About F R Martin

I like to relatively free in my writing and often try to write from a perspective of a character that fascinates me. I am starting this page as a place to create, share, and workshop but mostly as a ventilation for my writing that often gets shadowed in the drudging reality of the everyday world.

We have Moved!

Now the photo club has a new name, we now have a new website too! Sorry to everyone who is subscribed to the old site but now you need to head on over and subscribe to the RSS feed at the new site. Just go to ThefStopinME.wordpress.com for the premier amateur and semi-pro photo club in Southern Maine.


Kennebunk May Day Festival Photos!

For everyone that got to make it out yesterday for the May Day Festival, there were a lot of unbelievable photo opportunities and we tried to get them all. I posted mine on my Flickr account already. You can get to those and check out our other members photos by hitting the members tab at the top. I know Jess has already posted some of her photos too and they are amazing! If you have a flickr account and want to check out or join the online group, we just started our page. Just look for The f-Stops Here – Southern Maine and feel free to become part of our online community!
Our next get together will be next Saturday, May 14, in South Portland at the Bug Light Kite Festival so mark your calendar and charge your camera batteries. New members or people who just want to come for the day are always welcome.
Current members: Your task for this week is to keep your eyes out for more events or places to go to and write down your ideas for a workshop!


Now we have a name, we now have a Facebook page too!  I want to thank Jessica for taking the time out of her week to create it and anyone reading this should go over and join the group to get all your updates and events you might want to show up for.  Unfortunately I do not have enough time this week to really put to many posts out there, so I just want to remind everyone that this Saturday we are meeting up in Kennebunk (time and place to be announced) to take some pictures of the May Day Festival.  Even if you’re not part of the group but just want someone to run around with then come meet up with us!

And a shameless plug with something that has nothing to do with The f-Stops Here…

The Telling Room, one of the greatest non-profit writing programs for kids in the Portland area, is having their annual celebration and releasing their fifth anthology.  It will be a good time of readings, plays, and photography.   Come down and check it out at the Portland Public Library at 7 on Thursday and during the Art Walk on Friday. Look for me if you want to inquire about the photo club, any of the organizers should be able to know how to find me. If you do miss the celebration but want to pick up a copy of the Anthology then it will be sold right across the street for the library at Longfellow Books.

The Facebook group The f-Stops Here

For more information on The Telling Room

The f-Stops Here!

Its official, our photo club has a name!  By a unanimous vote, “The f-Stops Here” was picked to be the name for the greatest photo club in Southern Maine.  Not only was a name voted on but we had three new people show up, planned a few events, and had a fun time taking our cameras out on a gorgeous day.

If you want to come join in on the fun, next Saturday, May 7th, bring your camera down and meet up with us at the Kennebunk May Day Festival for an informal get-together where you can meet some great people to walk around with and take some pictures.  If you can’t make that then come to our next meeting which will be in South Portland at the Bug Light Kite Festival.

Some more planned adventures we hope to go on this summer is taking our cameras up to a Civil War reenactment in Livermore and possibly get up to Owls Head to see some antique airplanes.  If you have any ideas or have an event you want might want memorialized, let us know.  We love any chance to get together with our cameras!

Lets Hear It For The Weekend!

Only one more day till our second photo club meeting!  I hope to see some new faces. If you do decide to show up for the first time its ok if you don’t bring anything if you just want to check it out.  For those that do want to participate, don’t forget our workshop on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly where we will discuss what makes a good photo and if you bring your camera (it is looking to be a good day), you can join me in going out and practicing a few things we may have learned.  I can’t quite remember, but I think the only other topics up for discussion are if there are any more events coming up where we can go practice our craft and the fact we are still looking for an official name!

Here are some suggestions to help you start thinking:

The Photo Clique

Aperture Association

Dirigo Digital

The Guild of Maine Photographers (I love the word “Guild,” sounds evil and our acronym would be The G.O.M.P.)

Anyway, lets hear some more suggestions from anyone with the creative guts to throw their suggestions out there.  See ya all tomorrow photo people!

Show me your Bokeh!

