May 18th Monthly Meeting

Our next regular meeting will be held on Thursday May 18th in the Community room at Casa, starting at 6:30pm.

The theme for the evening is ‘single’ and we can’t wait to see your interpretation.  Images will need to be uploaded by midnight on Sunday May 14th, and the critique evening will be held in the small meeting room at CASA on Monday 15th starting at 7:00.  Please do come out and help everyone create a meaningful critique for the members who have submitted images.

Chris Oates will be putting together a couple of slide shows from the field trip out to the old farm that was held on April 29th.  The field trip was well attended so we should have some wonderful images from there.  We also had a few models out, so watch for its own special show to see what we came up with for them.

Denise Pezderic will be doing a photo essay show for us.

Byron Lee will lead an ed segment on photographing Fireworks.  We hope this segment will help everyone on July 1st for Canada’s celebration!

And finally we will also do an ed segment on posing and on finding and creating the best shots for indoor portraits with simple gear. We will go through what to look for in natural lighting, how to use that natural light in a variety of portraits, and also how to pose your kids, or friends, or group of friends !  Some quick posing check lists to watch out for as you look over the final pose before you snap the shutter and things to think about when arranging groups of people.

And that should be the meeting!  Hope to see you there!

April 20th Monthly Meeting

Our next monthly meeting will be held on Thursday April 20th, in the community room at CASA starting at 6:30.

The meeting will be opened with a secret assignment show by George Clayton and our ‘day in the life show’ which I put together a couple of months ago.

Then we will hold the education segment which is an ‘experts panel’ .  The panel will consist of David Tanaka, Ian Thompson, Ian McGillivray, Annetta Slingerland and Ralph Arnold. These members have volunteered to share their knowledge in everything from long exposure photography, to their favorite peice of gear, posing tips, photos while travelling, and the latest in camera technology.

Please bring your questions along!  We hope to have a wonderful discussions on topics initiated by you.

After the break our theme discussion will be held.  The theme is Coulees.

Note that we have a field trip coming up on April 29th to a farm with a lot of old buildings and things on it.  Chris has sent out the email with all the information so look for it in your inbox if you are interested.

I have also lined up a couple of models, so if you would like to learn a little more about posing, working with models, lighting, etc., then just look us up.  I will try and let you know before the field trip what time the models are coming.

And also we are having a new members workshop on May 4th .  Meet at the Elizabeth Hall Wetlands parking lot at 6:30.  The parking lot is right beside the Par 3 golf course along Bridge Drive.  We hope to have mentors there who will help you out with your cameras, etc.  Please email if you are interested in attending this fieldtrip.

See you on Thursday!


March 16 2017 meeting Agenda

Our March meeting is coming up on the 16th, starting at 6:30 in the meeting room at CASA.  On the agenda is:
Theme:  Mirror Image
Photo Essay by Annetta
Waterton Field trip show by Chris O (with images from club members)
Day in the Life show by Lorelei (with images from club members)
Ed segment by Steven Layton and Lorelei Hoffarth on lighting.  We will be covering the basics of flash photography, indoor and outdoor photography with flash, modifyers, etc.  If all goes well, Steven will be shooting tethered during the meeting, so that he can demonstrate both how he is shooting and what the image looks like when he is done.  We will NOT get into editing during this segment.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that put together a show for us for photofusion this year.  We had a wonderful turnout, with completely new shows on the program each evening.  And we had a full, great turnout of guests both evening to watch the performances.  Thank you also to Chris O, Brani, Ralph, Ian T for helping to run the laptop, lights and sound.  And thanks to everyone else who helped to set up, take down, and welcome guests and pass out programs.

Our next special event for the club, after the meeting will be a lightroom workshop on April 8th (Saturday) in the smaller meeting room at CASA.  It will run from 1:00 pm till 5:00 pm.  It doesn’t cost anything but again, we would like you to preregister, so that we know whether we have enough interest to run the workshop… and how many we should set up for.  So that we can give CASA ample time to cancel our room if we need to, the deadline for registering will be Thursday March 30th.   Just email us at and let us know that you would like to register.

