Volume 51 – No. 2

Founded 1965 – our 50th Year

October 2015


The Newsletter of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society

Editor: Alan Goldstein – Email: editor" at "nvps.org

Table of Contents

President's Message
Monthly Program
Education and Training
    September Competition Results
Members' Gallery
Field Trips
Self Improvement Field Trips
Board of Directors
Member Contribution
   Members News
   Other Local News
   Exhibition Opportunities
   Workshop Offerings

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10/6 Monthly Program: Creative Techniques with
      Corey Hilz
10/10 Field Trips: Old Bedford Village, Pa.
10/13 Education & Training: Portraiture and Lighting
10/20 Competition: Judging by David Blecman
10/27 Forum: “How would famous art do in an NVPS competition?” with Joe Miller
Members Gallery: [No prints]
     Digital Images by Bob and Willa Friedman
          and by Chris Langford

Note: You can click on the above links to go directly to the article; or you can scroll through the entire newsletter. You can also print the entire newsletter. (The more that you read, the more things you will know - Dr. Seuss )

To protect our members from email spam, personal email addresses in this newsletter have "@" replaced with " at " Please remember to substitute the "@" when attempting to contact any of the people.

All meetings for the club year start at 7:30 p.m. at the Dunn Loring Fire Station. The doors open at 6:45 p.m. for a "meet and greet" with meetings on non-competition nights beginning at 7:30 p.m. Note for Competition Nights only(Third Tuesday): Competition begins at 7:15p.m. All prints must be checked in no later than 7:30 p.m. 

Although we have not had any problems for many years, do remember to lock your car and place valuables out of sight, as we should in any public parking area. Come early and visit, but when the meeting starts, PLEASE take seats immediately and silence your cell phone, pager or any other device that might make noise and distract listeners or interrupt speakers.

Please check the website and FotoFax for the club's policy on weather closings. Check WTOP www.wtop.com or Fairfax County School systems web site for closings. You can also sign up for emails or cell phone alerts: http://www.fcps.edu/news/emerg.shtml

President's Message

NVPS is off to another good start. It was my pleasure to welcome everyone back from the summer break. And it was great to see smiling new faces with a shared passion for photography.

This past month we learned how to mat at the Education & Training meeting. Ginger Werz-Petricka and Chris Langford most certainly deserve thanks for planning and arranging the activity, and I was pleased to see many of our members bringing in their own mat cutters and supplies to help other members to learn how to mat a picture properly. I know I learned how to mat at NVPS (thank you Willa Friedman), and it was great to see the appreciation of those who prepared their very first mounted print. Thank you to everyone who participated!

October is one of my favorite months. It’s the time when the leaves change and reach peak color in the Mid-Atlantic area. We are blessed to have many choices within driving distance. I am partial to the Canaan Valley area, because it contains several of my favorite places to photograph, including: Dolly Sods for sunrises and  crimson colored heath fields, Black Water State Park for Elakala Falls, Lindy Point for sunset, and just driving along Route 32 and searching for color, light and majestic views. Other great locations are: the Shenandoah Valley,  Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Falls, and Rickets Glen in Pennsylvania. I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy this special time of the year.

Please mark your calendars for November 13-15th and make your plans to attend the Nature Visions 2015 Photography Expo. This year’s all-day Friday speaker is Marc Muench and his program is titled “Mastering Landscape Photography.” Tim Grey will be giving the free program on Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. I am eager to see Joe McNally who is an expert on portable flash photography. Joe will deliver the keynote speech on Saturday and present the NVPE awards. NVPS' own Wayne Wolfersberger will be giving a program titled “Getting to Know Your Camera.” And there will be plenty of vendors demoing equipment and offering show specials.  Go to http://naturevisions.org and register in advance to save some money.

This month we will have a themed competition and  our theme is “Portraiture.” Please read the description on the website at http://nvps.org/home/?page_id=416 to make sure your image meets the criteria. If your image does not meet the definition of the theme, it may be eliminated at the discretion of the VPs of Competition. If you are unsure about whether your image meets the criteria, please consult with the VPs of Competition prior to the competition night by sending an email to competitions@nvps.org . Don't forget we are starting Competition meetings at 7:15 PM this year.

I just got back from September's Field Trip to Fredericksburg, Va. We had a nice, enthusiastic group of photographers who enjoyed spending time in a historic location. We had a tasty lunch together at Eileen's Bakery and the camaraderie was evident. Thank you, Alan Goldstein and Bill Millhouser, for scouting and arranging access to such a lovely location. Next month’s field trip is scheduled for October 10 at Old Bedford Village in Pennsylvania.

We are still in need of a third Tech Team member. Please consider helping the club by joining the Tech Team. Job responsibilities include helping with the set-up, digital projection, and break down of equipment at meetings.


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Monthly Program

October 6th: Creative Techniques with Corey Hilz

Applying creative techniques to how you make a photograph can elevate your subject or scene to have greater visual impact. These can be in-camera techniques, as well as ones that are applied during your post-processing workflow. Included in this presentation will be panning, subject motion, multiple exposures, shooting through, overlays, blending textures, light painting, star trails, focus stacking and more. This presentation will also discuss the importance of visualization as a foundation for the best application of these techniques.

Corey Hilz is a professional photographer specializing in nature and travel photography. He is a published author and his work is seen in magazines, books and calendars, as well as in art galleries. Corey finds the diversity in nature and cultures around the world offer boundless opportunities for new images. He approaches his subjects with an artistic eye, looking for a fresh perspective. Corey has a passion for helping others improve their photography by sharing his knowledge through group and private instruction. He leads workshops to locations in the United States and abroad, plus offers photo classes and software training in the Washington, D.C. area. Find out more on Corey's website: coreyhilz.com

Examples of Corey's work:

Monthly programs for 2015-2016:

Month Speaker Subject
November Nikhil Bahl The Power of Simplicity and Expression
December Tim Cooper HDR
January Alex Mody Photographing the Northwest
February Mitchell Layton Sports Photography, including Children's Sports
March E. Davis Luria Architecture
May Jennifer King Image Design

The VP for Programs for this year Willa Siegel.

