Wildlife Photography in the San Juan Mountains

American Pika Exhaling, © Deirdre Rosenberg

The March meeting of the Pagosa Springs Photography Club will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 6:30 p.m., at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis Street in Pagosa Springs. Our topic this month is Wildlife Photography in the San Juan Mountains, presented by Deirdre Rosenberg. This will be a hybrid meeting, also available on Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to members; others who wish to attend may request the link by email to abulter@mac.com . If attending in person, feel free to arrive any time after 6 p.m.; the actual presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m., MST. 

Deirdre Rosenberg is a wildlife photographer with a deep passion for the alpine environment. Her work with alpine and subalpine wildlife shines a light on how our changing climate and growing outdoor recreation impacts these beings and the ecosystems they call home. When Deirdre isn’t in the high mountains, she is working closely with red fox to visualize their dynamic family structures  and how they fit into our changing planet. Deirdre resides in the rugged San Juan Mountains with her husband and dog. In her presentation, Deirdre will show and discuss some of her stunning images of the wildlife that make the San Juan Mountains their home, including Pika, Mountain Goats, and Red Fox. To see more of Deirdre’s photography, visit here website at https://www.deirdredenaliphotography.com

Following the presentation, members may share up to five of their recent images with the group. If attending by Zoom, please submit these by Tuesday, March 8. They may be emailed to abutler@mac.com. If attending in person, images may be brought on a flash drive.

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club promotes educational, social and fun interactions between all who enjoy making and viewing great photography.  The club sponsors educational programs and outings to help photographers hone their skills.  The Photography Club’s membership year begins in January. For new members, dues are at $25 per year ($35 family). For more information about the club, and to download a membership application, visit our website at https://pagosaspringsphotoclub.org/about/ .

(This presentation will be rescheduled for later this year!)

Creative Exposure, January 13

Sunlight in an Aspen grove in the San Juan Mountains, © Andy Butler

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will hold it’s first meeting of 2021 on Wednesday, January 13, via Zoom videoconference. Join us  at 6:30 p.m. We will have a few Club announcements, followed by a discussion of “Creative Exposure”. In this presentation, Club president Andy Butler will explore how to use your camera’s exposure controls to assist making creative photographic decisions. Learn how to control the look and feel of your photos using aperture, shutter speed and other basic camera controls. Both beginners and enthusiast photographers will likely find the information helpful.

Club members are encouraged to submit up to five images to share and discuss following the program. 

The Photography Club sponsors monthly programs on photographic topics, and field trips to various areas of photographic interest.  Longtime photographers and those just starting out are welcome in the Club. Club members will receive the Zoom link by email; non-members may request the Zoom link by email to abutler@mac.com. For information on joining the Club, visit our website at https://pagosaspringsphotoclub.org/about/ .

Update: A video of this program, recorded from the Zoom presentation, is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5YiOgeFQxY .

June Program: From Field to Framed

2 - eagle
Eagle in Flight, © Chris Roebuck

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will next meet by Zoom video-conference on Wednesday June 10 at 6:15 p.m. Our speaker will be Chris Roebuck. His topic is Highlights from a photographer’s education: From field to framed. In his program, Chris will discuss why he photographs, how he uses the language of photography to tell a story, and how he takes his images from an encounter in the field to a framed print. 

Chris Roebuck has been a member of the Photography Club for several years. He began his digital imaging education nine years ago by attending a community college (Lansing Community College). There, Chris learned Photoshop in-depth. After 2 ½ years he went to the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, in Missoula, Montana, to learn Lightroom. That same year he attended printing workshops at Maine Media Workshops and College.  Chris has continued to attend photographic workshops every year since.  He is a firm believer in continuing education.  Chris takes a philosophical approach to his photography rather than an artistic one.  He is primarily a wildlife photographer, and hopes to always be a student of the photographic arts.

