Monthly Update – October 3, 2017

Recap of September 21st, 2017 meeting
  It was wonderful to see everyone again after our summer vacation break.  We had a great turnout of members and submissions this month.  I want to thank you all for participating and making this club so great!
First I want to thank Chris Oates for putting together a show of images from the most recent field trips to Red Rock Canyon and the Pioneer Village.  To everyone who submitted to those shows, thank you also.
The first photoessay for the season was by Randy Jensen whose topic was ‘My Summer Vacation”, and Chris Cook put together a show of images from field trips over the years.  Each image was a picture of club members on those field trips.  Thank you to both members for putting these shows together
Our theme was an Open theme for the month, and we enjoyed one of the biggest number of entries we have seen for a while. There were many beautiful entries and great comments by Ralph.  Our critique night on Monday also had one of the biggest attendances we have seen in a while, and we loved all the input by our members.  Ralph put those comments together to present to the club on the regular meeting night. Thank you so much Ralph for doing that for us!
For our ed segment we decided to try something a little different.  Every member was encouraged to bring one image from their summer break, and to stand and speak about the image.  I was floored both by the beautiful images, and for the wonderful personal critiques that everyone gave.  We will certainly try this again, as I am sure that everyone enjoyed it.

Next regular meeting:  October 19th, 2017 CASA Community Room
  The executive has some great plans for the next meeting.  The theme is wildflowers, and your submission is due by Sunday, October 15th at 11 pm.  Please refer to the members tab above, then theme… for file naming rules, and how to submit your images.  Then the critique night will be held on Monday evening starting at 7:00 in the small meeting room at Casa.  Everyone is welcome to see how these critiques are put together and to help us put together a critique that is informative for both the photographer, and the membership.
The Secret assignment for this month is by Ralph.
Chris Oates will be doing a show from our recent field trip to Japanese gardens.  So if you have any images for that, get them sent in. I imagine he will be sending out a notice telling you how to do that if you haven’t participated before.
The executive decided last year, that we wanted to try and put together a history of the club.  The first person we thought of to talk to was Van Christou, and going with that, Chris Oates did an interview with Van about his participation and the history of the club.  We had planned to show it to the members this month.  As most have you have probably heard, Van passed away last week.  His presence in the club will be surely missed by all.  As a tribute, we do plan on showing the interview, as well as a slide show that Ralph will put together of images of Van at field trips (if he gets enough images).  This will be our special way of remembering him.
We do also have a couple of other ed segments planned, although I am not positive how much time will be left for them.  The first one, which we will do for sure, is a segment on tripods.  We hope to have this be a rather casual segment, and are asking our members that if they use a tripod, then please bring it along, and tell us what you like or dislike about your tripod.  I also have a short video to show that explains what to look for in a tripod.
We are also planning to have short ‘photoshop or lightroom’ tips which we can have ready to go, if we have the time.   If we do run out, then the segment that is planned for this month may have to wait until November.
Along with the regular meeting this month, we will be having our Annual General Meeting.   Be watching for the agenda/announcement in your email.  At this meeting we elect the board members, and a president.  From there, at the first exec meeting, the secretary, treasurer, etc are assigned or elected.  We are looking for recruits!  Our club cannot grow and flourish without new people helping us out.  We have three members stepping down this year, which means three pair of boots to fill.  Our executive usually meets a week after our regular meetings (the next Thursday) at the community meeting room in London Drugs.  Please please let us know if you or someone you know will be willing to sit on the board.  We cannot go on without a full board.

Celebration of  Life:
I also wanted to mention that the celebration of life for Van will be held on Thursday Oct 5th. Follow this link from Martin Brothers for more information

Thanks everyone!


September 21, 2017

Sept 21, 2017 is our first regular meeting for the year.  We are excited to see you all again.  So excited in fact that we are asking you to bring along or send in an image to use for the ed segment.  We will be asking you to talk about where and how you got the image, and anything else you would like to add.

If you can make it out to help critique the theme images, we will be doing that at CASA in the small meeting room on Monday, Sept 18th starting at 7:00 pm.  We welcome your thoughts and ideas in creating an informative critique to present to the club.

Our first secret assignment/photoessay of the year will be presented by Randy Jensen.

We will (hopefully) be handing out more secret assignments/photo essays.  These will be due in the new year.  Please do considering taking one and perhaps working a little outside your box, in making a presentation to the club.

There will be a couple of shows about our field trips.  We look forward to seeing your images in the presentations if you have made it out to a recent trip .

Usually our first meeting of the year, we try and plan for a little extra coffee time, so that we can catch up with each other and get our membership dues paid, etc.

And remember we always welcome ideas for ed segments, just email the club and let us know what you would like to see

See you on THursday!

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!