Yearly Archives: 2018


September Meeting Notes

In case you couldn’t make it to our September meeting, here’s a quick recap of the important news:

  1. Phyllis Maslin announced that the club had committed to hosting the 2020 NSA National Convention. Phyllis and Greg Perez have been laying some groundwork and, while nothing is settled yet, it appears the convention will be held in Tacoma which is more affordable, has good facilities for conventions, and has plenty of local interest right downtown. The dates are also not firmed up, but will probably be in July or August, 2020. During this year, our club will be expected to put together a stereo presentation of photo highlights of the area to show at the 2019 NSA convention to advertise. Also, start thinking about some local destinations that would be good for tours.
  2. Brian  Hogan is once again collecting dues for the this season. Please bring cash or check for $30 to the next meeting, or reach out to Brian directly to make arrangements.
  3. Our first meeting in our new Kirkland location was pretty good. The room is just big enough, the chairs are comfy, and with our new blackout shades, it’s plenty dark. The kitchen is also great. However, it’s a little hard to find the room, so if you haven’t been yet, I recommend parking on State Street. Look for the playground equipment. We’re in the ground floor room right next to the playground. Most of our regular team came, but despite a strong interest on, we didn’t have any Meetup folks show up. Maybe next time.
  4. Special congrats to Stewart Turley who swept 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in our September photo contest. Great images!
  5. We spent some time at the end of the meeting looking at Adobe Lightroom and how it can be helpful working with stereo images. Next time, in October, Stewart has volunteered to give us a demo of On1 software which is his preferred tool. 
  6. Next month, our photo contest theme will be Abstract. Also in October is the first of our three annual ISCC contests. Bring your best stuff! We’ll be picking six images to submit for judging in the national contest. Please note that this year (finally) ISCC image size has changed to the more standard 1920x1080x2. I haven’t updated the details on the website yet, but I will before our next meeting.
By |September 12th, 2018|Club Business, Club Meetings|Comments Off on September Meeting Notes

2018-2019 Season Announcement

Big Changes for PSSCC

Well, another season begins next weekend! Oh my goodness! I’m sorry for the late announcement, but summer got away from us and we had some genuine work to do to get ready for this year, so we’re a little late getting the word out.

This is going to be a historic season for us, and one of the most interesting seasons for a long time. Gone is our familiar old home in Federal Way, but this year will bring us a whole new range of opportunities.

  • New contest themes
  • New meeting content
  • New meeting location
  • New meeting schedule
  • New outreach opportunities

Contest Themes

Let’s start with our contest themes (listed also on our website contest page). These themes were suggested by our members and voted on in our June meeting, last season. There are some challenging themes here, so start planning ahead.

  • September: Summer Share / Open
  • October: Abstract
  • November: Perspective
  • December: Cha Cha
  • January: Reflections
  • February: Night
  • March: Culture
  • April: Series (3-7 sequential images)
  • May: Nature
  • June: Open

New Location

After at least two years of discussion on the issue, we’ve finally made the move to a location closer to Seattle. It’s still not in Seattle, but we hope it’s close enough to attract some additional members.

Meetings will be held at Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 308 4th Ave S, Kirkland, WA 98033. 

Here’s a Google Maps link:

Here’s a link to the church floorplan:

We’re in Adams Hall (the big one in the center).

Parking is easy in the church lot. Just take the stairs down to the lower level, beneath the main church hall. For anyone with mobility concerns, we suggest you park on State St. to avoid stairs.

New Schedule

For the remainder of 2018 we’ll continue to meet on the SECOND SATURDAY of the month. Then, beginning in January 2019, we’ll meet on the THIRD SATURDAY of the month.

Here’s the proposed schedule at this point:

  • September 8, 2018
  • October 13, 2018
  • November 10, 2018
  • December 8, 2018
  • January 19, 2019
  • February 16, 2019
  • March 16, 2019
  • April 20, 2019
  • May 18, 2019
  • June 15, 2019
  • July – Summer break, no meeting
  • August – Summer break, no meeting

I’d like to suggest some possible adjustments or additions to this schedule to include some evening meetings later in the season in order to try to do some outreach to other clubs, but we can discuss that more during our meetings.

New Outreach

Speaking of outreach, we’re live with Meetup now. See our profile page here: Please sign up for Meetup (free) and join our PSSCC group there. The Meetup profile was announced to photo enthusiasts throughout the region today (8/27) and after only a few hours we already have 7 members signed up as interested. Only two of those are current club members.  They may not all come, but Meetup seems to be working pretty well so far!

