Sept. Meeting - Special Guest Speaker Lee Smith
Sep
6
7:00 PM19:00

Sept. Meeting - Special Guest Speaker Lee Smith

  • Villages of Homestead Clubhouse (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tonight we have special treat!; guest speaker, Lee Smith, a South Florida Photographer. I've been following Lee for a while now on Facebook and just love his photos. You can see Lee's work on his multiple social media outlets linked below in his bio.

Lee will be speaking to us about photographing South Beach and Ocean Drive to prepare us for our upcoming field trip to South Beach at the end of the month. Be sure to be here for this informative and entertaining presentation. Read below for a little background info on Lee.

Lee Smith.jpg

Bio

Lee Smith

I spent a large part of my life around the ocean and the natural beauty of Florida.  I was fortunate to have fished off the piers and drift boats, snorkeled off Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, the Bahamas and the Florida Keys, explored the Everglades and surfed along the southeast coast of Florida from Miami Beach up to Cocoa Beach. Being outside was the best part of life.

As my passion grew for the outdoors so did my desire to capture it on film. Not having much money, I was able to borrow my dad’s camera to take photos of places I loved to visit. Then eventually got my own Yashica camera with a few lenses shooting 35mm slides and negatives.

As my life progressed, my passion about photography was tempered by work and school. It cost money to buy and develop film so there were gaps of time I was not able to photograph anything. It was not till I got married, that I decided to start my photography again. My kids were the main drive for much of my time. Each day was special, and each trip was an adventure. We visited Disney, the beach, the parks, we went everywhere, but as my kids got older, they had their own lives to pursue – so I started photographing nature and landscapes.

I have always enjoyed shooting sporting events of my kids. Indoor Volleyball, Gymnastics and Lacrosse  – all fast action sports.  I would still head over to the beach when there were waves and hoped to catch my friends surfing, been doing that occasionally over the years.

But my heart is in Landscape & Wildlife Photography –  trying to capturing the natural beauty of South Florida and any place I get the opportunity travel to. Traveled to Oregon, Utah, California and Arizona seeing beautiful places to capture.

Now I use a Canon 5D Mark IV with a wide assortment of lenses, filters and software to edit my images. Always in the attempt to bring the image clearly back as I envisioned it.

You can also see my work online at:

Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy my work. All my work is available for sale and would welcome your call.

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Sept. Field Trip - Miami Beach Sunset & Art Deco
Sep
29
6:00 PM18:00

Sept. Field Trip - Miami Beach Sunset & Art Deco

Hi folks, tonight is a first for me, maybe the club! A trip to South Beach for a sunset and architectural photography of the beautiful Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive. I have always wanted to photograph them and hopefully you want to as well.

We'll meet at 6pm at the South Pointe area of Miami Beach (exact location to follow) and proceed to a location for the sunset. Perhaps the South Pointe park walkway OR even along the Miami Beach Marina, some place nice spot to view the sunset. The sun will be setting around 7:10pm just a bit south of due-west.

From there we'll walk over to Ocean Drive and mosey our way north. I think getting a few of the more obscure, but still beautiful, art deco buildings in the soft after-sunset light will be nice, and then as we head further north we'll get the more popular buildings all lit in their glorious neon. As of now (8/6/18) I know absolutely nothing about this but hope to learn more so as to come up with a great walk of South Beach. When I have a firm plan, I'll update this listing.

As far as parking goes, (I'm rolling my eyes here) your guess is as good as mine. I found out the parking area near South Pointe sometimes closes at night for private parking and they can charge a one time fee of $20 on weekends. The Smith & Wollensky restaurant is right there so they also have their area that is roped off. I think the best course of action is to find a good safe parking garage and take an Uber to the South Pointe Park. Unless someone has a better idea. Maybe a bus? If I find a better way, I'll let you all know.

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October Meeting - Camera Set Up - Basic to Advanced Features
Oct
4
7:00 PM19:00

October Meeting - Camera Set Up - Basic to Advanced Features

Tonight's meeting we will be learning how to set up and utilize YOUR camera's features, from White Balance and ISO, to back button focusing and bracketing, all the way to per-programming settings for your specific needs. If there's time, we'll get into some more advanced techniques like focus stacking and focal blending.

We are asking that everyone come to either learn or to teach. We'll have Nikon, Canon users help other Nikon and Canon users, and we'll have Ernesto help with Sony cameras, and Ken with Fujifilm camera users.

If the camera and its settings intimidate you, this is the meeting you must attend.  Bring your cameras and if you're so inclined, a tripod. If we get to the more advanced features, you'll need it to shoot. And don't forget your manuals (just in case you stump the experts), we're going to help you set up YOUR camera!

 

 

 

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Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk - Historic Downtown Homestead
Oct
6
5:00 PM17:00

Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk - Historic Downtown Homestead

Join Robert for a photographic walk through Homestead’s history. The walk will start at its meeting location at Losner Park, next to the historic Seminole Theatre and across the street from the Old Town Hall.

This ¾ mile Photo Ramble will take us from historic main street past the new town hall and end at the historic Hotel Redland.

Parking is available behind Losner Park and across the street, to the west, of Hotel Redland.

Follow the website www.worldwidephotwalk.com for more information.  Pre-registration is required. Click the registration button below to register.

More info...

