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:

http://stalbertphotoclub.com/blog/sapcgalleries

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.

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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.

http://www.larrylouie.com/portfolio.php

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.”

20.Bangladesh

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.

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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.”

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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

 

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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxudPUCN1Uw

http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/key-elements-of-a-great-photograph-the-photographers-diet/

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.

http://www.photokonnexion.com/3269-2/

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

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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/Shapes

  • 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

  • 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.

     

     

 

Photo Tour To Grasslands National Park

Our thanks to Ralph Fuchs for providing this month’s Speaker Night presentation

On Wednesday, January 11, Ralph Fuchs, a member of the St. Albert Photography Club, gave a presentation on the photography tour he and his son Ryan took to Grasslands National Park in 2015.  For those who aren’t familiar with this park, it is located in southwestern Saskatchewan, about 165 km east of the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and right on the Saskatchewan/US border.  Grasslands NP is one of Canada’s newer parks, having been established in 2001.  Within the park is found one of the few remaining areas of the native prairie grasslands and a number of quite rare animals that are found nowhere else in the country. It is a great destination for anyone wishing to photograph them in their natural setting.

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Some of the species of wildlife you’ll be almost certain to see include: Plains Bison, re-established in the area after many years from animals moved from Elk Island National Park in 2006; Black-tailed Prairie Dogs, found only here in their natural environment in Canada; Pronghorn Antelope; Whitetail and Mule Deer; rattlesnakes; coyotes; and several others that are not so easy to spot, such as the Black-footed Ferret, burrowing owl and badger.  Most of these animals can be spotted from the main road through the park but for those who are more energetic there are several hiking trails of a variety of lengths as well. pic2pic2bpic2cpic2dpic2e

Other places that might warrant a visit while in the area are: the ghost town of Orkney, just west of the park; the Great Sandhills; and Cyprus Hills Provincial Park.  The Town of Val Marie has a couple of restaurants, grocery store and liquor outlet, a card lock for gasoline and diesel fuel, bed and breakfast, a campground with full services, a hotel (questionable quality).  Nearby is The Crossing, with a campground (a couple of sites with power), teepees and a couple of suites for rent.  In the park there is a campground with basic facilities.

If you like spending time where there are not too many other visitors, lots of wildlife (some of it quite unique) and different scenery, you will probably enjoy Grasslands National Park.

Submissions Night coming soon

Our Submissions Night runs on the fourth Wednesday of most months, so the next one is on Wed. January 25, 2017. Come and share your work with others in a setting that allows for supportive and insightful critique for both new and seasoned photographers. You can also receive no critique at all, if you prefer!

All the details are available at  http://stalbertphotoclub.com/submissions2.html. For the upcoming months, the themes are:

  • January: Pattern
  • February: Minimalistic
  • March: Line
  • April: Ice
  • May: Industrial

 

November 2016 Submissions Night – Shadows

Shadowy figures emerged — as winners of this month’s event. Congrats to all! See the photos here (go to Galleries to view):

Open Print

1st place Barry Ryziuk
2nd place Brent Bromilow
3rd place Brent Bromilow
3rd place Barry Ryziuk

Theme Print

1st place Catherine Page
2nd place Barry Ryziuk
3rd place Catherine Page

Open Digital

1st place Al Popil
2nd place (tie) Al Popil
2nd place (tie) Sylvia Labelle
3rd place (tie) Doug Petry
3rd place (tie) Sylvia Labelle
3rd place (tie) Hedy Bach
3rd place (tie) Jeff Wallace

Theme Digital

1st place Gordon Michon
2nd place John Vanveen
3rd place Steve Pedersen

 

 

 

October 2016 Submissions Night: Cityscapes

Well, submissions were up so we got to choose between many great photos. Thanks again to the always-enjoyable Ray Watkins for leading the discussion, even if we don’t agree on the definition of a cityscape. Here are our favorites of the night (go to Galleries to view):

Open Print

1st place (tie) Doug Petry
1st place (tie) Laurice Block
2nd place Doug Petry
3rd place Brent Bromilow

Theme Print

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

Open Digital

1st place (tie) Al Popil
1st place (tie) Kelly Rombough
2nd place (tie) Al Popil
2nd place (tie) Barry Ryziuk
3rd place (tie) Brent Bromilow
3rd place (tie) Sylvia Labelle

Theme Digital

1st place Jill Routhier
2nd place (tie) Steve Pedersen
2nd place (tie) Barry Ryziuk
3rd place Jill Routhier

September 2016 Submissions Night – “Panning”

It was an interesting first submissions night of the 2016-17 season with excellent discussions as usual, and great photos, making voting challenging. The club has implemented some new guidelines for the evening, which seemed to roll out smoothly for the most part (see the changes here).  Take a look at the gallery of winning shots here! http://stalbertphotoclub.com/blog/sapcgalleries

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

Theme Print
1st place Barry Ryziuk
2nd place Catherine Page
3rd place Catherine Page

Open Print
There were many winners in this category, but the record form went missing so we will have to rely on people to indicate which place they received. This is what is known so far:
1st place Barry Ryziuk
2nd place Brent Bromilow
2nd place Doug Petry
2nd place Laurice Block
2nd place Catherine Page
2nd place Catherine Page (again!)
3rd place? Steve Pedersen

Theme Digital
1st place Al Popil
2nd place Catherine Page
3rd place Steve Pedersen
3rd place Ken Collett