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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 27, 2017


Camera Club News

By: Rex Dolby


The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s impressive plans for a tour of the Delphos Canal Commission Museum and photo shoot along the historic Miami-Erie Canal were washed out on Saturday, July 22.  Heavy rains, followed by what radar showed as additional severe bands, caused a flurry of telephone calls and Facebook posts to get the word out that the event was called off.

Officers were fairly confident that members who had expressed an interest in the trip had been notified, but feared that non-members who had accepted the club’s invitation to meet at 114 S. Race St. at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday to ride along would not be aware the trip was canceled. Rex Dolby volunteered to go to the house to provide information about the canceled trip and apologize for any inconvenience the cancellation might have caused just in case someone did come. As it turned out, no one pulled up during the 15 minutes Dolby waited beyond the appointed time.

The club gratefully acknowledges the gift of photography equipment recently donated by Nancy Potter.

Those planning to enter the Van Wert County Fair’s Photography Exhibit only have until noon on Saturday, August 12, to enter your pictures and purchase a membership or season ticket.

The five classes in both color and black-and-white photography and Junior and Senior Divisions are: Expressions/Emotions, Reflections, Macro/Things Up Close, Water, and Weather.

The club’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Thursday, August 10, at 114 S. Race St.

POSTED: 07/26/17 at 12:00 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

The Van Wert Area Photography Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, July 13. Joe Schramm brought one of his photo albums containing pictures of sites along the Miami Erie canal. Cheryl Knost shared canal shots she had on her cell phone. The pair had hoped to stir interest in a canal related trip.

Rex Dolby’s view of the Miami Erie Canal looking south from Lock 24 in Delphos.

After some discussion, it was decided to do the trip, but it took more deliberation before a date could be agreed upon. The event will start on Saturday, July 22, at 10 a.m. at the Delphos Canal Commission Museum, which is located at 241 N. Main St. in Delphos. The group will go to photograph various canal sites following the museum tour.

Van Wert residents wishing to car pool to Delphos are to meet at 114 S. Race St. in Van Wert promptly at 9:30 a.m. to determine drivers and riders. Any non-members who might be interested in this trip are welcome at no cost nor obligation to also meet at 9:30 a.m. and ride along.

Treasurer Rex Dolby reported that the club had added two paid members since the last meeting.

POSTED: 07/19/17 at 5:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

Van Wert Area Camera Club members Cheryl Knost, Joe Schramm, and Rex Dolby met Thursday, July 6, with Marilyn Wagner of the Delphos Canal Commission at the commission’s museum at 241 N. Main St. in Delphos.

The Delphos Canal Commission Museum’s display of the remains of the canal boat Marguerite. (photo submitted)

The purpose of the meeting was to determine what regular dates the museum is open and what needed to be done to secure a special date and guide for a tour of the museum, as well as potential sites to visit for a photo shoot.

Marilyn then showed us around the museum while pointing out interesting facts along the way about the display we were viewing. I was impressed with the number and quality of the display areas and how visually appealing they were. The displays cover three levels and Marilyn assured us that it was just a matter of time before the elevator will be back in service.

Being a senior citizen, it was interesting to me to see items that were part of my boyhood home and early years. At the present, the museum is open 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays and 1-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Our full report will be given Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m. at 114 S. Race St. in Van Wert. Also to be given at that time is a report on our studio equipment and its future and a treasurer’s report. Members are urgently requested to attend this important meeting.

POSTED: 07/12/17 at 12:00 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

The subject last week was shadows, so it seemed reasonable to discuss silhouettes this week.  Basically, a silhouette is the shape of something that appears black against a bright background. And as with shadows, the sun will produce great silhouettes when it’s very low in the sky or just below the horizon.

An example of a silhouette picture by Rex Dolby

If your subject is a group, you need some spacing between each body so the light can define them and depending on the reason for the photo, have them doing something that is related to the occasion (waving, holding hands, etc.). Suggest that they imagine a line in front of them and place themselves along that line on a rise such as a sand dune or our reservoir.

If the person is alone, you can have them stand at the angle to you that fulfills the purpose of the picture, but again, instruct them to be doing something to add interest to the scene. If they have a hat, make sure its shape is identifiable rather than appearing as a black disk.

Set your camera to expose for the sky. Select an ISO just high enough that with a lens opening of f8 or higher (you want good depth of field), your shutter speed will be fast enough to avoid camera shake.

