DIG Meeting, June 3, 2017 – notes by Carol Dillon.

The June meeting was opened by President Dave Erickson who noted several visitors and new members. The first in a possible series of Light Room SIG sessions takes place Wednesday June 7, 9 a.m. at the Arabian Library.

Dave inquired as to the groups’ interest in a program featuring cellphone photography for both iphone and android users. Dave also asked for a show of interest in Astrophotography, a possibly technical program but an interesting one. The response was positive from the group on both ideas.

Mike Isenberg introduced our guest speaker, Nicholas Papagallo, owner of Parkwood Photography, 22nd and McDowell, Phoenix, where he specializes in Headshots and Commercial Photography.  Nick’s landscape photographs have appeared in Arizona Highways Magazine and a host of other publications. Nick also originated the Photographers Adventure Club or PAC, an organization dedicated to Connect, Explore, Create and Improve the photography experience. At his Studio, Nick teaches Light Room and offers  other photography classes. He heads up workshops mainly in the Southwest regions.

Ten Ways to Capture High Impact Images, the theme of his programs, lists Ten Tips to achieve High Impact.

Tip #1 Research. Thoroughly research your subject before setting out to photograph using all the tools available to you. Google, google Maps, the Photographers’ Ephemeris, Dark Site Finder, to name a few.

Tip #2 Be at the right place at the right time. A tool called the Green Laser $35 at Frys Electronics aids in determining the direction and time of light.

Tip #3 Compose. Composing a landscape ahead of time and putting something in the foreground is important.

Tip#4 Wake early and go to sleep late!

Tip #5Know your Gear. Know your cameras capabilities and limitations. Develop muscle memory

Tip#6 Travel light. Lose the tripod except when absolutely necessary.

Tip #7 Blend In. Blend unobtrusively into your environment. Smaller cameras are best as they do not intimidate people.

Tip #8 Tell a Story. For your image to have impact, let the subject evoke the imagination in the viewer.

Tip #9 Travel with other photogs!

Tip#10 Back Up. Nick recommends Multiple hard drives both in house and off site.

Extra Tip. Have Fun! Shoot from your heart.

Nick uses Canon equipment but relies daily on his micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras, the Lumix GH 4 and GH5. He has no problem with printing 20×30 sized images. His camera is readily accessible from his belt using the Spider Holster.

Finally, Nick quotes Ansel Adams, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

Thank you Nick for a very interesting program.


May 2, 2017, Dig Meeting Notes – by Carol Dillon

President Dave Erickson called the meeting to order introducing several guests. Following was a discussion of book publishers in view of My Publishers soon going out of business. Pick-a-Boo and Amazon were mentioned as possibilities. Susan Byrd recommended and showed a product she uses for transporting large printed images. Available from Gallery Pouches, it is a full depth mailer, soft-sided, with or without closures, the large size,  $13-$15.

Mike Isenberg introduced our two ‘inhouse’ speakers, Jerry Cox and Lynn Thompson. Each of our members delivered a very informative and very interesting presentation.  Jerry, an  artist, a sculptor and college professor themed his talk around Creative Photography. Jerry, like the artist that he is, explained that he does not see things but, shapes. He looks for shapes both light and dark, abstract  patterns, and uses the rule of thirds paying attention to perspective  in his composition of either painting or photography. He stresses there should be a story in a successful photograph, one that delivers impact.  The viewer would experience the ABC’s, The Antecedent, the Behavior and the Consequence as he views the image—example being his grandson at Little League and what goes on before, during and after the play.

Like Monet, don’t paint things, paint shapes using lights and darks. We can do this by converting our color images to black and white to access how well we have achieved this end. Lastly, simplify our images for greater impact. Jerry calls himself a Kamikaze Photographer, taking pictures of almost everything he sees, for documentation at the very least.

Following our break, Lynn Thompson spoke on Competitions and Judging both of which he is highly involved.  He declares himself a “camera club photographer”, not a professional,  nevertheless he enjoys competition. Lynn’s credentials are lengthy belonging to numerous camera clubs, photography boards of directors and committees. Among them are the Arizona Camera Club Council or ACCC  and the Photographers Society of America or PSA. Lynn’s involvement in Competitions throughout the nation and internationally has earned him many medals and citations despite his declaring himself not really competitive! Lynn’s presentation, sprinkled liberally with his humor, no doubt peaked the motivation of many of us to pursue competition with new interest.

Our thanks to both of our Club members for their outstanding presentations.


DIG Meeting Notes April 4, 2017, by Carol Dillon

The April Meeting was called to order by President Dave Erickson who introduced our guests.

The topic of SIGs came up with a basic Light Room SIG to be offered at the Arabian Library for a $5 per session fee. The two Basic sessions will be on the Library and on the Develop modules.

Intermediate and Advance Light Room techniques will be offered in additional SIG Meetings.

The Team offering the Mentor Program will be alerted upon interested persons contacting Dave with an email citing the area in which they need help.

Mike Isenberg introduced Cindy Marple as our guest speaker. Cindy, known as “the Bird Lady” for her exceptional bird photography is currently President of the Phoenix Camera Club and a world traveler capturing bird images and sharing with interested groups. Her Power Point presentation began with images from South Georgia Islands, the Falklands and Antarctica. Cindy uses the Sony A7 R11 camera as well as a Canon D80 explaining her Sony choice due to the dynamic range of that camera. She uses a Metabones Adapter to make possible the use of her Canon lenses. She shoots manually due to the rapid changing of the light as she catches birds in flight, shutter speeds from 1/1500 to 1/3200, ISO at 800 and matrix metering. She does not work with catalogues but relies on an identifiable folder structure.

Cindy uses Capture 1 for much of her processing and Photoshop for layers, focus stacking, HDR, spot removal, healing brush and content aware. She relies on Vivesa, Define and Silver Effects Nik filters as well. Her images are saved as tiffs which become her Master copies from which she applies any adjustments while preferring natural colors, much as what she saw at the time of the image shot.

Do see Cindy’s work at her website: Images of the many countries visited and the vast numbers of wildlife, sea life and landscapes are truly amazing.


DIG Meeting Notes March7,  2017 , by Carol Dillon

President Dave Erickson opened the March meeting introducing guests and announcing the revival of SIG groups. Light room and Photoshop classes are offered by volunteer members. Members are asked to email their Light room and Photoshop requests to Dave. Following up on the suggestion of Peer review of photographs, we are looking for ideas how to implement this either by postings on the website or at meetings? Your ideas are wanted.

We are also looking for in house volunteer speakers to offer programs for our monthly meetings. Please call or email Dave Erickson if you are willing to offer a program for our monthly meeting.

Mike Isenberg introduced our guest speaker, member, Kathleen Reeder. The theme of her program was “What do We do with All Those Photographs”. We all accumulate hundreds, thousands of photographs which then reside on our computers, unseen by anyone. Kathleen described two great ways to publish inexpensively and easily.

One of Kathleen’s suggestions is the eBook for sharing your beautiful photos. Smugmug, a free service offering unlimited storage, uses jpegs out of Lightroom with your plugins and seamlessly imports your galleries into your ebook. The great thing here is, Smugmug does the resizing for you. Smugmug offers templates for the Homepage, menu options, contact pages and destinations so the user can view the desired site to view.

The alternative ebook is Kindle Comic Creator. The Kindle app on your computer or device is required from which you set up your account and download the free software. The constraints are 10 mb files, 2:3 format, all verticals and no cropping. This format works great for ipad viewing. Working through Amazon, the publication of your ebook is in one day! Amazon will then market your book. Tutorials online are available.

Kathleen’s last suggestion was to merely create your images as a pdf and send immediately to friends.

Check out Kathleen’s website for free information, tips on lenses, videos on composition and various teaching tips. Kathleen is a highly motivated and very enthusiastic speaker and! Thank you!


February 7, 2017, DIG meeting notes by Carol Dillon:

President Dave Erickson called the meeting to order and introduced two new members.

Further, he introduced the subject of continuing our Mentoring Program. Thus far, seven members voiced interest in Light Room mentoring and 3 for Photoshop. If you are interested, send an email to Dave Erickson so stating and describe your problem area. Based on contact information he provides, you will then make that contact and arrange your time and place with the mentor.

Special Interest Groups, SIG groups represent another opportunity to learn any aspect of post processing in either a single or series of instructional meetings. With enough interest, these sessions will be announced as to time and place.

Mike Isenberg introduced our highly anticipated speaker, Piper MacKay.  Piper is a wildlife and portrait photographer, skilled in Infrared Photography, widely published for her work while living in Africa for a number of years.  Susan Byrd took an opportunity to acknowledge Piper’s excellent workshops, her skills and dedication to her work.  Piper’s work in IR was featured in a recent Black and White special issue of Outdoor Photographer. Her emphasis is on photographing what speaks to you, what excites you. Background and Light are the primary considerations. Arrange your shot to remove all distractions such as horizon, other distracting elements that add nothing to the images. Making the image pop with a diffused and contrasting background will draw the eye to the subject.

For Portraits, Piper instructs that Aperture is the greatest tool for a great background.  Her examples were 100 macro lens shot at @2.8. Shoot with Light over the shoulder. If your subject is static, you should shoot with sidelight. If Bright light, under expose and expose for lightest area. She shoots Portraits at 1/60 shutter, ISO 500 with 2.8 lens. Adjust the ISO up and down for your perfect light.

Creating Motion with Still Images.  Piper advocates, if at midday, shoot 1/60 and underexpose. Use a panning technique to create blur, slowing down the shutter speed and use side lighting.

Above all, get it right in camera to minimize post processing which by the way, she basically uses only level and curves and sometimes hue and saturation. Other tips included, use evaluation metering almost all the time. Spot meter when you have only on an extremely bright background.  Piper uses Cloudy White Balance to warm images or dials in 2800 Kelvin when she wants a cool effect. Finally her suggestion for using Photoshop is only when you want to be creative. Her examples here were African Wildlife transformed into pencil sketches, very impressive.

Check out her website and her workshop offerings. Thank you Piper for your excellent presentation.


January 3, 2017 DIG Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon.

President Dave Erickson called the meeting to order. There were no announcements  thus, he introduced our guest speaker, Lee Hendrickson. Our speaker showed us a unique and extraordinary facet of photography most have never considered.  Being both a research scientist of 35 years in Biology and a photographer by way of formal training, Lee combines art and science to produces beautiful photomicrographic images both abstract and contemporary.

Lee uses an Olympus BH2 microscope to which he attaches a Canon 5D 20 mp camera and captures images of his own lab grown crystals of just about anything that can be spread on a glass slide, wine, chocolate, coffee, allowing it to dry first and then photographing. The images are then captured directly onto a tethered laptop where the translucent crystals reveal the natural process of light refraction producing an amazing array of colors.  The challenges for Lee are managing time, temperature and humidity in growing the crystals and depth of field, vibrations and lighting in photographing the crystals. The size of a pinhead, these crystals, magnified 1000 to 3000 times will produce an image 16×20 for Lee’s Fine Art Gallery. His images can be seen at his Website, Lee Hendrickson Crystal Photography. Lee also appears in fine art venues and fairs and is represented in Collections throughout the U.S.

Our thanks to Mike Isenberg for seeking and scheduling this fascinating guest speaker. Appreciation to Lee Hendrickson as well.


December 6, 2016 DIG meeting notes by Carol Dillon.

President Dave Erickson opened the meeting thanking everyone for the outstanding display of their published books. Further announcement included Camille’s resignation as Official Greeter. The search continues for her replacement.

We continue to search for a new meeting venue as the Library rent increase has been 300% over the recent years. At this rate, should we remain here, dues will be $50 per year for individuals and$85 per couple.

Our speaker today was Joel Hazelton, young, up and coming photographer whose work is seen in Arizona Highways. His presentation included a beautiful portfolio of his landscape work, unique because of where his camera takes him in little seen places in Arizona followed by a demonstration of his posts processing techniques. Joel backpacks into places where no trail exists and canyoneers into areas that defy most hikers. He seeks waterfalls and finds them following rains in places most of us have never seen.

Joel shoots mainly wide angle using his favorite lenses, Tokina 24-70 and 17-40 on a Canon body. Focus Blending is an often used technique where he will shoot 3-5 exposures, blending in Photoshop using layer masks resulting in complete sharpness from to back. He prefers to work in Light Room as there is no image degradation. In LR, Joel principally uses Clarity, Vibrance and some Saturation sometimes a vignette and then into Photoshop for output sharpening. He is a proponent for Tony Kuyper’s Luminosity Masks action panel. He often will create his own layer mask and demonstrated how to manually create your own.

Joel’s favorite hiking and shooting locations include Bear Mountain, the east fork of the Black River, South Mountain, Haigler Creek, Hells Gate, Christopher and Tonto Creeks, the Hassayampa Wilderness Preserve, Queen canyon in he Kofa Mountains, Fish Creek and Tortilla Creek in the Superstitions, Blue canyon on the Hope Reservation and Coal Mine Canyon on the Navajo reservation and Ramsey Canyon in Southern Arizona.

Many thanks to Joel and his inspiring presentation.


November 1, 2016 DIG meeting notes provided by Betsy Aguirre

Richard Buchbinder announced his photography together with Rose Erato is hanging in a new restaurant, Tommy’s Place at 2827 E Bell Road. They will be offering workshops in Cuba and Africa in 2017. They also offer the McDowell Mountain workshop in May of 2017. Contact Richard or Rose for more information.

A request is made to help find a reasonably priced and easy to get to location for our meetings. Rent is currently $350 per meeting.

If interested in a class in videos, please contact Michael Isenberg.

The Speaker today was Rex Short who spoke on the subject of flash photography.

His website is


October 4, 2016 DIG Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon

President Dave Erickson opened the October meeting with a reminder for those interested , Shutterbugs meets 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month. Contact Bob Kaufman for more information.

Mel Strauss spoke about his trip to Ethiopia and his outstanding book, People and Places of Ethiopia on display this morning. Mel and his wife traveled with a National Geographic Tour for the scenic Northern part of the country but outlined their own itinerary for a visit to the primitive southern part of Ethiopia. Most interesting was the culture of the people in the south, a most primitive existence likened to life 2000 to 3000 years ago. Mel captured the essence of the entire country in a colorful and very interesting book published by My Publisher.

Susan Byrd showed and talked about the small books by Mosiac. Susan touts this small, inexpensive book as great for trip remembrances, holidays and special events as gifts to family and friends. The packaging is unique and has great eye appeal.

Focus Stacking was guest speaker Bruce Taubert’s presentation. Bruce is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways, a professional photographer conducting photo workshops and publishing books on photography. His outstanding book, Wild in Arizona published with Coleen Muink-Sperry targets areas throughout the entire state for shooting wildlife and wild flowers together with maps, tips and specific locations for the outdoor photographer. Google that title to read reviews and place an order for this well done book.

Macro Focus stacking is Bruce’s emphasis so throughout his interesting 2 hours, he generously provided technical information in making the shots, He discussed the different effect produced by high and low f-stops, wide angle lenses, f-stops, and zoom lenses while encouraging the use of a tripod when practical.

One method of focus stacking is achieved by turning the lens barrel by tiny increments, dozens of times to get the near, midrange and distant elements in sharp detail. Yet another method relies on the Helicon Remote which automatically advances the focus. The Cam Ranger allows the user to set the number of frames to be shot automatically.

Bruce recommends Live View together with Mirror lock up for good results especially when used with the remote release.

The processing is done in the computer by purchased software or even in Photoshop itself. Bruce uses both Zerene Stacker and Helicon Focus.   Zerene produces only tiff or jpeg and works best with difficult edges while Helicon Focus produces a raw file and works best with smooth edges.

Bruce has yet another book coming soon on Macro work. His Arizona Highways workshops feature Macro work as well. Check out his 2017 schedule. Thanks to Bruce Taubert for his interesting presentation.


Meeting Notes September 6, 2016, by Carol Dillon.

The October meeting was opened by President Dave Erickson. Bob Coffman invited people to participate in Shutterbugs explaining the format, 20 slides per person, any subject, to share with the groups. Gathering at the Village Inn for pie and coffee typically concludes the evening for most members.

Tanju showed a large, 20×60 pano print created from a $400 Panasonic LumixFZ1000 jpeg, at a cost of $107.00. Tanju encourages a visit to to see their offerings and prices.

Rose Erato and Richard Buchbinder once again have outstanding workshops planned for the current year and into 2017.  They are conducting the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Photography Workshop, scheduled for November 17 and 19th. All fees benefit the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Registration is $125. Call 480-998-7971 for reservations.

Richard and Rose will take you to Cuba in March of 2017 for an event filled 9 day tour. The Serengeti Migration is the feature of the Tanzania Photo Safari with Richard and Rose scheduled for May, 2017. Contact Richard at 480-998-0603 or Rose at 602-361-5043 for more information, or contact Jacque at Strabo Tours: 607-756-8676, or for more information. Flyers for each of the above explain in more detail and are available at our monthly meetings.

Our speaker, Dean Ferrell, themed his program on Photoshop Tips and Tricks. Dean is a professional photographer with broad talents in landscape, Fine art, Fashion, Autos all featured in a dozen different websites. Dean has been widely published and teaches workshops.

His Tips and Tricks included his use of the filmstrip view in Bridge together with the numerous keystroke shortcuts. Dean described his method of eliminating chromatic aberration, a method of simple but numerous steps which he offered in an email upon request. Also demonstrated was his method of whitening teeth, and his creative use of the Liquify tool. Most outstanding was his process in creating a Composite. Again, numerous steps but with outstanding results.

Dean’s website is Many thanks to Dean for sharing his Tips and Tricks. Don’t forget his offer to provide notes on creating the composite.


