Join us for FotoClave 2019!

Since 1957 Central and Northern California’s premier photography forum, Fotoclave draws the finest photographers together for a weekend of learning and camaraderie. The program includes world-renowned photographers as keynote speakers, breakout sessions and workshops.

October 25, 26, and 27, 2019
Marriot Pleasanton
11950 Dublin Canyon Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588

For more information and to register go to

Download a detailed brochure by clicking HERE

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Recognizing a Different Style of Photography: The Portfolio Competition

Typical camera club competitions favor a certain type of photography: the single image with immediate impact. However, there are many other styles of photography. Some images lack immediate impact, but their importance becomes evident on reflection. Some subjects or concepts resist expression as a single image; only a series of images can tell the story.

To provide an outlet for club members who wish to practice this style of photography, and to give recognition for their efforts, at its May 2019 meeting the N4C Board approved a Portfolio Competition, to be held annually, starting (hopefully!) next year, resulting in awards being presented at the Annual Banquet starting in 2021.

Definition of a Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of images arranged in a sequence that represents a coherent body of work that reflects your personal style and photographic interest. A Portfolio has a theme or concept, expressed in a Statement of Intent. In a portfolio the images work together as a whole to express your theme or concept in a way no single image can. Although each image should be as strong as possible, they individually may not have the immediate impact that a winning image in a standard club competition might have. The viewer may need to take more time to appreciate each image and its relation to the others in the portfolio. The whole should be greater than the sum of its parts.

The theme can be anything. The images in your portfolio should explore that theme. One challenge is to have a theme that is broad enough to be interesting but narrow enough that you can give the viewer a better understanding of the subject in just a few images. “Flowers” is probably too broad a theme. “Flowers of California Vernal Ponds” is better. Is “Views of a Fountain Pen” too narrow? Perhaps. Unless you are clever enough to show the viewer something about a fountain pen they had not considered before. Then it might be great!

Creating a Portfolio

Usually when creating a portfolio, you will have a theme or concept in mind and go out and make images to tell the story of your theme. This process could take several days – or several years! Another approach is to look through your archive of pictures and select those which fit a theme that interests you.

In either case you should try to start out with many images. The more the better! On your first pass at selecting images, turn off your “internal critic” and select as many images as possible that mightfit your theme. Then start whittling the images down, looking for ones that best explicate the theme, complement each other, and are technically the best – in that order of priority. Keep repeating this process until you have selected the 7 to 10 images that work best together to share your concept with the viewer. Don’t be afraid to set your work aside and work on it again another day.

Once you have selected your images, decide in what order they should be viewed. Think of each image as a scene in a movie. A photograph of a knife followed by a photograph of one hand grasping another may make the viewer think of someone being stabbed. The reverse order may imply the start of a meal.

Next Steps

More details in how to create and submit a portfolio to the competition will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, you can review the rules for the competition on the website. Hover your cursor over “Competitions” and click on “New for 2020: Portfolio Competition”.

Join the fun in exploring another style of photography!

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Sign up now for an all day seminar

The Joy of Nature Photography

with Eddie Soloway

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 9:00 AM -4:30 PM

San Leandro Library
300 Estudillo Ave, San Leandro, CA

This seminar will whole-heartedly dive into the interpretive landscape, celebrating the mindset of breaking out of your box, and making new photographs. Our day will swim in the creative, but honor the thoughtful.Get ready for a day to set you free, to shake you out of ruts, and charge you up to make new photographs, right now.

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE


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Awards Lunch 2020

Sign up now!  

Annual Awards Luncheon

Sunday February 23, 2020 from 11:30am to 3:30pm

At The Rossmoor Event Center

1021 Stanley Dollar Drive,Walnut Creek 94595

Enjoy a great meal, the best photographs of the year, and the fellowship of other photographers!

Click here for more information and to download the registration form.

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N4C captures Second Place in the Photographic Society of America’s 2018 Council Challenge – Nature Division.

N4C captures Second Place in the Photographic Society of America’s 2018 Council Challenge – Nature Division.

Click Here to read more.

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N4C Places 2nd in PSA 2018 Council Challenge – Nature

N4C racked up the second highest total point score in the Nature Division of the Photographic Society of America’s 2018 Council Challenge with 127 points. N4C came in 5th overall.

N4C also placed 4th in the Color Division and 7th in Monochrome.

PSA-member organizations that include several camera clubs; whether the group of clubs is called a Council, a Federation, or an Association, were all eligible to enter the annual PSA Councils Challenge.  Each “group” may enter ten digital images from ten different makers in each of the following sections: Color General (Open), Monochrome General (Open), and Nature General (Open). N4C submitted the images from the winners in our competitions.

Each section was judged separately. Individual winners in each section are selected. Organizations in each section are ranked. The scores for each section are tallied and an overall top scoring group is identified.

The New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) came in first in Nature with 129 points.

Other first place winners included Chicago Area Camera Clubs Organization (over-all), Southern California Camera Club Council (Color), and Chicago Area Camera Clubs Organization (Monochrome).


The Photographic Society of America (PSA) is a worldwide organization for anyone with an interest in photography. Founded in 1934, the Society is for casual shutterbugs, serious amateurs, and professional photographers.
PSA has members in over 80 countries. Individual and photo organization memberships offer a wide variety of services and activities: a monthly journal; online photo galleries; image evaluation; study groups; courses; competitions; an annual conference; opportunities for recognition of photographic achievement and service; and discounts on photography-related products and services.

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Sign up now for renowned landscape and nature photographer Ian Plant’s seminar
The Unseeing: Taking Photos with Attitude

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 9:00AM – 4:30PM

Andrew Carnegie Lecture Hall – San Leandro Library 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro

Sponsored by the Yerba Buena Chapter, Photographic Society of America

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Support Non-Profits thru “Pro Bono Photo”

Are you a photographer or videographer interested in applying your skills to help organizations that support social justice and the environment? Pro-Bono Photography is a clearinghouse that matches worthy organizations that need photo/videographic services to volunteer photographers and videographers who wish to donate their time and expertise.

Image by a Pro Bono Photo photographer

The next major event that Pro-Bono Photo is supporting is the Bay-area Women's Marches on January 20. Although enough people have now committed to cover the San Francisco and Oakland marches, videographers are still especially needed for the San Jose march.

Looking beyond January 20, Pro-Bono Photo averages four to five shoots per month throughout the Bay Area, ranging from marches and rallies, to board headshots, to gala fundraising events, to community meetings about housing issues.  See their website,, for more details. If this is of interest to you, please email Jack Owicki at

Photos/videos taken through Pro-Bono Photo remain the property of the photographer/videographer and can be used, for example, in camera club competition. One member photographed many events during 2017 for Pro-Bono Photo, starting with the 2017 Women's March, and entered several photos in Journalism and Pictorial.

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Sign up now for the Annual Awards Banquet!


The Annual N4C Banquet is Sunday, February 25, 2018 from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM

This will be a catered luncheon at the Rossmoor Event Center, 1021 Stanley Dollar Drive, Walnut Creek 94595

In addition to a great meal, the winners from the 2017 Annual Competition will be on display, along with presentations to award winners and honorees.

PLUS great fellowship with your fellow photographers!

For more information and to register, click here.

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