Competition Subjects 2020

January – Patterns. Create an interesting composition that features  one or more repetitive patterns.

February – Symmetry. Show symmetry in your composition.

March – My Pet, My Friend. Highlight the interaction and relationships between people and their pets.

April – The Unknown. Present an image that engages the viewer in a mystery.

May – Into the Distance. Show an interesting scene that is composed with a visually distinct vanishing point.

June – Odd Couples. Present an image with non-complementary subject elements.

July – Home Town Pride. Submit an image that showcases something special that residents would be proud of as a representation of their community.

August – Abstract. Present an interesting image that is not immediately recognizable to the viewer as depicting a particular object or scene.

September – Framed.  Compose a scene in which all or some of the important subject matter is seen through another element of the composition.

October – Superstition. Create imagery that represents the concepts, elements, or practice related to a superstitious belief.

November – Window Shopping. Make creative use of windows in a composition.


Photo Camp 2020

Tampa Bay Camera Club is hosting another Photo Camp event It will be a fun time to enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow photographers while camping in the Citrus Tract of the Withlacoochie State Forest. The event will take place January 25-26, 2020. The location is the Tillis Hill Recreation Area. We have a block of 6 campsites reserved for the event. Each campsite has water, electricity, a picnic table, and a fire ring. The campground has multiple restrooms with shower facilities. There are a limited number of tents and hammocks that can deployed per site and a limited number of vehicles and people allowed per site so it is important that you fill out the form below accurately so that our organizers can calculate the logistics as the event fills up.

Please read everything below carefully to know what we are doing, how we are doing it, what the rules are, and what to expect:

We have lots of activities planned for attendees. This is the currently planned itinerary however be aware that any of it is subject to change at any time up until and during the event. Please try to arrive no later than 9:00 on Saturday morning to join in, earlier is better. For early arrivals there will be a morning photo hike in the forest area surrounding the campsite. At 10:30 anyone who is interested can carpool to the area where a group of limestone caves and sinks exists in the forest for exploration and photography. We will return at 1:00 and TBCC will host a lunch for attendees in the campsite. All food and drinks will be provided by the club. Donations of snacks and additional drinks will be appreciated however. Please bring your own food if you have special dietary needs. After lunch there will time for campers to set up their camping gear on the campsites or explore the forest on their own for a while. At 4:00 Jim will give an educational presentation about night sky photography to help prepare any interested attendees for night photography on Saturday night. After the presentation everyone can gather at our central campfire for a pot luck dinner. Everyone that is staying for dinner should bring a food item to share with the group. TBCC will provide paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils for the pot luck dinner. There will be options to cook food on the fire or on camp stoves. After dinner Jim will lead any interested attendees in a night photography event. The event is scheduled to coincide with the dark of the moon for optimum photography conditions provided that clouds don’t interfere. For the remainder of the night we will enjoy time at the campfire as late as anyone wants to stay up. Sunday morning everyone will pack equipment and leave by checkout time (1:00 pm).

Early sign-up through December 20, 2019 is for only TBCC members that have current dues paid. After that we may open some additional spots to other camera clubs and meetups.

Getting there: The correct location is 9231 South Trail 13, Inverness, FL 34452
GPS Coordinates: 82º 24.882’ W 28º 43.700’ N

Do not use any other address that you may find online. Make absolutely certain that you plan to access the site via Stage Coach Rd. and Trail 13. If you have a map or GPS directions that tell you otherwise do not follow them. Trail 13 is the main route and it is a maintained gravel/shell road. There are some ruts and holes but any vehicle can traverse it fairly easily. You are at your own risk if you attempt to drive through the forest on any other route without a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle. Travel north on Trail 13 from Stage Coach Rd. When you reach the paved fork in the road take the right fork and drive up the hill to the site.

There is a limit of 2 vehicles per campsite. The first 12 vehicles that arrive will be allowed to park on our reserved campsites. Any vehicles arriving after that will be required to park in the day use parking field at the top of the hill on the right just before the campsite entrance gate. Please note that there is a $2 fee to park there each day. Cash envelopes and dashboard receipts are located in the iron ranger located at the day use parking entrance.

There is a limit of 8 people and 2 tents per site. This means that campers will probably be sharing sleeping accommodations. We will have to work out the specific details on the fly depending on how many tents get brought and how many people each tent will sleep. There are some options for setting up hammocks on our sites independently from any tents. If you have a camping hammock be sure to bring it as it may help. Jim will sleep in a hammock and will have an extra hammock available as well. Jim will also be providing a tent for others to make use of (sleeps 3 comfortably or 4 people who don’t mind being cozy).

