February 2017

Volume 2, Number 2

Jeffry Booher, Editor In Chief

A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know ― Diane Arbus

state of the union

Drema Swader

Did everyone enjoy last week's Year End Awards Banquet as much as I did? We started the evening with a Social Hour, and after a few words from last year's club president, Terri Thompson, we launched into our first drawing of the evening.

Let's give a thank you to all our club's photographers, to everyone who participated in the Year End Competition, to everyone who helped out with the competition, and to everyone who took home an award. A special thanks goes to Jeff Booher, who not only planned and organized the competition itself, but organized and directed the Awards Banquet. All I had to do was sit back and enjoy the fun!

We had giveaways the entire evening. I would like to give a special thanks to the following businesses and individuals who donated goods and services for the drawings: B&H, Nelson's Photo, Georges Camera, Kurt's Camera Repair, ProLab Prints, Chrome Digital, Stephen Burns, Larry Vogel, John Watts/Watts Digital Imaging, Jeff Booher, Susan Coppock, ViewBug, and Adobe.

So everyone, start getting your photos ready and printed for the next critique! Remember, it could be the photo that takes home an award at next year's banquet!


Year end competition

David Poplawski, "Side View", 2016 Darkroomers Best in Show

The 75th Annual: Darkroomers Year End Competition was held in January and the entries just keep getting better every year. There were 145 entries this time around and the competition took a little over 3 hours to complete. The judges deliberated for only a short time before picking their Best in Show and top honors went to David Poplawski for his image, Side View.

Newcomer, Osia Strasner, ran the tables with 1st place nods in the Other and Seascape categories. She locked up several other wins and mentions which pushed her total ribbon count to 5--not bad for a newcomer. Drema still took the home the most awards, however, with 6--including 1st place finishes in both Landscape and People Other. Way to go Drema.



Year end Banquet

The 75th annual: Darkroomers Year End Awards Banquet was held at the Best Western Seven Seas Grand Ballroom. The food was delicious and the ballroom was spacious--they had music and everything. Jeff even wore pants. It was great.

The food was delicious, the conversation was lively and Terri was the Master of Ceremonies. Fun was had by all. Several of the members in attendance won door-prizes from B&H, George's Camera, Nelson's, Stephen Burns and Adobe--just to name a few. The gifts totaled nearly $2000 and were donated to the club by various organizations and philanthropic individuals in the photographic community.


the red carpet


I would like to thank the academy...

The awards ceremony was shorter than it was in previous years because we had fewer Honorable Mentions due to a rules change but we finished by 8pm and everyone was in bed in time for Seinfeld.


"on location" news

We started the 2017 Program Year with the wind at our backs. At our sides. Our faces... Wind was pretty much everywhere and the windmills were happy when we arrived in Campo for Darkroomers On Location at the Southwest Railway Museum. So we to crammed ourselves into the restoration barn for our group photo and then everyone was in the wind, so to speak.

We did the best we could to get some interesting Railroad Car photos. Rick Phillips brought a model so expect to see some model trains at our first Quarterly Competition of the year. Terri Thompson brought her grandson, Miles, who played the part of Photographer in Training but also posed for a few photos which will probably prompt a rule change for 2018 to disqualify cute grandkids on the basis that they are, well, just too cute...

At The end of the day, it was Café B to eat, drink, let our hair down and reminisce about the day's event


Salvation Mountain

Our next On Location shoot will be in March and it will also be our first overnight trip of the year as we head to the Salton Sea for fun and excitement. The trip is scheduled for the weekend of March 11th and there is an early morning sunrise, a sunset and a night shoot in the planning stages. The trip is also scheduled to take place before our first Quarterly Competition so hopefully there to be an afternoon expedition to the deserted railroad which should present us with some great photo opportunities of rusted out Railroad Cars with interesting lighting.

Details about the upcoming Salton Sea trip will be coming soon via e-mail and at club meetings. If you would like to attend let us know. There will be an online sign up sheet once the itinerary is finalized.


