Noteworthy photography events

Want to re-invigorate your photography or improve your skills? Are you ready for a roadtrip? Consider registering for these noteworthy photography events…

Dubuque Camera Club member José Garcia will be leading workshops at PhotoPro in Cedar Rapids on June 21-22

You must register in advance. Cost is $25 per workshop.  José is now a Canon ambassador, and this is part of the store’s Canon weekend. See the Photo Pro Facebook page or website for more information.  Here is a list of all upcoming PhotoPro events.

The Des Moines Camera Club will host the annual N4C convention, Finding Your Light, on September 19-22, 2019.

Register to attend Finding Your Light by August 11 to receive an early bird discount. The cost for N4C members who register by the early bird deadline is $185. Speakers, workshops and photo shoots, photography presentations, and more! The event will be held at the Sheraton of West Des Moines. Lodging costs are not included in convention registration. See below for more information:

Click here for more information about Finding Your Light

May 20, 2019 — Meeting notes

The Dubuque Camera Club meeting on May 20, 2019 was attended by 15 people. One of the missing faces was Ellie Schueller, who recently had knee surgery. We’re sending her good thoughts and hoping she’ll be here for the picnic on June 3rd!

RSVP REMINDER: Club members, watch your email for a link to the RSVP form for the potluck picnic on June 3rd at 6:00 p.m. You are welcome to bring your spouse or significant other, kids, and/or someone who may be interested in joining the club. Please bring a potluck dish to share. The club will provide burgers & brats. The meeting will start a little earlier than usual at 6:00 p.m. and will be our last regular meeting of the N4C season. Don’t forget to submit your Reflections images!

N4C mini-con attendees, May 2019

Our new N4C board member, Jennifer Tigges, gave a short presentation about what was discussed or decided at the Wesley Woods mini-convention. Jenn will formally join the board in September, during the Finding Your Light convention in Des Moines.

N4C Competition changes. Because some of the competition category descriptions are changing, our club will need to take a close look at those updates when we start submitting again next fall.

Print competition. Right now only 14% of N4C competition submissions are prints. This is due to the cost and bother. The clubs must bear the burden of postal costs and the hassle of mailing them back to the submitting clubs. There is no standard print size, which effectively gives an advantage to larger prints. Because of these difficulties, our club has competed only digitally for the past several years. The penalty we’ve paid for being progressive and techie is that we’ve lost points in the end-of-the-year calculations. The way N4C points are calculated now, it is not possible for clubs who compete only digitally to win Club of the Year or Member of the Year.

Jenn and Ron are proposing an idea to the N4C board that will improve this flawed system. Potentially — if it is implemented — our club will resume competing with prints in the future. The idea is for all prints to be 8-inch by 10-inch and disposable. In other words, the judging clubs would keep or destroy the prints after they are judged, instead of mailing them back. This will save on postal costs and hassle. In addition, the standard size of 8″x10″ would make a more level playing field for all the print submissions.

Photo essays. On a related note, our club will possibly judge the Photo Essay competition next year. If you attended Blufftops & Visions, you may remember seeing the winning photo essays during a banquet. These are not videos, but a compilation of still images, set to music. The N4C has been lax in the past about the problem of using copyrighted music. However, this rule will be enforced in the future. As photographers, we don’t want people to use our work without permission, so why would we steal the work of musicians? A source of public domain music may need to be found for this competition.

Ethical behavior. Some of the discussion about N4C rule change revolves around the ethical behavior of member photographers. For instance, it’s not always possible for a viewer to tell from a single image how much it has been digitally manipulated. Only the photographer may know for sure if an image belongs in the Digitally Altered (DA) category. Jenn said: “It’s up to you, the photographer, to be honest and to put it in the category it needs to go in.”

