July 14 Meeting: Lightroom Catalog, Part II

Big Horn Ram in Yellowstone National Park, © Doug Coombs

This month’s Photography Club meeting will be on Wednesday, July 14 at 6:30 PM, MDT. Our featured speaker this month is Doug Coombs. Doug’s presentation will be Lightroom Catalog—Part II. In his May presentation, Doug described the basics of Adobe Lightroom’s catalog, including how to create a catalog, how to import images to a catalog, the relationship and location of the catalog and your images, useful settings, and backing up the catalog. 

In this second part, Doug will go cover the layout of the Library module in Lightroom, and will discuss some of the tools for organizing images, including using the Filter, Toolbar and Filmstrip. He will discuss and demonstrate using collections, keywords, and built-in metadata like EXIF to efficiently organize and search for images in the Lightroom Catalog. 

Club members will receive an email with the Zoom link for this presentation. Others who are interested in watching may contact Andy Butler at abutler@mac.com  for the link. 

Doug Coombs is a co-founder of the Los Alamos Adobe Users Group in New Mexico and former chair of the Los Alamos Photography Club. Doug is primarily a landscape and nature photographer, and is well-known for his bird and nightscape photographs. Examples of Doug’s photography can be found on his website, dougsview.com. He splits his time between Los Alamos, Pagosa Springs, and a generous amount of travel to photogenic destinations.

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/ .

Focus Stacking and Image Sharpness

Focus-stacked orchid, © Dave Anderson

The June meeting of the Pagosa Springs Photography Club will be held on June 9 at 6:30 PM (Mountain Daylight Time), via Zoom video conference. Our speaker will be Dave Anderson, who will discuss Focus Stacking and Image Sharpness.

In Dave’s presentation, he will discuss the use of focus stacking to maximize sharpness and depth of field in both macro and landscape photography. Focus stacking is the process of taking serial images of an object or scene, with the plane of focus moving through the subject, combined to give an increased depth of field. Discussion will include several factors important for perceived image sharpness such as depth of field, diffraction, lens quality, and visual acuity.  A number of software options for focus stacking will be presented, and the process of stacking in Photoshop will be described. Dave will provide examples of stacked images that succeeded and failed, stacking with unintended consequences, and tips for successful focus stacking.

Club members will receive an email with the Zoom link. Others who are interested in taking part may contact Andy Butler at abutler@mac.com  for the link. Club members may submit up to five images to share and discuss following the presentation. 

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/ .

March 10 Meeting: Tips & Tricks for Digital Photo Processing

portrait of a Cougar at the Albuquerque Zoo.
Cougar, taken at the Albuquerque Zoo, © Chris Roebuck

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club (PSPC) will meet by Zoom video-conference on Wednesday March 10, at 6:30 p.m. Our speaker will be Photography Club member Chris Roebuck. His topic will be Important tips and tricks for successful digital processing. In the program, Chris will consider both technical and artistic considerations in processing digital photos. Using tools such as Photoshop and Lightroom, he will discuss enhanced mid-tone contrast adjustments, maintaining detail with exposure adjustments, and global color corrections. 

Chris Roebuck has honed his photography skills through a commitment to taking advantage of workshops and other educational opportunities whenever possible, including intensive courses from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, in Missoula, Montana, and Maine Media Workshops and College. Chris is primarily a wildlife photographer, and hopes to always be a student of the photographic arts. 

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. Others who are interested in taking part may contact Club president Andy Butler for information, at abutler@mac.com. Photography Club members may also submit up to five images to share with the group after the presentation. This month’s theme is open, so submit any of your five favorite/best photos.

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. 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/ .

Filters in the Digital Age

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will meet on Feb 10, 2021, at 6:30 pm, via Zoom videoconference. Our topic this month is “Lens Filters in the Digital Age”. 

Like wearing sunglasses, putting filters on your camera’s lens can be crucial for taking landscape photos under challenging light conditions. Filters can enhance colors and reduce distracting reflections. They can also protect your lens. For some photographers and videographers, filters may be an essential accessory. For others, they may be of little use, with many of their functions subsumed by the digital darkroom. For many stalwart landscape photographers, using filters to get the best possible image in the field is part of the process and enjoyment of photography. For others, filters may be more of a complication. 

