Meeting notes – Kickoff meeting – Sept. 7, 2021

Meeting notes contributed by Dubuque Camera Club member Sam Fenstermacher.

Sixteen people attended the Dubuque Camera Club virtual meeting on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 (It was on Tuesday due to Labor Day). The meeting was held via Zoom and began at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting began with a photo opp discussion. The “American” riverboat was to arrive in the Port of Dubuque the next day. (If you know of any local photo opps, please share them at meetings or to the club’s Facebook group!)

We have gained two new club members:
• Destiny Goetzinger
• Suzanne Wright

Welcome to the club, Des and Suzie!!!

Submit your info to the club’s Member Directory! We’ll use this biographical information in the brochure for the upcoming “Trees” exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA). The member directory is password protected, and the password was given out during the meeting.

Return to in-person meetings? Club president Ronald Tigges explained that the first two club meetings this season will be virtual. The internet/wifi is not presently working at our usual meeting venue. Also, at the next meeting, the club will review judging results, and that is well suited to a virtual meeting.

The current hope is that the first meeting of October will be held in-person at the E.B. Lyons Interpretative Center, in the Mines of Spain. Please note that with the Covid numbers increasing, we may need to be flexible with virtual meetings. Plans are in the works to continue to have a virtual option even after meetings return to in-person.

About the club. Ron gave some basic information about the club, and also introduced the club officers. The Dubuque Camera Club has a long history, which dates back to the 19th century. We are affiliated with the North Central Camera Club Council (N4C), which is made up of 37 midwestern clubs. Our club currently competes in six categories of digital photography.

A question was asked about PSA affiliation. The N4C is an affiliate of the Photographic Society of America (PSA). At the end of the N4C season, the N4C’s PSA chairperson selects and submits from winning images and enters them in a PSA contest. However, as far as we know, we do not have access to educational materials on the PSA website. Note that the annual PSA Photo Festival is coming up in Rapid City in October.

N4C convention for 2021 was cancelled. The N4C convention in Duluth was cancelled due to Covid and forest fires. A couple of our club members are still heading up north to Duluth or the Apostle Islands, so we look forward to seeing their awesome autumn travel images!

Annual Dues are Due! Participating in club exhibits is one of the perks of Dubuque Camera Club membership. If you have not paid your dues for the 2021-22 season, please do so now. Annual dues are only $20 and may be easily paid online. (Click here to pay your dues online.)

TREES exhibit. The Dubuque Camera Club photography exhibit, “Trees,” is scheduled to open on November 13, 2021 at the Dubuque Museum of Art. It will be on display concurrently with a military and veterans related photography exhibit: “Vietnam: The Real War – Photographs from the Associated Press.” Both shows will run for about three months, through February 6th, 2022.

The DuMA curator is currently choosing images. We’d like to include at least one image from each participating club member. New club members, please be aware that the “Trees” exhibit was an event that was postponed from 2020. If you have not had a chance to submit, send up to 5 images to Ron ASAP. He also has one mystery photo to identify from prior submissions.

If you didn’t send in a high-res or final version, you’ll need to do that after you get notification that your image was chosen. We’ll be printing images as a group, with the final cost and details to be determined. (We’ll probably print at 12×18″ at a total cost of around $60 per print). No watermarks on the final images. We’ll be signing prints by hand.

Ron Tigges, Bob Felderman, and Stephonie Schmitz have volunteered to do an informative photography presentation at the art museum during the “Trees” exhibit. The tentative topic will be changes to military photography and photo-journalism techniques over the years. More details will be shared when we know more.

Competing in N4C Print competition. Due to changes in the N4C monthly print competition, which hopefully will lead to a reduction in both hassle and cost, our club may start to compete in prints (in addition to digital).

“Because we don’t do print competition currently,” said Jennifer, “there’s not a good chance we can be Large Club of the Year.” Digital is limited to 8 submissions per category per club (unless we judge, when it’s 16). For prints, up to 16 prints could be submitted in each category, which will ratchet up our club’s points, if people participate.

Stephonie has volunteered to organize the mailings, and to serve as contact person for prints. Jennifer will check with the N4C to see if we can still get onboard this season. Typically, we would have to judge prints, too (that happens in person!). However, the N4C prints judging calendar is already made up for the season.

More details about print competition will be sent out when we know more. If you foresee participating, 8×10 prints are a safe bet! No matting or frames are needed. See the rules on the N4C website.