11 Years and Counting!

On the first Saturday of October each year, photographers and enthusiasts around the world get out their cameras and meet up at a designated location in their town to walk around and take photographs, socialize, make new friends, win prizes, and be a part of a great cause during Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk®. Last year marked our ten-year anniversary and was our largest walk yet – and we are ready to top it! No matter what continent you are on, where you are in your photography journey, or what type of camera or phone you use, you can take part in this year’s event! Join us October 06, 2018!

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SFNPCC Weekend Away - Fort Myers Beach
Nov
16
to Nov 18

SFNPCC Weekend Away - Fort Myers Beach

Pending any major disasters, we're planning a fun filled photography weekend in Fort Myers Beach! So much to see and do:  walk the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier, hike the Matanzas Pass Preserve, visit and learn history at the Mound House Archaeological Site, or maybe even go kayaking with Crazy Woman Kayaks or Kayak Excursions in Hurricane Bay. Or, take a drive on over to Sanibel Island to see the Sanibel Lighthouse, or explore the JN "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge or go 'shelling' on their secluded beaches. There's also Estero Bay Preserve State Park across the bay. Or if you don't want to do anything, just lounge at the beach!

I've done some research and found quite a few hotels and resorts, and even a few RV Parks for your accommodations. Click the link to find what's in your price range and location. All accommodations listed are very close to the Fort Myers Beach Pier. There are so many places to eat and drink right there. I figured it would be best to stay close, and be within walking distance from the pier and action. But lodging will be up to you.

I will work on an itinerary for those who want activities, or you can do your own thing and we can all just meet up for sunset at the pier. More will be added later. But for now, at least you all can get a room reserved before prices go up or they are sold out. Rooms can always be cancelled, but can't be reserved if they're all taken. So I'd suggest if you find something you really like, book it.

For more information on any of the activities I've listed, click on the blue "links".

As always, be sure to RSVP that you're coming along to info@sfnpcc.org.

Hope you all can join us!

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Camping Trip Flamingo & Coastal Prairie Sunset
Nov
30
to Dec 2

Camping Trip Flamingo & Coastal Prairie Sunset

**Update**

This trip was changed from a field trip to a weekend fun trip. We've decided to move the "official" field trip to the next weekend and combine it with our Christmas Party. After doing so some of us were still interested in doing the coastal prairie hike so we made it a camping weekend. You can camp, or you can come along just on the hike. Whatever you wish.

In conjunction with our sunset shoot in the Coastal Prairie, we're having a camping weekend in Flamingo. All reservations are to be made through Everglades Adventures, the official vendor for Everglades National Park in the southern section. Click the link above to book your campsite. They also rent kayaks and canoes. Perfect for a nice paddle in Florida Bay!

More on specific plans to come. Keep watch on the website for more info.

About the Coastal Prairie Sunset shoot: Its a small hike in from the campground area, but the seclusion will hopefully yield some great results. Sunset is at 5:33pm. I recommend we start out no later than 4 or 4:30 to get there and get set up.

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Dec. Meeting - Lighting - How to Flash!
Dec
6
7:00 PM19:00

Dec. Meeting - Lighting - How to Flash!

Do you have a flash and have no idea how to use it? Have you ever wanted to learn how to photograph using an off camera flash? Bring your cameras and flash units (if you have them) and we'll learn together!

Join us Thursday, December 6th for an introduction to flash photography. We will discuss base concepts, flashes, modifiers, costs, and techniques for improving your flash photography skills.

Jason Eldridge will be presenting so come on out and learn more about flash photography.

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Geminids Meteor Shower - Dec. 13th
Dec
13
8:00 PM20:00

Geminids Meteor Shower - Dec. 13th

The famous winter meteor shower will sling bright shooting stars in mid-December, marking the brightest shower of the year. The shower peaks the night of Dec. 13-14, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke.

The Geminids are considered one of the best meteor showers every year because the individual meteors are bright, and they come fast and furious: This year, there will be more than 1 per minute, reaching 100 meteors per hour. Under light-polluted skies, fewer meteors will be visible.

"The best time to view the Geminids is around 2 a.m. local time," Cooke said. "The moon will be first quarter, so it will set around midnight (11:08pm); there will be no moonlight to interfere with the Geminids this year."

The above excerpt is from space.com. See the link for more info https://www.space.com/34921-geminid-meteor-shower-guide.html

Yes, I know, it's a Thursday night. Experience has taught us that the most active time for Geminids are one night. We tried it two days after the fact last year, and there was nothing. If you can come, great, if not, I'm sorry. I can't plan the stars... not yet anyway. Hey, be like me and make it a great excuse for a day off (*cough*sneeze*cough*)! Otherwise, if you want to try on Friday or Saturday, the park is open! You don't need a club event to go and shoot out there.

Plans for location are still in the works. Wherever we meet, it'll be around 9ish. Keep watch to the website for updated information. Hope to see you there!

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DRY TORTUGAS CAMPING! (Yes, it's back on!)
Apr
12
to Apr 14

DRY TORTUGAS CAMPING! (Yes, it's back on!)

Here's a VERY special trip, a weekend camping on a remote tropical island! With a cool Civil War era fort and lots of places to explore. This is also the perfect spot for nighttime photography. We will be miles and miles from any sort of light pollution and the stars will be so clear you'll think you can touch them. And the Milky Way... well, it'll definitely be worth it.

I'll be adding to this event as more information comes available to me, but for now, I want you to get the date set so you know to plan for it.

