Tutorials and Videos On Night Shooting

Here are some useful articles and videos to support the December 1 Nature presentation on night shooting. (See previous blog posting for details.)

Resources for Night Shooting
Everything you always wanted to know about night photography but were afraid to ask! Compiled here you will find tips and tricks to better night photography, interviews with noted night photographers, links to interesting sites, and all about the moon and its phases.

Must-Read Night Urban Photography Tips
With the days growing shorter, there are great opportunities for night photography in the city.

How to Get Outstanding Urban Night Photographs
Within most city centres, there is a wealth of photographic opportunities just waiting to be discovered, all using available light.

Photographing the Night Sky
In this tutorial, you will learn how to hunt for a dark sky, choose the right equipment, discover 500 rule, and take awesome photos.

Photographing the Night Sky with your DSLR Camera
Photographing the night sky requires nothing more than a digital single lens reflex (DSLR ) camera and a tripod. You can use almost any lens though it is easier to start with a normal (50 mm) or wide angle lens and set it to its widest aperture.


A Beginning Photographer’s Guide to Photographing The Northern Lights
Aside from the rare few in our club, most of us are beginners when it comes to photographing the Northern Lights.

Photographing the Northern Lights
This article provides ten suggestions that should improve your odds of achieving some exceptional images of the aurora.

Astrophotography 101: A Lesson Series on Photographing the Milky Way
Astrophotography 101 is currently a work in progress; however, a number of lessons have already been published, including:

Milky Way

Milky Way

How to Photograph the Milky Way
Here is a guide to help you understand the basics of photographing the night sky and the Milky Way.

10 Tips for Photographing Meteor Showers
Photographing a meteor shower is more like photographing a time-lapse than traditional still photos. You can never anticipate where or when a meteor is going to streak across the sky. In order to catch them you have to set up and take as many photos as you can throughout the night with a wide angle lens on the camera. If you leave the camera in the same position you can use the resulting images for a short time-lapse clip in addition to the still images you can capture.

Star Trails

Star Trails

Capturing Star Trails
Short and to-the-point article on shooting star trails, with a bit of post-processing advice thrown in.

 Photographing Star Trails
This article includes a star trails checklist is divided into two sections, for lens settings and camera settings for selected Nikon and Canon cameras.

From Prep Work to Post-Processing: An In-Depth Star Photography Tutorial
Tips for taking amazing shots of the Milky Way and night sky, along with post-processing advice.

Boosting the Milky Way: Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW Tutorial
A basic tutorial covering how to boost your Milky Way shots and how to get the colours in the galactic core to really pop. Although the tutorial only mentions Lightroom, the same techniques can be used in Adobe Camera RAW.

Milky Way Post Processing: Colour Correction
A general approach to processing night sky images

Basics of Post-Processing Night Sky Images
Discusses image stacking and dark-frame subtraction

Nine Secrets to Using a Tripod Like a Pro
How to correctly use that darn piece of equipment that is so necessary to night photography


Night Shooters, Rejoice! An Evening on Making Images After Dark

Parliament Hill in Winter at Night

Parliament Hill in Winter at Night

Monday Dec 1, 2014 in Bytown A, (2nd floor) RA Centre 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

In response to a request of the Education Committee, the Nature Group leadership has agreed to hold a Night and Astro-Photography Primer instructional and demonstration session. This will be an introduction to the techniques for successful night photography of either urban or nature subjects. Everyone is welcome if this is of interest to you.

During this session we will cover many topics; urban night photography, the milky way, meteor showers, northern lights, star trails, time lapse night photography, and post-processing of images.

Pierre Gauthier acknowledges the collaboration of Rick Wagner, John Elliott, Jim Robertson and Heather Dawe in preparing this material for presentation.

The Nature Group is planning two outings which would give you an opportunity to practice this kind of photography. One shoot is of the Geminid Meteor Shower on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at the Mill of Kintail near Almonte. The other is a three-day weekend outing to Algonquin Park, March 20 to 22, 2015.