Watch the N4C website or newsletter for details about these upcoming changes. Registered club members are supposed to receive the N4C newsletter by email. It comes from photopeople01 at aol dot com. Check your spam folder if you don’t see it. [Side note — Don’t stress over this. I’ve been a club member for seven years and just mysteriously starting getting the N4C Bulletin for the first time. It contains a list of competition award winners, which we go over during meetings anyway. If you follow the N4C Facebook page, you can get a link to the latest bulletin.]

Finding Your Light, September 19-21, 2019.
The 2019 N4C convention is sponsored by the Des Moines Camera Club.
Register by August 11 for an early bird discount.

Light Painting — Summer Photo Shoot

Light Painting. Ron shared his enthusiasm about doing a light painting photo shoot this summer. Everyone had a blast when it was demonstrated by Roger Feldhans at the mini-con. Our club voted to authorize up to $200 be spent on various supplies to make this activity possible. We will plan it for a nice summer night during the blue hour, about 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Club members, watch your email for an invitation to attend this summer light painting event. Specific details are yet to be determined.

Flash Happening. Our club has spoken for a room at the Flash Happening, a popup art show in the old radio station at 8th and Bluff. The event will be sponsored by the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society and the Dubuque Museum of Art. The building will be demolished after the exhibit ends. Be thinking about weird artistic stuff to do for an art installation. Date and details TBA. [Next fall…? Next year…?]

Critique night. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to looking at and giving feedback on the images submitted for Critique Night as well as the images that have been sent in for the Reflections exhibit. Each photographer had the opportunity to explain their shot. Then Ron led a discussion giving constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement. A few photographers used the written feedback form to respond. Hopefully this critique session was valuable to participants! One of the benefits of being part of the Dubuque Camera Club is the chance to learn from others. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated!

May 6, 2019 — Meeting Notes

The Dubuque Camera Club meeting on May 6, 2019 was attended by 18 people. Below are a few things that were discussed…

Ron and Jennifer enjoyed their trip to Wesley Woods for the N4C mini-con.
♦ Ron was awarded third place in panoramic prints. [Good job, Ron!]
♦ Jennifer has joined the N4C board of directors! [Yayyyy! Feet stomping on the bleachers! Cheerleaders doing stunts! Pep band playing!]

Jennifer and Ron Tigges

At the next club meeting on May 20th, we will hear more about what happened at the N4C mini-con. In the meantime, Ron leaked a few secrets [SHHHH, don’t tell our new board member!]:

  • Our club may possibly judge the next N4C Photo Essay competition.
  • The description of some of the N4C competition categories will be changing. If you have been following along, you already know that some parts are unclear, or just plain unhelpful. Change is good!
  • The DA (digitally altered) category was heavily discussed, so we may see some clarification of the expectations for that category.
  • The DJ (digital journalism) category, now judged with a 15-point scoring system, will soon get an alternate scoring system.
  • The comments that club members receive on competition photos were also discussed. Everyone knows HOW HELPFUL THEY ARE.
  • Video may be added as a category in the future. Ron gave the example of the recent Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. Some films were shot using the exact same cameras that club members are now using to create still images.
  • Ribbons will be handled differently for monthly competition winners. Cara now has a big packet of ribbons that she can hand out right away.
  • The postage costs and hassle of prints needs to be streamlined. That’s why our club stopped competing with prints several years ago. But the N4C point system is still skewed toward clubs that do do prints [Yes, that was do-do]. Because of this bias, it has not been possible for digital-only clubs to earn “club of the year” or “member of the year.” With a voice on the board, our club can now advocate for change.
  • The N4C signed a contract, so Wesley Woods will be the location of the spring mini-con for the next 5 years.
  • Remember that the Des Moines Camera Club is hosting the big annual N4C convention this fall. Here’s a link to the “Finding Your Light” registration page.
  • We are still getting positive feedback about Blufftops & Visions. Visitors especially enjoyed the Millwork & Models photo shoot! [Yayyy us!! We are so awesome!]
  • Remember to attend the next club meeting on May 20th. In addition to Photo Critique Night, Jennifer and Ron will share even more information about various N4C do-do. Be there!

