December 2018

Volume 3, Number 12

Jeffry Booher, Editor In Chief

Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness―Yousuf Karsh


Jeffry Booher

These are my final writings for the year. Admittedly, this is probably more of a random smattering of text strewn together just to take up space than it is an editorial. Like those that came before me, I have struggled to find the wisdom to fill this column. So this month I am going to organize my thoughts by topic without having an overarching theme...


I struggle to find a winning formula for interclub

I think Michael did really well choosing the images for Interclub this year. He and I worked together and we tried to follow a formula similar to that which Byron Augenbaugh uses when choosing images for Poly Photo Club. We actually won more ribbons than Poly did this year and came within 5 points of Poly in the points standings but it is hard to say if that was because the process Michael and I used was better, the photos we submitted were better, or if Poly Photo Club just did not have the incredible images to choose from as they have had in previous years.

Michael and I had fun and the club had some great individual showings at our doing. I looked forward to hearing Michael's voice on the phone and getting the Buffalo weather report each month.


Attendance is waning

Participation in the club is down. Attendance is down. Exhibition entries are down. Ralph has to keep photos hanging in the gallery for five or six months because there are not enough accepted photos to rotate fresh content into the gallery each month.

This also has made it difficult for interclub and will most likely mean that year end submissions will be down as well. What worries me most is the trend may lead to fewer membership renewals in 2019 and fewer attendees at the Year End Banquet. Last year's banquet was a bust (financially) so the downward trend could mean we end up having our banquet at Buca di Beppo...


Darkroomers is a social club and everyone wants to come see their friends and catch up but we are a functioning entity whose heritage is mired in tradition and steeped in the other thing.

This club is not staffed by salaried employees

I have had a tremendous amount of help this year and I am thankful for those of you who have stayed after meetings to empty trash cans and come early to straighten chairs. I appreciate the little things that you all have done for the club.

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities for the Year End Competition. We need quite a few so please scroll down and sign up below.


I know I have reiterated my accolades ad nauseum, which may be getting tiresome, but this may be the last opportunity I will have to thank some of you for your service. Some of you have moved or will be moving on while others have all but left already.

First of all I want to thank Michael Fairbanks for helping me select the images for Interclub. Mike took over as Interclub Competition Director at the start of the year and then got the calling. The calling to move to Buffalo. Sure he could have just dropped everything in my lap but, amidst chipmunk infestations, lawnmowings, and snowstorms, he still managed to find time to sit down to choose the winning photos. From Buffalo.

I also want to thank Ralph Vasquez. Ralph had some mighty big shoes to fill as Gallery Director and he hit the ground running. Ralph doesn't miss a beat. He comes in early and stays late. He is helpful at every turn and I am grateful that he has stepped up and volunteered!

I want to say a special thank you to Tanya for stepping in and taking over as interim Secretary. She did a fabulous job and I am sorry to see her go. She took on a lot of responsibility and everything she did, she did with grace and excellence. The club will miss her steadfast determination, ambition, and attention to detail but I am grateful for her contributions.

Finally, I could not end without recognizing Janie, Joan and Terri. Without them I would have gone mad. These ladies keep the club running. Without Joan we would not have judges. Without Janie there would be no new members. Without Terri there would be no money. We could not survive as a club without these ladies so, when you see them walking the halls, be sure to thank them. Your works of art hang in the gallery because they make it happen!

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The Beat Goes On by Osia Strasner

If you haven't been to a meeting in a while (and based on the attendance, you haven't), then you may not have heard all the hype about Darkroomers annual Year End Competition. The Year End Competition takes place on the second Saturday in January and is juried by a panel of 3 judges―much like the San Diego County Fair's Exhibition of Photography. There are several categories in which to enter and compete for awards and mentions.

One image will also be chosen, Best in Show, which will hang in the Grand Foyer Gallery next year. That photo will also go on to compete for the Nelson Award which is a prestigious award and each SCACC member club's Image of the Year is eligible to compete. Last year the Nelson Award was presented to Darkroomer, Osia Strasner...

Darkroomer's Year End competition dates back to the 1930's and was a contributing event to the Scott Watson annual salon, which eventually became what is now known as the International Exhibition of Photography at the San Diego County Fair.

All entries must have been submitted to and accepted in a Darkroomers monthly exhibition in 2018 to be eligible for entry. See the complete rules for details.

Year End Competition entries are submitted to our website. Just fill in a few fields and upload the image you want to enter and hit submit. You may want to use a browser like Google Chrome which stores some of the redundant information so it can auto-fill your information for you.

Once you complete the submission process for each image, you will be taken to a confirmation page and you will receive a confirmation email.

