Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Castle West Portrait Project -- Beauty From Ashes

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Guild,

Here is a recap of what happened Monday night at the Service Project meeting. Notes were diligently taken and transcribed by our gracious Rosalyn Sample, then passed on to me for butchering.

First, let me (Bruce) marvel at how the meeting went. It was clearly a "God-thing" that we were able to deal with each agenda item, plus a few others, all within a mere two hours. Much of the reason why we could be so efficient was because no egos gummed up the works! Everyone sought what was good for the victims of the fire and to glorify God. With all the talent for portrait photography the attitude was "just to be used in whatever capacity will do the most good." It's a privilege to know and work with people of this caliber.

This project even has a name: The Castle West Portrait Project – Beauty from Ashes.

Background as to how the idea was birthed: KVOR's announcement regarding those who lost all their family photos prompted Ted to take action with the idea that the CPG would do portraits for each family affected. Bruce (our project manager) followed up the next day on Ted's idea and informed us that he had secured a location.

Eric played guitar and led singing. That helped us all get a more Godly focus for the many and significant decisions we were to make.

Location secured: 1785 N. Academy……..2nd bldg. north of Cowboys' night club. It's got lobby that is about 20' x 60' with large glass windows and doors on the east and west ends. It's more than large enough for two studio sets, a hospitality table and several chairs. An office just off the lobby area will be more than adequate to set up computers to print photos and burn CDs. Plenty of power outlets, too. Restrooms are accessible directly off the lobby.

Date and times: Saturday Feb. 10th, 10-2 p.m. for actual portraits, CPG and anyone helping will need to plan on being there 3 p.m. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. We ALL need to be there at 9AM so we can assess who has what, what's going to be used of what's been brought and make sure that it's all working properly. This is where the peace of organization can turn into chaos and create all sorts of tension. Please, please, please be on time… or even a tad early. Your team members will be grateful.

Rough estimate could be approximately 50 families, but we will be prepared for more, or less, depending on God's plans. Families will receive a 5 x 7 print in a folder, and a CD suitable for enlargement printings copyright-free.

We have come to terms with the fact that there is no known way to verify the legitimacy of anyone walking in and claiming to be a fire victim. We will simply provide free portraits to anyone who comes and without verifying. It's all good experience, a time to practice and improve. Our motto could be: Shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out! (Sounds like something Russ wudda come up with.)



For press release: "For all Castle West Residents affected by the fire: No one can replace the memories you lost in the fire, but you can have brand new portraits to mark this new chapter in your lives – absolutely free. No strings attached. This event is being hosted by the Christian Photographers Guild of Colorado Springs. They will provide free portrait sittings, a 5 x 7 print in a folder, and a CD of your portrait images so that you can make more prints later. This will take place at 1785 North Academy Blvd Colorado Springs on Saturday, Feb. 10th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointments are needed and, again, it is absolutely free."

Volunteers have offered the following donations, equipment use, or tasks to be completed:
1. Ted
a. 5 x 7 folders for prints
b. labels printed for CD's with CPG website & a copyright-free notice included
2. Monica
a. Hobby Lobby for frames (waiting for answer),
b. Loan of small whiteboards to write names & images
c. Laptop
d. Will call Fargos for possible pizza donation,
e. Directional signage to be made by student volunteers, who will also be assisting the day of the project
3. Bruce
a. Deep Rock – ½ - liter bottles of water
b. Vacuum for cleanup
c. Laptop
d. Table
4. Amy Sheller (friend of Greg's) - $200 worth of ink through Cartridge World
5. Harvey Blasdel
a. Use of building
b. No charge for utilities
c. 2 tables
d. Chairs, lots of them
6. Chris - loan of monitor
7. Greg
a. Printer set-up
b. Will call for possible food donations
8. Ted & Rosalyn will check on getting bibles donated
9. Each photographer who comes will bring as much studio equipment as they have within reason, including camera, backdrops, power strips, strobes with optical AND radio releases, two memory cards for each camera,
11. Jim will print flyers & for possible press release) with donors listed - Each donor must call him to be included on the list
12. Eric - will loan sound system with CD's to play during the day
13. Ric Gaddy - will call for possible food donations

Specific task volunteers:
Jim – posing coach
Greg - lab
Gail Hinson - Hostess
Monica - will secure student assistants for the day

A joint effort will be made by all, with most volunteers rotating throughout multiple jobs, and will be determined that day.

A ministry will be made available should anyone need someone to pray with or for them.

Rosalyn asked, "Bruce - do we want to offer a phone number or contact information?"
Bruce's reply: "Sure, Rosalyn. It can be anyone but me. Seriously, though, let's put the info on our web site. Would you coordinate with Russ and Greg to work this one out, please? I'm really short on time for the next few days. Whatever you 3 decide is fine with me. Please let me know what you decide."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Updated Look

All, I've updated the look of our blog and have added a few more links. I'd have put in Rosalyn's, but I need to find it again.

Please let me know if you have any more ideas about our site.


