This page provides links to sites that our members have found useful for them. If you have others you want added here, contact us at the email address provided below. Thanks goes out to all our members who shared these opportunities with us. Note the educational links towards the bottom of the page.
If you experience problems with any of these links, please let me know by clicking on the contact the webmaster link at the bottom of this page.
Places to take photos
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Information and registration at http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/photographyclasses.aspx.
Places to Go
The Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge has a number of special events during the course of the year. You can see what is on schedule by clicking on their link to their refuge Event Schedule. Their wildlife drive is 7.3 miles of viewing pleasure. It is open during daylight hours from late April through October.
Minnesota Streetcar Museum - Como-Harriet Special Events - Streetcars are now running in Minneapolis and Excelsior. Check their schedules for days and times. In June of 2015 they had offered a Fan Photography event but it had to be canceled. Watch their website to see if they offer it again.
Sax Zim Bog is a noteworthy birding area in Northern Minnesota. They even have a facebook page now. They have been really developing the area to make it more welcoming for the flocks of birders that come up there in the winter to enjoy viewing all the owls that come around there. They developed a suggested driving route to make it easier for people (birders and photographers) to tour the area. This should be helpful for you if interested in touring the area. Here's a link to their directions. They offer field trips periodically. See their schedule.
Found out that the Three Rivers Park District has several options/events for photography. Here's a link to their Events calendar page to get more up-to-date information as to what they have going on. The Three Rivers Park District includes these parks.
The National Wildlife Federation can be an excellent resource. They have also recently published a list of the "7 Gorgeous Alternatives to National Parks" on their blog. Check it out to see some great state park options to explore. Both are worth looking at.
Explore Minnesota Website - This website is available for everything about Minnesota activities. Use it to find your next photo opportunity/event. You can also search by keyword to find more items of interest.
The Minneapolis Photo Center is a nationally renowned photography center. They have great photo displays, seminars, and you can get prints made there as well. It might be worth checking out.
National Eagle Center - Wabasha - Check out their Events and learn about photo opportunities and eagle viewing trips (usually January/February).
Minnesota Zoo Events Calendar
Minnesota State Parks Calendar by date - Events for the next 90 days of Minnesota State Park events sorted by date and then by park.
Lake Maria State Park sometimes has events that may be of interest for you.
Nowthen Threshing Show - Check this link for when the next show will be. The 2013 show was held in August but you can find out when it will be in 2014 by going to their website. It is held at the Nowthen Threshing Show Grounds, 7415 Old Viking Blvd, Nowthen, MN.
Wapiti Historical Rendezvous - Held annually. It is held at the Nowthen Threshing Show Grounds, 7415 Old Viking Blvd, Nowthen, MN.
Clubs and Events
Clickin' Moms! One of our new members talked about this website at the 4/15/09 meeting. Thought we would include this here as well. We are not recommending it, only providing it as a resource if you choose. They are a community of women who have a passion for photography. Some are amateur photographers who just want to take better pictures of our family, some are hobbyists, and some are seasoned pros.
Interested in trying out equipment to try before purchasing? West photo (http://www.westphoto.com/), AVS/AV Solutions, and Lights on (http://www.lightson.com/) are all businesses that rent out photo equipment from cameras to lenses and more. They are all in the metro area. I've been to West Photo and know that it is a regular stop for professional photographers in the metro area. Claire has rented from them and said it was a great experience. National Camera has also now started renting gear. The more well known web place that rents camera gear is an internet site that appears to be highly recommended but that has not used by any of our members that I know of. Therefore use at your own risk. This site is http://www.borrowlenses.com. I personally considered renting from there but then didn't need to after all. They have excellent recommendations from a variety of customers so they appear to be a great place to rent from.
http://www.irfanview.net/ - Here is a link to a program that Ken K said is a pretty good FREE program that can do batch resizing, renaming and converting formats (bmp to jpg, etc.) as well as some basic editing. It is a Windows only program. It might come in handy for some of you who aren't already using Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
SmugMug.com - Free unlimited storage and uploads of photos. Website offers other features as well. Has various security options to protect your files. Was recommended by some of our members.
Helicon Focus - Sanford recommended this program for any of you doing Macro photography. Helicon Focus is a program that creates one completely focused image from several partially focused images by combining the focused areas. The program is designed for macro photography, microphotography and hyperfocal landscape photography to cope with the shallow depth-of-field problem.
Photomatix - Claire recommended this software program which is used for generating HDR (high dynamic range) photos. It helps you merge differently exposed photos into one image with increased dynamic range faster and more effectively than even possible in Adobe Photoshop.