Upcoming club meeting workshops. Several ideas were suggested for hands-on activities during upcoming club meetings:

  • Macro/closeup workshop, including focus stacking
  • Still life, with various lighting or subject options
  • Copyright/CASE act presentation
  • Critique of member images

Bob Felderman showed off a “Learning Light” with a variety of lighting modes for trying new lighting styles. (Kudos: Bob was mentioned in a recent issue of Photoshop User magazine. Good job!!)

Digital Journalism judging. This month, our club will do virtual judging of the N4C Digital Journalism category. Club N4C rep Cara Pusateri will organize the judging. Volunteer judges: (1) Ron Tigges, (2) Bob Felderman, (3) Kenneth Kiss. Judging will happen from Sept. 16-19. We’ll go over results at the next meeting.

Submissions to the monthly Digital contest. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to viewing the club’s submissions to the September N4C Digital contest. The submission process was reviewed for the benefit of the new club members. Some categories did not have enough entries. “If a category is not full,” said N4C rep Cara, then it’s first come, first serve, after the meeting.”

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos this month! Remember, submissions are always due before the first meeting of each month, so your next chance to submit will be before the October 4th meeting (double DJ).

Meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Next meeting on Monday, Sept. 20th at 6:30 p.m.

The next Dubuque Camera Club will be VIRTUAL. It will be held on Monday, September 20th at 6:30 p.m. We will review the results of Digital Journalism judging. This meeting will be held via Zoom. If you are a tri-state resident interested in attending, please send your contact information to

Don’t forget to renew your club membership! Annual dues are only $20 for the 2021-22 season. Your dues must be current to participate in upcoming club exhibits, or to submit to monthly N4C contests. Learn more about the club on the FAQ on this website.

Kickoff meeting on TUESDAY September 7th at 6:30 p.m.

Please join us for the first club meeting of the 2021-22 season!

The Dubuque Camera Club will hold a season kickoff club meeting on Tuesday, September 7th at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom.

If you are a tri-state resident who is interested in joining the club, send an email with your contact information to

To join the club or renew your membership for the 2021-22 season, please pay your $20 annual membership dues. Active membership qualifies you to participate in all club activities and exhibits.

Experienced club members: N4C submissions are due before the meeting. Remember, up to 1920px on the longest edge, file size up to 750KB. More information is on the Competition page.

Our club will judge the Digital Journalism category in September. Speak up during the meeting or contact Ron if you are an experienced club member who is willing to serve as volunteer judge for the monthly N4C contest. Click here to see past DJ winners.

Below is information about the Journalism category from the official N4C Rules:

Journalism Photography depicts some event or activity; story telling is emphasized, as in a newspaper or magazine photograph. An element of human interest is a fundamental quality for a journalism photograph.

  1. A Journalism entry can be a single image or a sequence of related images arranged for presentation as a single entry.
  2. Only minimal digital editing is allowed. In the interest of credibility, photographs that misrepresent the truth, such as manipulation to alter the subject matter, or situations set up for the purpose of photography, are unacceptable. No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, or combined. No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of original color of the scene. No special effect filters may be added or applied.
  3. For the Print competition, PRINTS should be UNMOUNTED or on a lightweight mount not to exceed 8 x 12 inches in size.
  4. The three (3) jury members shall vote a score of between two (2) and nine (9) points. Separate voting for technique, composition, and interest will NOT be made, but will be considered only in connection with the suitability of the work for Journalism competition. The total score for each submitted photograph will range from six (6) to twenty-seven (27) points.
  5. The titles or captions of the submitted works will be read at least for the first round of judging. If subsequent rounds are required, it is not necessary to repeat the title or caption.

Photo Walk at Art on the River

The Dubuque Camera Club will be a participating arts group at the 2021 Art on the River opening reception.

This free, family-friendly event will be held on Friday, August 6th, 2021 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the Mississippi Riverwalk. Bring your camera to join the PHOTO WALK! [Club members: Please wear your ID badge].

Presenters will be located on the patio behind the Grand River Center. The Dubuque Plein Air painters will be present, the Dubuque Area Writers’ Guild will sponsor a reading, the Northeast Iowa School of Music will provide music, and more!

For more information, see the official event on Facebook or visit the web page on the City of Dubuque website.