You don’t have to go outside if you place the subject in front of a large window or open door, and repeat the steps given above. It probably won’t be as dramatic, but you can make the shot.  If you have the space and props, you could also stretch a sheet, put bright lights behind it and place the subject between you and the sheet or between the lights and sheet.

Van Wert Area Photography Club representatives will meet with officials of the Delphos Canal Commission Museum on July 6 to gather information about a tour and potential photography sites for a photo shoot.  That information will be presented to the general membership at their regular meeting Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m., at 114 S. Race St.

POSTED: 07/05/17 at 6:41 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

Have you thought much about the use or role that shadows play in your composition? Well, consider the following observations.

Generally, you’ll want to shoot before 10 am or after 4 pm because the shadows will be longer and a more prominent part of the composition. Here’s the reasoning.  Think of snow drifts or sand dunes shot at noon without shadows, then the same scene recorded with shadows shot earlier or later in the day.  There’s quite a difference between the two isn’t there?

An example of how shadows can add to a composition by Rex Dolby

Almost any time you wish to make texture or surface details part of the composition, such as weathered wood on a barn or text on a monument, light at a low angle will help.

Another situation arises when you don’t have an object for your foreground, possibly a well-positioned shadow can fill in the blank space, thus adding depth to the scene and/or leading the viewer’s eye into the picture.

Interesting shadows on a surface may themselves become the subject of a photo, as well as staging a photo of a person doing an action with a real prop on the ground that the shadow appears to be kicking, holding or throwing.

We think of portrait photography as lighting-not shadows, but the more you study good portraits, the more you become aware of how shadows add to the image and dominate a dramatic portrait.

Set your camera to underexpose one or two stops so you won’t burn out the highlights nor fill in the shadows. For more discussion, why not attend the next Van Wert Area Photography Club meeting on Thursday, July 13, at 114 S. Race St.?

POSTED: 07/02/17 at 3:09 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

Some of you from time to time have encountered a low light situation where one or more subjects are wearing glasses.   If you use the flash, you’ll get good illumination, but will have light bounce back to the camera from the glasses.  If you choose existing light, you risk motion blur from a slow shutter, loss of depth of field due to a larger lens opening or see digital noise in the darker areas.

Rex Dolby’s example of how a flash can be reflected off glasses back to the camera.

What are you going to do?  If you haven’t already tried some of these tips, try one or two the next time the situation arises:

  • Before you trip the shutter, have those with glasses, or instruct everyone, to slightly tip or turn their head in the same direction to bounce the light away from the camera.
  •  Have those wearing glasses adjust them by slightly moving the ends of the temples upward, off their ears.
  •  A less effective strategy would be to place those wearing glasses farther from the camera so the intensity of the light bouncing back might be reduced.
  •  This last suggestion requires a lot to be explained and carried out before you take the pictures. First announce that you will be taking two photos of the group because of the light of the flash bouncing back to the camera. The first picture will be of the entire group including those wearing their glasses.  Then, with everyone keeping their heads as steady as possible, ask those with glasses to remove them for the second picture. This last picture will enable you to accomplish three things: Clone clear, open eyes onto the glasses; clone a better facial expression onto anyone with a poor expression; clone open eyes onto anyone who blinked.

I hope these tips have been helpful.  If you have other photography related questions, why not bring them to the next Van Wert Area Photography Club’s meeting, Thursday, July 11, at 114 S. Race St. in Van Wert?

POSTED: 06/23/17 at 7:14 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at 114 S. Race St. may prove to be of interest to history buffs as well as photographers. The group will hear information about what the remains of the Miami and Erie Canal from Delphos to St. Marys have to offer both groups. If there is sufficient interest, details of the trip would be decided.

Camera Club News 6-7-17-Canal lock photoCheryl Knost’s picture (right) that accompanies this article is of Lock 24N in Delphos. Joe Schramm says a way to see the lock is by taking Main Street north to 10th Street, turn left, then right onto Canal Street and continue north, jog right in Stadium Park, and drive to where there is parking and the road turns west.

If that’s too much information, look for the water tower. The lock is east of it along the Towpath Trail.

Folks wanting more canal-related information can do a search. Just type in “St. Marys Ohio Canal Boat History at Memorial Park, and select “St. Marys Ohio Memorial Park and Canal Boat”. Each picture that comes up has a slider to the right that you can pull down to find additional information and hitting “next” above the picture will advance you to another location along the canal. There is also a map you can click on to see what is at that location.

POSTED: 06/07/17 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s next meeting will be Thursday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at 114 S. Race St.  A possible photo tour will be one of the discussion topics.