What I DO know is this: it is primitive camping, no posh hotels, no glamping, no cabins, just you, your tent, your cooler and your cameras. You must bring anything and everything you need for this trip, and, be able to bring all of it back with you. That being said, you will need your own tent and a place to sleep, cooler with food and water, and backups of battery power and memory cards. I did find a camping gear outfitter that rents all camping gear, much like you can rent cameras and lenses now. Trust me, I have done quite a bit of research on this subject, even for local places, couldn't find any. This place is out of Arizona but it ships gear to wherever you are. Check out LowerGear website if interested in going, but need camping gear.

Also, the only way in and out of the Dry Tortugas is via private charter or the Yankee Freedom III. If you'd like to do some research on your own, here's the Yankee Freedom III website. They are the only authorized concessionaire for the Dry Tortugas. There are airplanes but they only transport people, not camping gear - day trips only. I personally don't know anyone with a boat that would be willing to take a bunch of us over to the islands and back again in 3 days. So the Yankee Freedom III is the best bet, and they are well equipped in handling us over-nighters. The price for the trip is $200 (plus tax I'm sure). That does include the National Park fee, which if you have the National Parks pass (not just the Everglades) you will get a refund. Park Rangers will also be collecting $15-$30 per camp site (depending on how many in your party) per night. You will need cash on hand for that.

Also, seeing that we have to be at the dock with our gear Friday morning at 6:30am (no exceptions - they are firm), you may want to stay in Key West overnight. And don't forget about parking your vehicle. There is a parking garage right across the street from the docks that are $19 per day.

So PLEASE, RSVP if you are interested. I am trying to work with the Yankee Freedom and the park service to see if we can get some special services, seeing who we are, and an accurate number will be necessary. Send me an email here at info@sfnpcc.org. And also email us if you have ANY questions. I have plenty myself and will be contacting the folks at Yankee Freedom to answer them. I'll be updating this site with new information as soon as I get it.

Hope you all can come!!

 

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Dry Tortugas Part Deux?
May
3
to May 5

Dry Tortugas Part Deux?

Demand was such that we added a second date, May 3rd to the 5th. Part deux? We'll I'll just be coming home from Paris the Saturday before! LOL I will be all over the place! So stay tuned for updates, they happen fast.

Here's a VERY special trip, a weekend camping on a remote tropical island! With a cool Civil War era fort and lots of places to explore. This is also the perfect spot for nighttime photography. We will be miles and miles from any sort of light pollution and the stars will be so clear you'll think you can touch them. And the Milky Way... well, it'll definitely be worth it.

I'll be adding to this event as more information comes available to me, but for now, I want you to get the date set so you know to plan for it.

What I DO know is this: it is primitive camping, no posh hotels, no glamping, no cabins, just you, your tent, your cooler and your cameras. You must bring anything and everything you need for this trip, and, be able to bring all of it back with you. That being said, you will need your own tent and a place to sleep, cooler with food and water, and backups of battery power and memory cards. I did find a camping gear outfitter that rents all camping gear, much like you can rent cameras and lenses now. Trust me, I have done quite a bit of research on this subject, even for local places, couldn't find any. This place is out of Arizona but it ships gear to wherever you are. Check out LowerGear website if interested in going, but need camping gear.

Also, the only way in and out of the Dry Tortugas is via private charter or the Yankee Freedom III. If you'd like to do some research on your own, here's the Yankee Freedom III website. They are the only authorized concessionaire for the Dry Tortugas. There are airplanes but they only transport people, not camping gear - day trips only. I personally don't know anyone with a boat that would be willing to take a bunch of us over to the islands and back again in 3 days. So the Yankee Freedom III is the best bet, and they are well equipped in handling us over-nighters. The price for the trip is $200 (plus tax I'm sure). That does include the National Park fee, which if you have the National Parks pass (not just the Everglades) you will get a refund. Park Rangers will also be collecting $15-$30 per camp site (depending on how many in your party) per night. You will need cash on hand for that.

Also, seeing that we have to be at the dock with our gear Friday morning at 6:30am (no exceptions - they are firm), you may want to stay in Key West overnight. And don't forget about parking your vehicle. There is a parking garage right across the street from the docks that are $19 per day.

So PLEASE, RSVP if you are interested. I am trying to work with the Yankee Freedom and the park service to see if we can get some special services, seeing who we are, and an accurate number will be necessary. Send me an email here at info@sfnpcc.org. And also email us if you have ANY questions. I have plenty myself and will be contacting the folks at Yankee Freedom to answer them. I'll be updating this site with new information as soon as I get it.

Hope you all can come!!

 

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August Meeting - Night Photography
Aug
2
7:00 PM19:00

August Meeting - Night Photography

Tonight, we'll discuss the basics of night photography to prepare for our upcoming Perseids Meteor Shower field trip on the 11th.

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 it's time for the meteor shower, you'll all know how to set up easily with little help or light sources. 

See you all on the 2nd!!

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July Field Trip - Everglades Lightning!
Jul
14
2:30 PM14:30

July Field Trip - Everglades Lightning!

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's center before the entrance gate. While there, we will discuss the locations 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 have it, if not, that's ok. But they are very helpful. If you'd like to purchase one visit MKControls website. Use the RChaplin2015 code to get free shipping. (There are other devices that do the same thing. This is one of the less expensive models.)

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. If you do not have a pass and would like one, please visit our "Helpful Links" tab on our website for a link to buy a yearly pass.

