December 3rd, 2018 – Holiday Party

The Dubuque Camera Club’s holiday annual party and potluck on December 3, 2018 was attended by 28 people.  We enjoyed a delicious meal with our photographer friends and significant others. Thanks to everyone who shared their good cooking!

During the meeting, we looked at previous N4C competition returns. We did not have any submissions this month. [The next N4C submissions are due before the next club meeting on Jan. 7, 2019.]  We also browsed the online winners galleries.

Congratulations to the following club members who earned recognition for their excellent photo submissions:

  • Ron Tigges
  • Eleanor Schueller
  • Dave Smethers
  • Kevin McTague
  • Ken Kiss 

Bigger image dimensions are now allowed. 
As of October 2018, the N4C rules now allow a file size of up to 750KB (was 500KB). The longest side can be up to 1920px.

Remember, being able to submit to N4C competition is a perk of club membership.  Send digital nature or digital black and white submissions to Ken. Send photos in all other categories to Cara.  Look for specifics in your member packet or in past club emails.

Upcoming Club events:

♦♦ Next club meeting is next year!  Due to the holidays, there is no second meeting in December. Our next regular club meeting will be on Monday, January 7th, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

♦♦♦ A Flash Photography Workshop will be the agenda at the second meeting of the New Year, on Monday, January 21st @ 6:30 p.m. Bring your gear. The club will explore off camera and on-camera flash techniques, as well as continuous lighting.

All tri-state area photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend regular club meetings. Location:  E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center, Mines of Spain.  Watch our Facebook group for any weather-related cancellation information.

Bird photography presentation. Three club members, Ron Tigges, Ken Kiss, and Kevin McTague, will be sharing their bird photography at the Dubuque Audubon Society meeting on Thursday, Jan. 10th at 6:00.  This is the same presentation they gave during Blufftops and Visions, so if you missed it then, or see it again! Location: E.B. Lyons, Mines of Spain. 

Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch. Saturday, January 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Grand River Center in the Port of Dubuque. The club will have a table at this free family event. If you want to display and/or sell your nature photos, get in touch with Ron. We will not be formally scheduling volunteers to staff the table, so please just stop by to chat and hang out with other club members.
The Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch is a free family event with live raptor presentations scheduled throughout the day. If you are into wildlife, bird, or nature photography, you will definitely want to put this annual event on your calendar. It is hosted by the Dubuque Audubon Society.

Other news:

PPA convention. Bob Felderman will be attending the national PPA convention in January. This is a huge event that will be held in Atlanta, GA. If you are also interested in details of this event, visit the Imaging USA website.  
Art @ Your Library. The Carnegie-Stout Public Library is exhibiting a holiday art show in the rotunda area through January 21, 2019. The exhibit features sixteen local artists in a variety of media. You can see a couple of photos by our club members: General Bob and Gary Fagan.
Snow sculptures.
The Dubuque Museum of Art will be hosting a free snow sculpting competition in Washington Park on January 26 from noon to 4:00. Last year this event provided some interesting photo opportunities. See the museum’s website for more info.
DuMA Biennial. The Dubuque Museum of Art is currently accepting submissions to its Biennial. Last year, this call included photography. It is a juried exhibit, and there is a fee to enter. Contact the museum staff or find more information here
Broad Ideas. Women club members are encouraged to enter their photography (or other artwork) in this year’s Broad Ideas exhibit at the Galena Center for the Arts. Deadline is Feb. 8 with an opening date of March 1. Last year we had a couple of club members in the exhibit. More details and an entry form at
Submerged in the Sublime. If you’re in the mood for a road trip, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport has an interesting photography exhibit that opens on Feb. 9, 2019. It is called “Submerged in the Sublime: The Landscape Photography of Kim Keever.” More exhibit information is on the Figge website.

Nov. 19, 2018 – Storytelling in Wildlife Photography

On November 19, 2018, Dubuque Camera Club member Andreas Exner gave a presentation on Storytelling in Wildlife Photography. Thirty people attended, including both familiar and new faces.  Club president Ron Tigges gave a brief overview of the club and introduced our presenter.

Andreas shared a slide show of wonderful bird, wildlife and landscape pictures, as well as his tips for success as a wildlife photographer.  You can see more of his photography on his website at

Andreas is originally from Germany and now makes his home in the tri-states. As a relative newcomer to the Mississippi Valley, he is appreciative of the diversity of life it contains. “In the Mississippi Valley, you have access to nature areas very easily,” he said.

Red Fox Pup, photographed by Andreas Exner

He tries to use his passion as a wildlife photographer to create awareness. We need to make a commitment to protecting habitat so that future generations will have these opportunities too. 

“If we just create a little habitat around our homes, the animals will come to us,” Andreas said. The advantage is that you don’t have to travel far to take storytelling pictures. He displayed many excellent bird photos taken not far from his front door.

