Monthly Archives: May 2015

May Competition Winners

There were so many good entries that we ended up with all sorts of ties! The theme of the month was “Shallow Depth of Field”. Check out all our winning entries here:

Themed Print

1st place: 2 way tie with Al Popil and Barry Ryziuk

2nd place: 2 way tie with Al Popil and Doug Petry

3rd place: 3 way tie with Doug Petry, Barry Ryziuk, and Jill Routhier

Open Print

1st place: Doug Petry

2nd place: 2 way tie with Doug Petry and Bill Adamoski

3rd place: Irena Vlach

Themed Digitals

1st place: Ken Collett

2nd place: 2 way tie with Ken Collett and Al Popil

3rd place: Barry Ryziuk


Open Forum Discussion, May 20, 2015

Facilitated by Wally Kruger & Ralph Fuchs

The May workshop was the second open forum type of discussion held this season. The first was in November. The intent of the open forum is to give members an opportunity to discuss any photography related topic they think might be of interest to other members, seek answers to questions they may have or problems they’ve encountered or to share information. A wide range of topics were discussed on May 20.

  1. Shallow Depth Of Field by Wally Kruger
  • Since shallow depth of field (DOF) is the theme of the May 27 submissions it was thought it might be beneficial to review the subject.
  • DOF is the range of distance in front of and behind the subject when the focus is sharpest at the subject. Generally this is about 1/3 in front of the focal point (the point of sharpest focus) and 2/3 behind.
  • Shallow DOF is small, sometimes as little as a fraction of an inch.
  • DOF is controlled primarily with the lens f stop. For example a lens set at f/2.8 will have a much shallower DOP than that same lens set at f/16.
  • The sharpest images are usually obtained not at the maximum or minimum apertures of a lens but as a rule of thumb are best about 2 f stops from either end. For example, a lens with an aperture setting range of f/2.8 to f/16 would provide the sharpest images within a range of f/4.5 to f/11.
  • DOF can be used creatively such as to blur out a cluttered background.
  1. Photography Training
  • A question arose where one could get training in photography.
  • There are many on-line sources on the internet (Picture Correct, Digital Photography School, (cost of $25 per month, KelbyOne (cost of about $20 per month).
  • Courses are also provided at a number of sources in St. Albert and Edmonton (St. Albert Further Education, Burwell School of Photography, McBain Camera plus others).
  1. Lightroom B&W Photography question by Beth
  • Beth is having difficulty getting good results post processing B&W images. Adjusting the saturation, contrast, etc. just doesn’t seem to do it.
  • It was suggested better results might be obtained by shooting in color and converting to B&W.
  • There are a number of software packages available, such as Silver FX, Topaz, Nik which might help as well.
  1. Metadata For SAPC Monthly Submissions question by Beth
  • The metadata information that needs to be provided with print submissions is identified on the Club web page as well as on the tags that are available for attachment to the prints.
  • When submitting digital images, Irena can pull the metadata off the image and all that needs to be provided with the image is the location and the name of the image.
  1. Post Processing For Theme Submissions
  • How much post processing can be done for theme submissions? One can make adjustments that traditionally could be made in the darkroom or can be made using Lightroom 5 without use of plug-ins. Nothing can be added or deleted from the image other than a few dust spots.
  • In the open category, anything goes.
  1. Lens Micro Calibration by Don Durand
  • If the auto focus with a specific lens constantly produces a soft image you might benefit from micro adjusting your lens. Some higher end cameras have a feature that provides for adjustment of focusing errors in the lens’ auto focus.
  • There are a variety of templates available on the internet for measuring focus error.
  • A prime lens will have one adjustment, zoom lenses may have two.
  • The distance from which to take the photos should be 10x the lens focal length and don’t forget the 1/3 in front of the subject and 2/3 behind rule.
  1. Shooting Summer Events by Ralph Fuchs
  • Summer presents many photo opportunities because of the large number of events taking place, including: sporting events, festivals, farmers markets and rodeos, to mention a few. Some points to keep in mind are:
    • Go prepared for changes in the weather. Bring a rain cover for your camera. Placing tape over the openings in your camera such as the memory card and battery access to prevent dust or moisture entering.
    • Back button focus, which is a feature on many cameras, helps ensure a sharp focus on moving subjects.
    • When shooting fireworks, a couple of different approaches were discussed. Ralph has had some good success shooting in manual mode at a shutter speed of 8 or 9 sec., f/22, ISO 200. Barry shoots in aperture priority and bulb. It’s a good idea to set your focus prior to the beginning of the display while there’s still some daylight. Have your camera set up in advance of the display because once it starts you won’t have a lot of time.
  1. River Shooting by Hedy Bach
  • Hedy commented that the colors came out all wrong of photos she was taking of the North Saskatchewan River and wasn’t sure why. The water a muddy, brown, unattractive appearance.
  • It was suggested that a polarizing filter might provide improvement.
  1. Neutral Density Filters
  • A discussion on the use of ND filters concluded that:
    • ND filters work well when photographing waterfalls by reducing the light and allowing slower shutter speeds.
    • ND filters are also helpful when photographing models at mid-day in bright light.
    • Variable ND filters can work well and reduce the number of filters one has to purchase but there are some pitfalls. One is uneven light reduction resulting in a cross-hatch pattern seen at the upper end of the filter’s light reduction capabilities.
  1. Studio Lighting by Andrew MacLeod
  • “Studio Lighting Guide” by Lyndsey Adler is a very good book available covering many aspects of studio lighting.
  • Western Canadian Fashion Week is coming up on September 17 to 26 and may provide a field trip opportunity. Photographing this event is by invitation and the number of photographers is limited.
  • Andrew showed us “fyuse”, an iphone app that is supposed to be the next “Instagram”
  1. St. Albert Art Gallery by Barry Ryziuk
  • In 2017 the SAPC will be celebrating its 25th anniversary and one of the special events being planned is a show and sale at the St. Albert Art Gallery.
  • Because of the many requests they get there is quite a rigorous selection process. The club will have to make a formal application part of which will include examples of the type of artwork we intend to include in the show.
  • More details will be provided over the next few months.
  1. Access To Private Property by Barry Ryziuk
  • Barry identified that he has, on a couple of occasions, encountered landowners who objected to him trespassing on their land to photograph old farm buildings.
  • Because of a high number of break-ins and thefts and vandalism as well as drug activity, many landowners have become very suspicious people on their land or even cruising the country roads looking for photo subjects.
  • We must respect landowners’ rights and not trespass on private property without permission.
  • An added comment subsequent to the meeting was that due to liability issues, anyone photographing on private property should not identify themselves as representing the SAPC or as a SAPC member or the club could be held liable in the event of damages or injury.