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Education & Training

October 13th: Portaiture and Lighting

Need some tips before the October portrait theme competition?  Want to learn more about the classic lighting setups for portraiture?  What is the difference between natural and flash/strobe lighting?  What is a light modifier, and what types are there?  What is the difference between a monolight, speedlite, and a powerpack?  Where can I get the best price on lighting gear? 

Get answers to these and more as NVPS member Chris Langford goes over the fundamentals of portraiture, with a live demonstration using strobes and Lightroom’s tethered capture feature.  Even if you have experience with flash or consider yourself a “natural light” photographer, everyone will get something out of this program night. 

This E&T session is a perfect follow up to our first program/speaker of the year, Erika Nizbarski.  Chris will adding on to the questions that were asked by NVPS members that evening.  As well, if you attended David Piazza’s presentation on September 9, 2014, you’re in for a treat since Chris wants to build off that presentation as well.

Examples of Chris’ work:

See you there!

Ginger and Chris

Month and Date Program
November 10 Post-Processing Software with several How-To stations for software Q&A
December 8 Anonymous Critique
January 12 Being Creative with Software with several How-To stations
February 9 Creative Hand-on Workshop with Multiple Photography Stations
March 8 Camera Basics - Equipment
April 12 Photography as a Business
May 10 Final Portfolio Review

The Education and Training Coordinator for this year is Ginger Werz-Petricka.

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October 20th: Judging by David Blecman

The theme for October's competition is Portraiture. The subjects for this theme can be people or other animals, primarily capturing the face; but full figure is acceptable, for example, a wedding portrait also shows the dress. Both formal and informal (candid) captures allowed but keeping the main subject as an individual.

David Blecman started his photographic career fresh out of high school in 1978, and before turning twenty, he was named Photo Editor of the county newspaper. After many years of shooting weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other family events, he started Positive Negatives in 1997, and concentrated more into the commercial photography arena. He is now an internationally recognized photographer and instructor.

He has since photographed projects for such clientele as Sears, Color Me Beautiful, JCPenney, Bath & Body Works, Foot Action, Kaybee Toys, Littman Jewelers, Seagrams Americas, Holiday Inn, Wyndham Hotels, Days Inn, Hilton Hotels, The White House, Black Market, Water Water Everywhere, Cornell University, and others.

David has also been hired to photograph such celebrities as President George W. Bush, Christina Aguilera, Jimmy Buffett, Steely Dan, Moody Blues, Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child, Celine Dion, Gene  Simmons and KISS, and numerous others.

He currently shoots for magazines, clothiers, fashion designers, and numerous other print and commercial accounts, as well as for models, actors, and their agencies.  He has been published hundreds of times, and his specialties include, but is not limited to child and adult models, architectural, food, fashion, swimwear, location and studio work, products, headshots, etc.

The Photographer’s Market, an international publication which advises photographers on how to market their photography as well as business practices, did a feature write-up on David and Positive Negatives in the 2001 edition.

David continues to speak at modeling and photography venues, teach at modeling agencies, and continues to teach and mentor photographers, models, and makeup artists internationally, and his 2010 training course in the Caribbean was filmed to become a 13-episode television series.

He also organizes exotic training events in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Europe aboard luxury cruise liners with on-board and location shooting and training, and is an advocate of helping artists grow and protect their business and careers world-wide. David also helped in the planning and teaching of a photography training course for cancer patients at The St. Agnes Cancer Institute in Baltimore, Md.

More recently, David is mentoring a group of over 500 amateur photographers, and is getting them exposure and recognition by having their work displayed and sold at a local framing shop and art gallery.

The Co-VPs Competition for 2015-2016 are Tami Stieger and Kevin Egan (competitions@nvps.org)

Competition Themes for 2015-2016

Note: The Board reaffirmed that there will be three themed competitions per program year, but there will be no theme competitions in the months of December, January, and February.  

The themes for 2015 – 2016 are:

  • Portraiture - October 20, 2015
    The subjects for this theme can be people or other animals, primarily capturing the face; but full figure is acceptable, for example, a wedding portrait also shows the dress. Both formal and informal (candid) captures allowed but keeping the main subject as an individual.
  • Creativity - March 15, 2016
    This theme is meant to push the boundaries of your creativity through use of in-camera and or computer processing techniques. Examples being, multiple exposures, zooming and camera manipulation, panning, layering with textures, lighting techniques, digital painting, anything goes! A time to show off your processing techniques.
  • Architecture - May 17, 2016
    Images of man- made structures including bridges, buildings, alone or collectively; parts of buildings such as arches, columns, ceilings, cupolas, stairways etc. Architectural structures within a landscape environment also accepted, such as a pergola or gazebo.

Competition Themes for 2016-2017

The themes for 2016–2017 are:

  • Love
    We turn our attention to one of the most valuable virtues; an international language and possibly the strongest of all feelings…Love! It is an invitation to explore the path of love as an emotion, an attraction, an attachment… in all its forms! Some sample images might include: a lovers’ embrace, a passion you love, an X drawn in vapor trails, a goodbye, a friendship, etc.
  • Drag the shutter
    Show us your best shutter drag. Whether capturing motion in waves or panning cars zooming by, we want to see you get creative with this topic. Slow down your shutter speed to show a sense of motion or action.
  • Colors
    Life is a stream of color. Red, blue, yellow, and a billion pigments in between… For this theme we ask you to show us color-inspired photographs. Scenes, details, narratives or moods. Subtle tones or Technicolor daydreams, color must be a primary component of your image.

