PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Photo of the Month
Selected by the TCCC Members
Black & White - Tie
Barbara Kirby - Marry Me
I have always admired those romantic Bride n' Groom photos taken in the rain. You hear of those rainy weddings where the photographer just throws a rain coat on his camera and takes remarkable images regardless of the weather. That's the kind of wedding photographer, so I needed to practice without the rain first!
I was able to find a high school couple to dress as bride and groom. I set up a strobe with a pocket wizard on a stand covered with a clear plastic bag setting the stand directly behind couple. Then on a 10ft ladder my boyfriend with hose in hand sprayed water behind the couple. During this shoot we laughed a lot, it was so much fun, probable because there wasn't any pressure being a fake wedding and all. What's interested I just watched a Jerry Ghionis tutorial (widely regarded as one of the top five best wedding photographers in the world, Jerry Ghionis is based in Beverly Hills, California and Melbourne, Australia) he loves to shoot reflections. Trying to imitate his mind set and the way he approaches his subjects, I noticed there was a puddle below me while shooting so bent down on one knee and got as low as I could. I feel it turned out amazing and am now comfortable if I am faced with having to do this for real in the future. What a surprise and Thank You to everyone that voted for my photo.
I use a Nikon D800, I used a 35mm lens so I could be as close as possible to the couple, 125 Shutter Speed at 4.5. I converted to B&W with Lightroom.
Black & White - Tie
Tom McCall - Splish Splash
Splish Splash was taken on March 27, 2012, the day after a Monday Night Program on Water Drop photography. Since I was putting on the program I left everything set up afterwards, it was late and I figured I would just come back the next day and get everything then. So the next day when I arrived I thought, well everything is here and ready to use so why not try a few things before putting it all away. One of the things I wanted to try was using a mirror instead of the tray with the water. I started out with a dry mirror and took photos as it filled up with water. When there was about 1/16 of an inch of water on the mirror I started getting some good crown and/or coronet shapes and I really liked the reflections created by the mirror.
Used was a Canon 40D camera, with Live View function, Sigma 18-200mm Lens with Macro capability set to about 1.5 feet, so that it would provides some working distance. A Tripod, remote cable shutter release, a Sigma EF-500 flash, off camera, connected with a 10ft Off-Camera Shoe Cord. The flash was aimed at the background not at the water. A mirror was used with about 1/16 of an inch of water. A white piece of mat board provided the background. A Ziploc sandwich bag partially filled with tap water, with a small hole in one corner was suspended about 3 feet above the mirror for the water drops.
When the water drop hits the surface of the water on the mirror it causes it to spread out away from the drop and in fractions of a second several different things happen, one of which creates a crown like affect. That's what I was trying to capture in this photo.
It just took patience, persistence and experimenting by taking a lot of photos and eventually I was able to come up with some marvelous water drop images.
Canon EOS 40D, Sigma 18-200mm Lens at 200 mm Macro 1:4.4, f 6.3, 1/200, ISO100, Sigma EF-500 flash set to Manual lowest setting.
Post processing was with Adobe Photoshop CS6, Camera Raw and On1 Perfect Effects.
Thanks for your votes, I'm glad you liked it to.
Dennis Hafer - Calla Lily
Calla Lily was photographed with a Sony a6500 mirrorless
camera on tripod using a Tamron 180mm Macro lens, 1/15 sec. at f:4.5mm. (ISO
100), to create a very shallow depth of field.
Processing was started in Adobe Camera Raw by lowering the Highlights and opening up the Shadows to make a very flat image. The image was then opened in Photoshop and by using On1 Effects plug-in I used Dynamic Contrast and Glow to give it a very soft look. The frame effect was added with On1 Effects. The image was then placed on a green background to which grain and a soft vignette were added with On1 Effects.
Black & White
Ken McKeown - On the Vine
Grapes on the vine, no I was not in Napa Valley CA, this was
taken in the heart of the grape vineyards, Baroda Michigan. This group of
grapes, taken of course, with a Canon 7D Mark ll with a Canon 189-200 mm lens,
shot at 110 mm.
