This page serves as a blog of sorts . . . featuring news pertaining to the Sparta Camera Club and its members. If you are a club member with some interesting updates about your photography and would like it to be considered for posting, please email administrators with your request.
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  • Saturday, November 10, 2018 11:03 AM | Virginia Kolstad (Administrator)

    Thanks to all who attended the EXPO print competition judging event on Wednesday November 7. 


    We have attached a complete list of winners for your convenience. List of Winning Entries For Website.pdf


    Approximately 200 excellent photographs were submitted in 9 categories:  Monochrome, Flora, Fauna, Landscape/Waterscape, Sports/Action, General, People, Architecture/Cityscape, and Photographic Art. Our excellent judges were David Mills, Paul Michael Kane and Doug Peterson. 


    Bob Kochenthal won 'Best In Show' with his landscape print, 'Van Campens Glen'.


    All prints will be displayed November 17 (6 to 8 pm) and November 18 (1-4 pm) at the EXPO Exhibition at the Sparta Ambulance Building.  Both events are open to the public.

  • Monday, April 30, 2018 11:05 AM | Nancy Madacsi (Administrator)

    David Mills: Improving your images/photography for competitions. Sparta Camera Club April 25, 2018



    • Identify and use a strong foreground element to bring the eye into the picture.
    • Use a leading line to draw the viewer into the scene.
    • The various elements in the picture should not overlap if possible.
    • Lighting should be warm—early or late in the day is best.
    • Minimize the sky if it is clear or has little of interest in it.
    • There should be no blown out or bright white areas in the picture.
    • Landscape versus portrait.  Verticals are usually stronger images.
    • Look behind you when shooting.  The scene might be behind you.
    • Use sidelight (rising or setting sun/moonlight) to emphasis shadows/shapes.
    • Assymetrical/rule of thirds rather than placing subject in the center.


    • Backgrounds should be clean rather than cluttered.  Muted or blurred if possible.
    • The head position of the bird should be angled toward the viewer.
    • The eye should be sharp and there should be a catchlight in it.
    • Leave room in front of the bird.
    • Be careful of white birds not to blow out portions of the bird.  Easier to shoot in low light.
    • Birds standing in water—leave room for the rest of the leg and foot.
    • There should be good detail in both the lights and the darks of the bird.
    • Wing position should be up or down, not flat out.
    • Tell a story if possible or just do a portrait of the bird.


    • Warm lighting.
    • Use fill flash on water lilies—even works to underexpose and use fill flash.
    • Use maximum DOF.
    • Show part of the stem on the flower so it is attached to something.
    • Get into the flower.
    • Offset flower from center. 


    • Picture should have impact—WOW factor.
    • Edges should be clean.  No distracting items to lead the eye off of the page.
    • Keep the image simple.

  • Monday, April 23, 2018 3:23 PM | Nancy Madacsi (Administrator)

    John Lewell compiled an index of the 500 best photography sites on the internet (

    Just one link brings you the whole world of photography in a tightly-organized, 7-page directory.

    John is a member of the Mountain Lakes Camera Club

  • Monday, April 23, 2018 3:09 PM | Nancy Madacsi (Administrator)

    National Park Invites Public to Free Reception and Illustrated Talk
    for Photography Exhibition on George Washington’s Headquarters



    The museum at New Jersey’s Morristown National Historical Park invites the public to a free reception with refreshments and an illustrated artist talk on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The event celebrates the debut solo exhibition George Washington’s Headquarters:  Photographs by Xiomáro.  The 22 large images of the Ford Mansion – Washington’s Revolutionary War base of operations during the winter of 1779-1780 – will be on view until December 28, 2018.  Xiomáro will present a slideshow retrospective of his various collections commissioned by the National Park Service.  To advance public interest in American history, he will also be giving away a book about the mansion and a photographic print.


    Xiomáro (pronounced “SEE-oh-MAH-ro”) is an internationally-recognized artist and speaker whose photography has been covered by The New York TimesThe Boston Globe, and CBS Eyewitness News.  His work has been widely exhibited at venues such as Harvard University and New York City’s Fraunces Tavern Museum.  Next year, Arcadia Publishing is releasing Xio’s photo book, Weir Farm National Historic Site, about Julian Alden Weir, the father of American Impressionist painting.


    The reception recognizes the exhibition of Xio’s photographs of Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters, which highlight its dual role as a residence.  "The domestic aspects are easily lost in the presence of Washington, but Xio has managed to capture the Ford Mansion’s essence as a home," explains curator Jude M. Pfister, the park’s Chief of Cultural Resources.  Pfister is the author of the award-winning book, The Jacob Ford Jr. Mansion:  The Storied History of a New Jersey Home (The History Press, 2009).  Xio will be giving away a copy of the book and a 5”x7” photographic print as prizes to two randomly selected winners.


    The reception will be followed by Xio’s talk.  The artist will show his photographs revealing never-before-seen perspectives and artifacts of historical sites such as President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Summer White House.”  His documentary images of the Big Cypress and Everglades environments will also be presented.  Time will be allotted for answering questions about his body of work, aesthetic, techniques, and his current exhibit.


    The reception and talk will be held at the museum auditorium at Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ 07960 on Saturday May 19, 2018 at 2:00.  The event is free.


    The exhibition is on display until December 28, 2018.  For visiting hours and other information call 973-539-2016 (extension 210) or visit  A free ebook of the photographs is available at

  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:10 PM | Larry Zaback (Administrator)

    Sparta Camera Club will be producing a photo book to be printed for sale in the fall of 2018.  The subject of the Photo Book is Sussex and Warren Counties.  We would like the book to provide a pictorial review of this area and to showcase the work of Sparta Camera Club members.  All club members are invited to submit images for this book.  The photo book will be offered for sale to members and the general public in late October or early November...before Christmas. 

