Sunday, May 31, 2015

F-Stop Swap (today) was typical..  lots of cameras, lenses, cases, filters, and all sorts of accessories and even some books.   Maybe 50/50% film and digital now.  Some 4x5 and 2 1/4 square.  Great place to pick up filters that are "nice to have" for special cases or projects... cheap!  I got a spare Carousel remote I'll use to make an automated slide batch handler of an old Carousel for digitizing slides using my DSLR.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Caught this dragonfly just leaving the larval stage this morning.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tis the season - morels & wild asparagus

From: Chuck Cole []
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 10:03 AM
To: 'FSSP Camera Club'
Subject: 'tis the season for morels and wild asparagus
Last Sunday's Star Tribune paper had an article on morel mushrooms.  This is the season for finding both morels and wild asparagus.
Perhaps Leon, now a vegan, would lead an expedition in his backyard Minnesota River Valley woods  :-)  This could be both a photo expedition and perhaps a culinary experience as well.  Might be some in FSSP areas also.  Common areas are likely picked clean by enthusiasts.  Morels sell for very high prices. 
The morel festival is this weekend in Wisconsin: 
2015 Muscoda Morel Mushroom Festival   33rd Annual Morel Mushroom Festival
     <    Saturday & Sunday May 16 & 17, 2015
I've never seen or eaten a morel mushroom, but haven't done serious hunts for them.  I'm fond of mushrooms, but not a native, so I'm inexperienced and cautious.  Supposedly, morels are the safest mushrooms to identify and gather on your own, but there are some that look a little like them which are poisonous.
Wild asparagus is supposedly quite tasty but harder to find than morels.  The "secret" is to have spotted some "too mature" plants in the previous year and to look in those places when sprouts are just emerging from the ground or through light snow the next Spring.
Seems to me that each of these might be good "plant photography" subjects.  Nadine Blacklock's booklet, "Photographing Wildflowers", has great tips for photographing plants and flowers.  Used copies can be found for $1.00 or borrow a copy from a local library.  Nadine was a better photographer than Craig, and that's likely what led to their divorce.. etc.


Filters for portraits, etc

From: Chuck Cole []
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 9:39 AM
To: 'FSSP Camera Club'
Subject: Portrait filters and soft focus effects
In his excellent talk on portraiture, Leon only mentioned the diffusion filter as if it was the only type (note: not "diffraction filter" different type that sometimes has similar effects).   Perhaps in this day of using extensive Photoshop manipulations, one filter is enough, but there are about a dozen types and they have different image effects.  I won't attempt to describe all, but Chris Weston's book on filters can often be bought as "new, old stock" for under $10 from eBay and such.  Chris describes all types and their differences.  The Tiffen filter book is good also.  Tiffen is a high-quality US brand typically used by Hollywood film makers.
Two simple DIY techniques were commonly used in film photography days instead of commercial filters.
A "lumpy" coating of Vaseline on a UV filter has softening effects that can be "adjusted" by the amount and "lumping" of the Vaseline.  This is messy but can be washed off.  A variant of this is to put clear nail polish on a UV filter, and make that "lumpy".  This is not messy but not as easy to wash off so often left on an inexpensive filter.
Placing a woman's stocking over the lens and holding it in place with a rubber band is a good and popular technique that comes off easily.
The many portrait filters include ones with central spots and some that cause vignetting effects and so on.  Minolta once made a portrait filter set that had several degrees of softness.  Those sets are prized rarities today.  The advantage of using filters instead of Photoshop is being able to see or select or adjust the effects at the time of shooting.  Much has been written about soft focus photography, and much is online.
I think "classic darkroom effects" like vignetting and dodging look better that most filter or Photoshop effects, but circumstance and personal opinions must rule   :-)
Soft focus in a lens is usually achieved by having excess or adjustable spherical aberration in the optics...  which is something one usually pays more to get rid of  :-)


Lens Prose opening party - possible FSSPCC speakers, Art-a-Whirl, etc

From: Chuck Cole []
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 12:17 AM
To: 'FSSP Camera Club';
Subject: RE: Invitation to Lens Prose Gallery/Studio Opening Party
I went to the Lens Prose Gallery opening party.  Many other galleries were open earlier, so I visited them too.  The Northrop King Building is a 4 story building with many spaces for various kinds of artists.  Many are photographers.
I didn't see anyone else from FSSPCC.  Met Cynthia Fleury, one of the partners in this gallery and an interesting visitor.  Cynthia and partners had some very nice photos on display, and a slide show of others.  One of the partners was displaying some striking paneled mountings.  Cynthia had several striking photos plus some of her infrared work.  I did some infrared film work back when we had to do math by rubbing two sticks together, so I asked her about her equipment.  She had had one of her DSLRs modified by removing its infrared blocking filter to make it much more sensitive to infrared.  Modification isn't necessary, but improves infrared performance.  She has an IR album on her website
Cynthia might give an interesting FSSPCC talk sometime on digital infrared photography.  Look at her IR gallery on her site.
The visitor I met was Jeff Adrian, President of the Minnetonka Camera Club.  He has a tale of reviving and revitalizing that club after it nearly folded.  Al Pike is a member.  FSSPCC doesn't need revitalizing, but Jeff's approach to stimulate and develop member interests might make a good FSSPCC presentation.
The Icebox Gallery a few doors away features a "Road Trip Photography Workshop" to a nearby area of SD.  The gallery had very good photos of plain folk and simple properties looking very much like the painting, "American Gothic", by Grant Wood but on the plains.  The site is not as striking.  I didn't see any "Bathtub Marys" or "yard butts" and Howard Christopherson didn't even know what those are!  :-)   Howard said he'd be glad to do a talk about his road trips and show his photos for FSSPCC sometime.  Best soon in case some want to go on his July 23rd road trip.    The photos are quite good... some are here    <>
.All these places will be open during Art-A-Whirl Fri-Sun, May 15,16, and17.  There's a free directory.  This is a big event!  I'd recommend planning to sample a few things!

Monday, May 11, 2015

                                                         Osprey with Breakfast near Small Boat Dock

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Night Time photography of the St. Paul Skyline, 7:30 Indian Mounds Park Pavilion

    The camera club will be meeting at Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul on Saturday the 16th at 7:30 to shoot some night time photography.  Leon will be sharing his skills with us.  This could open up a whole new world for some of us.  I know I haven't had much luck at taking pictures at night, but with some guidance and practice who knows.
     We will be heading across the river to Harriet Island Park after we get done to get a more southern view of the city.
John Plut
Event Coordinator for FSSP Camera Club
This picture was shot by Pat Cameron from Indian Mounds Park.