UPDATE: Several Dubuque Camera Club photographers attended the Art on the River opening reception. Thank you for being part of this event! Find more pictures in the club’s Facebook group.

June 7, 2021 – Club Picnic

The Dubuque Camera Club held its end-of-the-season picnic on Monday, June 7th, 2021 at the America’s State Tree Woodland Walk shelter in the Mines of Spain Recreation Area. Twenty club members and two guests attended. The club provided pre-packaged box lunches and bottled water for a light evening meal. (We hope to bring back the yummy potluck next year!)

Jennifer Tigges did a great job with purchasing and gathering food and supplies for the picnic. Not only did she bring tablecloths, but they were each weighted down against the breeze with bug soother or hand sanitizer. Very practical!

During the picnic, Cara Pusateri, club N4C rep, gave out stacks of ribbons and comments from this season’s N4C contests. Because our club has been holding virtual meetings since April 2020, she had quite a few awards stacked up. Our club did awesome during the 2020/21 season! See the Club Winners page for our club’s top photographers who earned recognition in the monthly N4C contests.

At the start of the evening, Chuck Isenhart, who is a state representative in Des Moines, as well as a club member, gave a short pitch for club members to support the Dubuque County Land and Water Legacy coalition. This will be another option for protecting the natural areas and creatures that so many of us love to photograph!

Casey Klein passed around a printed copy of a recent Galena CFA virtual exhibit. You can order printed copies of the flipbook, which makes a nice keepsake for participants! See all the flipbooks here. If you are interested in future opportunities, contact their gallery manager or sign up for their newsletter on the Galena Center for the Arts website.

Other news shared or overheard during the picnic….

  • Henry Matthiessen suggested that everybody who participates in the upcoming Smokestack exhibit needs to commit to share the event (either on social media or in person) at least FIVE times.
  • Stephonie Schmitz has agreed to use her graphic design skills for the upcoming club photography exhibits.
  • Jennifer and Ron brought a sample “Woodsnap” print, just in case the club wants to print the DuMA show on wood this year.
  • Ken Kiss is planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, so get ready to see lots of great scenic images!
  • Kevin McTague is caring for a bluebird trail at Swiss Valley. This year, it was used by 10 bluebird families and 4 tree swallow families.
  • New club member Jim Kelly is originally from Ireland (really!)
  • Nick Lucy was so happy to come to the picnic, he arrived one day early! (Shhh, don’t tell!)

New club officers for 2021-2022

The club also (re)elected officers for the upcoming season. Jennifer started out with a bang in her new role as treasurer by giving a snapshot of the club’s (healthy) finances. She is also still on the N4C board of directors. New club vice president Jim Durrant will sub for Ron to lead meetings when needed. Cara will continue her role as N4C rep, but she is looking forward to training a new volunteer. Ken will continue to handle the Nature and Black & White entries.

Club officeClub member
President Ronald Tigges
Vice President James Durrant
Treasurer Jennifer Tigges
N4C Representative Cara Pusateri
N4C Representative Kenneth Kiss
Communications Pamela Brandt

UPCOMING EXHIBITS — An opening reception for the Dubuque Camera Club exhibit at the Smokestack will be held on Friday, July 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. More info here. This is a really nice venue, so be sure to invite the people you know!

Trees at DuMA. Everybody please check what you sent in for the Trees exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art. If you want to add or delete an image, let Ron or Ken know. For DuMA, we’ll order prints as a club. Opening date is Nov. 13. It will be on display during an exhibit of Associated Press photos that were taken during the Vietnam war.

Participating in club exhibits & activities is a perk of Dubuque Camera Club membership!


Remember, there are no regular meetings during the summer. The first club meeting of the 2021/22 season will be on Tuesday, September 7th at 6:30 p.m. We plan to meet in person.

Membership dues of $20 will be due at the Sept. 7 meeting. You are welcome to click this link to renew your member dues online. New members may join the club using the same link.

May 24, 2021 Meeting Notes

The virtual meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club on May 24, 2021 was attended by 17 club members. The meeting got off to a flying start at 6:29½ sharp because Chuck Isenhart was on the autobahn and trying to maintain his current velocity. We apologize to anyone who joined the meeting and felt confused. There was no introduction, and yes, everybody got dipped into deep water right away.

