Prairie & Field — Virtual Club Meeting

We hope that Dubuque and tri-state photographers are staying safe and healthy! See below for information about an upcoming virtual club meeting.


One positive thing happening in this stressful time of COVID-19 is that people are getting outdoors more often! Time in the natural world can be healing and calming to the spirit.

This summer, twice a month, the Dubuque Camera Club has been hosting an outdoors photo challenge. We know you are taking lots of good pictures while you are spending time socially isolated outdoors [nudge]!

Club members and photography friends in the tri-state area are invited to participate in the photo challenge. This is your opportunity to share those terrific pictures we know you’re taking!

Participate in the Outdoors Photo Challenge by sharing your photo to the club’s Facebook group.

The theme for the photo challenge changes every two weeks. Prairie and Field is the theme through August 15th. To participate, simply take a look at pictures you’ve taken that fit the theme. (Pictures may have been taken recently or in the past). Choose your best image(s) to share to the club’s Facebook group.

Images uploaded to Facebook look best if they are 2048px on the longest side, with sRGB colorspace. (This is changing, so for all the hairy details about Facebook image sizes, try this article). Remember, you are also welcome to share photography news in the club’s Facebook group, such as publications and kudos, upcoming virtual exhibits or webinars, or photo opps that may interest other club members.


ATTENTION: The Mines of Spain photography contests have been cancelled for the rest of the year. Guess that’s one disadvantage of deciding to use old-fashioned prints for contest entries. Sorry!


Comet Neowise – Perseid Meteors

Have you seen (and photographed) Comet Neowise? How about the Perseid Meteor showers? The time is now or never. Test your expert photography skills to capture photos of the nighttime sky. Be sure to share your experience at the club’s next virtual meeting (see below). See these links for more information:


Virtual Club Meeting on Monday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m.

The Dubuque Camera Club will hold a virtual club meeting on Monday, August 17th, starting at 6:30 p.m.  Agenda TBD. Details will be sent by email to active club members.

All club meetings will be virtual until further notice.

All club meetings will be virtual until further notice.


July 6, 2020 — Night photo shoot

Ten people attended the Dubuque Camera Club night photoshoot on July 6, 2020. We met outdoors at 7:30 and tried to maintain social distancing while enjoying some rare companionship with like creative minds. Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic is really throwing a whammy at in-person events.

Club president Ron Tigges cautioned that we need to be prepared for virtual meetings when the season starts up again in the fall. A decision on that will be made closer to the meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8th. An email will go out beforehand.

The photographers present came fully prepared — lenses, pixel stick, bug spray. Chit-chat overheard while the tripods were being set up in preparation for sunset: where to find dickcissels, the number of butterflies being seen this year, and what to do about wounded wildlife.

Rumor is, Andreas Exner has gotten some awesome images of barn swallows. He often pairs up with Kevin McTague, who recently won first place in an N4C competition. If the snakes stay out of the tree, expect more terrific bird photos from these gentlemen in the future.

Editing is almost finished on “Thoughts from the Road,” a photo/video project from Henry Matthiessen and Dean Wellman. Their official release date is Oct. 1, 2020, and it will be headed to film festivals. Watch for more info later.

General Bob has been up to his usual everything. He recently crashed his drone on the Five Flags building, but not before getting some incredible shots of the new “Solidarity” mural. His drone photos were picked up by the Des Moines Register.

All of the photographers who were present at tonight’s photo shoot got down to image making. An unusual cloud formation in a clear blue sky got several people’s attention. Andreas used a flashlight to paint the prairie. Willie Tigges got some exercise, spinning colored lights along the trail.

A few photos were shared in the club’s Facebook group, so go there if you haven’t touched base lately. Club members and friends are also welcome to share images, ideas, exhibits, or events to the group.

We are enjoying a twice-monthly summertime photo challenge in our Facebook group. The theme through the end of July is the River. Be sure to contribute your photo(s)! Stay safe and be healthy!

Photo Challenge: The River
Outdoors photo challenge theme: The River! From July 16 to July 31, 2020.

Summer 2020 outdoors photo challenge

To give Dubuque Camera Club members an opportunity to share photos this summer, we’ve decided to start an OUTDOORS PHOTO CHALLENGE!!!

Through June 30, 2020, share a photo you like that you took while hiking. You don’t have to be in the picture, or portray hikers (but you can!). It must be something you saw while hiking outdoors.

Each photo challenge will have an outdoors-related theme. New challenges will be posted about every 15 days (half a month!). Find the latest photo challenge and post your response in the club’s Facebook group.

Note: Facebook is changing its formula, but in the past we’ve found that images look best if they are up to 2048 pixels on the longest side.

For each photo challenge, you may share an old picture or one you’ve taken recently. Be sure to tell us what it is, and share the background story! Enjoy getting outdoors with your camera!

Visit the Dubuque Camera Club group on Facebook to participate in the club’s most recent photo challenge!

June 1, 2020 — Meeting Notes

The Dubuque Camera Club virtual meeting on June 1, 2020 was attended by 17 people. The club decided to get together once a month over the summer, either virtually or in-person. We hope to meet in-person in July (scroll down for details).

