Approaching a New Year

Harford County Photography Group,
The New Year is almost here and as the HCPG moves towards April, it means we move closer to our first year anniversary. My goal in the first year was simply to meet other photographers, learn some new techniques, take some pictures, and have a great time. I think our goal was met and it has far exceeded my expectations. It has been a great year; I have met so many talented and passionate photographers. I am in awe of everyone’s photos, each and every time I see new ones. I am learning something new each time we get together. I think my photography has improved, I hope yours has too.
The goal for the second year is to keep up the momentum. I would like to shift up a gear and really make this group even better. Already there are some really great speakers lining up for us. I have commitments from Terry Lansburgh (a Baltimore City High School Teacher of Photography), Amy Jones (Harford Magazine), Leo Heppner (a well known photographer from Havre de Grace), and several more who I have been in contact with about doing presentations. I encourage you, even if the topic isn’t your niche, to come out and support our speakers and learn.
Now, here is the real reason I am writing to you. Moving forward, I want to hear from you. If there is really something that you want out of this group, you should put forth your suggestions and comments. If you have an idea, I want to hear it. I want to hear all suggestions, good or bad. I want to hear what the group is doing right and the things that we are doing wrong. I want to hear what we could be doing to make your experience better, because this isn’t my group; it is ours. We are Harford County Photography Group.
You joined this group for a reason; now let’s have some more fun together!
Mark S

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Traffic Light Trails

Traffic Light Trails

Photo by Mark

Tonight we had a totally fun meetup, shooting traffic light trails on the highway!

At 7:30pm we met at the Park and Ride on Mountain Road, crossing I95, “shot the breeze” for a while, waited for everyone to arrive and for sunset to come.  And what a glorious sunset it was too!  Someone smart in the group (can’t remember who exactly) printed out some tips for shooting traffic light trails, so we passed that around and quickly absorbed the information.  Then we gathered our gear and headed for the bridge which crosses I95, getting one or two strange glances from passing cars and the state patrol in the process.  That’s always fun 🙂

In my opinion, the camera process itself was relatively simple – shutter priority, long exposure (10s or more), tripod, delayed shooting or cable release.  The most challenging aspect for me was navigating the fence wire!  Turns out that if you take off your lens hood (seemed obvious once a helpful Mark pointed it out to me!), squish your tripod against the fence and use a zoom lens, you get better results, without unsightly wire across your treasured memories.  Jake and Mark walked around, making sure we were all getting the hang of things.

We had at least 2 new members join us for this meetup, but in fact there may have been more because more people arrived after it got dark and we’d started shooting…and I can’t see that well in the dark.  Anyways, a warm welcome to our new members!  We hope you enjoyed yourselves…come back again and bring your friends.

On a personal note, I shot RAW for the first time tonight, in an effort to force myself to learn how to process them.  I’ve been shooting RAW and the highest quality JPG for a while, but always concentrate post-processing on the JPG, because you know, it’s there and it’s simple.  So I figured as I’m an “all or nothing” kind of gal, I’d go for it.  No JPG’s for me tonight!  I managed to do some kind of processing on the RAW’s…although I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.  Mmmm, maybe I should suggest that as a meetup idea…a “help-Natalie-do-RAW” class… Anyways, my 3 best shots for the evening can be found on Flickr.

Make no mistake, I am not a pro, so I can’t tell how good these really are, in comparison to the pro’s.  But I like them nonetheless and in my book, that makes the evening was a wonderful success!

Thanks to Mark and Jake for organizing this fun event!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Harford County Photography Club Meetup web page for our latest events.

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Kilgore Falls Again

There is nothing like the sound of a roaring waterfall, something about it just relaxes me, so I had to go back. Kilgore Falls in northern Harford County is a hidden treat for those who want to get away for a little while.

The HCPG took the trek and shot some beautiful scenes. Three were in attendance: Greta, newcomer Phil, and myself. Check out our photos here at

On this trip we started at the base of the waterfall and took some shots. Later we climbed to the top of the falls, nice views from up above.

Our next meetup is Monday night at the library. It’s a photo critique!

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The HCPG Takes HDG by Storm

Just when you think it might rain, the Harford County Photography Group went out and had a beautiful photography session in Havre de Grace, MD. Cruising down S. Washington St. we shot many of the quaint shops and sites that HdG has to offer. Then heading East to the Susquehanna River, a Blue Heron entertained the group, while others shot the historic Lantern Queen. Once back on St. Johns St. we headed north which met S. Washington St. where our stroll began. The evening produced many great shots which can be seen at

Our next meetup will be tonight at Kilgore Falls in Rocks State Park.

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Welcome to the HCPG!

When Ami (my sister-in-law) told me that she had started a group for photographers on and volunteered me to be a co-organizer, I chuckled and thought that it would be fun to meet other photographers. I had never heard of and I never thought I would meet so many great people! All whom are interested in the same photography hobby as me.

Since 2002, when I moved to the Harford County area, I had looked for other folks/groups to hangout with and take pictures. I looked for area photography events and clubs. Nothing ever materialized.

Now our group is only 4 months old, has over 45 people in it, and is still growing each month. Most of the folks have attended at least one event, while many others have attended multiple meet ups.

In the last four months, we have started a Twitter account, Facebook group, Flickr group, LinkedIn group and now on the advice of another member, a Blog. I hope that you enjoy it, find it somewhat valuable, and mildly entertaining.

Check us out at Harford County Photography Club!

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