Dec. Field Trip # 2! Geminids Meteor Shower
Dec
16
to Dec 17

Dec. Field Trip # 2! Geminids Meteor Shower

Why 2 field trips? Well, its Christmas and we're feeling generous. Haahaa. No, actually we had such a positive response from our Perseid meteor shower field trip that we thought we'd try another meteor shower event. And low and behold, it's the Geminids in December, just slightly less active than the Perseids, and the peak is near a new moon so no light peeking in when we least expect it.

The date is firm, Saturday night through Sunday morning Dec. 16-17th, meeting at Ernest Coe Visitor's Center in Everglades National Park, time TBD. The park WILL be open on our dates, exact spot will be determined at that time. Sun sets earlier in December and we'll have total dark by 7pm. That will give us more time to capture more stars. Unfortunately, we wont be able to see the large portion (referred to as the galactic center) of the Milky Way. But the Milky Way will be visible at some point in the night. I'll update you with a specific time after our next meeting, Nov. 2nd.

Best part of the outing is that we'll have less bugs and it will be much cooler than it was in August. Oh, and no moon as I stated above. Perfect conditions. Now if the weather holds, we should have a great night!

1st off, please RSVP to our email at info@sfnpcc.org. I need to know who is going so we don't leave anyone behind.

What to bring:

  • Tripod- Highly recommended
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable or Intervalometer - also highly recommended. You can buy one fairly reasonable if you don't have one. They only cost about $25 online. If not, you can set your camera up with its timer.
  • Widest and fastest lens, whatever your lowest mm and lowest f-stop lens you have. 
  • Flashlight - for minimal use only.
  • Bug spray, ThermaCells, Bug Suits, long sleeve shirts and long pants. (Just because there will be LESS bugs, doesn't mean there won't be ANY bugs.) If you're sensitive to mosquitoes, bring everything you've got. I can't stress this enough. I'd rather you bring everything and not need it than to bring nothing and be miserable and have to leave early. Anything to keep the bugs off of you - bring it. The stuff doesn't take up much room. Just be prepared!!
  • Snacks/water/coffee/sodas - other beverages.
  • Protective sturdy footwear. This is the Everglades and critters are everywhere. We wont be hiking the prairies but better safe than sorry. Wear what you have. 
  • Lawn chairs. Let's be comfortable!

Hope you can all join us!

Non-member guest fee is $10 per person. You can pay online or in person.

The Everglades NP has a $25 entrance fee for non-pass holders (not included in SFNPCCs membership package). It's highly unlikely that the gate will be manned when we enter, and you will probably get in free. But, that's not certain. Err on the side of caution and be prepared to pay just in case.

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January Meeting - Wildlife Biologist, Joe Wasilewski
Jan
4
7:00 PM19:00

January Meeting - Wildlife Biologist, Joe Wasilewski

Joe Wasilewski, the snake man of the Everglades.

Joe will be coming to give us a talk to tell us all about the critters out in the Everglades, how to avoid them, and what to do if you DO encounter them. This will be a very informative and interesting talk.

I've pulled the following biography from the Croc Doc's website.

Position and Affiliation - Wildlife Expert, UF - Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center
Areas of Interest - Herpetology and conservation of imperiled species.
Education - B.S. Biology. 1981. Florida International University.

Joe's diverse work has led to his appointment to the IUCN, as a member of both the Crocodile Specialist Group and Iguana Specialist Group, member of the IUCN CSG Tomistoma Task Force, Bahamas National Trust as well as the Explorer's Club located in New York City. He is also president of Natural Selections of South Florida, an environmental consulting firm.

He has made appearances on NBC's Today Show, the Tonight Show (with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno), ABC Evening News and CBS Nightly News. He also regularly consults with natural history productions and national/international news outlets such as National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, BBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, HGTV, History Channel and Al Jazeera News. Joe is currently working for Jadora International LLC as Vice-President of biodiversity in addition to lending a hand to The Croc Docs on various research projects.

Be sure to be here for this great opportunity to meet and listen to a great man and proponent for the Everglades eco system.