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Maine Fox, © Chris Roebuck

This will be a virtual meeting, live on-line, using Zoom video-conferencing. You may participate in the program from the comfort and safety of your own home. Photography Club members will receive a Club email containing a Zoom weblink to participate in Chris’s presentation. Members may submit up to five photos to share. This month’s theme is “Animals”. Others who are interested in taking part in the Zoom meeting may contact Club president Andy Butler for information, at abutler@mac.com. 

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club promotes educational, social and fun interactions between any and all who enjoy making and viewing great photography.  The club sponsors educational programs, themed challenges, contests and outings to help photographers develop their skills. Non-members are invited to attend a meeting to learn more about the club. Annual membership dues are just $25. For membership information visit our website at https://pagosaspringsphotoclub.org/about/ .

Antarctica-May 13 Presentation

The May program of the Pagosa Springs Photography Club will be held on Wednesday the 13th at 6:15 p.m, Mountain Daylight Time. This will be a virtual meeting, live on-line, using Zoom video-conferencing, consistent with Colorado’s current “safer at home” rules. You will be able to participate in the program from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our speaker will be Frank Comisar, whose topic is Expedition to Antarctica. Frank will show photos and videos of the wildlife and amazing scenery of Antarctica, taken on a recent cruise to the ice continent. Further, he will explain the logistics and daily routines of his trip, and considerations involved in planning for a cruise to Antarctica. Photography Club members will receive a Club email containing a Zoom weblink to participate in Frank’s presentation. Others who are interested in taking part may contact Club president Andy Butler for information, at abutler@mac.com. 

Frank Comisar is the founder of Scenic Aperture Gallery in Durango, and is a well-known wildlife and nature photographer. Frank travels throughout North America making beautiful photographs for his Durango gallery and leading small group photography workshops emphasizing landscape and nature photography.

Influenced by a previous career in Architecture, Frank’s images are well known for artistically depicting our three-dimensional world in a two dimensional medium. Frank learned early in his architecture career that “. . . the creative process is not a destination but a journey. It is a journey that includes research, planning, timing, technical skills, creative judgment, and a bit of good luck.” Frank’s success as a photographer is founded on these principles.

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club promotes educational, social and fun interactions between any and all who enjoy making and viewing great photography.  The club sponsors educational programs and outings to help photographers hone their skills, whether novices or enthusiasts. Non-members are invited to attend a meeting to learn more about the club. For membership information visit our website at https://pagosaspringsphotoclub.org/about/ .

March Club Meeting: Black and White

Teton Cloudcap
Teton Cloudcap, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, © Dave Anderson

The March 11, 2020 meeting of the Pagosa Springs Photography Club will be held at 6 p.m., at The Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis Street. Our speaker this month will be Club member Dave Anderson, who will give a presentation on  Black and White Photography in the Digital Age.  

Black & white photography can be useful for emphasizing textures, shapes and contrasts in images, for creating more abstract views of a scene, creating dramatic sky or sky-sun combinations in images, and for architectural and fine art photography. The presentation will discuss different methods of creating black and white photographs, and the use of digital filters and presets to produce black & white images in Photoshop and Lightroom post-processing software, with examples comparing color and black & white versions of the same image.

Dave Anderson has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and worked before retirement as a research scientist on malaria, multi-drug resistant bacteria, disease biomarker discovery, drug target identification and other areas. His photographic interests include landscape and nature photography and occasionally urban and abstract photography.

Club members are encouraged to bring up to five photos on a thumb drive to share with the group after the presentation, if time permits. If you have some black & white images of your own, this would be a great month to bring them! (Please note the new limit of five photos, designed to allow more time to appreciate and discuss the images.)

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club promotes educational, social and fun interactions between all who enjoy making and viewing great photography.  The club sponsors educational programs and outings to help photographers hone their skills. Membership is just $25/calendar year for individuals and $35 for families. Non-members are invited to attend a meeting to learn more about the club. For membership information visit our website at https://pagosaspringsphotoclub.org/about/ .