August 2, 2016 DIG Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon

President Dave Erickson called the meeting to order and recognized guests. Dave announced that 2017 dues will increase to $50 due to increased costs of Library rental. DIG remains open to suggestions as to a less expensive meeting venue.

Phillip Lowe, a lifelong resident of Arizona, a conservationist and artist who holds a Masters Degree in Wildlife Biology was our guest speaker. Phillip is currently a contributing photographer to Arizona Highways, AAA Highroads, Arizona Wildlife Views, and numerous local and regional news publications. He has been a volunteer photographer for Boyce Thompson arboretum for many years. He is well known for his images of small plants and animals as well as his vast panoramas.

Phillip discussed his Canon equipment, Post Processing and Workflow. A Photoshop user almost exclusively, he uses mostly levels and instead of Saturation, rather relying mainly on Match Color for small amounts of color boost. For printing his work, Phillip uses Canvas Maker, Bay Photo, Tempe Camera and in Mesa, he works with Bob at Fayville Photo.

Phillip shared some of his techniques he employs to produce successful images. A technique he often employs is Focus Blending which requires taking a great many shots of a static subject at all focal planes. Once in Photoshop, go to Filter < Stack < Load Files into Stack, Select< Select All < Edit <Align< Auto Blend the layers, Flatten and Save. The result is an image where everything near to far is in perfect Focus.

He will make perspective adjustments using Edit< Transfer on a second layer of the subject followed by the sliders for fine adjustments.

When banding occurs in blended shots, Phillip finds going into the Filter menu and using a degree of Spatter will fix the problem.

An unlikely fix for increased sharpening, he finds using Gaussian blur to blur fractured or exaggerated pixels will “sharpen” a blurred image. He cites the example of his 6 Megapixel camera producing an ­­­­image yielding a sharp to the eye 72×56 image at 300 dpi. An image this size is typically viewed at some distance, hence the effect of sharpening.

Phillip highly recommends the Arboretum for a variety of shooting opportunities. Valley of Fire in Nevada is an outstanding shooting venue and is best visited in October and November. After sundown shots have worked well for him here. Phillip also suggests Bryce in the winter for great opportunities. Visit his Website and Gallery for a look at his stunning work.


DIG Meeting Notes, June 14, 2016, by Carol Dillon

The meeting was called to order by Richard Buchbinder in the absence of the president. Guests and a new member were introduced. Announcements included photo tours offered by Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato for the upcoming year, including:

>>>Photo Tour of Cuba, March 6-15, 2017, details at:

>>>African Photo Safari, May 2017.  For details, contact: or

Guest Speaker, Larry Lindahl, professional and nature photographer, an “Arizona Highways” contributing photographer, began his presentation with a slide show of images contained in his two books, “Secret Sedona: Sacred Moments in the Landscape” and “The Ancient southwest: A Guide to Archaeological sites”.

Larry’s work has been exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution and his photography has appeared in numerous book and magazines. His two books illustrate the advice he provided us today which is to “collect a body of work, a single theme” for a time when the best can be selected and assembled into a book for publication. His suggestions followed the topics of macro photography, museum photography, State Parks, Museum (when allowed) or focusing on any theme that appeals to the photographer.

Some valuable tips Larry suggested included creating one’s own backdrops for example, using watered down acrylics on canvas as an interesting backdrop for macro, using a blue lazer light to accent a subject, such as pottery or other objects. Larry believes in using home grown or home crafted props for example, he used translucent plastic notebook dividers (office supply stores!) as filters instead of costly professional ones. His example was a piece of pottery photographed with a 30 second exposure using first an orange filter focused on the subject, quickly followed by the blue filter as a vignette—a breathtaking result.

Other tips included using a tee shirt as a polarizing filter around the lens to keep out extraneous light. When possible use complimentary color variations such as blue-orange when photographing stills. When sharpening, sharpen only the black layer in channels and experiment with using wide angle to a greater degree.

Larry Lindahl’s presentation was outstanding and motivating. Visit his Gallery and schedule of workshops both in Sedona where he resides as well as throughout the state and elsewhere. Simply Google his name and view his photography and check out his workshop schedule.


DIG Meeting Notes, May 3, 2016, by Carol Dillon

“Good morning and welcome to DIG where photographers learn to make a photograph all that it can be” was the message from our President, Dave Erickson. Dave announced that we would be seeking suggestions for new venue for our DIG meetings as the rental at Mustang Library had increased significantly. Dave also invited anyone interested in joining the Leadership Council to do so. Finally, the June meeting will take place on the second Tuesday, June 14.

Commercial and Fine Art photographer, Canon Explorer of Light and educator, Joel Grimes was our guest speaker. Joel presented a slide show of his portraits featuring the well-known ‘Joel Grimes look”, a technique which he later demonstrated in detail. Being color blind, he has developed his own involved method of optimizing his images, focusing not on color, but on tonal values. His portraits were most often sports figures, typically black models featured in sports arenas or cityscapes. Joel is a big advocate of the use of HDR where bracketing ISO top, middle and bottom of both the background and then the model separately, collaging them together and lastly applying a grunge texture and vignette. This intensive work flow produces a very unique look that has earned him a reputation for a high degree of creativity—hence the “Joel Grimes Look”.

Joel went into great detail about Bit Depth, the amount of information that represents the number of colors and tones in a capture. Camera captures today are 14 Bit however Photoshop brings the image in as 8 bit srgb. It is important to convert to 14 Bit in Camera Raw Preferences. His point here is, and his examples show, that the more bit depth you have, the higher quality image you have to work with. His use of bracketing ISO, individually photographing head, mid-section and lower body yields 9 images which when combined in HDR yield three 32bit images! Next step before final touches is to stitch using Bridge or Raw Converter, the three processed segments into a single 32 bit image. His ISO brackets generally are 50-160-320 to cover the spectrum of tonal values.

Joel talked about the Cam Ranger, a device tethered to your camera from a tripod that will automatically change your ISO settings. This works for landscapes, not people, for obvious reasons. The Cam Ranger sells for $250.

“Be an Artist. Live your dream”. Joel stressed the importance of being ‘you’ not someone else in developing your style of photography. He suggests finding a theme to photograph and photographing hundreds of that subject to create a series. Joel has a great many tutorials, workshop offerings and an outstanding gallery on his Joel Grimes Photography website. His email is joel@ joel


Meeting Notes,  April 5,2016, by Carol Dillon & Carol Budrow

The regular April meeting , called to order by President Dave Erickson, the following announcements were made: All members must go to the DIG Website to register for our Meetup. Soon this will be our DIG groups only communication site. Gary Vargo is planning several photo day trips by van to Tucson including the Desert Museum, Reid Park Zoo, Sweetwater Water Ranch, the Arboretum and San Javier Mission, Contact Gary for all details regarding these day trips at or call 480-529-1239. Don Bierman showed his 11×15 book of photographs published by Adorama. Printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, all double pages are seamless, single prints making strong horizontal images with outstanding impact. Interesting templates are available for layout or you can customize your own. The publisher works with jpegs in Photoshop, Light Room, InDesign, Illustrator, pdfs and offers choices of pearl paper, luster or glossy in addition to Fuji Crystal. The publisher provides twenty choices text as well as background color choices including your own custom color. While the cost is not inexpensive, 11×15, $300, there are discounts for volume orders. Bruce Boyce spoke about Aluminum prints from Aspen Creek Company. The company offers a 20×30 , 1/8 inch rounded corners for example for $119 with a sometime sale for $99.A ½ inch bracket for hanging can be added for an additional $7.50. Shipping is $6.99, wooden crated, any size.

Piper Mackay, wildlife photographer was our planned speaker for this meeting, however a fall resulting in broken ribs prevented her timely appearance for her presentation.   Her partner in Nature Odyssey Wildlife Tours company did an admirable job in stepping in for Piper.  Nathaniel presented previously for DIG where his impressive credentials are noted.  The subject of his program was his superb collection of images of Iceland, a destination he has visited numerous times.  Nathaniel’s narration of each image provided much information valuable to the photographer wanting to make the most of photographing in a challenging environment.  He made the point of describing the huge diversity of landscape in a small geographic area as well as the frequent changing weather as contributing to making extraordinary images,.  In keeping with that, he stresses there is NO Bad Weather, only bad gear.  In other words the photographer must go prepared for extremes in cold temps.  His post processing is minimal relying on Levels, Contrast and Vibrance.  He looks for small unique compositions everywhere in addition to the grand landscapes.  Our thanks to Nathaniel for stepping up with an outstanding, spontaneous program.

The following are notes provided by Carol Budrow as Carol Dillon was unable to remain for the conclusion of the program. Our speaker managed an appearance after her unfortunate accident, and delivered a really interesting program with the promise for a return engagement.

Piper Mackay

A cultural, documentary and African wildlife photographer

Her photography emphasizes dramatic lighting in the field. What to consider when creating photos in the field:

What’s my Background?

Tips:  Put subject at least 5’ from background

Shoot wide open for soft look

What’s my Light?

Tips:  Use cloudy white balance setting in harsh light

Underexpose about 1.67 stops to bring dark tones down in harsh light

Use side light when working with live subjects Make optimum use of all lighting conditions

Create Motion and Emotion

Tips:  Fast shutter speed to stop action

Slow down shutter speed and follow motion of subject to create background blur (panning)

Piper plans to return to DIG to do more in –depth presentation, including sharing more of her shooting skills and post production techniques.

Thanks go to Carol Budrow for an excellent job delivering highlights of this excellent speaker. =============================================== March 1, 2016, Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon: DIG’s March Meeting took place at Paul Markow Photography location. At Paul’s invitation, the group assembled in his studio to learn techniques of food photography. Paul describes himself as an Organic photographer who is not concerned with complex commercial lighting, but rather utilizes natural light, diffusers and reflectors, LED lights combined with window light and top down all sharp photography. Paul begins his set up with looking for the source of light, the direction of the light and the color temperature of that light. In keeping with organic shooting, he might use a directional panel and or scrims over the product or face of an individual before he pronounces it “good to go”. Paul carries with him small LED lights, 3200-5700 color temperature to supplement the natural light source when necessary. Impact. Paul stresses impact is the most important thing in a photograph. This is his most important criteria in judging photography. The image must cause the viewer to want to look at the subject matter. When shooting food photography, he stresses the need to shoot down on the subject, shoot food that is underprepared in order not to dry out. “Eliminate the background stuff because, food is what I’m trying to show here.” Paul shoots with a 24-105 lens, usually F4 and uses the “background stuff” as soft texture only and emphasizes making only the food sharp. That picture must be one word only—“Delicious”. Crop only in camera—use all your pixels. Further suggestions: use the fashion tilt, not just vertical or just horizontal, avoid putting just the model’s head in the whole picture, and unless the whole body is part of “who you are”, refrain from putting the whole body in the pictures. This applies to both food and faces. Previsualize the image. Know the direction of light in summer and in winter planning your shoot. Do your basic metering and then shoot in manual. Note that pollutants aid in photography. When shooting portraits, advise client to ‘lean in’ towards the camera to avoid the double chin, and keep in mind, over the shoulder shots are the most flattering, Paul is known as an outstanding food photographer and together with Arizona Highways’s special project producing a book on leading restaurants throughout the state and another on premier Chefs in Arizona, he shot those restaurant’s food traveling to Kingman, Williams, Grand Canyon, Marble Canyon, Page, Phoenix, Tucson, Wickenburg, Cornville, Bisbee Greer, Alpine and Prescott. Having been a commercial photographer for 47 years, he states that he loves his work and plans never to retire! Thanks Paul for an outstanding presentation. =============================================== February 1, 2016 meeting notes, by Carol Dillon: Richard Buchbinder opened the February meeting  with the introduction of guests  and announcements. The March 1, meeting will be held at an offsite location. Paul Markow will do a presentation on  Food Photography at his studio at 2222 E McDowell Road (formerly the Photo Mark building), 2 blocks east of the 101 freeway. A link to a map is forthcoming. Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato will once again offer an Equestrian Workshop in October. Also announced by Richard and Rose is an African Safari in May of 2017. More details on both at a later date. Creative Live will present a 6 day event on Post Processing beginning February 22. There is a cost for signing on for the week long event however the first presentation of the day is offered free.  Check the Creative Live website for exact details. Scott Stulberg, our Guest Speaker, hugely talented and energetic,  gave a fast paced and exciting review and overview of Tips, Tricks and Photoshop Techniques. Scott is a contributing writer for Shutterbug Magazine and EOS magazine, Scott has led photography workshops around the globe and teaches digital photography and Photoshop at UCLA Extension, the Julia Dean Photo Workshops in Venice Beach, the Art Wolfe Digital Photography Center in Seattle and at the Sedona Arts Center in Sedona, Arizona, where he lives with his wife. From Microsoft, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler and ABC News to greeting cards, calendars, bill boards and book covers, his images are used internationally and are in collections all over the world. Scott began with an outstanding slideshow of his work followed by how the images were post processed, if at all, and details of how he uses plugins, actions, presets, blend modes and more. He highly recommends plugins as huge time savers but explains that tweaking and adjusting optimizes to his own tastes. Topaz, Nik Silver Effects and Color Effects, Aurora, On1, Alien Skin, Galaxy, and Flaming Pear are among those he mentions using most. Careful attention is given to Sharpening to just the correct amount to preserve reality. Together with the Wacom Tablet, Scott uses Photoshop almost exclusively while praising LightRoom as a great program. The Gradient tool, Dodge and Burn tools and the Clone Tool get a lot of play in Scott’s presentation. Finally he described an amazing technique using Scripts and Statistics to stack images into a final one that displays wide dynamic range. Scott was truly a motivating speaker as neither he nor DIG Members wanted to see the two hour presentation close. We hope to have him back again. ================================================ January 5, 2016, DIG Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon President Dave Erickson opened the meeting introducing Susan Q. Byrd who announced the Arizona Fine Art Expo which takes place beginning January 21 through April 3. The location for this Expo is Jomax and Scottsdale, next to Old MacDonald’s Farm. If you attend, mention at the door that you are visiting Susan Byrd and admission is free. Go to and click on the artist’s name then, click Entertainment for further details. Ed Yanez announced that Friday, January 8, Fountain Hills Community Center is the date and place for the workshop on Luminosity Masks. Ed introduced our guest speaker, Bob Coates, of Bob Coates Photography and Lumis Luminary for Panasonic. A very high energy speaker, Bob’s topic centered on the use of textures, blending textures and photo blending. His images illustrated his use of depth, texture and dimension all of which he demonstrated in several images which he gradually built into fine art expressions using as Tools, textures and blending.  His technique involved making selections from original images and using Layers and Masks and the tools of his own textures and  of blending modes.  Finally, he applies what he called Touches to finish off your work of art. Throughout, Bob named a great many sources for tutorials and examples of work from known photographer artists. Bob also stressed the use of “cloning” your entire computer on a regular basis in order to avoid the catastrophe of ‘not if but when one loses their hard drive’. His creativity arises from his constant advice to “play” with one’s images using all the methods described i.e., “what if I do this?” “what if I do that?”. His multistep images are made simpler when he has created actions for the various steps he employs in his creations. Bob wrapped up the morning with a large expo of micro 4/3rds Lumix cameras. Additionally he showed the two full frame mirrorless Lumix, the G7 and the Gx8 pro versions. Many thanks to this highly informative, skilled photographer and Photoshop- user. Check out: and Also, You may email Bob with questions and comments: =============================================   December 1, 2015, DIG Meeting notes by Carol Dillon. A number of visitors were introduced and welcomed by President Dave Erickson. This was the annual book showing of the books published by DIG members throughout the year. The books were, as always, beautifully done, inspiring and illustrated the diverse photographic interests of our members. Well done! Comments were taken from the members as to their experiences and recommendations of the publishers they used. Some comments: Blurb has a sale at the beginning of every month. Blurb will print in excess of 100 pages and if using their logo, customer gets a 15% discount. My Publisher has recently merged with another company and is presently behind in filling print orders. Improved technology and support is anticipated. C Graphics Pro is reported to be about one-half the price of other companies. This price is offered if you request the professional photographer discount. Due to the library tripling the rent for 2016, our dues will increase to $30 per year. Dues are payable to Ed Yanez. Dave Erickson once again put out a call for an equipment custodian to be in charge of our digital equipment. Help is also needed to put up and take down tables after the meeting. Mike Isenberg announced the Luminosity Mask SIG on Friday January 8, to be held at the Community Center of Fountain Hills from 9-6. Bring your lunch. Matt Suess, our speaker today is a photographer, a teacher of ON1 software, and producer of educational videos optimizing your photos using Capture One and ON1 software. Formerly, Matt was a photojournalist in New England but became a Fine Art Landscape Photographer since moving West. Matt offers eight field and software workshops in 2016. See for full information. Matt presented his before and after selected images demonstrating the power of ON1 software. Typically, he processes his raw images in Capture One, imports them into ON1   where he fine tunes them sends and finally to Photoshop to export. ON1 currently sells for $99 (originally $350) with an upgrade for an additional $89. Matt offers 90 downloadable and streaming step by step videos on his website. Coupon Code good through December 6, on1dig35 at will get you a 35% discount on all online courses and Textures. Thanks to Matt for a very interesting and informative presentation. ============================================== DIG Meeting Notes, November 3, 2015, by Carol Dillon. The meeting began with several announcements. Reminder, Susan Mathia will offer a day Workshop on Light Room on Friday November 20, 8-2 pm at the Arabian Library. Attendees should bring a lunch and camera with telephoto lens. Cost $75. Contact Mike Isenberg. Luminosity Masking. A day seminar scheduled for January 2016. Contact Mike Isenberg. December meeting will showcase members’ books. Coleen Minek-Sperry, returning guest speaker, spoke on Macro Photography—The Joy of Little Things. Beginning with a clarification of what is macro, Coleen declared her favorite lens for macro work is the 16-35 with two extension tubes stacked. She also uses a 24-105 mm. True Macros are defined as 1:4 as ¼ size accomplished with a close up lens, 1:2 as half size , 1:1 full size and 5:1 simulating microscopic work. Any lens can become a macro with Extension tubes or a Closeup lens attached between the camera and the lens. Coleen demonstrated using her Manfrotto tripod for macro work. First the swings the center column out horizontally, lowering the tripod as low as possible, using Live View and a cable release, the equipment is inches off the ground. Her Tips for successful Macro shooting are: 1. First, understand the behavior of the subject 2. Visualization or dry shooting before going into the field. 3. Compose for balance or the Golden Ratio. 4. Visual Weight–create visual pathways that guide the viewer into the frame using diagonals, horizontals, or the Dutch Tilt by turning the camera right by several degrees. 5. Create 3 layers—foreground, mid ground and background. 6. Vertical or Horizontal orientation. 7. Go beyond eye level—get below subject and shoot up. Live View helps here. 8. Create shapes with light—move around the subject to use light to reveal shape and texture. 9. Modify the existing light through the use of reflectors and or diffusers. With flash, use high speed sync for artistic effect. Use flash to stop action. 10. Expose properly. If shooting raw, expose slightly to the right. Shooting jpeg, watch histogram for bell shaped curve. Keep lens parallel to the subject and shoot multiple times. Windy conditions dictate setting camera in Continuous Mode, a wide view, faster shutter speed and ISO. Also Use flash set to second curtain sync. Go to Coleens’s website to check out her books and blog. Many thanks to Coleen for another outstanding presentation. ============================================= DIG Meeting Notes, October 6, 2015, by Carol Dillon. President Dave Erickson opened the meeting with the introduction of Nathanial Smally, DIG member, Professor of photography and Arizona Highways Instructor. Nathaniel outline his bio and credentials and presented information on his upcoming Nature Oddesy Worldwide (NOW) Tours. Check his website www.NOW for details on winter and summer tours or email Bob Mishkin , our presenter this month. demonstrated photo restoration methods and the tools he uses in correcting tears, creases, deterioration of the image and fading in vintage images. For demonstration purposes Bob used images produced by his photographer father during the American occupation of Japan after the end of World War II. Working with old images Bob begins with digitizing the image in one of several ways, either photographing with a digital camera, scanning the print with a flatbed scanner or employing a graphics house. Using Lightroom 5 Develop Module, Bob relied heavily on the Spot Removal Tool mentioning that this works equally well with Elements, Bridge (ACR) and Photoshop. Using the tool at 2x the image size is very helpful in cleaning up spots in any image. The Visualize Spots Tool , selected from the tool bar below, inverts the image enabling you to see imperfections more clearly. The slider varies the contrast threshold. Check clear in the Visualize checkbox to view the resulting cleaned up image. Navigation Tips rounded out Bob’s presentation. He acknowledges much of the information is available on the Adobe LR Help page along with what he has learned from Ben Wilmore and Julianne Kost online tutorials. The second half of the program, Mike Eisenberg made a short presentation of channel masks specifically Tony Kuyper’s Luminosity Masking ( Mike talked through the steps involved in processing an image using channel masking, then explained how to target selected areas of the image for enhancement. Following this Mike showed two videos by Tony Kuyper that illustrated in detail how the technique works. Talk of a SIG group to learn and use Luminosity Masks generated much interest in possible participants. ========================================== DIG Meeting Notes, September 1, 2015, by Carol Dillon. President Dave Erickson opened the meeting with the following announcements: Prints for the State Fair, accepted digitally, are due October 10. Light Room and Photoshop SIGS by Susan Mathias are under discussion for a future date. A vote was taken on the interest level in knowing more about Luminosity Masking. This program would involve videos and discussion of same. Mike Isenberg announced a December Webinar by Matt Suess presenting On One Software. The Webinar will take place at 5:30 pm. Emil On One for a link to register for the Webinar. The Presentation today featured Dr. Lou Romain.  Lou has been a commercial photographer and was voted by the PSA as one of the top 15 photographers in the USA. His specialty, the subject of today’s presentation was compositing. Abiding by advice offered centuries ago by Leonardo de Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, has enabled Lou to create amazing, unique and award winning composites. Lou was good enough to reveal not only the steps in his workflow but to site exactly the techniques , even camera settings and lenses used to create each of the images he included in his outstanding show. Our thanks to Lou for this remarkable show of his work and the information he generously shared.


