2024 Club News Archive

This page serves as an archive of all club news that appeared on the front page of the Plano Photography Club website in 2024.

2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020

March 2024

 Cell Phone Photography Contest

Cell Phone Photography Contest
Getty Images

A Cell Phone Photography category has been added to the club's annual Special Contests, effective with the April 2024 competition.

The guidelines for this contest are as follows:

  • Entries must have been captured using a cell phone. Photos captured with tablets are not eligible, even if the tablet acts as a phone.
  • Images must be in JPEG format (e.g., not HEIC, etc.).
  • The file name must be Windows-compatible (i.e., the file name may not contain any of the characters \ : / * ? " [ ]| ).
  • Photos may be of any subject and may be edited on any device using any software.

You may submit photos for any of the Special Contests - including the new Cell Phone competition - until midnight on April 18, 2024.


February 2024

Download Club-Produced Solar Eclipse Presentations

In addition to the resources available for your review on the club's Total Solar Eclipse information page, two club members have produced detailed slide decks about the upcoming eclipse that are now available for download.

At the February club meeting, Jason Ware presented "Get Ready For Totality 2024," in which he covered where to observe it, which lenses and filters to use, and what techniques will increase your chances of getting the best photos. Exposure recommendations and post-processing after the event were also discussed, along with how to enjoy the experience.

Later in the same month, at the Tabletop Workshop, Activities Chair Cliff McKenzie gave a lecture on "Total Solar Eclipse 2024 - A Once In A Lifetime Event." This presentation deals with all aspects of "The Great Texas Solar Eclipse," from who, when, and where to view this phenomenon to best safety practices to how to photograph it.

Click on either or both of the buttons below to download the desired presentation.



 GSCCC Competition News


The following Plano Photography Club member(s) received recognition in the February 2024 Gulf States Camera Club Council photo competition:

Color Projected

  • 1st Place: My Mother's Scissors - Nancy Mack
  • Nature Projected

  • 2nd Place: Flight of the Spoonbill - Alan Daniel
  • To see the winning images and a full list of award recipients, please visit the GSCCC competition results page. Congratulations to those listed above.


     Get 25% Off The TK9 Plugin Through February

    TK9 Plugin

    You can now get a 25% discount on Tony Kuyper's popular TK9 Photoshop plugin and training videos.

    The TK9 plugin is a panel for Photoshop that allows users to make pixel-value masks, such as luminosity masks, and run Photoshop.

    TK9 is a standard-setting tool that helps users enhance their creativity and control in Photoshop. It is modular, so users can configure it in a way that works best for their workspace.

    To take advantage of the discount, use Promo Code DK15 at checkout. The offer expires on February 29, 2024.

    Thanks to Dave Kelly, host of the YouTube channel "The Joy of Editing With Dave Kelly" for sharing this discount code.


     Tabletop Workshop Coming February 24

    The club is excited to announce our 2024 Tabletop Workshop, which will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the West Plano Presbyterian Church.

    This indoor educational photo opportunity is largely in the format of a "hands-on" cafeteria-style photography workshop that encourages learning through participation. We ask that you please be considerate and share time at the various tabletop set-ups and digital stations.

    NOTE: The images in the gallery at right were captured at the 2023 PPC Tabletop Workshop.

    Here is a list of the currently scheduled activities and stations (subject to change and additions):

    Presenter Topic Type
    Dennis Fritsche / Mary Ruehle Oil and Water Hands-On
    Dennis Fritsche / Mary Ruehle Sensor Cleaning Demonstration
    Brian Clark Backlit Botanicals Hands-On
    Lois Lehman / John Lehman Paint with Light Hands-On
    Terree Stone Frozen Flowers Hands-On
    Irwin Lightstone Focus Stacking w/Succulents; Polarized Light to Control Glare Hands-On / Demonstration
    Guy Huntley Water Drop Slash Hands-On
    Cliff McKenzie Solar Eclipse 2024 – A Once In A Lifetime Event Demonstration (11:00 AM)
    Clive Fernando Creating Artistic Patterns Using Incense Sticks / How to Process These Images in Lightroom Hands-On


    1. Hands-On: Can take photos
    2. Demonstration: Show and Tell
    3. Items to bring: Camera, lenses (including a macro if you have one), tripod
    4. Props will be provided
    5. Oil and Water: A fun station to learn more about Depth of Field, Closeness to Subject, and the proper choice of Aperture and Shutter Speed
    6. Oil and Water: Tripod available for this station IF you have an Arca-Swiss camera mount
    7. Sensor Cleaning: If interested in participating on-site, please bring items such as Sensor Swabs, Sensor Cleaning Solution, Rocket Blower, and Sensor Loupe
      DISCLAIMER: All risks associated with cleaning a camera sensor lie with the participant.
    8. For the Paint with Light station, if you would like to bring something special from home (e.g., vase, bottle, etc.), please keep it under ten (10) inches in height
    9. The eclipse presentation will deal with all aspects of “The Great Texas Solar Eclipse,” from who, when, and where to view this phenomenon to best safety practices to how to photograph it.