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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Welcome Reception-Capri Presents HCA "Artists Choice"
Jun
16
6:00 PM18:00

Welcome Reception-Capri Presents HCA "Artists Choice"

The Homestead Center for the Arts has along with the Capri Restaurant is presenting their Artists Choice gallery show in the rear meeting room at the Capri. Several members from the SFNPCC are also members of the HCA and several have their artwork on display.

Everyone is invited to the wine and cheese reception on Sat. June 16th from 6pm till 9pm to look at the work and meet the artists. We hope you can join them!

Click here to access their website for more information.

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June Field Trip - Back to Basics
Jun
9
5:00 PM17:00

June Field Trip - Back to Basics

For this trip we'll be exploring what we learned in the June 7th meeting and applying it to our images.

To properly expose an image you need to balance your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. In this trip, we'll shoot in bright conditions, dark conditions; we'll switch up the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO in your own images. Knowing what each feature does in their most extreme cases will hopefully make it easier to understand the basics of exposure and get you off of Auto mode forever.

We'll be shooting a lot of basic camera techniques, explaining in the field how to produce different looks by knowing what the differences are when shooting fast or slow; with a large aperture or small aperture; high and low ISO. We'll end the night with a beautiful Everglades sunset.

If you are unable to attend the June 7th meeting, a Powerpoint file will be uploaded to the Members Resources tab of the website after the meeting. You can review that before coming on the field trip.

For you new-comers, and for those who easily forget, we'll be in the Everglades, its basically a swamp, full of lots of BUGS. Mostly deer flies and mosquitoes. Come prepared. Check out the article I wrote on how I prepare for the Everglades. http://www.sfnpcc.org/news/2017/8/14/summer-in-the-everglades-how-to-survive.  We will be on pavement and the boardwalk so very slim chance for an encounter with gators or snakes, but never rule it out completely. Just be sure you come prepared for the bugs. Because they will make you miserable if you don't.

What to bring:

  • Camera (DSLR or Mirrorless)
  • Lenses (bring what you have - we won't be far from the vehicles)
  • Tripod
  • Remote Shutter Release (recommended - but not necessary)
  • Snacks
  • WATER! (Maybe even a small cooler full)
  • Bug Spray (and any other insect repellent you have - bug jackets, ThermaCells)
  • I urge you all to wear closed toe shoes and long pants and long sleeve shirts. It helps with keeping the bugs away from the skin.
  • Notepad or something to take notes if you're so inclined.
  • Chair - just in case you'd like to sit and relax during the sunset shoot. I always keep one in the back seat of my car.

Please be sure to RSVP so we know who is coming. And in this RSVP, let me know your skill level. Don't be shy. The more truthful you are with yourself and us, the better equipped we are to help. Write us at info@sfnpcc.org to RSVP. Also, if you have ANY questions about what to bring, or the conditions we're going to be shooting in, anything at all, please just ask.

We'll see you all there!!

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June Meeting - Back to Basics Aperture - Speed - ISO
Jun
7
7:00 PM19:00

June Meeting - Back to Basics Aperture - Speed - ISO

We'll go over the basic principles of exposure for our members who may be new to the concept, and for the rest who'd like a refresher. It's always good to to go back to the basics. Here we'll learn about the three different principles of exposure, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and what each principle's effect is to your images. With this simple yet valuable knowledge, hopefully you too can get off automatic mode, and start using manual with confidence.

We'll then take the things we learned and apply them in the field on our June 9th field trip.

Hope to see you all there!

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Weekend Camping Trip - Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
May
18
to May 20

Weekend Camping Trip - Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

  • Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

FROM THE http://www.darksky.org/idsp/parks/kissimmeeprairie/ WEBSITE...

"Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park (KPPSP), a 54,000 acre property in central Florida, is one of the largest parks in the Florida State Parks System. It is a rare natural area that remains under preservation in its part of the state, which is far from the national parks and preserves of south Florida. “Located away from the population centers,” park staff write, “KPPSP is a prime destination for people who want to get away from the stresses of their everyday life. They come to experience the long prairie views, the song of Eastern Meadowlark, the wind through the palmettos and grasses. And they stay the night for the peaceful and star-studded evenings.”
Only nine percent of the original Florida dry prairie ecosystem remains intact, and KPPSP protects the largest tract of these fragile lands, which are home to 48 listed native species. The Park therefore serves as an important bulwark against the degradation of the natural nighttime environment in central Florida due to invasive human development. The Park provides purely resource-based recreation, outlaws hunting, and offers over 177 km (110 miles) of trails and fire-breaks accessible only by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
Over the past two years, the KPPSP leadership and staff have taken laudable steps toward securing the integrity of the dry prairie’s nights and educating visitors about the importance of natural dark for maintaining the prairie’s delicate ecosystem. Its situation within a three-hour drive of over 7 million south Floridians places the Park in a position to serve many people in articulating IDA’s mission and goals."

Reservations for camping facilities at the KPPSP include an astronomy loop (which includes 5 tent sites, of which only 1 is left as of this writing on 3/26/18), an equestrian loop, and an RV/tent loop. Learn more about other activities at the Florida State Parks website here.  I don't see any hotels close by, so if you're not into roughing it in a tent, think about renting an RV for the trip. The closest "cities" are Yeehaw Junction to the north, or Okeechobee to the south.

If I can get my reservations in on time, I will try to get the last astronomical tent site. If not, we'll have to find some other place to photograph the night sky. Which I don't think will be a problem. It is a HUGE park.

