All posts by Mike Goldstein

May 7 meeting info

Our next meeting will take place on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30pm EST.  We will hold the meeting online via Zoom.  The link will be emailed to you  closer to the meeting time.

The photo sharing theme will be “Natural Areas” with the objective of characterizing local natural areas.  The Cornell Natural Areas websites (both on-campus and off-campus)  has lots of suggestions for locations in the area.

1.  Please email up to three photos to Mike Goldstein at mhg26@cornell.edu
2.  The long edge of your photos should be no bigger than 2048 pixels.  If you don’t know how to downsample your photos, send them anyways and I’ll do it.
3.  The filename of each photo should start with your last name, followed by your first name, e.g. Goldstein_Michael_CNPphoto_1
4.  As the meeting host, I will present your images by sharing my screen with the group so everyone can see it.  You will be able to discuss your images with the group.

April 2 meeting online via Zoom

Our next meeting will take place on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30pm EST.  We will hold the meeting online via Zoom at the following link:  https://cornell.zoom.us/j/418818216
The photo sharing theme will be “signs of spring”.  Here’s how we are going to share photos:
1.  Please email up to three photos to Mike Goldstein at mhg26@cornell.edu
2.  The long edge of your photos should be no bigger than 2048 pixels.  If you don’t know how to downsample your photos, send them anyways and I’ll do it.
3.  The filename of each photo should start with your last name, followed by your first name, e.g. Goldstein_Michael_CNPphoto_1
4.  As the meeting host, I will present your images by sharing my screen with the group so everyone can see it.  You will be able to discuss your images with the group.
Many of you are not familiar with Zoom but we have plenty of time to help you get comfortable with it before the meeting on Thursday.
1.  Go to https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362033-Getting-Started-on-Windows-and-Mac.  There you will find instructions to download the Zoom application and create a free account on Zoom.
2.  Don’t worry about learning how to start meetings if you are only using Zoom to attend our meeting.  After installing the application, watch the “joining a meeting” tutorial at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-.
3.  You can join a test meeting to assess your internet connection:  https://zoom.us/test
4.  You will have a better experience if you use headphones or earbuds.  Otherwise your computer microphone may pick up the sound from your computer speakers, creating echoes and a feedback loop.
I’ll start the Zoom meeting early, at 6:30pm, so you can log in and get help with video or audio issues before we start the main CNP meeting at 7:30.  I’m also happy to have a Zoom meeting with you this weekend or during the week to help you get comfortable with the software.  Email me at mhg26@cornell.edu to schedule a time.

Marie Read wildlife photography presentation at our November 7 meeting

Our November meeting (Nov 7) will feature nationally recognized bird photographer Marie Read.  She will speak on “Capturing the Spirit of Birds.”  She recently authored a book on bird photography: Mastering Bird Photography: The Art, Craft, and Technique of Photographing Birds and Their Behavior.

From her bio:  Wildlife photographer and author Marie Read is renowned for her exquisite bird photographs that combine beauty with impactful storytelling. Widely published during her 30-year career, her images have been featured nationally and internationally in magazines, books, calendars, websites, educational exhibits, and product packaging.

Marie’s articles and photo essays have appeared in such publications as Living Bird, Bird Watching, Nature’s Best, and Wild Planet. Her images have won awards in Share The View International Nature Photography Contest (Grand Prize 2017), Nature’s Best contests, North American Nature Photography Association Showcase, Audubon Photography Awards, and Festival de L’Oiseau. She has authored or co-authored several books about birds and their behavior, including Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds.

Marie lives with her husband in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York, where she has cultivated her own property for many years to create a haven for the local birds.

Upcoming events – save the dates!

by Paul Schmitt

You likely have noticed that CNP is modifying our program to offer more variety in our activities, including meeting agendas and increased field events. While our sharing on a theme contributes a great deal to each member’s personal growth, we are seeking a wider range of interesting content to complement the sharing. Devan Accardo coordinates the schedule and welcomes your ideas for programs. Here is our current agenda:

August 1 Meeting : Close-Up Photography by K. Rasmussen

August 2 or 3 Outing: Close-Up in the field

September 5 Meeting: Webinar on Types of Photographic Light.

Our first webinar will feature master landscape photographer Greg Miller. This program is titled Understanding Light to Make Better Landscape Photos.

Fall Foliage Outing- Date and location to be determined

October 3 Meeting: Member Photo Sharing on types of light

November 7 Meeting: Speaker- Telling a story with your photos (details pending)

December 5 Meeting: Sharing on theme of telling a story with your photos (pending)

January 9 Meeting: Sharing your best of 2019

February 6 Speaker: Todd Bittner- Photo Locations in Cornell Natural Areas

March 5 Meeting: Photo Sharing on theme of hidden places in Cornell Natural Areas

Photographing fireworks on July 3

On July 3 we will meet by the fountains at Ithaca College to photograph the fireworks display at dusk.  Here’s a map; the fountains are between Job Hall and the Dillingham Center.  We will set up to the south of the fountains, between the fountains and the Center for Health Sciences.  To get there, go in the main entrance off of 96 and take the first right up the hill. There is a parking lot on the first left that serves the theater.  Walk along the path and you will find the fountains. There is more parking by turning left from the entrance road with a longer walk to the fountains.

A good starting point for camera settings is ISO 100, f/8 –  f/11, 5 sec. You will need to have your camera in manual mode to have control over ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.  Be sure to stop down for the grand finale or the additional brightness will blow out the colors and everything will look white.  I often stop down to at least f/14 and sometimes more.
A good focal length from behind the fountains is around 100-150mm; I usually use a 70-200mm lens when shooting from there.
I also use manual focus.  Start by setting focus on infinity while there is enough light to autofocus on a distant object, then set focus to manual and don’t touch the focus ring.  I usually tape down the focus ring so I don’t bump it accidentally.
Plan on using a tripod to stabilize your camera during the long exposures.
Most images of fireworks are composites, with several fireworks stacked up on one background shot.  If you don’t want to do post-processing to create a composite, you can try holding the shutter open for a longer duration and holding a black card over the front of the lens to act as a manual shutter, letting light in for multiple fireworks that, over time, become superimposed on a single long exposure.
Since you will be changing camera settings in the dark, you should be able to do it by feel (check your settings in the viewfinder or top display) or bring a small flashlight (with paper or tissue taped over it to make the light dimmer so you don’t affect other people’s exposures).
See this article for more tips for photographing fireworks.

January 3 meeting info

For our first meeting of 2019, please bring your best three images of 2018 to share.  Selecting our best also encourages each of us to look critically at our work. Going back through an entire year seems to build our skills based on what images had lasting appeal. Furthermore, we get ideas from other’s best three.   The images shared last year were inspiring and demonstrated how our sharing process on a monthly basis brings us all forward in our skills both technical and artistic.

Nov. 1 meeting info

The photo sharing theme for our November meeting will be “hard light”.  We will also discuss our favorite lenses and the pros and cons of prime versus zoom lenses.

Paul Schmitt will share highlights of his recent Alaska trip concentrating on bubble feeding Humpback Whales and Brown Bears fishing the salmon run.

Our successful exhibit at Kendal will be removed on October 31 (or  earlier if necessary).  It is worth seeing if you haven’t yet been there.

October 4 meeting info

The assignment for our next meeting will be three images on a personal project you have been working on this summer (but not the theme for the Kendal show). It could be a particular camera technique, improving your skill with Lightroom, working with a new piece of software, a trip, or anything else.

We are working on a separate field trip in the local area, probably a Saturday or Sunday in mid-October to catch some fall color. More info soon!