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August 2010 Newsletter

August 9th- 6:30-8:00 pm
South Montgomery County Community Center
2235 Lake Robbins Road
Speaker - Matthew White - Travel Photography

WPC Field Trip
Blue Angel -Lone Star Flight Museum
Photo by Don Rueter

It’s that time of year again when the Board starts recruiting new officers for next year. It may seem a bit early, but it’s good to get the new Board identified and assure a smooth transition at the end of the year. If you are interested in helping run the club next year, please talk to me or any of the Board members. We will be happy to discuss the positions and what’s involved. The time commitment is just a few hours per month (including meetings) so it’s something anyone can do.

The summer months are as hot as usual and I hope everyone is finding cool venues to shoot photos for the fall contest. Great field trips and workshops continue and the participation is growing. We had about a dozen members & guests at the Lone Star Flight Museum and had wonderful shooting opportunities. I’m very tempted to go back for a ride in one of the planes!

An August highlight is a new version of Digital Photography 101 taught by Doug Wilson. If you want to learn how to get off of Auto or Program mode and start taking full advantage of your camera’s capabilities, this workshop is perfect. The signup deadline is Monday, August 9 at our regular meeting and the cost is $10 payable in advance.

I look forward to seeing all of you on the 9th!
Don Rueter

July Meeting Summary

Many thanks to Alan Murphy for his wonderful presentation on the setup process he uses to capture spectacular bird photographs. It was interesting to learn how he positions his perches based on the behavior of the birds so he has a high likelihood of capturing the image he wants. He made the process look very simple and easy, but we all know it takes a lot of dedication and a lot of missed shots to get the one you want! His entertaining style also contributed to a very enjoyable meeting.

Photography Tip -
What is the Best Format for Your Photography?

Since photographs are used on many different media such as the web, publications and photo albums, understanding the different image file formats have benefited me greatly. I will present the three image areas that image formats fall into that of Raster, Vector or 3D Format. I will give you a brief explanation of each format. I will show you how to locate them on your computer. I will concentrate on the formats that are in the public domain.

images are similar to a bitmap images. Pixels make up the composition of both a raster image and a bitmap image. In digital imaging, a pixel (or picture element) is a single point in a raster image. The pixels make a grid of color points found in an image. A high number of pixels points in a photo create the illusion of a high quality photograph. If you enlarge an image with a low number of pixels, the image may look very jagged and boxy. This appearance is called pixilation. Raster image do not scale well. Digital photographs are always a raster image. A raster graphics image or bitmap is a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. A 5 by 7 inch image with at least 20 megapixels is considered indistinguishable from a photo created by a camera that uses chemical photographic film.

JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. I would consider this to be most common photo image standard used for images found on the web, publication, and photos. JPEG is a commonly used method of lossy compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality. If you do a file search on your computer for JPEG files, you will need to specify the following search argument *.jpg to find all your jpeg files.

TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF is a file format for storing images, popular among Apple computer owners, graphic artists, the publishing industry and both amateur and professional photographer. As of 2009, it is under the control of Adobe Systems but I believe it is royalty free. The TIFF format is widely supported by image-manipulation applications, by publishing and page layout applications such as Adobe Indesign CS4. If you do a file search on your computer for TIFF files, you will need to specify the following search argument *.tif to find all your TIFF files.

RAW is the best image format for maximum image manipulation flexibility. In the original chemical based film world, the negative was the most accurate copy of the original photo. For the digital camera the RAW format represents file equivalent of a chemical negative. The RAW format contains the untouched pixel information straight from the digital camera's sensor. The RAW file format goes through a demosaicing process to be converted to the more popular formats such as JPEG and TIFF. The incomplete color samples output from an image sensor overlaid with a color filter array (CFA) with the help of the demosaicing algorithm will reconstruct a full color image. One of the drawbacks of converting a RAW into a non-RAW format is that a portion of photo pixels information will be lost which will result in reduced image manipulation flexibility. Also, since each camera manufacturer owns the rights to their own RAW image format, technically you would not be able to sell the right to an image in the camera manufacturer RAW format. Examples of RAW formats are .NEF-Nikon, .CR2-Canon, .ORF-Olympus to search for these files use the * followed by the file format for your camera (e.g. *.NEF for Nikon shooters)To address that Adobe came up with a royalty free RAW format called Digital Negative (DNG).

I convert all my RAW cannon images into DNG. This benefits me by allowing me to keep all the RAW technical information from my camera and to allow me to sell my RAW images rights as I please.

Digital Negative (DNG), is a publicly available archival format for the raw files from Adobe Corporation. By addressing the lack of an open standard for the raw files created by individual camera models, DNG helps ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future. If you do a file search on your computer for DNG files, you will need to specify the following search argument *.dng to find all my DNG files. I have listed different RAW formats and the extension you need to look for to find them on your computer.

stands for Portable Network Graphics format. This was designed to replace the older and simpler GIF format and, to some extent the more complex TIFF format. The three main advantages PNG has over GIF is alpha channels (variable transparency), gamma correction (cross-platform control of image brightness, and two-dimensional interlacing (a method of progressive display). When I need a very small file size on a web site, I will use the PNG format. If you do a file search on your computer for PNG files, you will need to specify the following search argument *.png to find all your Portable Network Graphics files.

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format is a bitmap format that has come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its small file size and ability to create animation. I have taken photographs and used Photoshop to create a GIF animation. When I a need a very small file size and animation of an image, I will use a GIF. One of Gif’s limitation is that is the range of color is limited by 256. If you do a file search on your computer for GIF files, you will need to specify the following search argument *.gif to find all your Graphic Interchange Formats files.

BMP (BITMAP) file format originated from Microsoft. This format is used to store bitmaps on Microsoft Windows operating systems. This image format has very limited usage. I have primarily used it to store screen prints of photos to insert into documents. If you do a file search on your computer for BMP files, you will need to specify the following search argument *.bmp to find all your Microsoft BITMAP files.

Vector graphics use geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics. Vectors graphic scale very well compared to Raster graphics. 3D computer graphics use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data which is called Cartesian.

Vector Graphics and 3D Graphics format are rarely useful with photographs.

Depending on the final destination of your photograph, knowing what the photo is going to be used for will help determine the best image format for you.

Joe Cusack teaches photography, and technology classes at Dr. Edward Roberson Middle School of Choice – A Math, Science and Fine Arts Academy. You can e-mail him at [email protected]

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

Photowalk - Woodlands Waterway
Date - August 14th
Time 6:00-8:00pm
Town Center Park & Waterway

Come join club members as we have a "cool" stroll down The Waterway. This walk will follow the Photo 101 class so that old and new photographers can share their skills and grab some night action on the waterway.

Future Planned Field Trips

  • 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


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 Photowalk, 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 Aug. 9th at our regular Monday night WPC meeting.

Controlling Light
September 18
South Montgomery County Library

An intermediate to advanced skill level workshop although any Club Photographers are welcome. We will cover light modifiers, reflectors, light meters, studio umbrella flash and soft box flash. Some work will be outside with sunlight some will be in a studio environment. Basic understanding of f-stops, shutter speed and their effect is important. All shooting will be manual set exposure. Our goal is to understand and improve photography techniques when photographing people in family groups, couples and   individuals.

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

Welcome New Members

Nicole Albridge, Rob & Jennifer Barrett, Jerri & Judy Hunter, Don Keyes, Diane Ott, Wayne Smith


Things with Wheels

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