Submissions and Returns

“Bouquet of Fireworks over People and Mississippi River” by Bob Felderman, 3rd place, Digital Pictorial, April 2019

The club also looked at the competition returns for April 2019. Congratulations to the following awesome Dubuque Camera Club photographers!

  • Robert Felderman, 3rd place, Digital Pictorial, “Bouquet of Fireworks”
  • Karen Durrant, Merit award
  • Cara Pusateri, Merit award
  • Cory Huntington, Merit award
  • Kevin McTague, Honorable mention

The Digital Journalism returns for March 2019 have still not been received. Cara will share them when/if she gets them.

The club also reviewed the submissions for May. Note that May was the last chance to submit your photos to the N4C competition this season. The 2019/2020 season will start again in September. The next submissions are due before our first regular meeting of the new season, on TUESDAY Sept. 3rd, 2019 (the Tuesday after Labor Day).

Other club news

If you have purchased new photography gear and want to show it off to club members, you can do that at any meeting. It doesn’t have to be part of the official agenda. Also, we plan to clarify the rules for our private Facebook group. Only club members are allowed to post items for sale there, which is one of the benefits of club membership.

Another benefit of membership in the Dubuque Camera Club is being able to participate in club exhibits. Reflections, the club’s 7th consecutive exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art, is scheduled for September 21 to November 10, 2019. Initial submissions are due before the potluck picnic on Monday June 3rd. Only club members in good standing may participate. (I.e. your dues should be paid up-to-date.) Watch your email for exhibit details. Find more Reflections information here.

SUMMER PLANS: Even though our last “official” meeting for the season is on June 3rd, we plan to meet informally this summer. Ron wants to do light painting. This is a night-time long exposure technique. During the same photoshoot, people could also do star trails or other long exposure subjects. Photographer Roger Feldhans displayed his light painting work at Wesley Woods. Details of any summer photo shoots will be discussed at upcoming meetings and/or emailed to club members.

What club members have been doing…

Lori Burrows has taken a breather from her cross-country travels. She’s been posting some terrific images from Florida and New Orleans. Recently, she was spotted doing volunteer photography for a women’s shelter. What a great way to give back to the community!

Dubuque Camera Club member Lori Burrows using her photography skills as a community volunteer.

Andreas Exner recently teamed up with Kevin McTague for a nature photo shoot from a backyard bird blind. You don’t have to travel far to get great nature photos, especially during spring migration! He posted some of the bird photos on his blog.

Laura Schuster ‘s work will be in the inaugural show at the new Homestead Studio and Gallery in rural Bellevue. Laura will also be at the Corkless wine festival art fair in Galena on June 22.

Henry Matthiessen III is moving his Stoned Art Studio & Gallery to 1800 Central Ave., with a tentative opening date of August 1. In the meantime the gallery is open by chance or appointment. He will also be at various regional art fairs this summer, including Millwork Night Market.

Bob Felderman‘s images are featured in the May 2 issue of 365ink magazine, accompanying the 2019 Dubuquefest section. General Bob’s photos are also being used to promote our Reflections exhibit.

Photos by Jose Garcia in the latest issue.

Jose Garcia has several photos in Issue #77 of Photography Masterclass magazine, including the cover image.

In his new role as Canon ambassador, Jose will be leading a two-day workshop on June 21-22 at Photo Pro in Cedar Rapids. Topics will be off-camera flash for portraits, with a second workshop about using natural light. A selection of Jose’s photos will also be on display in the store.

