CNCC Meeting Lessons Learned

May 2013 CNCC Meeting: Lessons Learned (Cliff DeJung)

Shadows and Arrow, Self-Portrait. Tucson, Arizona, 2013
Shadows and Arrow, Self-Portrait. Tucson, Arizona, 2013

At last night’s meeting our guest was Cliff DeJung, a talented photographer from Longmont, Colorado. His presentation on “How to Get Tack Sharp Images” went into more depth than I had seen before about this topic. Thanks, Cliff! Now, assuming you are wanting to get tack sharp images… click here for more info.

Feb 2013 CNCC Meeting: Lessons Learned (Dan Ballard)

Second Amendment Stove, Cisco, Utah, 2013
Second Amendment Stove, Cisco, Utah, 2013

The pro travel and landscape photographer Dan Ballard was our guest presenter at the Colorado Nature Club Camera Club (CNCC) last night and it was a super learning experience. With his presentation, “Unlocking Your Photographic Potential”, Dan did his best to wipe away that persistent and depressing idea that you need to be genetically gifted to be a great photographer.

The key? It’s NOT the genes, says Dan, it’s more often this formula that makes the successful photographer:

LOTS of practice + EXCELLENT instructor(s) + Goals + Time = Great  Images and Great Photographer

(I suppose I might presume to sprinkle in a bit of my own theory here…that is, with a little talent, your learning curve might possibly be somewhat steeper and shorter, but the basic formula Dan spelled out is still the same for all of us.)

Here, then, are Dan Ballard’s Five Key Points, as outlined in his talk last night–things we should all be working on as we perform the “practice” part of his formula: Click here to read more.

Jan 2013 CNCC Meeting: Lessons Learned (Eli Vega)

Ice #91 (The Fried Egg). Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2013
Ice #91 (The Fried Egg). Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2013

Talented photographer and teacher of photography, Eli Vega, presented the program at last night’s meeting of the Colorado Nature Camera Club. Naturally, there were some wonderful lessons learned.

Here is a brief summary of Eli’s philosophy and technique: Click here to read about Eli.

Dec 2012 CNCC Meeting: Lessons Learned (Glenn Randall, Weldon Lee, Rob Palmer)

Longs Peak, from Sugarloaf Mountain #3, Colorado. 2011
Longs Peak, from Sugarloaf Mountain #3, Colorado. 2011

Well, the world didn’t end as per the Mayan calendar theory. Oh, well, so much for that potentially awesome photographic opportunity. Here we are then, another day older…and the winter days, post-solstice, will now start getting longer for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I wonder when those apocalypse fanatics will set the next date for the demise of humanity? One of these years, I suppose, they may actually get it right–after all, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. But, me…well, I’m not quite yet ready to build that underground survival bunker just yet.

More importantly, last night was the Colorado Nature Camera Club’s end-of-the-year party and photography competition. Our judges were Glenn Randall, Weldon Lee and Rob Palmer. All three are excellent, experienced, pro photographers specializing in nature photography (check out their web sites!) and it was wonderful to have them at our meeting.

As usual, the judges had some great comments about our images–very often they were the common, oft-repeated mantras we have all heard many times before. (You’d wonder why we keep repeating the same mistakes!) So, in the interest of improving my and our photography I’ll lay out my take on the night’s highlights in five quick points: Click here for the highlights!

Nov 2012 CNCC Meeting: Lessons Learned (Chris Brown)

Grand Old Cottonwood Tree. Denver, Colorado, 2012
Grand Old Cottonwood Tree. Denver, Colorado, 2012

This past week (on Thursday) was the monthly Colorado Nature Camera Club (CNCC) meeting. It’s a small, laid back and friendly group, and I always walk away with a few lessons learned–which I’ll pass on.

The format of the meeting is this…During the first few minutes, a member will give a very brief presentation about a particular animal, insect, place or theme (nature related, of course). Then, for the rest of that first hour we have a guest speaker, usually a photographer of some note from the local area. During the second hour, members present their images (either projected or in print form) and the guest speaker turns into the judge, giving a critique of each image along with a score.

The guest speaker for this meeting was Chris Brown, an accomplished nature photographer from Boulder. Chris has created images all over the West and has many, many years of experience hiking and river running in the Grand Canyon. You can check out his wonderful portfolio and extensive credentials at his web site here.

Chris, in his presentation and later during the critique session, had many interesting things to say, but there were four that stood out as great advice and/or reaffirmations of ideas that have been stewing in my mind for some time. To wit: Click here to read what they are!