Photo of the Month

Selected by the TCCC Members


 2019 - 2020 Photos


These photos are special because they are chosen by the TCCC members themselves.
Starting with March 2013, we began 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 that had been judged to be Honors from that month's competition.



March 2020 Photos
A very Special Note from the Webmaster:
This one is a little extra special time for the Photo of the Month.  Having one of your Honor images selected by the club members as Photo of the Month is pretty special.  Receiving both, the Black & White and the Color selections in the same month is rare and very special but what makes this one extra special is that Keith is a new member to TCCC and this was his very first competition. 
Way to go Keith, congratulations.

Black & White

Keith Sawyer - Silhouettes

As I’m sure many of you have I’ve been taking sunset photos on the Beaches and Piers around St. Joe for years. No two sunsets are the same and they are all amazing in their own way. This one was taken on May 31, 2018. The original shot was in color and was basically monochrome reds and black captured in Raw with a Nikon D5500. Focal length was 240mm, exposure 1/1600s at f/6.3.

Post-processing was in Capture One. When I made the image black and white it as much more dramatic than the color version. The sun had a nasty halo around it that reducing the red fixed. Lastly, I adjusted the brightness and contrast to get the appearance I liked.



Keith Sawyer - Hang On

Every summer the Sailing Students at the St. Joseph Junior Foundation Travel to Regattas on Fridays at different locations in West Michigan.  I am a life long sailor and my son was involved with the program so went to many of these regattas with my Camera.  This photo was taken on White Lake July 20, 2019.  At these regattas, I usually take several hundred photos with the hope of getting several good ones. These sailors were catching a nice puff and moving very nicely at the right time to get this image.

I used a Nikon D5500 with the Nikon 70-300mm lens at 120mm, 1/500s f/11, 24 MP jpg.

Post-processing was in Capture One trial.  I boosted shadows, contrast, black point, and brightness to get more punch.  The image also needed straightening and cropping.  Lastly, there was the stern of another boat that I healed out to get rid of the distraction.


February 2020 Photos
Special Note from the Webmaster:
This is another one of those special times for the Photo of the Month.  Having one of your Honor images selected by the club members as Photo of the Month is pretty special.  Receiving both, the Black & White and the Color selections in the same month is rare and very special. 
Way to go John, congratulations.

Black & White

John Kubicek - Grist Mill

I took a job in South Carolina in 2007 and went there single status until our house sold in Las Vegas. I always travel with my camera gear for work or personal business. A coworker told me about the Hagood Grist Mill (the one in the photo) located in Pickens, SC. So on Saturday, June 15 I packed up my gear and headed to Pickens to see if I could get an acceptable image.
The original image was taken in color then converted to black and white in Lightroom. Contrast was increased, highlights were toned down and finally, a selenium tone was added. To me, this image looks good in color but I like it much better in B&W. I took it from this angle to feature the water wheel and because on the other side of the building, there were about 100 people celebrating the nice day in this heritage park.

This was taken with a Canon Rebel XTi camera, my first digital DSLR, with an 18-55mm kit lens set at 18mm. The exposure was f5.6 at 1/125 of a second with an ISO of 400.


John Kubicek - Beautiful Northern Lights

My wife and I are working items off our bucket list of places to go and things to see while we still have the ability to get around. Last year we decided to go see the Aurora Borealis a.k.a., the Northern Lights, from upper Norway. We found a cruise titled “In Search of the Northern Lights,” so we signed up to go on this 14-day cruise.

This image was taken on January 31, 2019, in Tromso, Norway, which is 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It was a windless, moonless, and cold (-18oC) night with perfect conditions to see the lights.
I used a Canon 6D camera body with a Rokinon 14mm, f2.8 lens shot wide open. The shutter speed was 10 seconds and an ISO of 1600. This was mounted on my tripod and I used a 2-second shutter delay so I could minimize camera movement. I think the image speaks for itself.  Check another item off the bucket list!


January 2020 Photos

Black & White

Steve Campbell - Galaxy view

This lighthouse was photographed in Ludington.  It was my first visit there.  I remember arriving late and not realizing that the lighthouse was still a decent walk from the parking lot.  The sunlight was fading fast so I ran down the trail with my camera and tripod.  I was able to get a few images before it got too dark.

 The image was shot in raw and converted in raw editor.  I then sharpened in Topaz.  The monthly topic was creative so I added a sky found inside Luminar.  I think the sky made all the difference.  It took the image from a good image to a special image.  Thank you, Dennis Hafer.  You are the master..

Canon EOS 7D, f 20, Exposure 0.25 sec, ISO 100, TAMRON 18-270mm Lens at 18mm.



