Important Notice: Venue Change May 18 Meeting

We have decided to move the raptor shoot to the forest. It was originally scheduled for Camp Brewster. Due to construction, we would not be able to utilize the facilities at Camp Brewster. Kathleen was able to .arrange with the raptor group to show off the birds downstairs on the outdoor patio.

We will still meet at 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 18. The raptor lead, Kathy, will meet with us in the forest room where we normally meet and take us down to the lower patio where the birds will be shown. Please pass this along to other members if you have contact with them. Kathleen will send out an email to our members with a reminder also.

Once more, we will meet in the forest meeting room at 6:30 PM. Kathy will escort us downstairs and out to the patio. If by chance you arrive late you will need to find the stairs or elevator to get to the lower level.

Treasurer’s Report


Treasurer’s Report April, 2023

Beginning balance                          $1178.59

Income from dues                                  12.00


            Contest ribbons                       168.25

Balance                                             $1022.34

Outstanding potluck expenses of $130.51

2023 Photo Contest Reminder

Are you working on your photos?

See rules for info

Don’t forget to email Terry Turner your photo files that you are submitting for the contest.

He is working on making a power point presentation for the judge’s critiques.

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2023 Photo Contest

Fontenelle Forest Photography Club Members,

As you are aware, our photo contest this year is shortened considerably during the time from set-up to judging because  Bellevue University is having an in-house art show.  There are only four days for the judge, Jay Davis, to judge the  photos and prepare for the critique on June 15.  It is critically important that digital files of all photos entered into the contest are received by Terry Turner prior to the critique so that a PowerPoint presentation can be made to be shown during the critique.  The digital files are also made available to Jay Davis to assist in completing his critique.

All photos that are to be entered in the contest will have a digital copy sent to Terry Turner by June 7, 2023.  Digital files can be sent anytime from now until June 7, 2023.  Earlier would be better to avoid a last-minute crush of files.  Include your name, entry information and title of photo.  Any photo that has not had a digital copy sent to Terry by June 7, will be automatically disqualified.  There will be no exceptions to this requirement. 

Terry Turner email:

Entry Information:

            Novice or Advanced





            Anything Goes

Taken in Fontenelle Forest (Yes or No)


Thank you for your cooperation in making this year’s contest a success.

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Mike Benkis

Mike was our speaker at our April 20th meeting. Mike discusses his journey into photography with examples of early photos and shows the progress he made. He showed a video of his photography. It was a very interesting presentation. Mike works for the Omaha Zoo as their photography classes instructor. He has a website. Check it out!

Mike played the video below. I am posting this for our members who did not attend our April 20th meeting. Turn the sound up as he has music that accompanies the video.

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Bellevue Library Display

We still don’t have enough “monuments” photos. Please try to help us out by going through your photos and give us those “monuments” photos. You can contact Phil or Kathleen via email to arrange delivery of your photo.

Fontenelle Forest Photo Club Contest

Bellevue University is having an employee art show. This will impact our photo contest display. Here is a schedule:

Setup: – Saturday June 10, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Critique: – Thursday, June 15, 7:00 pm till around 9:00 pm

Take down: – Saturday, July 8, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

It will be slightly less time hanging in the gallery but we didn’t have a choice due to the University’s in-house art show.

See below about the Gage County Museum Photo Contest.

April 20, 2023 Photo Club Meeting

Starts at 7:00 PM at Fontenelle Forest. Mike Benkis will be our speaker. He is going to give a presentation on his work at the zoo and what that did for his journey in photography.

Mike’s bio

Mike started in Wildlife photography back in 2014 and has had his wildlife work published by the Omaha World Herald, Nebraskaland Magazine, Omaha Audubon Society, and Nebraska Games and Parks. He has always been passionate about wildlife, especially birds since he was young. This passion led him to join the Boy Scouts where he reached the rank of Eagle Scout. As an adult, Mike has volunteered for organizations such as Fontenelle Forest and the Omaha Audubon Society. His interests in Falconry eventually led him to photography. He and his wife Amy started to get into Portrait work in 2016, which turned into a shared passion for fine art and fashion photography.