Friday, January 19, 2007

CPG Meeting

Our next CPG meeting will be Monday, January 22nd at New Life Church in Rm. 250. Please arrive by 6:30pm so we can start promptly.

We will be holding our photo contest and studying the Bible for this meeting. So bring your Bibles. Bruce will be bringing a new coffee pot for the coffee drinkers. Ted will bring a second pot for decaf drinkers.

Don't forget your prints for the contest!

Winterscape Photo Contest

The winterscape photography contest is this coming Monday. You may submit one image for judging by the other guild members. We will vote as a guild the top three images.

You need to bring a print of your image at least a 4x6 or maximum 8x12. Please also submit your image to Ted Mehl @ It should be emailed 4x6 @300 dpi. Ted must receive the image by Saturday, January 20th at 11:59pm.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Someone said once that you could hang this little one off the ceiling, take a picture, and she'd look good. Not sure if this shot qualifies.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Lee Miller and three CPG Photographers

Hello fellow CPG members. This is the first blog submission of my life.

I want to share my recent awesome experiences with three members of the Christian Photographers Guild. During the last three weeks, my life and photography skills were enriched by shooting a wedding with Christian Metzler, some family portraits with Josh Tracy & meeting fellow photography teacher Steve Hixon for lunch.

Christian really energized my work. I was in a support role at a wedding. His laid back friendly style brought out my best work. As a result I took an awesome silloutte shot.

I got to see my outgoing personality energize his work too. Can't wait to shoot with him again. Josh Tracy made me laugh from the first moment he showed up at the portrait shoot we helped on together. We worked as a tight team to capture strong family images. I'm really happy with the work we did. I have a joy teaching beginning photography to all ages. Tomorrow I look forward to being a better teacher after picking Steve Hixon's brain. Past history tells me that my skills & experience will be good for Steve too.

The common element in meeting all three photograhers is something I discovered years ago. It is also the central core of the Christian Photographers Guild. I never met another photographer without growing as a photographer myself. In a self-centered, what's in it for me world; I find this a greatly unique, precious and valuable treasure.
"Lee Miller - A Touch Of Color Photography"

Christian Photographers' Guild of Colorado Springs (CPG)

Christian Photographers' Guild of Colorado Springs (CPG)

A couple of things that may be of interest: The Pikes Peak Library District Art Evaluation Committee will be jurying for exhibit in Library galleries. Hanging artwork is approved for exhibit based on the quality of each individual artist's talent. The Committee will meet on Tues. Jan 23. in the Carnegie Reading room at Penrose Library, 20 N,. Casecade Ave. Interested artists are asked to submit 5 pieces of art - that look exactly as they would in a show between 10 a.m. and noon. Art must be picked up the same day from 4:30-6 p.m. Artists whose work is accepted will receive notification within two weeks with details about when and where exhibits will be hung. For more information, contact or call 531-6333, x2338.

Also, an online FREE Advanced Photoshop CS2 class available at HP's website:

then click on online classes - it begins Jan. 18th.

Hope this information is of value. Rosalyn

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lee teaches about IS/VR

Image Stabilization
IS Modes Image Stabilization (IS), also known as vibration reduction and anti-shake, is a technology that helps prevent digital photos from becoming blurred. IS reduces camera shake caused by hand movement, slow shutter speeds or when using a long telephoto lens without a tripod. Image stabilization is often found in consumer digital cameras with long telephoto zoom lenses. However it is available on an increasing number of cameras with short focal lengths. IS is also found on professional digital single lens reflex cameras, interchangeable lens and videocams. IS helps a photographer take handheld shots almost two stops slower than without it. It is important to point out that Optical Image Stabilization does not prevent blur if a subject itself is moving.
Optical vs. Digital Image Stabilization
Optical IS A camera with Optical Image Stabilization produces the best results. Unlike digital IS, Optical IS is hardware based. The camera typically has a built-in gyrosensor and microprocessor which detect camera shake as it occurs. If your camera has Optical Image Stabilization, it's adviseable to keep it turned on at all times. The only exception, as recommended by manufacturers, is to turn it off when using a tripod or other camera support. There are three types of Optical Image Stabilization modes, though not every digital camera with IS has three: Continuous, Shoot Only and/or Panning.
Digital IS Some cameras have Digital Image Stabilization, which simply boosts camera sensitivity (ISO) to obtain a faster shutter speed. There is no hardware involved. The higher the ISO, the greater the chance for image noise, which can degrade the quality of an image. In some cases where digital image stabilization is used, there in-camera processing, such as sharpening, to correct image blur.
I recently agonized over purchasing the Canon 24-70 f2.8 lens OR the Canon 24-105 f4 IS lens. I have decided that f2.8 is the only way to go. Pro Glass traditionally has used an aperture of f2.8. More and more lens are coming with IS/VR flavors and F4. This is because Film was shot at ISO 100 and Digital is shot at ISO 400. Reducing the aperture increases “camera & subject motion” because you must lower the shutter speed to compensate. New cameras are being made with less Noise allowing us to raise the ISO instead of lowering the shutterspeed.
The other solution for reducing camera motion is Image Stabilization. HOWEVER:
IS won’t freeze the subjects action, only higher SS’s from larger apertures will
To blur backgrounds. Need wider aperture.
Higher quality optics. IS version normally lower quality (complexity fm more group elements!).
Due to the above, better performance with TCs. IS doesn't help.
AF with a 2x TC. IS doesn't help. Canon AF needs f5.6 to work
IS version usually creates dimmer viewfinder. DSLR have dimmer than film. Need Wide Aperture.
IS is of limited use on tripod.
Correcting for camera motion in the lens is a fairly new and changing technology. There are many false words used by manufacturers to describe it. There are tons of rumors on the internet for how to use it. Here is the bottom line.

