February 3rd, 2020 — Meeting notes

The Dubuque Camera Club meeting on February 3, 2020 was attended by 18 people. On the evening’s agenda was an overview by club president Ronald Tigges about the 2020 ImagingUSA convention. This event, which was in Nashville last month, is organized by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Next year, it will be held in Texas.

Dubuque Camera Club President Ronald Tigges gave the club an overview of his experience at 2020 ImagingUSA.

February N4C submissions. The club also reviewed our current N4C submissions. Here is a link to the February submissions in the club’s online gallery. Our members have been submitting some very nice images! Remember, we will judge Digital Pictorial at the next meeting, so we could not submit to that category this month.

Panorama print contest. Jennifer Tigges, who is on the N4C board of directors as well as being a Dubuque Camera Club member, shared some N4C news and reminders. Panorama prints will be judged on Saturday, April 25th at the N4C Spring Mini-con.

Rules for the panorama print contest from the February 2020 N4C Bulletin.

The February 2020 edition of the N4C Bulletin has information about the upcoming spring mini-con. This N4C event will be held at Wesley Woods in rural Indianola, Iowa. The cost is reasonable: $145 if you stay in a dorm room, or $105 if you arrange your own lodging. Get your pre-registration in the mail by April 6th.

Local art news. Club member Henry Matthiessen III shared information about the Scenic Art Loop release party at Stoned Art Studio on Thursday, Feb. 6th. This is an artists’ group and gallery tour that now includes stops in our community.

The Dubuque Area Arts Collective has put out a call for art coaster submissions. They want you to make drink coasters that are creatively adorned. The Dubuque Coaster Art Group Show will be on display in March at 375 Bluff St. Visit the DAAC website or their discussion group on Facebook for more information.

[Hint: if you want to try this with your photos, try Googling “how to make photo coasters.” You will need square prints, square tiles, Mod Podge, and acrylic sealant. Not sure if it works or not, so go ahead and be a guinea pig. I dare you.]

Nature news. On Sunday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m., the Friends of the Mines of Spain will sponsor a live bird presentation that you won’t want to miss. The RARE group could not make it to the Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch because of weather. They will present at E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center. Bird enthusiasts and wildlife photographers will especially enjoy this. Bring the kids or grandkids. Free admission.

Show and tell followup. A few images were overlooked at the last meeting when club members shared “The Story Behind the Photos.” Ken apologized that he missed them in his email. The club took a look at those images, in addition to going over N4C submissions and returns.

Photographers recognized in the January 2020 N4C contest

  • Ronald Tigges — “Incoming BMX: Clear the Deck” — Digital Journalism, honorable mention
  • Kevin McTague — “Tree Frog” — Digital Black and White, honorable mention
  • James Durrant — “Nighttime at Fallingwater, Pennsylvania” — Digital Travel, honorable mention
  • Kevin McTague — “Gotcha” — Digital Nature, honorable mention

Coming up…

At the next Dubuque Camera Club meeting on Monday, February Feb. 17 February 24th at 6:30 p.m., we will judge the Digital Pictorial (DP) category of the N4C contest. You will be sure to see interesting photos from many different N4C-affiliated clubs. Audience members will be able to view them on the big screen while judging is going on. Photos will be scored on technique, composition, and interest.

What type of images are you likely to see during judging? Expect a lot of eye candy and some surprises. Pictorial is a catch-all category that includes everything from portraits to macros, from pets to landscapes, from abstracts to food photography. Check out some past winners on the N4C website.

Dubuque Camera Club member Andreas Exner will share his bird and wildlife photography at the Dubuque Audubon Society meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2020, starting at 6:00 p.m.  Learn more here.

January 20, 2020 Meeting Notes

Vice president Kenneth Kiss led the January 20, 2020 meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club. He organized the photos that he received for the evening’s mini-presentations. He ran the technology and also took care of the meeting space. Great job, Ken!

Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch followup. At the meeting, there was some discussion of the previous weekend’s Bald Eagle Watch. Ken, Andreas, Kevin, and John were our committee for that event. They set up and displayed club member’s nature photography on easels and in an onscreen slideshow. They also promoted the club and handed out the updated Dubuque Camera Club brochure.