Mike’s website

The Dye’s have moved

and cannot fit everything and are downsizing. The stuff they are not taking are being auctioned off starting April 10. This is an on-line auction with Auction Solutions Inc. Their website. I could not find the spot for the Dye’s material. It may not be posted yet, since it doesn’t start till the 10th.

Zoo Field Trip

Kathleen is getting the info for a possible field trip at the zoo. Details to come soon.

Zoo Photography Tips Video

This is about eight and a haft minutes long.

Gage County Museum Photo Contest.

Gage County Museum in Beatrice Nebraska is holding a photo contest. The subject matter is the Filey Barn. Those of you who attended one of the two evenings photographing the Milky Way, at the barn last summer, may want to enter the contest. Note: it is a fee based contest.

Deadline is May 1st, 2023

We are looking for photographs of the Filley Stone Barn.

Open to all artists aged 18 or older.

The following types of submissions are allowed:

  • Event, still life, architecture, black and white, landscape, astrophotography, arial photography, conceptual, and drone.

Submissions must include one framed print image and one saved jpeg file of high quality (300 dpi/ppi), no bigger than 2MB but preferably over 1MB. Please label the submission images with your last name and the title of the artwork as the file name it is saved under. Do not use watermarks, copyrights, or identification marks on the photos. Submit an artist’s biography along with the images and entry form.

Entry Fees: the application fee is $16 for 1 image, $25 for 2 images, $36 for 4 images, and $50 for up to 6 images.

  • You may submit more than once. Entry fees are non-refundable. Entry fees must be paid online via the link (QGiv) or by mail. Entries submitted without payment will not be considered. Entry fees will be used for preservation of the Filley Stone Barn.

Awards: All accepted artists will have their work displayed at the Art in the Barn event in August 2023. The winning artist will receive $150, and their photo will be used on all Filley Stone Barn 150th anniversary merchandise. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place entries will appear alongside information about their artist in an article in our newsletter. Photos will be on display at the Beatrice Library from May 2nd to August 4th during the judging period.

Scan this QR Code to Register Online Terms and Conditions: Artists agree that the GCHS will archive chosen photos as part of a museum collection and used for marketing, promotional, and display purposes. The winning artist gives GCHS all copyright over submitted photo. The QR code scan worked for me.

Entry submission: Attach your photos, bio, check and entry form in an email to or by mail to Gage County Historical Society P.O. Box 793, Beatrice, NE, 68310. You may drop off framed prints at the museum at 101 North 2nd Street.

Sponsored by the Farmer’s Cooperative


Submission Form for Filley Stone Barn at 150 Photo Contest

Name: ________________________________________Address: ____________________________________

Phone: ________________________________________Email: _____________________________________

Number of images: ______________________________Cost: ______________________________________

Payment Method: Check: ______________ Cash: ________________ Credit or Debit Card: ______________

The framed prints are only for the display at the Beatrice Public Library and the Art in the Barn event. Framed prints will be given back to the artist at the end of the display August 2023. This is for the judging period. We will have 6 judges to chose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place all together. 

Jpeg prints will be archived into the Gage County Historical Society’s personal history along with the biography of the artist for future exhibit display 100 years from now. The winning print will be in the hands of the Historical Society to be used on t-shirts, posters, puzzels, coasters, or whatever we decide to purchase for the 150th Anniversary merchandise for 2024. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place artist and their prints will be featured in our September Newsletter. 

All proceeds go to the mason work needing to be done for the Filley Stone Barn.  

If you guys have any questions, please feel free to ask. 

Thank you, 

Cassandra Dean | Museum Administrator

Gage County Historical Society & Museum

101 N. 2nd St.  Beatrice, NE  68310

402.228.1679 |

Call museum for more information.

In Closing

Quite a bit of info this time. Comment below. We are still looking for a president and vice-president. Please consider offering your services when we have elections in June. I am sure someone out there can help us grow.