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January Field Trip - Coral Castle
Jan
20
4:30 PM16:30

January Field Trip - Coral Castle

Prepare to be amazed

We invite you to tour our sculpture garden in stone, built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world's most mysterious accomplishments. Open every day, the Coral Castle Museum welcomes visitors from around the world to explore this enchanting South Florida destination.

You will be seeing…

…an unusual accomplishment. This sign, carved into stone, was Ed's greeting at the entrance of his beloved Coral Castle -- and after more than 60 years, this sign still welcomes visitors today.

How did he do it?

To this day, no one knows how Ed created the Coral Castle. Built under the cover of night and in secret, at a time when there were no modern construction conveniences, Ed would only say that he knew "the secret of the pyramids." When he died, his secrets died with him, and to this day scientists and thinkers still debate Ed's methods.

If you had visited Coral Castle in the 1940’s you would have been greeted enthusiastically by a man weighing a mere 100 pounds and standing just over 5 feet tall. He would have asked you for ten cents admission and introduced you to his fantasy world.

As you moved around his sculpture garden in stone, and the significance of each piece was explained, you would have been witness to the great pride Ed Leedskalnin took in his work.

Since it is documented that no one ever witnessed Ed’s labor in building his beloved Coral Castle, some have said he had supernatural powers. Ed would only say that he knew the secrets used to build the ancient pyramids and if he could learn them, you could too.

Today, you can tour the Coral Castle using our audio stands, with narration available in English, Spanish, French or German. We also have knowledgeable guides available to conduct tours. Features of the Coral Castle Museum include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of the finger, a Polaris telescope and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.

We wonder what was the inspiration that could cause a man to spend 28 years to carve a Coral Castle from the ground up using nothing but home-made tools? An homage to unrequited love? Perhaps to illustrate ancient sciences that defy gravity? Or maybe just sheer, raw human determination?

The Coral Castle is an everlasting mystery to those who explore it.  To learn more about the Coral Castle, click this link to their website.

SFNPCC Trip Info

While plans are still in the works as of this writing (11/9/17), I have a preliminary outline of activities while at the Coral Castle. We’ll start by meeting at approximately 4:30pm. We’ll take a guided tour of the grounds for about an hour, then grab our equipment and prepare for the sunset, which is at approx. 6pm. We can shoot what’s left of the golden hour and into the blue hour and twilight all around. And then, between 7 and 7:30 the crescent moon will be visible in the west-southwest sky at about 25 degrees (approx. the same as the North Star/Polaris). Knowing this we can scope out the grounds for the best possible location to shoot the moon from beforehand.

Then when we feel we have enough shots, we’ll adjourn to the El Santo Coyote Mexican restaurant for some nourishment for the body and soul! 

Please be sure to RSVP at info@sfnpcc.org to let us know you’re coming. I have to fill out a form for a group tour, and they’d like as accurate a count as possible.

Also, entrance to the event grounds is $18 and $15 for seniors (65+) plus tax of course. Hopefully we can secure a group discount, but I wouldn’t count on much more than 10% off, if any. SFNPCC also charges a $10 fee for non-member guests. To purchase a non-member guest field trip fee online click here.

WHAT TO BRING:

Camera Gear

Bring it all! I suggest all lenses as you never know what you’ll find. Macro, definitely wide angle, and as long of a zoom as you’ve got if you want to get up close and personal with the moon.

Definitely a tripod and shutter release cable. Or you can certainly set your camera’s timer if you don’t have one. But really, the release cables are not expensive and makes things SO much easier. Do yourself a favor and buy one.

Prepare for the weather we have. January is typically cooler and much less buggy – and we’re in the city so highly unlikely we’ll encounter mosquitoes. But, if you’re one that is UBER sensitive to mosquitoes or a mosquito magnet, bring what you need and leave it in your car, just in case. Also, be sure to bring a jacket in case it gets cold once the sun sets. And in case of bad weather, bring rain gear, for you and your camera. You never know.

As far as snacks and water, bring what you need to be comfortable. We’re NOT out in the Everglades in mid-summer, but if you need to keep refreshed, bring what you need. They also have a gift shop and snacks available for purchase. But save room for dinner afterward!