Editor's note: We like to share competition winning images on the website and include a representative winner from each category in the monthly newsletter, but we cannot do this unless the photographer specifically grants permission. When you win a ribbon in the competition, please remember to grant permission. See the note in the following section for details.

September Competition Results

The full list of competition results is available on the NVPS web site at http://nvps.org

Digital - Class 1
1st - Bill Millhouser - Gliding Home
2nd - Phyllis Kimmel - Out to Dry
3rd - Kirk Andrew Johnson - Pileated Woodpecker
HM - Andrew Savino - Nautilus Shell
HM - Mark Chen - Lonely Pier
HM - Mary Paula Newman - Misty Morning on the River
HM - Mary Paula Newman - Hang'em High
HM - Wendy Xu - Rodeo

Digital - Class 2
1st - Benita Mayo - Through the Marsh
2nd - Granger Benson - D.C. War Memorial
3rd - Jamie Kiechlin - Before and After
HM - Philip Winters - Cherry Blossoms Early Morning

Digital - Class 3
1st - Sam Schaen - Outdoor Bathtub
2nd - Tuan Pham - Simple Beauty
3rd - Scott Musson - Wings of Colorado
HM - Curtis Gibbens - Honeybee in the Lotus
HM - Judy McGuire - Fall Day in Canaan Valley
HM - Keiu-Hanh Vu - Sirena Drummer

Monochrome Prints
1st - Georgette Grossman - Orchid Etchings
2nd - Bob Friedman - The Beach
3rd - Dale Nelson - Looking Over
HM - Bill Corbett - Black Necked Stilt
HM - Ed Ruggiero - Post It

Color Prints - Class 1
lst - Colena Turner - Making a Point
2nd - Melannie Egan - Lily in Black Water

Color Prints - Class 2
1st - Randy Ihara - African Night Watch
2nd - Granger Benson - Cooling Off After the Race

Color Prints - Class 3
1st - Stan Bysshe - Shimmers
2nd - Bob Friedman - Freedom Tower
3rd - Dale Nelson - Sunflower Morning
HM - Bill Corbett - Cardinal in Snow

First Place images from September:

All winning images are available for viewing at http://nvps.org/gallery/v/competitions/2014-2015_Competition_Winners/

Class 1 Digital - 1st Place
Bill Millhouser
Gliding Home

Class 2 Digital - 1st Place
Benita Mayo
Through the Marsh

Class 3 Digital - 1st Place
Sam Schaen
Outdoor Bathtub

Class 1 Color Prints - 1st Place
Colena Turner
Making a Point

Monochrome Prints
Georgette Grossman
Orchid Etchings

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Competition Image Use

The NVPS Website has a gallery of past Competition winning images at http://nvps.org/gallery/v/competitions/. If your image placed first, second, third or received an honorable mention in a club competition, it is eligible for this gallery.  Images are not posted automatically, you must specifically provide consent for your image to be included in the gallery.

To have your winning image included in the gallery, email competitionwinners" at "nvps.org and provide the following information:

Your name
Image Category
(digital, color print, monochrome print)
Image Class
(1, 2, or 3)
Competition Date

Digital Winners: When you upload your image for the competition, you can check the box to grant permission for it to be posted if it wins.  

Print Winners: send a digital version of your print, sized as if it were for digital competition.

The FotoFax newsletter is usually finalized during the weekend immediately following the monthly club competitions.  If your image is a first place winner and you send it in before the Friday following competition, your image will be forwarded to the editor for inclusion in FotoFaxIf you have not provided permission before that deadline, another winning entry may be used.

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Portfolio Project

A  portfolio is a collection of photographs  that are representative of  your skills and accomplishments. The Portfolio Project runs the entire club year and is a challenge and a learning experience. Everyone is  encouraged to participate.  It  will stretch your photographic skill to develop a body of related work that is more than a collection of your favorite images.  

To get started,  sign up at any meeting, then check out what other club members have achieved over the years in their portfolios  by visiting the club website at  http://nvps.org/gallery/v/Portfolio+Project/ .  Continue by reviewing your existing images while considering what you like to photograph or even what you wish you could photograph better.  Choosing a subject is not easy.
I feel very strongly that the Portfolio Project has been one of the most valuable programs that NVPS has offered me.  I was able  to produce a body of work that led to my first solo show. Here are a few observations that might be useful along the way to your first portfolio:

  • While an interesting trip can make a great portfolio, I need to photograph in a place that I can return to repeatedly — Springfield, not Paris.
  • I need to choose a subject that is always available so that I can revisit and re-photograph it.  For me it's more likely to be architecture than cherry blossoms, autumn leaves or snow.

A  portfolio needs an Artist's Statement. It  can be written before you start your project to guide your journey or after you complete it and know where you've gone .  I write an Artist's Statement and keep reviewing it as I take photos.   My Artist's Statement is a living document; it changes and evolves.   I write it in pencil, not ink!  Read Brook Jensen's column from LensWork Magazine  on Artist's Statements on our website at http://nvps.org/home/?p=3038  He provides an interesting perspective on what to include and what not to include.

On October 13, at the Education and Training meeting Brian Zwit will  explain Artist's Statements in greater detail.  He will also be our final critiquer in May. 

We will have sign-up sheets at the meetings, or you may sign-up by contacting  me or Ceasar Sharper at portfolioproject@nvps.org.

As you progress with the project, you will be able to post your images on the club website. There will be frequent announcements and updates as the year progresses.  When the website is set up for  portfolio project the detailed instructions will follow.  There will also be a critique along the way to help us all stay on track.

Willa Friedman 

Co-chairs for the Portfolio Project for 2015-2016 are Willa Friedman and Ceasar Sharper.

