Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest 2
Sunday 4 November 2012 — Category: Miscellaneous
Yesterday I attended the semiannual meeting of the Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest — held this time way up the I-5 in Olympia, Washington, on the campus of the South Puget Sound Community College. The special guest speakers were John and Barbara Gerlach.
Olympia is a good three-hour drive from Albany, so I decided to leave on Friday and spend the night, rather than driving there and back in one day. In addition, there was a pre-meeting gathering on Friday evening, at which the Gerlachs led a ninety-minute question-and-anwswer session, with about forty photographers in attendance. I was glad to have been there, because it was very informative, and the informal setting was nice.
On Saturday, the doors opened at 8:30, even though the first session didn’t start until 10:00. Therefore, I had time to wander around the campus a bit — the rain was holding off for the time being — and take a few photos. To the right, you can see a covered footbridge in the forest, and some new on-campus construction. Meanwhile, attendees milled around the lobby area, socializing, talking photography, and enjoying coffee and doughnuts. Also, I was able to introduce myself to the Gerlachs and let them know that I will be joining them on their Yellowstone Snowmobile Tour next February.
During the morning session, John spoke in-depth about his unique approach to proper exposure and focusing, and how to customize your camera settings to achieve this in the most efficient manner. I had already read a lot of this information in the Gerlach’s book, Digital Landscape Photography, but it was starting to sink in more as I heard these principles again.
In the afternoon, he talked about using flash in various ways for nature photography. This was a lot of new information for me, and I’m looking forward to practicing what I learned, and then using these skills in some of my nature photography. John said that he might be writing a book about this subject in the future.
Around a quarter after four I was in the car heading south, and by 7:15 I was back at home, sweet home. I had give a ride to the president of the local camera club, Frank, and we had hours of photography talk there and back. I’m glad I went, especially since I will be spending five intensive days with the Gerlachs in a small group at Yellowstone this winter. Now I have a better idea of what it will entail working with them. So, all in all, it was thirty hours jam-packed with everything photographic.
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