Monday, July 1, 2013

Coming up: Tropical plant photo shoot,
meet Indy Star photographers

A couple of events aimed at photographers are coming up in the Indianapolis area and worth noting here.

From 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, July 13, the Garfield Park Conservatory, 2505 Conservatory Drive, on the Southside of Indianapolis will allow just photographers inside to photograph the climate-controlled greenhouse, which houses an array of tropical plants and a koi pond you would not otherwise see or photograph unrestricted in this area.

The key here is that photographers will be allowed to bring along and use tripods for this shoot only.

This is the third time I know of that the conservatory has done this for photographers. It's a big deal not only because of the opportunity to photograph tropical plants and foliage, but also because tripods ordinarily are not allowed inside the conservatory.

Why are tripods important here? Although the conservatory has glass side windows to allow natural light to pass through, it has an opaque roof, so the natural light illumination is partially restricted, making exposure a critical issue for photographers. Some kind of camera support is necessary most of the time to shoot at those desirable low ISO levels, which in turn require slow shutter speeds; wider apertures could be a variable, too, but with close-up shots, stopping down to f/8 and lower is imperative to ensure inclusive depth of field for the full range of the picture subject, thereby requiring slow shutters, which often renders hand-hold shots dicey if not impossible.

The cost of this shoot is $5; registration is required for this photo opp, and space is limited; they don't want to overbook so as to result in photographers tripping over each other.

To register, call (317) 327-7580 or send an email to

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Then from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 19, The Indianapolis Star will host another free "Meet the Photographers" night.

Photographers and the general public will be invited to the sixth floor of the Star building at 307 N. Pennsylvania St. for an evening of conversation discussing techniques and the joy of sports photography and visual journalism.

The Star asks that you RSVP by email to staff photographer Danese Kenon at

I attended the previous "Meet the Photographers" evening in January 2012 and thought it was very well done; others who attended had similar impressions. The evening began with an informal chat with individual staff photographers one on one and was followed by a slide show presentation that included images taken by Star photographer Matt Kryger in the moments after the stage collapsed from a sudden wind torrent during a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair in August 2011 (two photos above).

The 2012 program concluded with a question-and-answer session (above), where photographer Rob Goebel is answering a question, flanked by fellow staff photographers (from left) Danese Kenon, Marc Lebryk, Joe Vitti, Kelly Wilkinson and Matt Detrich.

The upcoming session could be particularly poignant given two recent developments: 1) The Star's impending move out of its longtime headquarters (this could be the only -- or last -- opportunity you'll have to be in the building); 2) the decision by the Chicago Sun Times to lay off its entire photography staff in favor of photo stringers and reporters using phone cameras.

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