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Mile High Wildlife Photo Club

February 2012 Meeting Summary

< Previous Meeting | Index | Next Meeting > The February 2012 monthly meeting of the mile high wildlife photography club was held February 8th, starting at 7 PM. Bob Cross, Club President, opened the meeting and was followed by other members with business items to discuss. These included:

Bob Cross asked club members to sign up for refreshments. This can now be done on the club website. Bob also said that we need a new volunteer to line up speakers for the club's monthly meetings. Chuck Winters has done an outstanding job in this capacity for years and is ready to step aside. The club also needs a volunteer to serve as the Club Outing Coordinator.

Chris Frazier, Club Newsletter Editor, thanked those members that had contributed articles for the club newsletter recently. Chris said that the run of recent submissions seemed to be coming to an end, with none available for the March Newsletter and he requested that club members submit articles for newsletter. One option is to write for the series discussing what membership in the Mile High Wildlife Photography Club means to you.


Russ Burden discussed that there is a link on the club's website to email members of the Competition Committee. The enables you to send your image to 4 people with one email if you have any question regarding whether your particular image is acceptable under the competition rules. Russ also discussed that if the intent of the original image is unchanged or intact, then that image does not belong in the open category. For example, stacking multiple images to extend the depth of field does not make that image fit for the open category. Likewise, use of HDR in of itself does not make an image eligible for the open category of the competitions.


Chuck Winters then introduced the evening's speaker, club member Roger N. Clark. Roger is a planetary scientist with who received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who works as a scientist on the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn and its moons.

Roger's presentation called The Angle of Light & Image Impact was fantastic. Roger had put considerable effort into creating the presentation, repeated showing the same subject in "good light" and "bad light" so that the effect of phase angle and micro shadows was evident to the audience. Roger discussed the types of light (diffuse/directional; emitted/reflected/transmitted). He told us that flowers and animals need diffuse not harsh light and that a cloudy day or just after sunset worked well for flowers.

My favorite part of the presentation was when Roger explained how to determine phase angle while your are shooting in the field. Stand in front of your lens and align your left arm with the line created along the length of the lens. Then point your right hand at the sun. The angle between your arms is the phase angle.

Roger mentioned that many photographers have been advised by Art Morris to point the shadow created by their camera at their subject. Roger believes that pointing the shadow 20 to 30 degrees off the subject creates more beautiful light on the subject.

Roger also taught the audience that micro shadows are what provide detail in an image, and make an image look more sharp. Too low of a phase angle and your subject looks flat. Too high of a phase angle is not ideal either. You want to be on negative phase angle side to see the micro shadows because on the positive phase angle side of your subject you will not see the micro shadows.

Some of Roger's other hints: mountains are great side lit, fall color is great backlit, puffy cloud days fill in shadows and mitigate harsh light, and landscapes take a higher phase angle than do wildlife. To test where your light in the field is showing you the best micro shadows, Roger suggested taking a ribbed gray sock slightly stretched on a cardboard into the field.

During the break, club members enjoyed the new photography exhibit entitled "Pronghorn Passage" in the upstairs gallery at the Wildlife Experience.

Roger Clark then judged the competition, using submitted images to continue his teaching about phase angle and quality of light on the subjects.

For more information, visit Roger N. Clark's website at clarkvision.com. < Previous Meeting | Index | Next Meeting >
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