So just why would you use lens filters? And when? Which filters are important to have, and which might you skip? How do you choose a good filter? At the February Photography Club meeting, we will address these questions in the presentation “Lens Filters in the Digital Age”. 

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. Non-members are invited to attend a meeting, and may receive the Zoom link by email to abutler@mac.com. For information on joining the Club, visit our website at https://pagosaspringsphotoclub.org/about/ .

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 .

Angle

by Joseph T. Sinclair

The classic photographic angle for shooting is 4.7 feet off the ground to 6 feet off the ground; that is, it depends on the height of the standing photographer. Clearly, this angle is not one-size-fits-all. Consequently, you should strive to take photographs from an angle that best suits the subject. The question is, how do you do that?

First, always be aware of what the possibilities are. For example, you can easily change the angle just by sitting down and shooting or even lying on your stomach. Such an angle is not appropriate for all photos, but it can add a lot of drama to some photos.

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Taken at lower than eyelevel on a trail along the Carquinez Strait

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Taken flat on the ground

Second, if you have an articulating LCD screen on your camera,  you can set it so that you can lower your camera at arm’s length or raise your camera at arm’s length to get an extra couple feet for a different angle in your shot. You need to set the articulation, of course, so that you can see the screen while you shoot.

Third. Can you climb on something nearby to get a higher angle shot without being arrested? I don’t advocate jumping on top of someone else’s car, but there may be something nearby that you can climb on safely and get that extra high shot. If you’re doing a well-prepared photo shoot, you can even bring along a stepladder to get a higher shot.

Fourth. Can you find a place where you can get a low shot? I don’t advocate removing manhole covers and climbing down into the sewer to get a street-level shot. But there are plenty of places where you might be able to get significantly downhill from the subject to take a good shot.

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Gerald R. Ford memorial nondominational chapel at Beaver Creek, Colorado

Fifth, along a horizontal plane, you can change your angle by moving right or left. It’s usually standing in front of the subject that might be the least interesting. But with a little energy, you might visit each side of the subject to see whether you can get a good side-angle shot that’s better than a front shot.

Sixth, what about a shot from behind? Maybe shooting the subject head on is not your best photo. Maybe getting behind the subject and shooting will give you a better photo or at least an additional worthwhile photo.

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A horse of a different angle

Seventh, think of your subject as having a transparent geodesic dome over it and that you can take a photo from any place on the dome that you can reach safely (e.g., by walking, climbing, or drone).

Eighth, consider all the angles that might bring you some additional interest. For instance, if you consider all the angles, you might come with an angle it has a surprising foreground or background that you had not previously perceived. You might see additional subjects that you can include in your photograph that are otherwise not visible from your original shooting angle.

Ninth, when you find yourself at an unusual angle, take full advantage of it while you can. For instance, if you happen to be driving along the top of a hill, stop and take a look to see if there’s a good photograph to be taken of something below.

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Taken from a cruise ship in Alaska 70 feet above the water

Tenth, dive into the subject (the scene) to look for a photo. I once got to sit in the middle of the Denver Symphony Orchestra while in rehearsal, a great photo-op. For a more pedestrian example, most people go to the Grand Canyon, stand on the rim, and take photos. Sure, you can get some great shots. Never mind the haze in the air from West Coast pollution that’s been there for last 60 years. And when you’re done, you have the same photos that have been on 900 million postcards going back more than a century. But if you take the nearest trail down into the canyon, with each step down you’ll begin to see fantastic photo-ops that you’ve never seen before. It doesn’t matter which trail; you don’t have to go very far; and most of the tourist trails are not difficult. It’s the same world from a different angle. The different angle yields original new images.

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On a trail in the Grand Canyon below the rim

Finally, think ahead and go prepared. For instance, if you’re going to shoot flowers for several hours and be on your knees much of the time doing so, take along some knee pads. If you going to shoot insects laying on your stomach for a considerable time, take along a blanket to lay on. If you’re going to climb a hill to get a good angle, wear some sturdy shoes or hiking boots.