A suggestion was made in the club’s Facebook group that Journalism photo opps are out there lately. If you decided to document any protests, be aware that journalists and photographers have been targeted. Please use caution if you decide to take pictures, and stay safe.

Election of officers. The club usually votes on officers at the end-of-the-season picnic. The picnic is always well-attended, but this year it was cancelled. During tonight’s virtual meeting, an informal voice vote was taken. All current officers were re-elected for the 2020/2021 season.

Our current club size is 43 people. This head count is based on meeting attendance, club emails, and other interaction. Remember, the N4C season runs from September through May. Club dues will be payable again in September. Annual dues of only $20 allow members to participate in all club activities and exhibits.

The club treasurer, not present, had shared the bank balance. Our club is in the black. Obviously, the club saved money by not buying food for the annual picnic. Other recurring expenses include the club’s Smugmug subscription, N4C dues, any exhibit subsidies, and venue use fees.

Right now, the nature center is closed through the month of June. Unhappily, there is a strong chance the club will need to find a new meeting venue. We will be very sad to lose the Mines of Spain as a venue, and hope they are able to pull together a community partnership to keep this facility open.

Judges needed. The Friends of the Mines of Spain photography contest is still happening. The submission deadline for Spring entries was June 1. A couple of club members are needed to help judge the prints and choose winners. Contact Ron or Jennifer if you are interested. (Note that you cannot judge if you have a print in the contest.)

N4C news

The 2020 fall N4C convention has been cancelled. It was scheduled to be held in either Sioux City or Sioux Falls (silly me, I’m still puzzling over that). Earlier, our club had been asked to complete a pre-attendence survey. Here are their survey results. Here is the official cancellation notice.

The best-of-the-best N4C contests and awards are still going to happen this year, just virtually. Watch for more information about that. Read the June N4C Bulletin to learn more.


Congratulations, photographers!

Congratulations to Dubuque Camera Club member Kevin McTague for winning FIRST PLACE in Digital Nature!

At the virtual meeting, we went over the results of the May 2020 N4C competition. Everything is back except Pictorial. Two of our club members were recognized this month in Digital Nature (DN). Kevin’s trip to Costa Rica resulted in a winning image!

  • Kevin McTague, FIRST PLACE, Long Tongue Bat.
  • Stephonie Schmitz, honorable mention, Elephant Sunrise.

In Digital Black and White (DB), the same two club members received merit awards:

  • Kevin McTague, merit award, Forgotten.
  • Stephonie Schmitz, merit award, Light Waves

Next season, our club will judge the monthly N4C contest three times, in September, February, and May.

  • September 2020 — Judge Digital Nature
  • February 2021 — Judge Digital Pictorial
  • May 2021 — Judge Digital Travel

The Dubuque Camera Club will hold a Night Meeting and Photo Shoot on Monday, July 6th at 7:30 p.m. (Note later start time).

We will gather in-person at an outdoor venue, and then travel to a nearby spot for a night photo shoot. Bring tripod, flashlight, and remote trigger release, along with your fastest, wide-angle lens, such as F2.8 or F4.  The club plans to shoot the Milky Way, the Moon, and do some light painting.

Optional: Bring your own supper or snacks/drinks, and mosquito repellent or lawn chair or whatever you can carry to be comfortable at an outdoor photo shoot.

** Complete details and location will be sent by email to club members.

Night Photography Tutorials: Many people find night photography intimidating, so below are links to a few helpful tutorials.

Club members: If you know about any other night photography tutorials that would be helpful to people who are new to this, please share them to the Facebook event.

May 18, 2020 — Meeting notes

The virtual meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club on May 18, 2020 was attended by 17 people.

Congratulations to club member Jesse Green, who recently earned his law degree from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Great job! His next step is to take the bar exam; then he plans to go into corporate or business law.

The host for tonight’s virtual club meeting was Bob Felderman, who even gave us a virtual home tour. His latest gadget, a Matterport camera, allows him to create 360-degree home tours for real estate listings. Pretty groovy!

The club recently learned that our Trees exhibit has been postponed until 2021. Potentially, we could still do some sort of virtual exhibit. One idea is to make a promotional video with participating club members. Everybody would read a script, then short clips would be edited together to make a composite video. More details TBD.

This month the club did virtual judging of the Digital Travel category for the N4C monthly competition. Ken Kiss, Stephonie Schmitz, and Jim Durrant served as judges. Virtual judging was facilitated by our club’s N4C rep, Cara Pusateri. Tie-breaker decisions were made during the meeting, and we also looked at and discussed a bunch of awesome images from other clubs.

Sadly, the pandemic is still making future in-person meetings uncertain. For that reason, the club will not be doing a potluck picnic as in previous years. Instead, we will hold another virtual club meeting on Monday, June 1st, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. We will probably delay voting on (re-)election of officers until this fall, when the 2020/2021 N4C season starts.

The club will try to get together sometime this summer (in July?) for a photoshoot. Daytrip/photoshoot ideas will be discussed at our next virtual meeting.

Next (virtual) meeting:

The next virtual meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club will be on Monday, June 1st, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Specific information will be emailed to club members before the meeting.

In the meantime, if you have photography-related news to share, please post it to the club’s private Facebook group.