DIG Meeting,  June 2, 2015,  by Carol Dillon.                            
Dave Erickson opened the meeting turned over the introduction of our guest speaker, Suzanne Mathia to Program Chair, Mike Isenburg . Suzanne is a Certified Expert in both Photoshop and Lightroom. She conducts workshops in Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom and offers Private Instruction in these areas as well. Suzanne is a contributing editor for Arizona Highways and other publications.Take an imperfect image to perfection was the topic of Suzanne’s presentation. She emphasizes getting it right in the camera and illustrated her point by saying one’s raw file data is like filling a bucket with bits and bytes—bring it all home! Using the acronym, CAFÉ, Composition, Aperture, Focus and Exposure, the speaker elaborated at length her recommendations for bringing home the best raw data possible to achieve a successful image in post processing. ETTR, expose everything to the right on the histogram is another acronym she offers to insure the best raw file.All images need Post Processing. Image cleanup, lens correction for distortion, capture sharpening and output sharpening all are critical to that successful image. Her workflow going forward after application of Levels, Color Balance and Vibrance, she calls “the small stuff”. The small stuff includes local adjustments in Hue and Saturation, Exposure, Dodge and Burn using the adjustment brush, and finally creative Sharpening. Her technique of Creative Sharpening undoubtedly brings the image up a notch.Some of Suzanne’s tips using Lightroom include turning off the Graphics processor  in Preferences allowing the program to run faster. Another tip was her technique of using only two images as best for HDR, eliminating the image at the “0” setting. The success of this depends on exposing properly for the highlights and then properly exposing for the shadows thus, eliminating the ghosting that sometimes appears with combining multiple images. She recommends leaving HDR setting on Auto, the result being a raw image. Further, she never makes a virtual copy to work on an image.  She often hits the reset button to go back and play around with other techniques on an image. She recommends turning the adjustments on and off all during the workflow to monitor the changes. Always watch the histogram. Suzanne feels it is very important to walk away from your work and look at it again the next day. Often one will see corrections that need to be made not previously evident. Finally comes the output sharpening and then close. Be mindful of the paper size and type parameters for the printer and the different  guidelines for publications.Suzanne’s high energy presentation was hugely interesting and much appreciated by everyone.
DIG  Meeting Notes, May 5, 2015, by Carol Dillon. 
Guests at the DIG May meeting were introduced by Camille Massey. President Dave Erickson invited member Pat Beckley to offer his thoughts on the new Lightroom Creative Cloud 6.0 Among the new features are the use of the gradient filter in combination  with the brush tool, facial recognition, faster speed, the switch allowing the use of ram with the video card instead of ram on the computer, panoramas remain Raw in Ver. 6 instead of becoming Tiffs in Photoshop, expanded music choices in the Slide show module, HDR providing more than 2 stops  dynamic range, greater assistance in Creating a Book. These improvements require a 64 bit processor. Upgrade fee is $79 unless one has subscribed to Creative Cloud.Mike Isenberg is seeking suggestions for future programs. Some being considered are iphone post processing and the art of blending.Guest Speaker Guy Reed of Tempe Camera, Director of Education at Tempe Camera, spoke on Mirrorless Camera Technology.Guy presented an indepth presentation on Mirrorless Technology regarding camera size, batteries, lenses,, sensors and sensor size, focus, vertical and horizontal lens stabilization.  Guy brought models of the major brands of mirrorless camera for members to handle and ask questions about the features offered by each. Features vary widely and not shared necessarily by all cameras which makes the camera of choice one that requires some study. Some of those features which vary are live view, WiFi, sensor size, built in transmitter, touch screen, built in HDR, transmitters for off camera flash, interchangeable lenses or not.Several points Guy particularly emphasized are the importance of a calibrated lens, have a pro do this for you, understand and use the Histogram, purchase the latest technology for better processors and better sensors, mind the hand held rule for shutter speed, and take note of existing rebates.Many thanks to Guy Reed of Tempe Camera for this very informative presentation and discussion.
DIG Meeting Minutes, April 7,  2015 by Carol Dillon. 
The April meeting was opened by DIG President, Dave Erickson with the announcement of several guests in attendance. Richard Buchbinder commented on the success of Steve Burger’s Printing Class. Program Chair Mike Eisenberg introduced our guest speaker, Jeff Kida, Contributing Editor of the Arizona Highways Magazine. Jeff began with recounting his longtime association with the magazine beginning with an internship in 1978. His photography has been published around the world including the New York and L.A. Times and Time Magazine. His work has varied from documenting a Medical Mission, ranching, horses, rodeos, portraits of Arizona County Sheriffs, Joe Richards of Flagstaff and Buck Buchannan of Prescott. Richard Fisher, train engineer of the Grand Canyon Railroad was another portrait project of merit. His travel photography is named “Through Each Other’s Eyes”.Among persons he mentions whom he admires, been mentored by or with whom he has photographed are Josef Muench, Ed McCain, Ansel Adams, Ray Manley, David Muench. Of David Muench, he emphasizes his borrowing from Asian Art, abandoning the rule of thirds, his use of backlight, high horizons, large foregrounds and the importance of pre-visualizing.A new era of photography evidences itself in the work of Bob and Sue Clemmons, Jack Dykinga, Adam Schalau and hosts of others. Jeff elaborated on Photo Editing today and provided great advice for those interested in getting published in Arizona Highways. The Call for Calendar opportunity is November each year. Shoot what you love, Jeff suggests, but try to take your subject to the next step. Property releases are generally not required as the images are not for sale but rather the magazine is “selling the state”.  Submissions can be jpegs, 4 to 5 are acceptable, shoot in RGB and email to photographers Jeff admires and encourages our looking up are Dawn Kisch  for her tiny macros, Paul Gill for his artistic, soft macros and patterns, Joel Grimes for his black and white studio strobe work, Shane McDermitt for his soft light predawn and after sunset images, Robert McDonald for his Grand Falls photographs, George Stocking, Wes Timmerian, Greg Heisler, Joseph Campbell and Gary Ladd.Thanks to Jeff Kida for this outstanding program both interesting and inspiring. Special thanks to Mike Eisenberg and his Program Committee for their ongoing efforts to provide great programs.
DIG Meeting Notes          March 3, 2015 by Carol Dillon
President Dave Erickson opened our March meeting introducing one new member, Fred Perrin, and several guests.  Richard Buchbinder  announced  Steve Burger’s Print Workshop is filled. Steve’s facility is part of Image Craft located at 34th Street and Broadway in Phoenix.  His website is Buchbinder and Rose Erato are conducting their African Safari tour again May 17-30, 2015 in Tanzania.  For information, contact them at, or Jones, Canon Explorer of Light will conduct a workshop at Tempe Camera on March 27. Those wishing to attend, go to the Tempe Camera website for a free electronic ticket.Dave announced that gaps remain in June, August and September programming. If anyone had suggestions, please let either Dave Erickson or Mike Isenburg know.Mike Isenberg, Program Chairman, introduced today’s guest speaker, Tony Kuyper. Tony is a resident of Colorado and renowned photographer of the Southwest.  Working on Luminosity Masks since 2006, Tony created a custom actions panel for use in Photoshop to make tonal based adjustments to his images.  This highly specialized panel features masks in varying tones of lights and darks offers a highly sophisticated level of control for images.  Once these Luminosity selections have been created, any one of them, once applied to the image can now be adjusted as desired using Curves. Adjusting the midtones within these selections is the heart of the Luminosity Mask. Once the mask is applied, painting with a white or black brush , the burn and dodge technique,  allows the photographer to bring to life his most perfect image.Tony’s website, is a treasure trove of blog, information,  tutorials, an outstanding gallery, and a set of actions that he offers for free. The entire Luminosity Mask technique with the panel of actions is also available for a most reasonable price. A set of actions is also available for Photoshop Elements.A huge thank you to Tony Kuyper for this outstanding  program. He has provided us with maybe the ultimate tool for perfecting our images.  Appreciation is also extended to Mike Isenberg  for  his efforts in providing quality programs such as we have enjoyed already this year!
February 2, 2015 meeting notes by Carol Dillon.
President Dave Erickson opened the meeting with the introduction of several guests and reminder of the printing class offered by Steve Burger. The class is $130 per person with limited sized classes offered on three separate dates, February 7, 21, 28.  For exact details, please check the DIG WebsiteDave introduced our guest speaker today, Joel Wolfson, pioneer in digital photography, educator, author, workshop leader and travel photographer worldwide. Joel maintains an impressive list of clients nationwide and currently works with Arizona Highways and represents Topaz Software. Today’s presentation began with his own artistic images of abstracts and people and places around the globe together with how and with what gear he travels.Lending some of his tips for travel photography, Joel states the obvious: Be there. Tell a Story. Wise and helpful is to learn a few words of the native language, chiefly, “may I’ and “Thank you” which most often grants you that photograph. Travel with model releases in all languages. “Duo Lingo”, a travel app for iphone provides phrases in other languages. When weather and environment aren’t optimal, he closes in on small details of landscape and architecture creating very artful images.  Tinkering with White Balance can alter uninteresting lighting conditions. Important suggestion for backup is to download your images during a trip onto a memory card and mail it back home. Helpful for inspiration is to create an assignment for yourself.Finally, Joel provided his workflow including the use of various Topaz plugins. He uses Adjust and Clarity extensively. At the heart of Adjust is the Adaptive Exposure slider which isolates regions in the image for optimizing. Clarity is primarily a contrast adjustment tool providing a degree of sharpening and a sense of depth. Continue to monitor the histogram, he emphasizes.Topaz gave to five lucky raffle winners free copies of their choice of software including the entire bundle to one individual. Congratulations to Bob McMillan, Bill McGrath, Bob Mishkin, Marilyn Clark and Rose Erato—the big winner!Check out Joel, also Joel’s Blog and his tutorial appearances on Topaz Utube. Joel informs us that upon ordering Topaz software, mentioning his name earns a 15% discount. Many thanks to Joel for his outstanding presentation.Joel Wolfson, a Southwest native, is published internationally and his roster of notable clients include Newsweek, Elle, Seventeen, Houghton Mifflin, Family Circle, and corporate clients such as Apple, AT&T, 3M, United Airlines, Chase and Pillsbury. He is one of the pioneers of digital photography. His technical articles on digital imaging have been translated for use in more than 30 countries. Yet he is best known for his artistic images of nature’s fleeting moments as well as abstracts and unexpected views of everyday places around the globe.Joel has also been an educator since he started teaching photography in 1985 at the University of Minnesota while working on his degree there. He conducted digital photography seminars for Apple and other corporations starting in the early 90s. He has presented at national conferences, written articles, and in addition to teaching his own photography workshops worldwide he works with Arizona Highways, Topaz, and other acclaimed affiliates. He enjoys sharing his experience and skills with his workshop participants. His goal is to make learning and improving one’s photography easy, fun and rewarding.
January 6, 2015 meeting notes by Carol Dillon.Dave Erickson opened our January 2015 meeting with several announcement. Note that he February meeting will be the first Monday of the month, February 2. Wes are reminded that dues for 2015 may be mailed to Ed Yanez, 5323 West Bloomfield road, Glendale, Az  85304.The club is still in need of an equipment custodian. The responsibility involves getting the equipment to the monthly meetings.Mike Eisenburg, Program Chairman has been hard at work organizing our programs for the upcoming months. Many thanks to him for this difficult job.  Mike announces these upcoming guest speakers:February, Joel  Wolfson, travel photographer. Joel will demonstrate Topaz software. A raffle for Topaz software will accompany his presentation.March meeting will feature Tony Kruger demonstrating Luminosity Masking.April. Jeff Kidda of the Arizona Highways magazine will discuss “How to get your images into the magazine”May  will feature Guy Reed with a presentation on Mirrorless Cameras.Mark Laverman, guest speaker today presented an outstanding and fascinating program on Drone Photography or “What if Your Camera could Fly?” Mark and his two sons have entered on the ground floor of commercial drone photography earning themselves a leading position in this relatively new industry. Using the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadrocopter, they have produced outstanding videos, beautifully edited and set to music for individuals and private companies. Using a VR gimbal mechanism,  a 2.8, 15mm lens, 1/2.3 sensor, the camera rotates 360 degrees, offering full view due to the drone legs retracting, while communicating with an Ipad Air2 as well as the iphone.  Mark’s outstanding program concluded with a showing of the video of Wild Horse Ranch in Wyoming with music from “the Mission”.Following the break, member Susan Byrd presented the final part of her November program demonstrating her techniques of ridding the background in the photo with the focus on the subject. Susan produces beautiful photos showcasing the images typical of the old West.  Thank you Susan for sharing your knowledge and techniques.
December 2, 2014, meeting notes by Carol Dillon. 
President Dave Erickson opened our meeting announcing the 2015 Membership dues are due at this time.  Current members’ dues are $10 and new member dues are $20. Please mail your check made payable to Ed Yanez, 5323 W. Bloomfield Road, Glendale, Az 85304.
Traditionally, our December meeting is the month our members exhibit the photo books they have created throughout the year. Each year the books become more beautiful, more sophisticated and 2014 was a banner year. World travels, regional collections, iconic photos, animals, people and more dominated the book subjects. Time never allows us to sufficiently peruse all that is presented but we admire the efforts of our talented fellow DIG members. Thanks to all who brought their books and for the inspiration they provide.Kurt Hasper, DIG member for several years, presented the third in his series of Book Publishing. Today’s presentation was designing Creative Photo Pages. Kurt brings a rich background of experience gained in his years in Clinical Engineering and Software Development. Kurt created many technical presentations, local to national, wrote and co-produced an award winning screen play for a film for a National Symposium. Kurt’s knowledge and experience enabled him to merge his extensive Photoshop skils into presentations and post processing for groups and individuals from beginners to professionals. Each of Kurt’s three sessions can be accessed at the Digital Imaging Group – DIG. Then click on More and then Files. Thank you very much, Kurt for all your efforts in providing these three in-depth presentations on the subject of Book Publishing.
November 4, 2014 meeting notes by Carol Dillon.
Dave Erickson opened The DIG November meeting with the announcement of the Adobe Photoshop Creativity Tour, Featuring Ben Wilmore. The event is scheduled on December 12 at the downtown Phoenix Sheraton Hotel, 9-5. Reserve by calling 800-201-7323, $89 or visit until December 2.Dave is appealing to the DIG members for someone to come forward and assume the duty of Custodian of the Digital Equipment. This entails delivering the digital projector and cables to our meetings and safekeeping it at home. This would take a big responsibility off of Dave and others charged with scheduling and running the meetings.Dave further discussed the importance to DIG members of the SIG groups, if they should be continued and if so what topics are desired. One such topic is Printing, not only from Light Room on one’s own printer but, printing preparations for sending to a professional lab. Other ideas for SIGs are invited.Our speaker this month is free lance photographer and writer, Coleen Miniuk-Sperry. Leaving the corporate life several years ago, Coleen has published photographs in National Geographic, Arizona Highways, Outdoor Photographer, National Parks Traveler to name a few as well as co-authored Wild in Arizona, a wildflower photographers’ guide and Photographing Acadia National Park where she has three times been, Artist-in-Residence in Maine. Her list of workshops, exhibitions and recognitions is endless. Coleen’s program delivered with a tremendous amount of passion and energy stressed the successful photographer’s need for first, Visualizing the image he wants to make, Conceptualizing that image or dry shooting”, thinking about the camera settings or photographing with the mind and finally Designing the image or applying the “what if” I did this or “what if” I did that scenarios to the shot.Post processing is short and simple for Coleen. She relies on levels and curves and likes the luminosity mask used by Tony Sweet. In a word, Coleen urges us to fill our brain with knowledge about whatever our passion is, engage the environment of our subject we are about to shoot, learn every detail of the camera so that it becomes muscle memory. Coleen shared tips and quotes from the many photographers, scientists and authors she has read and admired. Her success and zest for the art of photography can best be summed up: “Luck follows the prepared.” Louis Pasteur.Thank you, Coleen for your outstanding presentation. Her books, Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers A Guide to When, Where, and How co-authored with Paul Gill and her latest Photographing Acadia National Park: the Essential Guide to When, Where and How are available online and at bookstores.
October 14, 2014, Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon
Dave Erickson, DIG’s new president opened the October meeting greeting visitors and inviting announcements from the group. Tom Ferrando showed his 16×20 image taken in Oslo, Norway using his D600 with the 28-300 lens. Tom wanted to demonstrate the method of framing he used, a simple, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to assemble frame. Available from Michaels, the frame is known as “Michael’s Studio Décor-Basics”. The frame has a 3/8” wide aluminum frame available in black or aluminum with glass which clips to the back panel. This information was furnished by Joel Muzzy who reminds us that 40-50% coupons can be had from Michael’s website.Grace Chen, not only a world traveler and accomplished photographer but an educator and engineer presented her Pro Show Gold showing of her trip to the 16 Galapagos Islands. Her images of both marine life and land animals vividly show their habitat and life cycles. Selecting the images from many possibilities and setting the music as background had to be a daunting task. The result was a beautiful and inspiring show which she dedicated to her friend and mentor, Chuck Williams. Thank you, Grace for your efforts and a grand presentation.Rounding out our morning of presentations, Susan Byrd, recipient of many awards, published in several magazines, and named among the Top 24 National Geographic contestants demonstrated how she takes a photograph and transforms it into a fine art piece. Susan uses Nik Software to achieve breathtaking results bringing her subject to the forefront and rendering the background into blends and swirls of color. Susan’s work chiefly represents western scenes of horses, cowboys and cattle which lend themselves to the exciting techniques she employs. She mentions that she has had numerous classes in Nik Software as well as workshops with Bobbi Goodrich. Thank you, Susan for your great program.
September 2, 2014 Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon
Howard Wood opened the September DIG meeting with the introduction of the new officers, effective immediately, for the upcoming year. They are as follows:The Nominating committee must be congratulated for their outstanding work in bringing such excellent choices into the club leadership.President: Dave EricksonSecretary: Carol DillonTreasurer: Mel StraussGreeter: Camille MasseyProgram Committee:Dave Madison, Don Berman, Mike Eisenberg, Phyllis Picardi and Mike ChasinMeeting Coordinator: Howard WoodHoward introduced Bruce Boyce who presented the program this month. Bruce has a degree in Physics and is retired from the Optics industry. He is currently President of the Fountain Hills Camera Club. His program covered in depth several topics, Hyper focal calculation, Exposure bracketing for HDR, his review of the Sony XR100 mirrorless camera and The Photographers’ Ephemeris.  Bruce’s pdf of the program will follow.Our October meeting date is October 14th, due to some scheduling problems with the Library.  Please note that the October meeting will be on the SECOND Tuesday of the month . . . not the first Tuesday!