-It can be a great new tool.
-It does not affect subject motion only the camera’s motion.
-Nikon & Canon have three different generations of this technology.
-Lens makers are offering lenses that were previously non-IS f2.8 version in IS f4 versions.
-Reducing the aperture WILL: dim viewfinder, reduce TC use, reduce DOF (bokeh) effects, increase subject blur.

Canon IS The Canon Image Stabilizer uses sensors to detect motion and generate a corrective signal to reduce blur caused by camera movement. An image-stabilizing lens group along the optical axis is shifted in response to the detected motion, providing effective cancellation of unwanted lens movement and vibration.

Nikon VR
The VR System works by adjusting the lens to compensate for camera shake and to make sure light from A converges on A’. Each VR Unit contains a VR lens elements and driving motors to make this happen. Nikon's first camera with a VR feature was the Nikon Zoom 700VR QD 35mm film compact camera released in 1994. The next product with the feature was the AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED, an interchangeable lens for SLR cameras released in 2000. A major difference from current Nikon VR products is that it offered two modes—one in which the VR function is on from the time the shutter-release button is pressed halfway, and another in which it functions only during exposure.
In addition, the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED and models released later have an “Active Mode” that effectively reduces camera shake when shooting from a moving vehicle and other similar situations. Subsequent interchangeable lenses have had VR functions such as the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED with a tripod vibration-reduction mode, and the AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED designed for digital SLRs. The AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED uses advanced, next-generation VRII technology, and it is the world's first lens that has achieved a VR effectiveness equivalent to about four stops in shutter speed.
When comparing in-lens and in-camera styles, the biggest difference is whether or not you can check VR effectiveness through the viewfinder. Generally, in-camera VR systems don't allow photographers to see how vibration will be compensated for through the viewfinder, while the in-lens feature that Nikon uses today does.

Lee Miller

“Light Your World Photography Classes”
“A Touch Of Color Photography”

Jan 2007 First meeting notes from Ted

Dear CPG Members,

We had an incredible meeting tonight! What a blessing. It was great seeing everyone again. Thanks for coming to our newest member: Peter Fecteau.

Lee gave a short presentation on lenses and image stabilization. Please find the article attached above. If you have any questions about it feel free to contact him at .

This month's photo contest is: Winterscapes. You can interpret that however you would like. Please email me a 4x6 jpeg (quality of 9 or better) with a resolution of 300. We will vote as a guild the top 3 images at our next meeting on January 22nd. Please bring an 8x12 or smaller sized print for the judging. The file must be emailed to me no later than 5pm Saturday, January 20th to be eligible for critique and judging.

I sure appreciate everyone's input on what you would like to get out of the guild this year. I will do my best to see that every topic is covered at some point during the year. If you were unable to attend tonight, please just email with your suggestions for topics you would like to see covered. We had a ton of great ideas brought forth.

It is a pleasure serving you. I look forward to working with and getting to know each of you better this year.

Ted Mehl

New Name, New Year

The Colorado Springs Christian Photographers' Guild is newly named Christian Photographers' Guild of Colorado Springs, or CPG. We were pleased to welcome some guests at our first meeting of 2007. Our new location is New Life Church, and we will still be meeting the 2nd and 4th Monday nights at 6:30 - 8:30.

This year looks to be filled with exciting speakers, member presentations, and yes, our own competitions to sharpen our skills. The first contest for CPG members is entitled, "Winter Scape." The assignment is to shoot a winter scene to be judged by other guild members at the 22 Jan 07 meeting. Photographs previously taken may be submitted, but we recommend you take this as an assignment and get out there and shoot. Please bring a 5x7 print to the meeting the night of the 22nd. Please also submit an electronic version of your submission (only 1 submission per member) to Ted Mehl @ by 21 Jan 07 in a 4x6 format (we need it as a 4x6 for projection purposes--your printed photo can be a different aspect ratio).

We're also excited about providing service to our community and will be taking suggestions on how to better ourselves, better our businesses, and to serve our community with our talents. Please consider the topics you'd like to see covered and pass them on to Ted (here's his address again for those of us who don't like to look back :)

I look forward to a great year and many more events to come.

The Blogger extrodinaire (but not a very good speller)