October Guest Speaker Spotlight

I am pleased to welcome Mr. Bert Crowfoot as our guest speaker this week.

He is highly respected in many areas, and has graciously provided us with a brief biography:

Bert Crowfoot

Bert Crowfoot has two Indian names. His Siksika name is “Kiyo Sta’ ah” or Bear Ghost and his Kwakwaka ‘wakw name is “Gayutalas” or Always Giving. He was adopted by the Kwakwaka ‘wakw  at a potlatch in 2008, by Chief Adam Dick.

 Bert is a photographer with an intuitive eye developed over the past 30 years. Known for recording Aboriginal events and cultural knowledge through out North America, his travels always take him to new levels of perception. Most of Bert’s work is for sale with the exception of spiritual imagery.

Bert’s Siksika/Saulteaux cultural roots give him the inspiration to record and to preserve many spiritual practices with different nations. His images are taken with a highly respectful and sacred awareness of the protocols, sanctity and supernatural forces that are present in Indigenous spiritual rituals, nature and life. As part of this awareness, he believes these spiritual images are gifts to be shared with present and future generations to bear witness of the power of the Indigenous ways of life. Spiritual images cannot be sold.

 He is founder and CEO of the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA), General Manager of CFWE-FM, an Alberta-wide Aboriginal radio network and the Publisher of several publications including Windspeaker and Alberta Sweetgrass. AMMSA is Canada’s largest publisher of Aboriginal news and information and a recognized leader in Aboriginal communications in North America.

 Bert’s many honors over the years that include: a Lifetime Achievement Award from the province of Alberta; Venture Magazine’s “50 Most Influential Individuals in Alberta” (2004); Venture Magazines “100 Entrepreneurs who built Alberta” (2005); nominated to CBC’s Alberta 100 list (2005) and inducted into the Aboriginal Walk of Honor in Edmonton (2006). He is the great great grandson of Chief Crowfoot who signed Treaty 7.

Please come join us on Wednesday evening to hear more from this accomplished individual and learn a little bit more about his work and the culture that surrounds us here in Alberta and across the continent.

Please Welcome our First Guest Speaker for 2017/2018

Hello all, and welcome back after the summer break! We have rearranged September’s schedule a bit, and this week we will have Alexis Marie Chute joining us as a guest speaker! I am sure that we will have a wonderful evening as she speaks about the evolution of her photography practice over the past 15 years.

Alexis Marie Chute Expert Artist Author Photographer Infocus web

Ms. Chute has a wide educational experience, having traveled the world during her studies to institutions near and far. She is an experienced writer and photographer, having received a number of awards for her work, such as the 2015 John Poole Promotion of the Arts Award in Edmonton, and the 2014 winner for The Ultimate Photo Composition competition by Method Art Gallery. Ms. Chute was also cited in the 2013 Top 40 Under 40 in Avenue Magazine.

She is also the curator for the 2018 InFocus Photo Exhibit, which is currently accepting submissions until October 29th.

Please plan to join us for an enjoyable evening!  We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Summer Update

Hope you are out enjoying the weather! Over the summer, club members might get together a few times for Foto Friday outings, Field Trips, or casual photo outings. Feel free to send a message to the group if you would like to have people join you! You can contact Doug Poon, who will send out an email to the group, or send a message through the Facebook group.

June Banquet, AGM, and this year’s trophy winners

Our June banquet was a pleasant time to get together, go through the AGM, plan for next year, and recognize our Submissions Night winners. It seems like much of the executive will continue on, with some new faces for some of the volunteer roles. Please be in touch if you would like to help with any aspect of the club’s life! Thanks to the St. Albert Inn for their ongoing support, and for preparing the buffet. The 2016/17 category winners were as follows:

  • Print Theme: Barry Ryziuk
  • Print Open: Doug Petry
  • Digital Theme: Barry Ryzuik
  • Digital Open: Al Popil

Change for Submissions

There has been a change to the mat sizes allowed for submissions. The rules will be updated to indicate:   max mat size is 18x 24 inches.  Max size of the printed photos  continues to be 12 x 18.