We realize it’s hard to cruise at top speed with a laptop (and webcam!) teetering on the dashboard of your Chevy. However, next time we hope that Chuck will take a few moments to meditate with his toes still on the diving board before he drags the rest of us into the 12-foot zone. (Note: If you’re mumbling “mixed metaphor,” sorry, there’s nothing that can be done. Next time will be better, we promise — cross my heart and hope to kiss a frog.)

Digital Travel judging. First speedo thing on the agenda was breaking tiebreakers for the N4C Digital Travel (DT) judging. Cara Pusateri organized the submissions; and this month’s judges — Stephonie Schmitz and Chuck Isenhart — offered their thoughts on the top images. Bob Felderman also served as a volunteer judge this month, but was absent from tonight’s meeting. We suspect Bob’s real-life travels prevented him from joining this virtual discussion of digital travel. (If your eyes are crossed now, please be aware, this is within the realm of normal. However, Kevin’s image below is not — possibly to his granddaughter’s disappointment.) Cara channeled Bob and made the deciding vote. Winners are already on the N4C website.

Congratulations to the following club photographers whose images appear in the N4C winners’ galleries for the May 2021 competition:

  • Kevin McTague – Digital Altered Reality, 2nd place, “See Jane Run”
  • Stephonie Schmitz – Digital Nature, 3rd place, “Giraffe Pool, Massai Mara, Africa”
  • Andreas Exner – Digital Nature, honorable mention, “Sandhill Cranes”

• Jim Durrant – Photo entered by the N4C in the PSA Council Challenge, “Nighttime at Fallingwater”

Print competition changes from the N4C. It sounds like the N4C has decided on print competition changes, effective this fall. No mats or backing will be allowed, categories will be doubled up (Here we go marching two-by-two, hurrah, hurrah), and everything needs to fit in specific sized mailing boxes. More info is in the N4C’s May newsletter. Our club will need to decide if, given these changes, we want to participate in print competition. Our club has not participated in monthly print competition for the past several years, due to the cost and hassle.

UPCOMING EXHIBITS — An opening reception for the Eclectic exhibit at the Smokestack will be held on Friday, July 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This is part of First Fridays. Participating club members will need to have their own prints made. More info here.

Trees at DuMA. Everybody please check what you sent in for the Trees exhibit at DuMA. If you want to add or delete an image, let Ron or Ken know. Each person can submit up to five, and be prepared to pay for printing costs for up to two. The art museum curator will curate (Does that sound repetitious?), and we’ll order matching prints as a club. Remember, participating in club exhibits is a perk of Dubuque Camera Club membership. Samples will be available at the picnic.

Club picnic coming up!

The Dubuque Camera Club picnic will be held on Monday, June 7th at 6:00 (six) p.m. Don’t forget to RSVP!

** Club Picnic on June 7th! The annual end-of-the-season club picnic will be held on Monday, June 7th at 6:00 (six) p.m. The club will order a catered box lunch for everyone who RSVPs by Friday, June 4th. Each club member may bring up to one guest. This is a perfect opportunity to bring someone who is interested in joining the club. A spouse or significant other is fine too. Look in the club email that was sent on May 23rd for a link to the RSVP form.

Remember, there are no regular club meetings during the summer. (Possibly we will organize a summer photoshoot or presentation). Our regular meetings will start up again in person on TUESDAY, September 7th at a venue TBD. Ron said he hopes to continue offering a virtual option for future meetings.

Dues will be due in September. If you want to get a jump on next year’s dues, you are welcome to do so. Simply click this link to renew your member dues online. New members may also join using the same link.

Photo Caravan images

The highlight of tonight’s meeting was looking at images from the Photo Caravan on Wednesday, May 19th. It was led by Dubuque Camera Club member and renowned landscape photographer Henry Matthiessen III. The club met in Galena, and then drove southward to visit several photogenic destinations. Sixteen people attended the photo caravan, and everyone who went took pictures and had fun. “Let’s do it again” was unanimous for this photoshoot.

During the photo caravan, the club visited the following destinations. Click here for a map.

  1. Galena’s Historic Train Depot 
  2. Horseshoe Mound Preserve 
  3. Chestnut Mountain Resort 
  4. Bottomlands Barn with reflections 
  5. Railroad overpass with graffiti
  6. Blanding Landing 

Quite a few people have shared images to the club’s Facebook group. You can also see some images in this folder in the club’s online gallery.

Dubuque Camera Club member Ken Kiss. Photo by Jennifer Tigges.