Friday, July 15, 2016

July 2016 Meeting Notes

The July meeting was chaired by President Geri Fenton. 

Welcome to Patty who is just getting started in photography, Gary who enjoys wildlife photography, and Jim from Vancouver who likes to photograph the area around Lake Pepin.

Leon educated us on Motion in Photography – We can either freeze motion or embrace motion.  To freeze motion, use a fast shutter speed (1/500 or more).  Bright light and high ISO also helps get a faster shutter speed.  To embrace motion, use a slower shutter speed (generally 1/60 or slower).  Adding a ND (neutral density) filter or even a polarizing filter can help slow down the shutter speed.  Another way to embrace motion is to try panning, where you use a slow shutter speed and track a moving subject – the result being the moving subject that is in focus with a motion-blurred background.

MN State Parks license plate - The new license plate will be available from the DMV this fall as part of the ongoing celebration of the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails. The cost will start at $60, plus tax. The total includes a one-time $10 fee for the plate itself and a minimum $50 contribution (renewable annually).  Proceeds from license plate sales will help fund the operations and maintenance of Minnesota state parks and trails.  The plate includes park admission. See more details here.


Mary reported there are 10 fawns on Picnic Island, but they are hard to see because the grass is so tall (and there are lots of bugs).

Sher reported there is an elusive Green Heron that has been visiting Snelling Lake.

John C shared more photos of the LiIlydale eaglets and also photos from his nephew’s glider taken over snow-capped mountains.

Chris was published in the Owatonna town booklet!  Chris says to hashtag your images when posting online – it will help to be found in online searches.

Sher was our July presenter.  She enjoys many types of photography, and chose to share some of her favorite photos and stories of birds, barns, and bugs.  Sher shoots with a Canon SX50 that has an incredible 1200mm equivalent zoom! 

For birds, Sher shoots out her windows at home and also makes her way around the Twin Cities.  She showed lovely captures of Eastern Bluebird, Blue Jay, Indigo Bunting (from Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden), a Robin bird nest, Northern Flicker, Baltimore Oriole, Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpecker and more.  She always tries to incorporate an interesting background.  Her images from the Fergus Falls rookery were wonderful and a lot of the personality of the birds could be seen.  The Green Heron in all its comical poses was especially entertaining.  She had images of a Yellow- and Black-crowned night heron, and a particularly cool image of a Great Blue Heron after having caught a big northern!  My favorite was the lovely duckling on a lily pad leaf with a blooming white flower.  From Sherburne Wildlife Refuge, she captured a lovely silhouette of the eagle’s nest against a beautiful sunset.  And so many more…

Barns – Sher likes to capture barns in the winter and spends a lot of time working the scene, oftentimes going back at different times of the year or season.  She especially likes it when she can compose her images so there is some sort of shadow on one of the barn walls – like tree branches or a windmill.  She showed an amazing assortment of barns from right around the Twin Cities – off 55 near Rockford, Dearwood Apple Orchard, Rogers (round barn).  Sher invites anyone to just ask her for locations – she is happy to share.  Sher is also a watercolor artist and will sometimes paint her images to remove backgrounds and create even more works of art. So much talent!

You can tell Sher spends a lot of time with her photography because even her bug collection was full of great close-ups of bees, spiders, damselfly, dragonflies, turtles, moths – and an actual tagged monarch!

Many thanks to Sher for sharing her images!  She let us with some photo tips that we can all put into practice next time we are out shooting birds, barns, or bugs: 
  • Use spot metering when shooting white birds like great or snowy egrets
  • Work the image to find the darkest possible background, especially for flowers or bugs.  Can also use vignette and burning in Photoshop – if burning, do it in spots instead of all over so it will look more natural.  You can also use black velvet for a background, but only in shade or at an angle so as not to show the sheen.
  • You can put bugs in a jar in the refrigerator for 3 minutes to slow them down which makes them easier to work with – although be warned that this doesn’t work with frogs!

Challenge topic for July was “Flowers”.  Several people commented that we had an unusually high number of very fine images this time around.  (Our photography skills must be getting better!)

Please use our blog!  If you weren’t aware, FSSPCC has a blog – see it here and take a look at some of the recent posts.  You are invited to post photos or stories, especially flora or fauna from the park, park events, club events, travelogues, or just nature in general.  The blog is easy to use, you just need to be granted access by emailing the club (email address below).  You can set it so you automatically get notified whenever there is a new posting.  Meeting notes are posted on the blog, too.

This week - Tall Ships are in Hudson, Wisconsin.  More info at

Saturday, July 16 - If you have some extra time this weekend, the National Park Service would not mind having some photographers following them around to document the BioBlitz.  Here is what Ranger Gordon had to say:  “The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (National Park Service) is holding our annual BioBlitz at Coldwater Spring starting at 5:00 pm, Friday, July 15 and running through 5:00 pm, Saturday, July 16. Photographers are always welcome to tag along with rangers and other staff to photograph the proceedings. We'll be using the iNaturalist app to upload species found to a national database. You can help by downloading app and help to catalog what we find. See for more information.”

Thursday, July 21 – Canterbury Downs Buck Night - Thursdays are Buck Night at the races.  It costs a dollar to get in and there are some deals on food. Here is the link that tells you about Buck Night:  We will meet at the paddock which is right inside the main gate at 6pm.  The first race is at 6:30pm.  The gates open at 5:15 and the horses at the paddock about 6:10 for the first race.  Photos are allowed at all public places.

Saturday, August 6 – Next Club Meeting.  The August Challenge is “non-human critters”.

TBD? - Leon suggested the club might want to look into a mini train trip between Osceola, WI and William O’Brien State Park area.  Cost is $17 for a senior (no food) and we would get to practice taking photos of a moving train.  This would also be a good chance to practice riding a train for those going to Glacier! J

September 7-12 Train Trip to Glacier National Park – Planning meetings continue.  Please contact John Plut at the club email if you are interested in going or have any questions.  

Saturday, September 24 - The St. Croix Valley Camera Club will be hosting their own PIP (photos in the park).  Word has it they are patterning it after our PIP - watch for details!

November TBD – FSSP Camera Club Annual Photo Contest – The committee this year will be Rose, Deb, and Judy.  Watch for more information.

TBD July 2017 – Lake Shetek State Park.  See Geri’s review of the park on our blog.

To ensure easy uploading to Picasa, re-size files to 500kb or smaller, and keep the long edge to 2048 or less so the photos don’t count against our storage limit.  In order to upload photos to the Picasa albums, you must be signed into your Google account otherwise it seems you may not be able to upload.  You can also email your photo to the club email and we will upload it for you.

Always include at least your name in the caption area – here’s how: 
  1. After uploading your photo, view the entire album
  2. Click on your photo
  3. Click “add caption” shown at the bottom of your photo
  4. Type in your name and location of photo
  5. Click “save caption”
To delete a photo
  1. View the entire album
  2. Click on your photo
  3. Click “Actions” which will be shown above your photo
  4. Click  “Delete this photo” 
-Submitted by Patti Deters, FSSP Camera Club 2016 Secretary
2016 Executive Committee
-Geri Fenton – President
-Endel Kallas – Vice President
-Judy Collopy – Treasurer
-Rose Shea – Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs (TCACCC) Representative
-Patti Deters – Secretary
-John Plut – Event Planner
-Deb Johnson – Webmaster
-J├ínos McGhie – IT Guru / Help Desk

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