Newsletter October 2008

Help run your club -- join a committee

We had a very successful year for our inter club competitions. Click to read more

We had a very successful year for our inter club competitions. The star of our club was Lazlo Gyorsok. He was Best of Show in the spring PSA competitions with a photo called"Dark Eyes". He also won an Honorable Mention with a photo called "Bud" in the winter competition. Brian Wilcox received an Honorable Mention for "Bad Day 2" during the winter competitions.

In the NECCC competitions, Lazlo and Brian were the two winners with Lazlo getting a first with "Lost" and Brian received an Honorable Mention for "Maple Leaf"

This does not tell the whole story for the year. We, as a club, were in the middle range of winnings and not so far from the top in scores in both the PSA and the NECCC. So let's keep it up. Thanks to Anne Wilkinson, William DeVoti, Giselle Doyle, Emilie Holste Grubbe, Rita Mathews, and Brian Wilcox for their entries. I think we did very well for a small club that is just beginning digital photos. It is a good way to get to know what other people think of how your photos stack up against 100's of others .This year we will publish all the results so that you can follow where you stand against the members of other photo clubs.

Click here for the program of the meeting
Housatonic Camera Club, Tues., Oct. 21, 7 p.m.,
Noble Horizons Learning Center, 17 Cobble Pond Road, Salisbury, Conn.
First New England Camera Club and Photographic Society of America competitions. Participants are asked to submit two black and white matted prints as well as digital images of nature and pictorial subject matter. These will be judged by the Club for entry into the NECC and PSA competitions.

New members and guests welcome. For more information call (860) 824-1165 or (413)229-3046.


GISELE DOYLE - Newsletter Editor (soon)

I grew up in Fitchburg Massachusetts with 5 siblings and Canadian parents. I have always been artistic/creative in one form or another, and graduated from a vocational technical school graphic arts program. I did have a few jobs at different printing companies, the longest and most challenging as a platemaker/pressperson.
My 1st camera (Pentax k1000 manual) was a wedding gift in 1986, with a 80-200 zoom lens for our 1st anniversary. Shortly thereafter, my daughter was born and the film started flying!
We moved to Millerton in 1993 and I love it. Once my daughter started school, I started working with children in many capacities. I have coached baseball, softball, indoor soccer, JV volleyball and modified track. I also was a girl scout leader for 8 years while working as a teachers' aide, hall monitor, substitute and at an afterschool program. All of these activities gave me lots of photo ops including sports team photos, field trips, yearbook and theater headshots/candids.
My first digital camera was an Olympus C-8080. It had a great macro/wide angle lens that helped begin my love of macro/flower photography. I now use the first DSLR camera from Sony, the a100, with a Sony 2.8/50 macro lens.
Most of my photography consists of portraits, flowers and macro. I also love to be creative with Photoshop and Black & White.
I joined the club a year ago to meet others who share the joy of photography and I am enjoying it.
I am hoping to see more workshops and mentoring in the club for those who want to learn more or just try something new. With all of the new technology coming our way, I think it may be more of a challenge for photographers to really find the best equipment and accessories for their particular talents and abilities. This is where I am hoping club members will be able to help each other the most.
As I am still awaiting surgery and dealing with my health, I am hoping to take over the newsletter in the next month or two. Lazlo has been great about doing it for me and I truly appreciate it.


Approaching the Limits of Our Technology?