Confirmation emails may take several hours to arrive but you can always download the submission receipt PDF immediately which will have the information confirming your submission

If you need assistance, send an email to submissions@darkroomers.com. Please attach a copy of your submission PDF or include the Submission ID in the body of the message so that we can easily locate your submission in the submission database.

entry guidelines

Your image submission must be a full-resolution, high-quality JPEG―following the same entry guidelines that are used for the monthly Interclub Competition. If your image is chosen for Best in Show, it will compete for the Nelson Award―which takes place at the SCACC Interclub End of Year Competition in March. We use a lower-resolution and/or watermarked version of your electronic submission on our website, in our newsletter, and on social media, to honor you if you win.

Your submission may also qualify for entry into some PSA competitions so it is critical that you send us the highest quality JPEG.

Do not put frames, borders or watermarks on your electronic submissions

print submission guidelines

All prints must be received by January 3rd―so you will be required to bring your prints to the January 2nd meeting for print submission. This is a formal process much like the process at the fair so be prepared to receive stickers for your prints to attach to the back of your images.

All prints must be mounted on sturdy backings. No Exceptions.

Many of you have learned the hard way that on Print Submission night, you must have sturdy backings on your prints. A lot of folks try to save money by not using backing boards for their prints during monthly exhibitions. That will not work for the End of Year Competition.

You must have a backing board or your print will not be accepted

In the interest of presenting your best work and getting the highest possible score, take this opportunity to reprint and remat your photos on clean mountings. We encourage you to work the judges' feedback into your reworks as to get the best possible score (see complete rules for details) .

The club has a higher standard for the prints it allows into the Year End Competition so we will be enforcing the rules as they are written more strictly than we typically do.

Follow the entry guidelines the San Diego Fair uses

Here are a few key points to follow:

  • All Prints Must have Sturdy Backboards. No Exceptions.
  • All Prints Must bear a Darkroomers Accept Sticker. See complete rules for details.
  • Anything that can scratch another image is not allowed: (No Metal Photos, No Acrylic or Wood Mounted Photos, No Framed Photos)
  • All mountings (including velcro tabs or velcro dots) must be removed or otherwise voided prior to print submission.
  • Backings and mats must be securely attached. Images which do not hold up or otherwise fall apart during competition will be disqualified.
  • You must submit your prints in person on the date specified.

If you are unable to make the January 2nd meeting then you must make arrangements with someone to come to the meeting and enter on your behalf. You cannot drop them off ahead of time or leave them with the Board of Directors to enter for you. If you make arrangements for someone to enter your images on your behalf then you may have an image which may be disqualified if we cannot resolve a complication.

If you plan to make changes to your images based on judges' feedback from the program year then you should wait until you have finished making your changes before entering. Your entry could be disqualified if the print does not match the JPEG that was uploaded.

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You may enter up to 10 images in any of the following 8 categories.

  • Waterscapes Images depicting a water scene.
  • Landscapes Images depicting vast open spaces.
  • Wildlife Images depicting wildlife but not necessary in a natural setting. Images may include man-made objects as long as the primary subject is wildlife.
  • Wildlife:Birds Wildlife Photography with a special interest in birds including waterfowl, birds in flight, poultry, hummingbirds and domesticated birds. Images may include man-made objects as long as the primary subject is a bird or birds.
  • Monochrome Any subject matter but the entire image is reproduced monochromatically; images may be sepia toned (or grayscale toned using a single color.)
  • People Images depicting people as the primary subject.
  • Documentary Photojournalism or street photography; images which convey a strong story with emotional impact.
  • Other Images which do not fall into any other category (macro photography, digital illustration, etc…)

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entry process

To start the entry process click the button below to go to the entry form. You will upload one image at a time for competition.

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2 live crew

This year we are going to slim down and going with a smaller crew to run the event. It is finally time to ditch the unnecessary redundancy. So we are only going to staff the few jobs that are required to run the event but we will still need a full complement of Darkroomers to come clean the building beforehand.

  • 2 Curators (the guys that wear the white gloves to show the work); also known as Print Handlers
  • 1 Referee - someone who oversees the event and challenges any discrepancies in the scoring.
  • 1 Scoring Assistant - the scoring assistant helps keep the prints sorted by score during the event.


  • 9A Cleaning Crew Arrives to clean the building. Donuts and Coffee are provided. Also the requisite Presidential cleaning of the toilets. This year it may just be cleaning of the toilet. one toilet.
  • 11A Competition Staff Briefing
  • 12P Welcome reception for judges. Drinks and a lunch platter is provided for the crew and judges
  • 12:30P Judges' Briefing
  • 1-4P Competition

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Jodie Hulden, Ron Belanger, and Rick Wiley

Ron Belanger

Paso Hill by Ron Belanger

Ron Belanger has been addicted to photography since he took his first photo with his father's Speed Graphic 4x5 camera in London when he was 5 years old.