I’d also like to thank Shaun for doing some work on the website, trying to organize it a bit so that accessing information from your phone is a little easier.    And also the rest of the exec who have been invaluable to me this year.

I think that is all for now.. Watch your inbox for field trip information in the coming weeks..

February 2017 Meeting Summary

The February meeting took place on Thursday the 16th and we had a full night of presentations, photo shows and discussion on the theme photos.

We started the night with an educational segment on night photography. Brani Srnec gave some great information and tips to help up get started with the taking night photos. This was followed by a presentation by George Clayton, who talked about artists he found inspiring, useful apps and websites, and tips while presenting some great night photos of his own.  There is a summary of the these presentations for you to look at before trying to shoot at night.

Chris Oates produced a photo show of images taken by several club members at our last two field trips to the Nikka Yuko Winter Lights Festival and the U of L for men’s and women’s basketball. Thanks to everyone who provided photos. These field trips provide a chance to get together and focus on photographing a wide range of subjects. Often these are unique opportunities that a specially arranged for the club.

Valentine Tkatchuk created an interesting Secret Assignment photo show with images shot around the theme of “reminiscent of olden days”.

Van Cristou made a Photo Essay show entitled “Land of shining mountains”, full of wonderful images from his outdoor adventures.

The monthly photo theme was B&W. 15 diverse and beautiful prints were submitted and David Tanaka and Ralph Arnold led the discussion and critique of each.

Thanks to all of the presenters, those who made photo shows and submitted prints. It takes the effort of many people to make each meeting successful and your help is greatly appreciated.


Feb 22 – Photo Fusion shows due to be submitted.

Mar 7 & 8, 7:00 – Photo Fusion

Mar 13, 7:00 – Monthly theme photo critique. Remember we are trying something new and holding the meeting at the meeting room at London Drugs

Mar 16, 6:30 – Monthly general meeting

Introduction to Night Photography

At the February, 2017 meeting Brani Srnec and George Clayton provided information, tips and inspiration for night photography. Below is a summary adapted from their presentations.

Night Photography Basics:

1) Camera features to consider

  • Full Manual (M) exposure + RAW
  • Full Frame sensor preferred
  • Good high ISO performance (6400 and better)
  • Dynamic range
  • Live view and articulated screen
  • Long Exposure Noise Reduction (LENR) ability
  • Adjustable LCD screen brightness

Camera Settings

  • Manual exposure mode + RAW
  • Lowest possible ISO (however, going below native ISO such as Lo1 won’t improve quality, it actually reduces dynamic range)
  • Aperture f1.4-f2.8
  • Shutter speed – use 500 rule todetermine maximum shutter speed to prevent blurred stars (see below).
  • Self timer 2 sec, or mirror lock-up for exposures under 2 sec
  • Turn off IS/VR on the lens
  • Manual focus using Live View
  • The following settings are relevant only to JPG, so we don’t care about them when shooting RAW: Auto Lighting Optimizer, Highlight Tone Priority, D-Lighting, High ISO Noise Reduction, In Camera HDR, Picture Styles
  • Consider using LENR (not to be confuse with High ISO noise reduction)
    • be aware this will double the exposure time.
    • Canon’s Auto LENR might be shorter.
    • No need to use LENR for test shots
  • Enable RGB histogram (watch for not overexposing red channel)
  • Enable “blinking highlight” indicator
    • don’t worry about stars or streetlamps blinking
  • LCD brightness 2 or 3 levels below middle or use Auto brightness
  • Use remote cable release for shutter speed above 30 sec

2)  Lens

  • Fast aperture (f1.4-f2.8)
  • Manual focus that works as good as auto focus
  • Wide angle focal length around 12-35 mm
    • but, for moon shots want above 500 mm
  • Prime lens
    • example of a good economical option is the Rokinon 24 mm f1.4
  • Use lens shade to avoid flare

3)  Tripod

  • Stable tripod is crucial
  • Any sturdy tripod will do (aluminum or carbon fiber; panning head or ball head)

4)  Remote release

  • Intervalometer – remote cable release with a built in timer that allows exposure longer than 30 sec. One with an LCD is preferable.
    • Note: It’s not necessary to spend money on brand names. Third party (ex. Neewer) are sold on Amazon/Ebay for a fraction of the price.

