Houston Area Groups

LCPG Monthly Meeting – 01.05.12

The January 2012 League City Photography Group’s monthly meeting took place on 01/05/12. Below are my notes.


Upcoming Posted Events

Other events

Galveston Featherfest – Apr 12-15

Topic – ISO

David Paulissen  gave a great talk and review of the article What is ISO? from the Photography Basics website.

Summary ::

ISO is actually a common short name for the International Organisation for Standardization.

100, 200 or 400, 800, 1600, ect -- refers to the film’s sensitivity to light

Low sensitivity means that the film has to be exposed to light for a longer period of time than a film with a high sensitivity in order to properly expose the image. With a lower sensitivity you also get a better quality image too which is why you should always try and use the lowest sensitivity you can get away with.

A high ISO setting is needed for indoor work, where flash isn’t allowed and the light levels are fairly low. Or you can use it deliberately to get the grainy gritty feel to the image.

Link to Original Article: What Is ISO?


I provided a handout listing my favorite photography podcasts

Suggested Photography Podcasts

Full list -- http://rtiptonphoto.com/photo-podcasts


Additional Information & Links


Photos from the Group



“All life is of a past nature, photography enhances this fact.” – Patrick Summerfield

Check out my About.Me page for my complete web presence

11/11/11 - A Day Of Remembrance and Thanks

Veteran’s Day is a day to honor military veterans and to remember those who lost their lives serving in the Armed Forces to protect our country. So again, thank you to all who served to keep our country free.

Below are some photos I have taken over the past few years that have a relay a sense of remembrance. Please visit the full galleries to view all the photos.

Remember The Fallen

There is a nice man in Angleton, Texas that maintains a Memorial Fence at his residence. I visited there in 2007 (before Hurricane Ike) and again in October 2011. He had to rearrange things after Ike destroyed part of the fence and at the end of all the crosses, he has sheets of paper listing more names that he is still working on crosses for. I am saddened by the drastic change in casualty numbers between my visits.

Stars  Lest We Forget

I just happened upon a Veterans Memorial in Friendswood, Texas this week. It is a very nice homage to those who served in the Armed Forces.

This photo (and the rest in the full gallery) from Houston National Cemetery was taken last Christmas (2010) during the Wreath for Every Soldier event. I found this particular photo moving for two reasons. The “Lest We Forget” inscribed on the front tombstone and the blank tombstones.

Morning Memorial  Tribute

Both of these photos were taken at the Pilgrim Knights and Daughters Cemetery along FM 1492 in Rosharon, Texas. I happened upon this because I arrived at Brazos Bend State Park too early one morning and was driving around waiting for the gates to open. Pays to be early sometimes. :-)

Full Galleries

Additional Information


“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Find me on: Tipton Creative | RedBubble | Flickr | RedGage | Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Depth Of Field (DOF)

Wikipedia defines Depth of Field (DOF) as follows:

“Depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image.”

There are two types of DOF

    • Shallow – Foreground is in focus and background is out of focus
    • Great – Objects in the foreground and background are in focus

Examples of Shallow DOF --


Example of Great DOF --


Below is a set of shots in which I changed the aperture each time affecting the depth-of-field. Notice how more and more of the pumpkins come into focus the lower (smaller) the aperture gets.

f/2.8                                          f/5.6                                      f/8


f/11                                      f/16                                          f/22


Shallow depth-of-field is very useful when you want your main subject to be in focus and the background not in focus. This leads the viewer’s eye to main part of the photo.

I hope, after this, you have a little better understanding of depth-of-field.


"The more you understand what inspires you, the more readily you can put yourself in it’s path." - David duChemin

Find me on: Tipton Creative | RedBubble | Flickr | RedGage | Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

NW Houston Photography Club–NOV 2011 Meeting

I attended the November meeting of the NW Houston Photography Club on 11/1/11.