First off, a Bokeh is not that thing under your Snarvits so put that thing away. A Bokeh is the out-of-focus area of your photograph that usually is ignored because it is filling up the dead space your subject is not. According to this article by Photopoly.com, your Bokeh can actually be used to work in your photos by playing with the lights and shapes of your background. In their article “How to Take Amazing Bokah Photos” you can see how easy this technique really is.
I sometimes forget that since I am setting up this club for mostly amateur photographers like myself, not all of you might know the terms. I too might get carried away so if there is ever a question just feel free to ask and I will answer it here on the blog.
A few of the technical terms so to clear up a few things when reading about depth of field is that your aperture (or f-stop), which should be the only other number besides shutter speed that you can change while in manual, is always backwards. Shutter speed controls how long a shutter will stay open while aperture controls how wide the shutter will open and when it calls for a wide aperture you want the lowest number possible. The higher the number the smaller the hole the shutter creates. This is a great way to be able to keep your shutter open for a longer period of time because a higher aperture means less light is coming in. You might want to use this technique when you want a moving image to be blurred such as car lights at night. However when you don’t want your subject to be blurred and the background to be out of focus then it is best to have a smaller aperture (wider opening) to let a lot of light in quickly for your closest object and not so much light from the background. This is called a low depth-of-field when only one subject or small area of the photo is in focus. If you ever use a zoom lens then you will also notice this effect. As a side note, zoom lenses are great to take small subject photos because of this blurring effect which gives a smaller subject more attention in the picture.
Anyway, I think you get the point and if you have any questions then just ask. Here is another link to some really good examples of Bokah photos:
23 Cheerful Example of Bokeh Photography
So all club members and everyone else that just wishes they were a club member, its time to get creative and start playing with our Bokehs. If anyone wants to send their Bokeh photos that taken after reading this article I would be happy to put them up on the website. As an end note, we still need a name for the club, all creative ideas will be considered.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Hello Photo Club Members!  Unfortunately we have a whole week to wait for our next meeting but the good news is we have a perfectly rainy Saturday to pick out our pictures that we want to talk about next week.  I have already picked out mine and I will post them up as an example.  Feel free to post yours up too in the comment section so we can get a good look at the before hand.  Remember just pick one photo you really like or something you aspire too, one picture you like but wish there was something different about it, and one picture that for some reason just irks you.  I found the last one to be the hardest because there are so many great pictures on Flickr that I just finally had to make a  decision.  You don’t have to get your pictures from Flickr but it might be easier when we get together if we can just find them in your favorites.

The Good
I like this photo for obvious reasons, its just beautiful. The thing is the photographer still had to work to get this effect. The ISO is set low at 50 which means a lot of life is required to get the right exposure and the camera is set at f-13 with a 30 sec exposure. Even still, with that long of an exposure the day was highly overcast allowing very little light. The combination creates a great background effect. The two subjects are also perfectly placed. The tree in the background along with the horizon follows the 1/3 rule where fits exactly a third of the way down the picture. Any other placement would have made the subject look awkward or unnatural. Don’t know why this is but its a great rule! The log in front also is placed a third of the way up the picture giving the picture a nice even flow. The colors also work well with the dark brown in front with the beach leading up to the lit horizon and then back to the dark overcast day. The tree in the background helps break this flow by adding contrast and a break to the flow making it the real subject of the photo and the first subject your eyes are drawn too.

The Bad
This photo is not really bad in the least, in fact I think its really great. The problem I have with this photo is the focus point. All focus is set in the center where the background and the subject are in focus but the outside edges of the photo are completely out of focus. The main subject is the mans face but even this is not fully in focus and makes me think that this blur was created with a quick post processing job. With a little more work, the complete background could have been made to be out of focus while the subject can remain completely in focus. This would have also followed the 1/3 rule since the focus point is now not in the center and the eye is not immediately drawn away from the subject.

The Ugly
This picture just bugs me. The main subject are the smokers in the background while everything else is completely out of focus. I have tried taking pictures like this where there are closer subjects out of focus then the main focus and each time I have found it is very difficult to create a picture that is worth it. This one certainly doesn’t cut it for me. The subjects are almost completely hidden by the waiters tray but worse then that they are broken up so the two things in focus are the knees and the faces. If the waiters tray wasn’t there then the picture may have been better or even if the subject was the waiter. Either way, this is a really difficult to achieve a great photo in these conditions and if it does happen it would be entirely by chance.

Alright, thats it for me. There are some other great photos I picked out in my favorites section of my flickr account so check those out too if you like. Can’t wait to see you all next week.