Program news

Checkout our video short of FEBRUARY's programs for a quick glance of Upcoming events



We begin February with a presentation by Lee Peterson on Underwater Photography. Lee is a former photographer for the NSA and he operated an underwater photographic equipment shop in Sorrento Valley until about 4 years ago. He and his wife, Terri, also were cinematic effects editors in many major Hollywood movie franchises.

Today, Lee, operates an underwater studio in his backyard--complete with lighting, backdrops and props. He is also an accomplished Black and White photographer and has exhibited his work in many galleries and museums across the world. His work is currently on display at the Hyatt in Downtown San Diego as well as other hotel and business lobbies throughout San Diego.


Our Weekend Workshop Series kicks off the New Year with our annual Matting workshop with Poly Photo on February 11th. You must be a member to attend this workshop as it is a hands on event and space will be limited. The workshop begins at 9:30am in the Photographic Arts Building but get there a little early so you can help out and get set up. Bring an image that you would like to mat as a practice piece and a small donation to cover the cost of materials.


We are still looking for leaders to help out with the Matting workshop; talk to Jeff or Josi and let them know you are interested or click the sign-up link below and signup today.



Peaceful transition of power

Joan Everds

This will be my final edition as Editor in Chief. Joan Everds will be taking over starting with the March newsletter. She has big shoes to fill but I am confident in her abilities and excited about her enthusiasm!

It was nearly one year ago that we gave the newsletter a name, In-Focus, and moved from PDF to an online hosting platform, Adobe Spark Page, for content management. I am proud to say that I was one of the key players in that process and I was happy to take over as Newsletter Editor when Elizabeth stepped down.

Writing the newsletter has given me a new perspective on the membership, the community and programs. I will stay on as a Contributing Editor and continue to do the monthly program podcast so I will still play a role on the news team here at the Darkroomers but I am grateful that Joan has decided to take over as Editor in Chief. Joan's enterprising spirit will afford me an opportunity to pursue other projects and focus more on my photography.

With my final stroke of the keys I just want to say, Thank You. It has truly been a pleasure writing for you and I am so grateful that you have given me such positive and welcoming feedback about the content and format of the newsletter since we rebooted it almost a year ago. I look forward to reading Joan's first issue in March!

Jeffry Booher, Editor in Chief



Our Parent Organization, The Southern California Association of Camera Clubs, will be holding an Election of Officers at their March meeting which will be held on March 7th at 7pm in the Photographic Arts Building. There are 5 offices: President, Secretary, Treasurer, VP of Programs and VP of Buildings and all 5 are presented to the board for nomination by the nominating committee.

SCACC is looking for qualified candidates to fill the office of Vice President in charge of Buildings

If you or someone you know is willing to step up to help maintain the building then forward your nomination to Jeff Booher. Jeff is the committee chair but you can forward your nomination to Drema, if you prefer, and she will forward it to Jeff. Qualified candidates should possess skills in electrical, plumbing, carpentry, general maintenance and general contracting.


sign language

That musty old sandwich board sign that we used to have to heft down to the road every weekend to alert visitors of our presence has been replaced with this more modern version that is lighter and easier to manage.



You may be aware that SCACC joined PSA in 2015 but, starting in 2017, they will be participating in the PSA Councils' Challenge. The Councils' Challenge is a juried competition open to any Council Member of PSA; There are many councils across America, SCACC is a Council Member, and those images selected for competition by SCACC will be competing against images selected by other councils in the challenge.

There are 3 sections in the Councils' Challenge for competition: Color, Monochrome and Nature. The PSA Nature rules are not as strict as NANPA rules so the section will be open to anyone submitting a nature themed image.

Darkroomers is the only club that submits a reasonable number of monochrome images for competition so it is likely darkroomers will be called upon for entries to the Monochrome section


how it works

SCACC can submit up to ten images per section and an internal SCACC-PSA committee will be selecting images from the 2016 Interclub End of Year Competition winners to enter into the challenge. The committee will choose which section in which to enter each image.

