2023 N4C Convention

2023 N4C Convention “Blufftops & Backroads” will be held September 15-16, 2023 at the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center 3100 Dodge St. Dubuque, IA 52003

The Dubuque Camera Club is working on the details of the 2023 N4C Convention titled ” Blufftops & Backroads”  With a similar name to the 2018 convention that Dubuque hosted, we promise to shake things up a bit for this one. (Yes we are entertaining bringing back those models) There will be more hands on opportunities and we will be exploring the neighboring states of Illinois and maybe Wisconsin too.  Hotel rooms will be $139 a night with a daily hot breakfast buffet included with the hotel stay each day. More information coming soon.

Follow us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/dubuqueN4Cconvention/ or watch Dubuquecameraclub.com for updates coming soon.

November 7, 2016 meeting minutes

Dubuque Camera Club Meeting minutes

The November 7, 2016 meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club was attended by 21 people and led by club president Ron Tigges. The top item on the agenda was reviewing returns from last month and narrowing down our club’s submissions to the monthly N4C competition.

Discussion and announcements

The Dubuque Museum of Art wants us back for a show in 2017. It will probably work the same way as this year’s show: each club member can submit up to three photos, which will be juried by the art museum, with the goal of choosing at least one per member. While not set in concrete, it’s likely that the theme will involve human portraiture.

The idea was brought up of renting a studio or doing some sort of portrait workshop. Otherwise, as with the architecture themed show, club members who do not ordinarily take this type of photo will be at a disadvantage. Speak up during a meeting if you have ideas or would like to organize a portrait-related event for the club.

The 2017 Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch will be held on January 21, 2017 at the Grand River Center. The club decided to again this year have a table in the display area. There will be a TV with a slide show of club member nature photos. Volunteers are needed in the morning and afternoon to staff the table. It will involve chatting with the public about photography and encouraging people to join the Dubuque Camera Club. We may possibly update the club brochure.

A voice vote was taken to approve the club’s purchase of a new TV. It will be used by the judges during judging, which should be an improvement over judging photos that are displayed on a projector screen. We will be judging the digital creative category at the next meeting, on November 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Due to some changes in facility usage policies that are being made by the Iowa DNR, our meeting venue may need to change in the future. A couple of alternate venues in Dubuque were suggested. However, until a specific announcement is made, our meetings will continue to be held at the nature center.

Competition results

General Bob Felderman earned first place with his long exposure photo of the San Diego city skyline and marina during a Padre game.

General Bob Felderman. First place, Digital Travel.

Ron went through the winners for October 2016 that appear on the N4C website. Although the caliber of competition is high, our club made a good showing.

  • Digital Travel — 1st place winner. In a field of 102 entries from 23 clubs, General Bob Felderman earned first place with his long exposure photo of the San Diego city skyline and marina during a Padre game. Congratulations, Bob!
  • Digital Black and White — 2nd place. In a field of 115 entries, Gary Fagan earned second place with his black and white portrait of a bearded man, titled “My Buddy.” Congratulations, Gary! 
  • Digital Creative — 3rd place. In a field of 92 entries, José García earned third place with his Spanish seascape, titled “Rocks.” Congratulations, José!

Honorable Mentions and Merit Awards were also earned in October 2016 by the following Dubuque Camera Club photographers:

Rich Bugalski
Gary Fagan
José García
Kevin McTeague
Cindy Simon
David Smethers
Ronald Tigges

Good work everyone! Thanks to all who submitted!

Upcoming meeting schedule

November 21, 2016 — Our club will judge the Digital Creative category.
December 5, 2016 — Returns only. No submissions — Christmas Party Potluck.
December 19, 2016 — No meeting. Happy Holidays!

Oct. 17, 2016 Meeting Minutes

The October 17, 2016 meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club was attended by 21 people. Jennifer Tigges led the meeting and gave a presentation about the basics of creating DSLR video. Below are a few informational highlights:

Annual Photo Essay Competition

Jennifer suggested that our club should consider entering the annual N4C photo essay competition. It can be a group project. This year’s winners were shown during the national N4C conference in Fargo.

The official definition from the official N4C contest rules: “A photo essay is a series of projectable images accompanied by music and/or a narrative which tell an integrated story presented in a pleasing and understandable manner.”

Photo essays should be under 6 minutes long and use only still images (effects can be applied), with a soundtrack, and saved in .mp4 or .mov format. Deadline is March 31, 2017. Entries will be shown and winners announced at the Springbrook mini-conference, April 28-30. See the rules at the link above to learn more.