May Submissions Night

This was our last submissions night of the year. May’s theme was “Industrial” . Keep your cameras busy over the summer, getting ready for next seasons’ themes!

Upcoming themes for 2017 – 2018:

   September: My Summer
   October: Colour!
   November: Portraits
   December: Banquet – no contest submissions but bring USB for a slide show
   January: Night Scenes
   February: Friendship
   March: People at Work
   April: Texture
   May: Wet!

May 2017 winners:

See the photos here:


Theme Print

1st place: Barry Ryziuk and Italo Pino
2nd place: Barry Ryzuik
3rd place: Catherine Page

Open Print

1st place: Catherine Page
2nd place: Jay Mann
3rd place: Italo Pino

Theme Digital

1st place: Doug Petry
2nd place: Brent Bromilow
3rd place: Ken Collett and Jay Mann

Open Digital

1st place: Ken Collett and Sylvia Labelle
2nd place: Doug Petry and Italo Pino
3rd place: Ken Collett and Barry Ryziuk

Submissions Night April 2017

April’s theme was “Ice”. See the photos here, especially if you are missing the cold weather!


Theme Print

1st place: Barry Ryziuk
2nd place: HQ Ly
3rd place: Doug Petry

Open Print

1st place: HQ Ly
2nd place: Doug Petry (2 photos)
3rd place: Barry Ryziuk, Catherine Page

Theme Digital

1st place: Brent Bromilow
2nd place: Doug Petry, Jay Mann, Barry Ryziuk
3rd place: Ken Collett, Irena Vlach, Jeff Wallace

Open Digital

1st place: Irena Vlach
2nd place: Jay Mann, Brent Bromilow
3rd place: Jay Mann, Al Popil

March Submissions Night Winners: Line

Photo Walk

photo by Catherine Page

Thanks to all who participated! March’s theme was “Line”. See the photos here:


Theme Print

1st place: Barry Ryziuk
2nd place: Gordon Michon
3rd place: Steve Pedersen

Open Print

1st place: Barry Ryziuk; Doug Petry; Sylvia Labelle
2nd place: Catherine Page
3rd place: Doug Petry, Dawn Kawahara

Theme Digital

1st place: Barry Ryziuk
2nd place: Catherine Page
3rd place: Brent Bromilow

Open Digital

1st place: Steve Pedersen
2nd place: Al Popil
3rd place: Brent Bromilow

February Submissions Night Winners

February’s theme was Minimalism, which led to many simple and beautiful submissions. One thing that was not at a minimum — winners! Congratulations to them all. This has to be a record for the number of ties. See the photos here: http://stalbertphotoclub.com/blog/sapcgalleries

Theme Print

1st place: Barry Ryziuk
2nd place: Catherine Page
3rd place: Brent Bromilow

Open Print

1st place: Barry Ryziuk
2nd place: Gordon Michon
3rd place: Catherine Page, Sylvia Labelle

Theme Digital

1st place: Ken Collett, Laurice Block
2nd place: Ken Collett, Francoise Noel
3rd place: Doug Petry (two photos), Steve Pedersen, Brent Bromilow, Barry Ryziuk (two photos)

Open Digital

1st place: Sylvia Labelle, Hedy Bach (two photos)
2nd place: Catherine Page
3rd place: Al Popil, Laurice Block

January’s Submissions Night Winners

With February’s Submissions Night almost upon us, it is definitely time to see the results of January’s event, where the theme was Patterns. Looking forward to the “minimalist” images for the February Submissions Night .

Here’s a list of the January winners – and take a look at their work in the gallery.

Theme Print
1st Doug Petry
2nd Barry Ryziuk
3rd Barry Ryziuk

Open Print
1st Doug Petry
2nd Catherine Page
3rd (tie) Laurice Block
3rd (tie) Dawn Kawahara

Theme Digital
1st Hedy Bach
2nd Cindy Barnes
3rd Steve Pedersen

Open Digital
1st John Vanveen
2nd Ken Collett
3rd (tie) Doug Petry
3rd (tie) Al Popil

Beyond The Darkness with Larry Louie

By Doug Petry

Wednesday February 8 marked the return of award winning photographer Larry Louie to share with club members his presentation titled: Beyond the Darkness.