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October 27th: “How would famous art do in an NVPS                    competition?” with Joe Miller

Joseph Miller has been photographing for over 65 years. He started long before Photoshop and other computer software programs existed. Thus, he believes it is important to get it right in the camera rather than relying on post processing programs. He firmly believes that photography is or can be an art form and was hired by Eastman Kodak. He feels that technical excellence alone is not enough, and believes that artistic considerations are more important. He has presented workshops and has written many articles on photography. He organizes and judges images in his Annual Abstract Photography Exhibit. He has attended workshops, programs  and lectures in the United States, Canada and South Africa given by his friend and mentor Freeman Patterson.



Presenters for the remainder of the 2015-2016 Society year are:

Month Presenter Program
November 24 Susan Phillips  Short Ventures To The Pacific Northwest
December No Forum due to holidays
January 2016 Ginger Werz-Petricka  TBA
February Curtis Gibbens TBA

The Forum Coordinator for 2015-2016 is Beth Morris.

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Members Gallery

October 27th: Digital Images by Bob and Willa Friedman                               and by Chris Langford

Bob and Willa Friedman

Bob started his photography journey as a teenager with a darkroom, which he inherited from his brother, in his parent’s basement.  The first thing he did when he and Willa bought their house was to build a darkroom in the basement.

Willa first became involved in photography as an instructor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where she photographed wildlife in city parks for the New York City schools, and her images were published in a fourth grade text book. 

If selling a few photos makes them pros, then they are pros.  Otherwise they are — in their words — advanced amateurs. They have taken courses and workshops at Photoworks at Glen Echo, and with Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant in New Brunswick, Canada, They have also had extensive courses in Photoshop. They have been members of NVPS for 12 years.

Their subjects are varied, but Bob does street photography and Willa finds reflections everywhere.  Bob uses a Nikon D800 with various lenses and Willa has switched to a mirrorless Fuji system with numerous lenses.

Her work is currently on display at the Art League in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria and Alexandria City Hall.  She also has an image in the permanent collection in the Joseph Miller Center for Photographic Arts and had an image published in the Northern Virginia Review in the spring of 2015.

They say “Our current job is retirement – in their words – doesn't pay very well but it is a lot more fun then the ‘W’ word.” They have multiple images in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and have prints on display in various professional offices in the Metro D.C. area.

They enjoy travel to places that offer creative photographic opportunities, and in the last few years have been to Cuba and Morocco.  The presentation will feature photographs from our trip to Morocco in October 2014, from Marrakesh to the Sahara.


Examples of the Friedman's work:

Chris Langford

Chris Langford, an NVPS member since October 2013, got into photography in late 2012 after his wife bought an entry level DSLR to take better photos of their son. As they quickly learned, a nice camera does not equal great photos. Out of frustration and fascination, Chris began educating himself on the art of photography… with a little help from his OCD.

After a lot of practice and experimentation, and the great resources and expertise within NVPS, his images soon gained the attention of friends and family members who asked if he could do photos for them, and from there it grew into a side business. Though Chris has yet to specialize in a particular style of photography, he leans more toward portraiture, which is where is sees moving further along into even more in the future.

Chris has done professional photography work for personal trainers, weddings, engagements, families, couples, schools, political events, businesses (headshots), and even real-estate agents.  He also does a lot of second-shooting/assisting for photographers, which is a great way to learn more about our craft, get new ideas, and to gain potential referrals. 

Though his first DSLR that his wife bought was a Canon, Chris is a Nikon shooter, and loves his D750.  His favorite lenses include the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and a used Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8.  Other notable gear would include his Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 strobes and numerous modifiers. Software-wise, Chris just uses Lightroom and Photoshop, and his favorite retouching tool is using dodging and burning with curves and a brush.   

For his presentation at the Member's Gallery on October 27, Chris will focus mainly on his portraiture work as a follow-up to his Education and Training presentation on October 13. This is also timely since the theme competition for October is portraiture. As always, Chris will answer any questions during and after his presentation.   

To see some of his work, you can visit his website at www.chrislangfordphotography.com, which is hosted by Squarespace.com.  Chris is also a member of the American Photographic Artists (APA), which is a professional association of photographers with an active chapter in the D.C. metro area. 

Examples of Chris’s work:

Presenters for the remainder of the 2015-2016 Society year are:

Month Digital Print
November Dennis Govoni Robert Granger Benson
December No Members Gallery due to holidays
January 2016 Polly Terriberry Bill Corbett
February Rick French Andrew Savino
March Fred Siskind Mike Whalen
April Alan Goldstein John Singley
May Ceasar Sharper Yvonne Jarrett

The Member's Gallery Coordinator for this 2015-2016 is Ron Taylor.

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Field Trips

October 10th: Old Bedford Village and Environs

This field trip will offer various photographic opportunities during the peak of fall foliage and will coincide with the Fall Foliage Festival.  The trip will include a morning visit to Old Bedford Village, and various afternoon alternatives such as photographing covered bridges, sites along the Old Lincoln Highway and other interesting areas in Bedford and the surrounding countryside.  Information on Bedford County various sites can be found at the Bedford County Visitors Bureau: http://www.visitbedfordcounty.com. We will provide copies of the brochures mentioned below before the field trip.

We will meet in the parking lot of Old Bedford Village at 9:30 a.m. The Village is located at 220 Sawblade Rd., Bedford PA 15522 (just off US 220 BUS between the Bedford PA Turnpike exit and the town of Bedford). Driving time from Northern Virginia is about 2½ hours.

Old Bedford Village is a wonderful collection of historic homes, shops, schoolhouses, with numerous craftsmen, and characters. The admission fee is $10. For more information see: http://www.oldbedfordvillage.com/index.php

We will meet for lunch at Ed’s Steakhouse at 12:30 p.m. The address is 4476 US 220 BUS, Bedford PA 1522; the restaurant is about five minutes north of the entrance to Old Bedford Village.

