Monthly Programs from 2018


November 12, 2018

Image Review (Critique) November 12. It was time for another image review (formerly known as critique).  On Monday November 12, photographers Lou and Todd Nettelhorst reviewed your images and and provided their comments on what you might have done differently and how your images might have been improved.

Please note that this image review session was different from our accustomed format.  Lou and Todd were not in our meeting room, but performed their review via online video conference.  This is a MAPS First and is an experiment.  If it works it will open up exciting new possibilities for our education programs at MAPS. Thanks to Bob Duke and Mike Lake for shepherding its successful technical implementation! Photos below:


October 8, 2018

“Photographing the Classic Hikes of the World” by Matt Sparapani and Alison Newberry – Over the past decade, Matt and Alison have been on a mission to trek the Classic Hikes of the World, and, with hundreds of miles under their boots, they have seen a lot of the most beautiful spots on the planet. Matt and Alison recently published a book entitled Hiking Photography (Sandiburg Press), and, in this program, they discussed many of the tips and techniques they use for photographing their adventures as well as special considerations for photographing while out on the trail. They also shared some of their favorite long-distance hikes, including Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail, California’s John Muir Trail, Peru’s Cordillera Blanca and Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro to name just a few. This culminated in an astounding 40 day trek across the Rockies in Colorado! Augmented with video clips, this was one thorough travelog! Thanks Alison and Matt or should I say Gratias tibi ago. Click on photos below to enlarge:


September 10, 2018

Ken Carl: “Visual Stories – Light and Life” Our world is renewed each dawn with possibility. For Ken this is true each time he picks up his camera. Ken expresses the foundation of his photography as “hope in humanity.” His desire is to tell our visual story, about who we are, how we share, and how we care. In this program Ken shared many of his favorite visual stories including, a joyful unexpected snow fall in Paris,  travels in Africa,  and travels to the children of Latika Roy in India. From landscapes to portraits Ken shared his thoughts on how light, found or created,  illuminates these stories and images.

Ken Carl is  a Chicago-based photographer with documentary-style storytelling at the heart of his photographic vision. He was schooled at Columbia College and expanded his skills through workshops with John Paul Caponigro and Sam Abell.  World wide clients include the Kenyan Tourism Board, Chicago Tribune, WTTW Chicago Public Media,  Verizon Wireless, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. Thanks Ken!


August 13, 2018

Jim Welninski  – “Vision, Imagination and the Fine Art Photograph” Jim gave us some ideas about what the critical moments are in making a photograph and how to become aware of them. He suggested that we are all artists if we think of ourselves that way and the most important part of any photograph is what the photographer envisions before snapping the shutter. The image can remain as is or be modified to any extent that meets the artist’s vision or imagination. Jim showed some striking photos where through critical modification, he enhanced them far beyond their original images into real art. Thanks, Jim and your partner Dominica. (Also special shoutout below to Larry Golla and his team for our snacks!) Click on photos below to enlarge.


July 9, 2018

One of MAPS’ favorite nights – Critique Night – was moderated and instructed by Dusty Doddridge and Josh Merrill. 25 images were reviewed and many ideas for improvement or change were suggested. Thanks to Dusty and Josh and all to the brave members who submitted their great photos. Images from the evening are below.


June 11, 2018

Hart Kannegiesser – Morton Arboretum – Photographing On and Off the Beaten Path:  Hart presented a selection of his favorite images taken at the Morton Arboretum.  Searching for the right light and working with existing  weather conditions, Hart captured the magic of the Arboretum throughout each of the seasons.  Old familiar places became new places as Hart took us through the East side and West side with his beautiful images. Thanks Hart, especially for stepping in for a previous cancellation. Much appreciated!