Kathy Adams Clark teaches various photography courses in the Houston area through Leisure Learning Unlimited.  She gave a very inspiring talk on Night Photography while showing various photos from her previous workshops in Italy, Ecuador, Morocco, Arizona, etc.

My Notes

Sunsets - point the camera at the sky in manual mode dial in the shutter speed and underexpose by 1. Put the f-stop at f/22 to get a starburst just as the sun peeks above a building (or other object)

F/22 is great for the starburst effect on the sun or street lights

Tripods are required after the sun goes down

Intervolometer is suggested (made by Canon and Nikon) – I have the Satechi TR-M Timer Remote Control for Nikon

When photographing an area with people in the frame: the longer the shutter speed, the more the people will not show up (as long as they are moving) - the faster the shutter speed, the more people will appear.

Twilight sky lasts about 15 min-45 min after the sun goes down. This is a wonderful time to photograph.

Put the flash on and flash the foreground objects

10mm-17mm Tokina lens - close to a fisheye without having to spend a lot of money

Include the moon in shots for added interest

Need a fast enough shutter speed (at least 1/60sec) to stop the rotation of the Earth to keep from getting a blurred Moon

Night before the full moon, the moon comes up in a twilight sky. It is better for photographers on this night rather than the night of the full moon. On the night of the full moon, the moon rises in a dark sky. – I found a Full Moon Calendar online.

If you want to photograph just the moon, you need at least a 200mm lens to bring out the surface details.

Spot meter - only meter the light coming off the moon. If you use Matrix/Evaluative metering, the camera will try to expose for the surrounding sky and over expose the moon.

To photograph stars, take the mm of your lens and divide it by 500. This will give you the shutter speed needed to give you stars without trails.

Use the light from the full moon to illuminate subjects

Star trails are usually done using layer blends. Expose for 4 minutes, 1 second break, expose for 4 minutes, 1 second break....and so on. Take the JPEGs and pull them into Photoshop and do a layer blending. --- I found an awesome Flickr Group dedicated to Star Trails.

Point camera at the north star to get the star trail circles

Try to get elevated for a different perspective (parking garage, hill, etc)

Cityscapes can even be taken from your hotel room. Make sure all the lights are out on the room and put the lens right up against the glass to reduce reflections.

Look for lights reflecting in water. Wet streets or puddles

Rear/second curtain sync - makes the flash go off at the end of the exposure.

Waugh Street Bridge has a bat colony under it. May-October is the best time to catch them flooding out at night

Light painting is an interesting technique. You should always have more than one color flashlight when you do light painting.

Additional Information



"A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into." -Ansel Adams

Find me on: Tipton Creative | RedBubble | Flickr | RedGage | Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

League City Photography Meet Up – 10.06.11

The October 2011 League City Photography Meet up took place on 10/6/11. Below are my notes.


Upcoming Events

Other events I know of

The Art Alliance Center At Clear Lake (TAACCL) – Winter 2011 Juried Exhibition – Submission deadline is November 12th.


Topic – Lenses and Distortion

David gave a talk on lenses and distortion.

There are three main types of lens distortion:

    • Chromatic Aberation
    • Barrel Distortion
    • Pin Cushion Distortion

Distortions can be fixed in Photoshop and/or Lightroom using Auto-Correct in Camera Raw.


Additional Information & Links


Photos from the Group



"The more you understand what inspires you, the more readily you can put yourself in it’s path." - David duChemin

Find me on: RedBubble | Flickr | RedGage | Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Zenfolio

League City Photography Meet Up – 08.04.11


The August 2011 League City Photography Meet up took place on 8/4/11. Below are my notes.


David has uploaded a list of Glen Hausinger’s photo gear. It can be found under the [More] menu option and then select [Files]. Here is a link straight to the PDF: Photo Gear of Glen Hausinger

Tentative date for the National Photowalk is October 1st or 2nd

Upcoming Events

Aug 23 Tue 5:00 PM | Celebrating Shuttle – An American Icon


Topic – Size Matters or How Big is Your Sensor

Mike Fisher gave a informative and detailed talk on size, He went into detail on the difference between crop and full frame sensor.