After lunch, NVPS members have several options for photographing sites in the surrounding area:

The downtown historic building tour, starting with The Bedford County Visitors Bureau, 31 South Juliana St., offers some interesting shots of historic houses, churches and the iconic 1933 Dunkle’s Gulf Gas Station. The Visitors Bureau has a great array of information and maps on things to see and photograph both downtown and in the countryside. The downtown walking tour is described in “Learning Architecture” brochure. The downtown will be very crowded with crafts displays, food vendors and entertainment.  Parking will be difficult, so you may wish to park at Old Bedford Village for $5.00 and take a shuttle bus downtown.

The county’s 14 covered bridges are described in detail in the excellent “Covered Bridges” brochure.  This brochure has detailed information on each bridge including map location and GPS coordinates.  Bridges 5-13 are centered along RT 96 in the western portion of the County and provide the best bet for seeing the most bridges. Bridges 5, 6 7,10 and 13 appear to offer good photographic opportunities. Please note that some of the bridges are hard to locate unless you have a GPS.  In some cases the bridges may be obscured by dense vegetation  (which may be good in the fall).  Intrepid photographers may bring appropriate footgear and take photos from stream level.  Shawnee State Park, located between bridges 6 and 7 should provide some good fall foliage shots.

 If you are heading west to photograph the covered bridges you can stop along US 30, to enjoy various sites commemorating the Old Lincoln Hwy, the Nation’s first coast-to- coast hwy.  These include historic structures, old gas pumps, the 1806 log church, and barn murals. The tour is described on pages 46 and 47 of the Bedford County Visitor’s Guide.  

Another rural tour option is the scenic Morrison’s Cove Driving tour, which winds through the countryside northeast of Bedford, including the area around the Waterside Woolen Mill. This tour is described on page 48 of the Bedford County Visitor’s Guide.  

In addition, The Flight 93 Memorial, honoring the men and women lost on September 11, 2001, is located 23 miles west of Bedford on Hwy 30.

Note: To facilitate sign-ups, please download this fillable .PDF to your desktop, fill it out on your computer, save it using your name as the file name, and attach it to an e-mail and send it to field-trips@nvps.org

Field trips planned for the remainder of the program year (subject to change):

Date Location
November National Aquarium/Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md.
December Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring, Md.
January U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
February Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Baltimore, Md.
March Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge, Md.
April 23 Mount Cuba Gardens, Hockessin, Del.
May Lonaconing Silk Mill, Lonaconing, Md.

Field Trip Coordinators for 2015-2016 are Bill Millhouser and Alan Goldstein

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Self Improvement Field Trips

Bob and Willa Friedman are resurrecting, by popular demand, the Self Improvement Field trips for the 2015-2016 NVPS year.  Paul Simmons created this project for the 2006-2007 year and we did it in 2012-2013.  

Paul said:"The objective of these field trips is to improve our photographic vision by learning to recognize and use the building blocks of visual design in creating images.  If you're like me, you have favorite pictures, ones you have taken and those taken by others, but have difficulty articulating what it is that makes them good. Hopefully, these Self Improvement Field Trips will help us in consciously using the elements of visual design to create and understand compelling images."

Bob and Willa will be using Freeman Patterson's book, Photographing the World Around You (A Visual Design Workshop) as a study aid.  Each month, starting in September,  there will be an assignment, e.g. lines, triangles, circles, etc.  There will be a monthly field trip to Green Spring Gardens. The schedule is to be determined so that these do not conflict with other NVPS field trips.

The plan is to meet at  9 am on either a Saturday or a Sunday. There will be mentors at each field trip to assist and answer questions.  In addition, there will be a photo gallery where you can post images and have a guest critiquer comment on your image.

Bob and Willa encourage novices to participate.  Of course, even advanced photographers are invited to come and improve their photo eye.

Purchasing Freeman's book is not a requirement but it will be useful to understand the monthly assignment.  The book is not readily available, in fact it is out of print.   You can purchase the book on Amazon.com
This is the newest edition
The following is the previous edition and it is essentially the same
 Please let Bob know it you want to participate.

To see photos from the last self-improvement trips go to http://nvps.org/gallery/v/2012self

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Board of Directors

2015-2016 NVPS Board

Elected Board    
President Jamie Kiechlin president@nvps.org
VP Programs Willa Siegel programs@nvps.org
VP Operations Alan Tolk operations@nvps.org
Co-VP Competition Tami Stieger competition@nvps.org
Co-VP Competition Kevin Egan competition@nvps.org
Treasurer Tom Brett treasurer@nvps.org
Secretary/Historian Fran Bastress secretary@nvps.org
Appointed Board    
Past President Georgette Grossman pastpresident@nvps.org
Education & Training Coordinator Ginger Werz-Petricka education@nvps.org
Exhibits Coordinator (Nature Visions) Roger Lancaster naturevisions@nvps.org
Field Trips Coordinator Bill Millhouser field-trips@nvps.org
Member’s Gallery Coordinator Ron Taylor membersgallery@nvps.org
Forum Coordinator Beth Morris forum@nvps.org
Membership Coordinator Judy Graham membership@nvps.org
Newsletter & NVACC Representative Alan Goldstein editor@nvps.org
Website Manager Scott Musson webadmin@nvps.org
Special Board Member Mike Whalen specialboardmember@nvps.org
Special Board Member Bob Friedman specialboardmember@nvps.org
Special Board Member Willa Friedman specialboardmember@nvps.org
Special Board Member Sandi Croan specialboardmember@nvps.org

A full list of all current NVPS Board members and their club contact information also can be found at: http://nvps.org/home/?page_id=23

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Nature Visions 2015 features Muench, McNally, Grey and Magill

Nature Visions Photo Expo 2015 takes place Friday-Saturday-Sunday November 13-15 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas with over two dozen instructional sessions, great local and national vendors, and two stupendous exhibits of YOUR work.  Registration and sales for paid classes began on August 1 at NatureVisions.org. Online registration is required for admission.

