The Dubuque Camera Club is preparing for our 7th consecutive annual photography exhibition at the Dubuque Museum of Art. This year’s theme is Reflections. The exhibit will feature 25 photos by 20 club members. It will be on display in the Amuse Bouche Balcony Gallery (upstairs), from September 21 through November 10, 2019.
Reflections timeline (future dates are tentative/subject to change) ✔ Jan/Feb: Discussion of exhibit theme ideas. ✔ Feb 18: Club members vote in a poll. Reflections chosen as a theme. ✔ March 4: Exhibit committee chosen: Robert Felderman, Pamela Brandt ✔ April 1: Club decides to order 12×18-inch metal prints like last year. ✔ May 20: Reflections images may be submitted for Critique Night. ✔ June 3: Reflections submissions reviewed at club picnic. ✔ Monday, June 17: Submission deadline extended to this date. Twenty club members submitted a total of 73 images for consideration.
✔ Tues. July 9: Submissions sent to art museum curator. ✔ Fri. July 19: Selections announced. Twenty-five images were selected to be in the show. Last call for final high res images.
✔ July 23: Prints ordered. 12×18-inch prints were ordered on aluminum. Artist’s statement requested from participants. ✔ August 10: Draft of exhibit brochure released to participants. • From August 10 to __? Sign and pay for prints. The club is using Blufftops & Visions convention proceeds to offer a financial subsidy of 50% of the cost of one print per participant. • By or on Monday, Sept. 16: Prints to be delivered to art museum. Participants MUST have completed an incoming loan agreement. • Sept. 21, 2019:Reflections Exhibit opens. • Friday, Sept. 27, 5:00 p.m. to ___? Opening reception. Free to exhibiting artists (and one guest). • Oct. 4? First Fridays reception / Fall Into Art gallery tour (tentative) • Nov 10, 2019:Reflections Exhibit closes. • Monday, Nov. 11: Club to pick up prints from museum. • Dec. 2, 2019. Prints to be returned to participants during the club’s holiday party.
If you plan to attend Finding Your Light, the annual N4C convention in Des Moines this fall, now is the time to register! Convention registration is open to Dubuque Camera Club members (all of our club members are N4C members) as well as other photography enthusiasts in the community.
Last year when our club hosted the annual convention here in Dubuque, we had a lot of fun! Our theme was Blufftops & Visions. This year the Des Moines Camera club is hosting the convention. They have planned some interesting banquet speakers, workshops, and photoshoots. See the full list of presenters here. Here’s a preliminary list of field trips.
If you are an N4C member and register by August 11th, you can get the early bird rate of $185. Non-member early bird price is $210. Your choice of lodging is extra. The event will be held at the Sheraton hotel in West Des Moines. Follow the Finding Your Light page on Facebook for more details.
The talented members of the Dubuque Camera Club are always up to something. Several of our photographers regularly contribute to local publications and social media accounts. You might run into them photographing art events, car shows, concerts, fireworks, balloon races, rodeos, or storm clouds. Here are a few recent noteworthy activities…
On June 21-22, 2019, Dubuque Camera Club member Jose Garcia, now a Canon Ambassador, led a pair of weekend photography workshops in Cedar Rapids. The workshops were sponsored by Canon and Photo Pro, one of the few remaining specialty retail stores in this area.
Making Great Portraits Using One Speedlight was held on Friday at Noelridge Greenhouse, and the Natural Light Portraits Workshop was held on Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. First there was an informative presentation, with Jose using his wonderful portrait images as examples; then everybody got to go outside to try out the techniques, with assistance from two (very patient) live models.
We counted three club members participating, including Cory from Studio H Photography. If you want to see some images from the workshops, Photo Pro put a nice gallery on their Facebook page. With Cedar Rapids only an hour’s drive away, consider keeping on eye on the store’s future events.
From September 16 through October 1, 2019, Dubuque Camera Club member Henry Matthiessen III will document a photo journey through the American southwest along with another local creative, Dean Wellman, for “Thoughts from the Road.”
