Newsletter September 2008

Help run your club -- join a committee

The President's Corner

Welcome to the 2008/2009 season of the Housatonic Camera Club. As you can see in the schedule for the year we have an event filled agenda. From presentations by noted area photographers to submissions and judging of photographs for contests for the New England Camera Club Council and the Photographic Society of America. In addition we will be organizing shows at various venues to display our art. We will again be showing at Noble Horizons this year and will be adding additional shows.

As has everything else, photography has gone digital. At the risk of starting a controversy, in my opinion, there is no good reason not to be shooting with digital equipment. You may have a lot of money invested in film equipment, but for what you may spend for film and processing in the next year you can get started with a good mid-range digital camera until you decide what to go to from there. The Club will be making every effort to make your transition to digital a easy as possible if you are just getting started. Many of our contests are now digital based, we can hold workshops and seminars to exchange ideas and tips. So get out there and start shooting. That is one of the advantages of digital, you can experiment without any additional cost. The “film” is free.

See you at the September meeting.
Click here to see our schedule for the season

Jen Abott reports: Our Current balance as of today is $944.71

Random Thoughts on Digital Photography – Rita Mathews

A great New Year for the Housatonic Camera Club is in the offing. Rather than Hints and Basics I will now call this effort-- random! The older one gets the more random one becomes until there is nothing left in one’s head. It will take years to wipe it all out but here is this for starters.

Having started in photography with a film camera and a black and white dark room, I am always amazed at what now can be done to print photos on photo paper. The latest amazing thing that caught my eye was a camera that could take 60 frames in a second. Talk about Sci-Fi we are there. Enjoy it!

I thought I would start with the very beginning of digital photography in the raw, The Memory Card. The Memory card is the one thing regardless of camera that one must have. It, too, has progressed in speed. The problem with memory cards is when they do not work proper ly. People do have problems with them which I will point out so that we will rarely run into a problem. According to Rob Sheppard, most of the problems start with mass-merchandised cards sold in big discount stores or brands that one has never heard of. Most card problems come from power failures caused by people trying to keep their camera going on week batteries or taking the card out before the camera has written to the card. Almost all brands will have a defective card at some time. Not much in reality but the way to get around this one is simple. Put your new card in your camera and format it. If it will not format, take it back for another card. So prepare before you go away on a trip. Next you should not delete your photos from your cards before using them again. Always format them to get rid of the photos. If your battery quits before the camera has finished to the card, it can corrupt the directories on the card which means you will not be able to access them. Sheppard spoke to a technology manager who said there are a lot of cards out there and they are pretty rugged. However they can get where you cannot write to them or read them. In most cases your photos can be saved not because the card was bad but because the way it was used. Sometimes you hear s cards can be worn out. According to the technology manager at Kingston, the useful life of semi-conductors used in memory cards is about 20 years which seems unlikely for a card to wear out for a photographer. More than that, lower-performance cards will handle 10,000 write erase cycles This is not the amount of erasure you make, the cards have a built in wear leveling technology that arranges data so that erasures and rewrites are distributed evenly across the memory which increases the life o f the card so that 10,000 erase cycles is not 10,000 images but 10,000 cycles for every memory cell in the card.

The upshot being buys good ones and takes care of them. Some tips from Rob Shephard: 1) if a card will fail it will do so immediately so if it does not format get a new one. 2) Never buy a card on your way leave on a trip, have all working before you go, 3) buy high quality.4) format regularly to clean up its file structure. 5) If you have an older camera make sure it can handle the card.6) be careful of the memory card contacts.7) Never push batteries to their maximum.8) never take out a card while the camera is still writing to it.9) use a quality reader.10) If you have problems downloading from a card reader, try downloading directly from the camera. 11) If a card fails, try using image rescue software from Lexar, San Disk or Symantec. 12) If you have problems try downloading with a different card reader or through the camera.

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

Member profile

Jane Rossman has recently become Vice President of The Housatonic Camera Club

I have lived in the area most of my life, now in Millerton where I serve on the town Conservation Advisory Council, and work with a group to develop a town farmland protection plan. It is my hope to get the local historical society involved with collecting and showcasing photos of barns and agriculture, past and present. I was a teacher in the Webutuck school system for over thirty years and liked to get the students out of the classroom and involved in projects. I became active with the Housatonic Audubon Society in the 70s, and have served in several positions, including Education Committee chair and twice as president, still helping out with kids' programs and special events in Sharon.

Travel for most of my life had to be during the non-school months of July and August. Maybe thatís why I have never been to Florida, but have traveled north to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Alaska. I took a field course in Hawaii, but other than visiting in Canada, Iíve not traveled outside of the US. Lately, Iíve been taking more local trips to the Cape and especially to Maineóone of my favorite places. It is my ambition to travel anywhere along the coasts, back to Alaska and Hawaii, Maritime Canada, and Churchill to see polar bears; also Baja for whales and birds, Iceland, New ZealandÖ. road trip, anyone?

My primary interest is in nature study, especially bird watching; but photography, particularly landscape, nature and flower photography, is again becoming a major interest. My mother was interested in slide photography and was a member of a camera club when I was growing up. I started taking pictures in college and had a make-shift darkroom in the basement for a few years for black and white photography. At first, most of my photos were of family and friends, students/ school events, little league, etc. Eventually I switched to using mostly slides, mainly vacation and field trip pictures, and some flower and close-up photos that I used in school; also some video. I still have my Canon AE film camera with all the filters and lenses, but now I do digital almost exclusively. I havenít jumped to an SLR yet, but I have a top of the line Canon point and shoot digital with a good zoom; no big lenses, easier to carry when already carrying binoculars, water bottle, etc. An SLR would be nice with the additional lenses, filters and allÖmaybe some day. What I probably like best about digital is the ability to shoot, view, delete, and take lots of shots of the same thing without going broke on film and developing costs. I enjoy taking the pictures more than doing the photoshop thing. You now have to be good not just with the camera, but with the computer. Iíve tried a few things with my Canon photo editing software (similar to basic photoshop), but find it frustrating because, other than very basic edits, I know what Iíd like to do to improve a picture, but I donít have enough time, knowledge, or skill to do it. I donít print my own pictures either. As you can tell, I definitely have lots of room to grow---all I need is more time, moneyÖ. (Donít we all!)
Iíd like to see HCC become a group where anyone interested in photography, from novice to expert, will feel more comfortable sharing and learning. Newcomers and beginning photographers should feel welcome and be encouraged to participate by being reassured that you donít have to be an expert or have all the latest special equipment to take part in club activities. Foremost, letís make our club a place for sharing and enjoying good photos and good fellowship.

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