july 2016

Volume 1, Number 4

Jeffry Booher, Editor In Chief

The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words—Elliott Erwitt

From the office of the president

Terri Thompson

Summer is here--a time when herds of people travel away from home to visit family and see the sites. We are so fortunate to live in a highly-desired, year-round vacation destination. We can leave our home and drive less than 3 hours to get to the desert, the mountains, or the beach. Whether you are staying in town or travelling elsewhere, I am sure you will have your camera in tow.

For those who are venturing away from San Diego, be sure to capture your visions and sensations in a way that will trigger memories and communicate a story to others.

If you are staying home this summer, there is plenty to take advantage of. Scope out various sites during different times of day to see how natural lighting can affect the subject. Use your imagination to stage portrait or still life shots, indoors or out. Find interest in mundane objects using a macros lens. All of these can be done in your own home town.

A few months ago, presenter, David King, provided us with tips on what makes a photograph fine art. I took away two words from his presentation: cerebral and visceral. An image should evoke a viewer’s emotion and/or thought. I challenge you all, this summer, to up your game and think outside the box. Reach into your imagination and create images that are visceral and cerebral. Seek out workshops of interest to build on your photography or post-processing skills. Take advantage of the monthly critiques for opinions on your work to help guide you.

Have a great summer! I look forward to seeing your photos in the upcoming months.


weekend workshop news

The Darkroomers Weekend Workshop on Abstract Lighting and Tabletop Reflections was probably the most fun the Photo Arts Building has seen since it was built in the 1930's. Rick Wiley got called into work at the last minute but the crew on hand managed to come up with some beautiful abstracts and vibrant reflections anyway.

At station one, we had Bill Gracey and a hospital tray table setup and off-camera flash with radio triggers and some inanimates to photograph. At station two, there was a 3-foot black acrylic reflective surface for product photography. At station three, we had emulsion with water and oils and at station four we had milk and vinegar with food coloring. At station five, we had black lights with some fluorescent materials and, at station six, we had a black back drop and disco strobes for long exposure ghostly effects. Fun!

Photos by Michael Fairbanks

The workshop was a joint venture by Darkroomers and Poly Photo so there were some strange faces but everyone became fast friends.

[i] Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, and getting to learn from you...

Darkroomer Alum, Joe Lima, was in attendance and got some beautiful shots of a rock that we are sure to see in competition. Hopefully we will see Joe and his work return to the Darkroomers.


Our next Weekend Workshop is an HDR/Stacking/Panorama stitching workshop on August 13th. This workshop is more like a bootcamp as it will have a 5-6:45am blue/golden hour/sunrise shoot at the Coronado Ferry Landing, followed by breakfast then a 3 hour software intensive at the Photographic Arts Building. You better go to bed early and set the timer on the coffee maker...




"Head Exploded" by Jeff Booher

The Darkroomers are getting out of the darkroom and going On Location July 23rd to beautiful Downtown San Diego where we will be shooting Zombies at the annual Comic-Con Zombie Walk. The officially sanctioned walk took a hiatus last year due to legal issues but had promised to be back this year and it was officially announced the last week of June on Facebook. The start time, meeting place, walk route and other details are subject to change but have tentatively been set for 6pm at Childrens Park to walk through the Gaslamp.

This is likely going to be the last year that there will be an officially sanctioned Comic-Con Zombie Walk in San Diego. So, if you have never been to the Zombie Walk, you should consider making this trip to witness the final chapter of this amazing spectacle.

We may shift gears to another event for next year, but the walk itself is likely retiring after a decade of shambling through America's Finest City

Car-pooling and public-transit options will be announced at the July 20th meeting.


The Darkroomers Photographic Club has once again been selected to host a 500px photowalk for the city of San Diego. Last year our walk had nearly 40 participants with 4 walk leaders and each group stopped at Casa 1916 for a late lunch.

The details of this year's walk are in the early planning stages but the worldwide event will take place on Saturday September 17th. We have to schedule our walk around the building's availability and there is a compositing workshop with Theresa Jackson in the morning so we are planning the walk for early afternoon with a stop at Panama 66 for a light snack. Hopefully this year they do not shut down for a wedding like they did last year.

Walk participants will be invited back to our Open House on October 5th where they can personally sign and hang one of their images from the walk. This is a great opportunity to get the walkers to come back and take part in our Quarterly Competition balloting, which is the main event of the Open House program, and also get to know members of the club.

We are looking for walk leaders and folks to help plan the program. Please e-mail jeff@darkroomers.com if you are interested in helping out with this international event. Benefits include first rights to the free SWAG from 500px like t-shirts and Awesome-Level 500px accounts.