You must RESERVE your own site if you wish to go here. Also, please RSVP to info@sfnpcc.org so we know you're coming along.

Hope to see you all there!

 

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Post Processing Lab/Workshop
May
12
9:00 AM09:00

Post Processing Lab/Workshop

We're hosting an open house post-processing lab on Saturday, May 12th from 9am till 1pm. Bring your laptops, your flash drives, your open minds, and ability to work! You don't have to be here the entire time. If you can only do a couple of hours, that is fine too. It's basically an open house. Anytime between 9am and 1pm.

We'll provide the tables, electrical cords, and instructors. If this goes well, we'll have more.

Please be sure to RSVP if you plan on coming. info@sfnpcc.org. Bring anything you wish to snack on or drink. I'm sure I'll stop on the way and pick up some donuts too, just in case.

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May Field Trip - Timelapse Sunset - Key Biscayne
May
5
7:00 PM19:00

May Field Trip - Timelapse Sunset - Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne Sunset and Time-lapse. We'll meet at Bill Baggs State Park entrance at 7pm. Sunset is at nearly 8pm, and the twilight goes until almost 9:30. There was some question as to how long the rangers will allow us to stay past "sundown". So we'll play it by ear. I'll do my best to sweet-talk them into staying until we've exhausted our sunset potential. :) Hopefully that's about 30 minutes past sun-set.

There is an area on the west side of the park, along Biscayne Bay, that has several fishing platforms. I thought we'd utilize them for our photos. Hopefully there wont be hoards of people there with the same idea. We'll see!

We'll learn how to shoot time lapse at our meeting on the 3rd and put it to practice. Should be a fun and relaxing evening.

Hope to see you there. Keep checking back for more updated info.

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April Field Trip - Everglades Sunrise
Apr
28
5:00 AM05:00

April Field Trip - Everglades Sunrise

  • Ernest Coe Visitor's Center-Everglades (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Slough slog has been cancelled due to lack of water. Can't really 'slog' in a cypress dome without water. So instead, Robert and friends will be leading us in a short hike to an out-of-the-way area to shoot an original sunrise.

We're meeting at 5am at the Ernest Coe Visitor's Center at the Homestead entrance of the Everglades National Park. From there we'll caravan to our spot. Should be a lot of fun and something different than what we're all used to.

Some items to bring along:

- Water
- Sturdy close toed, lace-up shoes or protective boots
- Long Pants
-Mosquito Spray/ThermaCells, bug repellent clothing, any and all bug repellent you have. There WILL be bugs.

Other items that are suggested:

- Sunscreen
- Long sleeve shirt
- Snacks
- Tripod
- Wide Angle Lens and or medium range zoom for isolating details. Whatever you normally would use for a sun event.

At 5am you may not need to pay to enter the gates, but you might too. In my experience the rangers get there at 6am. But that could change. Be prepared to pay just in case, the entrance to Everglades National Park is $25 per vehicle, which is not included as part of this field trip, nor included in your membership. Hopefully you will have purchased a National Parks or Everglades yearly pass, which both will allow you unlimited access all year long.

Please be sure to RSVP for this field trip so we leave no one behind info@sfnpcc.org.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Night Photography/Milky Way - Everglades
Apr
21
to Apr 22

Night Photography/Milky Way - Everglades

  • Everglades National Park EC Visitor Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

It's "milky way" part 2! We couldn't make up our minds which date to have our Milky Way field trip, so we're doing 2.

Much like shooting any night sky, you need three things... clear skies, no moon, and to be as far away from light pollution as possible. While it won't be a 'new' moon, the moon will be setting at 1:30am, meaning we'll get some moon-shine on our foreground, which can be blended later with a fully dark sky after the moon has dipped below the horizon. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with no clouds, again. And the southern Everglades is about as dark as you can get in South Florida.

Let's all meet at 11:30pm on Saturday, April 21st at the Ernest Coe Visitors Center at the Everglades National Park. Click the map to the left for directions. We will caravan down to the spot after we all get there. Plan on a late night.

Same as last week's week's instructions.

I STRONGLY recommend that everyone learn how to adjust your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on your cameras, and be able to find and adjust them in the dark. Sit down with your manual and camera and learn where the buttons are. Even if you don't know exactly what they do, just learn how to change the settings. I would also recommend pre-focusing your lens to infinity (not just that little marker on the lens either - it may not be entirely accurate). If you have any questions about any of this, please send us an email and we can explain how to do this in detail. Don't be afraid, we've all been the new guy on the block. We're all here to help everyone learn.

What will happen on site is we'll find a spot, get all set up, cameras on tripods facing southeast, south-southeast, and take a few practice shots, adjust your settings as needed, and then just sit around and let the cameras go. Take a look at this SLIDE SHOW from our night skies workshop in 2015 to familiarize yourself with night photography, if you aren't already of course.

I will also recommend that you listen to the author of the above mentioned slide show, Beth Ruggiero-York, along with Jason Eldridge and the Nature Photography Show, to their 3-part podcast about night photography. Very helpful. The show is linked here. Episodes 12, 13, & 14.

If you plan on coming, please RSVP to our email at info@sfnpcc.org. We need to know who is going so we don't start without you.

