A FALL PHOTO TREK WITH THE BPG: by Dennis Greene

A Fall Photo Trek with the BPG

By Dennis Greene

BOLLI Photogs in the Wild

 

Last summer, I purchased a sophisticated single lens reflex camera with a zoom lens and more buttons and dials than the control panel of a 747. When I opened the operating manual and read about apertures, shutter speed, light balance, ISO rating, and depth of field, my eyes glazed over. For over sixty years, I had simply set my camera to automatic, pointed, and shot. This resulted in my taking over 15,000 photos, only a small fraction of which are worth showing. I decided it was time I learned something about operating my camera and composing pictures. That’s why a notice in the Bulletin about a fall “photo” outing caught my eye. On October 21, the BOLLI Photo Group was going to stroll across the Wellesley College campus photographing the impressive architecture, picturesque Lake Waban, and most importantly, the peak fall foliage.  This sounded like a group from whom I might learn something.  I called Steve Schwartz, the organizer of this event, to ask if I could tag along and see real photographers at work.  He graciously invited me to join them.

Sandy Miller-Jacobs, Harris Traiger, Martha Berardino, and Linda Brooks consider their plans of attack

The day of the outing turned out to be ideal. The sky was clear and blue, the temperature was mild, and the foliage was magnificent. About a dozen people gathered at the meeting spot, and Steve made introductions and explained our agenda. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, but nonetheless, I found myself slightly intimidated. The group all knew one another, many had tripods and sophisticated lenses, and they all sounded like real photographers, discussing “framing” and “depth of field” and the use of filters.  Everyone had brought a polarizing filter, and Steve gave a short talk about its use and desirability. I had never heard of a polarizing filter and, of course, didn’t have one. I felt like I was in a little over my head, but I was already learning new stuff.

Steve Schwartz, Linda Brooks, and Martha Berardino change settings and preview images

The group’s first endeavor was to pick out a good vantage point to photograph the colorful foliage that was visible from our meeting place.  As everyone disbursed and began to set up their equipment for the “shoot,” it occurred to me that these photographers at work made, for me, a more interesting subject than the scenery.  I quietly drifted away from the group.  From about 75 yards away, using my 300mm telephoto lens I was able to take candid pictures of the BOLLI group in action without intruding or making anyone self-conscious.

Marty Kafka considers his subject

After the foliage shoot, we strolled through the campus to the shore of the lake. Here, everyone got to work setting up tripods, adjusting polarizing filters, and strolling to find just the right spot to frame each water bird or lake view that caught his or her interest. Everyone was friendly and patient as I peppered them with questions about what they were doing and why. I only took a few pictures myself, but watching these more experienced and knowledgeable artists at work was an invaluable learning experience.

Bunny Cohen intent on her subject

 

I’m glad I intruded and got to see the BOLLI Photo Group in action. In early December, I attended the Photo Group meeting where pictures from the outing were shown. Many of the pictures were wonderful examples of how a good “eye,” when combined with technical skill and creative composition, can produce compelling art.  My experience with the BOLLI Photo Group inspired me to enroll in a basic photography course where I am learning how to work my camera and compose and edit pictures. After I reach some minimum level of competence, I intend to become a Photo Group member.

BOLLI Matters Writer Dennis Greene

BOLLI’s Photo Group meets in the Green Room on the 3rd Friday of each month.  Watch for meeting announcements in the Bulletin.  All interested BOLLI members are welcome to attend, regardless of the nature of their experience!

MARCH TECH TALK WITH JOHN RUDY: EMAIL

Email Issues

Some Advice from John Rudy

I have said before that you need to be careful when dealing with emails.  I’ll go through a number of issues here, of widely varying importance, but you should take each seriously.

  • Reread your email before you send it. Some email systems have spell or grammar checkers (and other associated products can be acquired).  If they don’t, it is still amazing how many stupid errors you discover by rereading what you have written.
  • Make sure you know who you are sending something to. This may sound obvious, but if you get an email from, say, a Yahoo group, the default might be “reply all.”  Maybe you would prefer that your response only go to the sender or to another individual.  Many years ago, I remember saying something like “what a stupid email” and sending it before I realized it went to about 400 people.  Once an email is sent it cannot be stopped.
  • When you receive an email, you think you know from whom it came. In many cases, if you hover your cursor over the TO name and press the right key on your mouse, you can see the sender’s address.  Other times, it will be posted at the top of your message.  Here is one that I received from Goldstar that looks legitimate:

On the other hand, here is a message that I purportedly got fromWells Fargo You should be very careful before clicking on a URLyou are unsure of.  If I thought that maybe it was legit, I would have called my Wells Fargo broker to inquire.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Look at the sending address.  Just a Comcast address, and the person who sent it has an odd name.  I was positive that this message was NOT legitimate.   The message then went on to sa:

And it wanted me to click on the URL it provided.  That would be a really bad thing to do!  (Note that clicking on the address above will not connect.)

  • Sometimes, scammers are really tricky. Here is one that Kim Komando references on her blog.  Doesn’t it look real?  It sure does, but this technique is call phishing: “Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” From Wikipedia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
“Tech Talk” writer John Rudy

A long-time computer expert and guide,  John provides his helpful hints in this monthly BOLLI Matters feature.  In the comment box below, provide questions or comments for John on any computer/tech topic .

john.rudy@alum.mit.edu (781-861-0402)

 

 

MARCH CHEF’S CORNER: SOME FOOD MUSING…

SOME FOOD MUSING…

By John Rudy

Don’t you hate it when you find a recipe that calls for ¼ teaspoon of a spice you don’t have or have never heard of?  About 40 years ago, we were in a Newcomer Club that had a monthly dinner.  I needed about a tablespoon of raspberry liquor, and the smallest bottle I could find was a pint.   I recently cleaned the closet and threw out that since unused bottle.  I prefer orange liquor, my replacement product when a flavored liquor is called for.  Click here for a very useful site  with  information about substitutions.

Ever wonder what you do when you don’t have, say, baking powder?  Or buttermilk?

Baking powder 1 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar OR 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)
Baking soda 1 teaspoon 4 teaspoons baking powder OR 1 teaspoon potassium bicarbonate and 1/3 teaspoon salt. NOTE: If the recipe calls for an acidic liquid such as sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, vinegar, molasses, or citrus juice, you should replace it with the same amount of whole milk
Buttermilk 1 cup 1 cup yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup

Mr. Google can almost always find what you want

Click here for a list of  spice substitutions

Here is an article on Chinese food substitutions .

I found an amazing site that has tons of food information and a lot of interesting household information.  Ever wonder what you can clean in your dishwasher other than dishes? How about what you should NOT put into the dishwasher?  (Copper or non-stick pans.)  You can find it all at:  thespruce.com

For years, I have been reading about truffles, and I occasionally see them for sale; or I see oils infused with truffles.  And they are REALLY EXPENSIVE. Thought that you’d like to know why.  This is an informative and humorous 4-minute video.  According to my research, there is no “adequate” replacement for truffle oil, so just use extra virgin olive oil.

Click Here for Truffle Video

BOLLI Matters Chef John Rudy

John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age.  (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)