What to bring:
Sleeping bag, blanket, pillow, towel, etc
Folding camp chair or stool
Camera equipment including tripod if you plan on doing night photography
Flashlight or headlamp. Must have red light option if you plan doing night photography
Food to share at the pot luck campfire dinner
Personal snacks and drinks
Firewood for your own campfire if desired. TBCC will provide for the group campfire

There are 2 campsites reserved for Friday night ahead of the event for Jim and anyone else who wants to stay that night and do prep work for the event that night and very early Saturday morning in advance of the event. Indicate the appropriate selection on the sign-up form below if you plan to camp Friday night and assist with prep work.

Attendees are expected to familiarize themselves with and abide by the rules of the State Forest and the recreation area while attending. Information may be found at the following link. Please be aware that the rules of the State Forest allow leashed pets however pets are prohibited within the boundaries of the recreation area itself.

2019 Holiday Party and Awards Ceremony

Please join us at tRG studio on December 12th at 7:00 pm for our annual Holiday party and awards presentation. As always, we will have a pushpin print presentation. Bring a print at least 8×10 inches in size to hang for display and tell us about it. (No pins will be pushed through your print.) We will present the awards for the 2019 club photo competition, we will have our pot luck dinner, and some other fun events. Please use the sign-up form below to let us know what food and/or drinks you will be bringing. Check the prior submissions to make sure you don’t duplicate something that someone else is already signed up to bring. The club will provide plates, cups, utensils, soft drinks, and ice.

Photo Op – Meteor Outburst Predicted

I just want to let everyone know that clear skies are currently forecast for Thursday night when a rare opportunity may present itself to witness a meteor outburst. I plan to go out and use a few different cameras and techniques to photograph the event and anyone who wishes to join me is welcome and even if you can’t join me where I will be at or if you can’t setup a camera anywhere I suggest that you still make an attempt to at least go outside and watch the sky late Thursday night.

For your information a meteor shower is defined as having a visibility rate of up to 100 meteors per hour, a meteor outburst has a rate of between 100 and 1000 and hour, and a meteor storm has a rate of over 1000 an hour. We will have an opportunity if predictions are accurate, to witness an outburst on Thursday night. The Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower which is usually one of the weakest of the year has a small, dense pocket that the earth is likely to pass through that night. If the earth passes through it as predicted there will be a sudden and short outburst of meteors peaking at a rate of well over 100 an hour. The outburst is predicted for 11:50 EST and could last for anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes in duration. It is suggested that you allow an hour of leeway either side of that time for viewing to allow for a margin of error. I plan to arrive and setup some equipment between 10:30 and 11:00 on Thursday to be ready in case the prediction is accurate. I will be setting up on the western edge of one of the large hay fields on Taylor Rd. near Thonotosassa and I expect to stay until approximately 1:00. I am posting a map below showing where I expect to be located. The shoulder is wide and grassy to pull your vehicle off the road and setup. The hay fields themselves beyond the shoulder of the road are private property. Do not drive or walk into the hay fields. I hope to have some company for a while when I’m there so feel free to join me if you wish – Jim S.

TBCC Urban Photo Scavenger Hunt 10/25/2019

Our regularly scheduled meeting will not be held at tRG studio on this night. We will gather for our meeting in downtown Tampa in Curtis Hixon Park (600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602) at the tables adjacent to the fountains on Ashley Street. Parking is available on the streets, in several street level parking lots nearby and in the William F. Poe Parking Garage. Please arrive in time to find parking and walk to the meeting location before 7:00 pm. Meeting starts promptly at 7:00 pm. After announcements we will begin the proceedings for our urban photo scavenger hunt event.

Boundaries and Rules:
Western boundary is the Hillsborough River
Southern boundary is Kennedy Blvd
Eastern boundary is Florida Ave
Northern boundary is Cass St.

Every photo to be scored must be of an object that lies anywhere in the boundaries from within the far curb of any actual boundary street or within the river. Nothing on the far side of any boundary street including anything on the far sidewalk counts. Nothing from the western bank of the river and beyond counts. Everyone will receive a printed copy of the primary list of items to search for prior to the start of the event. Everyone will take a photo of Jim Sykes in front of the fountains at the official start of the event. Only photos taken after that and during the time limit will count. Scoring is on the honor system but anyone may challenge you to show any photo as proof. Jim Sykes will be the sole judge of whether an image counts in the event of a questionable image. Bribes will be gladly accepted but will not alter any decisions. Technical quality of images is not a factor for scoring however the subject of the photo that is being scored must be prominent and clearly identifiable. You will have one hour and 15 minutes from the time the photo of Jim is taken to return to the starting point with your photos for scoring. Anyone that returns late enough to require us to restart the scoring process will incur a penalty deduction of 10 points.