Photographers also need to act ethically so that our subjects are not harmed. To the oohs and awes of the audience, he displayed a couple of fox den photos and the story of how he took them. “It’s very important not to endanger the wildlife that we photograph,” Andreas said.  

Captured: Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer by Moose Peterson

“Don’t go home too early” is also one of his secrets.  If you are patient and know the biology of your subject,  you don’t need an expensive, long lens.  Sometimes, when you think you haven’t gotten anything, you simply need to switch to a new subject. For instance, if the bird you are seeking proves impossible, take a photo of that butterfly. 

Successful photos have three ingredients: light, gesture, and color.  Photos without these qualities go right in the trash can. And don’t frame the bird or frog too tightly: “Including habitat in the photo makes it part of the storytelling,” said Andreas.

He shoots with a Nikon D750. He takes advantage of today’s sophisticated auto-focus. To avoid noise, he rarely raises the ISO above 400. He likes to experiment with black and white, especially in landscapes. So you don’t miss shots, remember to look behind you!

Andreas displayed a couple of dramatic Bison pictures, including one in black and white. And no, he didn’t lie down in front of a male bison! Some animals can be dangerous. His photographs of Bighorn Sheep were taken from a distance.

The car often makes an effective blind, and birds aren’t bothered, until you actually open the car door. He uses this strategy at Green Island, one of his favorite photography locations in the area. He mentioned a few other top wildlife photography locations, in Iowa as well as in the western U.S.

Occasionally, on an overcast day or in dim light, Andreas uses a flash. He displayed an awesome flash photo of a Flying Squirrel on a tree trunk, taken by chance with only a few moments to grab his gear. He said that a hint of flash can also bring out the color of a bird’s feathers.

Lastly, to be successful as a nature photographer, always ask yourself, “What’s my subject?” For instance, if you want to photograph Bald Eagles, the Mississippi River at Le Claire, Iowa, is very popular.  During the question and answer period at the end of the presentation, the photographers in the audience offered a few other tips and location suggestions.

Thank you to Andreas Exner!!! We enjoyed so many beautiful natural images during his presentation on storytelling in wildlife photography.  Also thanks to everyone who attended!

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Dubuque Camera Club, or in updating your membership, please fill out the club membership application. You can mail in your dues or give your application to a club officer at any meeting.

Nov. 5, 2018 meeting notes

The Dubuque Camera Club meeting on November 5, 2018 was attended by 13 photographers and two children.  One benefit of being a club member is the chance to gain knowledge and tips from other photographers. Here are a few things that happened at the meeting:

♦ Club president Ron Tigges shared his experiences attending a Sandhill Crane viewing event near Spring Green that was organized by the Driftless Area Land Conservancy.

♦ Club member Jose Garcia demonstrated the features of his new mirrorless camera. At the same time, light acrobatic entertainment was enjoyed by the youngest attendees (taking turns hopping off the stage by Dad).

♦ Newbie club member Casey Klein shared the photos on her point-and-shoot camera with the club communications chairperson and got her name in the notes by semi-promising to wear a Mrs. Santa costume to the holiday party.

♦ Club member David Smethers shared images with his quadrant of the room from the motorcycling adventure that took him out of town during Blufftops & Visions.

♦ The club’s First Lady, Jennifer Tigges, snuck off to do some community event organizing / food production / dog walking at an undisclosed location.

♦ Club member Gary Campbell sat quietly in the back row wondering what all the fuss was about.

N4C competition winners

After the share-and-tell subsided, we looked at the returns from last month’s N4C competition. The  comments from other clubs were every bit as helpful and insightful as they always are.

The Dubuque Camera Club is blessed with a number of very talented photographers. Congratulations to the following gentlemen for winning awards in the October 2018 N4C competition:

  • Kevin McTeague
  • Jose Garcia
  • Ken Kiss
  • Ronald Tigges


The monthly N4C submissions are viewable in our club’s online gallery.  Club members can comment on five photos in each category to vote for their favorites. Voting is necessary when submissions surpass the number of entries we can send in that month. Use your member number when you comment. It should be possible to login and comment using either Facebook or a free Smugmug account.

Remember, if a category has empty spots after the first meeting of the month, it’s first come, first serve, to get your image submitted. Contact N4C reps Cara or Ken if you have questions.

N4C Image Size Guidelines – The longest side must be no more than 1920 pixels. The file size must be no more than 750KB. [N4C Competition Rules]


Ron reminded us that the Blufftops & Visions photos are online. The group photo shoot in the Historic Millwork District on Friday resulted in some smashingly good images.  Take a look, or send in your convention photos if you took some too.

Storytelling in Wildlife Photography

At the next meeting on Monday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m., we will enjoy a presentation about Storytelling in Wildlife Photography by club member and nature photographer Andreas Exner. This presentation is open to the public, so please promote this event to your friends and fellow photography enthusiasts!