We’ve been very fortunate to have Larry visit the club several times over the past few years. Last year he shared his own unique perspective with us by helping to critique our images on submission night and I learned a lot about my own photography and how I can improve my images by making them more emotionally relevant to the audience.


Larry’s own style has evolved over the years as he went from primarily a landscape photographer to a travel/documentary photographer, visiting remote, mostly impoverished locations throughout the far East. Below is a quote from the Info page of his website.


On his travels, he is a humanitarian documentary photographer, exploring the lives of remote indigenous people, and documenting social issues around the world. As an optometrist, Larry adjusts people’s visual perception. As a photographer, he seeks to adjust people’s view of the world. Either way, he is interested in things that exist outside the regular field of vision.”


Larry talked about how things changed for him when he visited the Guggenheim Museum in New York and saw a display of B&W photography from the 1970’s. His newfound interest in B&W photography coupled with his work with Seva Canada, Oxfam and other NGO’s in areas of the world where medical care is difficult to obtain or completely unavailable, led him to his current passion for Humanitarian Documentary Photography.


Larry says that for this kind of photography, organizing the trip, traveling and getting access to remote areas is 90% of the work. The actual photography is the fun part. Larry takes a minimum amount of equipment with him on these trips; a wide angle lens, a 50 mm prime and a short zoom along with one body is all he takes.

His technique is to “forget the technique” so that “the subject shines through.” He says that a photographer needs to “put life into the image” and act like a “fly on the wall” spending time getting comfortable with the subject, smiling and observing them in their own environment before taking the photograph.

He says that “the photograph is not just about the primary subject, the background is part of the story and helps to create a united scene.”


Larry thinks of himself as an “old school shooter” and conserves his shots, taking his time and thinking through what he wants to portray in the image.

It seems to me that we can all learn from viewing Larry’s work. Even though most of us will likely never have the opportunity to travel to some of the places that Larry has visited, with some thought and effort we can learn to apply some of the techniques let the subject shine through in our images. Thanks Larry



Composition- Turning Great Expectations Into Great Photographs

By Doug Petry

I enjoyed the chance to prepare over the past few months for a presentation on the subject of Photographic Composition at the Photo Club, and Wednesday evening before a pretty good sized crowd I finally got it done! Phew…..

While doing research for the workshop on Composition I re-discovered a textbook that has been gathering dust on my shelf for years and I’ve mined a few choice nuggets from the book titled “Photographic Composition” by Grill & Scanlon and published by Amphoto.

Basically it boils down to this, Composition is control. The Composition of the photograph is how the photographer directs the viewer toward or through the idea that was the inspiration of the photograph. It gives the photographer influence over the viewer physically, emotionally and intellectually. Composition is control!

One more bit of information from the book that I found enlightening was that the rules of composition were developed after the fact. Basically, art critics analyzed well composed works and came up with the “rules” that we’re familiar with.

They did the work for us in a sense.

But we have to remember that a Compositional rule is useful only if it enhances the idea behind the photograph. If it doesn’t, then the rule not only can be, but MUST be broken!

When I started thinking about Composition my mind went first to the importance of answering the question “what is our Inspiration for taking a particular photograph?” because I think that before you know why you’re taking a photograph, the process of composing it is likely going to be either a) haphazard or b) kind of by rote.

As artists, is that how we want to be making our art? Is it enough to be shooting in a sort of automatic mode (in our brains) even as we pride ourselves in never shooting in the automatic mode on our cameras? Probably not!

Perhaps we’ve figured out how to produce technically excellent work, but we’re so focussed on that side of things that we aren’t as creative as we could be, we’re lacking inspiration. That’s one possible outcome.

Or the other side of the coin is that we may have an amazing artist’s eye and we can visualize great photographs but we too often miss out on seeing them through to their potential because we’re in too big of a hurry or we aren’t properly prepared and that limits our creative options.