Fredrick K. Orkin

Only a few decades ago cameras were wholly mechanical (and generally functioned well for as long as they were owned), without electronic shutters and myriad automatic features that we now take for granted. Although the body may have contained a light meter, auto-exposure did not become prevalent until the 1980s. An electronic shutter and auto-focusing, even capable of tracking moving subjects, were added in the 1990s, as advances in optics began to enable newly-emerging zoom lenses to approach the image quality associated with prime lenses. These advances were followed by image stabilization, digital sensors replacing film, sensors with ever more remarkable light sensitivity, increasingly versatile in-camera computers (e.g., scene recognition, face recognition) and post-capture software, inkjet printers using archival pigments, and even optional high-definition digital video capture with sound. This accelerating pace of technologic advances prompts me to wonder whether we are approaching any limits.
What prompts what may appear highly speculative, if not arcane, are recent experiences that suggest that at least equipment reliability is beginning to be challenged by its increasing complexity. Although what I relate involves two highly advanced Nikon lenses, this may be a cautionary tale that is relevant to all manufacturers' products.
About 18 months ago, as I gathered equipment for a safari, my favorite zoom-telephoto lens (Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G), with its stellar edge-to-edge sharpness, began to hiccough when auto-focusing: On depressing the shutter release, the image instantly became sharp but almost as rapidly went out of focus as the lens shifted near and far, trying in vain to focus. This worrisome behavior occurred only a couple of times before the trip (and could not be reproduced at other times or with other camera bodies), so I even wondered whether I might have imagined the malfunction. All doubt disappeared during the trip, when the defect recurred more consistently, especially using image stabilization ('VR') simultaneously, with the fuzzy image jumping wildly up and down; the lens could not be manually focused, even after turning off both auto-focusing and VR. Fortunately, since I was photographing from a vehicle, I had a full camera bag, complete with a backup zoom-telephoto (below). Nikon had been reluctant to accept the lens for service prior to the trip but repaired it promptly once it had become inoperative.
A similar malfunction occurred in September, while on an overseas hiking trip, where traveling light was paramount. Rather than lug the now-serviceable (but three-pound) favorite zoom-telephoto, I opted for a remarkable compact, light lens (Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G) that is ideal for travel. Halfway through the trip, its auto-focusing failed (but the image remained stable), forcing me to focus manually. Nikon is now servicing the lens. This time, however, I did not have to compose a letter, because Nikon's Web site semi-automates service requests, even producing duplicate submission forms (one for me to retain!) and a mailing label, perhaps confirming that the volume of equipment failures has picked up.
Although Nikon repair invoices typically do not specify the origin of failures, I have learned from one well-known travel photographer that my experiences are not unique. The take-home messages include planning for equipment redundancy when traveling, carefully filing purchase slips at home so you can document failure occurrence within the warranty period (fortunately five years for Nikon lenses), avoiding 'gray market' products that US distributors' warranties do not cover, and - pardon my cynicism - remembering to ascertain that complex equipment still functions normally as the end of the warranty period approaches. You may not be ready to accept the notion that our technology is approaching limits, but for me the issue is no longer speculative!


Photoshop CS4 is out. Here are a couple of the latest video reviews:

More videos on the Forum under Photoshop heading ( click on the forum link on the left) Photoshop CS4 Bridge

Click on the arrow to play

Photoshop CS4 review

Click here to see our schedule for the season

Photographers: Where are we going? by Rita Mathews

I just finished reading the reports from Photokina, the world photography show that takes place only every 2 years in Cologne, Germany. This is where the latest and greatest new photo items are brought to the world. The popular cameras are constantly vying with each other. Nikon has come out with a camera (the first in the world) the D 90 that can take HD Video at 24 frames per second with 23.1 megapixels. Not to be out done Canon has come out with an HD Video camera also albeit at 3.9 frames a second but with higher sensitivity of 25,600 iso and 21.1 megapixels. There are now more megapixels than ever. Leica has come out with an entirely new camera that has 37 mega pixels, a 30X45 mm sensor which is 56% larger than the old 35mm sensors while the camera itself is smaller than both the Canon and the Nikon. They also have come out with a 50mm lens that is the fastest in the world with f0.95.

Olympus, Panasonic and Sony have also come out with new models but Fuji has really done something entirely different. They have produced a real 3D camera system: 3 D photo and a 3D print with a new 3 in one sensor with high resolution, sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. Fuji is trying to make a sensor as close to the human eye as possible.

Samsung has a small handheld that is a super zoom with a 24 mm wide angle lens. Lens baby has a new system of selective focus lenses: The Composer, The Muse, and The Control Freak. With all the large amounts of data coming up in all the new cameras, Adobe and Microsoft have published a set of guidelines for handling image metadata.

Therefore Adobe has a brand new Adobe Photoshop CS4 and an Adobe Elements 7. Looking over the new CS4: It uses the power of the new hardware to extend the imaging possibilities by offering faster and more flexible ways to accomplish core tasks like image adjustment and masks. Content-Aware Scaling adds a revolutionary technology that enables users to intelligently size and scale images with a simple drag of the mouse. New Auto- Align and Auto-Blend modes generate composites based on extended depth of field and 360 degree panoramas with seamless tones and colors.

Adobe Bridge CS4 features speedier startup and speedier transfer. There is now an extended feature that allows painting on 3 D models and surfaces and merging 2D fields into 3D images. The extended version is more expensive. I am in no hurry for CS4 but will get it next year and I will not have to drop my 64 bit photos to something less.

Please check out our new Forum on this site, post your comments, pictures and suggestion, participate in chalenges, etc

Click here for the listing of pictures at the show at the Milbrook Library

Othello by Lazlo

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