SSI Photo Club Meeting


August  10, 2016


New Members:  Susan Davenport


Current/upcoming Shows involving members:

            - Photosynthesis opens August 24th, running to September 6th

            - Elizabeth Dow showing at Country Grocer during September

            - Maggie Argiro and Margaret Benmore, reprise of In and Out, Up and Down,            

               and Through, at Harbour House Lobby.


New Website: is up and running. If having difficulties accessing, go to, and sign in...  &/or email Wendy –


Fall DVD: Send your  photos to Judy McPhee by August 15th


Hold that date: Our December meeting is on the 14th. On the agenda will be 1) Election of officers, 2) slide show... theme of “Holiday/Festive in Black and White” and 3) a Party!!


Speaker: Tom Shiffman, on Travel Photography

Tom introduced his Travel Photography talk with a description of his extensive travels covering all corners of the world, starting at age 16.  His photography career began with studies at the Belles Artes in San Miguel de Allende, following which he went to Guatamala where he focused on the people and the marvellous color and energy of that country. He has done dark room work in the past, and recently upgraded to a large format printer. He shares his images in a variety of ways: giving images as gifts, doing digital slide shows, and creating an Apple photo book for each trip he takes, thus documenting his travels and organizing his images in a format that is easy to share with others. 


Tips for good travel photography include:


1. Minimize risks of travelling with equipment that is often both expensive and heavy

- Keep equipment as light as possible to minimize strain on shoulders. Try to limit yourself to one or two good versatile lens (Tom travels with a single 28 to 300 mm lens, which covers most photo ops on his travels,)

- Always have a back up camera with you in case your primary camera is stolen or breaks.

- Consider investing in a strap with metal mesh imbedded in it... this makes it difficult for some one to cut the strap and grab the camera on the run. Putting duct tape onto a valuable camera to make it look old, well used and a bit tattered may also reduce the risk of theft. 


Camera repair and/or replacement is often possible, even in remote parts of the world, with a little ingenuity and luck.


2. Always be on the watch for chance encounters, as these often yield the most interesting “people” images. While there are cultural differences in people’s willingness to be photographed most people will allow an initial photo. If subjects are shy, showing them their image is a great ice breaker and will often turn a shy child (or adult) into a total “ham”.  If shooting in a culture where people are resistant to being photographed (eg Marrakesh) one must typically shoot discreetly, using a long lens. Getting spontaneous photos of people without their demanding payment is getting increasingly difficult as more people travel and request for photos mushroom. 


3. Storing images while on the road: Avoid shooting RAW while travelling as this takes up too much space on a memory card.  Download and back up images daily.  Always travel with extra large capacity memory cards.  Tom transfers all images onto his IPad daily with minimal editing, then backs them up into the cloud.  This mandates staying in lodging with reliable Wi-Fi service.


4. Labelling images: Keep a detailed journal of where you have been and of what you did and saw, so you can accurately label images following the trip. 


5. Use of guides for travel in challenging countries: consider hiring a guide, especially for travels in exotic parts of the world, so that you can make the most efficient use of your travel time, and avail yourself of information regarding the culture and history that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Local guides can also be invaluable by knowing where to find unique photo ops, perspectives, etc.


Of note, Tom does relatively little post processing of his photos, preferring to print as shot.


This months Challenge was to pair an “as taken” photo with the same photo on which you have done some post processing work. The images were amazing! Post processing programs and/or tools used by members included Nik, “Zukmar”  (a process developed cooperatively by  U Vic professor of  pictoral stategies, Bill Zuck,  and Paul Marcano), “Juxtaposer”, Googles’s  free “Dreamify”,  “Tabletop”,  swirl filters,  liquify filters, sketch mode, Wetplate, vignetting, cartoon or comingle mode. Several members used methods of layering.  Simon created an astounding image by cutting and shrinking a stock photo of a checkerboard obtained on Google, and inserting it into a drop of dew on a tiny twig. Using “Dreamify”, Paul Marcano changed a photo of ferns into a fantasy of whorls with tiny animal faces. Colton created an extravaganza of fireworks by laying multiple single images shot at 1/5 second, and f 1.8


Next months meeting:

Speaker will be Simon Hensen, discussing Black and White photography.

The monthly Challenge will be travel photography.


Gwen McDonald, Secretary.



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Comment by Curt Firestone on August 24, 2016 at 7:18am

Thanks for including all of the travel tips

Comment by Avril Kirby on August 19, 2016 at 3:29pm

Thanks Gwen!

August minutes

Pierre introduced the new team who will help shape the Club in the future.

Simon Henson

Larry Citra

Maggie Vancik

Roger Brooks

Maureen Milburn

Ellen Vesterdal

Justene Tedder

Plus returning executive members:

Pat Page

Kahsia Hartwell

Wendy Rosier

Anna McColm

This group will infuse some new energy and direction into the Club. Feedback from club members indicates that people would like more interactive educational activities (workshops, classes, small field trips etc.) and maybe a schedule of educational opportunities ahead of time so that people can plan to attend.

The Victoria Camera Club has an external speaker every month and are willing to share their list of speakers so we can participate, at a cost of $5 a person. The club has funds to cover this at the moment. This would require using the  Zoom format (which has worked so well during this Pandemic).

Club meetings will resume in October, giving this new group time to work out their ideas for new directions.

Some people are cautious about in person meetings (because of health issues) and others are ready and able to jump back in. Maybe in person meetings and Zoom meetings can co-exist. Something to talk about.

Maureen has offered to look into a monthly newsletter with, possibly, more coverage than the website offers such as emails, using facebook etc.

Avril would like to see an improved use of the website: more posts, more comments, more helpful critiquing. We might need a refresher course to remind us how to give constructive feedback.

Doug has a show about Covid in September at the library -  in the Community Program Room. He will give a talk on September 7th at Noon. This will be previously unseen material, not the triptychs we have seen on the website.

Photosynthesis has a virtual show coming up, starting on August 31st. Some club members also belong to this photography group.

There is no theme yet for the photography challenge in October but when that is decided it will be communicated to everyone.


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