That’s about all. Be sure to RSVP and hope you all can join us! Looks like a fun way to spend a Saturday evening.

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Jupiter/Blowing Rocks Weekend Field Trip 1/26 - 1/28
Jan
26
to Jan 28

Jupiter/Blowing Rocks Weekend Field Trip 1/26 - 1/28

We're planning a weekend of photographing Blowing Rocks and Jupiter Inlet. Come and join us!

Blowing Rocks is a natural feature in the beach area where the tide comes in and shoots up through the exposed rocks. There's also a preserve called the Blowing Rocks Preserve, of course. Blowing Rocks is located between Hobe Sound and Jupiter. However, to get the rocks during sunrise we have to go to a different park called Coral Cove Park, which is actually closer to Jupiter Inlet. While there, we can also take advantage of the Jupiter Sound lighthouse and maybe shoot some night shots from there. We've got 2 months (from original posting of 11/7/17) to plan the activities for this weekend.

Come for one night or both, which ever works for you. There are many fine establishments in the Jupiter/Jupiter Inlet areas. I've personally booked the La Quinta Inn Jupiter for $129 per night (subject to change). Click the link if you would like to book here. Or choose any other of the hotels in the area. There's a Wyndham right on US1, and a Fairfield Inn or Comfort Inn just a little further west of US1, as well as a few others. We'll leave the accommodations up to you.

Once we get closer to the date, we'll have a list of activities with times and locations.

Hope you all can join us!

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December Meeting - Club Christmas Party
Dec
5
7:00 PM19:00

December Meeting - Club Christmas Party

UPDATE! Date has been changed to Tuesday Dec. 5th rather than Thurs. Dec. 7th! Please make a note of it. Thanks!!

It's holiday time again! Come celebrate some cheer with your fellow SFNPCC members. Bring a dish to pass, snack, dessert, salad, anything potluck-y.

Also, we'll be doing a critique of your images. So load up your USB flash drives with images you want reviewed and we'll do a critique. This might be beneficial for those of you 'up in the air' about which image you want to use in your Seminole Gallery show, coming up in February. Plus, it'll give us some entertainment! (wink wink)

Please RSVP and tell us you're coming and what you plan on bringing so we can be sure we have enough food info@sfnpcc.org.

Thanks and I hope to see all of you here!

If you're not able to attend, I wish you all love & joy on this most festive of holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Dec. Field Trip #1 - Holiday Lights of Coral Gables
Dec
4
5:00 PM17:00

Dec. Field Trip #1 - Holiday Lights of Coral Gables

SORRY FOLKS, FIELD TRIP CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF PARTICIPATION. SEE YOU AT TOMORROW'S HOLIDAY PARTY!

We're heading north to Coral Gables, the big metropolis! They have beautiful decorations during the holiday season and we've decided to shoot them. The date is Dec. 4th, it's a Monday, so hopefully less people on site and less traffic.

Let's meet around 5pm. If you're going to be late, let us know in advance (when you RSVP) so we can keep you up to date of our location if we need to move. Sunset is at 5:30 so get there on time if you want to shoot City Hall in its best light. After the sun goes down the lights start twinkling. That's when we will have some fun.

Maybe afterwards we can head on over to John Martins for a hot toddy or whatever treats your fancy.

BE SURE TO RSVP to info@sfnpcc.org and let us know you're coming. If you'll be running later than 5pm, let us know that too.

Items to bring:

  • Tripod
  • Remote Shutter Release
  • Wide and Zoom Lenses
  • Appropriate attire for the weather
  • Any refreshments as is necessary for you
     

We'll be walking around the city hall area so wear comfortable shoes; and also, only carry with you what you will need. No need to weigh yourself down with unnecessary items.

Below are aerial photos of the area we'll be shooting.

This is the overall area. The middle of the map going north and south is LeJeune Road or SW 42nd Avenue. Middle of the map going east and west is Miracle Mile/Coral Way.

Coral Gables1.jpg

Parking area is on Aragon Avenue, just east of LeJeune Road.