Club news


July 4, 2014, "Focus Pull" by Michael Fairbanks

The Darkroom 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!


rules update

At the June 1st meeting, the club voted to adopt changes to the rules for competition and exhibitions. The changes framed the rules into the bylaws, modernized and updated the rules to meet current club standards and removed those rules which could not be enforced or no longer made sense but the following changes were adopted which all members should take note:

  1. Mats can either be black or white only. A single inset mat of any color may be used.
  2. Total image size (including matting and mounting) cannot exceed 18x20 inches.


Gallery archer

At the June gallery reset, Display Chair, Michael Fairbanks, introduced "PEGS", the Photo Engagement Grappling System, to hang the images in the gallery. PEGS are comprised of reusable wooden blocks which can be configured to hold any image, regardless of its size, thickness or weight and can be reused many times over thus reducing the club's annual velcro expense.

Darkroomers took a one-time charge of approximately $125 for materials to manufacture PEGS but that pales in comparison to the $175 the club was spending each year in disposable velcro to hang photos.

PEGS should better secure image mountings and prevent them from falling apart in the high heat and humidity months of July and August. This is when we are most likely to find mats and images on the floor so hopefully, with the new system, we should see fewer damaged photos. PEGS are also built with Gorilla Glue adhesive to prevent the velcro from buckling and coming, well--unglued, during the high heat months which should obviate the problem with images falling to the floor due to velcro adhesive related failures.

We may go a little over our display budget this year but next year our costs will be greatly reduced with the new system and the savings can be used for things like workshops, fieldtrips and technology.


Fair treatment

Drema Swader's 3rd Place Winning Images

Congratulations to Drema Swader who got two-3rd Place ribbons from the San Diego County Fair's Exhibition of Photography for "Hamnøy" and "Overlooking Reine" (which was previously titled "Town of Reine"). Those two images also garnered top honors at last year's Darkroomers Year End Competition. Drema also won an honorable mention and a donated award from John Watts. Way to go Drema!

Kudos also go out to Dave Poplawski, Jeff Booher, Kay Collier, Joan Everds, Mike Packard, Josi Ross, Janice Roudebush, and Osia Strasner who brought home honorable mentions. Congratulations to all whose images were accepted into the exhibit!


summer blend

Summer has started and that means The Darkroomers needs to start planning for its annual year-end competition. It's a huge event and takes several months of planning but it all starts with a review of the rules, processes and categories. So a Year End Rules Committee has been established and will meet over the coming weeks with the goal of either confirming or modifying the current parameters for the year-end program.

Any proposed changes to the official rules will require membership approval so the committee will be making recommendations to the board on how to modify the official rules to meet the current standards. The board will then debate the committee's recommendations, modifying and adding their own changes along the way, and prepare the final set of recommendations to the membership sometime in the fall.

Changes to the program, however, do not require membership approval and have historically been done so under the direction of the Vice-President. With guidance from the Program Director and input from past judges, trend analysis, previous directors and other board members, the committee is free to make changes to categories, processes and other parameters that are not part of the bylaws or the official rules without membership approval.

Jeff will chair the committee with Richard Van Gils, Dave Poplawski and Antonio Croft helping to shape this year's program. If you would like to sit in on the committee or take part in the discussion then e-mail jeff@darkroomers.com.



SCACC meetings are open to the public and are held the first Tuesday of the odd numbered months at 7pm. The next SCACC meeting will be Tuesday, July 5th at 7pm. The agenda is sure to include topics such as SCACC bylaws changes, floor replacement and who forgot to take out the trash last month.


The Internet is your friend

The Balboa Park Online Collaborative has erected an internet transmission tower next to Spanish Village that has brought WiFi to our building. Internet access during club meetings will allow us to download the latest membership roster, download forms, stream online content for presentations, listen to internet radio and add QR codes to the Title Cards we print for the Images we hang in our galleries. You can add the Park's WiFi to your device by adding BalboaPark as a trusted Wifi network.



2016 San Diego County Fair International Exhibition of Photography Best of Show, “Aisha Holds On”, by SCACC Interclub Chair, Robin Stern, Poly Photo/Photo Naturalists

Come support the Darkroomers at the bi-monthly Interclub competition on July 19th in the Photographic Arts building at 7:30pm. Darkroomers is currently in 3rd place. Come cheer for your favorite images and support Darkroomers.


Standing tall

Currently Darkroomers is in 3rd place with Poly Photo and Photonaturalists in a tie for 1st.

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



Checkout the new at-a-glance video for a quick overview what's coming up next month and come back and bookmark our programs calendar so you can easily get to the our upcoming programs at a glance on your mobile device or desktop.




Our quarterly competition brought in a huge crowd that remained calm. 12 members submitted 21 images--4 of which were Monochrome. There were 13 guests in attendance and 29 ballots were counted. We also had a Darkroomer first--we added a new member who then immediately entered into competition. Gerrit Beukema literally walked in off the street, with his calm in tow, and wanted to join in and take part in our quarterly competition.