What to bring:

  • Tripod - Highly recommended
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable or Intervalometer - also highly recommended. You can buy one fairly cheap, about $25 online. If not, you can use the cameras self-timer. If you use the self-timer, make sure you know how to use it.
  • 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. I suspect there will be mosquitoes, a lot of them. Please be prepared. We've had people leave field trips because the bugs were so bad. And with the amount of water still standing, I suspect there will be plenty of them out there. 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. There's no vending machines or water out here.
  • Protective sturdy footwear. This is the Everglades and critters are everywhere. We won't 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.

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Night Photography/Milky Way - Kirby Storter Wayside Park
Apr
15
1:00 AM01:00

Night Photography/Milky Way - Kirby Storter Wayside Park

It's "milky way" season again, and I believe this is the first official Milky Way field trip we've ever done as a club. Much like shooting any night sky, you need three things... clear skies, no moon, and to be as far away from light pollution as possible. It will be a new moon (meaning no moon), and hopefully the weather will cooperate with no clouds. And looking south from Kirby Storter is about as dark as you can get in South Florida.

I STRONGLY recommend that everyone learn how to adjust your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on your cameras, and be able to find and adjust them in the dark. Sit down with your manual and camera and learn where the buttons are. Even if you don't know exactly what they do, just learn how to change the settings. I would also recommend pre-focusing your lens to infinity (not just that little marker on the lens either - it may not be entirely accurate). If you have any questions about any of this, please send us an email and we can explain how to do this in detail. Don't be afraid, we've all been the new guy on the block. We're all here to help everyone learn.

Let's all meet at 1am on Sunday April 15th (that's like way late Saturday night) at the Kirby Storter Wayside Park. Never heard of it? Click the map to the left for directions. Its a little known wayside on the south side of US 41 or Tamiami Trail. There is a restroom here, basically it's a permanent port-a-potty. I've been there when it was pump-out day. Pew. But it's better than nothing. No fresh water. So bring wet naps or other to be safe and clean.

What will happen on site is we'll find a spot, get all set up, cameras on tripods facing southeast, south-southeast, and take a few practice shots, adjust your settings as needed, and then just sit around and let the cameras go. Take a look at this SLIDE SHOW from our night skies workshop in 2015 to familiarize yourself with night photography, if you aren't already of course.

I will also recommend that you listen to the author of the above mentioned slide show, Beth Ruggiero-York, along with Jason Eldridge and the Nature Photography Show, to their 3-part podcast about night photography. Very helpful. The show is linked here. Episodes 12, 13, & 14.

If you plan on coming, please RSVP to our email at info@sfnpcc.org. We need to know who is going so we don't start without you.

What to bring:

  • Tripod - Highly recommended
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable or Intervalometer - also highly recommended. You can buy one fairly cheap, about $25 online. If not, you can use the cameras self-timer. If you use the self-timer, make sure you know how to use it.
  • 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. I suspect there will be mosquitoes, a lot of them. Please be prepared. We've had people leave field trips because the bugs were so bad. And with the amount of water still standing, I suspect there will be plenty of them out there. 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. There's no vending machines or water out here.
  • Protective sturdy footwear. This is the Everglades and critters are everywhere. We won't 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.

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April Weekend - St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Rookery
Apr
6
to Apr 8

April Weekend - St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Rookery

  • Alligator Farm & Zoological Park (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Alligator Farm’s Rookery
The Rookery is the place within Alligator Farm that birds congregate to build their nests.  Each spring, the Rookery attracts eight species of birds – great egrets, wood storks, snowy egrets, roseate spoonbills, tri-colored and little blue heron and cattle egrets.

Photography Schedule
In order to avoid the harsh sun, photographing at the rookery is usually split into 2 daily sessions.

Morning session - is from 8am until 11:00am.

Afternoon session - is from 4pm until the last photo pass holder leaves. (staff dependent)

Admission prices:

-9am regular admission: $25.99
-Photo pass  - this pass allows 8am entry for photographers through the special - Red Door
-Cost - $65 for 2 days.

You can purchase your Photo pass at the Red Door at 8am on April 7 OR you can email Molly Ebersold at zoosales@alligatorfarm.com and purchase it ahead of time. Depending on the number of people in our group, she will be able to give us a discount on the price of the photo pass.

Hotels

There are numerous hotel options in St Augustine. Your accommodations are your choice. Our suggestion:

Sleep Inn  - within walking distance of Alligator Farm.
Address: 601 Anastasia Blvd. St Augustine 904-825-4535
Rates: $127 king and $133 for 2 queen beds. (subject to discount depending on the number of attendees).

Food and Drinks

Dinner – Saturday, April 7th arrangements made at the Gypsy Cab Restaurant- 828 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080. Nothing fancy, but close by and great menu. http://www.gypsycab.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Dinner-Menu1.pdf(Working on getting a separate room where we can discuss our photographing experience at the rookery and share photography tips.  (Other ideas welcome).

Drink and Chips

Bring a bottle of wine and/or beer with chips for evening meet in hotel lobby. Did I forget to say that this trip is also about having A LOT of fun!!!!

Lunch

Discussions being entertained for lunch at nearby Osteen’s Restaurant – local seafood/shrimp – 205 Anastasia Blvd. St Augustine.

For Those Arriving Friday

Some discussions going on about a sunset dinner at the Sunset Grill – 421 A1A Beach Blvd, St Augustine.

Suggested Equipment

• Camera
• External (shoe-mount) flash
• A Flash extender –  *see below
• Memory cards and batteries (camera & flash)
• Monopod/tripod
• Lens with enough focal length for shooting birds (100-200mm - sufficient for flight shots)
Water
Sunscreen
(Bring what you think you will need, however, the lighter you are, the more mobile you will be.)


