Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members
2021Founderʼs Cup Results Issue
Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its members
cover SHOT 2
Kaleidoscope of Natures Colours - Eric Ladbury Three triptychs combined to form a 3x3 grid, celebrating natures colours in an abstract way
FROM THE (ENGLISH) RIVIERA PPC News, Views and Updates from Mission Control, Torquay I start by welcoming Ann Millen to her new role and thanking her for stepping up to take over from Dave Whenham as the Editor of Photonews. They are big shoes to fill, as Photonews in its present format has been very much Dave’s vision, but I am sure our magazine is in good hands and will continue to be essential reading! However, your support is still needed when it comes to content. Whether the sore arms many of us have experienced in recent weeks are a side-effect or a feature, there can be little to complain of if, at last, we begin to see the end of lockdown(s)! The next month or so will tell. In any event, there will be no need to agonise over the Travelling Exhibition and whether we can run the print class this year. The collection service offered by Royal Mail, for one, works very well. Whether clubs will be back in their halls to view the results, though, remains to be seen. And, having trialled the Photo Entry system successfully for this year’s FC, we will have everything in place for members to use the system for the TE DPI class later in the year.
And so the FC results are in! Firstly, a big thank you to Graham Harvey and Simon Rhodes for the organisation and management of the competition. And not forgetting Alan Phillips, for all his work behind the scenes with the software to make Graham and Simon’s jobs a bit easier. A great team effort. Many congratulations to all the Certificate and Award winners, (your certificates will be emailed to you shortly). With DP taking the top circle spot for the Print Competition and IC11 for the DPI Competition, the Founder’s Cup has once again brought the club together in a spirit of friendly competition – a glimmer of normality after a very difficult year!
er g o R
Roger Edwardes PPC General Secretary
Founders Cup for the Best Print 2020
Vicars Close Rose Atkinson
The 2021 Results are in! Has your print been successful in this years Founders Cup?
From the General Secretary
Photography vs Golf!
Stay ahead of the printing
The first hole in the Autumn
Lockdown adventures with Eric
Salver for the Best Image Overall 2020
Harvest of the Skies Harry Wentworth
The 2021 PDI Founders Cup results - read all about it!
The first hole in the Autumn
Founders Cup 2021 The PRINT Competition: Judged by Erica Oram CPAGB, AFIAP, BPE3* It was a delight to be asked to judge your annual Founders Cup competition, in these strange times with both work and recreational meetings being lived out in a virtual world it was really nice to see and get hands on with some printed images again. I understand all of your postal circles were either suspended or moved to an online version for the majority of the year but it was nice seeing some of the earlier rounds folders with members comments to see how the postal side of your club works, it was very interesting. And my congratulations to you all who had top three images in each of the rounds, that made my job of getting them down to the required numbers and final winners such a difficult task. There were a couple of familiar names I think I recognised within the ranks of your members while going through the images, as I have done quite a lot of club talks and judging over the years and as mentioned in my opening comment I continue to do so albeit online. Lets hope we can all soon all look forward to getting back to some form of normality and shooting pictures a little further from home than we currently do and get back to who knows maybe our paths crossing and meeting each other in person. 6
ABOUT THE JUDGE: Photography became a keen interest for me in the late 1990’s when I was given my first SLR. I soon joined Sheffield Photographic Society and became External Competition Secretary there in my second year of membership. I joined the YPU Executive a few years later and as Newsletter Editor was responsible for passing on news of regional success or otherwise in PAGB competitions, awards and exhibitions. This got me interested in judging. I gained my CPAGB during this time and went on a YPU judging workshop in 2006. Since then I have been judging for camera clubs regularly throughout Yorkshire and the North East Midlands region and started giving lectures a couple of years later. I was elected to the PAGB list of judges in 2015 and have judged a number of Federation-level competitions and exhibitions as well as a number of BPE and FIAP exhibitions. My own photography is centred around landscape, pictorial and street photography. I like to use my photography to make a personal interpretation of ‘whatever is in front of me’ liking the challenge of finding the less obvious subject matter and compositions. I find I am either making simple images which make the most of shapes, lines, colour and light or I am making images which provoke a question, tell a story or create a mood. I joined the Yorkshire-based Gamma Photoforum in 2013 and was elected a member of the London Salon of Photography in 2019. You can see examples of my work on my Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/ photos/silverbellsandcockleshells/
Founders Cup for the Best Print Certificate for Best Mono Print
Imperial War Museum North Richard Walliker
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: I like the clean lines and punchy printing which makes the most of the dramatic lighting. The jet trail definitely adds a finishing touch. Making for a wonderful image and not only meaning it is the mono winning image but my choice for your Founders Cup overall winner.
