Creativity

In a recent discussion about creativity, club member Sue Carey said:

It is not only, or always, the most exotic trip, or the most Photoshopped photo that has the greatest impact. One does not have to risk life and limb in the winter, or go on exotic trips, to ‘get the shot’. It may encourage all members to look and play with their camera, within a meter of where they are.

Sue recommended this exercise from Freeman Patterson to stimulate creativity:

The best place in the world to SEE is wherever you are.


Time and again I’ve had somebody ask me the question “Where’s a good place to make pictures?” The translation is: “Where can I photograph my preconceptions?” Answering this question is one of the best ways I know to stand still creatively. It’s rather like taking a bus tour to Washington, D.C. to see the cherry blossoms without ever having noticed the beauty of the wild flowers (weeds) in your back yard.


Long ago I came to realize that a good, simple exercise for improving a person’s ability to see is to ask a friend to pick a number, let’s say between 20 and 50 (perhaps 36) and a direction “left,” “right,” or “straight ahead,” then to take 36 steps in the given direction and stop. Using your camera or your smartphone make a minimum of 30 thoughtful compositions in that place (staying within a circle no wider than a metre.) Beginning is easy, as you’ll photograph things you always notice in ways you always see them. However, if you feel like tearing out your hair after struggling to “see” more than 15 or 18 good pictures, you can be almost certain that persisting will reward you with a visual breakthrough.


You have to get on the other side of your normal ways of seeing, to challenge your perfectly natural need to label everything in order to see what’s there, to see in ways you’ve never seen before.


The challenge is often hard, but the achievement is always exhilarating. Give this exercise a serious try at least once a month – especially right around home where everything is so familiar you don’t see it. This is a great exercise, not just for photographers, but for everybody who wants to be more observant.


I made the photograph on page one and the three that follow at spots I move through so often that, every now and then, I make a conscious effort to observe them carefully in order to “see” what normally doesn’t register at all.

Freeman Patterson

Thanks to Freeman Patterson for permission to use the above quote from his IMAGES, IDEAS, and REFLECTIONS Periodical Letter #6 March 2019. For more ideas and images from him, check out his website.

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A “Sneak Peek”

Until March 17, the West Carleton Arts Society has taken over the Kanata Civic Art Gallery for their Spring Fling group exhibition and sale. The gallery is just down the hall from where we hold our camera club meetings and the show is well worth seeing.

When you check out the show, be sure not to miss the three beautiful photographs by Danielle Barabé-Bussières who will be the featured speaker at our April meeting.

Negative Space Photography

Here are four videos on Negative Space Photography which were presented at the March 1st 2019 meeting.


Negative Space in Photography Tutorial by Visual Art Photography Tutorials


Photography Composition Tutorial – Negative Space Photography Using a Cup of Coffee by Visual Art Photography Tutorials


Photography Tips – Negative Space in Photography by Mike Brown


Photography Composition – Simplification and Negative Space by Ted Forbes from The Art of Photography


Phil Tughan

Presentation by Gordon Robertson on March 1st

Gordon Robertson is presenting on the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club – Area Trails and Wildlife. Gordon is a retired professor from the University of Ottawa and now primarily does nature photography and wildlife tours. He chairs the Education and Publicity Committee of the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club and volunteers at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden (FWG). Gordon is also treasurer of the Ottawa Duck Club, which allows one access to the Shirley’s Bay Crown Game Preserve – an excellent and relatively undisturbed wildlife area. He frequently gives tours of the FWG and several other areas such as Petrie Island and Mer Bleue; so he is familiar with the many “wild” areas around Ottawa.

Gordon’s interests in wildlife vary considerably from butterflies and birds to wildflowers and ferns. He is also quite handy with analog and digital photography and digital photo editing. Many of his photos are used in textbooks and in Wikipedia  (>1200) where he is a “Master Editor”.

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You can review Gordon’s excellent presentation here.

Photo Editing Courses

The Hazeldean branch of the Ottawa Public Library is offering two introductory courses on photo editing that may be of interest to some of our camera club members.

The first is Basic Digital Photo Editing (Demo Only) on March 4th from 6-8 PM

The second is Basic Digital Photo Editing (Hands On) on March 25th from 6-8 PM

Both courses require registration with the library as described in the links above.

March Camera Club Meeting

Flower on Sill by Thomas Illing

The next Camera Club meeting will be held on Friday, March 1st at 9:15 a.m.

  • Slideshow of Member Images from the Monochrome Assignment
  • Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club Presentation – Area Trails and Wildlife by Gordon Robertson
  • Phil’s Tip of the Day on Negative Space Composition
  • Review of Chosen Photos
  • Member’s Corner (if time permits)
  • Announcements and Closing Remarks

Your images for the assignment must be emailed by noon on Friday, February 22nd to be included in the slideshow. For details on how to submit photos, including formats and titles, go to our Pictures/How to Submit page.

The next assignment is Negative Space and pictures from this assignment will be shown at the April 5th meeting.

Winter 2019 Photo Challenge Silhouette
by Valerie Clement

Don’t forget the Winter 2019 Photo Challenge which has deadlines of March 15th and 29th to submit pictures.

See you at the meeting.

Your Camera Club Executive

Black & White Photography

Here are five videos on Black and White Photography which were presented at the February 1st 2019 meeting


Exploring Black and White Photography from Lynda.com


Setting Your Camera for Black and White by The Snap Chick


Exploring Black and White Photography Tutorial – Using Shadows By Visual Art Photography Tutorials


Exploring Black and White Photography Tutorial – Tips on How to Create Mood By Visual Art Photography Tutorials


9 Quick Tips for Better Black and White Photos by Jamie Windsor

Phil Tughan

Frank Dugal on Portraiture

At the February 1st meeting, club member Frank Dugal will give a presentation on portraiture.

Frank is a self-taught life-long photographer.  He was the founding co-leader of the RA Photo Club Digital Group, President of the Orléans Photo Club and the leader of its Digital Group.  He is a member of the Kanata Seniors Centre Camera Club and the Arnprior Photo Club.  He has been shooting digital since 1998 when he bought his first Digital Camera.  Now, his cameras of choice are the mirrorless Fuji XT1 and his iPhone.

For a number of years, he was a weekend warrior and photographed weddings and special events.  People photography is his first love.

Frank believes Photography is a school from which you never graduate.  It is a continual learning process.

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You can review Frank’s presentation here.