    Please review the following guidelines if you would like to participate.

    Entries will be due in mid to late August so you have plenty of time to go through your current photos or take some great new pictures.  (Specific deadlines and entry instructions to follow, so don't be concerned about the submission process for now.)  

    Members can submit up to three images for the book.  Each member will have at least one of those photos included in the book. 

    Entries may be submitted in the following categories:  Club Activities; Flora/Fauna; Landmarks; Lifestyle; Landscapes/Scenics/Cityscapes; and Historical.  However, all pictures must be taken in Sussex or Warren Counties. For the historical category, if you have older images of this area and want to take a current photo of the same area (such as an older picture of Spring Street in Newton and how it looks now) this would be great.  You would have to submit both the older picture and the current photo for inclusion in our book.

    Print Specifications: Images submitted must be Jpegs with a resolution of at least 300 ppi. The maximum horizontal width of each entry should be 8.375 inches, and the maximum vertical height should be 9.3 inches.  Images can be smaller than these dimensions. 


    Lets get out there and start taking pictures!   This should be a fun project for everyone. 

    Please contact Virginia Kolstad, or Jim Costello if you have questions.  

    Virginia can also be reached by phone:

    Tel:  (973) 300-1320

    Cell: (973) 727-0905

  • Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:37 PM | Nancy Madacsi (Administrator)

    Travel Opportunities

    Sussex County Community College Photography Professor Joe Guerrero  is hosting two trips this summers  The trip to Bhutan runs from May 29th to June 8th and Seven Days in Tuscany from July 14-21.

  • Friday, January 19, 2018 4:18 PM | Larry Zaback (Administrator)

    The governing body of Morris County wants to see beautiful photos of winter scenes in Morris County!  Photos can be taken in any (Morris County) location - a town center, a County park, or anything in-between.

    Everyone is welcome to participate; photographers may be of any age.  Winners will be required to sign a release form so that the County can include their images in the County's communications...including the website, e-newsletter and social media.  If under 18 years of age, a parent/guardian must sign a release form.

    The contest runs from January 2 - 31.  Results will be posted on the (Morris) County website, as well as a Facebook gallery.  First, second and third place winners (and honorable mentions!) will be notified.

    HOW TO ENTER: Three methods for entry are offered...Facebook, Twitter and an online submission form. Get all the details by clicking on this link:

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018 11:47 AM | Larry Zaback (Administrator)

    ACT 2: Art as a Career Sequel

    Peters Valley School of Craft

    19 Kuhn Rd.

    Layton, NJ 07851

    Call For Entries

    Images - Minimum 2 (Entry Fee: $25); Maximum 5 (Entry Fee: $10 each)

    March 1, 2018: Entry Deadline

    March 12, 2018: Notification of acceptance/rejection will be sent via email

    April 1, 2018: Work is due at Peters Valley School of Craft

    April 14, 2018: Exhibition opens with a reception from 5pm - 7pm

    May 20, 2018 Exhibition closes. Unsold works will be shipped/picked-up after this date.

    For an overview of Eligibility, Insurance, Sales, and Publicity details, please click here:

  • Monday, January 08, 2018 12:05 PM | Larry Zaback (Administrator)

    Your wired/framed photographs will be exhibited along with other adult (18+ yrs.) professional and amateur photographers, artists and poets from Ringwood and surrounding communities.  Entries are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Ringwood's Patron of the Arts Association will receive your entries on:

    Sunday, March 4, 2017

    12:00PM to 5:00PM

    at St Catherine of Bologna Parish Center

    112 Erskine Road (right side of upper parking lot)

    Ringwood, NJ 07456

    Hanging fees for 3 entries is $45.00.

    This is a 3-day to the public...March 9th, 10th & 11th, 2018.

    There will be an Artist Meet-and-Greet, a private event for all participating entrants on Saturday, March 10th from 3-4PM, prior to doors opening to the general public.  For an overview of the Exhibition/Sale event, and to obtain an exhibition prospectus (eligibility, media, guidelines, etc.), please click on the following link:

  • Monday, January 08, 2018 8:16 AM | Larry Zaback (Administrator)

    John Scalara, one of Sparta Camera Club's esteemed members, is teaching two 6-week Photoshop 101 classes at the Sparta Public Library sponsored by the Sparta Rec Department.  The first session begins on Tuesday, January 16th and runs through Tuesday, February 27th, 2018.  Each class is 2 hours in length, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.  This is a hands-on workshop, so students are encouraged to bring their laptops with Photoshop installed.  Printed materials will be provided.

    The second session begins on Tuesday, March 6th and runs through Tuesday, April 17th, 2018.  Each class is 2 hours in duration, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.  Use this link to register online:

    The above link will send you to the Sparta Rec Home Page.  Feel free to browse the posted information on John's two workshops...

    On the Home Page click "Guest", then click "Adult Programs", then scroll down to his classes: 303045 - Photoshop 101.


    Please note that you must login with a UserID and Password to complete the online registration.  If you do not already have login credentials, please contact the Sparta Recreation Department.

    Sparta Parks and Recreation

    65 Main Street

    Sparta, NJ 07871

    (973) 729-2383

    Alternatively, you can sign-up in person by visiting the Sparta Parks and Recreation Department, located on the lower floor of the Sparta Public Library.

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