Highlights from the NPPNW
I had the opportunity last Saturday to attend the fall meeting of the Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest (NPPNW). The invited speakers were John and Barbara Gerlach, who spoke on mastering digital exposure and advanced flash techniques for nature photography. John Gerlach made a strong case for using manual exposure settings, and I may have to try out his techniques – normally I use aperture priority about 90% of the time. His technique involves picking an aperture or shutter speed you want to maintain, taking a picture, and examining the RGB histogram. Then the shutter speed or aperture (whichever you don’t want to maintain) should be adjusted until the RGB histogram reaches the right side (assuming there are highlights in the image). That’s it; the exposure is set. So if light conditions don’t change, your exposure is good even if you recompose.
A big part of NPPNW meetings are their digital and print competitions. There are three categories for both the digitally projected and the print competitions: plant life, scenics, and wildlife. Because this its a nature photography group, images should not show the “hand of man” in a prominent role. Members are allowed to submit 3 images for the projected competition and 2 prints. I was lucky enough to tie for first place in the projected scenic category and take 1st place in the scenic print category (I also won 3rd place in the plant-life print category, but as there were only four prints entered, I didn’t take it as a big honor). Regular readers of my blog will recognize the two winners from earlier posts. The image below of the Tatoosh Range won in the digitally projected category – I used this image to explain my technique to stop the wind. The other image below, from Beach #4 in Olympic National Park, won in the print category – in a previous post I explained my vision and the (rather lengthy) processing behind this image.