500 Rule tip

  • The 500 Rule – longest usable shutter speed for astro photography that keeps stars sharp
  • 500/focal length = max shutter speed in sec
  • For ex., when using:
    • 24mm focal length on full frame camera: 500/24 mm = 21sec
    • 50mm focal length on full frame camera: 500/50 mm = 10sec
    • 50mm on a 1.5 crop sensor: 500/1.5crop/50 mm = 7sec

Inspiring photographers for night photography

Alan Dyer – Produced an interactive eBook that is a great resource.

Paul Zizka – Banff area photographer, take a workshop if you get a chance.

Monica Deviat – Great photography and an informative blog.

Nic Sharkey – broad range of photographs, including amazing night photography

Useful phone apps:

Photopills (iOS, Android version expected by April 2017) – Provides astronomical and geographic information to help you plan an outdoor photo shoot. Review by Digital Photography School.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris (iOS, Android, web app) – tool to help you plan outdoor photography in natural light, especially landscape and urban scenes. It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.

Useful websites: – Is it going to be cloudy where you want to shoot? Check this site out for forecasts of astronomical observing conditions for over 5300 observatories and observing sites in North America.

Ventusky or Windytv – both are similar and provide maps with forecasts and real time weather overlays for wind, cloud cover, rain, temp and many other conditions. Windytv also has iOS and Android apps.

Aurora watch

Environment Canada

Facebook groups – search for ’we own the night Alberta’ & ‘Alberta aurora chasers’

Some additional night photography-themed links:

  1. How to Take Amazing Night Photos – Digital Photography School
  2. 5 Reasons Why You Should be Doing Night Photography – Digital Photography School
  3. Weekly Photography Challenge – Night Photos – Digital Photography School
  4. Stacking: How To Reduce Noise In Photoshop For Astrophotography Like a Pro – Fstoppers
  5. The Advanced Six-Step Program to Processing the Aurora in Lightroom and Photoshop – Fstoppers
  6. The Extreme Guide to Forecasting and Shooting the Northern Lights – Fstoppers


Upcoming at our February meeting…

Our February meeting is Thursday February 16th starting at 6:30 pm.   Shaun will be leading the meeting because I am away for another week or so.

The education theme for the evening is night/astro photography.  First on the agenda we have Brani who has research some basic information about night photography and will give a presentation.  We know everyone will want to be getting out this year for all the fireworks to celebrate Canada’s 150th, so Byron will be giving a talk about how he shoots fireworks.  And our third presenter will be George Clayton who will touch on some great apps and books on the subject as well as a couple of night photographers that he follows.

Our secret assignment is by Valentina and our photo essay is by Van.

Chris Oates has created a photo show to share images from our two most recent field trips – Nikka Yuko winter lights festival and university basketball.

The theme is Black & White and it is a print month, so if you have a print to bring in, please do try to come a little early so that you can get that set out.  We will be critiquing the images during the meeting, so bring your images right to the meeting room where you can set them out on a table.  We encourage all members to offer their own thoughts on each image once the presenter has started the conversation.

Just a reminder that you have until Feb 24th to submit your Photofusion show.   Just email when you have your show ready and I will let you know where to upload your show to.

That should conclude the evening.   Just a note that a few of us head to Humpty’s on Scenic drive for coffee after the meeting, and we would love for you to come along!

New ProShow discount – 30%

February is customer appreciation month for Photodex and so they have decided to extend a 30% discount on Proshow Gold 8 and Producer 8 until Feb 28, 2017.  (The previous discount was 20%)

Please contact the club at for instructions on receiving your discount.

