Light is Everything!

Photography Club

Photo Club

It’s truly a blessing to have a photography club where like minded folks can get together and talk about what we love. There is always mutual learning and sharing that takes place, as well as great camaraderie. Last night’s club night was a wee bit sparse on attendance, but it was still a good time as it always is. The topic was changed from editing photos to watching a video called “Chased by the Light”. It was a video journey through Jim Brandenburg’s self-assigned photo quest. He took 1 photo per day for 90 days. Meaning, he made 1 frame (of film) from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice every day. 90 photos. And every photo is a winner. The exposure and composition and content of each picture is truly amazing. To be able to do this is in itself an incredible feat!! I’d be too worried about blowing the exposure but he nailed each and every one. Check out the trailer to learn more about it.

He has this uncanny ability to distill an image down to it’s essence, to really capture the heart of what makes a landscape a landscape, what makes an animal and animal. Really good portrait photographers can do the same with people. It’s not often the well lit smiling toothy grin image that takes the cake, nor is it the off the cuff candid portrait either. It’s the uncanny knack of capturing the essence of the person, the scene or the moment. This cannot be done with all the latest and greatest technology, new cameras, new lenses, lights, yada yada. It’s something greater than that. More on whatever that is in a future post. But suffice it to say, Brandenburg’s journey was incredible and the video was AMAZING! Breathtaking photos and inspiring creative renewal no doubt for him but also all who look through his images from the 90 days. 😎

The Photo Club’s photo assignment for February was “Foreground Interest” – trying to capture interesting stuff happening in the front most portion of the camera. It’s neat to think of a photo as having 3 distinct planes or areas of composition. Foreground, middle ground and background. Really great landscape images always should have something happening in the foreground as it helps lead the eye through the photo. Same thing for any photo really. Having interesting stuff happening in each of the planes is a key tip for above average photos. Here are my submissions for the evening. All the images were shot with the month’s assignment in mind but the last one of the prairie scene was a rush job, shot an hour and half before the club meeting. Had to have something and this was it! heheheheh…. πŸ˜‰


This image was shot in the Carnduff hockey rink. I noticed the people talking and decided it would make for cool foreground components. It gets at the heart of small town rink life! I noticed the photo, quickly changed lenses and dialled in my exposure and made the frame.

This photo was taken on a little photo walk I did trying to capture winter in contrasty black and white. I loved the old historic nature of the farm yard and liked how the frost had covered the remnants of this old weathered wood.

Finally, this was the fast photo. I needed to get an third photo and essentially ran out of time. This is just out behind my house and I brought along a flash. I triggered it off camera and lit the backlit prairie grass to mimic the light the sun was shining from behind it. It, along with the dried out clover stalk added some foreground interest, but it’s basically an example of making the photo vs. taking the photo. πŸ˜€


Lighting Session

The topic at last nights Souris Valley Photography Club meeting was lighting. We did a sweet progression of flash exposures going from the pop-up flash on the camera all the way up to off camera lighting setups and professional softbox lighting. It was really cool to watch the light completely transform the image from something that looked like it came from a cop shop mug shot to something truly beautiful and amazing! Thanks again to Michaela for being our super model and letting us blast her poor retinas into oblivion! πŸ˜‰

Photo Walk!

Well, yesterday we had our first ever Photo Walk as a super fun activity in our Souris Valley Photography Club. 5 of us went out to pound the pavement on the mean streets of Oxbow and show off our mad Jay Maisel street photography skills! hehehehhe….. πŸ˜‰ It was a lot of fun, other than getting rained on half way through. I brought along the trusty Flip Cam and took a little video of the event. Nothing too fancy. The video ends with a slideshow of some of my images from the photo walk. Our plan as a group is to donate all of our images to the town office as stock photos they can use for website/media publications. It’s another way that the photo club can give back to the community and have fun in the mean time. πŸ™‚



We had our second ever meeting of our newly formed Souris Valley Photography Club last night. It was a pretty good turn out of 10 people, despite another cold night to be out and about. I began leading the folks through a basics of cameras & photography course that I put together while making a little quick reference booklet for beginners.


Download your .PDF copy!

It’s always a lot of fun to get together and talk photography! After we went through some basic concepts of exposure and did some hands on work with the cameras, we shared pics from our photo assignment for February which was: the color red. There were lots of great shots to share and I think everyone had a great time. I am looking forward to our next club meeting in March!

I also put the basics class up on YouTube! Check it out and listen to the melodious sound of my voice. πŸ˜‰


Well, we had our very first Photography Club meeting. It was really exciting! The roads however put a kibosh on the number of people who could attend the event. Nothing like a nice bunch of roads turning into hockey rinks to make people stay home. Curses! Oh well, we did have a good group of seven people take in the first meeting and we got the name of the club solidified as well as the meeting dates. The last friday of the month at 7PM at St. Peter Lutheran Church. We also did some brainstorming of what we would like to see in a club. None of the people in attendance had ever been part of a photography club before, so we are all blazing a new trail. We also hammered out our photo assignments for the year. Each assignment will be due for the next meeting and we will share our 3 best shots.

I love what a photography club can offer to everyone at all levels of experience. We have primarily lots of beginners to the DSLR world which is great. But even the more experienced people can learn lots as well. For instance, one of the girls had on her camera strap the eye piece cover that goes over the camera when taking a landscape shot or any other picture where your face isn’t up to the viewfinder. I always had mine in the bottom of my camera bag because you can lose it so easily. But I learned that it actually clips onto your strap so it’s handy when you need it. Cool! πŸ™‚ Who knew?! Β (OK, OK, so I’m a moron.) πŸ˜‰ But I’m thankful for the photography club because I have much to learn!

I’m also putting together a beginners guide to cameras and photography. There will be a print edition as well as a digital slide show I will try to put voice recordings with. Β Hopefully it will be of some use to somebody sometime. I’m excited that the club has finally all come together and the pieces have fallen into place.Β 

Photography Club

Well, I’m totally stoked! Tonight we are having the very first get together of the Souris Valley Photography Club! It’s a Facebook club that I started 2 years ago to see if there was any interest in starting a photography club down here in the south east corner. Several people signed up and tonight we are having our meet & greet to discuss and brainstorm some possibilities for the club. My chief concern is that I have never been part of a photography club before, so I’m blazing a new trail for myself and others. But we have a ton of very talented photographers all over the place here, so I’m hopeful this will really take off.

My current vision is to have a monthly get together where a topic would be presented, a time of discussion & shop talk, photo sharing and then have an assignment for next time, whether it be black & white photos, sunsets, wildlife, portraits, the color purple, whatever. I’m excited also to organize a couple of photo walks in the spring and fall to possibly capture the small-town urban atmosphere or the rural life in the countryside. The opportunities here really are endless.

So, it’s exciting! I’m pumped up and I hope there’s a good turn out. Everyone is always learning all the time and I think a local photography club can be a way of helping everyone involved take better photographs and have fun doing it!


Souris Valley Photography Club

The inaugural get together will take place on Friday January 28th at 7PM at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Oxbow (N 49Β° 13.606 W 102Β° 10.393). The purpose is to do a bit of a meet and greet, and brainstorm some possibilities for the club. Come on out and have some refreshments and a good time!