Coral Gables2.jpg

We will be photographing the area circled, which is the Coral Gables City Hall, which is at the intersection of the Miracle Mile/Coral Way and Le Jeune Road.

Coral Gables3.jpg

We will meet in the circled area, on the northeast corner of the intersection of Miracle Mile/Coral Way and Le Jeune Road.

Consequently, John Martins Irish Pub is a block and a half east of this location.

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Nov. Field Trip - Fairchild Gardens Nov. 4th
Nov
4
7:00 AM07:00

Nov. Field Trip - Fairchild Gardens Nov. 4th

The November field trip is planned for the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens on Old Cutler Road, for Saturday, Nov. 4th at 7:00am. They hold a bird walk from 7:30a till 9:30a. So we will meet at 7am at the South gate Entrance, which is also the staff parking lot, and go from there.

Members get in free, and the rest of us will have to pay general admission. Non-member adults are $25 and seniors (over 65) are $18.  Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here.

It is recommended that you bring the same prep gear that you would for an Everglades trip. Hat, sunscreen, bug spray, water or a refillable water bottle (they have water stations), and be prepare to walk the gardens.

The general admission for the park is at 9:30am and they have many other activities on the grounds. Please visit their website at http://www.fairchildgarden.org/Visit for more information.

As always, please RSVP to us here at info@sfnpcc.org and let us know you're planning on attending. Should be a nice time.

Also, feel free to email with any questions. Thanks!

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Oct. Field Trip - Everglades NP (Dagny Johnson SP was CANCELLED)
Oct
21
3:00 PM15:00

Oct. Field Trip - Everglades NP (Dagny Johnson SP was CANCELLED)

Unfortunately, our Dagny Johnson State Park trip had to be cancelled due to Irma. We are instead going to the Everglades to see what we can see and shoot what trips our fancy.  The park did sustain damage but the main road is open.  We'll be meeting at 3pm at the EC visitor's center and we'll convoy out from there, up and down the main road. Our purpose is to see what is available to shoot, to see what the conditions are like, and assess the damage from our own photographic standpoint.

We'll end our day with a sunset shoot. Where we shoot is up to the park. If they allow us to remain in the park past the closing time of 7pm, we'll stay there and shoot, if not, we'll find a location close to but outside of the entrance and shoot from there. Sunset is at 6:50pm. We should be done by no later than 7:30.  Perhaps a stop at a local restaurant afterward?? We'll see!

Here are some suggestions for items to bring:

  • Water
  • Snack(s)
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Tripod

Please RSVP for this field trip by sending an email to us at:  info@sfnpcc.org.

There is $10 fee for non-members to attend field trips.  Everglades also has a $25 fee for non park pass-holders (entrance pass is not included with SFNPCC membership). If you do not have a pass, you can go to the National Park Service's website and buy one online or buy one in the visitor's center prior to entry.  Or you can pay at the gate. The $25 fee will give you access for 7 days. Hope to see you all there!

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Sept. Field Trip - Wynwood Sunrise and Golden Hour
Sep
10
6:00 AM06:00

Sept. Field Trip - Wynwood Sunrise and Golden Hour

FIELD TRIP CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA. WE MAY RESCHEDULE IN THE FUTURE. SEE YOU WHEN IT'S ALL OVER! BE SAFE!

Join us as we complete a walking tour of the Wynwood area of Miami and photograph it in it's most beautiful light; pre-sunrise through the golden hour. We'll meet at a location to be disclosed at a later date, somewhere central to the Wynwood area and parking, and we'll walk from there. Afterward, you're welcome to join us for a snack or breakfast at one of the local establishments, also to be named later.

For parking, seeing that we'll get there so early we may get prime parking on the street. To pay, the Wynwood website recommends downloading and using the "Pay by Phone" App. View their website for more info here.  https://www.miamiparking.com/pay-by-phone/  Otherwise I'll update the post and include area parking lots.

Stay tuned to the site for more updates!

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Sept. 7th Meeting - Street Photography
Sep
7
7:00 PM19:00

Sept. 7th Meeting - Street Photography

TONIGHT'S MEETING IS CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA. PLEASE BE SAFE AND WE'LL SEE YOU WHEN IT'S OVER.