The following excerpts from the Alberta Petty Trespass Act highlight some of the key points of the legislation:

2(1) Every person who

(a) without the permission of the owner or occupier of land enters on land when entry is prohibited under section 2.1, or

(b) does not leave land immediately after he or she is directed to do so by the owner or occupier of the land or a person authorized by the owner or occupier is guilty of an offence.

(4) There is a presumption that access for lawful purposes to the door of a building on land by a pathway apparently provided for the purpose of access is not a trespass.

2.1(1) Entry on land may be prohibited by notice to that effect, and entry is prohibited without any notice on land
(a) that is a lawn, garden or land that is under cultivation,
(b) that is surrounded by a fence, a natural boundary or a combination of a fence and a natural boundary, or
(c) that is enclosed in a manner that indicates the owner’s or occupier’s intention to keep persons off the land or to keep animals on the land.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), notice may be given
(a) orally,
(b) in writing, or
(c) by posters or signboards visibly displayed

(i) at all places where normal access is obtained to the land, and
(ii) at all fence corners or, if there is no fence, at each corner of the land.

(3) Substantial compliance with subsection (2)(a), (b) or (c) is sufficient notice.

Apprehension without warrant
4 Any person found committing a trespass to which this Act applies may be apprehended without warrant by any peace officer, or by the owner or occupier of the land on which the trespass is committed, or the servant of, or any person authorized by the owner or occupier of the land, and may be forthwith taken before the nearest judge of the Provincial Court or justice of the peace to be dealt with according to law.