Coincidentally, while searching for information about Jose’s event on the PhotoPro website, I noticed a familiar face on their Facebook page. Take a look:

Dubuque Camera Club member Gary Fagan, captured at Photo Pro in Cedar Rapids

Upcoming meetings

  • Monday, May 20 @ 6:30 p.m. — Critique Night. [Click here for more information about Critique Night] Email 1-3 photos to Ken as soon as possible, with “Critique Night Submission” as the subject of your email. We will hear more about the recent N4C mini-con at Wesley Woods.
  • Monday, June 3rd @ 6:00 p.m. — Potluck Picnic. Note 6:00 start time. Bring a dish to share, along with your loved ones. The club will probably(?) provide burgers/brats as in previous years. (Re-)election of officers. And don’t forget: REFLECTIONS submissions are due! [Click here for Reflections guidelines.]
  • Summer Photo Shoots and/or presenters — Day/time and details TBD.
  • TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 3019 @ 6:30 p.m. — First regular meeting of the 2019/20 season. This meeting is on a Tuesday due to Labor Day.

Protect your photos from theft!

♦♦♦ Are you one of the estimated 70% of photographers that has had your work stolen or used without permission? ♦♦♦

The Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) has been introduced in both the House and Senate. The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is supporting this bill. Contact your congressional representatives to let them know how important this is to you as a creator and small business owner.

Contact Congress Now!

Your voice CAN make a difference.

Tri-state photographers: Contact your congressional representatives and tell them to support the CASE Act. To learn more, visit PPA at

Critique Night – May 20

One benefit of being part of the Dubuque Camera Club is the chance to learn from others. The club meeting on Monday, May 20, 2019, will be a Critique Night. Members may submit 1-3 photos for constructive criticism from other club members. To participate, you must submit your photos in advance.

How to submit. Your images for Critique Night can be any subject you wish. They can be (but do not have to be) potential Reflections submissions. No need to follow N4C guidelines. Photoshopped images are fine. For the filename, use your member number (not your real name), along with the title of your photo.

Send your JPG photo(s) by email to Ken Kiss. Use “Critique Night submission” as the subject of your email. Please send in your images as early as possible before the meeting so there is time to put them in the club’s online gallery.

How to give a critique. The best critique is a balance of positive encouragement and constructive ideas for improvement. Use the language of photography: focus, composition, color, contrast, angle, shutter speed, choice of subject, etc.

It’s OK to ask the photographer questions. Remember, not everyone is at the same level of proficiency or experience. Not everyone owns (or can afford) the same equipment.

Always try to give reasons for your opinion about an image. A simple thumbs up (or thumbs down) doesn’t give the recipient much information.
→ Not very helpful: I like it.
→ Much more helpful: I like it because….

When in doubt, be kind! We want Critique Night to be a positive learning experience for everyone. Please use respectful communication and be a good listener. By giving specific suggestions, you will give the photographer a path to improvement.

Club members: Send in 1-3 photos for Critique Night on May 20, 2019.

Email them to Ken before the meeting using the guidelines above.

How to GET a critique. When your photo is being discussed, try to listen with an open mind without getting defensive. Some of what you hear will be personal opinion. Remember, the loudest voice isn’t always right. Sometimes the quieter people in the room have good advice too. Everybody’s got an opinion, so take what’s useful and leave the rest.

It’s OK to explain your photo, or to ask questions. Think of critique night as the chance to hear how the public responds to your work. Sometimes, being critiqued can feel awkward. When it’s over, you may or may not take action on everything that is said, and that’s OK. When it comes to your photography, you decide.

Critique Form (optional)

(Optional) Critique Form: During critique night, you can expect a lot of the feedback to be verbal, in the form of a discussion. Tentatively, we will also use a written feedback form. You may use this optional written critique form if you don’t feel comfortable speaking up in a group, or if you need time to shape a better response. At the end of the night, you may give this form to the photographer, if you think it would be helpful to him or her. Turning in the written forms is not required, however.

PhotoWhat I like/StrengthComment/Suggestion
...[Click here to download the printable form]

More resources. Here are a few other helpful resources for giving and receiving photo critiques:

Critique tip sheet
What is a critique?
Getting constructive feedback from other photographers is one of the benefits of Dubuque Camera Club membership.