============================================== August 6, 2014 Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon: Howard Wood opened the meeting with a greeting to visitors. Howard recognized the members of the Nominating Committee for 2015  DIG offices. It is critical to secure a Programs Committee as this committee is the heart and soul of our organization, the reason for our very existence. Please, if you are in any way able to contribute your time and thoughts to this vital part of our group, contact the members of the Nominating Committee. Their names and email address are below: Nominating Committee: David Erickson, Bob Mishkin, Jerry Massey , Nancy Sams or Pat Beckly Our own very capable and highly experienced Kurt Hasper provided an in-depth program regarding book publishing. His structure and organization for book preparation explain his amazing books. Upon closing his presentation, Kurt extended his willingness to do future programs on the subject and invited us to submit requests. Thank you very much Kurt for this outstanding program. ============================================== June 3, 2014 Meeting Notes by Carol Dillon Howard Wood opened our June meeting with only one announcement. Dave Erickson will host an Elements session on June 18, at Arabian Library at 9 a.m. Barry White began his presentation on Color Management. Throughout Barry’s presentation, members frequently asked questions and brought up relevant points that fostered an even better understanding of this complex subject. Everyone came with certain levels of comprehension of color management but certainly, everyone came away with a better understanding of their own printing experiences as well as answers to questions that foster better results. The highlights of Barry’s presentation on Color Management began with the definition of what is Color Management. Don’t Believe what you see is an amazing demonstration of how same colors can appear very differently under varying conditions. A graphic showing each of the color spaces and what that means in our choice of space when we print an image illustrates the differences in the color model we use, CMYK, RGB or LAB. Barry clarifies the choice of whether to Assign or Convert to a particular color profile and how that choice makes a significant difference when outputting one’s print. He reviews his recommendations for color settings in Photoshop. Finally, Barry emphasizes that calibration of one’s monitor cannot be underestimated in order to gain the true color representation in one’s print. These highlights are annotated in the following PDF provided by Barry. Be sure to check it out for further explanation. Many thanks go to Barry for this in depth discussion of Color Management. ====================================================== Meeting Notes, May 6, 2014, by Carol Dillon Sixty one people gathered for our May meeting. Howard Wood opened the meeting with a few announcements. Our Meet Up site is once again functional thanks to Ed Yanez who got our site up and running once again. Howard said the Meet Up process would be a subject of discussion at the next meeting. A Shoot is scheduled at the Rosson House in Phoenix as an HDR opportunity from 9-11 on May 27. Contact Bruce Boyce,, for more information on the remaining spaces. There is a fee for this workshop. Jerry Massey has volunteered to be our “Greeter”. She will provided name tags for new members. Any visitors interested in joing DIG should contact her in the lobby before the meeting or during the break. She welcomes helpl from anyone interested. Thanks to Jerry for taking on this job! May 11, 9 a.m., Dave Erickson will conduct another SIG for Elements users at the Arabian Library. May 14, —- This month’s program was offered by Beth Roggiero-York on Nighttime Photography, “Fun in the Dark”. Beth’s vast experience in photography has equipped her with a wealth of information and photographic skills which she offered our group in the form of lecture and images of nighttime photographs from around the country and the world.  Her subjects included the many types of nighttime imaging—moonrise, eclipse, light painting, city skylines, urban scenes, the Milky Way, astrophotography and star trails. Beth discussed the challenges of night photography emphasizing the need for complete knowledge of operating your camera in the dark, mode of operation, calculating settings, use of the Photographer’s Ephemeris, and tips for setting up for the well thought out shots. Beth devoted time discussing helpful equipment and favorite apps, The 500 Rule, long exposures and Noise Reduction, tracking moon phases, identification of stars and star movement, methods and timing of capturing moon risings. She discussed multiple exposures for night scenes and focus stacking for optimal results. Beth emphasized she never uses Auto White Balance and cautions to always check the Histogram and expose to the right for night shooting. Beth’s favorite authors for night photography are Lance Kleimig, Alister Benn, and Mark Bowie. She recommends use of the Moon calendar, the Photographer’s Ephemeris (free on the computer), Stellarium Sky Map for locating the stars, constellations and planets also, Trigger Trap and DOF Master. Beth has kindly provided her presentation notes and outstanding images with metadata for our use. Check them out at Digital Imaging Group-DIG and click on More, then Files to find them. Huge thanks to Beth for an outstanding program! =================================================================== Meeting notes, April 1, 2014  –  by Carol Dillon Howard Wood opened the April meeting with the reminder of the Gold King Mine in Jerome scheduled for Thursday, April 10. After the introduction of new members and guests, Howard gave a brief bio of and introduced  our guest speaker,  artist, photographer and educator, Jerry Sieve. Describing himself as a Master landscape image maker, Jerry announced his talk would be the subject of Productivity.  For best productivity, Jerry stressed the necessity of pre scouting the area you plan to shoot. Checking with locals, the Visitor Centers, the Rangers if National Parks, USGS maps and pamphlets provide important information as well as checking sunrise hours and phases of the moon. Jerry’s recommendations for landscape photography include using the smallest ISO possible, Aperture priority unless you are especially proficient with the Manual settings, and using White Balance suited to the current light conditions, not Auto White Balance. For photographers interested in selling their work, Jerry suggested purchasing Photographers Market 2014 for submission ideas.  He mentioned a photography contest, for more information. The show is juried by Jeff Kidda of Arizona Highways. Top three winners receive cash awards. ====================================================== Meeting Notes March 4,  2014 – by Carol Dillon President Howard Wood opened the meeting with prepared remarks concerning the future of our DIG. In a reassuring statement Howard assured us that the remainder of the year’s programs are mapped out. However, Howard plans to step down by October and Program Chairman, Ed Yanez, will do so by the end of 2014. Mel Strauss will continue as Treasurer and Carol Dillon as Secretary. Howard emphasized the huge task of Program Chairman as he praised Ed for his efforts in organizing outstanding programs throughout the year. Howard also recognized Ed Mertz, Barry White, Lynn Thompson, and Richard Buchbinder as member representatives who have provided ideas and advice to the Officers. The challenge today become replacing a President and a Program Chairman, the most demanding of the offices. The option of accepting volunteers from the membership is always paramount and welcome. Should that not be forthcoming, a nominating committee would be formed and at this writing, this has taken place. This committee will contact and find willing members to become a slate of candidates to be voted on before year’s end. Suggestions include term limits for officers of one year but with no maximum, and a committee to share the big responsibility of Program planning. Following the March meeting, members will be polled online for their ideas on all things regarding DIG, it’s leadership, how it operates and it’s future. DIG Leadership believes the most important task at this time is finding officer replacements. Howard, backed by the Leadership Council, believes that  Membership should take the lead in this regard. Without replacements, DIG cannot and should not exist as it is. Kurt Haster presented the program outlining his workflow in optimizing an image.  Kurt’s workflow is four-part beginning with selecting an appropriate background based on the content of his image. This background will be cleared of clutter and unwanted distraction before becoming a layer in his image. Next, Selections using all tools available are an important aspect of the final image in that he will remove the subject(s) from the original shot and prepare it for inclusion in the final image. Thirdly, he carefully plans the layout of the subjects he inserts into the image. In his examples today, Kurt replicated the subject multiple times to create a time lapse sequence of a cutting horse and rider, dancers or a ballplayer running bases. The final task became blending these selections into the background for an interesting and easily believable composite. Kurt emphasized that the background should enhance the subject and should be shot on the same location prior to the event. This interesting approach to composites calls heavily upon use of selections, multiple grouped layers, and numerous Photoshop skills—definitely a challenge for even the skilled user. Thanks, Kurt for this interesting program! =================================================== Meeting Notes February 4, 2014, by Carol Dillon A TRIBUTE TO CHUCK WILLIAMS.  Howard Wood opened our meeting and spoke eloquently about our good friend, Chuck Williams. Chuck led, inspired, motivated and entertained our group with his deep knowledge and wit since January 2006. His creative thinking kept this group moving forward, always reaching for a higher level in both our Photoshop skills and photography opportunities. Organizing the Special Interest Groups provided a burst of interest and advanced learning that this group needed at the just the right time. His calling together of the DIG Leadership Council with his highly organized agenda kept the group sharply focused on the present and the future projects and how to achieve them.  Chuck loved the outdoors, hiking, and travel all evidenced in his beautiful photographs and books of his works. He was generous with his knowledge and experience, sharing, listening and teaching. We fondly recall Chuck bucked the advice of experts when he preferred handheld shooting! Don’t look for tripod holes where Chuck took his beautiful shots!  We reflect now and realize how much we owe our friend.  How he will be missed! Jared Platt, wedding and lifestyle photographer, lecturer of photography and workflow,  Instructor at ASU, presented an outstanding program : Harnessing the Power of Lightroom 5.  Jared describes Lightroom as a powerful browser, image editor and data base offering modules that take the raw image completely through the Library and Develop processes to options as book publishing, slideshow, video, print, web creation and GPS enablement. Collections offers infinite image storage capability without compromising storage space due to virtual references of those images.  Lightroom’s publishing services offers paths to Facebook, SmugMug, Fliker, etc. Video capability in Lightroom 5 quickly combines stills and video with color choice, black and white, transitions and music. All can be exported to clients for review and returned for further editing. Jared discussed the means of putting photos onto your tablet with tips for the most success. He recommends using iTunes for exporting images from both camera and iphone to the ipad. One tip taken seriously was Jared’s advice to remove the location information of one’s images before exporting to the web using the check box giving you the option not to give GPS location. Not only will this protect your special locations but in the case of sending photos of one’s children and grandchildren, this could invite unintended consequences. Jared can be viewed on Search for Jared Platt and Twelve Days of Lightroom which can be viewed free of charge the last week of February, 23-28. In March he teaches Three Days in Lightroom 9-4 Seattle time for a fee. The program can be seen in those evenings free of charge. ======================================== Meeting Notes January 7, 2014, by Carol Budrow Mel Strauss opened the meeting by welcoming new members and guests Announcement of Upcoming  SIG Events: Photoshop class at Arabian Library on January 9 Elements class at Arabian Library on January 15 Upcoming Speakers and Presentations planned for 2014: February:     Jared Platt: Harnessing the Power of Lightroom  5 March:         Arizona Highways Speaker: to be announced April:            Bruce Dorn: Canon Explorer of Light Series May:            TBD June:           Barry White: Color Management July:            No Meeting August:       Kurt Hasper: Book Publishing Dues for 2014:  $10.  Bring to next DIG meeting or mail check (made out to Mel Strauss) to: Mel Strauss, PO 3556,  Carefree, AZ 85377 Jerry Cox announced the February Photo Challenge:  Photo Passions with a Heart. Upload your photos to the DIG website. Susan Byrd announced  her upcoming workshop “How to Wow!” A one day workshop teaching participants how to turn their images into fine art. Contact Susan at for dates and info Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato began their presentation of edited images and video from their workshop in Africa. This was followed by a demonstration of some of the editing techniques they each used to create their final images.  Their next Africa tour will be in May 2015, and details will be announced as soon as they are available. ================================================ Meeting Notes December 3, 2013, by Carol Dillon Howard Wood opened the meeting with the introductions of several guests and new members. Our December meeting traditionally features books published by members throughout the year.  Both the books revealing the global travel of members as well as those photographed close to home showed creativity and expertise in book design like no other year past. On this note, Howard invited Kurt Hasper and Ed Mertz to  give the audience a brief explanation of how their books were done. Kurt displayed two books, both of which were outstanding in design and theme, representing many hours of perfecting both the photographs and the very attractive pages on which they were displayed. Kurt used super gloss paper from My Publisher.

Ed Mertz’ book was most unique in that he created the cover of this portfolio from a large piece of leather obtained from Tandy Leather, oiled and shaped , and having his name lazer burned on the front cover. The photographs appeared in categories, one of which entitled Humor, showed a horse  with teeth on the stall bars, aptly named  Jail Break.  For this in another venue, Ed was awarded Best of Show.
Various Book Publishing companies were mentioned in review by members. My Publisher, Blurb , Adorama were mentioned favorably.
Don Bierman,  provided a well organized and informative program on Guidelines for Publishing. He emphasized creating an interesting layout to capture the viewer’s interest from the very beginning. Creating a flow of images that tells a story, abiding my good compositional rules is key. Attention to the overall book structure receives important consideration such as background color of pages, gray recommended, handling of text blocks, and selection of the book cover.
Since pages equal expense, Don had a number of suggestions, namely getting all the necessary information on one page: Author, Contents Copyright, and Dedication.  The last page should sum up the entire trip as bright and vibrant.
Don uses Canon cameras and carries two lenses, 70-200 with 1.4 and 2X teleconverters and a 16-35mm. His software choice is Light Room to Photoshop , InDesign and using My Publisher. He shoots Raw+jpeg, a good shot will always be shot as a  vertical and horizontal. Don instructs sending all images srgb to the publisher, 240 dpi unless the image is exceptionally large, then, 180 dpi. Use friends or other people in photographs and have your model carry or wear a white hat to enhance the image!

