This is the first of several posts that will shine the spotlight on some of Saint Paul Camera Club’s most accomplished members. Look for more Member Spotlights to come.
Today’s post shines the spot on Peggy Boike. Peggy is a member of PSA, the Saint Paul Camera Club, Grand Photos in Surprise, AZ and St. Croix Valley Camera Club, in Chisago City, MN. As an active camera club member she has taught numerous classes and workshops on composition, macro photography, Photoshop Elements (including RAW processing), and other topics.
Peggy has earned the “EPSA Excellence in Photography” distinction from the Photographic Society of America (PSA), for earning over 700 acceptances in international exhibitions. Her photo “Pink Water Lily” was featured on the cover of PSA Pictorial Print Division’s April 2015 newsletter. She has won many awards in international and local competitions.
Peggy is a U of MN Extension Service Master Gardener and has had a lifelong interest in nature. While Peggy considers herself a generalist photographer, her interests in nature and gardening inform much of her photography.
Saint Paul Camera Club recently held a photo outing at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Peggy was there, and I had a few minutes to chat with her about plant photography technique.
In plant photography, Peggy always looks at detail, not the big picture. She is looking for the most perfect subjects she can find. She “grooms” the subject, brushing away dirt, cobwebs and insects and removes distracting materials from around her subject.
Peggy always uses a tripod. She focuses on the subject, sets the aperture and shutter speed and composes the image in her viewfinder. Then uses a remote shutter trip to minimize camera movement. She likes morning light with her subject lit from the side to accentuate its form. If necessary she will shade subjects to achieve even lighting.
Peggy favors compositions with a leading line coming in from the lower left and likes to have something in the right side of the image in order to bring the viewer’s eye back into the frame. Of course, no rule is absolute.
In post-processing, Peggy generally crops the image, darkens light spots in the background and performs other routine editing tasks. For contemporary images she performs more extensive manipulations in Photoshop to achieve the look she wants.
Peggy’s kit bag includes 1) a tripod; 2) soft brushes, tweezers and scissors to clean up the subject; 3) a right-angle viewfinder with 2x magnification, to compose and then manually focus; 4 )a 5-in-1 reflector/diffuser and; 5) a remote or cable shutter release. Most often, she uses a macro lens for flower photography but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule either.
I’ve included a finished image of the hosta subject shown in the photos above. Peggy stressed she does not consider this image competition-worthy and it certainly does not compare to her usual efforts. However, I think it’s a good example of Peggy’s ability to turn something ordinary into something more.
I’ve also included another image as an example of Peggy’s recent work in a contemporary style.