WordPress - This is a free self-hosted blogging tool that has grown to be widely used and supported. There is even a WordPress for Dummies book available. You can view full information about the software on their website.
Best Buy has a great page on their website that is a lens buying guide. Check it out.
Nikon has revamped their Learn & Explore page. Here's what they have to say about it: "We've redesigned the site to make it easier to find
stories you care about, get tips and advice from pros, learn new shooting techniques, discover classes and
workshops—in short, help you find new inspiration
every time you visit. (And we hope you visit often.)" I've checked it out and they have some excellent training there. Should be usable whether you use Nikon, Canon or other brands of cameras.
Further below in these education links, I mention Lynda.com. Well, it would seem that those of us who have membership to the Great River Regional Library system have the added benefit of free training at Lynda.com. All that is required is a library card through this system (not available in all library regions) and a pin number (same as used to check out free library ebooks). When you go to the database page of their website, scroll down and find Lynda.com. From here it will ask for your library card number and library card pin number to sign in. It will then take you to Lynda.com's website where you will be asked to log in. If you do not already have a login, you will need to create one. It should then allow you to take any training you want. They have more training than you could possibly take in a year. They have a variety of photography courses as well as numerous software training courses on a variety of Adobe products and much much more. I highly encourage you to take advantage of this if you are part of this library system. To get a further idea of what training lynda.com has to offer go to their website and just view the various categories of training they offer. If you aren't in the GRRL region, Lynda.com has unlimited online training for $20-$30 per month and cancel whenever you want to.
Digital Photography School is a website that has EXCELLENT content for learning more about all aspects of photography. They bring out a multitude of new training on their site daily. If you "Like" them on Facebook, you will see all of their new training. Or just go to the club Facebook page (members only access) and many of the items are shared there.
KelbyTV.com is an excellent resource for a variety of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and overall photography tips & tricks put on by Scott Kelby and his crew.
A good site to learn lighting techniques is Strobist's blog website called strobist.blogspot.com. Specifically, their Lighting 101 Archive is worth looking at. To see all of the lighting 101 subjects, you will want to go over to the archive listing and search through those listed (on the right hand side of the screen). They also list Lighting 102 Archive, On Assignment Archive and a Monthly Archive.
A good website for general purpose learning of photography is called Improve Photography. Their website is http://improvephotography.com/. They offer courses on photography but have made available a lot of general purpose tips as well. Check them out for great tips on shooting Aurora Borealis, flash photography, indispensable equipment, travel photography tips and more. Check them out.
At the November 2012 meeting, Steve Fowler brought the technique of Bokeh to our attention. Bokeh is an adaptation from a Japanese word meaning blur. In photography, this term is used to describe the quality of the areas in the picture which are not in focus. Although late getting this posted, here are some links to learn more about this interesting technique:
On 6/20/12, Rose Luffel demonstrated Matting/Framing Photography. In her presentation, she tried to make use of two websites but we were unable to access the internet properly that night (sorry). Those websites and her handout are shown below.
I just found a great learning site put out by Tamron out on Youtube.com. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/tamronvids. They explain all sorts of techniques that will be of interest. You'll find a list of their videos on the right side of the page. Enjoy!
Interested in learning more about how to win photo contests? The National Wildlife Federation has an annual photo contest and is offering advice on Secrets for Winning a Nature Photo Contest. You can also enter their annual photo contest. They also have a series of Nature & Wildlife Photo Tips.
A few of our members receive the free Tim Grey eNewsletter on a daily basis. It is full of good advice related to the "digital darkroom". In other words, it has advice related to Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography in general. Included here is a link to Tim Grey's site where you can sign up and learn more about receiving this free daily eNewsletter. You can also pay for and receive a monthly emagazine called Pixology which has a lot off good information as well.
I got this link from a Lexjet newsletter. It recommended the American Society of Media Photographers website for an article on doing backups. Here is the link to the Backup Overview article on dpBestflow.org. It looks like a very thorough and not too geeky an explanation of why you need backups and strategies for doing them. It is also geared towards professional photographers.
In our November 2009 meeting we mentioned Scott Kelby and how he, and their whole organization (NAPP and Kelby Training), provides excellent training. NAPP and the Kelby Training has been combined to form KelbyOne. Here is a link to their site. You can also look for books by Scott Kelby on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
PhotoSecrets.com is a very good resource for tips on photography, links of websites to explore, location guides, and books.