Meeting Notes November 5, 2013 (by Carol Dillon) Howard Wood opened the meeting and announced that Chuck Williams is residing at Lovin Manor in North Scottsdale where he continues his recovery.  Cards and visits are welcomed by Chuck. The address is 29192 N. 7 Street in Scottsdale. The phone is 480-275-2270. A map on Google shows how to easily get there. Call to Artists issued by Arizona Artists Guild offers an opportunity for non-AAG members to enter their photography in this Fine Art Show scheduled January 31 through March 1, 2014 at Glendale Gallery at Westgate.  Applications are accepted On-line beginning November 1 through November 30.  for details. Italy, April 1-11 2014 and Capturing the Essence of Western Ireland, May 22-June1, 2014 are upcoming workshops offered by Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato. Details are available by contacting Richard at or Rose: Reminder:  The December 3, meeting is our annual Books meeting where members bring both previous and new books they have published. Don Bierman, experienced in layout and book editing is our speaker.  This is a don’t miss! Ron York and Beth Ruggiero-York, professional photographers and workshop leaders presented a Virtual Tour of China, their collection of images of sites not visited by those taking the ordinary commercial tour offerings.  Together, Ron and Beth present an amazing resume of publications show casing their work, their depth of experience with the Chinese culture—Beth has been traveling China for 30 years, speaks the language and has developed an intimate knowledge of both urban and rural Chinese life. Their images depicted the traditional locations, the Great Wall of China, the Forbiden City, the Olympic Stadium, the terra cotta soldiers, the Yantze River . The not so traditional locations in the hinterland, the water villages for example, showed the people as they really exist in these remote outlying areas of this vast country. It was a fascinating collection of images and monologue. Our thanks to Beth and Ron for this “guided tour” of a country she knows so well.

Meeting Notes October 1, 2013 (by Carol Dillon) DIG October meeting was opened with these few announcements: a photo competition being held, flyers were available at the meeting; Richard Buchbinder provided an update on upcoming workshops at Sonoran Desert Preserve and Ireland (women only on that one). The November meeting presentation will be guest speakers Ron and Beth York. Ron and Beth have recently completed a several week tour of China. They will share their images and experiences. The meeting date is Tuesday, November 5. We are reminded that December is our book display month. Everyone is encouraged to bring books they have published in the last year as well as others from previous years that they wish to share.  Don Bierman will be our guest speaker.  Don has much experience in book layout to share with us.  The meeting date is Tuesday, December 3. We all wish Chuck to continue his recovery and look forward to his return. We much appreciate Mel Strauss stepping in for Chuck in his absence. Mel offered our October presentation with his Travel Photography images, experiences and his valuable tips for the traveling photographer.  Following is his presentation. Notes are provided by Mel. Thanks, Mel, for a very interesting program!   Outline for Travel Presentation by Mel Strauss I. Preparation before traveling A. Try to get in shape and stay in shape i. Go to health club and walk each day B. Make checklists i. What is needed to be taken on Trip, e.g. ii. What has to be done at home before Trip, e.g. a) Passport b Hotel confirmations c) Reading glasses d) Camera case a) Call security company b) Call police c) Lock all windows C. Consult doctor before leaving to see if you need any inoculations D. Passport and Credit cards i. Make photocopies of your passport and credit cards ii. Have the telephone number of the credit card company assessable in case the card gets a) Leave one copy at home where someone can access them b) Leave one copy in your suitcase lost or stolen. The telephone number is on the back of the credit card but that will not help if the card is stolen or misplaced iii. Call the credit card company in advance of the trip to give your itinerary E. Pack essentials in your carry on case, not in the suitcase, e.g. i. Camera ii. Medication iii. Travel documents F. Electric requirements i. Find out if the places you are traveling to have Voltage that fits your computer and battery charger a) You may need a transformer ii. Bring a set of plug adapters for your electric equipment G. Purchase insurance on your equipment II. Precautions during trip A. Secure your credit card and airline tickets i. Always put them in the same spot on your person ii. Take more than one credit card B. Keep some cash and a spare credit card in the hotel safe C. Try to stay healthy i. Think about not eating from local vendors at local markets ii. Use the bottled water and be sure it was sealed when you get the bottle iii. Brush your teeth and wash off toothbrush with bottled water iv. Bring diarrhea pills a) Do not just “stuff” them into any pocket D. Consider changing the camera strap to remove any name such as Canon or Nikon E. Don’t advertise your gear i. Camera may be less likely to be stolen ii. Strap such as UpStrap will stay on shoulder way better iii. Can get straps that are very secure i. Some pros cover the camera name with black tape to make it less noticeable to thieves ii. Never put your camera down iii. Try not to sling it on a chair at meal time III.Research for trip A. There are many sites on the internet to see pictures of where to visit and what photos to take i. Personally, I do not like to do this. I do not want to be biased by the images that have already been taken. However, I am certainly in the minority on this issue ii. You can go to Facebook or Twitter and say your are going to XXX and ask for suggestions iii. Check for local events iv. Make a checklist of what places you want to photograph v. Make a checklist of the “things” you want to photograph vi. When you arrive in a City, take a quick tour to get acclimated to the place vii. Look at local postcards IV. Camera equipment for the trip A. Camera B. Lens choice C. Tripod D. Camera bag used during the day i. Take the camera you are very familiar with a) Too many individuals take a new camera i. TRAVEL LIGHT ii. In my opinion take only one zoom lens a) I use an 18-270mm lens b) You will then never have to waste time switching lenses and miss photo opportunities because of that iii. If you really think a second lens is needed, decide if you need a wider lens or a lens with a larger lens opening a) When you get home do a Lightroom filter on lens type and see how many times you used the second lens b) If you think you need the wide angle lens see how many times you could have stitched a couple images together while using your zoom lens iv. Traveling light will make your trip more enjoyable and save you lots of back problems i. Think twice about carrying this around ii. I always do without because Traveling Light is very important to my enjoyment of the Trip i. Do not advertise an expensive camera ii. Perhaps carry no camera bag at all iii. My very small camera bag has a shoulder strap and a waist strap a) Less likely to be stolen b) Less likely I have to “set it down” E. A note pad and pen to write down the place and time you took images F. Additional equipment needed during the day G. NOT needed during the day H. Additional equipment needed I. Precautionary equipment needed iv. Camera bag is easy to leave behind v. Camera bag is easy to put down and have it stolen i. The camera’s date and time should be reset when you arrive in a country so that your notes with the time and location can be crossed referenced to the camera metadata ii. GPS system in camera may eliminate most of the need for this i. Extra batteries ii. Extra memory cards iii. Filters – perhaps Polarizing filter iv. Something to clean lens a) Lens cloth b) LensPen v. Lens hood a) Think about not taking this vi. Geo tagging device i. Lens cap i. Computer ii. Backup storage device iii. Battery charger iv. Card reader i. Backup camera ii. Second battery charger iii. Second card reader V. Backup plan for your images A. Have to plan your strategy before you leave on the Trip B. I backup images to a laptop computer and a second copy to a small 2TB LaCle external drive i. I have 2 copies of my images before I erase the images from the memory card devices is stolen you still have the images C. Keep the laptop computer and the external drive in separate places so that if one of the VI. Taking pictures D. Camera settings i. Suggest auto white balance a) No need to continuously fiddle with the setting and in the process miss photo opportunities b) Can always, easily, fix white balance in post processing c) In the majority of cases the camera will make the correct choice ii. When just walking down the street and intending to take people photos, have the camera set on the largest F stop to get the smallest depth of field iii. I set the ISO to 400 iv. Use the ISO that is needed to GET THE SHOT v. Set the camera to show “Blinkies” a) Use exposure compensation to rid of Blinkies b) REMEMBER TO SET CAMERA BACK to zero compensation when you are finished with that image or area vi. Think about taking HDR images when there is a large variation between the light and dark tones in the image a) This is less necessary with Camera Raw version in Lightroom 4 and Photoshop 6 b) On Canon camera you can use a Custom function to have the camera set up to take HDR images c) Specifics of taking HDR images were covered in a previous Presentation vii. When a slower shutter speed is needed to get a photograph, consider putting the camera E. General suggestions on 2 second delay, even if you are not using a tripod i. Work the area a) When you are at an interesting place move all around the area looking for more and more shots. b) Do not be satisfied with the usual “postcard” composition ii. Many of the best shots are when you get out of the vehicle and walk, walk, walk iii. If possible, do not go on Tours a) Spend too much time at tourist shops b) Hardly ever go when the light is best c) Won’t stop when an interesting shot presents itself on the way d) Won’t stop in a small towns that do not have any famous tourist spots but that may be very photogenic iv. If you are on a Tour get up early and go to the interesting spots while the other tour members are sleeping and/or eating v. Go back to the same area a 2nd a) Things in different light look very different b) The time of the day may dictate which local people show up at the location vi. You can travel without a Tour with no fear. a) All countries are set up to make tourist feel comfortable b) Consider hiring your own car and driver • This is not too expensive in many countries or 3rd time if the place really has interesting possibilities VII. What subjects to photograph F. Classic shots G. People i. E.g. in Paris take Eiffel Tower ii. E.g. in Agra take Taj Mahal iii. Certainly take the classic shot of the place iv. Try to find images that you think are different i. Make camera less imposing to subject a) Take off lens hood b) Take off battery pack ii. Smile at the subject iii. Give subject a wave iv. Strike up a conversation or have facilitator do this v. Don’t take pictures of sick or crippled people vi. Question of paying for photographs ?? vii. If in a shop, buy something viii. Show subject their picture in LCD ix. If subject asks for a picture be sure to send it x. Get people out of direct light if possible xi. Take people in markets and they will never know you are taking the picture xii. Take people engrossed in conversations and they will never know you are taking the xiii. Take people as they are driving down the road xiv. Ask to be taken into their house xv. SLOW DOWN picture a) After quickly taking a few shots (so people don’t go away) think of what other interesting shots can be taken of the same subject. b) Many times you will be able to take more shots, especially if you are paying the subject xvi. Take full body shots xvii. Take closeup of head xviii. Take closeup of hands, feet and arms xix. Take closeup of jewelry or anything else that makes that individual distinctive from H. Markets I. Color J. Architecture K. Food other people i. Easy place to take people because they are concentrating on buying or selling goods ii. Take closeups of products a) Food b) Jewelry c) Fabric i. Windows ii. Doors iii. Walls iv. Material i. Use pano if necessary to take the whole structure a) Can fix tilting of building in post processing ii. Get in tight and take details of building iii. Get some people in the image to show the scale of the building iv. You have Photo-editing software to get unwanted people out of picture – don’t stress out a) Use Scott Kelby technique for getting rid of unwanted people i. Take in markets ii. Street vendors iii. In restaurants a) Eat outside or near a window for good lighting b) Take pictures of wait-person c) Take pictures of menu L. Sundry – to tell about the place M.Transportation methods i. Street signs ii. Writing in Country’s script iii. Walls to use for compositing with people i. Animals ii. Unusual vehicles N. Pets and other animals O. Scenic views P. Hotel Q. Have a theme i. I made a book for my son on India – Food ii. I made a book for my wife on India – Travelogue iii. Take photographs for books iv. I like to take groups of 3 men R. Get high S. Sunrise and sunsets   Meeting Notes   September 2013 (by Carol Dillon) Mel Strauss very capably stepped in for Chuck Williams opening the meeting  with announcements and introductions of guests Bob Coffman has visited Chuck Williams several times and reported his condition to date. Chuck is currently at Scottsdale South Rehab center at 96th and Shea. He is receiving visitors and appreciates your cards and inquiries. Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato unveiled several planned trips with announcements of another McDowell Sonoran Conservancy photography experience at Gateway Trailhead benefitting MSC. Also next April is a trip to Tuscany to include Florence and Venice, a trip Rose plans for girls only. Another Equestrian Workshop, Spring of 2014, Western Ireland in May and June, 2014 and May 2015, Tanzania, Africa are in planning stages. More information to follow. Susan Byrd announces an Epson 4800 printer, used just five times, for sale. If interested, email her at A great deal of interest was shown in Dave Erickson’s proposed SIG meetings on Elements 11. October program will feature Mel Strauss speaking on a subject he well knows, Travel Photography. November Ron and Beth York will be guest speakers on their trip to China. Don Bierman brings a great deal of experience as an editor in December when he discusses book layout. In January, Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato will offer a program on their trip to Africa Guest speaker this month was Scott Baxter, author of 100 Years, 100 Ranchers, a book ten years in the making, celebrating Arizona’s Centennial in 2014. Scott’s presentation was twofold, first discussing his background, the equipment he uses and the software he employs.  He shoots both large format film and digital, preferring black and white. The highlight of Scott’s presentation was walking and talking us through his outstanding book featuring the one hundred ranches and the families who own and operate them.  Spending time with the families, who often inherited their ranches dating from the early 1800s, provided wonderful human interest stories. Scott left us with some bits of his philosophy. “Photography is an easy medium in which to become competent but most difficult to have a unique vision”. For Scott, a photograph must above all have meaning, not just be pretty. This was perhaps the underlying premise for his outstanding book on Arizona’s ranches and their ranching families. DIG purchased Scott Baxter’s book as a gift to Chuck. Likewise, Scott gave Chuck a large print of the image on the front of his book, 100 Ranches 100 Ranchers.   August 6, 2013 Meeting Notes (by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened the August DIG meeting announcing an interesting meeting agenda for the remainder of the year. In September, Ed Yanez is credited for lining up fine art photographer, Scott Baxter, as guest speaker. Scott Baxter authored, One hundred Years, One hundred Ranches in celebration of Arizona’s Centennial in 2014. Mel Strauss is lined up for our October meeting with the topic of Travel Photography. Mel, known for his trips to exotic places, is well qualified for the topic as he concludes his trips to India and Nepal. November promises to be very interesting as well when Ron and Beth York present their trip to China in images and narration. December is our traditional Book Month when members showcase their images in books they have published. Don Berman, formerly with the publishing division of the Chicago Tribune Newspaper, will present on the topic of book design. Upcoming programs to follow feature Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato presenting their trip to Africa. DIG member, Rick Fee has engaged Michael Rather and Jared Platt, both professors of photography, as guest speakers. Canon will present a full day Seminar on December 7, on shooting Canon cameras as well as a presentation on shooting video. The price for this seminar is $89. Our program for our August meeting was an outstanding panel on the subject of Photoshop and iCloud hosted by our own members Barry White, Dave Erickson, Pat Beckley and Ed Mertz. Each contributed information relevant to Adobe Photoshop CS6, CSCC, iCloud, Elements versions 10 and 11. Our fellow members were extremely well versed on their subject leaving us with a great deal more understanding of the future of the software as well as an awareness that we still have much to explore. You can find Chuck’s excellent summary of the discussion on our Meetup page. If you are not already a Meetup member, please consider joining so you don’t miss any DIG communications! June 4, 2013 Meeting Notes (supplied by Carol Budrow) CHUCK WILLIAMS  opened the meeting with the following announcements:

  • Anyone interested in joining an additional photo club , might consider the Phoenix Camera Club. The club emphasizes photo competitions. Members  meet the 3rd Saturday of each month, and this past month several DIG members won awards of recognition for their work.  Check out their website.
  • The Photo Fest in Sedona is taking place this week,  offering many different workshops given by accomplished photographers.  There is a free presentation day on Sat at Red Rock Loop Road. Call 928-282-3809 for info and reservations.
  • Suzie Reed conducts Sedona jeep tours, with emphasis on rock art. Chuck will contact Suzie about guiding a SIG for DIG.
  • Adam Jones has an upcoming workshop in St Louis, with emphasis on macro photography with small critters. August 24-25.  $895. Check Adam Jones’ website for details.
  • For those who have not paid, DIG dues are now due. Pay $15 to Mel Strauss.
  • Our meet-up site can now accept banners from members. Prepare your photos at 960px x 160 px  x 72dpi and submit to
  • There will be no DIG meeting in July. Next monthly meeting is Aug 6
  • On July 18 Marianne will lead a meet-up on shooting wildflowers in the Flagstaff area. Check our meet-up site for details.
  • Bill Leezer reported on his trials & tribulations using the organizer in Elements 11, resulting in lost images, temporarily.

In spite of some frustrations, and Elements not having all the capability of Photoshop, the general consensus was Elements 11 is a good alternative for those photographers not wanting to subscribe to Adobe’s PS subscription plan in the future.  Chuck polled the group and there was much interest in organizing  special interest  sessions on Elements, with emphasis on Elements for  PS users.

