Friday, August 28, 2015

Nature Photography: A Practical Approach by Mike Trahan

Do you wonder if you can take gorgeous nature photos such as you've seen done by others?  Do you want to improve your shots further?  You can!

But where do you start and how do you do it? We'll walk through the various genres of nature photography and give you practical suggestions on technique, settings, equipment, plus where and when to go out.

Our session will be oriented to the beginning/intermediate through advanced photographer.  We won't just be showing pretty pictures.  This will be a high content, practical session although it still will be an overview given the time we'll have.

What are the genres we're talking about?

Well, there's birds and wildlife.
All of these warblers and songbirds plus more come through our area in the spring and fall.  One of the best spots, although not the only one, to find and photograph them is easily reached right in Chicago, the Magic Hedge at Montrose Harbor.

How about landscapes:
O.k., o.k.  Mt. Rainier isn't in the Midwest.  But Volo Bog northwest of Chicago is.  So if you don't want to travel far, all is not lost.

Flowers and plants:  Like this chicory, a common roadside plant.

Bugs!  (Butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and other cute little invertebrates plus some not so cute ones.)

When you get down to it, photography is a great excuse to get out and enjoy nature which then enriches your life.  So join us at CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School on November 21st and 22nd at Elgin Community College.  Check out the Caps homepage at:  Home

Mike Trahan has been a birder and nature lover for over thirty five years.  He's a member of a nature -only CACCA club, Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society and another CACCA club, the Lake County Camera Club, where he's a past president.  He's won honors at the club, CACCA, and PSA nature levels as well as various Midwest awards such as first place winner for eagle photos from the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi, grand prize winner for Visit Lake County, and first place winner for the Ottawa National Forest.  Mike really enjoys photography, nature, and sharing what he's learned with you!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lightroom Tips and Tricks by John Williams

At this year’s CAPS- Chicago Area Photographic School sessions, we’re going to have a lot of fun going through all kinds of tips, techniques and tricks in LR to help you work faster and get more out of it including all those new features.

I hope everyone has had the chance to begin using the newest versions of Lightroom.  I say versions in plural because as you are probably aware, already there is a difference between Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC 2015.  Here is a link to a feature comparison run down between Lightroom CC, Lightroom 6 and Lightroom 5 on Adobe’s website:

While it’s always fun to talk about the newest features, today I want to drop back a bit to something basic in LR that even those of you running older versions can take advantage of.  In LR, we can spend a lot of time reviewing, inspecting and looking at the thumb nails and then the full screen and even the zoomed-in view of lots of photos.  So let’s speed things up and take advantage of a couple of keyboard shortcuts that help make it easier with the basic task of changing our image view. The more you know the LR user controls the faster and better you’ll be!

So just like Adobe uses this shortcut in Photoshop, remember you can use the Control key for Windows or Command key for Mac along with the Plus/Equals “+” or “=” key to zoom in or with the Minus “–“ key to zoom out. It will increment between five views, go in from the thumbnail to “Fit”, to “Fill”, to 1:1, to 2:1 and back all the way out to the Grid/Thumbnail view, just using those two keys. 

Note that the most zoomed level as shown in the Navigator panel can be set by you, using the pull down.  In my photo examples, I set that position to 3:1 instead of 2:1.

You can also use the “space bar” key to quickly move from the Grid/Thumbnail, to “Fit” view, then hit the space bar again to change to the 1:1 view.  Keep hitting the space bar to move in and out between the two views you last selected.  Now that’s fast!

You can also use the “Z” key from the thumbnail view and it will immediately take you to the 1:1, hit it again to go back to grid/thumbnail view.

Practice using these methods and as you become comfortable with them, I assure you, you will become much faster and more thorough working in Lightroom.

CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School will be November 21st and 22nd at Elgin Community College.  Check out the CAPS homepage at:  Home

To register go to: 

John joined the Lake County Camera Club in 2008 and has served in many capacities and also had great success participating in club, CACCA and PSA competitions.  While he enjoys the challenges of learning many different photography types and styles, his favorites tend to be Architecture and landscapes. As an early adopter for HDR, panoramic and compositing processing techniques, he has always enjoyed the deep dive into more advanced photography processing technology. 

John has been teaching Lightroom to large and small groups through his club activities and takes a very practical and real life experience perspective on the full implementation of the software. He loves to share and teach with photographers of all levels and give back to the photography community.

John will be teaching on Sunday, November 22nd.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Making Mobile Movies......"It's Fun" by Jerry Hug

Making Movies with the iPhone.

