Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Meeting Notes from June 2016

The June meeting was chaired by President Geri Fenton. 

We extend a hearty FSSPCC welcome to special guest, Gordon, from the National Park Service.  The National Parks will team up with FSSP to celebrate jointly the 100thanniversary of the national parks and the 125th anniversary of the state parks.

Kao update – 125th anniversary of Minnesota State Parks (based on the date Itasca State Park was established).  There will be a celebration on June 11 at the beach, which has been open and closed as needed because of bacteria in the water.  Check out the Naturalist Programs and Activities webpage for upcoming naturalist events at FSSP. 

Additional information from the Fort Snelling State Park website:
·       Highway 5 Bridge Deck Reconstruction:  Traffic on the Hwy 5 bridge remains single lane for both directions. There will continue to be occasional ramp closures that may impact your visit to the park. For current information about this project:
·       The Parks and Trails division of the Minnesota DNR is looking for input from both current and potential visitors to help shape the future of the state park and trail system. Share your feedback and ideas by visiting our website:

Kipp showed photographs of orbs, aka ghosts/spirits, which he found when photographing the upper fort clock tower.  At first glance they appear to be sun flare, but Kipp couldn’t identify anything at the time that would cause reflections or sun flare.  One of the orbs even appeared to have faces in it - eerie!

Baby owls have left the nests but can still be found in the same area, maybe also across the road toward the backwaters. (I missed who shared this tidbit, but thank you for sharing!)

Patti reported there is an accessible Great Egret rookery in Fergus Fall.  Some of the babies have hatched already with prime time possibly in the next couple of weeks.

Doug brought along a480GB SSD, a portable hard drive that connects to your laptop or computer with a standard USB port.  These are on sale at B&H for $150.  Smaller drives also available.  The drive was about the size of a square deck of playing cards and half as thin – very convenient for travelers (like maybe anyone going on a long train ride J) or even great for saving space at home.

John shared a great sale item – MicroCenter has the Canon EOS Rebel T5 on sale for $300 with a free bag and two lenses.  This normally sells for $750.

Owl update from Dan - All 4 of the owls have been on the ground at dusk looking for night crawlers.  The owls have split up, but start screeching/screaming around dusk time which is how you can find them.  Bring a flash for your camera as it gets very dark in the woods at dusk.

John C shared photos of the Lillydale eaglets – it is amazing how quickly they grow!

The Afton bison are back!  More info here.

Harlan – continuing to work on the Dakota language project.  He has also created a game, similar to concentration, where students pick cards with animal photos and say the Dakota words that describe the photos. 

Krista reported that Keller Lake in Maplewood is home to an accessible eagle’s nest.

Dan and Mary shared elk photos from their recent visit to Clam Lake. They saw bulls, cows, and yearlings – everything one could hope for!

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 interesting 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 permission by emailing the club (email address below).  You can set it so you automatically get notified whenever there is a new posting.  We will start posting meeting notes on the blog, too.

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

John Plut was our June speaker and shared information about the off-set printing world.  John’s dad owned The Leader, the newspaper for the town of Le Center in Le Sueur County - and John’s first job was working at the paper.  Ever since he has been in the printing business – going on 30 years and he still finds it interesting and engaging.  John especially enjoys the work when he gets to print art.

John’s print process is called “off-set” because the plate cylinders spread ink to the blanket cylinders which then spread it to the paper.  John can control the color of a photo while it’s being printed.  He showed samples of how the different colors of ink look when printed by themselves, and then how they look with all the colors together.  As you can imagine, color can really affect the final look of an image so it is very important to get it right.  John brought along a line tester which magnifies the ink so you can actually see the individual ink dots – very cool.  John prints mostly in CMYK – yellow, magenta, cyan, blue and black – and the inks must be printed in that exact order.  The sheet feeders that John works on can process can run 9-10,000 sheets/hour! 

Plates are 100% aluminum with a chemical coating.  Water is spread on the aluminum plates and everywhere the water goes, ink won’t go (ink and water don’t mix, kind of like oil and vinegar).  To adjust color, John adjusts how much ink is laid down during the printing process.  All the printings are in dots and the density of dots determines the color.  Ink is always laid down in the same order – see above.  Skin tones and gray are the hardest to print because they contain just a tiny bit of all the colors.  Then there is a very fine almost invisible spray powder that goes on each printed sheet to allow the ink to dry without sticking or smearing.

John showed us photos of his work space and workbench.  Nowadays, the inks and chemicals are hazard-free and John’s shop is a non-hazardous shop, but when he first started in the industry there were quite a few nasty chemicals on his workbench.  John’s shop generates a lot of waste; paper, ink, aluminum, chemicals - all of which is recycled. 

But the biggest change has been in technology with the adoption of computers and Photoshop.  John now gets print jobs on a computer and he has to match final colors to a customer-approved proof sheet.  For single colors, sometimes John will have to mix his own colors and do what is called spot printing, or sometimes he has to purchase a ready-mixed color (mainly used for logos or copyrighted colors like John Deere green or Target red).

35 people work at John’s shop, located in Eagan.  John showed some marketing videos from his shop where we could see the presses in action – they sure are fast!  John’s presentation was an interesting peak into the complex world of off-set printing – so much detail and precision goes into every little dot to get the perfect print (who knew?!)  Many thanks to John for sharing. 

John offered to set up a tour of his workspace and will let us know more details.  A copy of his photo-packed presentation will be posted on the FSSP Camera Club Blog.

Challenge topic for June was “Building Art”.  Surprisingly (to me), many of the photos were local buildings with amazing and creative artist paintings.


July meeting moved to the 9th – Moved from the first Saturday because of the July 4th holiday weekend.  Sher Freebird will be sharing some of her favorite photos.  July Challenge is flowers/flora.  This is also our summer potluck meeting - please bring your own drink and eating utensils and of course your favorite potluck dish!  (Paper plates will be provided.)

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.  

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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