    January 2024

     Reserve Your Rooms NOW For The Blue Ridge Trip This Fall

    The Plano Photography Club fall field trip (October 21-24) is a Waterfall and Foliage Tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Due to the popularity of that area - particularly at that time of year - we strongly encourage you to book your stay now, but please follow these instructions.

    Log Cabin Motor Court

    Our headquarters for this event is The Log Cabin Motor Court in Asheville, NC. These are individual rustic cabins built in 1917 with wood-burning fireplaces and kitchens if you desire.

    Visit their website and select a cabin, but DO NOT make your reservation there.

    A 10% discount is available if you directly book with Susie, the manager. Call 828-645-6546 and leave a message; she will call you back on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday between 1 pm to 6 pm (EST) and secure the reservation.

    State that you are with the Plano Photography Club (PPC). They are blocking off cabins for the PPC; do not rely on the website for availability. Book now via Susie, as we have a short window.

    Why did we choose The Log Cabin Motor Court? It offers private cabins and a centralized area to meet up. It is only 6 miles from downtown Asheville and close to the Blue Ridge. We will spend at least 60% of our time north of Asheville. Some will take the “Dragon” to Asheville, others I-40 into the city.

    Specifics on attacking the Blue Ridge and waterfalls will come later.

    Visit the Blue Ridge Parkway website and select Pisgah Region MP 340 to 469 to familiarize yourself with the area. We'll be shooting between MP 300 and MP 450 (MP=Milepost; i.e., mile marker).

    Thanks to all who helped plan this location. Remember: call Susie and secure your room ASAP.

    If you have questions, please send an email to club Activities Chair Cliff McKenzie.


     Attend GSCCC 2024 This April In Lafayette

    Krewe de Photeaux

    Renee Pierce, the Newsletter Editor of the Louisiana Photographic Society, has asked us to share this information with our members.

    The GSCCC 2024 Convention is being co-hosted by the Louisiana Photographic Society and the Lafayette Photographic Society and will be held in Lafayette, Louisiana April 11-13, 2024. We are happy to announce that registration will remain at $75.00 through March 7 when it will increase to $85.00.

    Full details and registration are now available on the GSCCC 2024 Convention website.

    Doug Hansgate is offering pre- and post-conference workshops which you can only register for after you have registered for the convention. You will receive a “thank you” page upon completion of convention registration which will also have links to Doug’s registration page and a CODE you will need to use to validate your registration on his website.

    We look forward to seeing you in Lafayette this April for a great time of learning, photographing, and fun.


     GSCCC Competition News

    GSCCC Logo

    The following Plano Photography Club member(s) received recognition in the January 2024 Gulf States Camera Club Council photo competition:

    Monochrome Projected

  • 2nd HM: Blacksmith - John Lehman
  • To see the winning images and a full list of award recipients, please visit the GSCCC competition results page. Congratulations to those listed above.


     Call For Black & White Photos

    Below we are sharing the January 2024 report from Larry Petterborg, the club representative for the Photographic Society of America.

    Please note the request in the final paragraph regarding the submission of Black & White images for use in future competitions.

    PSA Logo

    The results of the first round of the 2023-24 PSA Interclub Competition cycle are in.

    The Plano Photography Club competes in Open Color Group F. Our 6-image entry finished tied for 5th (out of 21 clubs) with an average score of 10.67 (out of 15) for a total of 64 points.

    Congratulations to Jose Artiles and Vardan Aroustamin who were each awarded Honorable Mentions for their images. You can see all the winning photos here.

    For the PSA Interclub Open Mono Competition, we are in the 29-member Group D, where we ended up tied for 18th place with 51 points. None of our entries earned any recognition. See the winning entries here,

    For each round I select photos to submit from our monthly contest images. Since there are fewer monochromes entered into club contests, I have a much smaller pool to choose from. As a result, we are not as competitive here as we are in color.

    I would very much appreciate any member sending me B&W files that have not been sent in recently for club contests to help increase the pool. Thanks.


    Baby Was It Cold Outside

    AP Photographer Reed Hoffman

    The January 13, 2024 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri was the fourth-coldest game in NFL history.

    The kickoff temperature was minus-4°F, with wind gusts of over 25 miles per hour and a wind chill of minus-27°F.

    There was a lot of discussion before, during, and after the game about the impact of the intensely cold weather on the players and coaches.

    But did you stop to think even once about how photographers dealt with such conditions?

    Well, now you have the chance to find out, thanks to a recent article from PetaPixel - a first-person account from Associated Press photographer Reed Hoffman, who somehow survived shooting one of the coldest games ever.

    It's a fascinating read. Highly recommended.


     ON1 Effects 2023.5 Is Free Through January 31

    ON1 Effects 2023.5 Logo

    ON1 is offering you the chance to download and keep forever a FREE copy of its Effects 2023.5 product.

    ON1 Effects 2023.5, a powerful and versatile editing tool, simplifies the photo styling process, offering built-in premium one-click presets, filters, backgrounds, and textures.

    Whether you're a seasoned professional or a passionate photography enthusiast, this exclusive offer allows you to explore the extensive features, including the game-changing Super Select AI and Mask AI, at no cost.