  • Chuck will also try to organize another special interest group on Lightroom. The sessions in the past, conducted by Pat Beckley, were very successful.
  •  Members should email Chuck if they have any ideas for SIG OR DIG topics. Also volunteers for organizing or conducting sessions would be most welcome.CHUCK WILLIAMS  conducted a presentation and live demo on NIK PLUG-INS, using Viveza & Color EFX Pro 4Highlights of the presentation included:
    • What you can do with NIK plug-ins:

    v  These are NOT stand-alone products. They work with host programs like: PS, LR, Elements, Aperture v  They only do image processing v  You can combine products on the same image v  They can work along with PS layers v  With NIK filters, edited images can be saved and re-opened for “tweaking” v  Can use NIK to replace layers & masks, if you want v  Can be used to craft WOW images

    • Why use NIK filters:

    v  Can easily do selective adjustments v  Can do very refined work on portraits & fine art images v  You can easily experiment & view “before & after” combinations v  ColorEFX & SilverEFX have handy presets v  Great finishing tools like vignettes & borders are provided Chuck used some of his photos to demo the main features and workflow he uses with Viveza and ColorEFX Chuck will post his favorite NIK filters, plus helpful books and others resources on the club website The meeting was adjourned at 12Noon

May 7, 2013 Meeting Notes (supplied by Carol Dillon) Our May meeting kicked off with Bob Mishkin paying recognition to our Digital Imaging Group recalling our small beginnings more than ten years ago and citing the remarkable growth our group has enjoyed. Bob has summarized his reminisces and thoughts which can be accessed on our MEETUP page. On the top toolbar, click on MORE and then FILES. We have much of interest to recall and much to be proud of. Announcements of interest:

  • My Publisher has merged with Shutterfly.
  • Google has acquired Nik Software.
  • Photo Focus has a ten day free video course by Julianne Kost on the website.
  • Pictured On Canvas, a company that does outstanding image transfer onto aluminum will take an 8 MB file and provide a 16×20 ready for hanging for $135. The company frequently offers one day deals on price so the tip is to have your file ready to go when announced.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud concept will change the way it will distribute and support the software we use in the future. Adobe’s new business model calls for selling, distributing software as a service. Using Adobe’s Creative Cloud, we can still download software to our computers and our images can remain where we always stored them but now you will have the option of using the Cloud to store images should you want to work on them when you are not on your desktop. This is all done on a subscription basis. Here is a link to answers for most all questions you might have: Answering Questions About the Creative Cloud

Linda Moore was thanked for her successful Meet Up at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in April. Do visit the albums posted by those who went and see the outstanding work of our photographers. Pat Beckley readily stepped up last minute as Presenter and provided us with an overview of the Beta version of Light Room 5. Pat explained LR5’s new feature called Upright and additionally, showed Adobe prepared videos describing Upright. This new feature offers straightening, leveling of images, profile corrections, distortion correction in either auto or manual. Whether approached from manual or auto, the corrections made are re-analyzed for final corrections by the program. Light Room 5 also offers an enhancement to the Spot Healing Brush and Clone Tool. Pressing the “q” key instantly reveals the areas to be retouched–dust spots, blemishes, some seen and some not. Finally, LR5 includes Infra Red, a feature offering Profile and Lens Corrections. Much to check out here! Light Room 5 offers a free trial until the end of June. Final tip by Pat is the tutorial website, – Nuts about Photoshop which has lots of useful tutorials. Thanks so much Pat, for stepping in to help out and for this excellent preview of Light Room 5. Howard Wood, once again on the cutting edge of technology, demonstrated his Photomatix workflow, taking using 32 bit images to merge to HDR, opening in raw and using sliders to adjust. Howard showed the Toning capability offered in CS6 using a black and white Gradient Map taking a color image to black and white gradient, a beautiful result. Thanks again Howard for your presentation today. We do appreciate the effort of our each of our presenters and acknowledge the time required to put their programs together for us. April 2, 2013 Meeting Notes (supplied by Carol Dillon) DIG Meeting this month was a well attended special event. Once again, Canon sent another exceptional speaker, Canon Explorer of Light, Adam Jones. Prior to our special program getting underway, Chuck Williams made several announcements. Chuck reminded members of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum meet up hosted by Linda Moore on Thursday, April 4. We look forward to Western photographer and author, Scott Baxter on May 5. Scott’s book, One Hundred Years 100 Ranchers, is a part of the Arizona Centennial Project and commemorates the history of ranching in Arizona. Chuck provided the introduction for Adam Jones, citing his outstanding career as a nature, wildlife and travel photographer with many publication credits including National Geographic, Life Magazine, Sierra Club, Audubon, Disney as well as the 1995 winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Adam, a Kentucky resident, leads workshops around the world as well as teaches for Canon and numerous photography magazines. Adam began his program with a collection of his outstanding images, sharing with the group a great many tips and useful information concerning the various lenses he uses, teleconverters and extension tubes, his use of the tripod, back focus on the camera, his constant reliance on the RGB histograms to evaluate images, his use of the polarizer on all but wildlife, his use of HDR using only Fusion and a great deal of helpful information regarding exposure. Adam discussed much of his post processing techniques including selective use of ACR sliders, the software and filters he employs for the beautiful effects he achieves in his images. Specifically, he relies on the Zerene Stacker for the all in focus look in landscapes, Flaming Pear software, Flexify and Flood. Adam relies heavily on Nikon Capture NX for post processing touting the strength and potential of the use of Control Points in the software. He promoted the use of Live View, available on many cameras now, as a way not only to compose your image but also to check for sharpness once the image is taken. Flash and Fill Flash were subjects that Adam elaborated on with tips for both indoors and outdoors, emphasizing the importance of using ETTL and exposure compensation to control the flash. The program offered more than most could take away completely! Above all, Adam provided huge inspiration to get out, learn and experiment more, and the desire ourselves to produce the unique and beautiful effects of his images. Our sincere thanks to Canon for sponsoring Adam Jones and allowing him to spend a day with our members and guests sharing his images and knowledge. March 5, 2013 Meeting Notes (supplied by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened the March meeting with the announcement of anon Explorer of Light, Adam Jones will be our guest at the April 2, meeting. Adam Jones has traveled the world as a nature and wildlife photographer and is published in magazines, books and appears in galleries across the country. This will be a highly informative meeting and well attended. Please RSVP as soon as possible as we do intend to invite a limited number of guests. Plan on a 9-3 p.m. meeting with an hour taken for lunch. There is no charge for this event. Meetup reminder, March 19, Marianne Jensen is hosting a Meetup at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Marianne suggests arriving by 8:30 in order to gain admission and travel the distance to the site of the Raptor Free Flight to get a good position. Linda Moore is hosting a Meetup April 4 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum to photograph birds, cactus and wildflowers as well as a variety of old buildings, trucks and vintage artifacts. Check the Meetup page for directions and lunch suggestions. Additional reminders for the March 21-24 Equestrian Workshop hosted by Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato. Check previous meeting notes for more detailed information or contact Richard or Rose at 480-998-0603 or 602-361-5043. Additionally, Richard and Rose continue their work for McDowell Mountain Conservancy by offering their 2 day Workshop at Gateway featuring an evening session on April 11 with a hands-on photography workshop in the Preserve on the 13th. Observers report Lupines on Highway 60 and Poppies in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Finally, Chuck announced the 2013 dues of $20. Cash or check can be given to Mel Strauss. Our presenter this month was Stan Cunningham ( Stan worked with Arizona Game and Fish for 25 years and left to become a professor at ASU teaching Wildlife Biology. Stan also leads workshops with a specialty in Bears in Alaska. (Stan tells us you get a lot of education regarding the subjects whether you want to hear it or not 🙂 He gave a wonderful presentation showing his workflow using NIK filters on some of his wonderful bear images. An amazing ten foot wide panorama of the entire McDowell Mountain range photographed by Ed Mertz was presented on screen and explained by Ed the equipment and technique he used to capture this outstanding image. Ed explained that he used a 4” x 5” camera with a scanning back which produces exceptional resolution and color fidelity. We have the image of Ed standing next to his work courtesy of Bob Coffman who took the photograph. The piece will be on display through April at the Mayo Clinic Specialties Building. Ed plans to provide more information to the group on the equipment and technique in a future meeting. We look forward to this. February 5, 2013 Meeting Notes (supplied by Carol Dillon) Opening the meeting with humor typical of Chuck Williams, Chuck reported that members have been inquiring about dues for 2013. The only information available at this time was for the “high end” Nikon and Canon users who will be changed more than everyone else and dues will be on hold for the point and shoot camera users. Standby for more information. Nothing like beginning a meeting with a good laugh! Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato made an announcement for their Equestrian Photography Workshop, March 21-24. The Shoot will include an old west style site, a reigning horse training ranch, a race track and computer time on each day using Photoshop and Nik Software techniques to optimize your images. A DIG member discount is available until March 10, 2013. Contact 480-998-0603 or 602-361-5043 for more information. Rick Fee is hosting a Meetup at the Freestone Park in Gilbert Friday February 8, for photographing water fowl. February guest speaker, E.J. Peiker will attend to provide information and assistance to photographers. Check the DIG website for details. The next meeting is March5, Mustang Library. Our guest speaker is wildlife photographer, Stan Cunningham. On March 19, Marianne Jensen is hosting a meetup at Arizona Sonora Desert Museum with the Raptor free flight being the main attraction. Check the DIG Meetup for details. Adam Jones, Canon Explorer of Light will be our featured speaker for our April 2, DIG meeting. Signup will be through our Meetup this time so it is very important to RSVP your attendance as seating could be limited. If extra seats are available, the invitation will go out to additional clubs. Our guests speaker this month was E.J. Peiker, bird photographer and Chandler resident. It was an outstanding presentation of his work, his techniques, equipment that he uses and detailed information regarding Exposure, Camera Exposure Modes, Lighting, use of Flash and Fill flash, touching on both Nikon and Canon similarities and differences. Do check out his website, with links to his workshops, his newsletter, field reports and equipment reviews. Check also, Ducks of North for links to his ebook. After a short break, Marianne Jensen shared a process for a relatively easy canvas mounting system. Here is a link to the supplier website which features a video of the process on the opening page. (Please note that Marianne alters their process by adding extra canvas to fully wrap the bars) Finally, E.J. Peiker followed up answering many questions from the audience. ======================

Notes from Jan 8 DIG Meeting (from Chuck Williams)

1.1     Review of 2012 Activities

2012 has been a very busy year as the total of 44 activities surpassed all previous years!

  • In addition to our normal monthly meetings with DIG speakers, we had 4 special meetings with outside speakers including Darrell Gulin from the Canon Explorers of Light, authors Coleen Miniuk-Sperry and Paul Gill speaking about their Wildflower book, Steve Burger prominent local photographer, and Mark Laverman from the Phoenix Camera Club.
  • We had 11 photo shoots including multiple trips to Sedona, Flagstaff, Tucson, and Jerome as well as local visits to Singh Farm and the Herpetological Society, and a very special tour of the home and studio of our own Jerry Cox.
  • We had 19 Special Interest Group tutorials with multiple sessions led by Pat Beckley on Lightroom, David Erickson on Elements, and Lou Romaine on Portraits as well as other sessions by Howard Wood, Mel Strauss, and Chuck Williams.

1.2     Coming events for 2013

The schedule for 2013 is already taking shape:

  • The January monthly meeting features Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato presenting a slide show and image processing tutorial based on their recent Equestrian Workshop.
  • The February monthly meeting will feature local wildlife photographer E.J. Peiker who will talk about bird photography, and will also participate in a subsequent photo shoot at Freemont Park.
  • The March monthly meeting will feature another local photographer Stan Cunningham who will talk about his wildlife photography including bears in Alaska.
  • Later in March we will have another photo shoot at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.
  • The April monthly meeting will be our annual Canon supported event, featuring Explorer of Light Adam Jones.

This month’s featured speakers were our own Rose Erato and Richard Buchbinder speaking about their recent highly acclaimed photo workshop that provided access to equestrian events at several  local venues. Rose and Richard presented a short slide show of images from their Equestrian Photo workshops.  Some of the images were submitted by workshop participants, including a few of our DIG members.  After the slide show, they featured several of the images, demonstrating the digital processing techniques used to take the images from RAW to finished.  The methods included tools from Adobe Photoshop CS6, and also from NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and NIK Color Efex Pro 4. The nature of the program makes it impossible to share everything here but Richard did provide a link to their slideshow. NOTE: This is a very large file so  it may take 6 or more minutes to load.   ===================== December 4, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Books, Books, Beautiful Books , always the theme of the December meeting. This year’s display was maybe the most outstanding yet. Our members have become highly skilled and sophisticated in creating extraordinary books showcasing their best images. Large books and small documenting worldwide travels, landscapes, wildlife, and images of desert flora and fauna were among today’s exhibits. We are inspired to begin our next book projects not only by the books displayed today but also by Book Publishing , the subject of today’s program. Chuck Williams began our meeting by mentioning several successful SIGs having already taken place. Lou Romain continues to provide his outstanding 8 week Portrait Photography class. Ed Yanez arranged the opportunity for a SIG at the Arizona Herpetological Society. Bill McGrath hosted a successful SIG photographing moonrise over Four Peaks. Do check out the images from all three of these great photo meet-ups. Our thanks to all the hard work these leaders put into these photo opportunities. Chuck further announced our next meeting is January 8. Two subjects are currently planned. Pat Beckly will address Light Room and Photo Shop. Richard Buckbinder and Rose Eratos will talk about their Equestrian Workshop offered last month. They plan to discuss the various horse venues they photographed, show their images and discuss how they post processed those images. Looking forward, member, Rick Fee has invited E. J. Pickert, nature photographer to be our guest speaker. In March, Stan Cunningham, a local nature and wildlife photographer, will focus on bears. Dan Lee announces free flight demos of Macaws and parrots at the Pueblo Grande Museum on December 8 and 9. Check that website for more details. One Hundred Years of Arizona Ranching, a photography exhibit, is on display at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. Our December program subject, Book Publishing, was dealt with in depth by Chuck Williams. Blurb is Chuck’s publisher of choice and he cites a number of reasons why including the variety of sizes of books from which to choose, the large number of design tools from which to create your layout, the numerous templates and fonts , the sizing, positioning and proofing facility together with the Tutorials and On Demand videos to aid the user. A variety of papers are offered from good quality to high end fine art. Books range in price from $9 to $152. Watch for generous discounts which are offered frequently. Check the Blurb website to see the many possibilities. Mel Strauss favors My Publisher as his bookmaker. Great discounts are offered and to take advantage of them, Mel suggests having your book laid out and ready to go as soon as the offer appears in your mailbox. Unique to My Publisher is the “lay flat” option. Lay flat allows the pages on either side of the book to lie completely flat which is especially nice when showing a two page spread. One hundred pages, quality paper, totals $118, cheaper than Blurb. Mel concedes that customer support is somewhat lacking and fewer design choices compel him to recommend Photo Shop or InDesign to create your layout. Certainly the books created by both Chuck and Mel leave nothing to criticize. Their books have impressed us with their outstanding photography and creative design over the past few years. Before concluding our meeting, Mel gave us a demonstration on how he creates God Beams in his photos also, some useful and interesting tips using the crop tool. Be sure to download the tutorial (below) that Mel has provided. Thanks to both Chuck and Mel for their huge efforts in providing this interesting program. And congratulations to all those who did such outstanding work during the year creating their books and bringing them for show. November 6, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) The meeting began with Chuck Williams announcing upcoming events and meetings. Members are reminded that the December meeting is our annual Book Showcase. Bring the books you have created using your favorite images for all to enjoy. Rick Fee has enlisted nature photographer and national workshop leader, E. J. Pieker, to show his images and discuss his techniques in capturing his subjects. The March meeting will feature Stan Cunningham, wildlife photographer and professor of Wildlife Biology at A.S.U. Stan’ s subject will be his workflow and tips for photographing wildlife. Chuck announced that the projector that DIG currently uses will be available for sale as the club is considering purchasing a projector that better synchronizes with our laptops. Call or email Chuck for details. Richard Buchbinder reminds us again of the two day photography Workshop benefiting the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. Call Linda at the MSC office for details and registration. 480-998-7971 ext 101 Marianne Jensen displayed 5×7 bird images on aluminum. This economical method costing less than canvas is not only beautiful but also scratch and smudge proof. Marianne strongly suggests ordering samples first as there are several finish choices. Bay Photo .com is one recommended source. Jerry Cox announced a photo op occurring at Scottsdale community College when the Sculpture Department will have a molten iron pour south of the gym. Saturday, November 10th at 4:30 pm. Mel Strauss presented a very interesting and in depth demonstration of non destructive retouching of images using a blank layer. Mel stressed that the tools are unpredictable, what works well one on one image might fail to achieve results on another image. Thus, Mel encourages us to know all the tools and the potential of each. Mel has provided us with step by step tutorials for using the Clone tool, Content Aware Fill, the Healing brush, the Patch tool, the Spot Healing brush including tips and techniques for each. A great deal of time and effort went into this informative and even entertaining presentation. Check out Mel’s tutorials and learn something new! (NOTE: Tutorials are posted on the Meetup Site) Next Meeting is December 4. Don’t forget to bring your books to share with everyone. —————————————————————————– October 2, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) The October 2012 meeting began with these announcements by Chuck Williams. On Thursday October 4, INFOCUS will host an Auction of photography and paintings from 5:30 to 9:30. This is an outstanding event with work from famous artists and photographers. Bob Coffman reminds us of the Shutterbugs meetings the first Wednesday of each month. Photographers bring prints and 20 digital images on a thumb drive to be shown to the group. The meeting takes place at the Elks Lodge at 32nd and Acoma at 6:30 in Phoenix. November meeting has an added attraction of a Swap Meet. Cameras, camera accessories, photography equipment will be available. Come see the McCaws fly! On October 28th, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Chris Brio of Liberty Wings invites us to join the Arizona Seedcrackers Society at Papago Park Ramada 10 for a free flight display. Children’s activities and live entertainment provided. Register at or email Mary Rose at Phone 602-999-7828. Donation $10 adult’s $5 child under 12. Upcoming SIG session is Portrait Photography hosted by Lou Romain on October 19. You may still get on the wait list. Two Meetups hosted by Marianne Jensen are West Fork on October 22nd and 24th. It is suggested to arrive at the parking lot at 8 a.m. to insure getting a parking place. Parking on the roadside earns you a ticket but more parking is permissible approximately ½ mile on down the road, 89A. Richard Buchbinder reminds us of the Equestrian Shoot, Nov1-4 offering four venues for photographing horses at work. Contact Richard for sign up. He also reminds us of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy benefit, his Nov 8 and Nov 10 instruction and shooting in the Gateway Preserve. Contact the MSC office to sign up. Look for a Meetup still in the planning stages for early November. Ed Yanez is working on a date with the Arizona Herpetological Society. Details will be announced later. Once more Chuck Williams gave a commanding performance on the topic of seeking out Fall Color. Combining a beautiful slide show with images contributed by him and other members with thoughtful observations and much detail, Chuck described sites to visit this time of year. Chuck offered these thoughts:

