Saturday, March 27, 2010

Calling All Birders: Flight Planning for ONWR Trip

Anyone interested in participating in our Spring Birding Field Trip to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (near Sandusky, Ohio) on the weekend of April 16-17, please contact either me ( or Ken Crites (

I have made several trips up there, and my recommendation is to enjoy this immense nature preserve on one of the monthly "auto tour" days.  Only on those days, will you be permitted to drive your car out onto the seemingly endless series of canals.  In the spring, you will see many varieties of migratory birds.  The bug population should be considerably lower now, compared to the coming months, which adds to the enjoyment of the place.

If you should decide to join us, plan to bring your longest lenses, at least one very stable tripod, and lots of data cards.  We will most likely depart our area on Friday evening, and get rooms in a motel near the refuge.  I will most likely shoot on Saturday from the early morning until late afternoon, and then head back home.  The auto tour is limited to Saturday only.

I hope many of you will be able to join us!

Ken Crites' Photo "Natural Light" takes March Challenge

Congratulations to Ken Crites for his inspiring photo, on winning the March Challenge in the category "natural light portraiture."  To view the winning photo, please click here.

The club's newest member, Ed Barkley, was the judge and jury this month.  Thanks, Ed, for making the selection of this month's best entry. 

The decision would have been unanimous, I am fairly certain.  Ken's photo used a technique called (I hope this is correct) "checker-boarding."  As you view photo, notice that the lighting in the background is reverse to the lighting on Ken's subject - his very patient son.  I have to try this out, now that I have seen it in practice.

Other Photo Clubs in Our Area - Events and Offerings

Eric Curby has forwarded a link to an April event hosted by the Hamilton County Park District, and put on by the Tri-state Photographic Society.  For more information, go to:

Another Club, the West Chester Photo Club, meets once per month on the fourth Tuesday.  I have attended the last two events of that club and I have found their meetings to be inspirational in terms of new ideas to get me to go out and shoot.  The WCPC typical meeting agenda is quite focused on photographic composition - members submit three photos to the club's coordinator a few days in advance of each meeting.  Like our monthly challenge series, WCPC opus photos must comply with pre-set themes.  For example, the theme for April is "red," and the rules are:  photos must be taken in the past 12 months, have the color "red" as a theme, and flowers are not allowed.  Anyone interested in hooking up for the next meeting of the WCPC, please contact me ( or Mark Prince ( for the location, date and time.

Why join more than one Photography Club?  From what I have seen so far, photography is such a broad and complex topic that it is seemingly endless in scope.  Those of you who have attended our meetings or field trips know that we tend to focus on technology topics, like equipment, software, and post-processing techniques.  The WCPC tends (in my experience only) toward artistic composition.  I am quite certain there are other clubs out there which have their own unique ways to contribute to the hobby/profession.

Let's get out and shoot this spring!

Photo Challenges for April-June

April: Green
Green as in spring time (plants or animals), your favorite car, or anything else that is or implies the color green. It should be interesting to see what interpretations we get from this challenge!

May: Motion
Since we should all be outside more, this should be a good chance to find some subjects that are in motion. This can be blurred motion, sports or action, or implied motion. Some ideas are 2nd curtain flash to freeze action or freezing action that still implies movement of the subject.

June: Animals
Well, this is pretty easy to interpret. There are plenty of options for this challenge, including pets, wildlife, or even zoo animals. The challenge will be to take a photo of an animal that is unique.

Once again, please post your entry to the Club group on Flickr before the start of the meeting for that month. Feel free to start a post on the Flickr site or a comment on the blog for questions or ideas.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Microsoft marks its own email as spam

Funny thing today. I get this email from Microsoft in my MSN hotmail account and the MSN spam filter supplied by Microsoft blocks it for my safety.

The filter suppressed the attachments, pictures and links in the email.

Finally, Microsoft asks me if I know the sender and asks if I should mark the sender "safe" or "junk".

What should I do? I'm confused.