Those of us who were housebound that weekend due to the Snowpocalypse of Doom wondered what it was like. “We did all right,” said Ken. “I think the snow kept some people away.”

One of the live bird presenters had to cancel, but the other went on as planned. “I was surprised by how many people were there,” said Andreas. “The second presentation, especially, was well-attended.”

Thank you, gentlemen, for representing our club at this event!

Upcoming club exhibits

Photography exhibits were also discussed during the meeting. The club plans to organize TWO exhibits in 2020. Participating in club exhibits is one of the perks of Dubuque Camera Club membership. Only active members may participate.

Dubuque Museum of Art exhibit. This year’s DuMA exhibit is scheduled to run from September 26 through October 25, 2020. The club is tentatively going with a tree theme.

Why trees? For one thing, they are extremely important to bird and nature photographers, as well as to the planet. Here in the Driftless area, we have opportunities to portray trees and woodlands that are not present elsewhere.

“The tree theme has the biggest potential of getting the largest number of club members involved,” Andreas said.

Another advantage to a tree theme is that it ties in with the Iowa DNR’s Parks 2020 centennial. The Friends of the Mines of Spain will be organizing some activities locally (including a photography contest!). This summer, the art museum will host a traveling multimedia exhibit called 20 Artists, 20 Parks. Our club exhibit will occur after it closes.

It is clear from recent Facebook posts that some club members are already scouting the countryside for tree photo opps. Please look at your photos to see what you have, and think about how you can contribute. Creativity in interpreting the theme will be encouraged.

For the DuMA exhibit, we will order matching prints as a group, like we did for Reflections. Many details still need to be worked out, with specifics to be discussed at future meetings.

Smokestack exhibit. Thanks to General Bob for arranging a club exhibit at the Smokestack. This exhibit is tentatively scheduled for June-July-August. We took a vote during the meeting to see who was interested, and 100% of the meeting attendees raised their hands.

The Smokestack exhibit will be an eclectic show (no theme). Club members will need to order and frame their own prints. There’s lots of wall space, with room for larger sizes. You can put a price tag on your images and mark them for sale. Only about 25 total prints can be in the show, so there will be some kind of jurying process. The club can also display a slideshow. More details will be announced as we learn them.

The Story Behind the Photo

“The Story Behind the Photo” was the main activity at the January 20th club meeting. Club members were supposed to email up to five of their photos to Ken Kiss before the meeting, and then talk about them. Seven people opted to participate in these mini presentations:

Greg Naumann wowed the crowd with his starting image of two cute little girls in a studio portrait. Then he shared 23 more pictures, ranging from dogs to machines to an old family portrait on the beach. When he got past five, Greg kept going. I don’t think we should ask him to do any math problems.

Casey Klein shared a couple of cute images, including a huge snowman on Grandview Ave. Thank you, Casey!

Jim Durrant shared some architectural photos of Frank Lloyd Wright structures. He had gotten perplexing N4C contest feedback, and wanted to get the club’s opinion.

Henry Matthiessen III showed a couple of spellbinding images, including the Galena trainwreck as viewed from Bellevue State Park. On Thursday, January, 23rd, he gave a longer presentation at Pechakucha. Wonderful work, Henry!

Ken Kiss gave us two gorgeous versions of a view from the overlook at Whitewater Canyon.

Debbie Denlinger sent in her pictures, but didn’t realize that she had volunteered to talk about them. A good sport, she did it anyway. Debbie makes greeting cards out of her photos.

Kevin McTague impressed the club with some of his bird photography secrets. Kevin, if you tell us all of your tricks, pretty soon our skills will be as good as yours! [Just joking! That will never happen!]

Lastly, Ken Kiss did a brief demonstration in Photoshop about how to create a frame around a photo.

Thank you to all seven club members who volunteered for this photography show and tell. We enjoyed it!

Nature photography presentation followup. A couple of club members gave a nature photography presentation at the Mines of Spain on Sunday, January 12, 2020. The event was attended by about 30 people. Club president Ron Tigges did a great job of promoting the club.

Ron also made the kickoff announcement of the Mines of Spain photography contest. [Note that our club will judge this contest; if you want to enter, you cannot participate in judging. Contact Ron with any questions.]