The following links provide additional information regarding trespass laws in Alberta. It might be a good idea to read them to become better acquainted with the legal requirements.



Some club members hunting ferns at Lois Hole Provincial Park (no trespassing involved!). Photos by David Oman.

fern1 fern2

May 2015 Speaker Night: Iceland Trip by Barry Ryziuk and Gordon Michon

-article submitted by Don Durand and Ralph Fuchs

The topic of guest speaker night on Wednesday, May 13 was a presentation by President Barry Ryziuk and Treasurer Gordon Michon of a trip to Iceland in 2014 by three club members. The third member, Bill Adamoski, was unavailable until the night of the presentation. Their well-organized presentation was very educational with a great deal of detailed information, especially for anyone planning a similar adventure. The presentation was done in three segments:

  • Iceland Photos by Gordon.
  • Discussion of trip by both Barry and Gordon.
  • Iceland Photos by Barry.

Al Girard and Ken Collett also visited Iceland last year, and were able to contribute additional information from their experiences. Many questions were asked by those attending, with Gordon adding much to the presentation with his unique sense of humour.

!cid_EE81067F-C9E9-421F-8A21-06CABD389096@telus-photo by Barry Ryziuk

The next portion of the presentation keyed in on the planning aspect and findings while on their trip.

  •  Costs

Barry mentioned how airfare might be low cost with deals of approximately $600 available. However, costs on the island are extremely high. Expect to pay $27.00 for two pieces of chicken and fries at KFC. Iceland has a lot of the same fast food outlets we have in Canada. They ate lots of porridge and Ichiban soup to reduce their cost of food.

It was cheaper to vacation as a group of three than one individual going by himself. They rented a vehicle-top tent which was almost the same cost as rental of the vehicle itself. They decided Barry would sleep in the tent on the vehicle roof, Gordon had a ground tent and Bill slept in the vehicle. There are numerous campgrounds and all had showers. Due to the rain, one should plan to stay in a hotel for a couple of days to get some dry time. Motels are available all over the island.

When fueling their vehicle, they soon learned they had to use cash or buy a credit card they could get in Iceland. Canadian Visa and MasterCard were not accepted.

  • Preparation

There is a lot of travel information available for Iceland. Check out book stores (travel books) and online. If you are really enthusiastic, like Gordon, you can read a few novels on the history of the island.

A lesson learned, once into their trip, was to purchase a good quality map at the beginning of the trip. They have way more detail than the cheaper or free maps.

  • Dry Run at Elk Island Park

Prior to leaving on their trip, the three did a dry run to Elk Island Park. This gave them an idea of what equipment they were going to need. This was when Gordon decided against sleeping in the tent on the vehicle. It’s a long ways down if you have to make a few trips down the ladder in the middle of the night. They also planned on taking a sixteen foot by sixteen foot tarp since Iceland is known for its frequent rainy periods.

They learned what food they liked and needed to take on the trip as well as the weight of the goods which they would have to distribute between the three of them.

  • Outside World

Wi-Fi access was supposed to be excellent in Iceland but they found out differently. Accessibility depended on their mobile plan. Also, because of network charges it might be necessary to deactivate email, Facebook or other programs or apps that regularly update.

  • Clothing

It rained frequently on their trip. Those who have been to Iceland recommend buying a good breathable rain gear or a long breathable poncho. Forget bringing an umbrella. Gordon suggested bringing a good toque and gloves. Expect a couple of hours of clear skies per day. You just don`t know when during the day this will happen. The balance of the time is cloudy and/or raining.

  • Camera Gear

All three members shoot Nikon cameras. Imagine the arguments that might have ensued during the trip if they shot with different camera makes. They planned to reduce the amount of gear and share some of their lenses but never did. Barry shot with four prime lenses but used mostly his 14 mm and 135 mm. Bill used a wide angle plus his 70-200 mm while Gordon was using a cropped sensor camera and used mostly a 16-35 mm lens. They agreed, when in Iceland, a wider lens was better than a long lens and recommended using fast lens since a lot of the photographs were taken in overcast conditions or caves.