Henry regularly shares amazing photos of the Driftless Region as Stoned Art Studio. This desert adventure to photograph the landscapes of New Mexico is sure to have some awesome creative results.
During a season running from Sept. 2018 through May 2019, members of the Dubuque Camera Club entered their original digital photography in the monthly N4C competition. The competition is judged on a rotating basis by 37 different midwestern photography clubs.
Ten of our club members earned first, second, third, or honorable mention awards. Their 24 images will advance to the annual competition at Finding Your Light, the annual N4C convention to be held this year in Des Moines in September 2019.
Many of our club photographers also earned merit awards. Although merit award images do not advance, these photographers received recognition from judging clubs. All of our club’s competition entries are posted in our online gallery. The N4C Winners galleries may be found here.
Submitting to monthly N4C competitions is one of the perks of Dubuque Camera Club membership. Receiving feedback from others helps us to evaluate our own work so we can learn and grow as photographers. Even if we don’t receive any awards, participating in the competition is a fun way to be involved with the club.
Digital Altered Reality
Digital Altered Reality
Success on attempt number 5
Forgotten Coon Hound
Late Night on the Mississippi
Christmas in July
Rock Climber Scales Sheer Cliff
Face to Summit Rim
Bouquet of Fireworks Over People
& Mississippi River
The Dubuque Camera Club meeting on June 3, 2019 was our annual potluck picnic, the final meeting of the 2018-2019 season. We had an excellent turnout, with thirty-four people attending. Thanks to everyone who brought food, assisted at the grill, or helped to setup/takedown this enjoyable event.
“It’s great to see this many people here. The food was amazing,” said club president Ron Tigges.
The club provided burgers and brats, at a cost that tallied to only $2.19 per person. Jennifer did a great job of organizing, and Ken helped set up the room. Attendees brought a variety of salads, side dishes, beverages, and desserts. We had to scramble for plates and forks (not to mention gnat spray for those at the grill), but everything came together.
After dinner, treasurer John Leicht gave an overview of the club’s finances. We have a healthy balance in both checking and savings. The club’s yearly expenses include facility rental, N4C membership dues, Smugmug subscription, web domain, Eagle watch expense, brochure printing, any presenter stipends, and the food/refreshments provided at various meetings or events. At this point the club is in a good position to subsidize the DuMA exhibit and also purchase light painting equipment.
Summer photoshoot: Light painting
In July or August we will hold a summer photoshoot to feature light painting. Ron is in charge of purchasing equipment and organizing the event. We may reach out to other regional photographers and ask them to join us. We will first gather at a local venue, and then head out after dark to explore. Club members, watch your email for details.
Light painting is a long-exposure night photography technique. To participate, you will need a tripod and a camera that can do low light photography. (You need to be able to set your camera to manual or bulb mode.) ** Do you need to figure out this technique? Below are some helpful links:
Reflections submission deadline extended to June 17th
The club reviewed all the Reflections submissions received thus far. A few were not yet in the online gallery. We hope to have at least one image selected from each photographer that wishes to participate. Ron touched base with the art museum curator, and he read her email response to the initial submissions.
Cost. The club will pay half the cost of one print per member. Everybody who has submitted needs to think about whether they are willing to have more than one image in the show, because you will be responsible for the additional cost.
Exhibit brochure. The club also hopes to create a brochure to accompany the exhibit, with short profiles of each participating photographer. Everyone will be asked for biographical info about 50 words in length.
A motion was made to retain all current club officers in their positions for the 2019/2020 season. The seconds, thirds, and ayes went around the room so fast that my head was spinning. The general consensus of the group is that the current officers are doing a fine job.
N4C reps Cara and Ken shared comments from judging clubs as we reviewed the returns from the May 2019 competition. Congratulations to the following talented Dubuque Camera Club photographers!