This is a fun class on how to make short movies entirely on the iPhone with free software (iMovie). Why make movies? Why not? We still photographers have a lot more on our cameras and when it is sooooo easy, it becomes fun. When I say short movies, remember most TV commercials are 30 seconds or less. I try to keep the movies under one minute. The Owl movie and the Dancing Camera were all taken with an iPhone 6. The Owl was from 4 short clips and it was all assembled in the iPhone. The dancing Camera was one clip and created with the Silent Film Studio app.  It is easy to add music, dialog and smooth transitions.  Come and learn how.  Bring your iPhone and have 60 minutes of pure fun.   Jerry Hug, APSA

Jerry is from Des Plaines, Illinois and is a past president of the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association and is Public Relations Vice President of the Photographic Society of America. Jerry has lectured throughout the country for the PSA. For more of Jerry’s latest work see his Blog. Jerry is a professional educator with a background in music. He teaches Photoshop and Digital Photography in the Chicago area, Michigan, Indiana and at The Clearing in Door County, WI.  You have seen his programs on iPhone Photography, now come and see what he has to say about iMovies.  Jerry will be speaking at CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School on Sunday, November 22nd, Elgin Community College Business Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL.

To Register for CAPS go to Chicago Area Photographic School (CAPS) 2015 - RegOnline 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Online Registration for CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School is now Open

The Registration Site for CAPS- Chicago Area Photographic School is now open.
The link is Chicago Area Photographic School (CAPS) 2015 - RegOnline

This great two day photography event will be Saturday and Sunday, November 21st and 22nd at Elgin Community College Business Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL.

Take a look at our speakers below:


Plus in alphabetical order:

Walt Anderson-   "Flights of Fancy, Birds in the Air"
Dan Anderson- "Luminosity Masks for Better Prints"
John Batdorff- "101 Shades of Gray: Advanced Black and White Processing" 
Anne Belmont-  "The Art of Seeing and Capturing the Beauty of Flowers"
Bob Benson- "Optimizing Your Images for Competition and Display"
Don Bolak- "Better Composition, How to Work a Subject"
Craig Brandt-  "Using One Light to Get Big Results"
Bill Brown & Bill Brandes- "Exploring Photoshop Elements"
Alan Cox-  "HDR Techniques-When One Image is Not Enough"
Richard Fisher- "Get the Most From Your Camera"
Steve Gettle- "The Art of Nature Photography"
Jerry Hug- "Making Great Movies with Your Digital Camera"
Margie Hurwich- "Layers and Beyond"
George LeClaire- "Photography from a Photojournalist's Perspective"
Lorraine Mahoney- "Storm Chasing- How to Capture the Weather"
Bill Skinner-  "On Location Portraits"
Chris Smith- "Photographing Chicago"
Matt Sparapani/ Alison Newberry- "How to Plan Your Own Do-It-Yourself Photo Safari"
Mike Trahan- "Nature Photography: A Practical Approach"
John Williams- "Lightroom Tips and Tricks"

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Rozel Kansas Tornado Shoot" by Lorraine Mahoney

My name’s Lorraine. I am very upbeat and bubbly. I love to meet new people and experience a lot of new and different things documenting it every step of the way. In my free time you will find me driving all over the United States to chase storms. I love weather! The photography bug bit me back in 2009 and I fell head over heels for it. One of my favorite things to do is go out into nature and photograph it at its best and at its worst. I photograph everything from animals to people and everything in between. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I could not agree more. Pictures show deep emotion where words cannot. I love the pure happiness a picture can bring to someone and I thrive to do that for people! It brings me much satisfaction when a photo I take touches someone.

This shot was taken May 18th 2013 in Rozel Kansas. The weather models were showing a potentially great chase day out in Kansas and it was on the weekend so it was perfect. My chase partner and I decided to take the drive down to see what we could catch. Brad and I got into Greensburg Kansas and sat at a gas station with a number of other chasers for a few hours. Greensburg is no stranger to large tornadoes because they too were hit by one a few years back. Later in the afternoon the storms started developing so we started towards Rozel because of the weather parameters there. A storm had quickly formed giving us many photographic opportunities. We were in perfect position because the tornado started right by us in an open field and in phenomenal light!  As the tornado moved through the field, we got back into the car and continued to follow it through its life cycle. Through its life cycle it turned many shapes and colors. I have never seen a tornado so pretty. The tornado was rated an EF4 and one of the best kind because no one was hurt in it and there was very minimal damage as it stayed in the open fields mostly. Here is a link to the blog I wrote on my website about it. Rozel Ks Chase May 18th 2013 | Captured by Lorraine 

This photo will be featured in National Geographic's new book coming out in October called "Rarely Seen."

I will be sharing how to get great shots as this in my program "Storm Chasing, How to Capture the Weather" at CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School on Saturday, November 21st. Chicago Area Photographic School (CAPS) 2015 - RegOnline

Facebook:  (3) Photography by Lorraine