*Flash Extender – I have a Nikon 910 flash. This is an example of an extender for this flash: (not saying it’s the best, just a sample).

Better Beamer Flash Extender.jpg

“Excellent for wildlife and birding photography, where long-distance fill-flash is often required, especially with a bright sunlight background. The use of fill flash opens up the shadows without the appearance that a flash was used.” B & H

 Bird Locations

Bird Locations

• Larger birds (great egrets, wood storks) usually nest in the blue areas of the rookery; they are the first to construct nests at the beginning of the mating season.

• Smaller birds (cattle egrets, snowy egrets, tri-colored herons, little blue herons) usually nest in the red areas.

Other birds such as the roseate spoonbills like to hang out in the green area where the dead tree is.

Attractions at or near St. Augustine:
§  St. Augustine Castillo de San Marcos: Largest national Park in this area.
§  Augustine Pirate Museum: Fun for history lovers and kids
§  Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum: A living history museum recreating the life in St. Augustine in 1740. Costumed interpreters bring life to the St. Augustine that was an outpost of the Spanish Empire. The Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum is only a five-minute walk from the entrance of the Castillo.
§  Augustine Lighthouse and Museum: This 1874 lighthouse is the second highest lighthouse in Florida. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is located 1.5 miles south of the Castillo just off route A1A.
§  Fort Matanzas, 14 miles south, is a smaller Spanish fort built 50 years after the Castillo de San Marcos. It’s a great stop because you take a small boat to the fort past spectacular scenery. And it’s free.
§  Fort Moose Historic State Park:  The site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in United States. Fort Moose State Park is three miles north of the Castillo just off US-1.

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April Meeting - Smoke & Water Photography
Apr
5
7:00 PM19:00

April Meeting - Smoke & Water Photography

Our own Bob Richardson will be showing us how to shoot smoke and water droplets. We've all seen these images and you will learn the concepts of this tonight!

Bring your cameras, tripods, and lenses to set up and practice this type of photography during the meeting. If you have a macro lens, be sure to bring that as well.

Hope to see you all there!

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March Field Trip - Dagny Johnson State Park
Mar
24
8:00 AM08:00

March Field Trip - Dagny Johnson State Park

Once slated to become a condominium development, this park contains one of the largest tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the United States.  The park is home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe and the American crocodile.  Exploring the park´s trails gives visitors a chance to see some of these rare species of plants and animals.  Over six miles of nature trails provide a wealth of opportunities for birdwatchers and photographers.  Most of the park's trails are paved and accessible to both bicycles and wheelchairs.  Signs along a self-guided nature trail provide information about the park's ecosystem and wildlife.  This park is located on County Road 905, half-mile north of the intersection with U.S. Highway 1 at Mile Marker 106. Fore more information about the park go to the website here.

We will be meeting at the entrance at 8am before heading in and seeing what the park has to offer. Great opportunities for macro or close up photography. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, but there's no real opportunity for sunrise photography so we'll be there right after sunrise during the golden hour.

FEE REQUIREMENT:  The park requires $2.50 per person to enter (or the State Park Pass + .50 Monroe County surcharge). Please bring correct change.

Here are some suggestions for items to bring:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Tripod

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

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Meet The Artists Event at the Capri
Mar
16
6:00 PM18:00

Meet The Artists Event at the Capri

The Homestead Center for the Arts (HCA) gallery show at the Capri is having their welcome reception with wine and snacks on Friday, March 16th between 6 and 9pm. Be sure to come out and take a look at all of the Tropical artwork on display. SFNPCC members have a few pieces on display as well.

Hope to see you there!

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Post Processing Lab - Leisure City Moose Lodge
Mar
10
9:00 AM09:00

Post Processing Lab - Leisure City Moose Lodge

You asked and we're answering!

We'll be conducting a open house post-processing lab on Saturday, March 10th from 9am till 1pm. Bring your laptops, your flash drives, your open minds, and ability to work! You don't have to be here the entire time. If you can only do a couple of hours, that is fine to. It's basically an open house. Anytime between 9am and 1pm.

We'll provide the tables, electrical cords, and instructors. If this goes well, we'll have more.

Please be sure to RSVP if you plan on coming. info@sfnpcc.org We might throw in come goodies with it.

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March Weekend Field Trip - Lakeland, FL
Mar
2
to Mar 4

March Weekend Field Trip - Lakeland, FL

Hope you can join me for a fun weekend of photography up north near Lakeland, Florida.

**UPDATE**

Since we've no participation from the club, I've decided to change up the itinerary a bit to suit my needs. I have a friend coming along and we're going to make it a girls weekend. I will be photographing and anyone is welcome to come along and just show up if you'd like.

Turns out there's a lot to see in downtown Lakeland. Old Historic Downtown Lakeland centers around Munn Park which is just west of Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake is itself a destination. Built up to look like the Mediterranean; it features a promenade, and lots of interesting views and art installations. The historic downtown area has lots of old buildings and an historic theater, much like our own Seminole Theatre in Homestead. There's also the Polk County Museum of Art, the Hollis Gardens, and the Florida Southern College which features many buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I'll put all of the websites I researched below so if anyone wants to come, you can do your own research and pick the things you'd like to do.

I'm staying at the Ecco Suites hotel up near I-4. Unfortunately the weekend I picked was a busy one with the Strawberry Festival going on over in Plant City. But if that's what interests you, that's a great 'county fair' type event.

