Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Photography club organization, testing the "waters".

Posted Thursday, July 2, 2015, at 11:21 AM
View 44 comments
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  • Why would we want to?

    We all have different interest and have learned different techniques to accomplish some great results. (Not saying the included picture is a great example)

    Some know low light, close-ups, action, scenic, macro, product, travel, flowers, people, etc., etc., etc..

    So the reasons might be to learn, network for personal or professional reasons, diversity of experience, support, motivation and ????

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 11:18 AM
  • Put me down as very intrigued Steve.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 6:26 PM
  • Good to know cherokee2.

    You may have noticed a response was on here that disappeared? It was a blatant ad for someone promoting their photography classes. That is NOT what this is all about, so I asked for it to be removed.

    Some person was "trolling" the internet for blogs with photography in the title. They then sign up and paste a statement that is quickly identifiable as a "generic" comment along with link. While members will have the benefit of networking, advertising and promoting something for sale will be dealt with quickly.

    I have thoughts on what I would like to see in a club, but I would really, really, really like to know what others want and how they think it should be organized.

    One thing up front is that it will not be "my" photography club. I might help spearhead the start, but I would strongly encourage it to develop a life of its own, not relying on any one person.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 6:55 PM
  • What form the group takes will be left up to its members. Those of you who know the garden club Weed'em & Reap know that I am not big on officers, dues or stuffy business like meetings BUT some form of structure is good.

    It will be a work in progress but I see the possibility of specialty "groups" for film, digital, video mechanics, along with topical groups for nature, portrait, macro, product, sports, architecture, food, .... what other interests do we have?

    There are many possibilities that will come and go based on member's interests. I really need practical help on setting up a light studio for capturing "things" without unintentional shadows or glare.

    I have ideas but I am foundering around and have not really come up with a working model yet. Someone out there probably knows exactly what to do and hopefully cost effectively.

    Any things in particular you might want to see cherokee2?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 7:19 PM
  • Hmmm, foundering works, but maybe I should have said "floundering". :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 7:43 PM
  • Steve, I posted a link to this post to the T-G's Facebook page. Maybe that will help get the word out further. Remind me next week and I can put something in community calendar.

    -- Posted by jcarney on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 8:45 PM
  • Thanks John.

    I can see a lot of fun things with this.

    Special presentations by all kinds of folks about their specialty, trips to the same place to see what everyone "sees" with their camera.

    Classes on film developing, darkroom work, then Photoshop or other programs that help us save, enhance, manipulate, create photos out of other photos.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 2, 2015, at 9:24 PM
  • I have always been pulled to night photography, still life, storms and such Steve. I have a Canon digital SLR which I love, About 30 filters and a mini movie digital by Kodak but have used it very little. Had a darkroom at one time but that was many years ago.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 12:31 PM
  • I too have a Canon but the original digital so I am lacking in some bells and whistles". Only two lenses with a few magnifier lenses.

    Might get an adapter for Canon to Nikon or Pentax since I film those film cameras and lenses.

    Yeh, storm clouds are great. I used to do night but the digital has intimidated me some on that. I also do pets,(big surprise) and used to do sports back during my newspaper days.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 1:40 PM
  • Well, so far it is a club of two! :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 1:40 PM
  • Three! Please count me in! :)

    I'm a pro but have not worked regularly since we moved here from western North Carolina at the end of 2012, and I am sorely lacking any photography buddies. Last year I did some work for a digital magazine in Nashville but the travel became too much. I am a Nikon gal who started with film over a decade ago, and recently sold my medium format system to someone who could afford to use it. Booo.

    If it's just us turkeys, it's fine by me, but hopefully more will find out and join. I'm here in downtown Shelbyville.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 3:53 PM
  • Welcome fellow turkey! :-)

    Some good wild turkey photos would be good too. I prefer alive but..

    When you get to medium format you are usually pretty serious. Did you have a main subject matter?

    Sometimes the job dictates what you photograph but do you have a preference?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 4:15 PM
  • Well I started out as a very serious landscape lover! I used to go hiking at least twice a week for several years, year round. I still love hiking and especially taking photos of waterfalls, but at some point I got into location portraiture and did that until about 2011. I ended up finding an online photography group who I'm still with, led by a mentor based in Phoenix, who is a commercial photographer, and of course, that's what has led me to today. Now I'm shooting editorial pieces that are almost 100% food related, ranging from farms to restaurants. It's my one true love. I love styling and shooting food, telling the story of a meal, the tradition and culture. I love getting lost in the details. I shoot products and some environment stuff too, still.