If you submitted an image and it is selected for the expo, you will be required to print and mat your work. Please make sure that the colors of the printed image coincide with the colors of the digital image used in judging. Additionally, make sure that your mat job is suitable for display purposes — i.e. we don't want the mat to fall off during the expo. If you need help with matting, please contact me or other members of the club who do matting.

This year’s All-day Friday Seminar Speaker is the well-known landscape photographer Marc Muench.  Marc’s images have appeared on covers and inside National Geographic, Sierra and Arizona Highways; Marc is the photo editor of the National Parks guides and a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.  Marc’s father is David Muench, the legendary landscape master.

The Saturday Keynote address will be given by a genius of imagery and lighting, Joe McNally, author of The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes, Faces of Ground Zero and other outstanding books of photography and instruction.   Joe has been a contract photographer for Sports Illustrated and a staff photographer at LIFE, and is a 23-year contributor to National Geographic, shooting numerous cover stories.  American Photo magazine calls him "perhaps the most versatile photojournalist working today."

The Sunday FREE Featured Speaker is Tim Grey, the digital photography educator and co-author with Art Wolfe of The New Art of Photographing Nature.  Tim gives two FREE presentations on Lightroom and his work on Sunday.  Tim is well-known for his FREE daily e-mail digest on digital photography and post-processing, Ask Tim Grey.  Sign up for it now at http://asktimgrey.com/enewsletter/

The Sunday Noontime Featured Speaker is Ron Magill.  A Nikon Ambassador, Ron has worked with wildlife for more than 35 years and is internationally recognized for his photographic “hands-on” experience, from swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos, to tracking tigers on an elephant in India.  A documentary producer as well as a photographer, Ron's work has appeared in the Smithsonian and in publications and galleries around the globe.

Discount classes for beginning photographers will be offered again this year for only $2 per session.  Join the rest of the club at Nature Visions Photo Expo 2015!

Finally, sales of tickets for the expo began August 1.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require further information.

Roger Lancaster

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Member Contribution

Photo Lingo
by John Naman

Judges sometimes say, "Flat Light, Harsh Light, Soft Light". What exactly does that mean, and what are the possible ways to deal with it?

Harsh light has strong black shadows and usually blown highlights – bright whites and dark shadows. Those high contrast images are common in mid-day sun. Also called hard shadows because the edge of the shadow is well-defined and the not a soft blur of soft shadows.

Soft Light has soft shadows, if any and few highlights. Soft light is most common on overcast winter days.

Flat light doesn't have shadows or gradients of light, which help define shape. The light is not flat, it is a light that makes the photo look flat. It is more common to have flat light on cloudy days when the light is soft, but flat light can occur when the light comes directly from the direction of the camera, i.e. on camera flash. Passport photos often look totally flat. Even harsh mid-day sun can be flat light if the sun is directly behind the camera.

Examples (not good portraits: I shot up her nose to show the shadows on her neck. Please do not do this to real people. Shoot standing up or have the model/bride look down and thrust her head forward to elongate her neck).

Image 1: Hard light with hard shadow on her neck Image 2: Soft light with soft shadow on her neck
Flat image in hard light, almost no shadow (except behind her because I had her too close to background) Flat image in soft light with no shadow
Setup showing Sheila, my wig model, and diffuser for soft light.

Now you know the lingo and can recognize different lights in images. What can we do about it? Lots! And mostly fairly easily if you realize what the problem is when you are shooting.

Harsh Light and Portraits?

a) Find Some Shade Harsh light makes “raccoon” eye shadows and squinting and high contrast on skin. Try to move the subject (bride, bird, horse) into some shade. Shade is softer light.

b) If there’s no shade available, you can try to backlight the subject — move around until the sun is behind them. Then they are lit by ambient and sky in front of them. The background may be blown out, so zoom in (walk up) close.

c) Use a Reflector or Scrim Buy one, carry some aluminum foil, use a white tee shirt. Reflect some light into the dark harsh shadows and soften the light. Having a helper helps. On fashion shoots, models are often asked to hold a horizontal reflector at waist level, like a serving tray, to reflect light under the chin and eyes. It makes for much nicer "beauty light". You can lay a white table cloth on the ground for a reflector.

d) Make Your Own Shade Nature photographer Arthur Morris says " 90 percent of all flower images could be improved by shading the subject — with a diffuser, a large piece of cardboard, a shirt, or even a friend’s body. The same technique can work well with other small subjects such as crabs, frogs, insects, spiders, and shells. And when setting up a bird feeder to attract photo subjects, never put it in direct sunlight."

e) Use Fill Flash — Fill flash does the job of filling in harsh shadows in harsh light such as bright, midday light. It won't make a well-lit image brighter, but it will make the shadows much less harsh if they are close enough for the flash to “reach.”

e) Wait for Shade — Requires patience to wait for a cloud to pass in front of sun or sun to get lower in sky. Come back tomorrow at a better time of day.

e) Find another subject in another location with better light (or take them there). Variation on a) find some shade.

Soft Light and Portraits?

a) You hit the jackpot! Studio and fashion photographers use soft boxes and all kinds of gear to produce soft light. Soft light hides wrinkles, blemishes and skin imperfections. The lower color contrast smoothes out skin color. Soft light makes skin more flattering. I shoot roses the same way we shoot brides and fashion models, so I try for soft beauty light. As Arthur Morris said above, 90% of nature (small) images can be improved by shading the subject, which softens the light without making it too soft.

For a mid-afternoon shot, Sheila looks best (to me) in #2 above, just using a diffuser for soft light. Getting her away from the high contrast bushes in the background would be a must, because my diffuser wasn't big enough to cover the entire yard. Need a cloud for that. Or move her under a tree or other shade with a nicer background.