Vineyard was so beautiful, nice large bunches of grapes with that great smell. So great that you could almost hold your glass under the grapes, then like magic you had a glass of wine.
Converted the color image to B&W using Topaz software, traditional collection in the B&W, also used the red filter and cropped. Added some detail using Topaz.
What a surprise and Thank You to everyone that voted for my photo.
Jim Lynch - Reflections
I think this is a Greater Scaup that I photographed at Kellogg
Bird Sanctuary. At the time I was using a Cannon 50D with a 500 mm lens.
It was would have been shot at f4.0 on aperture - priority, ISO 100 with
whatever light was available.
Photo was taken 3 or 4 years ago and for me it is all about the waterfowl that you might find up there. This was the reason I was up there.
There was some post processing done in Photoshop CC.
Black & White
Jim Long - Blow Down
This picture is about steam engines. If I could dedicate it to a friend, it would be to the late Bud Friesen. Bud found out that Will and I liked trains, and suggested in 2014 that we all go to the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, where we could not only ride the train but also attend a special after-hours photo shoot, where the engine would do drive-bys and two female models would be on hand for posing with the engine. Whats not to like?
When the sun was setting, the little 0-4-0 engine that had
worked all day traveled to the turntable, getting ready to go to bed. I
really dont understand the blow-down process, other than it is done to keep
water impurities from ruining the engine.
This image started out as a raw file taken with a Nikon D5100, equipped with my Nikon 18-200-mm walk-about lens. The camera was set on automatic/no-flash, with these details: 44 mm, f/4.5, 1/30 sec, ISO 1400. Post processing in Adobe Camera Raw: lens correction. In Photoshop CC: slight vertical cropping and removal of distracting elements behind the engine via Content-Aware Fill and the Clone tool. To make a B&W for competition, I used the Topaz B&W Effects 2 Photoshop plug-in (Stylized Dynamic I Smooth preset), and then added a Stroke border in Photoshop.
Gary Huttenstine - Grand Island Fog 2
This photo titled, Grand Island Fog 2, was taken as I looked
out over fogged in Lake Superior from the northern shoreline of Grand Island,
Munising, Michigan. My wife and I were on a historical research trip in
June of 2008, to find a cemetery hidden in the interior of the Island and to
tour the entire Island with the National Forest Service rangers. When I
hiked over to this spot, as I could hear waves washing on rocks but not see it
due to the fog, I was taken by the beauty of lush moss and deep forest canopy
over-looking Lake Superiors shoreline. The photo was taken hand held with
a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (my first digital camera) with the 18-55mm lens set
Post processing was completed in Photoshop CS6 with some color enhancement and shadow reduction in camera raw with the addition of a subtle vignette.
Thank you for seeing what I saw when I captured this image and voting for it.
Black & White
Dennis Hafer - Window Door
Window Door was taken using a Canon 7D Mark II, with a Tamron
18-270mm zoom at 84mm.
Exposure was 1/80th sec. at f/11, IS0 400.
RAW conversion in Adobe Camera RAW. Further stylized in Photoshop 2017 using the Topaz Clarity plug-in Filter, and Gradient Mask set to Black & White.
Barbara Kirby - Blue Eyed Sara
I took this picture at ISO 640, 85mm lens, f3.2 and 1/125 sec.
with my Nikon D800.
My boyfriends daughter let me throw a blue scarf on her and take a few pictures of her eyes. After all I had to come up with something blue for TCCC photo competition and only had one more day to submit my digital images. I have seen a similar picture in a magazine and couldn't wait to try it.
The sun was pretty bright behind her so there was a little haze. I corrected the color, contrast, haze, highlights and shadows in Lightroom. I then went to PS and shaped her eyebrows with the clone stamp tool. The fun part is when I enhanced her eyes with some techniques I learned from the video link "Creating Amazing Eyes" on YouTube.
After I was happy with my image I finished up with my portraiture program.
If you go to Photoshop: Creating Amazing Eyes on YouTube you can create these amazing eyes too.
Black & White
Dennis Hafer - Who Broke The Ice
Who Broke The Ice was photographed on December 16, 2017 at
It was taken with a Sony a6300 mirrorless camera and a Sony EPZ 18-105mm F4 lens. I held the camera above my head using the tilt screen LCD composing.
