Category Archives: Instructional

Mike Moats Macros

Mike Moats, a well know and respected Macro and Closeup Photographer, visited the club on Wednesday Feb. 15, 2014 and gave a presentation on how to make Macro images.  It was very interesting and informative as Mike is very easy going and gives a great presentation.  Mike does Macro Workshops all over the country so we were very fortunate to have him come and share.  I think we all learned and lot and maybe a new way of “seeing”.

You can see more of Mike’s images at

Mike blogs at and can buy some of his prints at

If you want to see spiders up close and personal he recommends this site by Thomas Shahan.

Also he recommended visiting Old Car City USA near Altanta.  You can see some HDR images HERE by Andy Milford.


Thanks Mike

Randy McNeilly and How the PPA Judges Images

Randy McNeilly, a professional photographer from Shelby, NC visited Wednesday Night, Feb 5 and shared with the club how the Professional Photographers Association (PPA) judge images in print and digital as a International organization.

Randy is the Chairman of the Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) for the PPA and was very informative on how the professional organization judges images and how it compares with the way we as a club judge images.

For example the PPA size requirements are as follows – “Keep in mind, though, that while your images’ shapes and sizes have more flexibility in the 2011 competition, there will still be some requirements. The presentation must be a minimum of 80 square inches to a maximum of 480 square inches, with the largest dimension no longer than 24 inches.”  Also digital images are judged like this. “Digital Judging Details – In fact, that is how the digital images will be viewed by the jurors. Two 30-inch NEC monitors will be set up in a room of six jurors, and the image will come up on both screens.

For more information on the PPA, you can visit on the web HERE.

You can also visit Randy’s photography business website HERE.

Thank you Randy for your time and sharing with us.

8/21/13 – Black and White Photo Processing

Ken Burns did a presentation last night for club members on Black and White photo processing.

He showed us how he converts color Raw files to black and white then the steps he uses to fine tune his images using layer masks.  Very informative session and we want to thank Ken for sharing with us.

Tips for Photographing Butterflies

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo from Digital Photography School

4/18/2012 Wildlife Photography Presentation

Fellow club member Wink Gaines gave a presentation last night on Wildlife Photography.  She did a wonderful presentation that was very informative and thorough.  She offered handouts to those in attendance but I wanted to make them available to all with her blessing.  Please visit the links down the right border under Wildlife Presentation Handouts for the PDF handouts.

6/1/11 – Special Instructional Night

Tonight was a special evening for the Catawba Valley Camera Club.

Tony Sweet, a renowned photographer gave a presentation to a packed house at the Arts and Science Museum.  Check out his photography artwork at

headshotTony’s Bio from his web site.

After 20 years as a professional jazz artist, Tony changed careers and directed his creative juices towards nature photography. The improvisational, spontaneous, and abstract nature of jazz are also integral elements of nature photography.

Tony’s work is published on calendars, post cards, posters, annual reports, greeting cards, catalogs, and electronic mediums. His fine art prints are exhibited in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, and he is represented by The Getty Picture Agency. His images are also used by Nikon, NikSoftware, Singh Ray, Microtek, and others for national ad campaigns.

Tony conducts Visual Artistry photography location workshops, and speaks to photography organizations and PPA schools throughout the continental United States and Canada. Tony’s articles and images are featured in Shutterbug and Rangefinder magazines, and is a contributor to He is a staff writer for Nikon World magazine.

He has authored four books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography (’02), Fine Art Flower Photography (’05), Fine Art Nature Photography: Water, Ice, Fog (’07), and Fine Art Digital Nature (’09).

Tony’s presentation makes you think differently about your photography and how you should open your mind to other possibilities with your own photography.


Thanks Tony for a great evening.

Below are some images taken at the workshop that was lead by Tony Sweet this week.




























1/19/11 – Instructional Night–Landscapes with Ed lane

Click Ed_Lane_Landscape_Slideshow to scroll through some of Ed’s images
or if you have a quick internet click Here to see a movie of the slideshow.

  • Three Keys for Landscape photography
  1. Use small aperture  (f16 or smaller)
  2. Use tripod (Not K-mart but one that works on slopes)
    Tripod slows you down to look carefully for the best shots
  3. Find the right time, one of which is the “Golden Hour” which is a couple of hours either side of sunrise or sunset.
  • Light and exposure
  1. Create star burst by having 3/4 to 1/2 of light source behind rocks, etc with wide angle lens at f16 or smaller
  2. Use your spot meter.
  3. Check different gray areas for contrast. Use neutral density filter if more than one stop difference.
  4. Normal camera metering sees snow as gray.  Increase +2 to make snow white.
  5. Ed does all metering and focusing manually
  6. You can see effects of Neutral Density filter better when you press the depth of field button.
  7. Polarizer works best at 90 degrees from the light.  They do not work when sun is directly in front of you or directly behind you.  Polarizers take the sheen off leaves to add saturation.
  • Composure
  1. Lead lines tell eye of viewer what to see –  can be subtle such as when creeks are the subject and the lead line or direct such as fences
  2. Work the scene a lot.  Wait for shadows. Look for new perspectives.
  3. Ask yourself: Why did I stop here?
  4. Take advantage of the weather – rain improves fall shots.

Photograph America Newsletter
P O Box 86
Navato, CA 94948-0086

Photo Traveler Publications
P O Box 39912
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Don’t forget, our next meeting is February 4th (a Friday) for the image*ination reception.  Set up starts at 4:30 and help for setup and take down is still needed.

Instructional–“Photography After Dark”

Dave Rhuberg, Catawba Valley Camera Club member instructed the club on
Photography After Dark”.  Click on the link below to learn about working with ISO, shutter speed, dragging the shutter, flash technique plus other good stuff.


Lots of good information. Click HERE.

Thanks Dave

Portrait Lighting Instructional

Rose Mary Cheek, a local portrait photographer, shared her knowledge with an instructional night this week on portrait lighting.  Very well done.  Thanks Rose Mary.  Click on the links below for more information.

Portrait Characteristics

Portrait Lighting Samples

Check out Rose Mary’s web site at

Matting and Framing – April 7, 2009 with David Futrell

Club members were excited about the opportunity of learning about matting and framing last night as David Futrell, a club member, showed the how and why of cutting mats and framing as well as picking the right color of mat.  Below are some tips that were picked up last night.  Give it a try.


Three reasons for matting

  • Separation of image from the glass
  • Highlighting the image
  • Enhancing the image

Various tips

  • Choose mat first and then the frame as color vital to image
  • Mat should be wider than frame and can be very wide
  • Cut reverse bevel if don’t want white edge to show OR if want to add depth
  • Use insets instead of double mats if frame to  small
  • If blade is extended too much cut can be ragged AND blade may wobble and leave a wavy cut.
  • Backing and mat should not be taped together – allow for movement in frame by not pressing in too tightly.

Multiple mats

  • Cut largest opening first
  • Double stick tape mats together
  • Mark second mat
  • Put cut out in opening for ballast
  • Cut second mat

From David Futrell:

I was really surprised at the number of members that came and showed an interest in mat cutting.  It is an art that isn’t easy but not impossible learn.   I think it is important that photographers know the basics of mat design so that they can select the right mat for their photographs.  As I tried to convey last night, matting can make or break a photograph. I want to thank everyone that came and will be willing to help anyone that has a question.  They can email me and I’ll be glad to help if I can.


David Futrell