The Photo Club of Quail Creek just completed its eighth quarterly photo challenge, which had a theme of Looking up or Looking Down. Each club member could enter up to three photos, which had to be taken within the calendar quarter. The photographer/artist could post process the photo in any way, including using Photoshop filters and manipulation. This challenge proved to be quite popular and drew 32 excellent entries. Club members voted on their favorite photos. All the photos can be seen on our Flickr site at tinyurl.com/y39yv4qq.
John Tubbs won first place with his photo Blue Gray Gnatcatcher.
John commented, “One of my main photographic interests for subjects is birds. I probably qualify as a ‘bird nerd’ as birding is one of my, together with my wife, main activities. Birds are not cooperative subjects, so even with appropriate equipment, the main assets to have for this type of photography are patience and persistence—many shots will be taken and most won’t be good. This is especially true for small, active birds like gnatcatchers, shown in the photo. They almost never sit still and are usually buried in a shrub. To get this shot, I followed a small flock of gnatcatchers around for a good fifteen minutes and shot 50-100 images, of which only a couple came out with good composition and quality—this was the best. The image was cropped and sharpened in Adobe Lightroom; no other significant post-processing work was done.” John shot this with a Sony 7RM4, 1/2000 sec at f/7/1, ISO 400, and at 400mm.
Shari Rogers took both second and third place—an unusual accomplishment. Her shot Birdie took second place, with her third place Flight close behind.
Shari commented, “Both photos were taken at the Oceanside Pier 66 in San Diego. I love going there! There are lots of birds to shoot pictures of including colorful pigeons, seagulls, and pelicans. For my shot Birdie, I was looking down into the rafters and there she was roosting. I thought it would be a fun angle to shoot. I used a little cropping, contrast adjustment, color enhancement, and dodge and burn to produce the final photo. I was happy with the result and loved the cascade of colors. For the pelican shot, I was working hard to capture one in flight and got lucky. It was dull lighting so I muted the colors a little, gave some ‘pop’ to the wings with light/dark emphasis and added a sun setting sky. This made a calming photo as he flew into the sunset. I am quite happy with the end result on both pictures.”
Shari used a Nikon D3300 for both photos. Birdie was at a focal length of 100 mm, 1/640 sec, f/5, and ISO 800. Flight was at a focal length of 100 mm, 1/1600 sec at f/6.3, and ISO 400.
The Photography Club of Quail Creek is usually quite active. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are meeting via Zoom. Consult the club’s constantly updated website, www.pcqc.org, as well as the weekday HOA What’s Happening for additional information.