Tonight we'll be discussing street photography in conjunction with our field trip to Wynwood. And then we'll watch a video on the subject. More details to follow.

Shown are a few of my street photos I took last November from Downtown Savannah. (I know, its not Wynwood... bear with me.)

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August Field Trip - Perseids Meteor Shower
Aug
12
to Aug 13

August Field Trip - Perseids Meteor Shower

***CHANGE IN PLANS... TIME TO MEET IS 8:30PM INSTEAD OF 10PM!***

We're meeting at 8:30pm on Saturday, Aug. 12th at the Ernest Coe Visitor's center. I have a few locations in mind and we'll decide which one when we know how many will show up. (RSVP please!) Of the three locations all will have opportunities to shoot to the north and south, for milky way and north star (Polaris) opportunities.

The reason for the time change is to get the best conditions for as long as possible. The sunsets at 8pm, and the moon rises at 11:30pm. If we meet at 8:30, we can get to our location by 9 and get some great shots before the moon brightens up the sky and lessens the star power. 

Do bring:

  • Tripod- Highly recommended
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable or Intervalometer - also highly recommended. You can buy one fairly reasonable if you don't have one. They only cost about $25 online. If not, you can set your camera up with its timer.
  • Widest and fastest lens, whatever your lowest mm and lowest f-stop lens you have. 
  • Flashlight - for minimal use only.
  • LOTS of bug spray, ThermaCells, Bug Suits, long sleeve shirts and long pants. Anything to keep the bugs off of you. This is the middle of wet season in the biggest swamp in the world. The mosquitoes are very active! I can't stress this enough. This is high time for the mosquitoes. Be very prepared!!
  • Snacks/water/coffee/sodas.
  • Protective sturdy footwear. This is the Everglades and critters are everywhere. We wont be hiking the prairies but better safe than sorry. Wear what you have. 
  • Lawn chairs. Let's be comfortable!

Please, be sure to RSVP to me at info@sfnpcc.org .

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Photoshop - 2-Day Photoshop Workshop with Robert Chaplin
Aug
5
to Aug 6

Photoshop - 2-Day Photoshop Workshop with Robert Chaplin

Take your image processing to the next level with the power of Photoshop. This two day class will take you from setting up photoshop to streamline your workflow, to opening the image and working through processing, and finishing with sizing your image for its intended use.

Lessons will include learning how to:

Day One –

  • Set up work space for the way you work
  • Learn to use Key Strokes and customize keystrokes to speed up processing
  • Bridge interface and Adobe RAW
  • Patch, Heal, and Spot Removal
  • Use selection tools
  • Work with layers and layer masks
  • Work with blend modes
  • Cropping
  • Create Actions
  • Stacking for star trails
  • Create time lapse

Day two –

  • Using the selection tools to isolate and remove objects for use in other images
  • Creative blending using backgrounds
  • Duo-Tones, Tri-Tones, and Quad-Tones for Monochrome (B&W) Images
  • Work flow (sizing) for processing, printing, and web
  • Sharpen images for use
  • Recap/practice using your images
Photoshop Workshop
from 99.00
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August 3rd Meeting - Astro/Night Photography
Aug
3
7:00 PM19:00

August 3rd Meeting - Astro/Night Photography

Tonight, we'll discuss the basics of night photography to prepare for our upcoming Perseids Meteor Shower field trip on the 12th.

Unlike other night photography meetings, we're asking that tonight you all bring your equipment; your cameras, your lenses, and your tripod. We'll show you how to set up YOUR equipment so when the 12th comes, you'll all know how to set up easily with little help or light sources. 

See you all on the 3rd!!

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Lightroom - 2-Day Lightroom Workshop with Jason Eldridge
Jul
22
to Jul 23

Lightroom - 2-Day Lightroom Workshop with Jason Eldridge

Adobe Lightroom CC From Import to Export

Jason Eldridge will be leading this workshop and demonstrating how to use Lightroom to edit and organize your photographs.