The intention of this event is to have fun and increase your visual concentration. Many items on the primary list are commonplace in an urban environment but some of the items are specific one-of-a-kind items and will require extra diligence and visual acuity to locate and are therefore worth more points. In addition to the main list there is a mystery list. The mystery list for this event is themed. The theme of the mystery list will be revealed just prior to the start of the event. Specific items on the mystery list will not be revealed prior to the scoring process and many items on that list have high point values.

Elections- Board of Directors

Elections will be held at the beginning of our next meeting on Friday, October 18th. All positions are open for candidates and any club member in good standing may run for election to any of the positions on the board and may vote in the election. Board positions are in effect for two years and new seats will be filled by those elected beginning in January 2020. Any member may announce their candidacy at the start of the meeting and may make a short presentation to the membership if they desire. In the interest of time, we will distribute ballots only for any positions that have more than one candidate running in the election.
This is your opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to, and to take a direct part in driving the future direction of our club on behalf of our membership. Following is a list of the board positions and the incumbent director in each position. If you feel that you can make a strong contribution to the leadership of our organization then please step up and throw your hat in the ring on Friday night! If you are unable to attend on Friday and are interested in being on the ballot please contact Jim, Lynn, or Robert before Friday so that we announce your candidacy on your behalf and to make sure that you are included on the ballot.

President: Jim Sykes
Vice President: Lynn Wiezycki
Treasurer: Leon Robinson
Secretary: Victoria Drum
Competition Records: Doris Bowling
Education: Robert Rostick
Program Director: Michael Stephenson
Competition: Joe Pembo
Marketing: Bryan Schneider
Membership: Sue Harvey
Greeter: Diane Aichner

Fourth Friday meeting is a field trip

Our meeting for Friday, the 25th, 2019 will be held in downtown Tampa rather than at tRG studios. We will meet at the tables by the fountains nearest to Ashley Dr. We will have an urban photo scavenger hunt that evening. Jim will lay out the rules and the boundaries at the start of the meeting. There will be a list of items provided to you to try and locate within the designated boundaries to photograph. As always, there will also be a mystery list so make sure to photograph anything that you may think is interesting that does not appear on the list. It will be lots of fun as always and there will be prizes!

Jenesis 2019 image files due.

Please have your image files from 2019 jenesis to be published ready to turn in at the Friday, October 18th meeting. If you have image files for publishing and can’t attend the meeting please get them to Robert before then or send them one at a time via email to

Fourth Friday Meeting for September is a field trip

Do not come to tRG studio for our meeting on Friday, September 27. We are meeting instead at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 at 7:00 pm. We will be making twilight and night photos and practicing panorama and vertorama techniques. Tripods are highly recommended. Meet beneath the Tampa River Center Illuminated sign prior to 7:00 pm and we will start our meeting at that time.

Resources from Helga’s Water/Ink/Oil presentation

Equipment List:
Macro lens (100mm)
Drinking glass/piece of glass
Tissue paper
Olive oil
Trigger/Receiver for flash
Remote control for camera
Pluto trigger?

Ink in motion

Water drop photography – start to finish

Pluto trigger
Part 1

Part 2

Facebook Macro Photography group

Adatalux Lighting for Macro

Adaptalux Lighting Studio – Adaptable Macro Photography Lighting

Water Drop Kit
Settings M (manual focus) image stabilizer off
ISO 100 or 200 (100 or 200 depending on the liquid and background used.
1/250 (max sync speed when using flash) (usually I have it slower)
The flash is 45 degrees off to the left or right, set to manual and 1/64 power (sometimes 1/32)
I usually use wireless transmitters.
With water I point the flash to the background image and bounce the light back through the water drops.
With Milk you have to point the flash to the drop/sculpture itself since it is not transparent.
When using water I usually have some food dye in it and about 1/4 tea spoon of “guar gum” mixed with two cups of warm water that is going to be the actual droplets… (then let the water cool)
Drop Kit – Pluto Triggers and Valve (

Liquid Flow

  • Cream mixed with food coloring and then squeezed into a plastic container of water with a black background behind it. A flash on either side. Then flip them and select half of the image copy it, flip it and merge to make to look symmetrical.