  • Go with other photographers, not hikers
  • Despite the weather, go anyway. Color intensifies on rainy, cloudy days.
  • Hike at a leisurely pace, taking time to look around, all around
  • Take more images than you think you need
  • On tripods, Chuck suggests they make good poles or staffs when crossing streams or negotiating steep paths
  • Include the context in which your image is being made. Example, the canyon walls at West Fork
  • Look for the extraordinary, a single tree, a blaze of color that stands out among others
  • Look for color masses, patterns for interesting shots

Advance preparation. Obtain a map of the hiking trails from REI or the Ranger Stations If planning on visiting multiple sites in the Oak Creek area, go to the Red Rock Ranger Station and obtain a $5 parking pass. Location is 5 miles off I17 on Hwy 179 before you arrive at the town of Sedona. One fee will allow you access to all the parking lots. Nearby sites include Hospital Canyon, Huckaby Trail, Crescent Moon rail all billed as easy hikes. Chuck covered in detail West Fork, Flagstaff, the aspens, Lockett Meadow and the Inner Basin Trail, Snow Bowl and the Arizona Trail, Hart Prairie and Bismarck Lake, the Kaibab Plateau at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Rainbow Rim Trail. Chuck provided in great detail how to reach each of these areas and precisely the outstanding features of each. Books that Chuck recommends are Flagstaff Trails by Emmet Barker, National Geographic publication #856 for Sedona and Arizona’s Best Color, 50 Great Hikes by Christine Maxa (highly recommended). Thank you, Chuck for your in-depth and inspirational program. The next meeting is November 6. Mel Strauss will demonstrate the many ways of Image Cleanup. ======================================================== September 4, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams led off our September meeting with these announcements: Lou Romain will host several SIGs on Portrait Photography. Lou brings a great deal of experience on the subject of portraiture to these sessions. Dates and locations of these SIGs are yet to be announced. Rick Sammon , Canon Explorer of Light, will be the guest speaker of the Tucson Photography Club. Check Rick’s website for date and time and to register for this event. Chuck reminds us of the Arizona State Fair dates, October 12 through November 4. Check later for any details for transporting your entries to and from the Fair. Bob Coffman announced from an article in the Republic, an Exhibition of Photography of municipal art through the years at the Exhibition Gallery, Phoenix City Hall. The free Exhibit at 200 West Washington runs to the end of the month. Richard Buchbinder announced an Equestrian Photo Workshop November 1-4 offering opportunities to photograph horses, cattle, a western town, cowboys, cowgirls, reining horses, ending with shooting from prime locations racing horses at Turf Paradise. Richard also announced another opportunity to participate in a fund raiser for the McDowell Mountain Sonoran Conservancy. The first day is an evening classroom session discussing photographing in the Gateway Preserve followed by an early morning and an evening shoot led by Richard. Pat Beckley is planning a 6 Session Lightroom SIG with 6 to 7 people limit per session enabling one on one help with the software. Participants will bring their own laptops with Lightroom installed. This opportunity is appropriate for those already familiar with Lightroom but still in the learning curve and especially for those still unsure if Light Room will be beneficial to them. Pat suggests if you do not currently have Light Room on your computer, download the 30 day free trial, a full version, in order to join this informative opportunity. Bob Mishkin plans a trip to the Badlands in North Dakota and is seeking persons interested in joining him and sharing expenses. Chuck Williams presented an in depth discussion of Color Effects Pro focusing on What is Color Effects Pro and Why Use Color Effects Pro. Explaining Nik Plugins, Chuck said 4 programs allowed individual creativity while 3 programs were Utilitarian in nature. These plugins work in Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop and Elements. Support and training for these plugins is well established. Books that Chuck finds helpful are Nik Software Capture and an Introduction to all features of Nik, a book by Tony Corbel. August 7, 2012 Meeting Notes After a layoff in July, we resumed our monthly DIG meetings with Mark Laverman as our featured speaker. Mark is well known to many DIG members as a leader and consistent winner of the Phoenix Camera Club competitions. He has traveled widely throughout the Southwest and beyond to capture a set of world class images from the best scenic locations. His presentation was organized around 12 ideas for increasing the visual impact of your photos as the key to prize winning images. As he explained each idea he showed numerous images to illustrate the point. He stressed the importance of time – both time of year and time of day – it’s clear that he is always on location well before sunrise and also at sunset when normal people are eating dinner – which is the basis for his recommendation to travel with fellow photographers if you want something other than conventional photos. He goes out of his way to choose seasons, viewpoints, and compositions that add some distinctive element of interest such as winter snow or summer storm clouds at the South Rim or fall colors on the Aspens at the North Rim. This of course requires doing some research ahead of time using books, magazines, websites, and discussion with other photographers to discover the best viewpoints and lighting conditions at each location, and also often entails multiple visits to find the right combination. And when things come together he takes many photos with variations in exposure and composition so he can make critical comparisons and selections during post processing. Mark also stressed the need to develop your image processing skills with Photoshop and other tools in order to create the best possible presentation of your images. I think everyone in the room gained valuable insights that apply to their particular photographic interest and style, and we thank Mark for sharing his expertise and his images. Here is the list of Mark’s 12 points: 1 – Timing (time of day and time of year) 2 – Leading Lines 3 – Patterns / Repetition 4 – Color 5 – Scale / Juxtaposition 6 – Creative 7 – Close up / Crop 8 – Caught in the moment / Stop action 9 – Flowing Water 10 – Reflections 11 – Weather/ Sky 12 – Unusual Perspective / Angle After the presentation the discussion turned to pending activities for the next couple of months. Watch our Meetup site for details on date, time, and location as the plans develop.

  • Marianne has organized several photo shoots at Flagstaff this month, and Sedona next month
  • Pat Beckley will resume his Lightroom 4 SIG meetings
  • Chuck Williams will do a presentation and a SIG meeting on NIK Color Efex Pro
  • Lou Romain will lead an extensive series of sessions on Portrait Photography.
  • Richard Buchbinder and Rose Erato announced an amazing workshop on Equestrian Photography given in November at local Scottsdale locations.
  • The Infocus Group is sponsoring a lecture on photo book publishing at the Phoenix Art Museum Singer Auditorium on Aug 15 at 7 pm