Basically, a larger sensor means less noise, greater sensitivity and cleaner images.

Since there was so much to this lecture, I requested that Mike send me a copy of his PowerPoint.

Size Matters or How Big Is Your Sensor? (Note: may take a minute or so to load)


Additional Information & Links


Photos from the Meeting

Photos from the Group



“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

League City Photography Meet Up – 07.07.11


The July 2011 League City Photography Meet up took place on 7/7/11. Below are my notes.


Upcoming Events


Topic – Tips from the Digital Photography Book Series

David gave a great presentation that involved several tips from Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book Series.

Tip #1 - Photographing Landscapes

    • When photographing landscapes, it is good to have something of interest in the foreground, middle ground and background
    • Landscape shots are best taken at F16 - F22 to get the greatest depth-of-field possible

Tip #2 - Initial Checks

WHIMS (checks to perform before every shoot)

    • White balance
    • Highlight warnings
    • ISO
    • Mode
    • Size (of the image)

Tip #3 - Importance of Trippds

    • Major discussion on the importance of tripods. Trudy and Scott displayed their tripods. Carbon fiber is the way to go for lightness.
    • Some tripod brands mentioned

Tip #4 - Sharpening

    • Sharpening after the fact - unsharp mask - Edit/Fade - Unsharp Mask - Normal to Luminosity.
    • Since I did not get good notes on the sharpening topic, I found a good explanation of sharpening in Photoshop on the following site: http://tresdesi8.multiply.com/

Here is what they say:

We sharpen every single photo we shoot using Photoshop's Unsharp Mask filter. Okay, it sounds like something named "unsharp" would make your photos blurry, but it doesn't the name is a holdover from traditional darkroom techniques, so don't let that throw you. Using it
is easy. Just open your photo in Photoshop, then go under Photoshop's Filter menu, under Sharpen, and choose Unsharp Mask. When the dialog appears, there are three sliders for applying different sharpening parameters, but rather than going through all that technical
stuff, I'm going to give you three sets of settings that I've found work wonders.
For people: Amount 150%, Radius 1, Threshold 10 1.
For cityscapes, urban photography, or travel: Amount 65%, Radius 3, Threshold 2 2.
For general everyday use: Amount 85%, Radius 1, Threshold 4 3.

Tip #6 - Lenses and Filters

    • Be careful with lenses in dusty conditions. If it is really dusty/windy...don't change lenses. Other times, just make sure you situate your camera and lens so the rules of gravity do not draw dust. Hold the camera pointing downward when changing lenses.
    • UV filter has a chance of protecting your high dollar lenses from some damaging situations. There are definitely two different churches when it comes to using a UV filter or not.

Tip #7 - Urban Shooting

    • Don't try to capture it all...capture details
    • Get closer to your subject

Tip #8 - Shooting Modes

    • Aperture Priority - You adjust the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed (good for most shooting situations)
    • Shutter Priority - You adjust the shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture (good for shooting sports)
    • Manual - You have control over both Aperture and Shutter Speed
    • Program - The camera controls all (Point and Shoot)


Additional Information & Links


Photos from the Group

Photos I took to the meeting

linesAndAngles  summertime


“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Kemah Fireworks

Last night, I photographed fireworks for the first time ever. I attended a League City Photography Meetup and had such a wonderful time. We had dinner first at Hoagie Ranch Emporium (a Kemah staple) and then proceeded to the area under the Kemah bridge on the Seabrook side around 7:00PM. There was plenty of time to setup and talk to fellow photogs. It was an awesome night.