Clark Hall

Clark Hall

November 18, 2014
RA Centre

Click HERE for photos


Gilles Vezina

Gilles Vezina, vice-chair of the RA Photo Club, welcomed the 133 attendees to a historic occasion, before handing the mike to MC Glen Cullis. Glen warmed up the room and read greetings from past members who could not have been there in person. We heard from Glen Staflund, Karin Lehmann, Suresh Mehta and Bill Dexter. In 1964, 17-year-old Eric Bawden walked into a RA Camera Club meeting, hoping to learn photographic and darkroom skills not easily obtainable elsewhere at the time. Crediting the Club for helping him launch a successful career in imaging and photography, Eric presented his tribute in person. (The RAPC today needs new blood like the young Eric!)  Glen went on and named several other notable alumni in the hall and recounted their contributions to the Club.

Tosha Rhodenizer

We sat down to a dinner of succulent prime ribs or Vegetable Wellington. After dinner, the RA in the persons of Ferdy Doreleyers, Vice-President of the Board of Directors, and Tosha Rhodenizer, the newly appointed General Manager and CEO of the RA, offered congratulations. Ms Rhodenizer shared a story about her recent job interview at the RA. Sitting in the West Lobby awaiting her turn, she was somewhat apprehensive. Then she noticed the prints on the wall and the rolling images on the monitor. Photography calmed and inspired her, and she went to her interview confident and uplifted. Let’s hope one good turn deserves another, and the new CEO will look at the Club’s requests with a kind eye!

Mike Heffernan, Catherine Kelly, Mike Giovinazzo

Mike Heffernan, Catherine Kelly, Mike Giovinazzo

We came to the marquee event of the evening: The Ages of Photography Past, Present and Future. The special guest speakers were Catherine Kelly (past), Mike Giovinazzo (present), Mike Heffernan (future).

Armed with a Praktica SLR, Catherine Kelly joined the RA Camera Club in 1974. Her presentation, The RA Photo Club: Our Glorious Past, had the audience laughing. She read from her diary the entries made during the first four weeks as a member:

“I went to the RA Camera Club tonight. There was a large crowd and I spent the night walking around with the zipper down on my pants.” (Week 1)

“I went to the camera club again and about all we did was look at a few slides.” (Week 2)

“I didn’t feel like going to the Camera Club so stayed home to watch television.” (Week 3)

“They tried to show a film tonight, but it caught fire.” (Week 4)

Catherine stays for 40 (and counting) years!
Continue reading



Excerpts from the RAPC Souvenir History

Keeping Up With the Times (2005-2014)

The Nature Group rallies for an early morning shoot. Pierre Gauthier photo

The Nature Group rallies for an early morning shoot. Pierre Gauthier photo

Executive representatives and keen members met on April 9, 2005, to brainstorm ideas to guide future plans for the fast-growing RA Photo Club. Spearheaded by Ken Hutchinson, Pierre Gauthier and Rob James, the long-term planning session was guided by professional facilitator Raphael Amato in confronting some basic questions: “What changes do we foresee? Do we want to get much bigger? How can the club best understand and serve the interests of its members? What do we want to keep, throw out, or create?”

Under Rob James as Club Chair in 2005-06, an expanded executive along with other volunteers numbered 79 individuals, some of whom took several different roles. The executive took immediate action to implement projects recommended in the April planning session. Rob James headed a team delving into the crucial issue of facilities needed to serve the club’s rapidly expanding membership. Numbers had risen in the previous year to 261, including 109 new members. To cope with this unprecedented upsurge, a comprehensive 52-page New Members Information Package was produced to explain aspects of club services and activities.

The Real Me, Ashley Murfin photo, 2014

The Real Me, Ashley Murfin photo, 2014

Significant changes were made to the club web site as Barry Thoms resigned after ten years as web master and a new site was developed under the name of raphotoclub.ca by Brett Delmage and John Elliott. Action to initiate this change was undertaken by the club’s new Communications Committee.

An era came to a close in January 2006 with the take-down of an exhibit by Nathalie Julien to conclude a long-running series of photo exhibits by members of the RA Photo Club. Since November 1998, a total of 97 photo exhibits had been held at the National Press Club photo gallery. More than 80 RA Photo Club members took advantage of this opportunity to showcase their work in a locale frequented by news media, communications professionals and passers-by from Parliament Hill. A continuing record of the entire exhibit series was maintained by exhibit coordinator Nix Wadden in five photo albums depicting the various exhibits. Many Photo Club members who got their start at the National Press Club went on to show their work in a variety of other locations.

Agnes, Howard Sandler photo, 2012

Agnes, Howard Sandler photo, 2012

Founded in 2006, the Urban Group focused on shooting “people and their environment” and “urban landscapes,” probing the photographic potential in urban lifestyles, workplaces and leisure activities. Its formation proved highly appealing to members seeking new ways to harness their photographic skills, exploring scenes, themes and settings where the “hand of man,” so shunned by nature photographers, was the centre of interest.

Group founder Mike Heffernan spelled out its objectives: “There will be an early focus on conceiving and bringing new activities into the club…such things as artistic photography, architecture, photojournalism, sports, festivals and events, arts, politics, nightlife, commercial and industrial themes…Many of our members regularly find great images where they are least expected…where the trees are lampposts, the rivers are asphalt, and reflections are most often found in shop windows.” Continue reading



First place junior on topic

Village, Cumalikizik, Turkey by Tony Hawara

Longtime RAPC member and current Nature Group leader, Pierre Gauthier,  apparently feels strongly about the judging of the Textures Competition, which took place on October 28. Hoping for more dialogue on the matter, Pierre asks the RAPC Blog to reproduce the comments that he had made on the Forum:

I think that the quality of judging was very uneven. I overheard that there were many instances when there were differences of 4 or more points. This should be taken by the competition Committee as a sign that there is an obvious bias on the part of some judges and it should  be addressed by the committee giving further direction to the judges.

Some obvious texture images were called patterns, and vice-versa. In my opinion the topic definition was good and clear. Some of the judges were to set in their opinion of how such a theme should be lit to create a texture. We are, as creative photographers, not following someone’s preconceived notions on how a theme should be lit or composed. The image maker has the prerogative of choosing how he or she wishes to render the theme and a judge should be open minded enough to accept a multiplicity of approaches. The judges role is to assess the strengths and possible ways of improving an image, if that is the direction the creator of the image wants to move.

The proper evaluation of an image is to find the qualities of the various components of an image and to discern how they work together as an expressive and significant whole. When this is done it is possible to propose possible options that might have improved the image if that is the direction of the creators intent.  

In my opinion the scoring of this competition was punitive and a corrective compensation should be applied. This is a rather simple statistical operation to do. It also can be applied at any time after a proper review and evaluation of the judging is done by the competitions committee.

Pierre R Gauthier


City of Ottawa Launches Bird Photography Contest

The last City of Ottawa Wildlife Speaker Series  for 2014 is being held on December 9 at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive. In his presentation, “Winter is for the Birds”, renowned birder and Ottawa Citizen columnist Bruce Di Labio will discuss how Ottawa’s birds spend their winters in and around Ottawa.

Book-ending the formal presentation will be a slideshow of bird images entered by participants in the City’s Bird Photography Contest. The slideshow will showcase not only the birds of the National Capital Region but also the talents of local photographers. Photographers are invited to forward up to three wild bird images made in the Ottawa region to the City via email to wildlife-faune@ottawa.ca.

A three-person jury, comprising Bruce DiLabio; the photo editor from Canadian Geographic; and a professional photographer, will select five winning entries to be printed and displayed for a limited time at City Hall as well as on the City’s web site. Contest closes on December 1, 2014.

The evening will also feature an environmental exposition that will share information on Ottawa’s wildlife, natural environment,  and local environmental initiatives.

 This event is free of charge.

Let’s show the City the excellent bird photography produced by members of the RAPC!

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl by Kenneth Hum