So, the first Salon is in the books and we are into the full swing of this 80th year of the Fargo Moorhead Camera Club. This weeks Education night is on Thursday at 7PM at First Presbyterian in Fargo, and the topics will be on Preparing Your Images for Competition, and Storm Chasing with Ryan Mauk. I hope you can make it out for this one as it will be pretty interesting. Also, bring your laptop along to embed the tips and potentially create some presets to help with sizing and file naming.
This blogs Philosophical Question is, Why or Why not specialize in Photography? Some say that the only way to get to be a "World Class" photographer is to specialize in one genre of photography. (Weddings, Events, Sports, Scenery, Street, Portraits, Wildlife, etc.). My contention is that the only way to get better in photography is to try many different genre's and get better at all of them. I always talk about light being the key to photography and that you need to learn how to use and create light and shadows to make the shot what you want. Another component of great photography is composition. You need to learn to see the leading lines, the background distractions and what makes an interesting photograph. This being said, improving your scenery photography will improve your wedding photography. Improving your street photography will improve your scenery photography and improving your ability to focus quickly will improve your street, wildlife and sport photography. It all works together.
I'll have to confess that I've been out of the loop on the news of late, but the biggest news I've seen is that Adobe is updating Lightroom and Photoshop CC versions and adding Photoshop as a IPad app.
For you drone photographers... The flying kind not that you are unresponsive... DJI is updating their software so you can create a line of communication between the local airport tower and the drone pilot. This means you will be able to fly closer to an airport as long as you are in communication with the flight controller, allowing for safer operation in and around airports where drone flights are now prohibited.
This blogs tip is take a photo walk with a lens that you don't normally use. (If you only have one lens or a zoom lens, limit yourself to not zooming.)
Tonight I went out to walk my dogs and just on a whim, threw my 90 Macro on. I was interested in what I would find to photograph and found many things including my dog. By limiting your choice to a specific focal length, you will expand your view of the world and get better at looking for interesting things to photograph. I'll call this one "Braving the Fall Winds".
Well... It's almost upon us... The first Salon of the Fall 2018 season is this Thursday. I hope by now that you've entered some of your finest work and are looking forward, like I am, to seeing what everyone was able to capture during the break.
This blog's Philosophical Question is, Why is competition necessary for a photographer?
That's right, I said NECESSARY! I really think that becoming and excellent photographer takes:
1. Learning the techniques of photography. (Which is why we have education nights)
2. Learning what makes something artistic. (Get a book on the old masters of painting and other forms of art, go to museums, peruse the web...)
3. Learning how to capture the light... or create it if you don't have what you want.
4. Entering a competition to see how your photo's stack up.
5. Practicing your craft.
6. Repeating all these steps again and again.
Photography is a form of visual media that tells a story or sends a message. The competition aspect allows you to see how well you've sent that message, TO THAT JUDGE. Yes, there is a subjective opinion by the judge about how you've done, but you usually get feedback on what you could have done better as well. In that feedback comes the learning and the ability to get better at the craft of photography.
The first year that I entered my photo's in the salons, I think that I recieved 1 honorable mention. The second year, I did much better and now I do pretty well at it.
What I know, from personal experience, is that my photography has improved dramatically since I started entering competitions and that I really enjoy winning awards with my photographs. That's not to say that I've wasn't disappointed when my "Super Stupendous Photograph" didn't win that month, but you can re-enter it and see what someone else thinks and even though it didn't win at the club level, it may get chosen to go on to the N4C competition and win there.
If you have been following photography for any length of time, you know that PhotoKina, the every other year, photo extravaganza has just ended for 2018. This is the showcase where most of the photo companies release their new gear and show it off. There were some very interesting releases which are too numerous to mention, but the big news this year was Full Frame Mirrorless cameras from Panasonic, Canon, and Nikon as well as another 100mp medium format sensor that was released. Just Google PhotoKina 2018 and you can see all the info there and pick the products in which you are interested.
Get a rocket blower and keep it in your camera bag.
There have been many times where I thought that I would need to use liquid and a cloth to clean my lens, or have a professional sensor cleaning for my camera due to dust spots, when all I had to do was hit them with my rocket blower and it took care of the problem.
A rocket blower is just what it sounds like. A small bulb blower with fins that make it look like a rocket. The fins help it stand upright on a desk or dashboard.
Get a large enough one that you can deliver a fairly good blast of air, and make sure you don't touch the sensor or the lens with the tip when you are squeezing the blower. Then tip the body of your camera or lens down so the dust can exit and hit it with couple of good puffs and problem usually solved.
I also like to use it when switching lenses as a preventative measure.
Meet up Opportunities:
Lonnie Sager and I had a great time going out to Maplewood Park in Pelican Rapids Last weekend and shooting the Fall Colors. I imagine they will still be pretty good this weekend so if anyone is interested in going, please communicate with others from the club.
So, Hope to see you all at the Salon this Thursday and good luck.
Tonight, Thursday 9-20-2018 at 7 PM, is the first Fargo Moorhead Camera Club Meeting of this season and we are starting it off with an education night on Night Sky Photography. Please come out if you can and bring a friend.
FM Camera Club
Fargo First Presbyterian Church
650 2nd Ave N
Make sure to come a bit early as there is a lot of construction downtown and the doors will be locked after 7.
Hope to see you there.