Bob Felderman, Two merit awards
Kevin McTague, Honorable mention and Merit award
Lori Burrows, Merit award
Cara Pusateri, Merit award
Becky Mather, Honorable mention and Merit award
Ken Kiss, Honorable mention
For future competitions, remember that Black and White photos need to be high contrast to do well. It’s possible to submit a panel of up to three related photos in Journalism. And no “hand of man” should be visible in nature photos. Pictorial is a catch-all category, for subjects that don’t fit elsewhere.
Some of the canned comments were every bit as helpful as usual. This one I could recite in my sleep: “Technically sound but lacking interest to the majority of viewers.” Remember, some of the feedback we hear on N4C competition photos is a default selection from the spreadsheet that is used during judging. We did well as a club to hold a critique workshop last month. More constructive feedback is always better.
Is it Art or not?
“Art is subjective and different for everyone,” said someone in the room, as we were looking through images. Yes, that is somewhat true, but not completely.
General Bob, who is currently attending the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, spoke up and mentioned the English art critic Clive Bell (1881-1964). Bell, who was part of the Bloomsbury Group (he married Virginia Woolf’s sister, Vanessa), wrote a lot about what makes art art — or not. That field is called aesthetics. It is related to the Philosophy of Art.
Think about the last time you saw an incredible image, one so good that it made you catch your breath in awe. In your gut, you KNEW it was artistic. That photo had SOMEthing to make you react in appreciation. Composition, color, subject matter, post-processing… everything lined up perfectly.
One example, for those who attended Blufftops & Visions, was the astounding keynote presentation by our international speaker, Iván Ferrero. His final slideshow was awesome. Every picture was eye candy, really and truly art. And I’m pretty confident most of the other people in the room felt the same way — this perception wasn’t just my own subjective taste. So it must be possible to develop the skill or talent to take consistently wonderful photos.
Yet not everybody who picks up a camera can easily make a decent photo. Certainly, not every photo gets the same score or feedback on N4C judging nights. The rest of us have to learn and stumble. We learn the rules of composition and how to use our camera, and also how to take advice from more experienced photographers.
Anyway, that pretty much sums up what little I know about the subjectivity of art. You may want to take a look at this interesting article from PetaPixel about the Aesthetics of Photography. And if you want to read Clive Bell, here’s a book.
Upcoming club events
Visit the events page for more upcoming area photography events.
Next official Dubuque Camera Club meeting: TUESDAY, September 3rd, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. (Note this meeting is on a Tuesday due to the holiday). All tri-state area photographers are welcome to attend. Location: E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center, Mines of Spain. This meeting will kick off the 2019/2020 season. We’ll review changes and updates to N4C rules and competition guidelines. Monthly competition submissions are due before the meeting. No digital nature.
N4C convention in Des Moines, Sept. 19-21, 2019 — Finding Your Light, hosted by the Des Moines Camera club. Speakers, field trips, and workshops. No commercial vendors this year. Early bird registration deadline is August 11 at a cost of $185, not including lodging.
Reflections exhibit opens. Saturday, September 21, 2019. Photography by members of the Dubuque Camera Club at the Dubuque Museum of Art. The exhibit is scheduled to run through November 10th. More info about an opening reception/gallery talk will be announced closer to the date.
Flash Happening. Sometime this fall (possibly the first weekend in October???) — A temporary art installation in the former radio station on 8th and Bluff. This is a partnership between the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society and the Dubuque Museum of Art. The club will organize some sort of photography-related activity or exhibit. Details TBD.
Photo Pro workshops. Club member Jose Garcia, now a Canon ambassador, is leading two workshops in Cedar Rapids in June. Learn more at the store’s events page.
Stoned Art: Thoughts from the Road. Club member Henry Matthiessen III has partnered with local musician/videographer Dean Wellman to adventure in the American southwest. They will soon be launching a GoFundMe campaign. To learn more, visit the Thoughts from the Road page on Facebook.
Henry has moved his Stoned Art Gallery to the Central Avenue “curve” with an official opening date of August 1st.
NOTE: If you have any news or information, or corrections for the website, please contact Pamela.