January 7, 2019 Club Meeting

The first Dubuque Camera Club meeting of the New Year was held on Monday, January 7, 2019. It was attended by 21 people. We were delighted to welcome several new members from the Galena area. Thanks for coming, Marie, Karen, Tim, Richard, and Henry. We hope to see you again soon!

Remember, if you are not yet receiving club emails, but wish to, give your email address to Pamela or to another club officer during a meeting. We use email to communicate, and to send out detailed reminders of upcoming events. If you are interested in joining the club, please know that one perk of membership is being able to submit your photos to the monthly N4C competition. Click here for a membership application.

At tonight’s meeting, after everybody in attendance introduced themselves, club president Ron Tigges gave a quick overview of how our club works. We meet twice a month in an N4C season that runs from September through May, with activities planned throughout the year, based on the interest of participating photographers. As a club, we’ve participated in photo shoots, workshops and presentations.

Our club has been featured in an annual exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art for the past six years. We have also exhibited at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library for Art@Your Library, and have been part of Dubuque Main Street’s Fall Into Art, as well as the Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch, which is sponsored by the Dubuque Audubon Society. [This year’s Eagle Watch will be held on January 19th.] 

In September 2018 the Dubuque Camera Club hosted around 120 visitors to Dubuque for the 62nd annual N4C convention, Blufftops & Visions. If you would like to see Blufftops & Visions event photos, visit this gallery.

Our club belongs to the N4C, a group of 37 midwestern photography clubs. We compete in the following six digital categories:

  • DA – Altered Reality (was Digital Creative) [For your Photoshopped creations, the wilder the better].
  • DN – Nature [No “hand of man” or commonly cultivated plants].
  • DJ – Journalism  [Judged using different criteria].
  • DT – Travel [Must have the city/state or specific location in the filename].
  • DB – Black and White  [Sepia or duo-tone is OK].
  • DP – Pictorial  [A catchall category for appealing photos that don’t fit elsewhere].

A competition photo should be no more than 1920 pixels on its longest side. For the best appearance, Ron suggests sizing your photos at 1920×1080, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen displays. However, it is acceptable to submit a square photo that is 1920x1920px. File size is limited to 750KB.

To learn more about specific guidelines for N4C submissions, visit their web page.  If you are looking for a step-by-step tutorial for how to export your submissions in Lightroom, click here for a five-minute video.  If you want to know what filename to use for your competition images, click here. You can also find hints on our competition page.

Know your club member number, because it is yours forever, even if you disappear for a looongg stretch of time, such as to Florida or into the mountains (or shopping in Galena?). You must have your club dues paid up-to-date to be eligible to submit ($20 annually). Here is a link to our Smugmug site where you can see past club submissions.


Submissions are due before our first meeting each month. [If you would like to submit to the next competition, the deadline is February 4, 2019]. With the exception of Nature and Black and White, which are sent to Ken Kiss, send your submissions by email to Cara Pusateri. (Confused? Read club emails or follow our Facebook group.)

This just in…

One question raised at the meeting was whether we will be exhibiting at the Dubuque Museum of Art in 2019. The answer is YES!!!  However, in order to make this show into a reality, we will need volunteers to help and assist. First, as a club, we need to decide on a theme.  This is very important because a theme will guide and focus the whole exhibit.

In addition, someone needs to assist with the many organizing details, such as accepting submissions, facilitating curation, getting prints made, collecting payment, delivering, and taking down the show. We will be discussing these ideas at future meetings.

Weekly Photo Challenge

The Black Hills Photography Club has been drumming up participation in their Facebook group by posting weekly photo challenges. In addition, Petapixel recently posted a list of 52 photo challenges for the new year. At the meeting, we took a vote on doing the same type of activity in the Dubuque Camera Club’s Facebook group. There was a lot of interest from club members, so look for future opportunities to participate in similar photo challenges!

First weekly photo challenge in our Facebook group, through Jan. 19, 2019.