Some of the topics of discussion are:

Introduction

What Lightroom CC does and doesn’t do

Importing

Modules and Navigation

Library Module

Develop Module

Advanced Features

Exporting

Day one Jason will take you through Lightroom and you will be adjusting some of his images.  The second day you will be finishing your own images while he is there to answer any questions you may have.  

Lightroom CC Import to Export Workshop
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July Field Trip - Lighting Field Trip
Jul
15
1:00 PM13:00

July Field Trip - Lighting Field Trip

Summer time in South Florida is the best time to photograph dramatic skies. Robert Chaplin will be leading the field trip teaching different techniques on how to photograph lightning. We will also take advantage of South Florida’s summertime storm patterns to photograph dramatic skies and lightning. While every attempt will be made to place the club members in the best location for lightning, we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature. Lightning can be very dangerous. We will all be together operating outside the edge of the storms.

We will be meeting at the:

Ernest Coe Visitor Center
40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034

At the entrance, we will be discussing the location where we will be going to photograph lightning.

Here are some suggestions for items to bring:

  • Water

  • Snacks

  • Bug Spray

  • Sunscreen

  • Hat

  • Lightning Trigger (If you own one)

Please keep in mind that the entrance to Everglades National Park is $25 per vehicle  which is not included as part of this field trip. Please RSVP for this field trip by emailing us at: info@sfnpcc.org. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

There is $10 fee for non-members to attend field trips.

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July 6th Meeting - Underwater Photography
Jul
6
7:00 PM19:00

July 6th Meeting - Underwater Photography

Tonight's meeting we'll have a special guest, Kim Eldridge! She will be in to show us her underwater images and explain the wonderful world of underwater photography!

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June Field Trip - SFNPCC Keys Scavenger Hunt
Jun
3
to Jun 4

June Field Trip - SFNPCC Keys Scavenger Hunt

The 2nd Annual SFNPCC Scavenger Hunt will take place in the beautiful Florida Keys!

This year we thought we'd do it a bit differently and extend it to 2 days rather than 1 so you can enjoy your time in the Keys while searching for the clues. You certainly can do it in 1 day if that's all the time you have. The "clues" are listed in the link below that you can print out in advance.

Click here for the CLUES for the Scavenger Hunt  .

The rules are: 1) must be a member of the SFNPCC to participate in the contest, but non member guests may ride along. 2) images must be captured between midnight (or 12:01 am) of June 3rd, through midnight (11:59 pm) of June 4th - basically all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Find the clues and shoot them in your own artistic fashion. Other rules about sizing others are included in the link below.

Click here for the RULES for the Scavenger Hunt (Subject to Change)

Keep checking back here to the website for any additions or corrections.

AS ALWAYS, PLEASE RSVP BY EMAILING US AT info@sfnpcc.org.

 

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Jan. Meeting - "Getting the Shot" Plans for Everglades Gallery
Jan
5
7:00 PM19:00

Jan. Meeting - "Getting the Shot" Plans for Everglades Gallery

Our January meeting (the 5th) we will be planning for the ultimate Everglades NP shot; what we need to know, what we need to do, and how to get that best of the best, the Ultimate Iconic Everglades Shot. Robert will be discussing all of the details.  Also, we'll be critiquing members' images. The more we critique, the more we learn about our own images and how to make them better.

So... if you'll be in attendance AND you want your Everglades picture critiqued, you'll need to send them to Robert by Jan. 4th. Choose your image(s), RESIZE them to 9 inches on the long side, and 240ppi, and save as JPG. It would probably help if you renamed the file with your own name and a very short description. Such as... BarbaraL_EverSunset.jpgEtc. Makes it easier for Robert to identify them. When done, email them to Robert at robert@rlchaplinphotography.com no later than Jan. 4th. If you can't make it to the meeting, please hold your images until the next one. Only those in attendance shall submit images for critique. Don't worry, its been suggested that we critique shots on a regular basis throughout the year; so you'll all get your chance!


Also starting in January - Our Facebook Contest!


We'll also be starting our first Facebook themed photo contest at this meeting. Fun fun! I will have all the details for you, and give you the first theme at the meeting. If you can't be there, the rules will be posted on the website after the meeting.

Hope to see you all there!

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