Holiday Potluck Party

On Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, the club will hold its annual holiday potluck party, starting at 6:00 p.m. The party is limited to club members and family members or loved ones! Watch for specific details in an upcoming email!

Thanks to everyone who attended tonight’s meeting for being part of the Dubuque Camera Club.

October 15, 2018 meeting notes

Eight members of the Dubuque Camera Club attended the regular club meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Tech tips. We discussed a variety of techniques for managing images using Adobe Lightroom, such as keywording, how to import and export, where the files go, useful Youtube videos, how to edit Lightroom images in Photoshop, and more. We plan to share more Tips and Tricks suggestions during upcoming club meetings, starting with the next meeting on November 5th.

Seeing Red, the club’s exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art, has been extended until December 2, 2018. Museum staff have shared that they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from visitors. If you are a participating photographer, you can pick up your Seeing Red photo(s) after the exhibit ends during the club’s Holiday Party. If you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, it is located on the main floor. Visit the DuMA website for hours and details about current exhibits.

Bird Photography. The terrific presentation on bird photography that was given at Blufftops & Visions by club members Ron Tigges, Ken Kiss, and Kevin McTeague will happen again in January. They will be presenting on Thursday, January 10, 2019 during a meeting of the Dubuque Audubon Society. The program starts at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Presentations at upcoming club meetings. With so many talented club members,  as well as other skilled photographers in the area, we have decided to host more photography presentations at regular club meetings.

On Monday, November 19, Andreas Exner will discuss Storytelling in Wildlife Photography. He will present a slideshow of his original photos and give tips for how you can be successful with wildlife photography. The meeting will be open to all tri-state photography enthusiasts.

Andreas Exner will give a presentation on Storytelling in Wildlife Photography at the Dubuque Camera Club meeting on Monday, November 19, 2018.

Blufftops & Visions photos are online. We are very happy that the convention last month was a success. Whew! Many people have contributed photographs of the weekend’s events. You can view Blufftops & Visions photo galleries here.

Other photography events.  Inspire Cafe, located in Dubuque’s Historic Millwork District, will be hosting acclaimed photographer Mark Hirsch on Thursday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m. Visit the cafe’s Facebook page for details.

The Camera Company in Madison offers DSLR classes and hosts monthly photography events. See the education section of their website for upcoming events. Sign up for their email newsletter to stay informed.

Adobe Stock is making a push for photographer contributions to its stock website. If you contribute at least 300 photos (they must be approved by Adobe), you can earn a free Creative Cloud subscription. More details here.


  • Silos and Smokestacks, 2018 Capture the Heart of America. This annual contest is perfect for your rural photos of agricultural scenes that include farm machinery, cropland, livestock, or farm kids. Deadline: October 31, 2018. More details here.
  • Keep Iowa Beautiful. Past winners portray Iowa landscapes (both urban and rural). Deadline: December 14, 2018. More details here.
Holiday Party. The Dubuque Camera Club will hold its annual Holiday Party on Monday, December 3, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m. It will be a potluck and is open to club members and their family members or loved ones only. We will plan the details during next month’s meetings. Club members, you will be asked to bring a dish, so be sure to watch for an upcoming email with more details about the Holiday Party. 


♦ Monday, November 5, 2018. Regular club meeting. N4C submissions due.
♦ Monday, November 19, 2018. Photography Presentation by Andreas Exner on Storytelling in Wildlife Photography. Free and open to the public.
♦ Monday, December 3, 2018. Holiday party and potluck for club members and their family/loved ones. No other meeting in December.

♥ Monday, January 7, 2019. Regular club meeting. N4C submissions due.
♫ Saturday, January 19, 2019. Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch. Our club will participate with an informational table in the vendor area.
♥ Monday, January 21, 2019. Club meeting. Flash photography workshop. If you would like to participate, bring your gear.

♦ Monday, February 4, 2019. Regular club meeting. N4C submissions due.
♦ Monday, February 18, 2019. Our club will judge the Digital Black and White category of the N4C competition.

♥ Monday, March 4, 2019. Regular club meeting. N4C submissions due.
♥ Monday, March 18, 2019. Photography presentation or workshop to be announced.

Dubuque Camera Club meeting on October 15, 2018.

Sept. 17, 2018 meeting notes

The Dubuque Camera Club meeting on September 17, 2018 was attended by nine people.  Our club judged the Digital Pictorial category in the N4C competition. 92 photos were judged.

Volunteering as judges were Jennifer Tigges, Ken Kiss, and John Leicht.

You can view the winners of the pictorial category in the September 2018 competition on the N4C website.

Upcoming events:

  • Seeing Red reception at the Dubuque Museum of Art on Friday, Sept. 21, starting at 5:00 p.m.
  • Fall Into Art. Friday evening, October 5, 2018.
  • Club meeting on Monday, October 1, 2018 @ 6:30 p.m. N4C submissions are due.
  • Club meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 6:30 p.m.