Upcoming club events

  • Thursday, January 10 @6:00 p.m. Wild Bird Photography. Presentation by Ron Tigges, Ken Kiss, and Kevin McTeague. More info here.
  • Saturday, January 19, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch at the Grand River Center. More info here.
  • Monday, January 21 @6:30 p.m. Club meeting.
    The agenda will be a flash/lighting workshop, so bring your gear.  Contact Ron if you have questions.
  • Monday, Feb. 4 @6:30 p.m. Club meeting. Submissions are due before the meeting. No Black and White submissions.
  • Monday, Feb. 18 @6:30 p.m. Club meeting. Our club will judge the Digital Black and White category of the N4C competition.
    Three “volunteer” club members will be needed as judges. There are always a lot of terrific photos for audience members to enjoy and learn from, so be sure to attend!
  • Sunday, Feb. 24 @1:00 p.m. Storytelling in Wildlife Photography. Club member Andreas Exner will share his presentation again. If you missed it in November, here’s your chance to enjoy his many lovely nature images and photography tips.

Other photography events & contests

Broad Ideas submission deadline: Feb 8th. Women are so often talked down or overlooked in groups, especially in the realm of photography, where the loudest voice and the snazziest expensive equipment prevails. You can tell your story in a special exhibit at The Galena Center for the Arts. Last year, two of our club members participated. You can enter up to three pieces of artwork (i.e. prints). No cost to enter. Visit the Broad Ideas website to learn more.


Bereavement Photography Training.  The Iowa Chapter of Star Legacy Foundation is building a volunteer base made up of photographers willing to come to the hospital and take photographs when a family has lost an infant. They will be offering a training on Feb. 23rd. Learn more from their event on Facebook.

DuMA Biennial. Deadline: March 14, 2019.  If you are ready to enter your prints in a juried show, consider the Dubuque Museum of Art Biennial. There is a charge to enter. More info on the museum website.

Audubon Photography Awards. If you’re sitting on some world-class bird photos and are ready to compete with the big boys for serious cash prizes, consider entering the National Audubon Society’s competition. The birds must have been photographed ethically. Deadline: April 8, 2019. More info on their website.

N4C Mini-Con, May 3-5, 2019, in rural Indianola. In addition to the big annual convention, the N4C also sponsors a “mini” convention. In 2019 it will be held in a natural area called Wesley Woods, located south of Des Moines. Dorm rooms will be available onsite, or you can camp or stay at a hotel. Mark it on your calendar and watch the N4C website or bulletin for more details TBA.


Wildflower photography/videography. If you like nature photography and would like to know more about native wildflowers, you will enjoy a current exhibit in the Galena Center for the Arts. Richard Pearce carried a full-size scanner into the woods and prairies in order to capture the details of midwestern native plants in bloom. As a result, his prints are exquisite. Recommended for nature photographers who wish to learn more about wildflowers in our area. Click here for more about Richard Pearce.


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 broadideas.org
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. 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.

June 4, 2018 Meeting Notes


Here are the club members who have graciously volunteered their time thus far:

  • Leo Heim has been appointed official documentary photographer for Blufftops & Visions. He will also assist with setup and teardown in the N4C print room.
  • Jose Garcia is serving as our speakers’ coordinator.  He will also lead a post-processing workshop and provide lodging for one speaker.
  • Lois Pancratz is processing convention registrations and doing the record-keeping. She is also facilitating the river cruise and (possibly?) the t-shirt orders.  At the convention, she will staff the check-in table.
  • Eleanor Schueller is printing nametags for attendees. She will help to staff the check-in table.
  • Cara Pusateri will also assist at the convention check-in table, and as needed during the weekend.
  • Jennifer Tigges is the chief organizer of the entire event, including technical details and financial budgeting. She is also handling digital communication and social media, as well as face-to-face planning and promotion.
  • Pamela Brandt has been handling digital communication, website updates, and social media.
  • Ron Tigges is facilitating the Shot Tower photoshoot and the Millwork & Models shoot. He will also lead the bird photography panel presentation and the refractography seminar.
  • Kevin McTague and Ken Kiss will be presenters in the bird photography panel presentation.
  • John Leicht will introduce keynote speakers at banquets and be the voice of the N4C awards presentations.
  • Greg Nauman is a co-organizer of the Millwork & Models shootout and will assist with visitor hospitality as needed.
  • Lori Burrows will assist with Millwork & Models.
  • Laura Schuster is in charge of banquet planning, including the Edward Curtis Lunch & Learn. She will be assisted by Cindi Simon.
  • Chris Ross will provide vocal music and guitar on Friday before the banquet.
  • Rick Noel will assist as needed.
  • Jesse Green will assist as needed (available in the evenings only).
  • Robert Felderman will assist as needed (not available Saturday evening).
  • Jaime Gordo Perez and Erin Diekman will be greeters at the American Lady cruise.