If you are one of the chosen few that are contacted then that means you have been selected and you may be asked to supply a rendition that is specific for the challenge. Images submitted to the challenge must fit the PSA submission size standards but you will be working with someone within SCACC to get the best possible version of the image for competition.

Only one image per photographer per section is allowed for entry but the entry guidelines are somewhat different than they are for Interclub competition. Your image may be selected even if it didn't win an award or a mention in the Interclub Year End Competition.


The first Interclub Competition of the year will be held on March 21st in the Photographic Arts Building at 7:30pm. The San Diego Portrait Club has joined Interclub and will be sending their images to the competition starting with the March competition. That means there will be 5 clubs instead of 4 competing for top honors at next year's Interclub End of Year Competition.


The 2016 Interclub Year End competition will take place on Saturday, March 25th at 9am. This is an open event and anyone who had a winning image or Honorable Mention in last year's competition should attend to see how their images do in the competition.

The 2016 Interclub Year End Awards Ceremony is Saturday, April 22 at 9am. The guest speaker is yet to be announced but there will be food and, if you won an award, you will want to attend the ceremony to be honored and have your picture taken at the event.



Loco -- by Jeff Booher
The theme for the first quarter is Railroad Cars

The 1st Quarterly Competition will be held March 29th at 7pm and the theme is Railroad Cars. We will be showing the PBS Documentary on Dorothea Lange entitled, The Dust Bowl.


The spirit of our Quarterly Competition is to encourage members to break out of their comfort zone--challenge themselves to photograph differently, think differently and see differently. Taking part in the competition is optional but here are some tips to consider when photographing for themed competitions. The quarterly themes this year will be less challenging but hopefully these tips will help you when shooting for a theme.

  1. Use Google. Look at what images are out there and use those images as a basis for your photography. If you get stuck or cannot think of what to shoot, start with Google.
  2. Literal Puns. Not all themes work but, for Railroad Cars, you can shoot automobiles next to a railroad. The theme is likely to produce 30 images of cabooses, gondolas, boxcars, tanker cars, flatbeds and hoppers so having something unique that makes the viewer think is bound to get votes.
  3. Shoot the Opposite. This is a brave choice and likely to raise some eyebrows.
  4. Use a thesaurus to look up similar words with alternate meanings and trace word stems to find substitutes that can make things interesting. Themes like Green had meanings that weren't necessarily color-bound that you could shoot like fresh, inexperienced or envious...
  5. For themes that are emotional in nature, shoot something that puts the viewer in the emotional state of the theme rather than trying to shoot the theme itself. Anguish was a tricky theme to shoot but Gerrit Beukema nailed it with his razor blade and blood photo. The photo did not depict anguish but, rather, put the viewer in an anguished state.



Dave Eichenger

Our judge for February is San Diego City College Professor, Dave Eichenger. Dave took photography classes in high school and quickly found his passion. He decided to go to college to become a photography teacher and has been teaching photography for over 30 years. Dave discovered the beauty and unique qualities of B&W infrared film when he was a teenager and this began the focus of his work.

I feel very fortunate to call San Diego my home. The weather here makes it an ideal place to spend most of the year, and if I feel a need for a change, I can just hop on a plane. Beyond photography and travel, I also like to hang out with family and friends, bike, and try new foods, restaurants, or anything chocolate.



Macy's Museum Month 2017

Arts, entertainment and culture collide for Macy’s Museum Month in San Diego. This February the San Diego Museum Council and Macy’s have teamed up again for Museum Month, giving patrons a chance to discover what’s new at more than 40 San Diego museums with savings only seen once a year.

Pick up a Museum Month Pass at any area Macy’s store to enjoy half-off admission to all of the participating museums through the entire month of February. Guests with a pass can bring up to three people to participating museums to receive half-off admission for the entire party.