  • Camera | Nikon D90
  • Exposure | 5 sec  ~  Aperture | f/10
  • Focal Length | 100 mm  ~  ISO Speed | 200
  • Flash off – Tripod used
  • Complete EXIF Data 
  • Post – LightRoom


Alternate View(s)

kemahfireworks2 kemahfireworks3  kemahfireworks4

Pre-Firework Time



League City Photography Group Photos > Fireworks Friday night Kemah fireworks shoot 


“All life is of a past nature, photography enhances this fact.” - Patrick Summerfield

Great Tutorials on Shooting Different Times a Day

League City Photography Meet Up – 05.05.11


The May 2011 League City Photography Meet up took place on 5/5/11. Below are my notes.


The Art Alliance of Clear Lake (TAACCL) is accepting "ready to hang' submissions. Deadline is 5/21/11.

Upcoming Events


Topic – Shutter Speed

David gave a great presentation on shutter speed.

Shutter speed is basically the amount of time the shutter is open.

Exposure Triangle - ISO > Shutter Speed > Aperture


A shutter speed below 1/60 makes it difficult to hand hold the camera - tripod becomes important.

For something like fireworks, you really need a tripod and a cable-release, so you can control the amount of time the shutter is open.

On a 70-300mm lens, you should not go under 1/300 for shutter speed.


Additional Information & Links

Photos from the Group



“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Photography Podcasts I Like


I have a pretty long commute to work each day. I have found that audio books and podcasts are a great way to spend that commute. I thought I would share the photography-related podcasts that I listen to.

Some video podcasts that I like to watch are below -- of course not while I'm driving.

I know there are more podcasts/video casts out there. I will update my list as I come across them.

Happy learning!


“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” - Dorothea Lange

League City Photography Meet Up – 04.07.11

lcPhoto The April 2011 League City Photography Meet up took place on 4/7/11. Below are my notes.


Upcoming Events


Topic – What is Raw Mode?

David did a great job of summarizing a tutorial/article on using RAW. The below has been taken from this article on Luminous Landscape.

What is Raw Mode?

When a digital camera makes an exposure the imaging chip (whether it's CCD or CMOS) records the amount of light that has hit each pixel, or photo site. This is recorded as a voltage level. The camera's analog to digital circuitry now changes this analog voltage signal into a digital representation. Depending on the camera's circuitry either 12 or 14 bits of data are recorded. Incidentally, if the camera records 12 bits of data then each pixel can handle 4,096 brightness levels (2^12), and if 14 bit then it can record 16,384 different brightness levels (2^14). (To my knowledge no current imaging chip records a true 16 bits worth of data).

Of course what happens after you've taken the photograph depends on whether you have the camera set to save images to the memory card as raw files or JPGs.

If you've saved the file in raw mode when it is subsequently loaded into a raw conversion program and then saved to a TIFF or .PSD format file it can be exported in 16 bit mode. The 12 or 14 bits recorded by the camera are then spread over the full 16 bit workspace. If you've saved the file in-camera as a JPG than it is converted by the camera's software to 8 bit mode and you will only ever have 256 brightness levels to work with.

I took away from this that unless you are going straight to print or web, you should refrain from saving and re-saving to JPEG files. The tutorial contains quite a bit more information on using RAW files, so I suggest giving the entire article a read.


Additional Information & Links

Photos from the Group



"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” -Aaron Siskind

RMSP Weekends - Day Two


I attended a weekend photography conference last weekend. This conference is called RMSP Weekends and it is put on by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I highly recommend checking it out if it comes to your area as I feel I learned a ton!

The sessions I attended for Day Two 

    • Composition – Designing a Great Photo
    • Photographing People
    • Critique Session

The notes I took

Composition: Designing A Great Photo

Instructor: Tony Rizzuto

When photography bugs (bees, butterflies, etc) - do so early in the morning, before they become active.