2020 Mines of Spain Photography Contest – This contest is for prints only. There are four entry deadlines. The first deadline is on March 1, 2020. See the rules to learn more.

A photography presentation followed the contest announcement. Three club members presented. “Shooting a Better Photo” was Ron’s theme. He used this acronym:

  • C – Composition
  • E – Elements in the scene
  • L – Leading lines
  • L – Light

Next, Ken Kiss shared his beautiful images of birds, owls, and winter hikes in the park. Lastly, Andreas Exner shared his lovely photos of foxes, sandhill cranes, and other living creatures. He reminded us that there is a right and wrong when doing nature photography: “The critter’s health is more important than your picture.”

Thank you for an enjoyable Sunday presentation!

Kudos and other news

We have heard about the following kudos and activities by club members:

Bob Felderman was selected for a Finalist Award in the Artist of the Year 2019 competition that was sponsored by the Circle Foundation for the Arts. He submitted “House Fire On Airport Property.” In January 2020, General Bob also earned a Certificate of Excellence as one of the 60 finalists in an Artavita contest.

Pamela Brandt had at least one photo of the Mines of Spain included in an Iowa State Park Centennial book called “Iowa State Parks: A Century of Stewardship.” This opportunity came because she posted her MoS images on Flickr. The book is on pre-order for $30, but will sell for about $50 later on. More info here.

Jose Garcia will be leading an exclusive Photoshop class in March 2020. He has been posting some lovely ballerina images on his Facebook page. We have also heard he photographed the Wahlert high school show choir again this year.

Henry Matthiessen III presented at Pechakucha on January 23. Since he moved his studio to Dubuque, he has also added Dubuque art destinations to the Scenic Art Loop. A release party will be held on Feb. 6 at Stoned Art Studio on the Central Ave. curve.

Ron and Jennifer Tigges attended 2020 ImagingUSA, which is the annual convention of the Professional Photographers of America. A couple of sneak peaks have appeared on their Digital Dubuque page, and we hope to learn more about this experience at the next club meeting.

What’s coming up for the Dubuque Camera Club?
Take a look at the Events page.

January 6, 2020 — Meeting notes

The New Year started off with a burst of photographic enthusiasm as 20 people gathered for the first Dubuque Camera Club meeting of 2020 on January 6th. (20 people at the start of 2020! How synchronous is that!?)

We were delighted to see some new faces, including Dubuquer and Iowa House District 100 State Representative Chuck Isenhart. Clearly, digital photography can be a force for the common good!

Club President Ron Tigges gave everyone a refresher on how the club operates. We are affiliated with the North Central Camera Club Council (N4C). Their season runs from September through May, which means we are half-way through!

According to club treasurer John Leicht, right now, the club has 32 active members. If you are interested in joining, here is a link to the 2020 membership application.

The Dubuque Camera Club brochure has been updated for 2020. Ken Kiss, club VP and N4C rep, did us the favor of printing out a bunch of copies to pass around during the meeting. People could comment on the draft or give their feedback to communications volunteer Pamela Brandt. A couple of changes were made after the meeting, and the brochure has now been finalized. Printed copies will be available at the club’s table at the Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch on Saturday, Jan. 18.

One perk of Dubuque Camera Club membership is being eligible to compete in N4C photography contests. Our club competes in the following six categories:

Our club submits to these N4C contest categories. To learn more, visit the competition page.
  • Digital Pictorial (DP)
  • Digital Nature (DN)
  • Digital Travel (DT)
  • Digital Black and White (DB)
  • Digital Journalism (DJ)
  • Digital Altered Reality (DA)

Most N4C categories are judged by technique, composition, and interest. If you want to know more, see the club’s competition page on this website. We will be judging Digital Pictorial next month, at the Feb. 17 meeting, so be sure to attend if you want to see the process in action!

Before showing us the club submissions for the January contest, Ron went though a BIG BUNCH of events upcoming on the calendar. Thanks to the lack of winter weather we’ve been having, nothing has been postponed or cancelled like usual.

Several noteworthy photography presentations are coming up. Put them on your calendar, and invite your friends!

