Welcome to the NHCC Photo Blog, a sort of electronic newsletter. This Blog contains information pertaining to the New Haven Camera Club (programs, monthly competitions, banquets, field trips, changes in rules, etc.). This blog was started June 2008 and all of the previous posts are archived here. You can go to the bottom to see them arranged by month and year. You can also peruse via the labels at the bottom. I (Lisa) am your Blog editor. Enjoy!
NHCC meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 7:00 pm (September thru May).
Please visit http://newhavencameraclub.blogspot.com/ for a LOT more information.
Please visit our website for the handbook which contains the rules and instructions for competing your images.
NEW MEMBERS: Our meetings are open to the public. Please join us. You must be a member to compete, attend field trips and workshops, etc. I remember when I first joined NHCC in 2001 I was overwhelemed by the awesome images that I saw and it was hard to get to know people. Meeting nights are chock full and many members are busy doing their tasks for the evening. The best way to meet people is to sign up for field trips and workshops. Workshops are also a great learning tool.
My two cents...
I remember my first workshop on image composition with Paul Peterson and Jane Sibley. After attending my image competition scores went up 2-3 points just by changing a few things. Camera club judges are looking for specific things in a photograph. Some, like focus and exposure, are more obvious and will improve with time, but others like composition and impact are more difficult to master and can be more subjective. Do you want to get your image on the cover of a magazine, then shoot vertical and include lots of sky or water. Want your image to score higher in competition, then crop tighter and eliminate large areas of sky and water. Sometimes it means taking or creating two images, one for yourself and one for competition.
Take a look at your images for composition, we read left to right so images are best when presented that way (you can flip it in Photoshop just like we used to flip slides in the carousel). Also most photographs have much more impact and grace when they follow the rule of thirds (our bodies, and indeed our whole world, follow the golden ratio and we find photographs that depict this more pleasing). For the rule of thirds you place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect. Rules are meant to be broken of course, but knowing them an abiding by them most of the time will allow you to also know when to break them.
Lastly, impact, this is the hardest. We as photographers have an emotional attachment to out photograph. We spent time capturing it, when we see it it brings back memories and emotions and allows us to travel back to that moment. But the judges were not there so they do not have that attachment and have to rely on what you captured. This emotional attachment was a very difficult thing for me to learn (and I still keep many, many "snapshots" which are important to me, but, alas, are not the greatest photographs). I would sit for hours waiting for "the perfect image", perhaps enduring less than optimal weather conditions and then was rewarded when nature's beauty cooperated. But when I entered this image it had to stand on its own. So you can learn and improve your focus, exposure and composition, but sometimes the impact that your photograph has will not be the same for your viewers or camera club judges. Do not despair -- if you love the photograph (and you must, you took it to begin with and you edited it and entered it into competition) then frame it and hang it proudly on your wall. Learn from their comments, but do not let a score or a judge's comment affect your love of a photograph.
A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. ~Ansel Adams
A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words. - Ansel Adams
"You don't take a photograph, you make it" Ansel Adams
No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit. - Ansel Adams
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." - Henri Cartier Bresson
"You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either." - Galen Rowell