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March 30 Minutes

Fontenelle Forest Photo Club Meeting Minutes

Location:Fontenelle Forest
Time:7:00 PM
  1. Welcome by Past President: Phil Mininni
  2. Attendees: 22
  3. New members: One new visitor and potential member-Jacob Coso
  4. Input from current officers and committee members and helpers:

Photo Display Organizers- Judy and Frank Dye: Still looking for monument photos.

Treasurer- Kathleen Crawford-Rose: Treasurer’s report: $1178.59. No expenses or income. Still need to payout receipts for anything purchased for the clubs Christmas potluck (cups, plates, utensils, etc.). Ribbons for our photo contest coming up were purchased.

Brent Headley (helps webmaster and with video at meetings and other volunteering: Out of town

Secretary- Mary Headley: Out of town. Sue Mininni is filling in.

Photo Contest Organizer: Donna Gray with help from Terry and Donna Turner:  Phil will post the dates again on the website. Jay Davis may be our judge again. Donna’s team will confirm. June 10th we will put up photos and judging will be the week of June 15th. We are a little late this year due to events booked at Bellevue University that conflicted with our contest.

Webmaster- Phil Mininni

  • Old Business: We will no longer have a use for the photo racks for our photo displays. The forest will take them over.
  • New Business: Members were asked for a theme for our first photo display in our new Gallery and a plan on how to display them. Two suggestions were “Spring in the Forest” and “Fontenelle Forest Tree Species”.

It was suggested we either run the meeting year-round or instead of taking July and August off take Jan and Feb off when there is more of a chance of cancellation due to the weather. Kathleen will run those months by Emily (Forrest) to see if they are available for us.

Our April Meeting speaker will be Mike Benkis. He may be able to set us up with an outside visit at the zoo after hours like a Saturday morning at 8am or at sunset and also at the Safari Park. Kathleen will call Pam Eby at the zoo to discuss.

The Dyes (Frank and Judy) have moved into an independent living facility and therefore will be hosting an online auction of items they were unable to take with them.  The information will be posted on our website soon.

  • Our Speaker/Program tonight was Albert Rhea talking about Bird Photography.
  • No treats were provided.

Submitted by: Sue Mininni (filling in for Club Secretary Mary Headley)

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Reminder about Meeting on March 30

This is an out of order meeting. We normally have our meetings on the third Thursday of the month. We had cancelled January, February, and March 16 meetings due to weather. We are trying to get a meeting in March. So This Thursday, March 30 at 7:00 PM, we are having a meeting. Please attend.

Albert Rhea is our speaker and his presentation is on bird photography.

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Photo Club March Meeting Re-scheduled for March 30

We have worked out, with Fontenelle Forest, to get in a March meeting. We will meet Thursday, March 30, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. Please try to come. See previous post about our speaker Albert Rhea.

I want to apologize for the short notice and obvious wrong call for cancelling the March 16 meeting. At the time snow was coming down pretty hard. Our speaker was concerned about his ability to get out of his neighborhood if the streets were icy. Yes we could of actually had the meeting as the weather cleared up. Safety of our members was the main concern. Sometimes you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t. I do beg you all for your understanding.

Would a phone tree work to avoid this in the future? Comment below.

Bellevue Library Photo Display

We need your “monuments” photos for the library. Bring them to the meeting.

Forest Photo Display

Members of the club executive board will be working with forest staff on how best to display our photos at the forest in the hallway leading to meeting room. More info to come.

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March 16 Meeting Reminder

Please remember to come to our March 16 photo club meeting at 7:00 PM. Visitors are welcome. Check out the “Upcoming Events” at the bottom of the website home page for directions to the Fontenelle Forest.

Guest Speaker – Albert Rhea

His subject is Bird Photography. Albert currently has an exhibition at Lauritzen Gardens through April 2, 2023,

Treasurer’s Report

From Kathleen: Beginning and ending balance for February 2023 is $1178.59. No income and no expenses. December dinner expenses still pending.