Rapid City takes the lead

Black Hills Photography ClubThe 61st annual N4C Photography Convention will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota,  September 21-23, 2017. The brochure was passed around during the meeting.

The Black Hills Photography Club is hosting and they already partnered with their area’s tourism office. Itineraries have been created for photographers and family members.

Should Dubuque ever host the conference, the Rapid City event would be a tough act to follow. But we could do it with a lot of work, if everybody is willing to help out and do their share.

Ron has mentioned that it would be best to get our feet wet by organizing a one-day event. We can invite the public as well as other camera clubs within close driving distance. Speak up about your ideas during any meeting.

Portraits at DuMA

While a specific decision has not been made about the theme of our next exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art, they do want us back. Portraits are being considered as a theme.

“Something that tells a story or makes you think,” said Jennifer. She said they can be people with “hard faces.” However, no self portraits or snapshots.

  • For ideas, she showed some portraits by photographer Dan Francis.
  • Locally, Tim Olson’s Millwork Portraits are another excellent example of portrait photography. They are on display in the hallway behind the Food Coop and Inspire Cafe in the former CARADCO building of the Historic Millwork District.


Morning Glory by Dubuque Camera Club member Becky Mather

“Morning Glory” by Dubuque Camera Club member Becky Mather

Entries are being taken for the juried Mississippi River Art and Photography Shootout. $10 entry fee per image.

  • Last year, club president Ron Tigges won a purchase award in this competition.
  • Club member Becky Mather won 2nd place in the scenic category with her photo, “Morning Glory.”

The winning photos were exhibited last year in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Great Rivers Museum in Alton, Illinois.  However, the rules don’t mention whether or where prints will be exhibited this year.  Let the club know if you have more details.

To get ideas about river photos, follow the Mississippi River photos page on Facebook.

Video DSLR Presentation

Jennifer did an excellent job on her presentation. The topics she covered included how to avoid camera shake, the use of copyrighted music, and more. Several club members contributed to the discussion during her presentation. She also showed a couple of short video clips. Thank you, Jennifer!

Next Meeting

The next Dubuque Camera Club meeting will be on Monday, November 7.

Get your submissions to Cara by midnight of Sunday, Nov. 6.  No entries will be accepted this month in the Digital Creative category, because our club will be judging it on November 21.

Be aware that, after this season ends, the N4C will no longer accept slides.

Oct. 3, 2016 Meeting Minutes

The October 3, 2016 meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club was attended by 22 people. The email list has been updated, so if you’re not getting these minutes and other information by email, please contact Pamela or Jennifer, or speak up during a meeting.

Review of 2016 N4C Convention

Club president Ronald Tigges gave a review of the national N4C convention, held last weekend in Fargo, North Dakota. He shared a couple of lovely photos taken there or on the way. A few of the interesting seminars:

  • Owl presentation by naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela
  • Wet Plate Studio led by Shane Balkowitsch
  • Photoshop manipulation seminar led by Dan Francis of Fargo
  • Hike through Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area

The Dubuque Camera Club had 18 photos advance to the final competition by earning 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honorable Mention in the monthly competitions. Sadly, this year we did not have any winners selected. Here’s a gallery of the “Best of N4C.”

During the 2015-2016 season, 6,361 images were judged, which is down about 4% from the prior season due to 230 fewer prints entered. Of those entries, 79% were digital, 19% prints, and 2% film slides. Our club  competes only in Digital.

Springbrook Mini-convention:  In the spring, April 28-30, 2017, the N4C will hold a weekend mini-convention at Springbrook State Park, near Guthrie Center, Iowa (located about 4 hours from Dubuque, northwest of Des Moines). Become better acquainted with other photographers from the N4C region in a beautiful natural setting on the Raccoon River. Find more info on the N4C meetings page.

Next fall, the 2017 N4C Convention will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota, September 21-24, 2017.

Changes are coming

N4C competition categories. [See 2016/17 Rules].
Digital Pictorial (DP)
Digital Nature (DN)
Digital Creative (DC)
Digital Travel (DT)
Digital Journalism (DJ)
Digital Black & White (DB)

Two important changes are coming to the monthly N4C competition. Please be aware that these changes will not start right away, so keep submitting according to the current rules until you hear otherwise.