Members of the Dubuque Camera Club will give a free nature photography presentation at the Mines of Spain on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Free Nature Photography Presentation on Sunday, January 12 at 1:00 p.m. Location: E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center, Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. The Friends of the Mines of Spain is hosting this event. Dubuque Camera Club president Ron Tigges will share his nature photography, with contributions from other club members. Hear the official announcement and details about the Friends of the Mines of Spain/Iowa DNR 2020 photo contest. The nature center will be open from 1-4:00 p.m.

Enjoy the 2020 Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch on Saturday, January 18. The Dubuque Camera Club will display the club’s nature photography.

2020 Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch on Saturday, January 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location: Grand River Center, Port of Dubuque. The Dubuque Audubon Society and Dubuque County Conservation organize this community-wide annual event. Don’t miss the live raptor presentations! Dubuque Camera Club members will have a display of the club’s nature photography. Learn more.

The Story Behind the Photos is the theme of the Dubuque Camera Club meeting on Monday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.

The Story Behind the Photos. At the Dubuque Camera Club meeting on Monday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m., individual Dubuque Camera Club members will share up to five photos each and reveal the story behind the photograph. All tri-state photography enthusiasts are invited to attend. Location: E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center, Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. IMPORTANT: If you are a club member who wishes to participate, get your photos to Ken by Sunday! More information will be sent to club members by email.

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, at a meeting of the Dubuque Audubon Society, Dubuque Camera Club member Andreas Exner will give a free presentation about Storytelling in Wildlife Photography. Click here for more details.

Dec. 2, 2019 — Meeting notes

On December 2, 2019, the Dubuque Camera Club held a holiday party that was attended by 34 people. In addition to club members, we enjoyed the company of spouses, significant others, and at least one guest photographer. The club provided poinsettias, punch, cute plates, and hot sandwiches. Club members added to the delicious banquet by bringing potluck dishes. A tempting variety of food was enjoyed by all.

Club business

A poll has been posted to the club’s Facebook group to help decide the theme for our 2020 exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art. As of this writing, top poll choices are (1) Tri-state trees, and (2) Downtown faces. Make sure to cast your vote. You can also contribute theme ideas to the poll.

The advantage of choosing a nature-related theme for our next DuMA exhibit is that it will tie in with Parks 2020, a state-wide celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Iowa state parks system.

Our club will either judge or participant in an upcoming photo contest that is sponsored by the Friends of the Mines of Spain. This is also an event for Parks 2020. We don’t know the details, except that it will be prints.

The key opening event for the local celebration of Parks 2020 will be a nature photography presentation. It will take place on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the nature center in the Mines of Spain. Club president Ron Tigges is leading this team presentation. He is anxious to have other club members join him at the front of the room. The total time allotted for the entire group is 45-60 minutes. Your photos should have been taken in the Mines of Spain. Contact Ron for more info.

The club is in good financial shape, according to treasurer John Leicht. We pay for facility use, website hosting, N4C membership, and of course, food for events like our holiday banquet! It’s possible to sponsor a speaker or another special event. As always: ideas, ideas, ideas. Speak up at the next meeting if you have an idea.

Jennifer is now an N4C board member, so she and Ron get to observe all that delightful board harmony up close. Potentially, our club will host the annual convention in Dubuque again in 2023. Expect confusion about the upcoming 2020 event because two “Sioux” clubs are hosting. If you are there to take pictures of the falls, you’re probably at the wrong place.

More N4C rule changes are coming down the pipeline. For instance, there will be soon be a photojournalism collage category. We hope that changes will also be made to the print competition. The best idea involves sending 8″x10″ disposable prints so the receiving club doesn’t have the hassle of mailing everybody’s images back. Right now it is not possible for a club like ours that only competes in digital to earn Club of the Year, which is an unfair situation.

The confusing score numbers on the November returns told us that some clubs have started to use alternate scoring methods. In some cases a total of 27 points are possible. Not sure which is which since the teeny printed scoresheets don’t elaborate. For instance, I got one back that had a bunch of plusses on it for Composition and Interest, without any numbers in those categories. I guess weirdness makes life interesting.

