Bob Shea presented an eight minute video and led an educational and inspiring discussion of his Creative Night Visions, entitled “Landscape Astrophotography,” at the March meeting of DIGS, the Digital Imaging Group of SaddleBrooke.

The video included images made of the night sky and the landscape near where he set up his camera. Locations were in dark, quiet places with virtually no light pollution; with exceptions, like the Las Vegas strip. The geography covered from northern Nevada to White Sands, New Mexico. Contemplative music by artists like Enya accompanied the video.

As he introduced his program, Bob shared that he became serious about learning photography three years ago. At that time, he would sit in the back at DIGS meetings, in the dark about aperture, shutter speed, white balance, depth of field and the other technical terms that are an integral part of creative photography. The green mark for automatic was all that he needed.

To accelerate his learning curve, he attends six or more workshops each year taught by professional photographers - a great way to learn the creative aspects of photography.

He also invested time learning to use Adobe’s digital darkroom software, Lightroom and Photoshop, plus specialized software for his creative night visions.

As a former Navy fighter pilot, Bob uses the six P’s of proper planning and preparation to ensure high quality performance when he is getting ready for a night shoot.

In addition to getting his camera gear and warm clothes organized, earlier during daylight he will visit the site to pre-visualize the shoot. His notes minimize “fumbling in the dark” and enable him to make his camera settings, lens selection and lighting preparations before dark.

He emphasizes, however, that he has learned much from his mistakes. Such as the night at White Sands when his camera and lens became encrusted in ice and the 400 shots made automatically, with the use of an intervalometer controlling his camera, were blurred images when he awoke.

Bob founded and was the first president of the SaddleBrooke Adventure Club. He and his wife, Peggy, continue to be active members of the Adventure Club, are active members of the Tennis Club and swim competitively with the Swim Club’s Team. Their summer home is located in Bend, Oregon.

DIGS’ next meeting will feature several members sharing “what they include in their camera bag besides a camera and lenses.”  

For more information about the DIGS photography club, visit the website: www.digsouth.org or come to a meeting as a guest.