Exposure f:9, 1/60 sec., ISO 500.
Processed with DxO OpticsPro 11 for noise reduction. Then On1 Photo 10 for Tone Enhancement, Dynamic Contrast, and B&W Conversion.
Tom McCall - I Can be King
The I Can be King photo idea came from an photo of an apple
eaten to the core and a mirror image of it whole in a mirror. It was a
photo I saw while searching online for ideas for something creative. So I
decided to try it with some chess pieces. It involved getting a photo of
the King piece first and cutting it out to fit in the mirror with the photo of
the pawn piece. I was very fortunate that it all came together right away.
Just had to make sure there were no changes in the placement of the pieces,
lighting and camera settings and position for both photos.
The post processing was with Adobe Photoshop CS6 and On1 Perfect Effects 9.5. I have version 10 but like using 9.5 so I still use it for contrast, color and sharpening, etc.
Canon EOS 40D, Manual, Exposure: 1/1 sec, F 11, ISO 100 with a SIGMA 18 - 200 lens at 33 mm.
Glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed making it.
Thanks for your votes.
Black & White
No Black & White Honors this month.
Dennis Hafer - One Egg Please
One Egg Please was taken using window light and a white reflector.
Camera was a Canon 7D with a canon 100mm Macro lens.
Exposure data: ISO 100, Aperture Priority f/32 for 10sec., Exposure compensation +0.33.
Processed in Adobe Camera RAW for Black Point & White Point. In Photoshop further adjusted the image using Topaz Adjust 5.
November 2016 Photos
Black & White
Tom McCall - Twists and Turns
I have to give credit where credit is due. Most of this image was
a collaboration of myself, Dennis Hafer, Dan Brant and Bud Friesen. I had
asked them for assistance because I was having trouble getting the correct
lighting on the screws to produce the shadows the way I wanted them to appear.
I showed them some of the lighting setups I had tried, the last one being a single 60 watt LED in a small reflector and demonstrated how that turned out. So we tried a few different attempts and then Dennis suggested something with a smaller more concentrated beam of light. That ended up being a 3 watt LED flashlight and we were able to achieve what I was looking for with a 30 second exposure. The guys also had a few other suggestions in the setup of the photo and in it's post processing. Working together with them is always an enjoyable and interesting experience and I appreciated their help.
Post processing in Adobe Photoshop CS6, with On1 9.5 Effects plug-in.
Canon EOS 40D Manual F 11 Exposure 30 sec ISO 100 Sigma 18 - 250 lens at 88 mm
I Thank you for your votes.
Bud Friesen - Turk's Cap
I guess it's only fitting that I write this up for Bud, since he is no longer with us, he passed away during heart surgery on the 15th of November. I'm glad the members thought it deserving as one of November Photo's of the Month, I certainly do.
Bud had a passion for photography and the ability to capture the essence of the subject of what he was photographing, be it a person, place or something in nature. If it wasn't involved with railroading or trains, I think his favorite subjects have always been flowers and plants, especially from his own gardens. I'm pretty sure he captured "Turk's Cap" at his home in one of his gardens.
Post Processing with Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, Program Mode, F 5.6, Exposure 1/80 sec., ISO 250 Lens at 32.83 mm
Thanks for your votes, it's a nice tribute to Bud...
October 2016 Photos
Black & White
Ted Post - Lower Cascade Water Falls Ouray
This image was taken on a trip to Colorado and Utah in August
2015. I had read about a falls called Cascade Falls outside Estes park,
Co. (I mislabeled my files it was outside Estes Park not Ouray) that sounded
interesting. It was about a 2 hr drive from the campground and then
involved a 2 mile hike up a gorge. Turns out the cascade ran down this
gorge for about a mile. This image was just one section of the water
falling over the mile long jumbled rocks from a gorge that was spring fed.
I liked how the rocks were situated and how the water flowed over them. I used a tripod, shutter release and my Canon 7D MII with a Canon L 24-105 F4 lens and Moose Peterson polarizer. The settings were 58MM ISO 100 F11 and shutter speed of 2 seconds.