  1. Long edge will increase to 1920 pixels. Currently, the longest side of submitted photos must be no more than 1024 pixels, with a file size of no more than 500KB. At the annual conference, they voted to increase the long dimension to 1920 pixels.
    “It makes it easier to view the details on the screen,” said Ron. He suggested that 1920×1080 is a good dimensions for next year, or whenever we hear that the new rule is implemented. In the meantime, continue to use 1024px as your longest edge.
  2. The Digital Creative (DC) category will get a new name: Digital Altered Reality (DA). This reflects the increasing use of Photoshop manipulation in N4C submissions. Remember that another tool for image manipulation  besides Photoshop is the Google Nik Collection, which is now free.

September Returns

josegarciahmNext, we went over the returns from last month’s competition. The photographer of the evening was definitely Jose Garcia, who earned three Honorable Mention awards:

  • “Mermaid’s Port” by Jose Garcia — Honorable mention, Digital Creative
  • “Milkyway” by Jose Garcia — Honorable mention, Pictorial
  • “Palace” by Jose Garcia — Honorable mention, Black and White

Club president Ron Tigges also earned an Honorable Mention in the Digital Travel category with his photo of “Thai Temple, Olbrich Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin.”

These photographers earned Merit awards in the September competition:  Lori Burrows, Ken Kiss, Dave Smethers, Gary Fagan (2), Jose Garcia, Ron Tigges, Kevin McTeague.

October Submissions

rontiggesolbrichgardenshmWe also viewed the submissions for the October competition. We will be judging Digital Creative on November 21, which means we cannot enter that category in November.

The next submissions are due by Nov. 6. “I would like them by midnight on Sunday before the meeting,” said Cara.

Other News 

The Dubuque Museum of Art wants us back for another exhibit in 2017. The subject may be human portraits. More information will go out later.

Everything Photo Store will sponsor a City Walk Workshop for all skill levels on October 15 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The presenter is Mike Pazandak from Tamron USA. Cost: $30.  More info here.

Next meeting: Monday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Agenda:  Presentation by Jennifer Tigges  about video production basics with a DSLR camera. Bring your equipment if you have questions or would like to share.


Sept. 19, 2016 Meeting Minutes

The September 19, 2016  meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club was attended by 16 people, including 3 new members.

Treasurer DeWayne Beecher is accepting annual dues, which are only $20. You can  join or renew during a meeting, or mail in the membership form.

Benefits of being a member: You are eligible to submit to the monthly N4C photo competition and participate in exhibits.

Art Museum exhibit now ended

Our exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art, “Dubuque Architecture from a New Perspective,” closed on Sunday, September 25. Photo pickup info went out in an email to those exhibiting.

Club president Ron Tigges gave an informal gallery talk about the exhibit in September to a photography class from Northeast Iowa Community College.

“People were pretty impressed with the installation,” he said. “I heard so many positive comments about it.”

Photography events

Five of our club members went on the Wisconsin Landscape Photography Workshop that was sponsored by Everything Photography on September 17. Dave Smethers talked about some of the photos he took during the event. He also shared the refractography technique behind the unique images he posted to the Dubuque Camera Club group on Facebook.

Another upcoming event that may be of interest to nature photographers is the annual Dubuque Audubon Society Hawk Watch on Sat. Oct. 1st at 10:00 a.m. at the Balltown overlook. The advantage to photographing migrating raptors with birders is that you know what you’re looking at. Take binoculars and a tripod.

Do you have a photo shoot idea?  Mention it during a meeting or post it on our Facebook group.  If only 5 or 6 people attend, it can be a successful and enjoyable experience.

Monthly photo competition

If you want to submit to the monthly competition, have your images turned in to Cara by midnight on Sunday, October 2nd (the day before the next meeting). Members may submit up to one image per category, and you must follow the submission rules.

If more than 8 photos are submitted per category, we’ll narrow them down during the meeting. “The goal is to make sure the club does as well as possible,” explained Ron.

At our October 3 meeting, we’ll hear a report on the annual N4C convention in Fargo. Find out which of our fantabulous local photographers won recognition this year!  

N4C sends out a monthly newsletter that is available on their website   and emailed to club members. If you’re not currently on the N4C email list but you’d like to receive their newsletter, contact Cara, our N4C liaison.

Everybody with a member number should be on the Dubuque Camera Club email list. If you’re not, contact Jennifer or Pamela.

To conclude the meeting, after Ron made a quick tour of the N4C website to look at the caliber of photos that are selected as winners, Lori B. led a Lightroom Q&A technique workshop. As always, the meeting was fun and interesting. Join us next time!

Next Dubuque Camera Club meeting: Monday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m.  Agenda: Submissions and returns. N4C convention review.