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Mendon photographers compare and share tips on their craft

October 21st, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Mandy Morgan

MENDON — If a picture is worth a thousand words, then millions of words could have been spoken at the Mendon Station Wednesday night by photographers in the Mendon Photo Guild. They gathered for their monthly meeting to discuss different techniques, locations, and styles for taking pictures of anything and everything.

Proper lighting, foreground objects, and type of lens used for different photos were the topics of the night for the photographers, as they looked at different photos they’d taken themselves. The agenda for the night included a presentation called “Shooting Holes in the Sky” of photos taken at Arches National Park, and the monthly photo subject for everyone was “Water.”

“You have to pay attention to the time of day that you’re shooting. If you don’t get it right, you won’t get the colors,” said a Guild organizer, Marv Hansen, who gave the entire Arches presentation.

Hansen had a slide show of dozens of pictures he had personally taken of different locations at Arches. One thing he emphasized was the importance of getting objects in the foreground of photos of locations like the huge arch displays.

“There’s a lot of opportunity around a single object—like the Balance Rock,” Hansen said. Balance Rock is a huge rock fixture with a large round constantly looking as if it will topple off of its stand at any moment.

Between bushes, tree stumps, gnarled dead trees, smaller rock features and people, there’s a good supply of objects to put in the foreground of a lot of outdoor photos, said Hansen. Most of the pictures in his presentation included different artistic expressions showing the use of foreground objects.

When it comes to foreground objects, “You see all kinds of weird creatures there,” Hansen said. In one picture of his with a black, dead tree as the foreground item, it was “a giant monster, spider thing.” The possibilities are endless with things to help add to pictures, Hansen said.

Hansen had some truly stunning photos of the famous Delicate Arch. “It’s, in my opinion, the signature image; like Old Faithful is in Yellowstone,” he said.

Along with the angle of the arch that is most common and seen on Utah license plates, Hansen had a number of different shots of Delicate Arch. However, most of the alternate shots were from further away due to the sharp cliffside that the arch is perched on. “You are kind of limited with it [different angles],” Hansen said.

Another aspect of photography in the park that Hansen discussed was shadowing. “If you can find shadows,” Hansen said, “you can do a lot with that.” There were a number of dramatic photos that he had taken with shadows adding contrast to the great rock formations and the people exploring them.

Overall, Hansen’s opinion of photography in Arches National Park is a positive one. “Something’s different every time that I go there,” Hansen said.

The other portion of the evening included all photographers present looking at their photos in a slideshow with the theme of “Water.” Each photographer in the room had contributed a few personal photos to the slideshow of them.

Of his stunning shot of the Teton Alpenglow, photographer Lloyd Bush said, “It was stormy so I figured that I could get some good sunset colors. So I sat up there, probably 45 minutes and then finally it came and I sat there shooting for about 15 minutes,” Bush said.

From a meadow in Yosemite reflected in a mountain pond shot (shot by Karen Hansen) to a small boy held in his mother’s arms with tears running down his face there were dozens of displays of water caught in still-frame. Kendall Allen had a four-frame horizontal panorama of Tony Grove Lake that showed a wide shot of the beautiful trees, water, and clouds in the area.

Velvet Shearer’s shot titled “Purple Waterfall” was one that stuck out to a lot of the observers, a close up of deep purple shooting up in the air. “It isn’t really a waterfall,” Shearer said. “It was one of the water fountains at the Logan Temple. I was going to use a lot of different color filters on it, but the purple just came out of it, so I left it.”

Throughout the slideshow the other photographers would questions those whose photo was on display about the location, lens, and possible editing done with the photo. There was regular discussion simply about the way that each photographer made their photos look the way that they looked.

More information about the Guild is at www.meetup.com/Mendon-Photo-Guild.


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