May 14, 2018

Michael Barton: “Why I Create” 

Michael shared with us what he has learned from photographing a wide range of subject matter while staying true to his creative drive. Michael broke down down images from his portfolio from start to finish including location scouting, equipment used, setup and post processing. Michael pulled back the curtain and shared tips and tricks and spiced things up with a few fun stories. As an extra, Michael demonstrated electric basses created from wood fragments and sections. These are truly beautiful instruments and works of art in their own right. Thanks, Michael for a very enjoyable program! Click photo to enlarge:


April 9, 2018

Jeff Curto:  “Finding Your Creative Direction”. Using a combination of lecture and hands-on exercise, Jeff talked about the creative process, how it works and how you can generate new ideas for your photography. By tapping into the best tool that any photographer ever has – the brain, we learned methods for developing creative ideas and a variety of strategies for making your own uniquely personal work. (see slides below). To read more click here. Jeff’s enthusiastic presentation was well received by the large turnout membership. One of Jeff’s main points was that there is a more emotional or personal attachment to your image if you take the trouble to learn about that which you are photographing. Thanks Jeff!  Click on a slide to enlarge them all:


March 12, 2018

“Behind the Scenes with Joanne Barsanti.” – Joanne Barsanti has been a member of MAPS since 2013. She has learned and grown and benefited greatly from the MAPS members, outings, presentations and opportunities.  In fact, her current series, and the topic of tonight’s presentation had their origins in a MAPS outing.  As a former geek who is an artist at heart, it should come as no surprise that Joanne Barsanti likes to play with her images on the computer.

She draws inspiration from Jerry Uelsmann and Ysabel LeMay, both contemporary photographers who use their photographs to create stunning composites, in the dark room for Jerry Uelsmann, and on the computer for Ysabel LeMay.

With Ms Barsanti’s love of nature and a desire for simplicity, serenity, and calmness, she combines her photographic images with textures and gradients in a way that is reminiscent of, and inspired by, traditional Chinese and Japanese paintings. In keeping with the Asian theme, Ms Barsanti prints her images on Japanese papers or silks, adding a touch of momigami (paper crinkling) to the final paper product.

There was a large attendance to see how Joanne combined segments into stunning works of art. Joanne explained her techniques for printing, wrinkling and finalizing her images into these Asian-themed displays including a post Q & A session with hands-on papers and images for examination. Thanks, Joanne, for a great program! To enlarge, click on any image below:


February 12, 2018

Jack Shouba presented “THE ENCHANTED ISLES: A visit to the Galapagos Islands”. The Galapagos Islands lie six hundred miles off the coast of South America in the Pacific Ocean. Known for their contribution to Charles Darwin’s insights into the nature of evolution, today they are a national park of Ecuador. Jack’s program described the  magnificent scenery and textbook examples of geologic processes while focusing on the amazing animal and bird life. Many species are found nowhere else in the world. Giant tortoises, sea turtles, sea lions, marine iquanas, mockingbirds, boobies, flightless cormorants and many other creatures can be approached closely because they have no fear of humans.

MAPS member Jack Shouba has been an Arboretum Instructor for over twenty years, teaching classes in wildflowers, trees, prairies, Latin names of plants and animals, and other botany and photography subjects. Before that he had been a biology teacher at Lyons Township High School. Long active in conservation, he was co-founder and president of Save the Prairie Society, which helped save Wolf Road Prairie. After moving to Kane County he helped Campton Township establish an open space program and led the restoration of a wetland owned by his homeowners association. He uses his pictures in his teaching and to help conservation organizations such as Garfield Farm Museum, Campton Township, and Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Society. Several of his photographs have been published in Chicago Wilderness and Outdoor Illinois magazines. Thanks, Jack, for a beautiful and engaging program! Please click on a photo below to enlarge:


January 8, 2018

Mike Trahan presented “Nature Photography: A Practical Approach” on  Monday at 7:00 PM in the Arbor Room, Thornhill Education Center

You’ve seen fine nature photos by others. Do you want to create them as well?  We walked through the various genres of nature photography and gave you practical suggestions on technique, settings,composition, equipment, and when to go out. Our session was oriented for the beginning/intermediate through advanced photographer.

Mike Trahan has been a birder (bird watcher) and nature lover for over forty years. He’s a member of a nature-only CACCA club, Riverwoods Nature, and is a past president at another CACCA club, the Lake County Camera Club. He’s won honors at the club, CACCA, and PSA levels as well as winning other Midwest photo competitions such as Lake County, Stewards of the Mississippi, and Ottawa National Forest. He’s also a past recipient of the CACCA Kohout award for teaching nature photography.  Mike really enjoys photography, nature, and sharing what he’s learned with you! Click here: Nature Photography Handout PDF-Mike Trahan

Thanks, Mike, for a great presentation! Your suggestions intermixed with humor was much appreciated! Please click on a photo to expand: