students to award-winning professionals show a project based on narrative, topic or single visual style. Curators select an eclectic mix of genres including reportage, art, commercial, historical and more. Both completed and works in progress are accepted. Collaborative projects are also welcome.

The first of 4 Open Shows is July 14, 2016 from 6-9pm. Five curated presenters have 10-15 minutes each to introduce one project/body of work. Open Show welcomes diverse topics ranging from documentary to fine art and is designed to be an interactive forum where audience members are encouraged to give feedback and ask questions of the presenters, both formally and in a social setting. The first Open Show in San Diego is an open theme but other Open Shows will have a common theme for all participants.


3D Photography - Collaborative Workshop

MOPA and Reuben H. Fleet Science Center are teaming up to host a hands on 3D photography workshop in the Fleet's Tinkering Studio. This is a two part workshop that takes place June 4th and 11th.

Explore the origins of 3D technology, holograms, and see the past in three dimensions using a viewer of your own creation. Tinkerers will also get a sneak peek at an upcoming exhibition at MOPA featuring 3D photography.


camp f-stop

If you have kids (or grandkids) who you would like to be more involved in the art of photography then MOPA has a summer camp for kids of all ages and skill levels. Special discounts are available for MOPA members.




Photos used in this newsletter from Terri Thompson, Drema Swader, Jeff Booher, Michael Fairbanks, Kay Collier, Sonny Portacio, and Rick Wiley are used with permission and may be subject to copy restrictions from the copyright holder. All rights reserved.

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

The InFocus Newsletter is a Publication of The Darkroomers Photographic Club,

Jeffry Booher, Editor in Chief

Darkroomers Photographic Club

1780 Village Place

Balboa Park

San Diego, California • 92101 • USA

Copyright MMXVI Darkroomers Photographic Club. All rights reserved.

Terri Thompson, President • Jeffry Booher, Vice President • Drema Swader, Treasurer • Nancy Varga, Secretary


Created By
Jeff Booher
Jeff Booher, Kay Collier, Drema Swader, Sonny, Portacio, Michael Fairbanks, Terri Thompson, Rick Wiley

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