December 2017 Saint Paul Camera Club Salon

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Like the previous month, I was out of town for the December Saint Paul Camera Club salon.

Prints: Open color

Botanical reflections

I love this image. Maybe I’m biased by the fact that I was able to capture it without a tripod by balancing my camera on a ledge in just the right spot and then waiting for the kids to stop playing in the water (creating uneven ripples) and for everyone else to move far enough away to get their reflections out of the pool.

New York Botanical Garden NYC -

This is actually the second time I’ve brought this image to camera club, although it is the first time I’ve entered it in a salon. I brought it to a critique session to talk about the reflections from the building and whether they should stay or go and, if they need to go, how to do that. At the time I got a gasp when it came up on the screen (which is a good sign), but not a lot of ideas of how to make it a better image.

Before entering it in the salon, did I remove some of the most distracting pieces of the building (wiring and such), but otherwise left it in. After all, I like context!

Of course, context is usually my downfall in salons.

It may have been the problem here, but I don’t know. I do know the judge didn’t like it enough to put it in the awards. But then, there were really a lot of great images in the awards, so the competition might have been pretty fierce.

Sky Flier memories

I don’t shoot a lot of pictures on the Midway at the Minnesota State Fair during the day, but I’m always intrigued by the compositional possibilities of the Sky Flier.

This shot was sharp and had good color and composition, but it was pretty boring. So I started playing with it, mostly desaturating select colors to get a mix of bold color and monochrome. I really liked the colors I ended up with. I think it looks like something from a memory.

Sky Flier memories - Cindy Carlsson at

The judge liked it enough to put it in the awards with 8 points. I was really happy with that given the quality of the other winners!

Digital: Selfie

Representation of your personality. Creative and unusual picture of self. Let your imagination run wild. Does not need to be an image of your face, but some portion of your body that represents your personality.

Let me say right out front that I hate selfies and virtually never take them. The world would be a better place if no one ever took another selfie – narcissism does not lead to good things.

Given my dislike of selfies, I considered not entering. But this topic irked me so much that I’d think about it periodically throughout the year, so I actually made an effort to get something I could submit!

Both images finished in the awards with an 8. I find that amazing because my fellow camera club members came up with some amazingly creative selfies. Mine weren’t nearly as interesting or as well executed.

Haunting the House retiring room

Since I had my tripod with to photograph the newly renovated Minnesota State Capitol, I thought it was worth trying to do a selfie like all those Instagram stars do. But, since I didn’t wear a flowy dress and floppy hat, I decided to forget about glamour and go for a ghostly effect instead.

I chose the House of Representatives retiring room in part because it is a space generally not seen by the public, but mostly because there were no other people in there and it was too dark to shoot without a tripod anyway. Oh, and I used to walk through here regularly when I worked at the House a few lifetimes ago.

Haunting the House (Retiring Room) - Cindy Carlsson

It wasn’t exactly the right amount of ghosting, but it was the best of the shots I took. And it was good enough to get in the awards.

On the road to adventure

Like my other selfie, I actually shot this with camera club in mind – but only because I couldn’t find a better version in the shots I took in the Rockies a few years ago. The scenery wasn’t as dramatic as I would have liked, but it was what I had.

On the Road to Adventure - Cindy Carlsson at

I was really surprised to see this in the awards, since the concept isn’t very original and doesn’t include spectacular scenery. But I’ll take the award.