Camera Club News
By: Rex Dolby
By Rex Dolby
In their book, Photography The Amateur’s Guide to Better Pictures, A Golden Handbook, written by H.S. Zim and R.W. Burnett and published in 1956 by Simon & Schuster, the authors tell us that scenes and vistas should create a mood. They say that the mood itself is the heart of your subject, whatever the view. Ask yourself what it is that makes you want this picture, then analyze your feelings and work to get the picture that catches that mood.
They tell us to study the scene, then move around until you get the best angle, the best placement of the subject, and the most effective pattern of light and shadow. Include foreground details that will give your picture depth.
For mood or dramatic effect, try taking pictures in fog, rain, sleet, hail, snow, or wind. Well, at least consider it.
The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at 114 S. Race St.
By Rex Dolby
The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s most recent meeting was Thursday, April 13th. The competition theme, “Toilets”, did not produce the results hoped for so there was a very short stack to pick from.
Rex Dolby’s entry received the most votes. Dolby confided that the Bear was hesitant to appear in such a revealing scene due to the fear of unexpected consequences in the future. He said that he’d agree to pose if he could not be identified. Dolby’s suggestion was that he wear dark glasses was enough to overcome his reluctance to be photographed.
The treasurer’s report revealed a new dues deposit and a few cents added to the savings account. There was considerable discussion about photo trips now that the days are getting longer plus the possibility of going on a Saturday, maybe taking the place of the regular second Thursday’s meeting. Those bringing suggestions to the May meeting include Cheryl Knost, who will report on photo opportunities in the Delphos area, Joe Schramm, who’ll research the St. Marys area, and Rex Dolby, who will check with Larry Lee, Director of the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, to see what pictures he still needs to promote the Van Wert area.
The club’s next regularly scheduled meeting is on Thursday, May 11.
By Rex Dolby
The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s next meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, at 114 S. Race St.. I’ve attended a lot of camera club meetings and this one promises to be like no other!
President Stuart Jewett has labeled the photo competition as a CHALLENGE. He says that the photo challenge for April 13th is to bring in your most interesting shots of a toilet as the main subject. He offers such possible suggestions as: a toilet as a planter, with flowers growing out of it, or a toilet with a perfect model sitting on it, etc. Jewett states that this is a real, and serious challenge. To win, you will have to be very creative in your thinking and anyone is welcome to join this challenge. Just bring no more than four 4×6 printed photos, and if you’d like, an optional backup on a thumb drive, to our regular meeting on the 2nd Thursday of April. Judging will be based only on the photos submitted.
Moving to a piece of trivia, I’ve been curious how the term “aperture” got started in the field of photography. I did some research and discovered that it was more of an “oh” moment than ‘OH’. (I almost reflexively added IO)
I learned it was a Middle English word dating back to 1400-50 that was derived from the Latin word. apertura, which means “opening”. The word “stop” was connected to aperture in 1858 when John Waterhouse invented a system for controlling the amount of light entering the camera by creating discs with various diameter holes in them. In 1895, John Hodges proposed a “fractional number” which may have led to the term “F-stop”. In 1901 C. Welborne Piper proposed the “fractional diameter” which evolved into the “f-number”.
In 1961 the American Standards Association (ASA) declared that the “f-number” was the proper term for setting camera aperture, but many people thought that “f-stop” was easier to say and write so it has pretty much stuck. From all this you might be able to conclude that the f is related to the amount of light you have allowed to reach the sensor or film by stopping all additional light. (Dolby’s simplified version.)
By Rex Dolby
The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s next meeting, to be held on Thursday, April 13 at 114 S. Race St., might be described as unusual.
President Stuart Jewett has labeled it as a CHALLENGE. Jewett says that the photo challenge for Thursday, April 13, is to bring in your most interesting shots of a toilet as the main subject. He offers such possible suggestions as: a toilet as a planter, with flowers growing out of it, or a toilet with a perfect model sitting on it, etc.
Jewett states that this is a real, and serious challenge. To win, you will have to be very creative in your thinking and anyone is welcome to join this challenge. Just bring no more than four 4×6 printed photos, and if you’d like, an optional backup on a thumb drive, to our regular meeting on the second Thursday of April. Judging will be based only on the photos submitted.
By Rex Dolby
The Van Wert Area Photography Club’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Thursday, April 13, 7 p.m. at 114 S. Race St. Toilets (outhouses, portajohns and the like) will be the competition theme.
You just had to have been there to comprehend how the theme was selected. It will be interesting to see what is submitted.
Changing thoughts, you should have a purpose for the image prior to releasing a shutter. Is it to express yourself, please those who view the image, or satisfy a client?
Does it capture an event, a significant moment in time, or something from the past? Will this image inform, inspire to action, or evoke an intended emotion? Yes.
Your photograph can do any of that-if you shoot with a purpose!
Some photographers feel that no image should be improved in the darkroom or with an editing program. It should all be done in the camera. But how is it different to reposition yourself before the shot to eliminate a distracting feature in the foreground or background or to simply crop it out postproduction? It goes back to your philosophy of photography and the purpose for the photo.
Other photographers, such as Ansel Adams, hold different views of photography. Adams is quoted as saying, “The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print is the performance.”
He also said, “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It’s a creative art.” Those shooting with his philosophy may do it for a different purpose, but regardless of what your definition of photography might be, begin each photo with a purpose.
By Rex Dolby
I’m going to depart from the usual photography topic to call your attention to Byron McNutt’s column on the Opinions page (4) of the Saturday, March 18, edition of the Times Bulletin. In his second section, he credits Del Keup with sending him 22 paraprosdokians. That was a new term to me. McNutt says that it is a figure of speech in which the latter part of the sentence is unexpected and often times very humorous. The only one I had heard previously was “Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.”
