Category Archives: Announcements

Announcements: the catch-all category for member posts to the website.

The Great Annual 2017 TMCC Print Competition

So if you have a picture of a cute baby, a cute puppy, and a cute kitten, which one wins the photography competition? The answer: cute has nothing to do with it. However, I’ve had past judges comment on club competitions by asking rhetorically “Who could not reward a cute – whatever – with a prize?” What is this, a “Family Fun” magazine picture contest? Here’s my take on competitions: if the results depend on the choice of subject and whether a judge prefers cats or dogs, or thinks strawberries are mundane but decrepit old doors and windows are works of art, then it becomes an entirely subjective contest. At that point, it’s all about the choice of subject instead of the skill of the photographer. And that’s not the way a photography competition should be.  

It’s been suggested to me by a few club members that they’d like to know something about the judges in advance of submitting for a competition. Most big-time national contests do that. In fact, I used to provide the names and websites of judges in advance so club members could discern what sort of values in photography were important to individual judges… and then decide upon a particular picture, or whether the competition was even worth entering at all. Hypothetically speaking, a judge states on his photography website that his pictures are the real thing, as the scene really looks – nothing artificially contrived. So when you’re choosing a picture for a contest he’s judging, are you gonna pick out your most overcooked, saturated, surreal HDR picture? Of course not, as that would be considered a waste of time. Providing the identity of judges is a reasonable part of a competition.

So with regard to the upcoming TMCC print competition, I am going to be the sole judge. I’ve been complaining for so long about judges that I decided to judge a competition myself… and then be the target of everyone else’s complaints. Hopefully it won’t be that bad. First of all, I’m qualified because making prints is my livelihood. I know a thing or two about print-making because I’ve made a print or two. And, secondly, I can analyze a print from one side to the other and offer a pretty in-depth observation of what’s in the picture. That may sound obvious, but in reality many photographers have yet to really learn how to “see” what’s in a picture. My intent is to remove as much subjective opinion from the process as possible. Obviously with just one judge there will be no conflicting opinions among three judges, for what that’s worth. And if you don’t agree with my assessment of your photograph, you’ll know where to complain. In a small contest such as this in a local camera club, folks who bother to invest in a print should have the right to a reasonable dialogue regarding the results.  

Keep this in mind: The print competition is not just simply another form of a contest – the same as digital only on paper. Prints add extra emphasis on detail, which is generally of minor concern in a digital image contest, and print quality which is a separate component altogether is a big deal. You can hide a lot of technical defects in a 1024 x 768 digital picture that can’t be hidden nearly so easily in a print. So the expectations are a bit higher. A “pretty picture” is not enough to win. Show me something that demonstrates the skill of the photographer. Something that reveals the essence of the subject, and shows mastery of camera, post-processing and printing skills. Paper comes in many types. The ability of the camera lens to capture detail is what separates photography from all other art forms. So use it to your advantage. 

There you have it. Submit your best cute baby picture, or the ugliest, creepy insect you can find… it doesn’t matter. What matters is the lighting, exposure, sharpness, and detail. Personally, I shoot a pretty good variety of subject matter. I’m not much of a portrait photographer or bug photographer because those things are neither my personal interest nor reflective of my type of client’s preferences, but I can appreciate the work and skill that goes into those sort of pictures. And photographic skill is pretty much the same no matter what you’re shooting. If you’d like to see my vision of photography, I have a website: www.edwardkunzelman.com. There are no pictures of exotic treks on a camel across Saudi Arabia, or breathtaking waterfalls in South America. Just simple stuff. But I think my images are well crafted… and that’s what I’m looking for in this print competition. There will be no humiliating comments made about any photograph. I won’t be entering a picture, so there’s no reason to suspect that the only way I figured out how to win a competition was to be the judge. I intend for it to be a great showcase of each other’s best work and learning experience for us all. I sincerely hope everyone participates. Bring your print to the next club meeting in July or by arrangement with me before July 31st. Additional rules are posted to the competitions menu on the website.