Tips for Naming Fine Art Photos

by Joseph T. Sinclair

Vrille Naturel
Vrille Naturel ©Joseph T. Sinclair

Names Matter

In the best of all possible worlds, a fine art photo shouldn’t have a name. The art should speak for itself. When you add a name, however, the words become part of the work of art, like it or not. And words are powerful. Unfortunately, in Western civilization there is unwritten pressure to name works of art. Rembrandt Kunstwerk 112 is not very satisfying. Consequently, you do need to create a name and understand that the name itself becomes part of your photographic art.

Yet most career photographers need to sell their fine art. And marketing is a different matter than art. Most photographers need a marketing element in the names for their photos. Thus, a thoughtful combination of poetry and ad copy is a good way to think of naming photos. If you’re serious about your art and about selling it, naming it is not a trivial task.

Don’t Fall in Love with It

Don’t fall in love with a name. Pick a name that fits the theme of the show you want to enter. As a consequence, a photo may end up with more than one name (i.e., entered in more than one show). This is extra work, but it’s more work to find a good photo that matches a show theme.

Translate It

If you can’t think of a good name, pick a pedestrian name. Then translate it into French on Google. No one will understand it, yet it will add a touch of elegance to your photo. Or use Spanish, Italian, Romanian, or Portuguese. But no other languages, please. I named one of my photos Vrille Naturel (French) and was happy to do so. Sounds kind of cool, but I can’t remember what it means. It would be přírodní kontury in Czech, not quite so engaging.

Make It Long

Make it a long name. If properly imagined, it can add a lot to your photo. But capitalize the first letter of each word. Otherwise it might be read as a caption, not as a name. Example: Candle-Lit Impressionist Color Portraiture Study of a Mother on a Theme by Sandro Botticelli. Otherwise you might have to name it Madonna confusing it with the Rabelaisian pop star.

Steal It

If you run across good names in photo shows or in publications, write them down for future use. No one can copyright art titles. But don’t steal from photographers in your own geographic area or in your own photo organizations. Bad manners. And don’t steal famous names (e.g., Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico). Fatuous. You can steal book titles and song titles too (neither are copyrightable).

Photographers steal images; how many times is the image of the sun’s rays streaming down through the haze into Antelope Canyon taken each day by different professional photographers? Answer: about eight dozen. That’s about 35,000 professional photographers a year who shoot in Antelope Canyon.  So, why not steal names too?

BTW, if you’re looking for a name for your Antelope Canyon photo, try this one: About Noonish in Mr. Slot Canyon. That’s a good one, and you can steal it from me.

A Gift from the Literary World

Advertisers use sex to sell. Why not photographers? Check out Writers in the Storm, a blog for novelists. It provides a huge list of common words in its Sensual Word Menu that may suggest sex:

https://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/sensual-word-menu-2/

You can use most of them in your photo names with complete innocence and without seeming indecent. Example: Sultry Sunset Afterglow on the Bosom of the  Mountain. Buyers will line up at the door.

Less Can Be More

There is one naming strategy for fine art portraits. Use only a first name such as Isabelle or Jacob. Such names convey an ambiance of mystery. Who the hell is Isabelle? Who the hell is Jacob? It’s not quite the same ambiance for Isabelle Smith or Jacob Jones. Let the viewer’s imagination run loose. Let the image itself do the speaking. Use only a first name alone. Keep in mind also that for fine art, the name of the portrait doesn’t have to be same as the name of the subject (model). In other words, use an evocative first name that fits the portrait.

Number It

This highly advanced promotional technique is appropriate only for the most aggressive photo marketers. A photo named Study of the Desert Sublime Number 17, if a compelling image, will leave the viewers thirsty for photos 1-16 (or more). It’s irrelevant whether numbers 1-16 exist or not. If such photos exist, they will have the attention of your viewers and may lead to interest in your other photos too. If photos 1-16 don’t exist, you simply represent 1-16 as being unpublished, and refer viewers to your other photos.

Streets

Developers and municipalities name streets after states (Idaho Avenue), places (Park Place), English counties (Devonshire Drive), famous people (Ted Kaczynski Boulevard), and animals (Raccoon Court). This is not a good precedent for naming photos. Leave it alone.

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