Flaming S not FlamingO: The Story Behind the Photo

By Bill Webb

Flaming S not FlamingO by Bill Webb

Photo by Bill Webb

While checking out some flamingos one afternoon I found them all napping. I had started out for that typical “portrait” shot, you know the one, but the birds just were NOT going to cooperate. However, I found that by merely walking a few paces to my left I could get an entirely new (to me) perspective on these birds that I was even more captivated with.

Over the years I have found that many times when we are all set and focused on a particular image (or outcome dealing with “whatever”), we often find ourselves not getting what we wanted, expected, or sought. In those situations when I have decided that I will just make the best of it, I often find that the outcome is better than what I was originally going after.

It’s all in how you look at it.


Smart(er)phone Shooting

By Darren Wiedman

Phone cameras have come a long way in a very short time. It may not be as good as your DSLR, but it’s a lot easier to carry. Here are a few tips for better shots.

Keep it clean

Our phones take a lot more abuse than our regular cameras. And it’s really easy to get your fingers on the lens. Take a few seconds to clean it before shooting.

Pokus focus

Remember to tap the screen at the point you want in focus. This also sets the exposure based on that spot. Some phones have tap-and-hold options for even more control.

Get closer

Most cell phones use digital zoom. Swiping your fingers to bring the image closer is really just cropping, which creates a grainier image. It’s better to move in as close as you can, get the shot, and crop it in post.

Use the grid

Go into your camera settings and turn on your grid. This will help you keep the rule of thirds in mind when you’re composing your shot.

Go steady

Camera shake is a common problem with phone photography. (You have to “tap” it just to capture the image.) When possible, set your camera on a stable surface (table, fence post, etc.) especially in low light. It’s easy to get blurry photos otherwise.

Post your images

Make use of your phone’s post-production tools or third-party apps to tweak the image. It’s not cheating. Here are a few that the internet seems to like. (Use at your own risk.)

Smartphone camera taking picture out airplane window

Photo by Matthew Kerslake on Unsplash

  • Camera +
  • Camera FV-5
  • Camera Zoom FX
  • Diptic
  • EyeM
  • Gelo
  • Instagram
  • Paper Camera
  • Photo Editor by Aviary
  • Pixlr
  • Prisma
  • Snapseed
  • VSCO Cam
  • XnViewFX

Fossil Rim Field Trip – May 2018

Photo Club members shoot giraffe in vehicle at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.

Photo by Debby Hoover

Giraffe at Fossil Rim WIldlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas

Photo by Lana Macko

The Trinity Arts Photo Club went a little wild this month. Several of our members visited the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas. While this area of the state is known for its fossilized dinosaur footprints, some slightly smaller animals still roam the area. Check the Meetup site for more great outings like this one.

Cheetah at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas

Photo by Lynne Rogers Harris

Photo by Lynne Rogers Harris
Addra Gazelle at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas

Photo by Bill Webb

My Mirage: The Story Behind the Photo

By Leanna Mendoza

Star Wars Stormtrooper being filmed in the Grand Canyon

My Mirage by Leanna Mendoza

We were traveling in the Utah desert with nothing around except beautiful landscapes surrounding us. From a distance, I saw a white image. Unable to make out the figure, I used my zoom lens to see this! I had to rub my eyes and do a double take. I told my driver (Teresa) “Go, Go, Go!” We got close enough to take this image. It was the most bizarre shooting experience I have ever had. This was literally a movie moment! I was told the next day, while in the Grand Canyon, that Transformers and Star Wars movies had been shot there, since it was so desolate and Marslike.

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

By Darren Wiedman

Ever look at one of your photos and think something was off but you just didn’t know what? Here’s a short list of composition “rules” and tips that can help you create better images.

Rule of Thirds

rule of thirds

Rule of thirds

This is a fundamental rule that applies to all art in general. (See the image at right.) Visually divide your image into thirds. Make sure the most interesting parts of your photo are happening near the cross hairs, not dead center. Put horizon lines on the top or bottom third. Put trees or wall edges on the left or right third. As with any “rule,” this can be broken. Just have a good reason for doing so.

Golden Ratio

This is the Rule of Thirds 2.0. There’s not enough space to describe it here. Look up Fibonacci’s Ratio online to get the idea. Rule of Odds If you have a choice between photographing three cute kittens or four cute kittens, always go with three, or five, or seven. Studies have shown that people find an odd number of subjects more appealing. Probably because people themselves are odd.


This is a variation of the last point. Try to find three points of interest that form a triangle. One point could even be out of the shot. Patterns Symmetry or repeating elements can greatly enhance composition. Also, using the subject to break a pattern can be very striking.

Leading Lines

Is there something in your shot that points to the subject? A fence? A road? The direction of someone’s gaze? The viewer’s eye will follow obvious or even implied lines.

More on Lines

Images with diagonal lines create a sense of action, imbalance, and depth. Horizontal lines have a calming effect because of their implied stability. Vertical lines can communicate power, strength, or growth.


There is a natural frame around every photo. But if you can create an additional frame within the photo that surrounds your subject, it will help lead the viewer’s eye there.

Point of View

This is actually one of the basics. Shooting down on something will give the feeling of dominance. Shooting up gives the subject the upper hand. Shooting on the same level has a way of pulling the viewer into the action, a great technique for kids and pets.

The Final Frontier

One of the key things in your shot is the stuff that isn’t there. Space. If you photograph a running dog, give him some room to run to. If your model is looking off camera, crop her toward the edge she isn’t looking at. Choose uncluttered backgrounds. Everything that isn’t in the shot boosts the visual impact of what is.


Friday Night Fireworks at Grapevine Lake

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the city of Grapevine is shooting fireworks at Grapevine Lake.  Several club members have taken advantage of this opportunity to practice capturing fireworks and work on night photography.  The fireworks start promptly at 9:30pm and last for approximately 12 minutes.

This is a lot of fun, in spite of the heat.  So call a fellow member and join the fun.  I’m sure someone from the club will be there just about any Friday evening during the firework displays.

Below are a few photos: