October 2017 Saint Paul Camera Club Salon

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This was the first real salon of the season, since the scavenger hunt doesn’t count toward our annual point total. And it was an ok start for me.

Prints: Open color

I got an 8 for each of my color prints, which put them in the awards for this month.

I dream of fireworks

I love shooting fireworks, but I also like socializing with my friends . . . which can present a conflict.

I have friends with a deck that provides a great view of the July 4th fireworks in Minneapolis. They celebrate that fact by holding a small fireworks watching party on the 4th. It’s a lovely party with interesting people, good food, and a view of the fireworks. It sounds perfect, right?

Unfortunately, great fireworks photos usually require a compelling foreground, which I don’t have from the deck. And then there is the fact that the deck isn’t really stable, so I lose a few shots due to movement even though everyone tries to hold still for me. (It’s kind of like shooting from a sailboat, which I’ve also done.) So I have fun and get ok fireworks pictures every year, but not anything spectacular.

What to do?

Maybe more interesting editing would help.

I played with a number of images using Topaz Impressions software along with Lightroom. That let me create something that better captures the movement of fireworks. I got a couple I liked, and this was my favorite:

The judge liked the technique, but didn’t like some of the city lights I left in the background.

He could be right.

Considering the Options in Vietnam

Vietnam’s Red Dao wear really dramatic traditional clothing. I especially loved seeing the older women with their lined faces and these huge headdresses.

considering the options in Sapa Vietnam  - Cindy Carlsson

It’s sort of a standard shot for this subject, so an 8 seemed reasonable.

Digital: Action photography

The digital competitions have always been my weak spot in camera club competition.

Part of that is because I don’t put the work into it that I should – I seldom go out and shoot something specifically for the competition. Which is stupid, because that’s how I’d learn new things. But there’s a time issue – I don’t plan ahead very well and, by the time I realize that a particular competition is upon me, I don’t have much time to go out and shoot something specifically for it.

The other issue is that I usually seem to interpret the guidelines for each competition very differently than the judges do. Sometimes I just didn’t get it, or didn’t approach it in the strongest way. But other times, I think the judges just pick what they like regardless of the rules for the competition that month.

October’s theme was action photography, which means:

 An image featuring the subject in motion. Freeze action or add dramatic blur to moving objects.

Coasting into the corner

Entering one of the images from my bike race shoot this summer was an easy decision. I had several options, but went with one with a bit of panning to better show movement.

leaning into the corner - Cindy Carlsson

The judge liked it enough to put it in the awards with an 8.

Aztec drumming

Even though I had a couple other shots from the bike race that I liked, I always try to submit photos that are pretty different from each other. The hope that one of them will appeal to the judge, hit the theme, and/or both.

After rejecting several images of dancers, I went with this picture of an Aztec drummer. I love how you can see the movement in his hand as he beats the drum. I especially like that there is a nice blur, but without totally obscuring his hand on the drumstick.

Aztec drumming - Cindy Carlsson

The judge immediately rejected it, claiming it wasn’t an action shot even as he noted the motion in the drummer’s hand!

You just never know.

I should have entered another shot of a biker.