My setup and process for making cream drop photos.
Jeff Campbell
I’ve got to say I’m both surprised and thrilled with how these turned out and the positive
reactions from the group. I’ve had a number of requests from folks asking “How….”, so here is
a short overview my setup and technique. I first saw this described in Corrie White’s ebook
“The Ultimate Guide to Water Drop Photographs”, available on her website
Stuff you’ll need
• A clear straight sided plastic container at least 6” x 6” x 6”. Bigger would be better for
keeping flash glare off the back, but bear in mind you only get a few shots before it
clouds up and you have to change the water. I’m using a bagel storage container from
Walmart, but a small fish aquarium is more commonly used.
• Off-camera flash(s). A flash mounted on the camera would have too much reflection off
both the front and back of the container. I tend to use contrasting color gels on the
flashes (orange on one, blue on the other).
• Black plastic taped inside the back of the container. I used a “For Sale” sign, painted flat
black, and cut to fit.
• String stretched across the top to act as a placement guide for the cream dropper.
• A camera and lens capable of close-up photos with about a 4” field of view. I’m using a
Fuji X-T2 with Tamron 90mm 1:1 macro, but 1:6 to 1:4 magnification is all you’ll want.
• A tripod to keep your hands free.
• Cream and a coloring agent, preferably washable as there will be stray drips. I used Half
& Half (a.k.a. table cream), but I’m curious how heavy whipping cream would work. I
also use liquid food coloring. It’s getting hard to find these days, but it’s easier to mix in
the cream than the gel type dyes.
Setting it up
• My “studio” is in my basement where I can dim the lights to keep ambient reflections
and glare to a minimum. This helps to achieve that invisible black background.
• I fill the tank with as much water as I’m comfortable carrying/moving without sloshing it
on the camera or flashes. You’ll want it at least 4” deep.
• Prop a ruler against the fish line to use as a focus aid and for framing the image.
• Turn down the room lights and take a test photo to check for flash glare. I use one flash
at a time so I can tell which one may be causing the glare. Once all the flashes are
positioned, take a final test shot of the ruler to check exposure and focus. Zoom in to
look for any water spots or bubbles on the container. Ideally, you’ll see nothing but the
ruler and a pure black background.
The shoot
• You are only going to need a few drops of each color of cream so pre-fill the droppers
with just enough for a single image. Any extra is likely to end up in the tank as a big
Fish line acts as a
guide to quickly
place the dropper
into the focus zone.
Black paper
“snoot” to keep
stray light off the
black back ground
Optional flash
above the water to
show items above
the surface
Primary flashes to
light the plume,
placed to minimize
glare on the
container front and
cloud. Place the droppers where you can easily and quickly grab them after triggering
the camera.
• This is going to happen fast. Corrie White used a remote trigger with her foot so that
both hands were free for dripping. I programmed the camera to shoot at 1 second
intervals for 10 seconds. The first frame or two will be empty, the middle few will be
the good stuff, and the last few will likely be a cloudy mess.
• Turn down the lights, put the first dropper into position with one hand and trigger the
camera with the other. Start dripping, you’ve got maybe 5 or 6 seconds before the first
drops sink out of frame and/or get too cloudy.
• Take a few minutes to check your photos and allow the cream to settle to the bottom of
the tank. I can do two to three shoots before the stray cream becomes objectionable
and I have to change the water.
The 4 smaller images on the left are from the same shoot and show how the cream expands.
The larger image was made by mirroring the last small image.
Post Processing
Global Adjustments. I use Adobe Light Room for global adjustments. I
prefer to use Raw files, but jpegs work if you can get the exposure close
in the camera.
• In the Basic Panel, I use the color picker and click on a white
cream spot to set white balance.
• Use Auto for the Tone adjustment then pull down the blacks to
help hide any glare and stray cream clouds. I also pull down the
highlights, push up the whites, and bump up both clarity and
dehaze to get a translucent look with bright highlights.
• I try different tone curves, but generally end up using the “Strong
Contrast” setting.
• You can use the spot healing brush for minor cleanup, but if I’m
mirroring I prefer to wait and use the clone stamp tool in
• Right click on the image and select Edit in Photoshop.
• Copy the layer.
• From the top menu, click Image – Canvas Size and change the
width to 200%.
• Use the move tool to drag the base image to one side of the
canvas and then move the copied image to the opposite side.
• Select the copied image and from the top menu click Edit –
Transform – Flip Horizontally
• Use the rectangular marquee tool to select an area the full height
of the canvas and about half its width.
• Click the Add Layer Mask icon to convert the selection into a layer mask. Click on the
link icon between the layer and mask icons to unlink them. This allows you to move the
mask without moving the image.
• Select the move tool. Hold the shift key while dragging anything to ensure they only
move horizontally and the right and left images stay aligned.
• Select the copied image and slide it towards the center of the canvas. This will start to
cover the base image, but don’t worry. Select the mask and drag it towards the center,
revealing part of copied image and hiding part of the base image. Position the mask
edge so its centered between the right and left images. You’ll know it’s right when the
edges on both sides of the mirror line are perfectly aligned.
• Keep moving the copied image and re-centering the mask until you are happy with the
• When you see something you like, go to the history panel and click the snapshot icon to
temporarily save the image. Then keep adjusting to see what else is hiding in the image.
When you are done, or if you just want to revert to a previous snapshot, go to the top of
the history panel and click on the various snapshots to see which you like best. Note,
these snapshots are not saved when you save the file – they will be lost when you close
• Crop the canvas to fit your new image, Save and Export.