So to me, the first step in a good composition is to ask the question, “What am I trying to accomplish with this photograph?” If we can pause and think for a second and visualize what it is we’re trying to say through the photograph we’re on the way to turning our inspiration into a photograph that we can be proud of.

Doug Petry- I think youre going to like it here
But once that is accomplished, how do you go from inspiration to composition to the finished masterpiece.

Well the secret is apparently…..your diet.

Recently there was a post on PictureCorrect.com called “Key elements of a great photograph: the Photographer’s Diet”. I found it interesting and I believe that using this process can help us to make better photographs and to evaluate our work to see how it can be improved. I’m going to quote a bit here from the article.

“Each photograph we take–whether carefully composed or just a quick snap–has elements within it that determine whether it provides a strong visual impact on the viewer:”

Design, Information, Emotion, Timing.

Below is a link to a YouTube video explaining the concept and below that is a link to the Picturecorrect.com post where I first came across the concept.



In the post, the author states, If we can dial in even two of these elements in a single photograph, we’re likely to have an image that works. Add in one to two more, and we’re likely to get a memorable image–one that’s likely to be a portfolio shot.”

Diet slide

So what do these terms mean?

Design is probably best thought of as the traditional elements of Photographic Composition. Check out the link below to learn more.


Information  refers to some kind of context, the story or idea behind the photograph, you want to make your viewers think, you may just give a hint and let the viewer complete the narrative for themselves.

Emotion – a photograph should cause an emotional reaction in the viewer, you want the viewer to feel something!

Timing  refers to that decisive moment when a photograph looks as though it couldn’t have been taken even a moment sooner or later. It captures that particular moment perfectly.

Try evaluating your work using these four criterion, I think you will find it useful.

These are some of the elements of Composition that are part of that “Design” element that we mentioned earlier and the first one is space

  • Space – the area in which the design takes place, also active & dead space. Subjects and objects are generally given somewhere to look or move into within the image. Active space is the space in front of the subject.
  • Vertical or Horizontal, Panoramic, Cropping the image
  • Decide how much or how little to show
  • Where to place objects within the frame
  • Rule of Thirds


Some cameras have a rule of thirds grid built into the viewfinder and LCD screen that you can turn to help you with composition.

Negative Space

  • Negative space is the area between and around objects in a photo. Use it to see shapes and sizes more effectively, and produce better composed images.
  • The area occupied by the main subject is known as Positive space
  • Try to ignore the objects in the scene altogether and instead concentrate on the gaps between and around them. This forces you to pay more attention to your composition, and helps you see shapes and sizes more accurately.


  • Form refers to when shape takes on three dimensions. Form is created by shadows and highlights on an object in the photograph.
  • When the light is behind your subject, that creates backlight, and backlight creates silhouettes. Silhouettes are two-dimensional and they are shapes.
  • When the light moves to the side or front of your subject, that creates shadows and highlights, giving the subject form.
  • Shapes can be geometrical and/or abstract. 
  • Square & Rectangles represent strength, human-made things, they imply stability & trust
  • Triangles are dynamic and imply movement
  • Circles & Ovals represents unity, wholeness and perfection
  • The way subjects connect to each other in a photo will often form shapes that draw the eye from subject to subject.
  • If a photograph’s composition lacks shape, the photo becomes too busy or awkward to fully appreciate.


  • Texture can be used to convey information about a subject, rather than just making for a visually appealing image.
  • Texture fills in empty spaces
  • Texture can be the subject of the photograph
  • TextureBalance
    • When different parts of a photo command your attention equally, perfect balance is achieved.
    • Informal balance occurs when dissimilar elements balance each other out on each side of the frame.
    • Morraine-Lake-008Watermarked_edited-1
    • Light against dark – A small area of white in a photo can be balanced by a larger area of black, and vice versus. Each one does not have to have the same intensity.
    • Colors – A small area of vibrant color can be balanced by a larger area of neutral color. Vibrant colors provide more intensity and therefore large neutral areas can be used to compensate for it.
    • Texture – Small areas with interesting textures in a photo can be balanced by larger areas of smooth, un-textured elements.

    Homework this month is to try out the Photographers DIET by evaluating some of your current work and by using this technique when shooting new images.