Our next club meeting will be next year, on Jan. 6, 2020. For our second meeting in January (on Monday, Jan. 20), the club decided on The Story Behind the Photos. Every club member who wishes can contribute up to five photos and talk about them. We are envisioning a bunch of quick, mini-presentations. You must either send your photos to Ken by Sunday before the meeting or bring them on a USB flash drive.

A selection of Digital Travel images from Dubuque Camera Club members. See these images and more in the club’s online gallery.


At the holiday meeting, we went over returns from the November 2019 N4C competition. The following photographers were recognized:

  • Ron Tigges, digital journalism, merit award
  • Ron Tigges, digital nature, merit award
  • Andreas Exner, digital nature, merit award
  • Andreas Exner, digital travel, honorable mention
  • Ken Kiss, digital B&W, merit award
  • James Durrant, digital travel, merit award
  • Lorna Costello, digital travel, merit award

Misc. member news

Holiday party attendees also shared a variety of photography-related activities and accomplishments. Here is a smattering of gossip overheard:

Becky Mather attended the Great Smoky Mountains Photography Summit in November. “We had a ball,” she said about driving out there with a girlfriend. Although the elk photo expedition was disappointing, the sunrise pics every day were glorious, and world-class photographers led the workshops. Becky won 3rd place in a macro contest for a photo of a water droplet.

James Durrant is not yet over his obsession with Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. He registered for another workshop next Memorial Day weekend in Oak Park, Illinois. Photographer Andrew Pielage leads these architecture photography workshops. Participants have access to interior and exterior of private residences.

Bob Felderman has returned from Austria where he and his wife, Nancy, enjoyed castles, museums, architecture, and time with the grand kids. Nancy says she is never again trusting a German-speaking waitress because they always bring her liver dumplings. She finally put her foot down and made Bob take her to an Italian restaurant; they have those in the big cities. We can expect to see lots of schnitzel-flavored photos from their trip in upcoming competitions.

General Bob’s photos are on display through December 27, 2019, at the Smokestack, located downtown by the courthouse. There is some whispering about a closing party, but we don’t know the details.

In the realm of wildlife photography, club member Andreas Exner recently photographed a Great Horned Owl. In case you’re wondering, it’s not Ken’s owl, but a different local resident. Andreas has also had recent glimpses of a Fox and an Opossum. Not sure if he had time to grab his camera.

We have heard that Kevin McTague is in Costa Rica, photographing the bird life. If the end results are anything like his southwestern birding trip, we can expect to see some stellar images.

David Smethers attended the holiday party after missing the whole entire season due to the call of two-wheeled adventures. He was in disbelief that his image of a rock climber at the Grand Canyon earned a Best of the Best in the end-of-the-year 2019 N4C digital competition. See the N4C gallery here.

Henry Matthiessen is doing well in his new gallery on the Central Avenue curve. He’s making plans to again attend Shutterfest in St. Louis. The event is held in a huge old train depot. Free models are available if you send them a few portfolio shots.

I nominate Bridget, guest of club member Leo Heim, for People’s Choice award for the most fashionable holiday party-wear. She tucked dollar store poinsettias into a headband and scarf made from the soft underbelly of a Musk Ox. What a creative seasonal wardrobe!

Upcoming events and meetings

  • Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6:00 p.m. Dubuque Audubon Society meeting at E.B. Lyons, with a Pelagic birding presentation by Tony Moline. More info here.
  • Monday, January 6, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. First club meeting of the new year. Send in your N4C submissions before the meeting. Watch our Facebook group for any weather-related cancellations.
  • Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Photography presentation by Dubuque Camera Club members at E.B. Lyons. Would you like to share your Mines of Spain, bird, or nature photos? Ron is looking for people to participate in this team presentation! More info here.
  • Saturday, January 18, 2020. Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch. This is an all-day, family-friendly event at the Grand River Center. Our club will have a vendor table. John, Andreas, Ken, and Kevin have volunteered to be our Eagle Watch committee. The slideshow will consist of past nature submissions from the club’s online gallery. If you want to contribute other nature images, send them to Ken before the event. More info here.
  • Monday, January 20, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Club meeting. We will enjoy informal club member presentations: The Story Behind the Photos. Club members will be invited to tell a story and show us your best stuff. Bring 5-10 images on a USB flash drive. You can also email them to Ken by Sunday night at the latest.