The Floyd Landscape Trophy
Machrie Moor Len Downes
There is a dramatic moodiness to this image which really draws me in. I also like the low viewpoint which uses the stones to connect land and sky.
Certificate for Best Natural History Print
Jay Jon Allanson
This is a cracking shot with the bird a good size in the frame, in a good position and pin-sharp front-to-back. The lighting is good giving an even exposure and there is just enough detail in the background for context.
The Norman Richards Portrait Cup
Read all about it Reg Haslam
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: I really like the idea and it has been very well executed, including the creative background and letterbox format.
Certificate for Best Colour Print
Barry Willcock A very simple but very effective. I really like the tones across the jug and the overall composition. The limited colours, the grain and the vignette all add to the image.
Certificate for Best LargePrint
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: 12
Christine Woolgar It is the combination of the slow (but not too slow) shutter speed and top-notch composition that put this print ahead of the others. It is also sharp front-to-back and has a great range of tones in the mono printing which is also spot-on neutral. The end result is dramatic and very pleasing
Certificates of Merit
Broad-billed Roller Bob Rawlinson The flat lighting sets off the colours of this bird perfectly against a good background. The pose is great and the whole bird is sharp despite the movement.
Graham Brodie dressed as a Victorian Undertaker Ken Ainscow
The very subdued colours and slightly dark printing suit the subject and allow the face to stand out. The detail on the clothing is very good and the composition and sky work well. Perhaps either less of the pavement or darkening it a bit or replacing it with something more interesting such as cobblestones would have been even better.
Certificates of Merit Now that’s what I call a beak Cliff Ferguson This fills the frame well and really benefits from soft side-lighting to give it a lift and add texture to the feathers.
Heaven & Earth Graham Dean Great use of composition and the rain-clouds and wet pavements help the image to work, as do the limited colours. The only minor fault is that the straightening of the verticals has led to a loss of quality and a bit of distortion at the top of the image
Certificates of Merit Imagine David James The composition is spot-on and I like the way the colours have been handled to draw attention to the figures.
Prepare to turn left Ken Ainscow I like the simplicity from the clean background and base. Plenty of detail over the horse and rider except that I wonder if the horse’s head is a little bright.
Certificates of Merit Riding the Wave David James I like the sense of a figure diving over the wave in the top left and the way the pale green splash and blue bits add to the sense of water. I might have repositioned the square crop to give a bit more space at the top and less at the bottom.
Spring Tide Graham Dean The lifebelt, wave and hill are perfectly positioned for me and l like the added interest of the blue railings and the way they are oddly sized around the lifebelt. Letterbox format really works.
Certificates of Merit Bearded Gent Jon Allanson A good piercing stare into the lens. Just enough light under the hat-brim, plenty of character and an unobtrusive background.
Lancaster Priory Graham Harvey This is a really well executed image with great attention to detail and really well managed lighting.
Certificates of Merit Happy Banana Seller Jon Allanson A well-chosen subject with plenty of character, photographed against a great background. Would have won (Portrait) were it not for the overly bright hat, parts of scarf and teeth.
The Eye, Amsterdam Len Downes The wide angle lens has made the most of a dramatic building. I like the positioning of every element in the frame.
Certificates of Merit
Watching waves Pat Couder This is a well-known spot for photography but the sweep of the sea front makes such a good S-shape through the scene it is well worth doing again and the heavy sky, stormy sea and blurred figure definitely add to the scene.