My favorite time to shoot outdoors is the "golden hour" before sunset. The lower light angle makes shadows and reveals texture while the warmer light contrasts with the blues and greens

Jodie Hulden

Rocks and Old Oak by Jodie Hulden

Jodie Hulden is a California-based artist whose contemplative photography focuses on intimate landscapes and still life. She discovered her passion for black and white photography in the 1970s using film and doing darkroom work. She devotes all of her time to fine art photography.

Making photographs is my way to pay homage to those moments when the universe offers up a gift of beauty

Rick wiley

Proposing by Rick Wiley

Rick Wiley is the judging coordinator for Poly Photo and probably one of the most interesting photographers in the club. His subject matter ranges from crazy glass lit with black lights to landscapes.

Rather than tell you about Rick, we thought it would be better to show you his work. And, since he is a member of SCACC, we have a lot of his work that we can share with you.

Rick hosts lighting workshops with Poly Photo where he teaches his craft of lighting abstract still life with black lights. Rick has also been a volunteer for the National Parks Service and he recently was asked by The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation to give a lecture about his landscape photography of the Park.

Mission Trails Sunset by Rick Wiley

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key dates

  • December 1stCall for Entries
  • December 19thLast Monthly Exhibition of the Year
  • December 31stLast Day to Enter; Entries Close at 11:59P PST
  • January 2nd―Print Submissions 7P
  • January 3rd―All Entries are Final
  • January 12th―Year End Competition at 1P
  • January 23rd―Year End Banquet 6P

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quarterly update

Twilight Reflection by Jim Hatcher

Reflections is the theme for the final quarter of our Quarterly Themed competitions. We will be reflecting on the year at our December 5th meeting and the competition starts at 7P so we ask that you get to the meeting early as we start reflecting promptly at 7P... Those who are entering must be arrive no later than 6:45P.

Joan is bringing refreshments and she gets her stuff from a guy under a bridge

Winning photos from this quarter's competition will hang in the Grand Foyer Gallery for the month of December. Merry Xmas!

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Tanya has regrettably resigned her post. The club desperately needs to find a new Secretary. If you are familiar with the club, you should know that the club Secretary is the most important officer. The Secretary holds the seal of the club and their signature is required to make any club document official so any changes that we need to the club's charter, rules, bylaws, bank account or executive committee cannot be made without the power of a secretary. So, without a secretary, we cannot make any changes...

We need someone to step up and take on the role by volunteering for this highly important role. This is a critical job within our organization and we need someone to take on this responsibility today!

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renew and refresh

The club will start accepting membership applications for the 2019 membership year at the December 5th meeting. We have our Quarterly competition that night so we look forward to recruiting some new members. The good news is, dues will remain at $45 and we have the application online for you to fill in, print, sign and bring to the meeting along with your check for $45 (payable to Darkroomers).

One thing that you might find that is new is that we are asking all members to obtain a gmail account so that we can share documents with you more easily. Many of you already use gmail or have a gmail account so this is nothing new but, for those of you who have yet to do it, it will allow us to share google documents with you and allow you to collaborate with us on key functions of the club. This is not a necessary step for you to take to become a member but we are requiring those of you in leadership positions to have a gmail account and we would like for all members to have a gmail account so that we may share our document library with you. We strive for transparency. We love google. We admit it.

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interclub news

Darkroomers took home the most ribbons for this month's interclub―winning two Blue Ribbon awards for the night! To add another exclamation mark to the sentence, we had one image get a perfect score. That happens, like, once in a blue moon...

Out with a Bang!
Congratulations to all the Winners

Overall the Darkroomers finished in 3rd place beating Fallbrook by 48 points and coming within 5 points of the 2nd place, Poly Photo. In a major upset, though, Photonaturalists crushed Poly Photo by a whopping 27 points which really only put Darkroomers out of 1st place by 32 points.

Last year Darkroomers came in Last place, some 102 points out of 1st place. So we did remarkably well this year.

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scacc news

Robin Stern has graciously stepped in to join the ranks of SCACC as President and will take over once she has been officially nominated and elected in 2019. Robin will report for active duty in April 2019 which means SCACC will need a new Interclub Chairperson next year...

SCACC has moved its regular bi-monthly meeting from January 1st to January 8th, 2019 at 7P. Meetings are open to the public but, since Ken Wright has taken over as Interim President, there is nothing new to report. The bathrooms still do not work right.

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Dana Levine

Our Judge for December is Dana Levine. Dana studied art history and spent her professional career as a scientist and educator.

Dana exhibits her work in the San Diego area including the San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, Athenaeum Music and Art Library, She was Artist in the Garden during the Secret Garden Tour sponsored by the La Jolla Historical Society.

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Photos used in this newsletter 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 MMXVIII Darkroomers Photographic Club. All rights reserved.

Jeffry Booher, President • Joan Everds, Vice President • Terri Thompson, Treasurer • Tanya Solorio, Secretary



Jeff Booher, Jim Hatcher, Osia Strasner

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