Bellevue Library Display

We need “Monument(s)” photos. Bring them to the meeting

Nikon This Month

Tory Ewing sends us this;

Click on Nikon

Capture Emotion

Click on Emotion

Thanks Tory.

National Wildlife Photo Contest

Entry fee required

Kathleen sends us a reminder

National Wildlife link

Tips and Tricks Video

Final Thoughts

Congratulations if you have gotten this far in the post/blog. It takes some time to put this info together. Thanks to Tory Ewing and Kathleen Crawford-Rose for contributing to this post. You too can send me things you think might be of interest to our members and the world. This can include your photos that I can spotlight for you.

Don’t forget about our photo portfolios. You can display your photos. You can include your own watermarks. You have to send them to me for now as I haven’t figured out how to set up the site for you to upload to it. Send your photos to webmaster I have put in general watermarks on the photos submitted so far. Check it out at this link .

Please leave any comments below if you have any questions or if you are volunteering to be our president and/or vice-president.

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March 16, 2023 at 7:00 PM is our next meeting

This is when our next meeting at the Forest will be held. Of course weather is a concern. We had to cancel our last two meetings because of the snow storms. Fingers crossed!

Photo Displays

We need “Monument” photos for the the Bellevue Library.

The Display at the forest has come down. The forest is remodeling the Baright Gallery. The forest is giving us wall space in the hallway between the Atrium and the Forest Room where we meet. We need your thoughts about a subject, such as birds, flowers, plants,…etc. for our hallway gallery. By our agreement with the Fontenelle Forest, photo images must feature themes that can be found in nature (ideally Fontenelle Forest specific), but not mandatory.

Photo Club Photo Contest info

Bellevue University is having an employee art show. This will impact our photo contest display. Here is a schedule:

Setup: – Saturday June 10, 2023

Critique: – Thursday, June 15

Take down: – Saturday, July 8

It will be slightly less time hanging in the gallery but we didn’t have a choice due to the University’s in-house art show.

Albert Rhea

Albert will be our speaker for the March 16 meeting. Albert’s subject will be bird photography. Albert is having an artist reception at Lauritzen Gardens March 5th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The reception is free admission. His exhibit will be at the garden February 23 through April 2. Albert says it would be a great lead-in for his presentation at our upcoming meeting on March 16.

Photo Contest

Kathleen sends us info about a photo contest from the National Wildlife Federation. This is a fee based contest.

Love is in the air! February often brings cold weather, but we hope the tender gaze of this mating pair of Atlantic puffins warms your heart.Photographs like this one, which came to National Wildlife magazine through our annual photo contest, can evoke powerful emotions—from love and compassion to fear and wonder. We want to see it all, so we encourage you to enter your images of wildlife and nature in our 2023 contest. Please enter today for your chance to win.Enter Today! By entering, you may have the chance to see your favorite image of wildlife or nature published in our award-winning magazine and shared widely online. Winners will receive cash prizes. The grand prize winner will be honored with the National Wildlife Nature’s Witness Award and receive $5,000. The winner of our portfolio category will receive $750. In each of the eight additional categories, first place wins $500 and second place wins $250. Photo contest entrants are also eligible for the People’s Choice Award. Anyone 13+ years of age can get in on the fun and vote.Even more important, the modest entry fee supports the conservation work of the National Wildlife Federation, which is dedicated to ensuring that wildlife survive and thrive. So your entry is a gift of love to all creatures that share our world. And if you choose to donate your image, that gift goes even farther to support conservation. We will love seeing your photographs of wildlife from around the globe or your own backyard, so please enter today.Good luck, and Happy February! Lisa Moore   Sincerely,Lisa Moore
Editorial Director, National Wildlife Magazine

Here is a link to their website

Bird Photography Tips

Around a 14 minute video. There is an advertisement by the authors.

In Closing

We still need to get a president and vice-president for our club. Please consider volunteering.

That’s about all for now. I will post another reminder about the meeting before March 16. If you have any thing you want to know more about please comment below. Or send an email to the webmaster

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