I hope this brief Photo Lingo note helps your photography. Please let me know about other Photo Lingo you want me to write about.

John Naman, NVPS Member, PhotoLingo@2jna.com

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Notice: The information about workshops and events not sponsored by or affiliated with NVPS are provided as an informational courtesy to Members. Individuals should review the detailed rules and conditions for contests and gallery shows to determine what impact entering an image has on the photographer's rights and ownership of the submitted images. Review the descriptions of workshops to see whether participation in a particular workshop would actually meet your personal learning goals. NVPS attempts to screen events for legitimacy and quality; however NVPS does not recommend these events and cannot assume responsibility for their ultimate quality. We recommend due diligence and encourage you to share your experience with other club members.

2015-2016 Membership Dues

This year there are a few good reasons to pay your NVPS dues earlier rather than later!

This year all Nature Visions submissions (Nature and Fine Arts) are digital submissions. To be eligible to enter images you must be a club member in good standing, i.e., be current in your membership dues. To make sure you qualify, Roger Lancaster will compare our list of paid members against the submissions he receives. So please pay your dues before you submit to Nature Visions.

In past years we have given members who compete in monthly competitions a grace period to pay their dues. For those competing in the September 15 competition, the grace period ends October 1. Please note that awards/points received in the September competition will be removed for members who have not paid their dues by October 1.

Early payment identifies you as an active member of NVPS and allows us to better serve your needs.
Membership dues for the 2015-2016 year are as follows:

  • Individual           $45.00
  • Family                $65.00
  • Student              $20.00

There are three forms of payment. Checks and cash are preferred by NVPS:

Our new season begins on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. We look forward to seeing you there!

Welcome Committee – Calling For Volunteers

Have you ever walked into a room of a 100 people and didn’t recognize a soul? It can be very intimidating even to the most outgoing. As NVPS has grown in size, potential and new members may feel overwhelmed. In 2010 NVPS Membership established a program to help facilitate the integration of potential and new members into the club.

Membership is asking for volunteers to participate in the Welcome Committee. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Committing to frequently attending meetings during the year and arriving by 7:00 p.m.
  • Wearing a Welcome Committee name tag
  • Standing by the Membership table during social time (7:00-7:30) and making yourself available to help greet potential and new members
  • Answering questions about NVPS and membership
  • Introducing potential and new members to other NVPS members
  • Encouraging potential and new members to join and new members to keep attending meetings
  • Inviting potential and new members to sit with you at meetings or ride with you on field trips

Volunteers are especially needed at the beginning of the club year. Ideally, we would like to have five volunteers on the committee, which will be rotated. So please raise your hand by e-mailing Judy Graham, the Membership Coordinator, at membership@nvps.org and letting her know you are willing to volunteer for this important role!

Members' Resources:

Do you need help with a photography problem, but don't know who to ask? The Members' Resource Program is here for you. Have you ever been asked, "How do you do that?" If so, then consider sharing your knowledge with other club members.

The Members' Resource area of the club web site http://nvps.org/main/members_resource/ contains a growing set of presentations and "how to" documents created by club members. It contains the Members' Resource List, which provides the names and e-mail addresses of club members who have volunteered to help club members looking for help on specific technology and technique topics.

Our members routinely receive photo awards and recognition and have images in shows. As FotoFax only comes out monthly, the best place to look for current events is on the website at:

Members' News:

Georgette Grossman – Capturing the World I See

Members are encouraged to visit a solo exhibit by Georgette Grossman that will run through October 15 at Beanetics Coffee Roasters, 7028 Columbia Pike, Annandale.  This exhibit is colorful and diverse. The content runs the gamut from nature and landscape to rusty old trucks, shadowy runners on the beach, and a peacock feather!

Georgette says “I believe that photographs help us notice the world around us more carefully. They capture the moments we want to remember. They also show us images of people, places, and things we may not have ever seen before. The photographs in this exhibit reflect my photographic journey--one that has expanded my world. I hope the images I have created will expand yours!”

David Heagy

David Heagy is having an exhibit of his photography at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, 2709 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, Va. 22124. The exhibit will be displayed through October 20.

Willa Seigel

Willa Seigel’s photo Wrath of Sandy was accepted into the Art League Show for October... Superstition and Belief.... A different version of this photo won an award in an NVPS competition.

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Exhibition Opportunities

Announcements of exhibitions or contests are provided for information purposes only. There is no actual or implied endorsement by the Northern Virginia Photographic Society.

Washington School of Photography (WSP)

Located within WSP, the Washington Gallery of Photography hosts monthly gallery shows, open to the public, and consisting of work from mid-Atlantic Photographers. They hold regular gallery receptions, hosted on the first Friday of each month. See details on their calendar at: http://www.washingtonschoolofphotography.com/

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Other Local News

Photo '15: A National Fine Art Photography Exhibition

Thirty-four fine art photographs selected for PHOTO '15 by Sarah Greenough, Senior Curator and Head of the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., will be on exhibit at Multiple Exposures Gallery in Alexandria from October 20 – November 29, 2015. 

As the juror of PHOTO ’15, Ms. Greenough has put together a fascinating show of diverse works from 31 fine art photographers from across the United States. The images span the human experience, capturing scenes both spare and complex. Marc Newton’s beautifully ominous photograph in Garden City, Ga., Wendy Simmons’ unexpectedly colorful peek into North Korea and Francisco Gonzalez’s exploration of the expatriate experience in the United States are just a few of the images that come together to make the exhibit a visually compelling whole.

Ms. Greenough will deliver a juror's talk during the Exhibition Reception on Sunday, November 1, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Multiple Exposures Gallery.  Two awards — Best in Show and Gallery Choice — will be presented at the reception.