I encourage you to read them all and make your own top five or start collecting your own list. In effort to give you a chuckle, here are my five picks.
- If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they’d eventually find me attractive.
- Take my advice, I’m obviously not using it.
- Ever stop to think and forget to start again?
- I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today, but I couldn’t find it.
- No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
Have a great day!
By Rex Dolby
The Van Wert Area Photography Club met on Thursday, March 9. The competition theme for prints and slides was “Doors”. Randy Shellenbarger’s print of a door in Woodland Cemetery here in Van Wert took top honors. Randy observed that “slides” was an antiquated term, plus the fact that it was difficult to compare a print and a slide. He suggested that the club confine its competition only to prints so it would be easy to compare pictures side by side. This suggestion was met with approval of those present with the amendment that a duplicate could also accompany the print on a jump drive for additional study if it was requested or selected as the winner.
The conversation then bounced around on a variety of topics including where was a good place to photograph Eagles. Mike Taylor suggested that one place was the Salamonie Reservoir some 10 miles south of Huntington, Ind., and Shellenbarger said there’s a nest that can be seen back along the river between State Road and the Ottawa River on the north side of 309 and that another location for eagles is the Bresler Reservoir south of 309 along Grubb Road.
Somehow the conversation then moved to a toilet specifically made for Ohio State Buckeye fans. From there it bounced around till someone suggested that toilets and their surroundings (outhouses) should be the theme for next month’s competition. What more is there to be said?
By Rex Dolby
“Doors” will be the competition theme in prints and slides when the Van Wert Area Photography Club meets tomorrow evening, Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m., at 114 S. Race St. in Van Wert. The photographer may enter four prints no larger than 4×6 inches, or four images on a jump drive for projection. Those participating are reminded that they should be prepared to supply information about the camera settings and other details of the shot.
We’ve given some ideas on how to blur the background so the subject stands out, and we’ve talked about panning so the subject stays sharp while the background is smeared to suggest the subject was really moving quickly. This week we’ll go in a different direction by adding a motion blur to an object that is sharp, so we can make it look as if the subject’s movement or something in the picture is really quick.
There may be times when we either freeze the action, the subject is stationary, or has moving parts such as a helicopter that appear to be stopped. Afterwards, we decide it would look more interesting or natural if something in the picture looked as if it were moving. That’s where the Motion Blur feature on your computer would come into play. Again, depending on your editing program, clicking on Motion Blur may bring up a screen similar to the example.
- Open the picture you wish to adjust and highlight what you want to appear to be moving.
- Open Filters and left click on Blur, select Motion Blur and you’ll get a screen similar to the illustration.
- Click on Preview so you can see the degree of change you are making.
- Click on the – to zoom back to see more of the picture or the + to enlarge the picture. At this point, you can put your curser on the picture and drag it to the section you plan to alter.
- Move the line in the circle with your cursor to match the path the object is taking.
- Move the slider to select how much blur you wish to add.
- Click OK when you are satisfied with the result.
If this is new information for you, give it a try and see what you think. Good luck.
By Rex Dolby
The Van Wert Area Photography Club will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m., at 114 S. Race St. in Van Wert. “Doors” will be the competition theme in prints and “slides” that evening. (Slides is in quotes to signify that it is an old term that now has come to mean “putting images on a jump drive for projection”.) Prints no larger than 4×6 inches are also acceptable, and in either case, the photographer may enter no more than four images. Those participating are reminded that they should be prepared to supply information about the camera settings and other details of the shot.
If you are using a camera with a fixed lens, or you’re not carrying multiple lenses, then doing something in your editing program to make the subject stand out is a good option.
The good thing about the Gaussian Blur is that it isn’t complicated to apply. Its disadvantage is that it produces the same degree of blur over all the area specified, which is not quite how your eye sees it.
A more life-like blur is the Lens Blur. Background near the subject is in fairly sharp focus and the areas progressively farther from the subject are more out of focus. The steps to achieve this goal, however, are neither few nor easy. Depending on the editing program, you may have a guided help and/or one you can read. It may be helpful to have a printed version on your iPad or phone so you don’t have to click back and forth to do the steps. If reading isn’t your thing, try doing a search on YouTube on Adding a Lens Blur to a Photograph with your editing system. I’ve found it beneficial to view the video on one device, pause it, and duplicate the step on the computer. This method allows you to back up and replay if your results didn’t match the video.
By Rex Dolby
One way to blur the background to make your subject stand out is by your choice of lens and aperture setting. Another way is to apply a Gaussian Blur with your computer’s photo editing program. This blur is named after an early German mathematician, Karl F. Gauss, who worked out the math for what is now the Gaussian Function.
Although the steps and/or looks may vary with different photo editing programs, the blur is pretty much achieved by:
- Open the picture in the editing program.
- Highlight the area or subject you wish to keep in sharp focus.
- Select the inverse, which tells your computer to deal with everything but what you marked in Step 2.
- Click on Filters, then Blur, and then Gaussian Blur, which will bring up the illustration with this article.
- Click the box to activate the Preview feature so you can see how much you’re changing the background.
- Click on the – to zoom out and the + to zoom in for a closer look at what you’re changing.
- Selecting a larger and larger radius will throw the background more and more out of focus.
- When you get the results you like, click the OK and the change is completed.
Now you have two methods of emphasizing the subject, compliments of the Van Wert Area Photography Club.