New Units

ProShow Gold: $69.95

  • ProShow Gold (30% off): $48.97
  • ProShow Producer: $249.95
  • ProShow Producer (30% off): $174.97



  • ProShow Gold Upgrade: $44.95
  • ProShow Gold Upgrade (30% off): $31.47
  • ProShow Producer Upgrade: $89.95
  • ProShow Producer Upgrade (30% off): $62.97
  • Upgrade from ProShow Gold to Producer: $199.95
  • Upgrade from ProShow Gold to Producer (30% off): $139.97

ProShow 8 New Features

Volume Leveling

January meeting recap

The January meeting focused on Black and White imagery and photos under the theme of “Canadian”.

The meeting started with a great education segment from Mark Orenstein of DeJourdans by Lifetouch. Mark is a long-time member of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) and he spoke on the guidelines they use for evaluating B&W images submitted to their competitions.

If you missed his talk or would just like to review his points, you can check out our recap of his segment here:  B&W ed segment.

Next, Gord Ayers, a club member that excels in producing beautiful B&W images, talked about considerations and his process for producing B&W photos, from capturing the image to printing.  Gord uses Lightroom entirely to create his beautiful B&W prints, working with all the sliders, making decisions on how he wants the image to feel, what he wants the subject to be and where he wants the viewer to look.  Thank you Gord for your presentation!  We really enjoyed it!

After the break, Brani gave the critiques on our monthly theme ‘Canadian’.  We want to thank those that came out on Monday night to help put together the critique on these 13 images.  So many strong images, from a beautiful Canadian maple leaf near the flowing waters in a creek, to images of the west and east coast and our beautiful foothills and the people that live here.  Thank you so much to those that submitted and to Brani for taking the time to put together the critique for us and presenting it at the meeting.

Our secret assignment was by Elfie Hall and the theme of her photo show was ‘curves’.  Elfie did a wonderful job of finding curves everywhere and including them in this show!  Thank you Elfie!

Gord Ayers presented a “Been There” segment entitled “No Flat Ground”, which was a very appropriate title. The show included photos from his trip to Peru and the mountain treks to Macchu Pichu and Choquequirao. This was obviously an amazing experience from which he came away with some spectacular photos. Thanks for sharing.

Lorelei gave a short talk on how to prepare your opening slide for Photofusion when you are using Pro-Show Gold/Producer to create your show.  This information can also be found here: Photofusion guidelines

That was the end of the meeting, but members are also welcome to gather afterwards at Humpty’s Restaurant for food and drinks, and most importantly, to visit and get to know each other a little better. Besides the talk of elections, cars and food, we also learned how to convert super-8 movies to a digital video (see Chris Oates if you have want to copy video from a film source to digital!).  Some of us also learned how to view those pesky videos on the internet that tell us ‘this video is not available in your area’.  One of our members photographs and documents ‘ticks’ in his job and we started talking about some of the amazing bug photography that is out there.  Sometimes I think that Facebook can hear our conversations because this link came up on my phone later that night (although Facebook denies such eavesdropping).  The photographer talks about different ways to light bugs for those amazing macro shots and he talks about using a ‘plamp’ (which Ian T introduced us to at our December segment on macro photography).  Check it out – there are some beautiful pictures and great tips.

That’s it for the recap of our January meeting.  If you just joined us, thank you for deciding to join our club.  We look forward to seeing your images!

February’s submissions theme is B&W and note that it is a print competition.  Our ed segments for the evening will be centered on night and star photography. Watch for updates on the February agenda.

Images for the Canadian-themed exhibit at CASA must be submitted to Darcy to jury before Feb 9th.  The relevant information (updated) is found on this webpage: Canadian exhibit information

If you are participating in Photofusion please have your shows submitted before the February 22nd in order to give us time to review the shows and organize them for the actual show dates (March 7 & 8).  Information on how to submit can be found here: photofusion information