For more information, please contact Multiple Exposures Gallery at 703-683-2205 or photo15@multipleexposuresgallery.com

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Workshop Offerings

Speakers and competition judges for NVPS are offered the opportunity to have notices about up-coming tours and workshops in FotoFax for two years after the date of their NVPS program.

Tuan Pham

NVPS member Tuan Pham’s next workshop, Photography as Zen Art, will be at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Va.

Photography as Zen ArtUsing Green Spring Gardens as inspiration, the program combines mindfulness meditation and digital photography to cultivate clarity of vision and mind. It seeks (1) to train the eyes to see and enjoy the diversity in nature in a new way; (2) to loosen attachment to the self and other habitual tendencies, and (3) to create images with balance of beauty and feelings that fit one’s own artistic personality. Requires camera with tripod and submission of homework.
Date and time: Saturdays, Oct. 17, 24, 31 and Nov. 14,  9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Contact: Green Spring Gardens 703-642-5173 or www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring

Jim Steele

Jim Steele was our judge for the September 2014 Competition Night and provided the portfolio critique in our May 2014 meeting. He does individual coaching, tutoring and custom printing support. His work can be seen in Studio #343 in the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria or on his web site, http://www.photographybysteele.com/. He can be reached in his gallery in the Torpedo Factory or via his fascinating blog at: http://jamesdsteele.blogspot.com/

Sue Bloom

Sue Bloom is our April 2015 judge. For her 2015-2016 workshop schedule, please see http://www.suebloom.com/pages/2/Workshop%20Schedule/Workshop%20Schedule/

Alan DeFelice

Alan DeFelice was our 2015 End-of-the-Year judge. He is a professional photographer who has done raptor photo workshops at Nature Visions. For several years Alan has been a partner with Virginia Digital Photo Safaris. Learn more at: http://www.virginiaphotosafari.com

Jennifer (JJ) Fearrington

Jennifer Fearrington conducted a sensor cleaning workshop in our second E&T Meeting in April 2014. JJ was the sensor cleaning tech at Penn and Calumet Camera stores for a number of years and is also a professional photographer who does individual photographic instruction as well as providing professional sensor cleaning services. Learn more at: http://jenniferphoenixphoto.com

David Heagy

David Heagy is a NVPS club member and is the Forum presenter in March 2015. The Travel Photography Satisfaction class will show novice and experienced photographers how to increase their satisfaction with their travel photos, handle a variety of situations, protect their images and equipment, and use photography to plan their trips. His schedule of classes and more information are at: http://imageryx.com/.

Corey Hilz

Corey Hilz was our November 2014 judge and was our March 2014 Education and Training speaker. He regularly offers software workshops as well as photo workshops and international tours. Spring/summer photo workshop locations include Longwood Gardens, the National Zoo, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. His international destinations include Cuba, Ireland, Czech Republic and Morocco. Full schedule of events is listed at: http://www.coreyhilz.com

Don Johnson

Don Johnson was our speaker for the October 2013 program. He specializes in zoo photography and does guest lecture at photo clubs throughout the area. He sells his zoo/animal photos on his website and has done workshops at Nature Visions. See his website for details: www.sunspotimages.com

Adam Jones

Adam Jones was our Program speaker in September 2013. He is a popular and respected workshop instructor and lecturer. Adam teaches photography workshops around the world helping students reach their full potential in the exciting world of digital photography. He has taught for Canon, Popular Photography & Imaging, and Maine Photographic Workshops.

Adam is noted for his enthusiastic down to earth approach and his ability to communicate effectively with all skill levels. A listing of his current workshops can be found here on his website:

Karen L. Messick

Karen L. Messick was our May 2014 speaker and talked about Impressionism in Photography. She conducts occasional workshops and offers personal tutoring and in the field training on a variety of subjects at an hourly rate of $40.00. More details are available on her website at: www.karenlmessickphotography.com Karen is also a regular instructor for the Capital Photography Center, where she hosts field trips and workshops on iPhone photography. http://capitalphotographycenter.com

Joshua Taylor, Jr.

Joshua Taylor is a past NVPS president and was our October 2014 Competition judge. His goal in photography is to help you create, capture and refine your vision. Josh is offering fall photography workshops and classes, including Canon camera classes. For a complete listing and registration, visit his website: joshuataylorphotography.com

Wayne Wolfersberger

Wayne Wolfersberger is a NVPS member, past President, and was our September 2014 Forum speaker. He teaches a number of Nature Photography Classes available through Fairfax County Parks and other locations. See his web site: http://www.waynewolfersberger.com/

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Want Ads

Spudz Microfiber in Flip Pouch

The club has a supply of Spudz.  Great for cleaning your lens and camera. These are a large size, 10x10 inches, and are emblazoned with the club logo!  Don't be fooled by other cheaper models.  These are in the flip pouch. I will be selling them at club meetings for the amazing price of $10/each or $20 for two. See Bob Friedman

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Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC)

The Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC) is an informal entity started in 1997 by Joseph Miller with the assistance of Dave Carter and Ed Funk. Its purpose is to promote communication and cooperation among area camera clubs. NVACC is made up of Member Clubs and Associated Member Clubs.

NVACC publishes a calendar of area member club events that can be found at http://www.nvacc.org/Calendars.html

NVACC has a free, downloadable series of 25 guidebooks for photographers, which provide information about nearby areas that camera clubs might wish to visit. See their booklets at:

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Editor's Notes

Please note that the deadline for each month's FotoFax is the Friday following Tuesday of Competition Night.

Alan Goldstein
FotoFax Editor

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Copyright 2015 by the Northern Virginia Photographic Society and its Contributors. The contents of this FotoFax are copyrighted. No material herein may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the Editor or the material's contributor. All photographs are copyrighted by the photographers who have granted permission for NVPS to use their image in FotoFax and/or on the NVPS website, but otherwise retain all rights to their image.