In processing via Photoshop I didn't like the color version and using NIK SIlver FX pro I used the wet rocks preset which made the image pop. I then did sharpening, vignetting and brightness/contrast to finish the image.
This was one of about 100 images I made of the cascade that extended down the mountain.
Tom McCall - Checking the Sky
The photo was taken at 3:32 pm. in the afternoon of September 24, 2016 while trying to come up with ideas for the Select Subject "Barriers." I thought about how people pull down on window blinds to see what is going on outside. So I set up the camera on a tripod and reached out, pulling down on a window blind in my house. After taking 16 frames with different amounts and ways of pulling on the blinds, I put them in the computer and chose this one. Seeing it in Photoshop, I thought of flipping it so my hand would be entering the frame from the left, something I had not thought of while I was taking the photos. Then I selected and cut out the background that was revealed behind the blinds and tried a few replacements, finally deciding on a sunset sky photo taken on 9-15-2010. I used a mask and revealed some of the sky color on the edges of the blinds and parts of the hand to make it look more realistic. The nice thing about adding a separate background image is you can adjust it and move it around to get the perspective you want. The image was then cropped to get the right effect.
Post processing was in Photoshop CS6 and onOne Perfect Effects 9.5
Canon EOS 40D, Sigma 18-200mm Lens at 40mm, f5 1/13 sec ISO 400
Thanks for your votes...
September 2016 Photos
Black & White
Dennis Hafer - Pop-up Pepper
Pop-up Pepper was taken by dropping a yellow pepper in a water
filled aquarium. A flash was the only light source. The image was
then flipped vertically in Photoshop after processing.
The color image was processed in Photoshop using NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 for the black & white conversion.
Canon EOS 7D with a EF 17-35mm f/2.8L lens at 31mm. Exposure: ISO 320, 1/160sec at f/22.
Jim Lynch - Landing in Color
Landing in Color was taken at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in
I like to go to Kellogg in the fall of the year when there are more birds and the fall color reflections are in the water.
There was a little cropping and some use of Levels in Photoshop.
Canon 7D with a 100-400mm Canon lens, ISO of 400
These photos are special, because they are chosen by the TCCC
Starting with March 2013, we are asking the members to select what they consider the best "Photo of the Month", a Color and a Black and White photograph, chosen from the Prints and Digital Slides Judged to be Honors in that months competition.
Photo of the Month for the Year
2015 - 2016 Competition Season
The members have selected what they consider the best two (2) photos, a Black and White and a Color photograph, from all of the POM Winners that year, for the "Photo of the Month for the Year."
These are their selections.
Black & White
Maria Pelaez - Once upon a time
I created this image in Photoshop by combining four pictures
taken with a Nikon D90, a 35 mm and a 18-135 mm lenses.
The picture of the tree was taken here in St. Joseph seven years ago, I thought it was a beautiful tree and needed to capture it. Looking at my pictures I was trying to find an idea and discovered this tree was perfect to create something. I was surrounded by books and decided it was a good idea to try the concept of a fairy tale..
After some time, I discovered a coherent perspective that allowed me to capture the right picture of the book using only natural light.
All of the pictures were stacked, desaturated and finally, added some tone. The background of the tree was erased by using layers and a soft brush, then the clouds were blended in. Small birds were added in different sizes to get a balanced composition.
Spencer Hughes - Beach Chairs
Beach Chairs, was taken in Panama City, Florida. We'd
spent a week there on vacation, this was the last evening and I hadn't touched
my camera all week. So after forcing myself out of the pool, I grabbed my
Canon T3i, and Sigma 10-20mm f3.5. I arrived just before sunset and had
moments to set up my shot, which admittedly included moving all the seat backs
to the same level.
Processing was done in Lightroom. Making adjustments to exposure with a graduated filter, adjusting the contrast and color.
Additional Photo Galleries:
- Monthly Honor Images
- You are Here
- Photo of the Month images prior to the 2016 - 2017 Season
- Honor Images prior to 2005 - 2006 Season
- What We Do - It's all about photography and having fun...
- Top 3 winners in each category.
- TCCC Members Top Place Winning Photos in SWMCCC
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