March 6, 2012–Backing Up; Avian Photography

Twenty-two members of the group including new comers Ben Thomas and Irene Koha were welcomed by Marv Goldschmitt for the March meeting.
Marv reminded us of the Groups show at the Cary Memorial Library in October.  Details on how the photos will be judged are yet to be determined, but members were advised to plan to have their images ready to submit by July.

As a follow up to his presentation on the Lightroom 4 Beta (see February meeting notes), Marv noted that the full version of LR4 had been launched, but that there appeared to be a number of problems with it including sluggish performance.  More about this in an email to the group from Marv is available in the messages section of the Yahoo Groups site.

The first presentation of the night was by Bob Bicknell on the topic of backing up the data on our computers, including of course, our images.  Bob covered the topic from soup to nuts beginning with a reminder of why it is necessary to have some backup system in place.  The conventional wisdom, supported by several group members who work with media, is that it isn’t a matter of “if” your drives will fail, but rather “when” they will fail. Since no single medium is immune to failure (thanks for this cheerful message, Adam!), any backup plan needs to have a backup itself.  Bob discussed a number of options including CDs, internal & external drives, RAID disks, and offsite storage.  A number of software approaches were also discussed including Time Machine, Time Capsule, Memeo,  and Bounce Back Backup .  Bob’s slides are available in the files section of the Yahoo Groups site at

Group member Michael Milicia, a professional wildlife photographer with a specialty in birds (http://, led what we hope will be the first in a series about bird photography.  Mike’s presentation centered entirely on equipment and he made it clear that to do professional bird photography, one has to have assembled an impressive array of equipment, that is of very high quality and therefore expensive.  Mike brought all of his equipment with him and he demonstrated how it would be used in the field.  Categories of equipment included carbon fiber tripods (necessary for holding big lenses) and accessories including tripod heads, plates, and brackets; camera straps; cameras (Canon or Nikon); and lenses, teleconverters, extension tubes.  Following his presentation, Mike showed some images submitted by group members and offered some suggestions on how the images might have been improved.  Mike has agreed to come back in June to continue his discussion of bird photography.
PowerPoint slides of Mike’s presentation are available in the files section of the Yahoo Groups site at

The next meeting of the group will be held on April 3rd at the BCA space in Old Town Hall.  We will hear from Jason Musselman and Rebecca Laders about their project working with children HIV+ youth in South Africa with cameras that some group members donated in last spring.  From their website: “Jason and Becca’s primary focus will be a photography class through which students can develop a sense of empowerment, as well as an artistic skill that would not have otherwise been available to them.  The children, while learning the basics of photography, will be encouraged to tell their own story in photographs.  Jason and Becca have secured more than a dozen donated, used digital cameras so each child will be able to work with his/her own camera.  The children will develop a portfolio of their work and the class will also present a show of their best images to the local community at the end of the course.”  This is an exciting project and we’re thrilled to have them provide a great example of the social significance that photography can provide.

The technical part of the meeting will deal with High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography and led by group members Marv Goldschmitt and Carlton SooHoo.  Members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the concept of HDR and, if possible, to try it out before the meeting.  Software is required, but there is functionality in Photoshop CS5 (maybe earlier?) and free trials of software such a Photomatics can be downloaded (

Submitted by Bob Bass (


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