June 6, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon Chuck Williams opened the June meeting acknowledging the many fine images showcased by members today noting the vast improvement of our members in their photography and Photoshop skills. Chuck cited the success of recent SIG trips to Pima Air Museum, Singh Farms and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum encouraging everyone to check the gallery of those photos and the albums of our members. Nancy Sams concluded two SIG sessions reviewing the fundamentals of Photoshop. Pat Beckley will resume his LR sessions in the fall. Our thanks to those folks who plan and deliver these interesting and helpful teaching sessions. Bob Buckles announced the Shutterbugs meetings inviting people to bring their images to show. A lot of interest was expressed for upcoming SIG sessions on Portraiture to be offered by Lou Romaine in the fall. Sessions on Nik filters are also to be announced for the fall. Our program was outstanding! Steve Burger, Photoshop instructor for many years, offered his methods for optimizing images. Steve demonstrated a workflow that uncharacteristically does not depend on ARC as the initial step. Steve looks at an image and assesses what is the center of interest, what areas need help, then proceeds to “prep” each area addressing the lights and darks (Levels), the brightness and contrast, the hue and saturation, and the sharpness of each. Steve often will print the image and let it sit for two days before another assessment, possibly going back to the extensive layer palette he earlier created to make changes. Steve relies heavily on the use of the Info Palette to get the tone and color exactly correct in his images. While many of us had a vague knowledge of the Info Palette, his explanation of how powerful it is in tone correction and getting colors to pop was a new revelation. He demonstrated the use of the eyedropper as an amazing and powerful tool to use in conjunction with the Info numbers. Finally, to provide the necessary pop for the center of interest, Steve creates a highly feathered vignette subtly drawing the eye to the subject. Steve encouraged everyone to visit his website at where he has Tips for making and printing better images. Thanks to Steve for this outstanding program. =============================================== May 1, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) If you didn’t attend our May meeting, you missed it! Canon Explorer of Light, Darrell Gulin informed, enlightened and entertained our group beginning at 9 a.m. until 3 in the afternoon. Darrell basically took us on a journey around the world from jungles to polar regions citing his travel photography by explaining every aspect of planning his shot, getting the shot, his camera settings, delightfully blending information and education plus a little humor. Darrell explained that his post processing amounts to very little, mostly in ACR, following a minimal workflow. He is a proponent of HDR, handheld, almost always uses a polarizer, a 2 stop neutral density filter, advises using Auto White Balance and is skillful at ISO quick change to achieve the best image. Darrell explains that his varied techniques are geared to both individual and commercial use which explains his pursuit of designs and patterns in addition to landscape and nature. Especially funny was his admission of setting up a shot with whatever it takes to get the results. He often uses bracketed fill flash on his subjects both indoors and out, paints his subject with light, uses evaluative metering minus ½ exposure. He explained the use of his concepts of Selective Focus and Negative Clarity in an effort to appeal to everyone. Darrell left us with his Five S’s to Successful Photography: Skill: knowing how to simplify and understanding shutterspeeds Subject: Research! Learn from the pros, workshops, reading Seeing: find the composition and find the light Simplification of the subject, deal with the backgrounds Situation: have an understanding of your environment, the culture and relate to it ================================= April 10, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Announcements by Chuck Williams began our meeting. One important reminder is the Tuesday, May 1 meeting, our Special Event of the Year will feature Darrell Gulin, Canon Explorer of Light, speaking about his photography. As a full time Nature Photographer, his resume is impressive, photographing for Audubon, Sierra Club, Kodak Nature Conservancy and many more. Gulin is Past President of the North American Nature Photography Association. This is a members event, Mustang Library, and a don’t miss. Another reminder is the SIG Meetup posted by Ed Yanez, the Jerome and the Gold King Mine. Check our Meetup page for exact time and location. Next Tuesday, April 17th, Howard Wood will host his second SIG session on Infra Red Photography. Howard will emphasize techniques in his post processing. Due to the size of the attendance, this SIG will be held in the auditorium at Mustang Library at 9 a.m. June 5th DIG meeting, Steve Burger will speak on Photoshop. Steve has long been an expert in Photoshop since the very early days of the software and has taught numerous classes over the years. Rick Fee plans a Meetup sometime during the week of May 7 at the Pima Air Museum. Check our Meetup page for the exact time and location. Nancy Sams plans a SIG for basic Photoshop as we have members relatively new to Photoshop as well as an interest in general of the members to review the basics. Date and time to be announced on the SIG site. The program today, hosted by Howard Wood, explored the world of Infrared photography. Howard explained what IR photography is from a physics standpoint, then recommended cameras for IR conversion, and suggested names of reputable companies for the conversion. Two slideshows of Howard’s IR photography not only showcased his outstanding work but showed us the possibilities for enormous creativity open to us as photographers. Howard outlined his personal workflow for post processing his IR images as well as suggestions for f stop, aperture, and various camera settings. Further, he discussed the best lenses for IR for both Canon and Nikon. Throughout his presentation Howard encouraged member participation for discussion so a great many questions and answers enriched the entire program. Many thanks to Howard for this outstanding program. Stay tuned and don’t miss his second session next Tuesday! ——————————————————————————- March 13, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened the meeting with the announcement of our Sixth Annual Photo Seminar. The Canon Explorer of Light, renowned photographer Darrell Gulbin will be our speaker. The event is May 1, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Mustang Library, DIG members only, no fee. Don’t miss this outstanding opportunity. Reminders of upcoming SIGs: Pat Beckley will continue with Light Room 4 for advanced users on March 27 at Mustang Library Auditorium. As always, check the DIG website for exact times and places. Other announcements included mention of excellent tutorials on the Adobe TV website. George Jardine on Light Room 4 and Julianne Kost on the basic issues of Why Light Room instead of Bridge as well as Light Room modules and how they work. Tim Grey has a new series on LR 4. You can find them offered on Watch for more information on a new Meet Up being proposed to the Vulture Mine in Wickenburg on March 29. Details are being worked out for our group to have a private photo tour. More on this later. Howard Wood is putting together a SIG for those interested in Infrared Photography. The two sessions will cover the necessary equipment for shooting IR and processing Infrared. Richard Bookbinder is once again offering his McDowell Sonoran Conservancy workshop which proceeds go to support the Conservancy. For those intrepid photographers, contact Ron York who is currently putting together a May 23rd-June 27th 2013 workshop to Mongolia with possibly an option to add China. The Program today featured Sharpening In Depth. Chuck Williams presented the reasons for Why Sharpen, When to Sharpen, How to Sharpen. Chuck demonstrated sharpening in Photo Shop, namely smart sharpening both basic and advanced together with the benefits of using Smart Objects. Following the sharpening methods offered in Photo Shop, Chuck demonstrated Nik Software’s plugin, Nik Sharpener. This software offers highly controlled sharpening though he use of control points allowing selective sharpening rather than global. Dave Erickson explained the Sharpening Tool as offered in the Enhanced menu in Elements. Dave ended his presentation with a suggested workflow from bringing in the image to the final output. ============================== February 6, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened our meeting with the reminder of a special event scheduled for February 23, 9 a.m. at Mustang Library. Colleen Miniuk-Sperry and Paul Gil, both Arizona Highways photographers, will offer a presentation on Arizona Wildflowers. Their book by that title discusses sixty prime places in Arizona where wildflowers can best be photographed together with driving directions to each of these places and the best time of year to photograph. Their book can be purchased on this occasion for $25. This is really a don’t miss opportunity for those who enjoy wildflower season in Arizona. Chuck reminded us of the upcoming SIGs for Elements, February 15 and Lightroom 4, February 27, times and places are listed on the SIG website. Lightroom 4, hosted by Pat Beckley, will drop back to review from the beginning to bring the many new users up to date. This is a great opportunity for those who have only recently decided to become Lightroom users. Mel Strauss reminds us that in order to remain a member, dues for 2012 are due by the end of this month. A suggestion was made to compile a list of sources and websites of interest to photographers and Photoshop users which would be made available to all DIG members. Mel offered to email all members for their suggestions for this Resource List. Our program dealt with Noise Reduction, a subject that many are not entirely familiar with nor have used extensively. Chuck defined Noise as it exists in our photographs, the various causes of noise and the programs that deal with its elimination. Chuck demonstrated the Define 2.0 approach to deal with noise; Dave Erickson showed a short video by Tim Grey as to how Elements rids noise. Finally Barry White discussed dealing with noise in Lightroom. Dialog between the presenters and the members contributed to many interesting and new ideas dealing with noise. ================================ January 3, 2012 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened our meeting with several announcements from the Leadership Council. Dues assessments for 2012 will be $15. Please make checks payable to Digital Imaging Group and either bring to the next meeting or mail to: Mel Strauss, P O Box 3556, Carefree, Az. 85377. We are reminded that our MEETUP group is now the Communication Hub for all the Special Interest Groups: the content, the date, the time and location. The DIG website remains in place with monthly meeting information only. Our Annual Canon Event is in the planning stages with another Explorer of Light. More information will be forthcoming as plans take shape. DIG leaders are seeking to arrange a Wildflower Photography seminar prior to the wildflower season. This seminar is taught by two professional photographers who have published two books on the subject. We continue to be proud of our every growing Special Interest Group (SIG) events…… 53 by current count, 28 of which have accompanying tutorials on line. If you haven’t joined our Meetup group, consider doing so in order to benefit from the great efforts provided by the Organizers. As a reminder, Jerry Cox is opening his Sculpture studio for a tour on January 14. Dave Erickson’s Elements SIG is January 18, and Pat Beckley’s LightRoom SIG is scheduled for January 30, both at Arabian Library. Remember to RSVP on the SIG site. Upcoming DIG meetings will cover interesting topics like Noise Reduction, Sharpening, Infra-Red, Video shooting with your SLR, even Photoshop Fundamentals for those who are building their skills. Also under consideration are more on the Nik Software Tools and Slide show Tools. This month’s meeting presenter, John Grosberg, gave an interesting presentation on an amazing new camera concept, the Lytro camera. Weighing only a few ounces, capable of capturing light from all planes, allowing post photo focusing on selective areas of the image, this camera will become available at a consumer friendly price on February 1. Initially the camera and its software will be available only for MAC with the PC to come later. For more information, go to To finish off the meeting, Pat Beckley and Barry White held a question and answer session on Lightroom. Pat encouraged anyone interested in joining his SIG sessions to begin attending anytime. See you next month. Remember the date is later than usual – February 21. ================================== December 6, 2011 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) December is traditionally our Book Meeting when members bring their book creations to Show and Tell. Seems every year the books get even more spectacular with our members honing their photographic and Photoshop skills even more. This year’s show offered a variety of formats from both Blurb and My Publisher some of which were calendars and daily planners, books of a different shape, soft cover small books, hard cover, color, black and white, infrared, some using new premium quality papers all of which were amazing and inspiring. Subject matter ranged from all family, genealogy, wildlife, national parks, landscapes, day planning, workshops, and members’ journeys the world over. The show was nothing short of spectacular leaving everyone resolving to get working on our next book or trying one for the first time. An important point was made when Chuck Williams suggested bookmaking as an alternative way to enjoy our work and as opposed to prints that must be framed and hung on our walls (we are all running out of room!). Additional alternatives offered by the publishing companies give us the opportunity of publishing our books as e-books, also slide shows, as great ways to share with friends and family. Harvey Fishman shared his in depth experiences with publishing his many books reminding us to Google for the frequent publishers ’sales and the many coupons that can be applied to our purchases. The Costco site, once your account is established, offers an automatic 20% discount. Meetups, also a topic of discussion, continue to be very popular. Current photo albums for Goldfield Mine and Ghost Town and Arizona Sonora Desert Museum show member’s outstanding work. Pat Beckley’s LightRoom, Dave Erickson’s Elements and Chuck Williams’ Silver Effects sessions continue to be very well attended. If planning to attend, do check our Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetup page for location and time. As a member of DIG’s Meetup, you will automatically receive all notices of upcoming sessions (unless you have turned off email reminders). It’s not too late to join the latest SIG sessions. Of course you will need to sign up for our Meetup first. To do so, go to the DIG website, click on the MEETUP tab and you will find a link for step by step directions on joining. The only thing required for sign-up is a username and password. No personal information or fee required. This is a private service open only to DIG members so be assured that you are not compromising private information. Our sole presenter, Mel Strauss, offered more of his vast knowledge of Photoshop techniques, this time demonstrating Puppet Warp as used to enhance landscapes—who would’a thought? Check out his step by step notes he provides. As usual, his tips and tricks generated a lot of interesting discussion. Thanks Mel for another great presentation! Here are links to Mel’s presentations: Puppet Warp Procedures Shrink the Middle Ground of an Image =========================================== November 8, 2011 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened the DIG meeting with the announcement that Jerry Grethen won the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Photo Contest for 2011. His image and all contest winners will be displayed at REI (behind PV Mall) for the next several months. Richard Buchbinder reminded the group that his MSC Workshop, (held at Gateway Trailhead), takes place this Friday and Sunday, November 10 and 12, adding that Jerry had taken his winning image during last year’s workshop. The $125 fee will benefit MSC. To register, call 480-998-7971 ext. 102. Enthusiasm for the Special Interest Groups continues with more planned. Pat Beckley’s Crown King outing and Marianne Jensen’s two Sedona Oak Creek Meet Ups both gave those who attended great photo opportunities. Other November Meet Ups featured an InFocus event at the Phoenix Art Museum hosted by Ed Mertz and a Lightroom session hosted by Pat Beckley. Upcoming for November are Meet Ups in Goldfield, a ghost town in the Superstitions on the Apache Trail and continuations of LightRoom, Silver Effects and Elemensts presentations. December has another Elements session scheduled. Please check the DIG website (under MEETUP) for date and time details and to sign up with your hosts. Be sure to make note of location of these SIGs as the library locations may vary. Chuck Williams announced that the Nik Website is offering a live Webinar by Ken Sklute. Date and time information can be found on the Nik website. Over 100 “canned” webinars are available for viewing anytime and can be found under the Learn category. Mel Strauss, our sole presenter this month, gave an outstanding and varied presentation beginning with how he sets up his camera for bracketing for HDR, a mode which he uses at all times, varying the ISO from 400 only when the light dictates. Mel concedes that he has a large volume of images to work with after a shoot but has created a generic parameter preset which enables batch processing of hundreds of images while he tends to other things. He claims that this preset takes care of 80% to 90% of his bracketed images with minor slider adjustments he can make in LightRoom or ACR. Mel relies on Photomatix to create HDR images. Mel promises a complete step by step tutorial on the website detailing his method. Moving on to some of his techniques, Mel demonstrated an interesting method of replacing a dull sky with an interesting one. This generated a discussion of to what extent manipulation of an image is acceptable. Inserting objects, inserting clouds, moving rocks, fill flash, manipulation using different lenses, various filters, adding or removing pixels all came under lively discussion. There was some consensus as to whatever makes the customer happy and that customer can be you. Different opinions were offered but Mel’s philosophy emphasized being comfortable with whatever you do. Mel’s final demonstration added another element to sky replacement using Content Aware Fill followed by Refine Mask to bring into focus any distant features such as trees on a ridgeline. Mel admitted he had more topics he could elaborate on but since time did not allow, we will have to bring him back again. Thanks Mel for this fascinating program. Mel’s Presentation Notes: HDR-and-Photomatix-General-Notes.pdf HDR-processing-images-with-Lightroom-and-Photomatix.pdf HDR-processing-images-with-Bridge-and-Photomatix.pdf Adding-Clouds-to-a-Photo-where-there-are-Trees-against-the-Sky.pdf Photography-as-Art.pdf Next meeting is Tuesday, December 6. ================================================== October 11, 2011 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) October meeting began with Richard Buchbinder’s announcement of his McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Photography Workshop, November 10th and 12th. This two session workshop will offer a presentation covering composition, light, exposure, lenses, and creativity with the final session photographing in the Preserve with one on one mentoring. This workshop is designed for all levels of photographers and promises learning improved techniques and fun for everyone. All fees benefit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. An attractive framing technique of his prints invited Tanju Bayramoglu to explain his ‘secret’. Beautifully optimized nature prints shown three within a frame, floated, separately matted turned out to be simply a $10 IKEA product which when taken apart, his own images inserted, frame reassembled, all looking very professional. Tanju asks only that when visiting his gallery prints in Scottsdale, you not mention his “investment” in this attractive technique 😉 This earned Tanju a round of applause! Chuck Williams, moderating, reported that the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) continue to pick up in both frequency and attendance. Scheduling a meeting place continues to be difficult so be sure to check the SIG Meet Up site for times and locations. Upcoming SIGs are continuing sessions on Elements, Light Room, and Silver Effects. SIG Photo Outings will take place at Crown King and Sedona. Check the Special Interest Group Meetup for details. (CLICK HERE for details on joining our MEETUP) Sunday, October 16, InFocus will present some 50 collector prints by well know photographers. Location is the Phoenix Art Museum. Demonstrations today featured Howard Wood showing us the new features of Color Effects Pro 4.0, the newest version. Howard also devoted some time showing the powerful effects of the new Topaz BW Effects offering black and white conversion and taking us through the options offered in Presets, Creative Effects, Local Adjustments, Stylize, Finishing Touches and several Collections. Topaz Black and White conversion appears to be a great value for $60. Excellent tutorials by well-known professionals can be Googled. Chuck Williams demonstrated the upgraded features of Color Effects 4.0 which include Presets grouped in Categories and how each Category can be opened showing all versions of that Preset. Another excellent feature offers the ability to stack filters as opposed to reopening the image each time a different filter is applied. A History Pallet reveals every step taken and allows comparison of two versions. Additional Presets obtained from NIK online can be appended. This Color Effect 4.0 upgrade is available online at a 15% discount using a discount code offered by most professionals. (Type MOOSE, for example, in the discount code box). —————————————————————————— September 12, 2011 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Chuck Williams opened our meeting with several announcements related to our Special Interest Group (SIG) MEETUP. Currently, 60 DIG members have taken advantage of this learning opportunity by becoming SIG members. To date, there have been 35 sessions with 9 or 10 pending. CLICK HERE to learn more about our MEETUP group. Dave Erickson and Pat Beckley have Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Lightroom sessions scheduled. Beginning in October, Chuck Williams will host Silver Effects Pro 2, a Nik Black and White conversion program 5 with 2-3 sessions planned. Other kinds of SIG sessions offer opportunities designed to capture images in scouted locations. Marianne Jensen invites members to join her in Sedona and West Fork in October. Ed Yanez has scheduled a meet Up in Jerome also in October. Check your SIG member page for exact time and dates. Please note…it is important to RSVP so the hosts know how many people to expect. For those who might not be able to get away for other SIG sessions, there are also At Home Challenges. Some past examples have been Photographing Macro, Photographing Light and Shadow and Photographing Leading Lines. This month is a challenge to play with Shutterspeed. Ed Mertz announced an upcoming SIG involving IN FOCUS which is sponsoring a Photo Fair on October 16. Both a Live Auction of photographs and prints and an Evaluation of Prints is offered for those having antique and rare photos. Stay tuned to our Meetup for more information. Further announcements: Nik Color Effex Pro 4 can now be pre-ordered. It promises many outstanding new features. TOPAZ LABS has introduced Topaz B&W Effects. At a price of just $30 (a special discount until Sept 19), Topaz B&W Effects is a great option for those who are budget minded or would rather not spend $200 on Nik Silver Efex2. CLICK HERE for a good comparison of features between the two programs. Of particular interest to those who publish books, Blurb has a small soft cover book offering of 20 pages for $6. Chuck Williams brought several large books he has published to illustrate options offered in the new ProLine. Paper choices, namely, pearl proline, uncoated proline and premium Luster and new cover materials are available. CLICK HERE for much more information regarding Blurb’s professional offerings. Adam Rodriquez demonstrated his use of Adobe Air’s free download, Configurator, a program designed to allow one to create one’s own Tool Palette of frequently used Tools and Commands. Those who process very large amounts of images will find these customized palettes useful. Howard Wood showed his latest technique of using Shadow Masking. Placing a black and white image on top of the color image produces a sharpening effect similar to Unsharp Mask, another example of the many ways to achieve a single effect in Photoshop. Snipping Tool, a feature new to Windows 7 but familiar to Mac users, offers a very efficient way of doing a screen capture. You can copy virtually anything on your monitor by just drawing a box around it and then saving it to your computer all in one step. No more pressing “print screen” to copy to your clipboard which required opening another program to paste in your screen capture. The Snipping Tool can be found in the Accessories folder under All Programs. Thanks, Marianne, for letting us know about this Windows 7 application! Final discussion by Adam touched on Nik HDR Effex Pro, Color Checker Passport, and the multitude of free video tutorials available for all this software. Finally, it must be mentioned that the photos brought by members were particularly outstanding this month. Several people brought images that had been printed on metallic paper and then bonded to Plexiglass by Artisan Colour. Our MEETUP group had the privilege of observing this process on a Field Trip to their business this past Spring. Besides their professional division, Artisan has now opened Artisan Colour HD which offers an easy online order process. This division is meant to compete with companies like MPIX so it offers similar low prices. Thanks to all the presenters and those who shared their great work this month. ———————————- May 3, 2011 Meeting Notes (provided by Carol Dillon) Our Special Interest Group Meetup continues to headline the DIG news. Some 20 sessions have taken place, both Tutorial and Photography. Meet Ups have provided small groups with positive interaction and discussion in a great learning environment. Elements 9, Nikon NX2, Lightroom, Book Publishing and Silver Effects Pro have been highly successful as well as a Tour of Artisan Colors print facility. Photography Meet Ups are giving members the opportunity to stage an early shoot at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Butterfly Pavilion, also to photograph Reatta Pass at sunset. At home challenges provide additional opportunities that encourage our creativity. Again, thanks to those who put so much time and effort into planning and carrying out these exciting opportunities—Chuck Williams, Howard Wood, Marianne Jensen, Dave Erickson and Pat Beckley. SIG members, don’t forget to check regularly for upcoming events. Marianne’s outings, Reatta Pass and Pinnacle Peak, May 12, and Photographing Butterflies on the Col. Devlin Trail in Payson is slated for June 18. Sign up through the Meet Up website. Chuck put out a call for requests for further Meet Ups so email or call your requests to Chuck. Other news. Adam Rodriquez will be teaching a class at the DBG on Silver Effects Pro this Spring. Date TBA. Howard Wood provided a program on TOPAZ, a plug in that works with Photoshop and Lightroom and Nik Silver Effects Pro. Nik Tools deal largely with selections and U Point Technology while Topaz’ effects are global and offer artistic manipulations. Of the several presets and features of Topaz, Howard demonstrated three—Adjust, Detail and Simplify, their respective sliders and settings. Topaz Website has a Learning Resource Center offering Webinars and Tutorials. Currently a 15% discount is offered at Deb Sandidge website. Color Effects Pro and Silver Effects Pro offer the photographer highly sophisticated tools for optimizing photographs with a considerably more learning curve. Next meeting is June 7. APRIL 12, 2011 MEETING NOTES Announcements: Our Special Interest Groups (SIG) MEETUP now has 50 members! There have been 15 SIG sessions on varying topics thus far with 6 more planned for the future. SIG Organizers have been outstanding instructors, investing a lot of time and effort in their presentations. All DIG members are encouraged to join our MEETUP. Besides the teaching classes, monthly photo outings are offered and also home photo challenges which allow our part time residents or members who are traveling to participate. Albums are created in which members can post their images from each outing or at home photo challenge and there have been many interesting categories and beautiful images! Howard Wood demonstrated Capture NX2 stepping us through several images illustrating the use of U Point technology and the powerful tools offered by Nik Software. Chuck Williams introduction of Silver Effects Pro 2 defined Silver Effects as bringing reality (the photograph) to Fine Art. Silver Effect Pro 2 offers numerous presets to convert one’s color photo into black and white renditions with the availability of Custom designed conversions as well. Additional presets can be downloaded from the Nik Software website. Next meeting is May 3. ========================== Following are links to presentations of interest from 2003-2009. Archives from late 2009 to the present time are accessed from the Archives drop down list on the right side of this page.


200911_Lou_Romain_Photo_Kids.pdf 200909_Mariannes_Suggested_GoogleReader_Subscriptions.pdf 200909_MarianneJensen_GoogleReader.pdf 200908_MJensen_USING_YOUR_COX_WEBSPACE_WITH_a_BLOG.pdf 200908_MJensen_FTP_using_Internet_Explorer.pdf 200908_MJensen_AreYouConnected.pdf 200906_Howard_Wood_LAB_Color.pdf 200905_Vern_West_CardMaking.pdf 200905_Pat_Beckley_Collage.pdf


200810_Pat_Beckley_Color_Editing.pdf 200810_Marianne_Jensen_Links.pdf 200809_Chuck_Williams_Tutorial_Selection.pdf 200808_Howard_Wood_Tutorials.pdf 200806_Louis_Romain_Glassware.pdf 200804_Bob_Mishkin_Image_Correction.pdf 200803_Phyllis_Picardi_Graphic_Stairs.pdf 200803_John_Tworek_ChannelMasks_Transform.pdf


NortonGalleryPhxArt.pdf 200711_vern_west_polaroid_shape.pdf 200711_vern_west_fireworks.pdf 200711_DIG_BOOK_PUBLISHING.pdf 200711_C.Williams_Pro_Show_Producer.pdf 200710_CHICKS_PHOTOSHOP_TIPS.pdf 200710_Bird_Photography_Tips.pdf 200709_Introduction_to_Clipping_Masks.pdf 200708Lou_Romain_Lecture_Notes.pdf 200708_DorisMcCrossin_Shape-Up_Ship_Out.pdf 200706_Howard_Wood_HOW_DID_I_DO_THAT.pdf 200703_BWhite_Intro_to_Layers_in_Photoshop.pdf 200702_John_Sparbel_Printing_on_Demand.pps 200702_John_Sparbel_blurb_color_management.pdf 200701_C_Gerston_Photoshop_Neutral_Density_Graduated_Filter.pdf


200612_Raster_Image_Processor.pdf 200612_MJensen_crop_hide.pdf 200611_CHICKS_PRESENTATION_NOTES.pdf 200610_MMcKay_Adding_Textured_background.pdf 200609_HWood_MAKING_COLORS_POP_WITH_CURVES.pdf 200609_Black_and_White.pdf 200608-BMishkin_Different_Take_on_BW.pdf 200608_LThompson_Photo_Mounting.pdf 200607_Portraits_by_Chick_Gerston.pdf 200607_HWood_IR_Demo.pdf 200606_Copyrighting_Presentation.pdf 200605_MJensen_Smart_Objects.pdf 200605_CarolAbel_How_To_Type_on_a_Path.pdf 200603_MSimek_Finding_Neutral_Midtone.pdf 200603_MSimek_Creating_a_Color_Snapshot_in_B_W_Image.pdf 200603_Creating_a_Color_Snapshot_in_B_W_Image.pdf 200602_Printing_Actions.pdf 200602_Keeping_Track_Actions.pdf 200602_EZ-ACTIONS.pdf 200602_Creating_a_Snow_Scene.pdf 200602_Average_Blur.pdf 200601_Burning_the_Edges.pdf


200511_HWood_A_TOUCH_OF_RED.pdf 200504_Book-Creators.pdf 200504_Black-White-conversion.pdf 200503_Creating-Artistic-Abstracts.pdf 200502_ELEMENTS_COOKIE-CUTTER.pdf 200502_Artistic-Ice-Demo.pdf 200502_Artistic-Effect-With-Invert-Command.pdf 200501_Creating_a_Custom_Grey_Card.pdf 2005_10_marianne_movie-maker.pdf


200412_BlendModeTip.pdf 200411_Composite-without-Masks.pdf 200411_Composite-using-Masks.pdf 200411_Composite-Examples-Layers-Palettes.pdf 200410_ADDING-TEXTURES-TO-IMAGES.pdf 200409_CROP-TOOL-TIPS.pdf 200409_Advanced-Blending.pdf 200408_CREATE-A-CUSTOM-SHAPE.pdf 200407_Combining_exposures.pdf 200405_DE-FOGGER.pdf 200405_Convert-16bit-to-8bit-properly.pdf 200405_Context-Menus.pdf 200405_Color-Correction-Technique.pdf


200311_Creating-Workflow-Action.pdf 200310_Art-History-Painting.pdf 200309_Correcting-Harsh-Highlights.pdf 200309_Combining-Bracketed-Photos.pdf 200309_CDrom-Cover.pdf 2003_09_ADDING-MOTION.pdf

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