Thursday Night Print Meeting

Don’t forget our TMCC print meeting at the regular Community College classroom this Thursday night at 7:00pm. And for those of you susceptible to a “better offer” of something else to do Thursday night… there won’t be one. Unless they’re giving away free beer at the Blue Moon, come to the TMCC print meeting!

Bring a print, or two or three. Any size. 5×7’s? Fine. Billboard? Okay too, if you can get it through the door. This is not a competition so no rules apply. Even if you have no prints to show, come anyway as we plan to make an educational event out of the program. I’ll be talking a little bit about shadows. You know… those parts of your picture filled with all that luscious detail on the computer monitor, and then print black as the ace of spades in your prints? I’ll be starting the discussion and hope some of you can help me with the answers. That’s what these type of meetings are for… to help each other solve some of the great mysteries of photography.

Mundane Subjects

I have to admit that I’m still stewing over a comment made by one of the PSA judges about my strawberry picture… that it was a mundane subject. Okay, I suppose there are mundane pictures, and I suspect that I’m guilty of producing my fair share of them, but there is no such thing as a mundane subject. Don’t let anyone ever convince you that the subject in front of your eyes is not worth making a picture of because it’s too mundane or ordinary.

You don’t need to travel to Yosemite to elevate a photograph above the level of mundane. It doesn’t have to always be golden hour light. Visually interesting images can be made in your own back yard, or kitchen, or in any number of different lighting conditions. Photography reveals the essence of the world we live in… the colors, shapes, textures and details of nature and everyday life around us. Nothing should ever be called mundane.

“Artists filter the natural world through the lens of their unique perceptions. Landscapes are never just landscapes but a human experience of what is there – as individual as a fingerprint.” – Nicky Leach, Arches National Park Where Rock Meets Sky.

Print Meeting June 8th

The next print meeting is scheduled for June 8th, 7:00pm at our regular Community College meeting room. Bring a print or two, no more than three, for discussion. Bring any questions you might have about the printing process. It’s not a competition… just an opportunity to talk photography.  

Consider this: The unique aspect of photography which separates itself from other art forms is the capability of the camera lens to see detail that the human eye can’t. Taking that another step, a print is able to render sharp detail that projected images do not. So… if you seriously want to improve your photography, one of the best ways to do that is to print a photograph and ask for feedback from your peers. That’s why we have print meetings. 

Stopping at Every Turnout – Helping to Celebrate the anniversary of the CNM, May 24 2-3pm

Hi all,

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be presenting at the CNM on Wednesday 24th from 2-3pm. The presentation highlights some of the many stops along our many travels and trails in the Western US.
Steve and I have had a lot of fun traveling over the years and like to share our experiences with folks.

Wednesday, May 24, is the 106 year anniversary of the CNM, signed by President Taft in 1911.

Hope you can make it.

Donna Fullerton

2017 TMCC Annual Print Competition

Information and Rules for the TMCC 2017 Print Competition:

Dates:

Prints are due no later than July 31st. 

Give your print to Ed Kunzelman at any club meeting between now and July 25th, or in person by arrangement.

Presentation of all prints and competition results will be at the August 22nd meeting.

Theme

Open, any subject is permitted.

Print Size:

Size must be between 11×14 and 16×20 (3:2 camera shooters: 11×16 and 13×20).

Panoramas no larger than 20” on the long side.  

Square formats up to 16×16.

Paper:

Prints can be made on any sort of paper: gloss, luster, mat, metallic paper, watercolor paper, canvas.  

Direct prints to metal, wood, acrylic or any thick rigid material are not allowed.

Mounting to foam core is acceptable but not necessary.

Either way, you might put the print in a sleeve or envelope for protection.

It is not required that you print your own photograph.

Framing and Mats:

Framing and glass are not allowed.

Mats of any color (including white) are not allowed.

