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July 2010 Newsletter

July 12th- 6:30-8:00 pm
South Montgomery County Community Center
2235 Lake Robbins Road
Speaker - Alan Murphy - Bird Photography


WPC Field Trip
Mini-contest Winner "Trees"
Photo by Tom Skeen

Many thanks to Doug Wilson for joining me in presenting information on off camera flash and white balance at the June meeting. I hope it was as informative to you as it was to me. We also had some great field trips to the equestrian club and a macro workshop with Kathy Adams Clark in June that were well attended. I look forward to seeing a lot of photos from those events. Make sure you join us in July for Alan Murphy’s presentation and the fun trip to Lone Star Flight Museum. See you there!

Don Rueter

Meeting Information

Members teaching members was the theme of our June meeting with Don Rueter talking about the importance of setting a correct white balance for your photos and Doug Wilson showing simple ways to get your flash off your camera to take better flash photos. The number of comments and questions from the members indicated the topics were timely and generated lots of good ideas for continuing to improve our photographs. We are currently planning another members teaching members for the club meeting in November. Let us know if there are specific topics you would like to hear about or if you would be interested in making a presentation.

Alan Murphy will be speaking about bird photography at July's meeting. His cd-book A Guide to Songbird Set-Up Photography will be available to members at a 20% discount price of $40 (check or cash) at the meeting.

In this CD book you will learn the tips and tricks that Alan has been using to create exquisite images of songbirds on beautiful perches for nearly a decade. These will include: how to attract a variety of songbirds to your set-ups and get them to land exactly where you want them to; how to photograph hummingbirds in flight without a flash; How to get hummingbirds to land on your perch; how to create great set-ups for woodpeckers; how to keep plants, leaves, and flowers alive and looking fresh; How to get small songbirds to land on delicate perches; how to get birds to land on cactus set-ups; which type of bird feeder is best by far and how to use them in your set-ups; the secrets of using suet with your set-ups; haw to work with fruit and berries; How to build and work with water-drip ponds; How to choose perches including the do-s and don’t-s; how to place, position, and secure perches at your set-up; how to get ground birds like quail, roadrunners and meadowlarks up on your stump set-ups; how to turn nest boxes into natural looking tree cavities; How to create set-ups for birds that frequent open fields and grasslands; how to attract elusive kingfishers to your set-up; How to get low and in the water to create intimate images of ducks, geese, rails, grebes, and other waterbirds while remaining safe and dry; and how to set up for and create images of songbirds in flight.
The book is lavishly illustrated not only with Alan’s killer images but with dozens and dozens of step-by-step photos that will show you exactly how to create your own successful set-ups. The writing is clear and concise and the directions are easy-to-follow and inclusive. As Alan shows in the book, if you have only a small backyard, heck, even just a patio or a balcony, he can help you to create some stunning avian images on a consistent basis.

To see some of Alan’s wonderful images, click here:

Photography Tip - What is HDR?

by Tom Skeen

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed. I would say that about 75% of my images use the technique, and if you are new to it, then you may notice a slightly different “look and feel” to my photographs. You should also probably note that HDR is a very broad categorization, and I really hate categorization. My process starts with using basic HDR techniques, but then there are many more steps to help the photos look more… let’s say… evocative.

I can talk a little bit more about the philosophy behind the photography style here for a quick moment. You might consider that the way the human brain keeps track of imagery is not the same way your computer keeps track of picture files. There is not one aperture, shutter speed, etc. In fact, sometimes when you are in a beautiful place or with special people and you take photos — have you ever noticed when you get back and show them to people you have to say, “Well, you really had to be there.” Even great photographers with amazing cameras can only very rarely grab the scene exactly as they saw it. Cameras, by their basic-machine-nature, are very good at capturing “images”, lines, shadows, shapes — but they are not good at capturing a scene the way the mind remembers and maps it. When you are actually there on the scene, your eye travels back and forth, letting in more light in some areas, less light in others, and you create a “patchwork-quilt” of the scene. Furthermore, you will tie in many emotions and feelings into the imagery as well, and those get associated right there beside the scene. Now, you will find that as you explore the HDR process, that photos can start to evoke those deep memories and emotions in a more tangible way. It’s really a wonderful way of “tricking” your brain into experiencing much more than a normal photograph.
(Information found at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/)

