Meeting Notes – Oct. 4, 2021

On Monday, October 4, 2021, the Dubuque Camera Club met at E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center in the Mines of Spain. This was the first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic. Fifteen people attended.

Future meetings. The club plans to hold upcoming meetings in person. Unfortunately, hybrid meetings are not possible right now, due to poor-quality internet at the nature center. The earliest the club would be able to livestream meetings is early next year, if everything goes right.

Local photographer Stephen Gassman has agreed to give a presentation at a club meeting in 2022. He has taught photography classes in the past through UW-Platteville. He is now a staff photographer with the Telegraph Herald.

Update on the “Trees” exhibit. The art museum curator has worked with club president Ron Tigges to choose images for the “Trees” exhibit. Each active club member that wished to participate will have at least one image in the show. Up to around 26 images will be on display. Final images are due on Oct 15. Email with details about selections went out after the meeting.

We’ll be printing as a group, 12×18-inch prints on metal, with a glossy surface, and a float mount. Minimum specs are 2400x3600px at 200dpi.

The club will partially subsidize the cost of one print per club member. Jennifer estimated the total cost per print as $62.49. The proposed subsidy is $30, with the club member responsible for the remaining cost. Anyone with two images in the show will need to pay the complete cost of the 2nd print.

Jennifer is looking at ordering from Meridian. If you know of a printer with a comparable pricing and quality, let her know.

The art museum will order a 90-inch tall vinyl cutout to place on the wall behind the prints. Ron said its purpose is “to give the exhibit a little more spice.” He showed an image of the proposed backdrop.

War photography will be the theme of the exhibit in the main gallery — “Vietnam: The Real War – Photographs from the Associated Press.” In contrast, our “Trees” show will contain visuals that show serenity and calmness. Both exhibits will run from Nov. 13, 2021 to Feb. 6, 2022.

Treasurer’s business. To facilitate purchases by the club treasurer, it was suggested that the club needs a debit card associated with the checking account. A motion was made by club member Casey K. to go forward with the debit card idea. The motion was seconded by club vice president Jim D. A vote was taken, with all club members present voting in the affirmative. The motion passed in favor of adding a debit card to the club’s checking account.

Print contest. Remember, our club is now competing in prints as well as digital categories. Print entries are due by the first meeting of each month. “You can give me a whole year’s worth of stuff for each category,” said organizer Stephonie S. “I’d like to have them shipped out by the 8th of the month.” Do NOT use the 1920px size for ordering prints. Your prints need to be higher resolution than submissions to digital categories.

N4C rule updates. The N4C contest rules have been updated for the 2021-2022 season. Find them at this link on the N4C website.

Effective immediately, the N4C board decided to delete the rule against “cultivated plants” in the nature category. This means that any plant is now fine in nature. However, domesticated animals or pets are still not allowed.

Returns from September contest. The club looked at overall winners on the N4C website. Our club N4C reps Cara and Ken shared judging comments and scores from our club’s submissions last month.

Congratulations to the following photographers!

  • Stephonie Schmitz, 1st place, Digital Nature, “Harmony in French Polynesia”
  • Stephonie Schmitz, 3rd place, Digital Black and White, “Reflections”
  • Stephonie Schmitz, honorable mention, Digital Pictorial, “Serenity at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, CO”
  • Kevin McTague, honorable mention, Digital Nature, “Barn Swallow in a Barn”
  • Kenneth Kiss, merit award, Digital Nature, “Great Horned Owl’s favorite perch”
  • Sam Fenstermacher, merit award, Digital Travel, “Mount Scott sunset”
  • James Durrant, merit award, Digital Travel, “Foggy Sunrise, Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisc.”

Note that some of the recognized photos were re-submissions, so don’t get discouraged. Stephonie’s first place photo of the fish was taken with a Canon G12 Powershot, which is a “point and shoot” digital camera.

“There’s always a photograph every place, and a real photographer will find it,” suggested Ron.

“You can’t take the shot if you don’t have your camera,” added Casey.

Many of our club’s submissions came back with the pre-fab comment, “Nicely done, but I don’t think it fits the definition of the xxx category.” Since our club reviews all submissions, this is clearly a filler comment. Another umpteen submissions came back with the comment, “Technically sounds, but lacking interest to the majority of viewers.” We have noticed that sometimes, judging comments are actually helpful. Too often, comments from other clubs are a lesson in how not to give comments.

Submissions. The club also looked at submissions to the October contests.

Kevin said about his bluebird photo: “It took me all summer to get that one picture. That’s probably one shot in 500 pictures.”

The N4C does not have categories for every type of photo. For instance, there is no architecture category. Pictorial is a catch-all, for photos that don’t fit elsewhere. Another option is Black and White.

♦ Your next chance to submit to N4C contests will be by the first meeting of next month, on Mon. Nov. 1st.

Voting. If there are extra photos in any category, sign in to the Smugmug gallery and use your member number to vote. You can vote for up to 5 images per category. Our club’s N4C reps have the final say about which images get submitted. If there are open slots (less than 8 in a category), get your submission in as soon as possible.

Street photography. Jim K. asked: “Are there any rules or guidelines we should have with respect to taking random pictures in the street?” He was concerned because he asked to sketch an Amish man at the Farmer’s Market and was told no.

Ron said the N4C doesn’t have any concerns or rules about street photography. Any photo is fine, and you don’t have to worry about release forms. However, if you want to submit to Adobe Stock, they have strict rules.

Bob F. added: “On the privacy side, you’re allowed to take it as long as you take it from public property, until someone says no, or if you ask them and they say no. For an ethical photographer, once you have a no, you can’t use that.”

Jennifer pointed out that there are two aspects of this question: ethics, and legality. “I think we as photographers really need to look at both.”

Other news. The Galena Center for the Arts is taking submissions for their latest exhibit. However, they have updated their rules so you must be a member to participate in their exhibits. Cost is $40 annually. (On our club’s wishlist is doing this same type of virtual exhibit in the future. It is possible, but somebody would need to commit the time.)

Although the N4C convention in Duluth was postponed, some club members travelled up there anyway. No fall color in the trees yet when they were there in September.

See this 2021 Fall Foliage Map if you are interested in chasing autumn landscapes.

Next meeting on Monday, Oct. 18th at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will also be an in-person meeting. Bring your camera and a tripod. We will have a still life workshop.