Photography Club 4/25/15: Color, Black & White, and Lighting

This time in Photo Club we learned about color photography, black and white photography, and how to light photos.

To see the full lesson, click here. It will take a while to download or open in a new window. It is a very large file, so be patient.

Here are some links to relevant web pages on this topic, too.

Color Wheel

Men and Women See Things Differently

Another Article About Color Perception for the Sexes

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Lighting Lesson

Another Great Lighting Lesson

A Video that Demonstrates Even More Lighting Techniques

Looking “Fat” in Photos

Why You Think You Look “Weird” in Selfies

The Blue/Black, White/Gold Dress

Exploring Color Combinations

The next Photography Club will be on Sat., May 30 at 10am. We will be discussing Photoshop and other post-production editing. It will be our most interesting class yet, and depending on your feelings of post-production editing, it could lead to a healthy discussion of what is “acceptable.”

Cooking Demo 4/18/15 – Cooking with Ramen

Basic Formula for Ramen Soups

Lightly oil pot.
If using raw meat, brown it in the pan, then remove.
Cook aromatics (onion, garlic, celery, ginger, etc).
Add long-cooking vegetables (like mushrooms or potatoes).
Add liquid and meat (if using).
Add spices.
Simmer until everything is mostly cooked.
Add ramen, cook until barely done.
Add quick cooking items (frozen peas, fresh herbs).
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

The below are variations of the recipe to change it up a little.


Aromatic-onion, garlic, ginger.
Long-cooking: bok choy stem.
Liquid: broth (or water+bouillon).
Spices: Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil.
Quick-cooking: bok choy leaves, egg drops, green onion.

Thai Peanut

Aromatic: garlic.
Long-cooking: bok choy stems
Liquid: broth.
Spices: peanut butter, Sriracha, soy sauce.
Quick-cooking: green onion, lime juice.

Chicken Noodle

Meat: chicken.
Aromatic: onion, garlic, celery.
Long-cooking: carrots.
Liquid: broth (add meat back at same time).

Creamy Mushroom

Aromatic: onions, garlic.
Long-cooking: mushroom.
Liquid: milk and bouillon cube or broth and cream.
Spices: thyme, very small amount of soy sauce.


Aromatic: onion, garlic, ginger.
Long-cooking: potato.
Liquid: milk and bouillon cube, or broth and cream.
Short-cooking: peas, green onion.


Aromatic: onion, garlic, celery.
Liquid: tomato sauce and water or broth.
Spices: Italian seasoning.
Short-cooking: peas

Cooking Demo 4/11/15

Basic Crock Pot Meal

Start with your meat. Choose what is available, but the cheaper cuts (shoulder, chuck) really do well with long, slow cooking.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat, and add a little oil. Cook the meat until it is very brown, and then turn it and cook the next side. Continue until the meat is browned on all sides. Put in Crock Pot.

Take your veggies and add them to the skillet with a little more oil, browning them on one or two sides and then adding them to the Crock Pot.

Take your liquid of choice (broth, juices from a previous meal, or water and bouillon cubes) and pour it into the skillet.  Stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet until the browned bits in the skillet have dissolved into the liquid.  Pour the liquid into the crock pot.

Add spices, salt and pepper. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Use your imagination with spices! Use a mix you enjoy or come up with your own. Cumin and oregano give it a Mexican flavor; oregano and basil taste Italian (especially good if you add some diced tomatoes with the veggies!)

Chicken Pot Pie/Chicken and Dumplings

Leftover chicken, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
2 tablespoons flour, a handful
1 quart chicken broth or stock,or a combination of broth and milk
1 cup frozen green peas and carrots

Place a large pot on stove over medium-high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.

Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken and peas/carrots to the broth and stir.

From here, you can either pour it into a pan, add a refrigerated pie crust to the top and bake it, or add dumplings and finish it on the stovetop.

For dumplings, you need 2 cups of biscuit mix (like Bisquik) and ⅔ cup milk or water. Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with water or milk. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly.

Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit.

Chicken salad

To your chopped chicken meat, add enough mayo to coat all the pieces of chicken.

Add salt and pepper, and whatever add ins you prefer. In my demonstration I used dried cranberries, celery, and walnuts. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

To Cook Beans in Crock Pot

Pick over a pound of dry beans and discard any broken or shriveled looking ones.

Put beans  into the slow cooker and add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Add a diced onion, a small spoonful of minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Turn cooker to HIGH and cook beans until they’re tender and cooked through, about 5-6 hours.

To turn the cooked beans into soup, add a bouillon cube and some more water if needed to make the beans soupy.

Chop up a few stalks of celery, an onion, and a bit of carrot. Cook them over medium high heat with a bit of oil until they start looking brown. Add some minced garlic and cook a minute more, until you can smell the garlic. Add the veggies to the crock pot.

Add a pinch of chili powder, about a teaspoon of cumin and two teaspoons of dried oregano.  Cook on high 2 hours.

Come to the next demo!

If you would like to attend the next cooking demo, please call the library at 585-589-4246 by Sat., April 18 to register. The demo will be on April 18 at 10:30am.

Pictures from this event will be posted soon on the library’s Facebook page.

Photography Club Review – Basic Operation and Image Composition

For those who would like to review what was covered in Photography Club for April, here is the PDF file of the presentation. To open the file, you will need Adobe PDF Reader, which is a free program. Simply download the file, the follow the website’s installation instructions.


Awkward Family Photos (Great examples of what NOT to do.)

Digital Photography School (Everything you need to know about photography.)

Depth of Field


Space to Look Into

Rule of Thirds

Red Eye


Composition from a Painter’s Perspective

Join us for the next session of Photography Club on Sat., April 25 at 12pm.

Crochet Class 3/25/15

We learned a new set of skills in crochet class this week!

First, we have the skip stitch. It is the same thing as a chain, but you skip over the spot where you would have put your hook into your work. This video has 5 skip stitches in a row, but if your pattern calls for one, you’d chain one and skip inserting your hook into the matching hole, and would instead move on to the next hole.

Next, we have the slip stitch. This lays the yarn right against the row below it.

Finally, we used all of our skills from the last class and this one and made granny squares!

There are MANY ways and patterns to make a granny square. If you have a different method, we’d love to have you join us at our Knit and Crochet Social Meetups in April to instruct others or just share some tips!

040815 knit crochet meetup

Crochet Class Review

Start your work with a slip knot. (There is an alternate video of this in the post for the knitting class.)

Next, you will create your foundation chain.

We covered the single crochet stitch.

If your next row will be single crochet, then you will chain one.

If you will be doing half-double double crochet (which we did not learn in class), you will chain two.

For double crochet, you should chain three, which is the traditional method, and the edges of your work will appear to “zig-zag.”

NOTE: You may, however, chain only two if you would like your work to appear more square. It will make the edge of your work a bit tighter, but sometimes if you will be seaming a piece together (like making a tube shape), you may want the edge more uniform. Most patterns will expect you to chain three for a turn to make the next row double crochet! When learning stitches, you may chose which you find more comfortable, but remember when making a pattern you want to assume they want three, unless stated otherwise.

You will now begin in the first stitch that is NOT one of the turning chains you just made.

When you reach the end of a row, you will not crochet into the turning chain from the previous row. This is why the edges of crochet are not straight up and down.

We also learned how the double crochet stitch.

When you finish a piece, you need to “knot” the end of it so it won’t come apart.

Knitting Basics Class Review

Whether you made it to the first knitting class or not, these videos will catch you up on what was learned.

How to Make a Slip Knot

Backwards Loop Cast-On

Knit Stitch

Purl Stitch

Bind Off (Cast-Off)

Fixing a Dropped Stitch

Come back on March 11 for crocheting and on the 18th for a second knitting class.