Fall Photo Contest Categories

Categories for the Fall Photography Contest were announced at the May club meeting. A new twist for the fall contest is one category set aside for NEW club members (joined club in 2009 & 2010). Download rules for the contest - Here

1. Black and White - People (no sepia or monotones)
2. Nature - Birds - (No captive animals allowed)
3. Technique - Macros
4. The Color Yellow
5. Pets - (New Members ONLY - joined for the first time in 2009 or 2010)
6. Open - only category that can be digitally altered

Field Trip Information

Lone Star Flight Museum
Date - July 17th
Time 10am-Noon (folks can stay until 5pm if they wish)
Address - 2002 Terminal Drive, Galveston, TX 77554
Web Site - http://www.lsfm.org/

Come join the The Woodlands Photography Club during it's July 17th Field Trip to the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston. Join your fellow photographers in the Exhibit Hall, Museum, and even out on the flight line as the B-17 flying Fortress, P-51, and PT-17 Stearman take off during their flight experiences program. We will be meeting at the Flight Museum at 9:45am in the main parking lot and although the WPC field trip ends at Noon, everyone is welcome to remain until 5pm close. We are permitted flash photography and tripods, no lighting gear (stands and umbrellas) allowed on the flight line. For more information please visit their web site at http://www.lsfm.org/ and we hope to see you there!"

Future Planned Field Trips

  • August – Butterfly Cockrell Center at HMNS & Water Way Photo Walk
  • September – TBA
  • October – Glass Blowing Studio
  • November – Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • December – Holiday Party

To sign up for upcoming field trips contact Doug Wilson


Nature and Travel Photography Workshop
presented by Doug Haass
July 10
9:00 am - 1:00pm
South Montgomery County Community Center
Cost $10 (includes lunch)

Doug Haass, experienced nature photographer and president of the Bay Area photography club, will be sharing information on how to improve nature and scenic travel photography. Please contact David Meine if you are planning to attend.

Photo 101
August 14
South Montgomery County Community Center and Woodlands Waterway

Come join us for the August 14th Photography 101 Workshop. Our presenter is club member, Doug Wilson. The workshop will consist of approximately 2 hours of presentation, discussion, and Q&A. Topics will include the very basics of photography such as Camera Functions, Camera Controls, Exposure, Depth of Field, Shooting Modes, Composition, Histograms and Workflow. Afterwards we will apply what we have learned during the Woodlands WaterWay Photo Walk, held immediately after the Photography 101 workshop.

Bring your cameras, comfy shoes and questions to the Woodlands Community Center on August 14, 2010. Workshop begins at 4pm and PhotoWalk ends at 8pm. There is a $10 fee that covers our room rental and handout material. You must register and prepay no later than Au. 9th at our regular Monday night WPC meeting.

To sign up or for further information on workshops please contact: David Meine

Welcome New Members

Derrick and Tonya Bryant, Paul Klein, Letha Kobulnicky, Richard Saunders



Digital or Print Photos (8x10) Please submit you pictures to Barry Dolton. The photos need to be resized to 1024x768 and submitted Friday prior to the meeting. There is a limit of 2 photos per person.

Members Slide Show

Have you been someplace interesting or just gotten some great shots? Each month a portion of the meeting will be devoted to seeing and talking about the creative experiences of our membership. Please share your shots with members by participating in members slide show. Submit your photos (limit 5) to Barry Dolton by the Friday prior to the monthly meetings.
All members are welcome to attend board meetings which are held from 6:30-8:00pm the last Wednesday of each month at Cafe Express in The Woodlands. For a complete listing and contact information of current board members please visit our website.

Club's Website