Reg Haslam Faith This has a strong message, the bowed head greatly adding to the hands and cross. The darkness with light only on the hands really suits the image. I would have been tempted to darken the sleeves even more or perhaps crop some off the bottom.
Certificates of Merit
Marbled White on Pink Pat Couder
Brown Hare Simon Rhodes
This creative presentation certainly adds to the image – I like the muted textured background and the border but I find the vignette a little heavy. The butterfly and flower are both beautiful and well positioned.
Great camera technique to get the depth of field and exposure spot on. You’ve caught a good moment too with the hare nice and alert. I like the use of space – many would have been tempted to crop the top off but the space and the dandelions give a real sense of place.
Certificates of Merit
Ready to scramble Rose Atkinson
Heading home Roger Edwardes
Beautifully sharp with delicate, well controlled colours and a bold tightness to the composition.
I like the editing on this to give the horizontal movement with sharp focal points retained which results in a really striking image.
Certificates of Merit
Up among the chimney pots Stuart Carr This is a very simple image with plenty of atmosphere. The darkest chimney and lightest smoke plume are really well positioned in the frame. I’m not sure I would have kept the bird in.
Orbit Reg Haslam I like the way the double exposure gives just a little abstractness to the rolled paper. The lighting works well to highlight the edges, adding to the minimalism and abstractness.
Certificates of Merit
Three seeds Pat Couder Very simple but very effective and well-presented. I like the use of a shallow depth of field and the highlights are very well controlled
Trade Negotiations Pete Toogood A well-caught moment with a tricky exchange going on between the two characters in the setting of a characterful stall which frames the scene well and very much adds to the storyline.
Ellis Martin Cup 2021 The PRINT Competition: Judged by Erica Oram CPAGB, AFIAP, BPE3*
Imperial War Museum
Founders' Cup - Best Print & Certificate for the Best Monochrome
Certificate for the Best Colour
Read all about It
Norman Richards Portrait Cup
The Floyd Landscape Trophy
Certificate for the Best Natural History
Certificates of Merit Reg Haslam
Up Among the Chimney Pots
Happy Banana Seller
Prepare to turn left
Ready to scramble
Marbled white on Pink
Heaven and Earth
The Eye, Amsterdam
That's what I call a beak
Riding the Wave
Photography vs Golf With Bill Stace I have been playing golf for over 50 years and have been fortunate enough to play throughout the UK and several countries abroad. When we moved from Sutton Coldfield to Monmouth in 2007, naturally I looked for a suitable golf club and finally settled on one called the Rolls of Monmouth which is close to where I live. The golf course was built in the late 1970s on an estate that in the 19th century was the summer residence of the Rolls family, with a large mansion to which three major 19th century extensions were added as the family rose in social circles. That sadly has now seen better days after being used as a school during and after the war and lack of funds for adequate maintenance. But it is still recognised as the most complete Victorian Gothic Mansion in Monmouthshire. The golf course itself has been sympathetically designed around the mature 200 plus acre estate. So much so I was finding that the more I played there the photographer in me was overpowering the golfer. I was even taking a camera in my golf bag and to the concern of my playing partners would spend as much time, if not more, snapping away as hitting the ball. I now have well over a thousand images of the course and mansion showing it in all its glory throughout the seasons. Here are a few and I hope you can see why I was having so much problem concentrating on my deteriorating golf game and why I now prefer photography to golf.