Angie Compton dropped off her images then set the stage on-fire after swiping both first and second place nods in the color division and this is only her second go-round in a quarterly competition. Wowza!

Congratulations to our 1st Place Winning Entries

Congratulations to all of those who participated! The winning entries galleries are on the website along with the scores and standings. The theme for our next quarterly competition is Anguish and will take place on Wednesday October 5th at 7:30pm.



mind over matter

Let us be mindful of the rules for quarterly competitions. We had 23 images submitted to this past quarterly competition but 3 images had to be disqualified:

  • Two images were disqualified because they were found to be out of date; Image capture and printing must have occurred after announcement of the Quarterly Topics.
  • Another image had to be disqualified after it was found that the member had submitted 3 images to the color division; Members may submit two (2) prints in each division.

Because the member who submitted 3 images to the color division had entered in provectus and was not present at the competition we will no longer be accepting entries to the quarterly competition in its current format en proxy. You must be present to enter.


Our Quarterly Competition is a competition and there are points awarded for entering and placing but we do not have tie breaking rounds--otherwise it could go on all night. So, whenever there are ties, we just award all placed winners with the same number of points (3 points for First, 2 points for Second, 1 point for Third). This makes the process simple and easy plus we end up with more winners which makes the competition fun.


Our current standings for the quarterly have Angie and Jeff in 1st place in Color and Monochrome but it is still anyone's game because you get points just for entering.



Susan Coppock

Our judge for the month of July will be Susan Coppock. She is an accomplished photographer and digital illustrator who has won numerous awards for her work.

Susan has been a photographer for over 30 years but lately her photography has been influenced by fantasy and surrealism. She is currently working on a series entitled "Life Redux", a commentary on the attraction of the virtual fantasy world and the people who choose to “live” in these virtual worlds rather than in reality.

I like making photographs, not just taking them...

Susan has been involved in all aspects of photography. She has worked in photo labs and camera stores. She has owned a photo studio, taught at Palomar College, owned a camera store and custom frame shop. She currently teaches photography at San Dieguito Academy High School in Encinitas and has a Master’s in Digital Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design.




Big Bay Boom

On July 4th, San Diego Celebrates America's Independence with one of the largest coordinated fireworks shows in the country called the Big Bay Boom. The show is a fireworks display of monumental proportion that encompases every beach and bay in San Diego from National City to La Jolla. The show starts at 9pm sharp and the fireworks display is synchronized.



The mother of all cons is back and in full force this year with a plethora of fun photo opportunities. Aside from the Zombie Walk, which will be a club program, there is a Masquerade Ball where the best of the best in-character compete for top prizes. There is a pre-show event on the bay side of the convention center with participants posing for photographers. Several other photo opportunities will present itself throughout the week as there will be no shortage of photogenic, costume adorned models. July 21-24. San Diego Convention Center.


all star week

If you love Baseball then you won't have to go far to find some of America's biggest names in Major League Baseball. Tickets may be hard to get but if you have the means (or the connections) this could be the biggest sporting event of the year. Take a long lens and get a good seat and be prepare to spend a lot of dough. July 8th-12th. Petco Park


The mad hatter

Opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack is just days away and Hat Day is always a sight to be seen. Hundreds of fashion-minded guests participate in Del Mar's illustrious Opening Day Hats Contest. A parade of eye-popping creations, this celebration is an annual tradition that gets the nod from spectators and fashionistas alike. July 15th. Del Mar Racetrack.



Being dubbed, The Original Imperial Beach Sandcastle Competition, the 2016 Imperial Beach Sun & Sea Festival will feature world-class sandcastle sculptors creating some of the best sand creations on the West Coast as well as a community parade and pancake breakfast, live music, children's craft activities, a Kids 'n Kastles competition, Farmer's Market and International Food Fair. July 15. Imperial Beach.


top dog

Wiener Dog Nationals

The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals at the Los Alamitos Racetrack is the most well known wiener dog race in the country but, if you can't make it, there is a smaller race in San Diego later in the year at Qualcomm Stadium. Neither venue is really conducive to photographing small dogs in interesting ways, though.

The Old World Village Wiener Dog Races in Huntington Beach is one of the most popular attractions at Old World. This venue is small and intimate--it look like a fun event plus you can get down close to the dogs. Come watch these short-legged but swift wieners race to the finish line at this free event. July 10th. Huntington Beach.


girls gone mild


The World Surf League / Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro will take place for the ninth consecutive year at the Oceanside Pier. The nationally televised event is the largest female surf contest in the world, with 112 of the planet’s top pros expected to compete. Admission to the event is free.

The event will run on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oceanside Pier.




Photos used in this newsletter from Robin Stern, Drema Swader, Jeff Booher 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

500px and the 500px logo are trademarks of 500px.com

"Big Bay Boom" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License from the Port of San Diego [Creative Commons Attribution] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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, Michael Fairbanks, Drema Swader, Robin Stern

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