The Meetup membership costs us $10 a month. That allows us to advertise our club meetings and show some information about the club. The first 6 months are 50% off, so we’ve only paid $30 so far. Our club meeting is then visible to anyone in the region looking for photography related events.

New Meeting Content

At our June meeting we agreed we’d like to see more educational information as a regular part of our meeting agenda. Some of the ideas suggested were:

  • Workshopping Images (each member can bring one image to solicit feedback from the group)
  • Software demos for StereoPhoto Maker, Photoshop, OnOne, Lightroom, and Magix Movie Edit Pro.
  • Editing examples to show before/after techniques, and how to get more “oomph” out of your images.

We don’t have a schedule yet for our educational programs for the season, but I have always wanted to show the club how Lightroom can be used effectively for 3D photo editing. I’ll put something together for our September meeting. Hopefully in September we can get some additional programs scheduled, at least for the next couple of meetings. If you’d like to volunteer to show us a trick, tip or technique, we’d all like to hear about it.

Workshops/Critiques: Personally, I’d love to see a workshopping discussion as part of every meeting. If you have an image that you’d like to get feedback on, bring it along. We can discuss possible technical and/or aesthetic improvements.


I hope you all got a chance to take some interesting photos over the break, and chalked up a few good stories to tell too. I’m looking forward to the familiar faces, but I expect new ones to be a regular occurrence for us from now on, and our content should keep that in mind. We should be prepared to cover some basics in every meeting. 

See you all very soon.

By |August 27th, 2018|Club Meetings|Comments Off on 2018-2019 Season Announcement

June 2018 Meeting Announcement and Updates

We’ve made it through another season, almost. Next weekend is our final meeting before our summer break. Our June meeting is when we do our annual potluck. That means we all bring something, with no particular organization, and we get to eat whatever shows up! Bring chips, drinks, casserole, salad, whatever you like. Bring enough to share with roughly eight people. 
Our photo contest theme in June is alway the “Open” category, so this is the time to bring something new, or odd, or otherwise. I’ve got a handful of pics that I’ve taken this year that just didn’t fit into the earlier categories, so now is the time. 
Next Season’s Themes
As we discussed in our meeting last time, we’ll spend some time selecting categories for next season’s contests. We have 10 meetings a year and two of those, September and June, are always “Open” so that leaves eight categories to choose. Shannon, as usual, has provided a list to get us started but this time we’d like to solicit ideas from everyone. Either email me your ideas in response to this message, or bring them with you to the June meeting. We’ll put up all the ideas and we’ll pick our favorites together.
Here are Shannon’s suggestions:
  • Flowers
  • Signs 
  • Farmers market
  • Textures
  • Barns, churches and bridges
  • Rustic, vintage, antique
  • Journalistic
  • Buildings 
For reference, there’s a record of our themes for the last 5 years on the website.
Also, in case you need some inspiration, here’s a list of 328 contest theme ideas on another website:
Personally, I like the idea of picking themes that aren’t object-specific. I like themes that are more artistic, like “negative space” or “monotone” or “isolated color” or “abstract patterns” or something like that. 
Additional Club Topics
It has been suggested that we focus more on sharing techniques, strategies, software tips, and other ways to help us all become better 3D photographers. I love this idea because while there are plenty of tips and tools on the Internet for better photography, our particular love of 3D is what brings us together and, as you know if you searched, there just isn’t much online for how to take better 3D photos. While I love the idea of sitting back and watching someone else tell me how to make better photos, that puts some pressure on someone to step up and give that presentation. 
I spent some time looking up how other clubs organize their meetings. I wanted to see how other clubs run their contests, how they judge, what they focus on in their meetings, and their level of organization (or lack of it). I’d say PSSCC is not the least organized, but we’ve got some room for improvement. I have some screenshots I took from other clubs’ websites. I’d like to share those at this month’s meeting then spend a little time talking about what people want from our of our club, and how to make that happen. Most of us have years of experience taking photos in our own special way, and we have developed a certain way of crafting our images. Some have experience selecting and improving photo gear, or years of experience building proficiency with some software package or another. I think each of us has some deep well of experience that would be a welcome topic of discussion with the rest of our club members. But in order to share, someone has to do the sharing. If we can agree on what we want out of our club, it’s my hope that we have members that can step up and share something valuable in that regard. If we can do this on a regular basis, we’ll be a much stronger club.
Location Search
Earlier this month I reached out to a handful of locations requesting information about renting their facilities. I made a little progress, but most places didn’t even respond. The one place that responded enthusiastically was in West Seattle. It’s a narrow, clean room with few windows, it’s central-ish, and it’s available during our current timeslot on Saturdays. The rate for non-profit organizations is $25/hr. The rate for non-registered or for-profit groups is $50/hr. This would require us to become a non-profit organization, and as we’ve discussed there are other advantages to us to do that anyway. (That’s a whole different conversation.) They have a bathroom sink, but they don’t have a kitchen. They don’t have a problem with us bringing in food, but we need to clean and sweep after every meeting. Basically, we need to leave it in clean condition every time, but that’s not new for us.   We’ll talk about this and other options in our June meeting.
See you all soon!
By |June 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on June 2018 Meeting Announcement and Updates