    Gobble gobble! :)

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 6:11 PM
  • Our daughter is bug in food photography as well. Her Pinterest page is often a picture of her meal at some restaurant or breakfast

    She is also a graphic artist so she designed a menu for a place she used to work. Wish I had her eye for


    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jul 3, 2015, at 9:18 PM
  • I keep saying this, but I HAVE TO STOP using my cell phone to make posts. "Our daughter is BUG in food"? She'll love it.

    Yes, the 'u' is next to the 'i', but really? in a comment about food I have to misspell big with bug?


    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 5:52 AM
  • That comment about "shoot products" caught my eye. I do internet sales and also teach folks to sell.

    Photographs are HUGE in today's world of smart phones. They were always important for being the thing that makes people click on the listing after they found it, but many buy without reading the description nowadays, so it is even MORE important.

    I am rarely happy with the product photos I take even thought they are focused and bright. Our daughter and I competed with a listing of two identical milk glass cups a few years back.

    As I recall, we used the same words but different photos. Hers jumped out ahead right from the start and sold for more than mine did. (it was on auction) She also re-worked the photos on some listings that did not sell (no change to the description) and they sold the very next time.

    I would really like to be able to duplicate good results each time with lighting, which is just more than turning the light on, or putting it in front of a window. Hence, I want to set up a small "studio".

    Your experience sounds tantalizing. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 7:46 AM
  • Well lighting is a huge part of what I learned with my mentor! I'd be happy to "shed some light" on whatever I can! ;) That said, I don't have a traditional studio with all the fancy lighting or anything. For what I do most of the time, I just used some good old fashioned natural light from the sun. I have a couple of flashes, and use one, sometimes, for products. The second most important factor in product photography is bounce cards and reflections. Glass can be a gigantic pain in the heiny to photograph.. heck, shiny things in general. It can feel like a major accomplishment getting the shot perfect, though, and that's always fun. :)

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 8:12 AM
  • Is that your tomatoes in the bowl up there? Really lovely.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 8:13 AM
  • Thanks. I can't remember if the tomatoes came from mine or our daughter's garden, but she is the one who took the photo and it was her prop.

    I liked it too, but I'm the proud pappa so.....

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 9:10 AM
  • It's really nice. Love the bowl. Buying props is a very dangerous addiction! LOL

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 9:19 AM
  • Is there a nickname for photography enthusiasts? I am trying to think of a catchy name. MidTenn Photo Buffs, TN Photographers, MidTenn Snapshots?

    Nothing really grabs me and some names imply amateurs which might make pros feel it is not for them. Nor do we want to discourage total newbies who maybe only have a basic camera. I still have those.

    Then we are also going to have the smart phone cameras, which can be better than some of our older digitals and film cameras that are better than most digitals.

    Hmmm, what to name our group?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 10:56 PM
  • MidTenn Photo Artisans, photographers of the Mid-South, MidSouth photo club, Tennessee Photographers (thinking big) Photographers of Tennessee, camera club (thinking simple)

    Guess you can tell who can't sleep yet? Ok, no more posts tonight. Of course, in 20 minutes it will be tomorrow. :-0

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 4, 2015, at 11:41 PM
  • Shutterbugs, f-stoppers, uhhhhm... ... well I ran out of ideas quickly. I have a group on Flickr from my old hometown called The (county) Photography Society, which sounds a lot snootier than I meant it to. I guess Sharpshooters might be confusing for our other "shooting" friends and neighbors. Given the crime rate, we probably also may want to stay clear of anything with "framed"... *snickers* (yes I am really this terrible at naming!)

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, at 8:54 AM
  • Tennessee Togs. (But "Togs" is kind of frowned upon by pros, I guess. I think it's cute.)

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, at 8:58 AM
  • Maybe something to do with light. I'll keep thinking.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, at 9:00 AM
  • TennSouth Shutterbugs or MidSouth Shutterbugs might have some potential. TennSouth has lits of possibility for a logo!

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, at 9:09 AM
  • The great thing about brainstorming is the creative things that pop up. No critiquing, just throw it out.

    I don't know why I did not think of shutterbugs. I know the term well and it should have popped in there.

    Right now MidSouth Shutterbugs tops my list. Thanks.

