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2019 Slide Show

Major Change to Members’ Slide Show

(Jan 16, 2019) Apparently SMBAS has some shy photographers out there. I spoke with someone I expected would send me photos for the show and he (generic person) said he thought his photos were not good enough to win, so no go. After talking with more people, I find this is not an unusual response.

Also, I found that some people take decent/good/great photos but do not know much about editing them, and some are not sure what species of bird they have photographed, leading them to feel even more shy.

So, we are scrapping the ‘contest’ and making the March 5th program a show-and-tell slide show. This is how it will work:

  • You send me your photo file(s) and tell me in what order you want them shown.
  • You can use single shots, sequences, panoramas, whatever. Obviously we need nature to be the subject. If you’re not sure what species you photographed, we’ll help.
  • On March 5th, we will randomly call on people to come up and narrate their photos in whatever manner they want.

As to the nitty-gritty details on what to send me and how to send it:

  • We want JPGs. Most people take JPGs, and those of you who shoot RAW know how to do a “save as JPG” in your editor.
  • We don’t need huge files. Most cameras take large photos. Even cell phones take 4000×3000 pixel (12MB) and larger photos. Sending one of these by email might crash the email, and for the show we have to downsize them anyway. So, if you use an editing program, do a “Save As” or “Export” as JPG and fill in the size as 1280 pixels for the longest edge. If there is a quality option, take the highest number. This should result in a file that is 500 to 900KB.
  • If you don’t have an editing program you know how to use, and you have a Windows PC, I can send you a tiny program that will do the re-sizing for you, as long as the original is a JPG.
  • Please send photos by February 15th.

You can call or email me with questions. Any questions.

I hope this change of plans will result in a flood of submissions. The whole idea is to share experiences, see what others are doing, learn a few things, and have a good time!

Call me at 310-454-9662. Email me at cgbjr67 AT gmail dot com.


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Important to Remember:

This is mostly a Members’ Slide Show. This is your chance to show us what you have been seeing and doing, nature-wise. Yes, there will be a contest as well, but most of our evening will be spent enjoying a slide show. So please, don’t be shy. The more the merrier.

How will the Show work? Everyone who submits will be asked to come up and, as your photos are shown, tell us about them. Where did you take them, what’s going on, why you liked this one, and so on. Then after everyone has finished, we will announce the winning photos.

How to Submit Your Entries:

  • Entries must received by February 1, 2019.
  • We will be using a projector with a 1280×720 resolution, so anything larger than that is not needed. Try not to send us a HUGE photo with one exception (see Panoramas below). Since this will be a projected “slide show”, not a print exhibition, anything larger would not make the slide look any better.
  • If you are chosen as a contest finalist, you will be asked to submit the original photo in its original resolution.
  • A description, (species, scene, activity, location, etc.) and any camera/equipment information you wish to include. Specific camera information and date of photograph will be collected automatically from the EXIF data in your image.
  • Email entries to smbaudubon (strange symbol for ‘at’) gmail dot com (sorry for the obscure address but it keeps spambots from sending us junk mail). Be sure to include your name and age.
  • Panoramas: since these are popular things to make, go ahead and submit one. Or two. We will project it as a ‘panned’ image, moving across the screen.
  • Our show will be on March 5, 2019.


Contest Categories:

Each category will have junior (ages 18 and under) and senior (19 and over) divisions. In this first of what we hope will be an annual event, we are keeping the categories simple. In the future we might separate birds from other animals, add a macro category, and so on.

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds of Los Angeles County
  3. Landscape
  4. Open

Wildlife: primary subject must be animal(s), whether avian, mammalian, insectoid, whatever. They must be ‘wild’ (that is, alive, no captives, pets, zoo animals). No geographic limits.

Birds of Los Angeles County: some of us don’t travel the world in search of exotic wildlife, and this category will give everyone with a camera at home a chance. Again, ‘wild’ birds only please.

Landscape: could have animals in the photo, but the character of the “scene” will be foremost. Don’t be limited by sunsets in beautiful places.

Open: anything goes. If it doesn’t fit in the other categories, put it here. However, “nature” is our focus, even in the open division.


Things to Consider:

  • Composition – how the image elements keep the viewer interested once you’ve grabbed their attention. It often helps to think of a scene as shapes, light & color patterns and assembling them.  Even bird shots can be helped by adjusting position to move a loud background color shape out of the way.
  • Balance, use of space, cropping, camera vantage point and so on.  How is light used and could it be enhanced in the digital darkroom.  Think what makes you view an image again & again.
  • Is there a story – does the image make the viewer “wonder why” and want to think more about an image. For example, birds & critters doing something is more of a story than a stationary portrait.
  • Use of background – camera position & camera settings strongly affect how the background can support a subject or draw attention away from the subject.  Hiding a bright or highly colored background item will keep that from drawing attention from the subject.  Smaller depth-of-field and/or using a longer focal length lens may help a flower shot stand out.


Possible photo problems:

  • Focus – Focus is critical in bird, wildlife & macro photography.  If the focus is a bit off, it may make a great shot for a wall in your home but will probably not cut it in a contest.
  • Other issues include tilted horizons without a reason, off-color, color casts, odd tones,  impossible colors & over-saturation.  Better specimens (don’t shoot a tattered common butterfly) is an issue.  Also retouching sensor spots and color noise in plain backgrounds are two items that unnecessarily draw attention from the subject and yet easily corrected.


Contest Rules:

  1. Manipulation/editing. You are free to edit color, exposure, remove sensor spots, and to crop (as long as the photo remains rectangular either horizontally or vertically). Remember, though, that the judges will not be happy with poor choices here. Except in the Open category where anything goes, no element of the original can removed (twigs in front of birds and so on) and no new element can be added (moon in the sky, etc.).
  2. Any camera or cell phone can be used. We will not accept film, but digital scans of film we will.
  3. Contest is open to members of SMBAS only. Donors to our annual fund drive are considered chapter members no matter where they live or which chapter they already belong to, if any. If you are not a chapter member or donor our chapter membership is $25.
  4. For this first attempt at a contest, photos taken in the last 5 years (since January 1, 2013) are eligible.
  5. We don’t know how many entries we will get. Submit as many as you like, but how many we can show will depend on the total number of entries received.


Address questions to the email address above, or call Chuck Bragg at 310-454-9662.

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