March Meeting Wrap Up

Our March meeting was another outstanding showing with a lot of good images in our contest (Opposites) and a lot of additional work shown besides. A special shout out to Rabih Aboujaoude, our long lost member who wandered to New Mexico and got stuck. 🙂 Rabih won first place in our Opposites contest and landed two second place images besides (in our multi-way tie for second place.)

The slide show of work from David Hagan was also a big hit. If you missed our meeting, you owe it to yourself to see his work on Flickr: His collection of over 1100 outstanding images is an inspiration. His work is all in anaglyph format, so grab a pair of red/cyan glasses and go explore. 

Here’s one more thing worth sharing, an article on creating depth in art and photography with cues other than stereoscopic perception.

Next month we have an interesting topic for our contest: Superstitions. Wow, that will be interesting.

See you then.

By |March 14th, 2018|Club Meetings|Comments Off on March Meeting Wrap Up

Just some thoughts about 3D Perception and VR

A very smart friend of mine sent me a passage about the limits of stereoscopic vision from a book he’s reading, Visual Thinking for Design, by Colin Ware (book link). 

Some depth cues are not captured in a static image, and are therefore not pictorial. One kind of depth cue comes from the fact that humans, like many other animals, have two front-facing eyes. Visual area 1 contains specialized mechanisms for using the small differences in the images in the two eyes to extract distance information; this ability is called stereoscopic depth perception.
Different depth cues have different uses depending on the tasks we are trying to perform. Stereoscopic vision is optimal for visually guiding our hands as we reach for nearby objects. It works best in making judgments of the relative distances of nearby objects, within a meter or two of our heads. Stereoscopic depth judgments are also most precise for objects that are at nearly the same depth. The brain is not good at using stereo information to judge large relative distances. Because of these properties, people who have little or no stereo depth perception (20 percent of the population) still have no difficulty driving cars or walking around, although they will be clumsy when trying to thread needles.
Stereo technology has, for the most part, been a story of fads that faded, and this is largely because of a failure to understand that the main virtue of stereo vision is the precise guidance of hand movements. The Victorians were fascinated with stereo photos and sold thousands of stereo images. Now they clutter the stands of flea markets. Stereo cameras had a heyday in the 1930s and 1940s but now are almost unobtainable. Many inventors and entrepreneurs have lost their shirts on stereographic movies and television systems. The problem is that none of these technologies allowed for manual interaction with the visual three-dimensional objects that were represented. If we had virtual three-dimensional environments that allowed us to reach in and move things, then we would appreciate stereo technology more. [p. 94, emphasis added]

While I may disagree with some of his particular points (“clutter the stands of flea markets?” Oh, really? Where??!), I think his conclusion is basically correct. We can see stereoscopic depth at a distance, but our brains are really geared to use it best at arm’s length. 

That in turn made me remember a delightful (but somewhat jarring) new VR game I saw advertised this week called Beat Saber. Here’s an article about the game, but you can get the idea of the game pretty quickly from this YouTube video.

Here’s a video showing actual game play from the perspective of the player.

This is an outstanding use of 3D in that arm’s length zone, or pretty close. I’d love to try this game, even if I’m terrible at it. It’s like the Dance Dance Revolution of the VR world. 


By |January 22nd, 2018|Technology|Comments Off on Just some thoughts about 3D Perception and VR