Coping with COVID: Group Photo Gatherings During a Pandemic

Milky Way over Mt. Rainier  Just before Sunrise from the August Outing © Dan Clements
Milky Way over Mt. Rainier Just before Sunrise from the August Outing © Dan Clements

Photos and story by Dan Clements

While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended most people’s lives, it has especially impacted travel and gatherings of groups. Camera clubs had to switch to zoom meetings. Meetup groups canceled events. Opportunities to go out and shoot with a bunch of fellow photographers were virtually nonexistent. This is the story of how one nature photography club learned to live with COVID: what has changed, what has worked, and how we have managed successful group gatherings over the summer. It appears that we will be dealing with the pandemic well into 2021, so this is also a road map of how we will proceed in the coming months.

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Blurred Lines: More Creative Projects For the “Involuntary” Homebound

Same image with Gaussian blur combined with Motion blur filter.
Gaussian blur combined with Motion blur filter.

Story & photos by F.M. Kearney

At the time of this writing, most of the country is tentatively beginning to open up. Although more and more people are slowly starting to venture out, things are nowhere near normal. Millions, however, are still living under “stay-at-home” restrictions, and only venturing out for essentials – which does not often include outdoor nature photography. It makes for very long days that seem to blur together. That gave me another idea on how to alter existing images. My past couple of articles have dealt with creative ways to pass the time if you’re unable (or unwilling) to spend too much time outside. Last month, I discussed ways to use texture to enhance your images. In this article, I’ll illustrate how the various blur filters in Photoshop can dramatically alter an image (including texture, as well).

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Using Blending Modes in Photoshop

Image of Ginsberg's Photoshop workspace. Perhaps the first task before editing your photos is to arrange the workspace in a way that is most comfortable for you. I elect to lay out my screen like this with the tool palette, layer stack, adjustment panel and properties. Other functions such as actions and info can be selected from the Window menu as needed.
Perhaps the first task before editing your photos is to arrange the workspace in a way that is most comfortable for you. I elect to lay out my screen like this with the tool palette, layer stack, adjustment panel and properties. Other functions such as actions and info can be selected from the Window menu as needed.

Story & images by Jerry Ginsberg

Strange Circumstances

During this crucial time, we nature photographers who feel so at home wandering around the great outdoors seeking great images suddenly find ourselves uncharacteristically spending as much time as possible in our homes. While it is certainly necessary that we do this as a means of avoiding the scourge of the deadly Corona virus, it still feels a bit unnatural to most of us.

So let’s make the most of this unexpected downtime by honing our skills in the ever-evolving digital darkroom.

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The Case for Bridge

Bridge Grid View is one of several user-selected layouts for viewing images. The Grid is modeled on a traditional lightbox.

Story and photos © Jerry Ginsberg

A little history

Once upon a time, a lot of photographers did very well with film photography. 35mm slides, the old reliable, did a more than adequate job for us and the great majority of book and magazine publishers. We sent out a couple of vinyl pages of 20 mounted 2×2” slides and usually scored a hit.

Then came the digital revolution. And make no mistake; this has been a true technological revolution. Kodak and Nikon may initially have been on the cutting edge of the seismic shift as it pertains to photography, but such subsequent changes as smartphones, social media and cloud computing are all facets of the very same upheaval.

Around 1990, a group of very bright people created Photoshop. Overcoming a few less robust competitors, Photoshop quickly became the standard for processing digitally captured and scanned images in the new world of the digital darkroom.

Adobe’s ancillary program Bridge was born soon after. After several years and great advances in the feature sets, depth and breadth of these software tools, some streamlining seemed to fit a market niche. Enter Lightroom.

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