Today’s article will end our discussion of the polarizing filter with information on its use and situations to avoid. The filter will not work in all situations.

A typical polarizing filter.

A typical polarizing filter.

Start by pointing to the sun with your index finger. Now raise your thumb to form an L. As you rotate your wrist left or right while pointing to the sun, your thumb will indicate the area where the filter will be most effective. That means that when the sun is at its highest, the sky will be polarized horizontally, making the sky appear even in all directions with the polarizing filter!

The good news is that you can use your wide angle lens and get an improved sky, but at the expense of  loosing the effects shadows. The filter will not be useful if you have your face or back to the sun.

If the wide angle lens is used near sunrise or sunset when the sky is polarized vertically, will likely produce a sky that is light on one or two sides, but fades darker in the middle or at the side of the scene. Another thing to watch for when using a wide angle lens is vignetting (the filter blocks the light at the corners of the picture). This can be overcome with a step-up ring and a larger diameter filter.

On any lens, it might reduce exposure 1-3 stops (depending on the expert talking).  This would mean you will need to slow the shutter speed, open the lens, or raise the ISO setting to achieve a proper exposure.  For any of these reasons, it maybe counterproductive to use it in low light, with an overcast sky, or at night.

NOW I’m confident you have all the information you need to go shopping for that polarizing filter. Good luck!

POSTED: 05/25/17 at 2:40 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

By Rex Dolby

The Van Wert Area Photography Club met Thursday, May 11, to hear a number of reports. Cheryl Knost and Joe Schram reported on photographic opportunities in Delphos and St. Marys.  Cheryl had taken several pictures to project or show on her cell phone to document the items of interest she was talking about.

Covered footbridge in St. Marys.

Covered footbridge in St. Marys. photo by Cheryl Knost

The covered bridge with this article is one of her St. Marys illustrations. The bridge is located in Memorial Park near the tall, red-brick clock tower. A canal boat and Lock 13 are also nearby. Delphos offers a canal museum at 241 N. Main St. and a very picturesque lock. All during her report, Stuart Jewett and Schram offered a running commentary on canal history and facts.

Between Cheryl’s introduction of a site and the duo’s related information, it was almost like a travelogue. With some future planning, this sounds as if it’s a trip worth taking. Be sure to read what comes out of next month’s meeting that might be of interest whether you are a member or not.

Dolby reported on a meeting with Larry Lee, Director of the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Lee said he really needs pictures of people attending and doing things at events in Van Wert and the nearby small towns in the county.

He said that he can provide model releases, photographer’s credits, and possibly a photographer’s pass as long as it is picked up between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. He didn’t think general crowd pictures would require a model release, but those featuring small groups within a crowd would.

Dolby also reported that the club’s checking and savings accounts were slightly improved over April’s report.

Returning to the polarizing filter, two types are made-linear and circular. The circular polarizer has an additional optical component added to the back of what would be a linear polarizer.  Single lens reflex and digital cameras need light in two polarization orientations to focus, so those camera owners need to buy a quality circular filter to do the best job.

Next week we’ll conclude the report on polarizing filters.

POSTED: 05/25/17 at 2:34 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News

By Rex Dolby

The Van Wert Area Photography Club will meet tomorrow, Thursday, May 11, starting at 7 p.m., at 114 S. Race St. Members can expect to hear four reports and make decisions about future activities.
This week will be one of a series on the polarizing filter. Light reflected off a horizontal surface such as a lake, will become polarized in a horizontal direction parallel to the lake surface. Light reflected off a wall (vertical surface) will be polarized in a vertical direction. A polarizing filter, when rotated, will block any, to all, of the light vibrating in that plane, while not affecting the other light waves. You might say, “OK, but why do I want one?”
This filter is one of the most versatile filters you can own. Reflections on glass surfaces and water can be reduced or eliminated, allowing you to photograph what is behind or under the surface. Colors are made more saturated.

You can almost eliminate a rainbow or make it bright beyond reality.  Skies can become a deeper blue at the same time making clouds more pronounced. Haze can be reduced.  Contrast and glare can be modified to be more or less. If there is a situation where there is too much light, it can be used as a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light without changing colors.

Lastly, although it would be more expensive than other filters, I suppose you could even use it as a lens protector if you wanted to.
Have I convinced you that you need one?  Before going shopping, check out the polarizing filter information coming next week.

POSTED: 05/10/17 at 12:00 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News