Jon Williams places first in August photo contest

First Place: Jon Williams - The Ancient Italian City of Matera

First Place: Jon Williams – The Ancient Italian City of Matera

Second Place: Jim Burkstrand - Minneapolis Evening

Second Place: Jim Burkstrand – Minneapolis Evening

Third Place: Mike Turner - Bridges Over the Arno River

Third Place: Mike Turner – Bridges Over the Arno River

Robert Thoresen

There were 36 entries in the August contest. All entries are viewable on the club’s Flickr page for choosing one’s own favorite. In June 2015, Jon’s image is from the travels he and his wife took to Italy and Croatia. The tour included a stop at Matera in southern Italy which their guide described as a very historical city. Upon exiting the bus in Matera, we saw a typical, small Italian city with ordinary streets and storefronts and we inquired as to what was so special. The tour guide said, “No, no, no—go over to the railing,” which was adjacent to some buildings. We were puzzled but went to the railing anyway. What the picture depicts is what we saw. Matera is said to be one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world dating back to the third century BC founded by the Romans. Matera is one of the most interesting, unusual and memorable tourist destinations in Italy. In the remote southern region of Basilicata (also called Lucania), still little-visited by foreign travelers, it is a town famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, the sassi. Curious visitors can stay in caves, wander the lanes alongside the picturesque cave-filled cliffs and learn the history of this fascinating place. Using the railing as an impromptu tripod, I took three bracketed HDR images one stop apart with my Fuji XE2 mirrorless camera and 18-55 mm lens, using Photomatix and PS CS6 for post processing.

The photo A Minneapolis Evening by Jim Burkstrand placed second and was taken May 20, 2015. Jim went to the area of Minneapolis near the Mississippi River with a photographer friend from St Paul. We walked around the area for quite a while taking photos of various landmarks as the sun was setting. This particular shot was taken while standing on the Stone Arch Bridge looking southbound just after sunset. This bridge is open only to pedestrian traffic. This photo was taken with a Canon 60D mounted on a tripod, using a Tamron 24-70 mm lens with vibration control; shot at 57 mm, 0.3 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200. It was shot in RAW, and processed in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Jim got a nice layering effect for his effort.

Mike Turner placed third for his Florence Italy image Bridges Over the Arno River. This photo was taken from a hill overlooking Florence, Italy; it was a cloudy dark day. The first bridge is the famous Ponte Vecchio covered bridge dating back to 1565. It contains only shops and housing and is pedestrian only. It was the only bridge spared German bombing in 1944. Using his Canon 40Dd, Canon 80-300 Zoom, focal length 150 mm, Jim inadvertently set the ISO at 1600 but it worked out well.

The Photography Club of Quail Creek has a monthly photo contest for its members and also schedules numerous photo field trips for members throughout the year. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Kino Conference Center Ocotillo Room. Room venue could vary each month. Consult the club’s constantly updated website as well as the weekday HOA What’s Happening for additional information.