NOTE: If your name is not on this list and you would like to volunteer, please contact Jennifer or Pamela.

All volunteers will be asked to attend a volunteer meeting on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Please plan to attend if at all possible. Details will be sent out closer to the date.


Our potluck picnic on June 4 was a success! Twenty-five people attended. The food was excellent. Much discussion happened and next year’s officers were (re-)elected. The company was lively and the food was terrific!

2018/2019 Dubuque Camera Club Officers
• President: Ron Tigges
• Vice President: Ken Kiss
• Treasurer: John Leicht
• N4C Reps: Cara Pusateri and Ken Kiss
• Communications: Pamela Brandt
• Public Relations/Events: Jennifer Tigges

Also at the meeting, Jennifer gave us an overview of Blufftops & Visions. The American Lady river cruise will be a highlight, so please put it on your calendar and plan to go! Remember, in order to make this convention a success, we need volunteers, models, swag bag items, door prize items, financial sponsorship, and volunteers.

INCENTIVE! It has been proposed that club members who are convention volunteers will receive a discounted price for Blufftops & Visions registration. Watch your email for details. All club members will still need to pay for any add-ons during registration, including the banquets and the cruise. This is because the club needs to pay for these items. You can choose which ones to attend.


Thanks to everyone in the club who sent in their RED photos for this year’s Dubuque Museum of Art exhibit. About 60 photos were submitted. The museum staff selected the images to be exhibited.

Exhibit dates: September 14 – November 4, 2018 (On display during Blufftops & Visions.)
Gallery Reception: Saturday, September 22 (details TBA)
Fall Into Art: October 5, 2018 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. (free admission)

Remember, members will need to pay up front for their prints ($44.76). However, if the convention is a financial success, it has been proposed that each member whose photos are selected for the exhibit will receive a stipend. For that reason, it is vital that we all work together to make Blufftops & Visions a success!

Update: The art museum has made their image selections for the exhibit. Everybody with an image chosen should have received an email with specifics. A high res image AND a signed release must be returned in order to participate in the exhibit. Contact Jennifer or Ron if you have questions.


The club discussed and approved the idea of ordering club shirts. Matching shirts will make it easy for out-of-town participants to identify Dubuque Camera Club members at the upcoming Blufftops & Visions convention. We can also wear them at other club events.

Lois volunteered to chair the t-shirt committee. Jennifer has also come up with some alternate options for shirts. Baseball-style caps are a possibility too. Our Facebook group has seen some discussion about these options.  Our club logo will be on any shirts or hats that are ordered.

Right now, there is an online poll to gauge interest in various colors and styles.  As of June 23, the results were leaning toward gold. Club members only, you are welcome to vote in the t-shirt poll. Responses must be received by July 1st.

If you have questions or would simply like to add your name to the list to get a shirt, please contact Lois with your size and let her know (est. cost $12-15). See your email for contact details.

Upcoming events

The current exhibit at Art @ Your Library, located in the rotunda area of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library,  contains a couple of photos by club member Gary Fagan. An upcoming exhibit, opening in August, will feature photography by General Bob Felderman.

Summer meetings:  The regular N4C meeting season has finished. However, due to the impending photography convention, we WILL have impromptu club meetings this summer. Notice of summer meetings will go out by email. Club members, make sure to read any and all emails from the Dubuque Camera Club! They will contain important information!

  • Tuesday, Sept. 4 @ 6:30 p.m. – First regular club meeting of the upcoming season.
  • Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10:00 a.m. to noon – Volunteer meeting
  • September 13-14-15, 2018 (Thursday-Friday-Saturday) Blufftops & Visions N4C Photography Convention in Dubuque!

Remember, if you have news about area photography-related events, or any information that is of general interest to club members, you are welcome to post it to our Facebook group.