Leroy Patterson - Glacier Lake

In 2018 summer my wife and I took a trip through the Jackson, Yellowstone and Glacier Parks.
This photo was taken as we left Glacier to go to Canada. We had stayed on the east side of Glacier
at the Glacier View Hotel. We got up early and left to take pictures of the lakes. Most of the photo opportunities
were very bad all of the trip because of the smoke from the fires.  That actually made this photo location pretty good because I would be facing west and the sun would be behind me.  This made a unique reflection and cloud formation.
It made a majestic picture.

I made some adjustment in post darken the lights and lighting the darks.



December 2019 Photos

Black & White

Tom McCall - Evenings Delight

Evenings Delight was taken at 8:34 pm. on the North side of the North Pier looking West, a few minutes before sunset.  I liked the positioning of the man and women watchers at the end of the pier.  The low angle of the setting sun backlighting everything created an interesting silhouette.  I added a vignette to emphasize it more.  
In post-processing, I found that I had to minimize the amount of sharpening to eliminate the strong halo effect that was occurring along the edges of the catwalk and lighthouses.
Post-processing was with Adobe Photoshop CS6, Camera Raw and On1 Perfect Effects.

Canon EOS 40D, f 11, 1/100, -1EV, ISO100, Canon 70 - 300mm Lens at 200mm.

Thanks for your votes.



Sandy Hafer - Daybreak

The "Daybreak" photograph was taken in the Smoky Mountains from the parking lot view at Clingmans Dome. Dennis and I left well before sunrise for the 45 minute drive in the dark on a very winding narrow road going up the mountain. The drive from Newfound Gap Road to Clingmans Dome, is a beautiful, scenic drive, to the highest point in the national park, and the highest point in Tennessee, Clingmans Dome. The weather is much different at 6,643 feet above sea level. From the Gatlinburg area to the top of Clingmans Dome, there can be a drastic change in temperature. It was cold and crisp and you could see your breath. We had planned the trip for fall color in late October, but we were a week early and the color had not yet reached its peak. The lack of color in the trees was replaced by the spectacular color in the sunrise.

The photograph was taken with my Sony a6300: ISO 100 F11 at 1/80. The Lens was a Sony 18-200mm set at 42mm. The image was processed with Adobe Camera Raw, then Post Processed in Photoshop and Topaz Studio.


November 2019 Photos

Black & White

Dennis Hafer – We’ll Leave the Light On For You

"We'll Leave The Light On For You", was photographed at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, LA. We stayed in a cottage on the property, which allowed us access to the grounds whenever we wanted.

It was taken with a Canon EOS 7D using a Tamron 16-300mm lens at a focal length of 35mm. Exposure was f/16 for 75 sec., ISO 100.

Processed in Adobe Camera RAW. Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop using Topaz Studio 2, Skylum Aurora HDR 2019, and then converted to Black and White using a Gradient Map.



Ron DeKett - Moonrise

This photo was taken at Yellowstone National Park at 10:32 a.m., Sept. 29, 2015. I was using a Nikon D750 camera and it was shot at 1/320 sec, f/18, ISO 400, using a Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 lens.

I was visiting Yellowstone as part of a photography program offered by the Road Scholar program that provides special travel adventures at reduced prices for folks 50 and older.

The moon appeared huge, but fortunately the mountain ridge was distant and I zoomed to the maximum (200 mm) so that the moon retain most of its size in the image. The final image is not cropped.

The image is actually misnamed. The moon was falling rather than rising and the day was cloudless and bright at 10:30 a.m. I was able to get three photos before it began to dip behind the mountain.

I edited the image in Lightroom. Beyond normal editing techniques, I used the adjustment brush and the graduated filter to selectively darken the image. I jacked up the clarity on the moon to bring out detail. I also used the radial filter to cast the moonlight onto the landscape.



October 2019 Photos

Black & White

Steve Campbell - A County Dog

Rico served the residents of Berrien County as a police dog for 11 years. He is a Belgian Malinious. I took a series of photos of Rico and one of those photos was eventually placed on a baseball card with Rico and his handler. Those cards have been handed out to children throughout the community. Rico’s has apprehended 26 felons in his career and has located large quantities of illegal substances.

This photo was taken with a canon 70 to 200 mm lens extended out to 200. I purposely got down to the same level as the dog when I took the photo. The background is a sliding garage door located in a warehouse.    I love the expression on this dog's face. He was always very friendly until it was time to go to work.