I went through the map of the historic downtown area and Google Earth and chose the buildings I'd like to photograph. I looked at each facade and figured out which would look good in either morning or evening light. Some would actually look good at night all lit up.

Friday Evening: Historic downtown west facing buildings, then over to Mirror Lake for the sunset, and evening/night shots.

Saturday Morning: Early sunrise, probably over Mirror Lake. Then head over to the historic downtown to catch the golden hour sun over the east facing historic buildings.

Saturday day: Visit the Lakeland Farmers Curb Market; Visit the Polk County Art Museum; and then Florida Southern College for the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, maybe take a tour.

Saturday evening: Find another location for sunset along Mirror Lake and more west facing buildings if necessary.

Sunday morning: possible sunrise shoot somewhere. It's going to be a bit on the chilly side so this is optional. Especially on how late we stay out Saturday night.

If anyone wants to come along and join us, be sure to let me know. Be sure to RSVP to info@sfnpcc.org. If you know my phone number you can text me or message me on Facebook. I'm always on that. :)

Mirror Lake Complex

Historic Downtown Lakeland

Polk County Museum of Art

Florida Southern College

Circle B Bar Reserve Ranch

 

 

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March Meeting - History of Photography with Special Guest Jose Perez
Mar
1
7:00 PM19:00

March Meeting - History of Photography with Special Guest Jose Perez

Special guest speaker Jose Perez will be giving us a round the world tour of the history of photography. Some of the topics he'll discuss are:

Development of Photography
Fathers of Photography
Development of different Mediums
Use of photography in culture of the time
Great Photographers of the time in each Medium

Samples will be shown of the following Photographic Medium:
Daguerreotype, Calotype, Cyanotype, Ambrotype, Albumen prints, Cart-de-visite, Stereo Views, Cabinet Cards, Pictorialism and Traveling Photography, Locomotion Studies, Kodak #1 Camera Photograph, Autochrome

Be sure to attend this meeting. Hope to see you all here!

 

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SFNPCC Wine & Cheese Reception at the Seminole Theatre
Feb
26
5:30 PM17:30

SFNPCC Wine & Cheese Reception at the Seminole Theatre

Details are still in the works. We will update this as soon as more information becomes available from the Seminole Theatre.

We are pleased to announce that the SFNPCC will be the featured Artists in the Spotlight at the historic Seminole Theatre for the month's of February and March, 2018.

On Monday, February 26th, the theatre will open its doors to the public for a "Gallery Night at the Seminole". From 5:30-8:30pm, guests are welcome to browse the artwork on display, meet the featured artists (us), and enjoy wine and cheese.

 

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February Weekend Trip - Cape Canaveral/Merritt Island NWR
Feb
23
to Feb 25

February Weekend Trip - Cape Canaveral/Merritt Island NWR

  • Cape Canaveral Lighthouse (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The SFNPCC is on the road again, this time to the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral/Merritt Island area. There is so much to see and do up here it's mind blowing.

****UPDATE****

Folks, we've just been made aware that the Lighthouse Tour changed their schedules (due to lack of business apparently) and are not doing tours every weekend, now only once a month (and not the weekend we have planned).

Sue is still willing to do the trip if you all are ok with NOT doing a lighthouse tour, but just sunrises, sunsets, and the wildlife drives in Merritt Island. Please, let us know, especially those who RSVP'd that they were going (or were interested).

It's worth the trip alone for the Merritt Island wildlife drive. Just my 2 cents worth. You can all decide to go on a tour of the Kennedy Space Center. Don't think you need reservations for that. Or, Sue and the gang are planning a "bioluminescent kayak tour" for Saturday night ($45 per person). Plans may change depending on what is available. But if  you've RSVP'd you will be kept aware of the changes, and rest assured, you will still have a good time.

OLD MESSAGE - Right now we are planning on visiting the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse on Saturday the 24th. The lighthouse is on an Air Force Station so reservations must be made well in advance. It's on a first come, first served basis. If you plan on going I suggest you make your reservations NOW so you don't miss out. They will accept reservation up to 48 hours prior to the tour. But at this time of year, I don't know that I'd take that chance. The cost is $27. You must have give a valid drivers license, date of birth, and full legal name. They will be doing a background check on you. Like I said, it's an Air Force Base. For tickets and information call SunWard Tours at (321­) 453-­3994, or go online at Canaveral_Lighthouse .  Please read very carefully and fill out the application as requested.

The rest of the time will be spent at either Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. They have 2 one way "drives", the Black Point Wildlife Drive, or BioLab Road. Both offer vast opportunities for bird and other wildlife viewing. I was there in mid-October and again in late November and the birds were spectacular. Saw a wild boar and plenty of gators. And remember, if you purchase the National Parks Pass (not just the Everglades Pass) it will get you into all of the parks, including Merritt Island NWR.

Also, if interested, there is the Kennedy Space Center, and the Historic Cocoa Village or visit the famous Ron Jon's Surf Shop.

There is so much to see and do in that area. I personally won't be going, but as soon as we figure out who is going, we can work on an itinerary that works for everyone in attendance. So please RSVP to info@sfnpcc.org to let us know you're going, or even if you're planning on it, but not quite sure. You can certainly cancel later on.  But if you know for sure you're going, I highly suggest you make your reservations for the lighthouse tour now.

Hope to see you all there!

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