Category Archives: education

Life Changing

by Bettye Sue Austin

Before moving back to Cookeville, I used to take pictuaustin_bettye_1454976605res of my flowers with a small Canon point and shoot camera.   I never took a class so I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time.   I hybridize daylilies and wanted to run a daylily seed business after retirement.

With this plan in mind, I moved to Cookeville bringing my daylilies along with me.  My goal was to learn how to get clear images of the daylilies, so I could display the two plants I crossed on my web page. I bought a DSLR camera and signed up for a class taught by Bill Miller, a member of the Cookeville Camera Club.  IMG_8345

The class changed how I view my surroundings!  I learned to see angles, shapes, texture, and color in this beautiful world we live in.  I learned how to compose my images to make them more appealing instead of just taking a snapshot.  I learned how to take close-up “macro” shots of my flowers.  I also learned how to take portraits of my family members.  I really enjoyed shooting the images for each class assignment and looked forward to sharing them with the other members in the class. After I completed the class, I practiced what I learned every day. Continue reading Life Changing

Hong Kong – Where East Meets West

By Walt Carlson


Walt CarlsonHong Kong, a city I never expected to visit; but, one that I can’t believe I had a chance to go.

Victoria’s Peak is the highest point in Hong Kong with breathtaking views of the city, especially after dark.  The iconic Big Buddha sits on a mountaintop in an area accessible by sky gondola, bus, or an all-day hike to the top while cows can be found roaming free in the gardens at the base of the site.Many locals Big Buddhatravel by ferry on weekends and holidays to visit the nearby fishing village islands where they select their dinner from the open-air fish market.  The meal is then prepared at the restaurant next door and ready to eat approximately 30 minutes later, served on large lazy Susan tables which are typical of Chinese dining. Continue reading

The Best Ways to Use Drones in Photography

HeadShot300x450By Steve Kuss

Drones are one of those new technologies that can be an indispensable tool, a toy, a photographer’s dream, or perhaps the latest scourge unleashed by your neighbor. New models seem to come on the market weekly, each with a whirlwind of specifications, making an intelligent purchase decision nearly impossible. If one is purchased, the buyer becomes the neighborhood whiz kid, or the purveyor of all that is evil in the world.

 Drones come in all shapes, sizes and costs. Some areGOPR3689-Pano-2 just for sport. They exist purely for the fun of piloting an aircraft by remote control. Others are built for speed. They have motors, so there is a huge group of people involved in racing the beasts. Then there are those used in law enforcement, mostly in the search and rescue sector. Contractors, farmers and surveyors use them with infrared sensors for incredibly detailed mapping applications. While drones are most known for shooting video, they take still shots as well. As such, they make a nice transition vehicle for the casual photographer looking to start shooting video. Many women are helping to lead the charge. ( There are even Facebook groups devoted to drone photography. Continue reading The Best Ways to Use Drones in Photography

Are We There Yet?

 leannBy Leann Walker

“Are we there yet? How much longer? I am BORED!” These are all common phrases heard by most parents on any car trip longer than 30 minutes. While we commonly think that this is something that only children do, at a recent camera club meeting I felt like I was in that car with some of my fellow photographers. Phrases of “I hate winter… my images are so bland, It’s too cold outside; there’s nothing for me to photograph, I’m so tired of shooting the same old stuff!” These comments took me back to the days of creatively entertaining my three daughters on a road trip. I felt like there had to be a way to be creative and inspire others during a magical time of year – Christmas.

While obviously not my creation, an internet search revealed a 365 photo-a-day project as well as a photo of the month project. These projects presented a topic or subject to be captured each day and received a new subject the next day. The subjects presented were so simple or so common and with very little creative thought; I felt like our new members were craving knowledge as well as inspiration. Armed with a slew of ideas from different photo-a-day programs, my plan was born. I decided to create and implement the “31 Days of Christmas.” With input from the board of directors and Camera Club President, Helga Skinner the project came to life. Each day was to be a different theme. There were no rules, except to be creative and look at the topic through the eyes of a photographer. The topics were very broad such as “together” or “looking up” to allow maximum creative exploration but there were also educational topics such as bokeh (intentionally adding blur to a background or image), macros or close-ups, landscapes and reflections.

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How to Take Pictures of Sandhill Cranes

By Wanda Krack

author imageWhen you hear the ‘honk, honk’ of high flying birds, and see birds flying in a V formation, you might think “there goes the Canadian Geese”.  The high flyers will most likely be Sandhill Cranes, either returning to their wintering ground just north of Chattanooga, or flying North to their m ating grounds.   It is estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 Sandhill cranes spend around two months in the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Tennessee.  The refuge is located on about 6,000 acres of land, around the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers, north of Chattanooga, near the town of Birchwood, Tennessee.  Birds come to the Hiwassee Refuge because of the combination of shallow water feeding and roosting habitat, with wet grasslands, marshes, and grain fields.  They are omnivorous animals, eating seeds, berries, cultivated grains, insects and small mammals.  The Tennessee Wildlife Resource agency encourages their yearly return by planting corn and other grains in the fields around the area. As a photographer it’s exciting to hear the cranes fling overhead and to know they will be available for a couple of months for picture taking.

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Making The Most of Entry Level Equipment

By Sheila Rich

Sheila Rich
Sheila Rich

I am a novice photographer and I enjoy being a member of the Cookeville Camera Club. I have learned a lot from other members who are eager to share their expertise.

Photography can be an expensive undertaking, be it as a hobby or a profession. For me it is a hobby and not an expensive one because I have an entry level DSL camera and no special lens. I feel challenged to take pictures that have unusual lighting, vivid colors, and contrasting textures and I find my camera to be quite adequate.

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Why Join a Camera Club?

By Tom Morack

photo of authorI’ve had a camera several years now. I sometimes haven’t touched it for several weeks at a time. Eventually, I realized my pictures all looked the same. I wanted to make my images look better, but I didn’t know how. What to do? I joined the Cookeville Camera Club earlier this year. The club meets monthly in Cookeville. The members have widely varied photography skills, from beginners to master photographers, so I fit right in. Everyone in the club is generous with their time and more than willing to answer questions from newcomers like me.

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Photograph What You Love

by Kathy Krant

headshotI first attended a meeting of the Cookeville Camera Club in 2013. Eagerness to meet new people with similar interests, and owning a digital camera that I never really got around to learning, were my motivations. From my first visit, I was encouraged to join classes and attend photo events with other members where we shared ideas and learned ways to improve our photographic skills.

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Exploring Nature Reveals Inner Photographer

TerriBy Terrie VanCuren

When I moved away from my family in south eastern Ohio, and came here to Tennessee I found this area to be the most beautiful and enchanting place. I wanted to share it with my friends and family back home, so I went out with my little camera and did my best to capture some of that beauty and send it back to them so they could see just why I fell in love with this area. I shared my photos with anyone and everyone. Over time folks started telling me that I had an eye for it or that I was able to show them something in a way they hadn’t seen before. It made me feel proud and I loved it so I just kept on.

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