Leroy Patterson - Dolphins

My wife and I traveled by our boat on the waterways from Michigan to Florida and lived on it in Florida for four years.  Each time we ran on the intercoastal water between Fort Meyers and Captiva the dolphins would chase us and put on a show.

I took a lot of photos but the dolphins usually were looking forward so I could not see their faces. This time one was jumping toward the boat. We only went 10 Knots and the dolphins were close to the boat so it was easy to capture the shot.  At that time I shot with a Nikon D300 at 1/400 at f10 and ISO 200 at 38mm on an 18-70 Dx Nikon lens.

The photo was adjusted in Lightroom with plus to clarity, saturation.  It was cropped 20% from the original size.


September 2019 Photos

Special Note from the Webmaster:
This is another one of those special times for the Photo of the Month.  Having one of your Honor images selected by the club members as Photo of the Month is pretty special.  Receiving both, the Black & White and the Color selections in the same month is rare and very special. 
Way to go Ron, congratulations.


Black & White

Ron DeKett - Jack

After taking photos of a winning sculpture at Fire Arts Inc. gallery in South Bend in July, I stepped outside for a few moments. A man who appeared to be homeless approached me and apologized for bothering me began to explain his sad situation. I knew it would end with asking me for money. So, I stopped him and told him I would not give him money but that I would hire him for $5 for several minutes as a model. He readily agreed. He immediately adopted the character of a model and tried out several smiles, changing the tilt of his head, all without my direction. After about 20 shots, I thanked him for his work and gave him $5, and he went on his way.

I edited the image in Lightroom Classic by enhancing his eyes and cranking up the overall clarity a bit. I also jacked up the texture slider. I used the radial filter to lighten the shadow on his face cast by the bill of his cap. I used it again to create a vignette.

I used a Nikon D500 with a Nikkor 16-80 f/2.8-4 lens at 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 48 mm.



Ron DeKett - Dragonfly

My goal this summer was to photograph a dragonfly in flight. But the darn things won't hover for any length of time. Consequently, I failed miserably. But I was able to capture this Ebony jewelwing resting on a blade of grass while I was tromping around Bridgman. I edited the image in Lightroom Classic. I cranked up clarity and texture as well as routine image editing. I shot it with a Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400 f/3.5-6.3 lens at 1/640th, f/8, ISO 560, 370mm.




Photo of the Month for the Year
2018 - 2019 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

Photo of the Month for the Year Award Winner
Ron DeKett - Daydreaming

The photo is of a young boy who lives in an Amazonian village called San Pedro de Los Lagos, which roughly translated means community of Saint Peter of the Lakes.
San Pedro is in the Colombia portion of the Amazon jungle a stone’s throw from the Amazon River.

I was with a small group of visitors participating in an all-day, guided walking tour of the Amazon jungle on Jan 5, 2019.  It rained the entire time.  A careful look at the photo reveals faded gray vertical dashes which are captured rain drops.

San Pedro, which can be approached on land by foot or from the water by boat, is a regular stop during all-day tours.  Visitors bring candy and biscuits as gifts to the children.

I was struck by the wistful beauty of the children, so I sat quietly and waited for photo opportunities.  The color version of this image shows the vibrant brown color of his skin contrasted with his eyes.  But the pleasing color distracted from the daydream-like expression that I wanted to capture and emphasize, so I changed the image to black & white.

The photo was cropped from the left and edited entirely in Lightroom Classic CC using the radial filter and adjustment brush, as well as the contrast, highlight, shadow, white and black adjustments tools.  I tweaked the clarity a bit.

I used a Nikon D500 camera with a Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

The settings were 1/160th shutter speed at f/5.6, ISO 320, 95 mm focal length.


Photo of the Month for the Year Award Winner
Maria Pelaez - Music is Art

My idea was to demonstrate that music, like other categories within the arts such as a painting have elements in common like intensity, rhythm and texture.  Music translated in a painting, to be observed as an explosion of color, with movement and intensity in their strokes.

This photo was taken last year in Puebla, Mexico at a cello concert.  One of the musicians allowed me to take a picture of his cello on a dark sofa.  I used a Nikon D90 with a 35mm lens.  Exposure was f/2.2, 1/20 sec. ISO 1600.

On the original image I darkened the edges of the sofa, and adjusted contrast, brightness and exposure to isolate the cello.

I opened the image in an iphone app called Enlight and use a painting effect tool on the whole image.

After getting the desired effect I used Photoshop and mixed the two images using layers to divide the cello in half and finally adjusted sharpness, contrast and saturation.




Additional Photo Galleries:

- Monthly Honor Images

- You are Here

- Photo of the Month images prior to the 2019 - 2020 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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