Bright tones are active (warm), Dark tones are passive (cool)

Eyes always need to be sharp

Fill the frame - move closer or zoom in

Focal Length

    • Wide angle - brings dominance to closer objects - makes a bumper look bigger to the boat in the background
    • Telephoto - subjects are compressed


    • Horizontal - restful, tranquil, grounding
    • Vertical - stable, static, powerful
    • Diagonal - active, feeling of depth
    • Intersecting
    • Leading Lines - active, leads viewers eye
    • Converging Lines - leads to something (railroad tracks)
    • S-Curves - elegant and calming
    • Arcs - graceful, make sure not to clip
    • Implied Lines
    • Shape - circle, square, triangle

An odd number of objects in a scene is better than even. (3 objects rather than 2 or 4)

Negative Space - area of the photo where your subject is not

Rule of Thirds - Left = comfort, Right = Tension


Power points

Balance - calming, easy to look at. Imbalance creates tension.

A-Symmetrical balance - equal weight, different places in the frame


Color - Red = active, Blue = calm

Recommended Photographers

Main goals of Composition

    • Create photos with a clarity of the subject
    • Think simplicity
    • Move the viewer through the image with intention
    • Keep your viewer in your photographs
    • Give your viewer a place to rest


Photographing People

Instructor: Tony Rizzuto

2 types of people photography

    • portrait
    • environmental portrait

Elements of a portrait - eyes, light, expression, background, fill frame, directness

Elements of an environmental portrait - quality of light, background, fill frame, clarity of idea/story

12-35mm wide-angle lens is ideal for an environmental portrait

50-100mm lens is ideal for a portrait

telephoto lens (70-300) - compresses space, so it takes in less background

RMSP Weekends - Day One


I attended a weekend photography conference last weekend. This conference is called RMSP Weekends and it is put on by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I highly recommend checking it out if it comes to your area as I feel I learned a ton!

The sessions I attended for Day One 

    • Understanding Exposure: Using the Zone System for Color
    • Workflow: Processing Your Images with Adobe® Lightroom®
    • Light: Creating Mood and Dimension
    • Keeping Your Photography Fresh

The notes I took

Understanding Exposure

Tim Cooper - Tim Cooper Photography

Reflected Meter

Middle Grey - Average Reflectance

Camera automatically turns white into a gray and black into a gray

Meter Types

    • Center-Weighted Meter
    • Partial Meter
    • Spot Meter
    • Evaluative/Matrix Meter (used in P-mode)

Exposure Meter is usually at the bottom or on the side of the frame

Auto-Bracketing (used for HDR)

Checking Exposure

    • Find average brightness
    • Zero out meter
    • Check highlights

Zone III - VII = 5 stops of latitude

Aperture priority mode - may need to use the exposure compensation dial in addition to all the normal setup. Need to try using Manual Mode as the norm



Processing Your Images With Adobe LightRoom

Tim Cooper - Tim Cooper Photography

Library Module

    • Loop Mode
    • Grid Mode


    • P - Pick
    • X - Reject

Library filter


Apply During Import

    • File Renaming
    • Presets
    • Meta Data Template

Note: This instructor strongly suggests putting LightRoom catalog and all photos on a large, external hard drive so you can work with them on any machine that has LR installed. Backup that device onto two other HD's. Something to consider.

Space bar, blows up a photo on the screen

Crop tool not only crops a photo, but you can apply a print size to it as well. (ie, 5x7, 8x10, etc)

Saving "Develop" presets.


Lighting: Creating Mood and Dimension

Tony Rizzuto

Brightness is defined as the amount of light in a scene

ISO,shutter speed and aperture affect the amount of light

Contrast is defined as the difference in brightness between the highlights and the shadows.

Really dark shadows (no detail) - blocked out

Really bright highlights (no detail) - blown out

The human eye can see 15 stops of brightness in a scene

stop = change in brightness (x2) => 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc

B&W negatives contain 10 stops

Contrast is created by 3 things: the direction of the light source, the size of the light source and the distance of the light source.

Types of light

    • Front light (0-45 degrees) is considered low contrast because there are no shadows.
    • Side light (45-90 degrees) is considered high contrast
    • Back light is considered low contrast.
    • Diffuse light - light falls on the subject from many directions.