Both Bill and Barry have waterproof equipment while Gordon’s camera was not and he often shot from a large Ziploc or plastic bag. A back up camera is a must. Also, bring lots of batteries and memory cards. Bill brought a heavier tripod while the others used lighter tripods. The wind was a factor, especially for the lighter tripods, and they had to use a foot to hold down the tripods.

Barry suggested on shooting with Auto ISO and Auto White Balance, and because of the poor light, take advantage of the benefits of HDR in those conditions. An ND Filter is a must especially when photographing seascapes or waterfalls. Cable releases were not used and the self-timer with a 2 second delay did the job.

Bring a minimum of three or more dry cloths to wipe the cameras after rain. Ken Collett suggested bringing a spray bottle with clean water to spray the cameras when close to the ocean and get rid of the salty sea spray.

!cid_BB71DB93-2BB2-40EA-B4E2-E15E91BB0E9A@telus !cid_329A5884-40E7-428B-B2D9-B9DF23937B75@telus-photos by Barry Ryziuk


Reykjavik is the capitol and largest city, with lots of photo opportunities. Street photography is a favorite. The island has one paved road circling the whole island. When venturing off the main road, travellers may encounter many streams and rivers. One day alone, they crossed about twenty five. All of these had good photo opportunities.

!cid_4BCBE683-95DC-4795-B09C-024777D98A4F@telus-photo by Barry Ryziuk

When is the best time to photograph Iceland? April brings lots of migrating birds. May to Sept it seems to be very rainy.

Heating of buildings is by geothermal and every community has a heated swimming pool. There are even banana plants heated by geothermal.

They had no worries about robberies and don`t think there was even a jail on the island. The 350,000 inhabitants are very friendly and live on tourism. Gordon mentioned that there were fewer than eight nude beaches in Iceland. In actuality there are zero.

!cid_4B61E3A0-9774-44BF-B5C9-480D8521F86C@telus !cid_DB9C145E-55D6-485A-A45B-A8206768AA0E@telus-photos by Gordon Michon

  • What To Photograph

The three Amigos decided to follow the sun and run away from the rain.

Iceland offers a wide variety of photo opportunities including: horses, harbors, boats, geysers, volcanoes, steam vents, graveyards, churches, panoramic landscapes, public art (no graffiti to be found), puffins (June & July during raising of chicks), caves, seascapes, rock formations, old or abandoned buildings, sod covered roofs, etc.

A lot of the tourists photograph the Golden Circle. This is a two to three day trip and all photographers go home with the same photographs. Our three members went and photographed outside of the Golden Circle in order to get different photos.

Al Girard added that he stayed in Reykjavik. He photographed north and south of Reykjavik. He liked the southern trip the most. He also enjoyed photographing the fields of wildflowers.

Because of its northerly location, there was poor photography of sunset or sunrise. They never went to the Western Fjords because of time restrictions. Sixteen days is not enough.

!cid_1F7A817D-87D7-425A-93DC-EAB7B6A04A03@telusphoto by Gordon Michon

Points Update

submitted by Don Durand

The close race is on in all categories. Just May Submission “Shallow Depth of Field” prior to year end. You could be a winner or a spoiler. View the current scores here: SAPC Submissions-April2015

In actuality, this year’s Submissions are/were great. None of us are really losers. The intent is to learn from one another’s photography and hopefully we have learnt via Submissions.

Food for Thought from Silber Studios TV

1. How is the technical quality? Let’s start here before we get to the more subjective issues of composition and emotion.

  • In focus? (or if not,  was that intended?)
  • Exposure: Is it too light or dark? Are there blown out or underexposed areas?
  • Use of depth of field to control the viewer’s eye.
  • Use of contrast? Too muddy or too much contrast.
  • How was lighting handled?
  • How do the colors look?

2. How’s the composition?

  • Framing
  • What should and shouldn’t be in the frame?
  • Where is your eye drawn to?

3. How is the emotional appeal?

  • What emotion do you feel when you look at the photo? Or lack of?
  • Did the photographer connect with his subjects or do they look tense, posed or stilted?
  • Does the photograph tell a story, or part of one?  (It could be as simple as, “here are my kids who I adore” or “here’s my dog catching a Frisbee.” Or a very deep one such as, “this is what poverty looks like, right in my hometown.”)