Canvas wraps are not allowed.

You may include a blank border of paper up to 2” around each side of the image. 

Scoring (3 Categories):

Composition: Evaluates the selection and arrangement of elements in an image. Questions to consider: Is there a subject? Are there elements which support the main subject, or detract from it? Is there balance in the composition? Is there movement? Is there depth?

Impact: This category has always been sort of subjective. This competition will attempt to change that. To that extent, impact will be judged by creativity, uniqueness and the perceived level of difficulty for making the photograph. Also, does the image hold the viewer’s attention? Keep in mind that a photograph of Maroon Bells, for example, taken from the same position as a million other photographers, will most likely not be considered creative, unique or difficult. The choice of paper to complement the style of your photograph is also important. In other words, some images have greater impact presented on glossy paper, others might look better on an uncoated sheet. The score for impact will not be affected by the personal tastes of the judge(s) regarding subject matter. 

Technical: Considers aspects such as exposure, contrast, color balance, sharpness, and digital effects like haloing, noise and chromatic aberration. Print quality will be weighted heavily in scoring. This competition is not just the same as a projected image competition. Prints show detail that projected images don’t, so detail is relatively more important here than in a digital image competition.

Miscellaneous Notes:

Photographs which have previously placed in the top three scores of any previous TMCC competition are not allowed. Prints may be signed if you wish, but not necessary. Picture titles are not necessary. Color or black and white prints are permitted.

Results:

Every print submitted for competition will show a score for each category, along with a full written critique of each category, which should explain why the score is what it is.

Questions

Contact Ed Kunzelman at 970-241-1124 or ed@edwardkunzelman.com

Website Update

Hello everyone,
I’ve officially added all users, and have updated the preferences, I’m hoping everyone is back on the list to receive emails. Please let me know if you’ve previously not received emails, and are now receiving them. I apologize for the delay on this, I hope to see you all in the morning to head up to see the horses.

TMCC April Minutes

Dawn Morrow called meeting to order.
New business: On May 13th will be our next outing. Meet at Dawns house for trip all day to see the wild horses in the Bookcliffs. Need a high clearance vehicle or arrange ride with someone going. Bring a sack lunch, drinks and sunscreen. This is sun only outing, if raining it will be cancelled. Email Dawn if you want to go and don’t have a high clearance vehicle.
Contact her for address, I don’t want to post here.
Dawn announced she will be doing competition for May. Read on for details.
Treasurer report: Begin balance: 1326.53. Expenses for 6 mo rent, web site, and calendar=691.05. Ending balance =730.48.
Presenters:
Debbie Rudd gave presentation on her outings with the Grand Valley Audubon Society, the owl prowl. On the canal trail in redlands they saw the Great horned owl. This trail is behind the Safeway in the Redlands. Then she visited the burrowing owl near the state line, Nice photos of these as well. Burrowing owls move around and if not disturbed for about 3 wks they will stay. They will live in prairie dog holes. On May 19th they will be banding Screech owls. She also visited a barn owl nesting by the Clifton ponds. They are declining due to development and are difficult to see, and they come out only at night.
Renee showed her homework assignment from Jeff’s 10 different shots.
Margie spoke about our Picnic. Tenative date is June 4th at the Riverfront Park in Palisade. Time is 3 to 7.
Sign up on sign up sheet.
Donna gave presentation on the TMCC calendar. Bob Pratt got the cover photo. Congrats to Bob!
Donna also showed some photos of her trip to Canyonlands at the Needles district. She advised that while parked there just for the day, a squirrel ate through hoses in her vehicle and they had to be towed all the way back to Junction. Beware of these critters if you go there and try to block them from eating your car.
Sharon Bradshaw presented the PSA submissions. They have not been judged yet.
Dawn announced the next competition for May-submit a portrait photo. Deadline is May 8th. To contests@thundermountaincameraclub.org. Thats coming up in one week photographers so find your pretty portrait.
Meeting adjourned.