  • Adobe Chapel
  • Barona Cultural Center & Museum
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  • Bonita Museum & Cultural Center
  • California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum
  • California Surf Museum
  • Coronado Museum of History & Art
  • Fleet Science Center, Galleries only
  • Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
  • Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
  • Heritage of the Americas Museum
  • Japanese Friendship Garden
  • Junipero Serra Museum
  • La Jolla Historical Society
  • Living Coast Discovery Center
  • Lux Art Institute
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • Marston House Museum & Gardens
  • Mingei International Museum
  • Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Downtown
  • Museum of Making Music
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • New Americans Museum
  • Oceanside Museum of Art
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Archaeological Center
  • San Diego Automotive Museum
  • San Diego Botanic Garden
  • San Diego Children's Discovery Museum
  • San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
  • San Diego History Center
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • The New Children's Museum
  • The San Diego Museum of Art
  • Tijuana Estuary Visitors Center
  • Timken Museum of Art
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
  • Visions Art Museum
  • Warner-Carrillo Ranch House & Museum
  • Water Conservation Garden
  • Whaley House Museum
  • Women's Museum of California
Entry into the photographic arts building is always free, however... go figure


Judges Insights For Professional Competition

The San Diego Photoshop Users Group is having a judges roundtable discussion at their February Meeting on Saturday, February 4th. They Meet in rooms 145-147 of the Art Institute of California -- San Diego.

The meeting will be in two parts. For the first half of the meeting the judges will discuss what they look for in competition quality images and prints. They will also answer any of your questions on the various categories. The coordinator of the International Digital Arts and Photography exhibition, Gene Wild and his assistant coordinator Lois Fong-Sakai, will be present.

The other half of the meeting will be a dry run judging of members who submit their work as jpeg images where you will view them on the screen. Be a part of this experience and submit two jpegs with dimensions around 1600 x 1200 pixels of what you feel are your best images to steve@chromeallusion.com. Title them with your name followed by an underscore and title. For example stephen burns_digital ecstasy. This is your opportunity to share your skill and work as well as to get feedback from experienced professional.



What majestic word, in memory of Russell Varian

MOPA is exhibiting What Majestic Word: a portfolio of prints dedicated to the memory of Ansel Adams’ dear friend, Russell Varian. Varian was a scientist and dedicated conservationist. Each of these 15 photographs aims to capture the sensual environments that Varian adored and the natural geometry that sparked his scientific curiosity. Through May 16th.



Lunar New Year Tết Festival

The Lunar New Year marks the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar and features many customs such as giving thanks, honoring ancestors and well-wishing friends, family members and neighbors. Each year is represented by an animal of the Chinese zodiac. In Vietnam, people celebrate the Lunar New Year by visiting their relatives, worshiping at temples and attending festivals where they let go of the troubles of the past year and hope for a better new year.

Celebratory features of the Lunar New Year can also be seen in the forms of dragon and lion dances, firecrackers, pageantry, songs, games, food aplenty and of course—the giving and spending of red envelopes containing lucky money.

The rooster is the tenth animal in the Chinese zodiac, a repeating cycle of 12 years based on the lunar calendar. The rooster represents fidelity and punctuality.

People born in the year of the Rooster are:

  • Attentive
  • Determined
  • Brave
  • Confident
  • Neat
  • Meticulous

Qualcomm Stadium; February 3rd 5pm-10pm, February 4th & 5th 10am-10pm; $6




Photos used in this newsletter from Jeff Booher, Dave Poplawski, Osia Strasner and Michael Fairbanks 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 MMXVII Darkroomers Photographic Club. All rights reserved.

Drema Swader, President • Jeffry Booher, Vice President • Osia Strasner, Treasurer • Nancy Varga, Secretary



Created By
Jeff Booher


Dave Poplawski, Jeff Booher, Osia Strasner, Michael Fairbanks

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