We are entering the Holiday season, and what a great time to take photos. There are the typical Holiday pictures to take, but consider pushing your creativity by capturing abstract themes, such as love, hope, joy, excitement (someone got what they wanted), disappointment (someone didn’t get what they wanted), frustration (those darn lights aren’t working), or even a song (Roger has a program on this coming up) during this wonderful time of year. On a more serious note, if you were at our November competition, you experienced an issue that has reared its head before, but is becoming the norm, rather than the exception – image overload for the judge. This was the second time in just a few months that we had over 80 color prints submitted, along with around 40 monochrome ones, which is not unusual either. The digital submissions numbered over 70, but we’ve seen over 100 many times this past year. Because the judge has so many entries to review and select in a limited time period, he or she has almost no time for comments. One of the main purposes of our competitions is to provide feedback, so we can all learn how to improve our images; right now, we aren’t getting that very valuable feedback. So, the Board decided that beginning in January the number of images that can be entered for each competition will be limited to 4 total (instead of 6) with only 2 (instead of 4) per any category. By decreasing the number of images the judge has to review, there will be more time for him/her to provide meaningful comments. I will send out a membership- wide email detailing the changes, and our competition rules will be updated to reflect them. On November 3rd, Cliff Loehr conducted a night photography workshop at one of the most unique junkyards I’ve ever seen. There were about 10 of us there, and Cliff showed us the magic of light painting at night using flashlights and other light-creating devices to light up all that interesting junk. The coolest thing he did was to ignite steel wool, placed in a wire whisk, and then spin it around and around while we had our shutters open – the images were spectacular! Though the clouds moved in toward the end of our time, a couple of people managed to get some star trails. Cliff said he would like to do another workshop, so consider attending – you will enjoy it. Our monthly program for October was provided by Lee Pratt and Andrea Shetley on stereoscopy, or 3-D photography. Besides showing us some fantastic images, they gave us a great review of the equipment available on the market to take stereo photos. The options have greatly increased, and the price is definitely coming down, if you are interested. Thanks Andrea and Lee. Monica Martin was our November judge, and as I stated above, she was overwhelmed with images to select. She did a great job, as usual, though. Be sure to check them out in the newsletter and on our Smug Mug site. If you haven’t gone by the Museum of Art to see our exhibition, please go by the Museum during the holidays and view the exhibit, and take your holiday guests, as well. Last, don’t forget about our Year-End Banquet and awards presentation on December 10th. Carrabba’s will be catering again. The banquet starts at 6:00, followed by the awards at 7:00. Remember, we do not have a competition this month, but our January topic is Metal. Go out and take some photos!
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