    Anyone else interested in joining needs to chime in here. Be a part of something that will last for ......?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, at 10:29 AM
  • I think MidSouth Shutterbugs sounds great. :)

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, at 2:20 PM
  • Fun with photos club or making memories camera club

    -- Posted by horsepoopperson on Mon, Jul 6, 2015, at 6:44 PM
  • Fun with Dick and Jane?

    Making Memories. That has a feel to it and certainly applies to photos

    Are you a photographer HPP?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jul 6, 2015, at 7:03 PM
  • So, is this it? We now make a decision to organize (or not) and see who shows?

    I know that a few have answered and would be VERY interest, so do we have a club of 3-4 and see who else joins in later?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 8:04 AM
  • Yes, I'm ready for whatever!

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 2:52 PM
  • OK, evenings 6:00 or after are best for me. Usually I shy away from weekday evenings because of my "day job" but I have cut my travel way back so......

    What day of the week would be good for the first gathering? Tuesday or Thursday would be the most "conflict free" someone with children and church responsibilities.


    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 3:29 PM
  • By the way Em, I really like your 'smores' photo. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 3:30 PM
  • I just have a little snap camera but I love to take pictures of my flowers as they bloom. Each season has wonderful things to take pictures of! hp

    -- Posted by horsepoopperson on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 9:32 PM
  • I can't do Thursdays for sure. Technically I'm supposed to have "date night" with my husband on Tuesday nights and Saturday (any time) as well. Meep. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, maybe Sunday afternoons?

    Oh I see you tracked me down! :) Thank you for the compliment. I've actually been in the process of redesigning that website for the past couple of weeks and hope to have the new site and new work up soon. Designing things for mobile has been real.... interesting.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 9:35 PM
  • I don't know how Wednesday nights would do in this area, Fridays are usually "sports" night for many so we are down to Friday or Sunday.

    Every other Friday for me is a garden club night, but that still leaves two Friday nights open and Monday would work.

    HPP, Cherokee2, any thoughts on a meeting night?

    Em, I figured any pro photographer would almost have to have a website these days, so I dug a little. You had already given enough leads, so it wasn't difficult. Besides, that is the objective of having a website,to be found. :-)

    Was that marshmallow shot a tough one? It really jumped out!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jul 8, 2015, at 10:14 PM
  • I could possibly do Tuesdays, despite the date night thing. I'll have to talk to the spouse.

    The smore's shot was not as hard as I expected it might have been. What you see there is actually two exposures blended in Photoshop. The "ember" looking bits on the sides of the marshmallow and the flame is from one shot of the marshmallow nearly burnt to a crisp. I like the embers and wanted the flame, but still needed to make the marshmallow look edible (for those who don't enjoy totally charred marshmallows as I do!). So it was just a matter of getting a pleasing enough shaped flame that was the toughest part.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Thu, Jul 9, 2015, at 8:51 AM
  • I was wondering about the ember. Do you mind if I share that photo up above? I'll be sure to give you credit?

    I have the last version of Photoshop before they combined several products together into CE (7.0), I also have Perfect Photo Suite 8.0 but have not used it yet.

    Anyone else have a preference before we drop the hammer on this meeting time auction?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 9, 2015, at 9:28 AM
  • I don't mind, share away. :)

    Also, I *am* able to meet on Tuesdays if that's best for everyone.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Thu, Jul 9, 2015, at 2:22 PM
  • Oh also I meant to say, I usually use a freeware program for photo editing called The Gimp. I've used it for everything for over a decade. You might want to check it out if you're looking for an update to your photo tools.

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Thu, Jul 9, 2015, at 2:24 PM
    John I. Carney
    I too use the GIMP on my home computer, and don't know what I'd do without it. (GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, with GNU being a computer language.)
  • Those results speak for themselves, so I will.

    John, I hope some of you from the T-G will become part of this effort, so if there is a better day when all your deadline are not due or big sports nights, let us know.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 9, 2015, at 3:03 PM
  • Anyone ever see clouds that bear a distinct resemblance to something else? You have to be quick to grab that shot because the the clouds change so quickly.

    It also takes a lot of patience, walking around with you head in the air and having the camera close by.

    And even if I get the shot right away, the camera does not always catch the "essence" of what I saw. That might be and interesting "project" some time.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 9, 2015, at 3:14 PM
  • I can barely chew gum and walk at the same time, so clouds are particularly dangerous for me! Ha!

    -- Posted by EmThomasPhoto on Fri, Jul 10, 2015, at 7:11 PM
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