Larger the light source, the lower the contrast

Farther the light source is, the higher the contrast. So while the Sun is very large, it is very far away, making it high contrast.

Tools for Modifying Contrast

    • Scrim or Diffuse disk (light source | scrim | subject)
    • Reflector (light source | subject | reflector) (silver=cool, gold=warm, white=neutral, black=absorbs - deepen shadows)
    • Fill flash

Flash and direction - bounce the flash (wall, ceiling, floor)

Using Fill Flash

    • Create exposure based on the ambient light
    • Make sure the shutter speed does not exceed the camera's sync speed

TTL - Through The Lens

White Balance

    • Cloudy - adds yellow to the scene
    • Open Shade - Adds yellow to the scene
    • Tungsten - adds blue to the scene
    • Daylight - No correction to color. Ideal for a sunny/cloudless day.

NOTE: Since the daylight WB makes no correction to color, it is great for sunset, sunrise and night photography.

NOTE: To get a starburst effect, close down to f/16

Caucasian skin tone is 1 stop brighter than normal.

Recommended flash - SB-600

Recommended gear - Gary Fong Puffer Pop up Flash Diffuser


See next post for Day Two

My 365 Project

Okay, I have decided to start a 365 Project, which means I take at least one photo everyday. I enjoy photography so much that I do not think I will have a problem taking one photo per day. Especially since there are so many tools that I can use on my iPhone...and that thing is with me 24/7. It will likely be an even split between my D90 and iPhone. Every now and then I will throw in a photo from my Holga (providing I learn to use it) and my husband's old Pentax Film SLR.

My 365 Project

Some different 365 Project sites -

This should be FUN!


“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” -Ansel Adams

Presentation Recap: Color It's All In Your Head

 hcp   img-images-color-fractal-nivious-17395

I attended a great presentation on color at the Houston Center for Photography (in November). Photographer Scott Campbell provided some great information in this talk.

Below are the notes I gathered from the talk

Challenges, as photographers, of all the color reproduction systems

  • Human Eye - sees 7-10 million colors
  • Camera/Scanner - 3 million colors
  • Modern day LCD monitor - 2 million colors
  • Slides/Transparencies - 17,000 colors
  • Ink Jet printer - 10,000 colors
  • Printing press (to magazine) - 6,000 colors

Nature of Human Vision

What is color? Phenomenon of light

Phenomenon - thing as it appears or is constructed by the mind.

5 phenomenon: taste, smell, hearing, seeing , feeling

We have the worst memory of sight

In order for color to happen there must be 3 things present

  • Observer
  • Object
  • Light

Characteristics of light (the physics)

Electromagnetic spectrum

electromagnetic spectrum

Red, Green and Blue (RGB) are the primary colors of white light

  • Red light + Green light = Yellow light
  • Green light + Blue light = Cyan light

Characteristics of the eye

  • Lens - gathers light
  • Retina
  • Fovea - color is created

The Fovea contains rods that are sensitive to contrast/luminosity and cones that are sensitive to color.

Women have more cones than rods which mean they see vibrant colors better than men.

Men have more rods than cones which mean they see more contrast and luminosity than women.

Some colors are created by a sensation in the brain. For example, when the green and blue cones in the fovea become stimulated, electrical pulses go to the brain and the mind creates the sensation of cyan. Same with a banana, the red and green cones become stimulated creating the sensation of yellow.

Magenta is a made-up color that is created when the red and blue cones are stimulated. Magenta is the inverse of green.

R + G + B

   Y    C



There is no Magenta in the rainbow; however, two prisms overlapped can create Magenta.

Problems to Overcome with Color

  • Chromatic Adaptation
  • Color Adjacency
  • Fovea Fatigue

5000 Kelvin = Pure White Light

Different kinds of light (incandescent, florescent, etc) affect the way you see colors.