    This versatile standalone application and plugin for Lightroom Classic and Photoshop is available for FREE until January 31, 2024. Get your copy today by clicking on the button below.



    Free Solar Eclipses 101 Webinar

    We want to make club members aware of this upcoming free webinar in anticipation of the total solar eclipse coming in April 2024.

    Solar Eclipses 101 Webinar

    Date: Sunday, January 21, 2024
    Time: 6:00 PM CT

    If you're planning on viewing the much-anticipated 2024 total solar eclipse in the U.S. and you'd like to know more about what solar eclipses are, why they're so amazing, and how to view one, this free webinar is for you.

    First, the presentation will cover solar eclipse basics. It will then take a deep dive into the 2024 total solar eclipse, including how to plan for the eclipse and how to view it safely.

    By attending this free 90-minute webinar with Q&A, you'll discover:

    • What solar eclipses are and what makes them so spectacular
    • How to safely view a solar eclipse
    • What to expect and what you'll experience during a total solar eclipse
    • How to prevent clouds and bad weather from spoiling your eclipse viewing
    • Where to view totality during the 2024 total solar eclipse

    NOTE: If you're unable to make this date and time, please submit a registration anyway. All registrants will receive a link to a recording of the webinar after it's over.

    This program is part of the NationalEclipse.com webinar series, one of many programs — both live and on-demand — that NationalEclipse.com is producing in the lead-up to the 2024 total solar eclipse.


    Taking a Pause: Reflections on the Topic of the Week

    Celebrating Topic of the Week

    We want to inform you about an important decision regarding our long-running Topic of the Week photo activity.

    Born early in the pandemic to provide club members a way to exercise their photographic skills and share their work with the rest of the club when physical gatherings were impossible, TOTW has been an unqualified success.

    Over the past three and a half years, you have shared nearly 7300 photos on just under 200 unique topics. This amazing journey has been a testament to our collective passion for photography and creativity.

    However, after careful consideration, we have decided that it is now time to suspend the Topic of the Week activity.

    This isn't the end of similar undertakings but a pause to reflect, rejuvenate, and explore new avenues for our shared photography experiences. We believe a short break will only enhance the quality of our future collaborations.

    During this hiatus, we encourage you to revisit the remarkable archive of photos we've created together. Let's appreciate the diversity and growth reflected in those thousands of images. Feel free to share your favorites within the club, fostering a sense of camaraderie as we prepare for the next chapter.

    A heartfelt thank you to each member for contributing to this incredible effort. Your passion and involvement continue to make the Plano Photography Club truly special.


    PPC Training is Back

    Our online training and in-person training sessions return next week after a holiday rest.

    Once again, we greatly appreciate all of the instructors who have given their time and shared their knowledge. And a big thanks to all of you who attend and participate.

    We are starting 2024 with some strong live and online classes, as listed below.

    Tuesday January 16 Online DCC/PPC Dennis Fritsche - Ask Me Anything
    Thursday January 18 Live Eddie Yu - Flash Photography
    Thursday January 25 Online DCC/PPC Alan Daniel/Dennis Fritsche - Workflow
    Thursday February 8 Online DCC/PPC Anita Oakley/Dennis Fritsche - Black & White Conversion in Lightroom and Photoshop
    Thursday February 15 Live Essie Graham - Using Backgrounds and Overlays
    Carol Barlow - New and Prospective Member Orientation
    Thursday March 21 Live Larry Petterborg/Dennis Fritsche - Some Fundamentals
    Thursday April 18 Live Dennis Fritsche - Focus Stacking - Capture and Processing
    Carol Barlow - New and Prospective Member Orientation

    Up-to-date training information is always available on the club's Training/Education page.


    PPC 40th Anniversary Video

    40th Anniversary Slideshow
    Click to watch the club's 40th Anniversary Video

    At the end of the club's holiday party in December 2023, we premiered the Plano Photography Club 40th Anniversary video, which commemorates the history of the PPC with a particular focus on the last five years.

    Click on the image at the right to view the show.

    We want to thank club historian Cindy Vaillancourt and club newsletter and slideshow chair James Stover for their contributions to the making of the video.




    Invitation to Create New Website Banners

    We are inviting all club members to create some new banners for use on the PPC website in 2023.

    This year we are opening the contributions up to include your favorite photos from anywhere in the world - not just the city of Plano.

    PPC Website Banner Example

    Guidelines and requirements for the graphics are as follows:

    • They may consist of a single photo or a collage of photos in JPEG format
    • Banner dimensions must be exactly 1372px wide by 260px tall
    • The maximum banner file size is 1 MB
    • Banners may be in color or black & white (or anything in-between)
    • Submissions may include a photographer watermark
    • If no watermark is included, submitters will be acknowledged by name
    • You may submit more than one banner

    NOTE: The club logo will be overlaid on the submitted banners by the webmaster, so please do not incorporate it into your submissions.

    To participate, send your image(s) to clubphotos@planophotographyclub.com.

    Approved banners will be incorporated into a display rotation on the website. Our plan is to refresh them weekly, but the actual schedule will be determined by how many approved submissions we receive.

    Thanks in advance for your participation, and we look forward to seeing your creativity at work.


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