28 The second green
Top left : The seventh hole Middle left:The eighth hole Bottom left: Deer on the tenth hole Main picture: The ninth hole
The eleventh hole 33
The eleventh hole 34
Above: View from the twelfth fairway Right: The thirteenth hole
Autumn mists 38
The sixteenth green
The eighteenth green
Reflections on the eighteenth hole 43
of printing I am now downloading my images and although I’ve already viewed them on the camera screen I have an air of good feeling and anticipation as always and because I value my efforts I would never rely simply on the computer’s hard drive. Once downloaded onto the computer I immediately copy the folder across to an external hard drive and also onto my ‘working memory’ stick, as you no doubt do, don’t you? If you don’t have a ‘working memory stick’ perhaps you may consider allocating/ purchasing one of modest capacity, say 32, 64 or 128 Gb. simply for the purpose of temporary storage of images that like me you know you'll wish to work on before transferring the final results to device(s) for permanent storage. Now ‘working memory stick’ is simply an expression I use and it means exactly that! The resulting folders/images having now been transferred to the stick from the computer after initial downloading from the camera and are easily located because being kept only on a temporary basis whilst finalised and any then surplus images deleted means there are very few folders/ images on this stick at any one time, unlike the clutter that can
accumulate on other drives, and thus no real searching for a particular one is ever needed. This method not only means that when required it’s a simple matter of ‘plug & play’ and everything I intend to tweak is in one spot, but once a particular folder or a single image has been completely dealt with it’s then an easy matter to re-name that folder or and/or the image, transfer it to your hard drive(s) and then delete the original folder or image initially stored on the memory stick, thus you now have only finished images permanently stored in a captioned folder ready to print thus saving space on the memory stick and main storage drives as well. OK, I realise that many photographers store their efforts in software programme folders like Lightroom, Photoshop etc., on their computer but external back-ups are still advisable (in addition to the ‘Cloud’ if used) and to have a small device simply as a temporary working facility can still make sense for the reasons outlined and also for the convenience of being able to always have it to hand should you wish to use more than one computer. However, I can’t stress enough the importance of multiple back-ups because although most amateurs wouldn’t consider their images to be of commercial value I certainly haven’t met one that wouldn’t be a little upset at any loss, I know I would! Of course once multiple storage has taken place then one can clear the images from the camera's memory card thus saving one from purchasing lots of memory cards.
However, I can’t stress enough the importance of multiple back-ups Now that’s all under control it’s down to the actual printing, and this is where a little initial effort and thereafter routine has saved me much rushing about and even a little panic at times!
You know the situations, the next round is on it’s way or has arrived and suddenly a print is needed or there is a print or two in hand but second thoughts creep in and suddenly there is a need to revisit all available images and perhaps start to do some other prints, worse still printing for the TE has been put off, but now the date is drawing ever closer at an alarming rate!
The thought of being in these situations would give me nightmares!! Well, I’ve no wish to question anyone’s working practice in any way, nor any wish to try to impose my modus operandi on anyone else as the best method of working, because as everyone knows what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another, all I do know is that my method does work for me and as such I never run out of prints that are ready. When I first decided that I needed to have a pipeline of ready prints I concluded that initially six was required as a minimum in hand but now always aim to maintain between eight and twelve. The only hard part about setting this up was to get the initial six sorted and printed but that was done some time ago over a couple of months as a winter project. Now of course with this set up in place it’s a task that can almost be forgotten and only revisited when I have one or two new images to print which when printed top up the stock pile.
Having a supply to hand not only saves going through suitable images on the computer or other drive(s) in order to select and then print one but of course provides an immediate selection in the flesh as it were which can be laid out to choose from. So far so good. Having the prints already made is only part of the operation because as I’ve experienced one print of each image intended for use is often not enough! When I make a final print of an image that I’m happy with on a paper that I think complements it, I produce a total of three. Yes, three is the number for each image I’ve decided is an optimum, one for a future round, one for a possible TE entry and one as a spare in case I damage a print when mounting it in a folder but more likely damage it when mounting or finishing as a TE entry. The prints I make are on A5 size paper (A4 cut in half) to a size of my choosing up to the maximum size allowed of 7 x 5 inches. One of each of the three prints made then has double sided tape applied to the back and
trimmed to size so when required I simply remove the backing paper of the tape, exposing the adhesive, and stick the print into a folder. Keeping a decent supply of blank folders to hand is something I believe to be good practice not only in case one is damaged but for the simple likely hood of running out of them. On the edge of one of the remaining two a note is made of the proposed title and the technical details so that these can be immediately copied onto the PPC folder info section when required, doing away with the need to relocate the image stored on a hard drive to find the information required. Using my methodology, this one with notes is the spare and would only be used if necessary (see overleaf). The remaining one is for a possible TE entry which I don’t apply any adhesive to until I’m ready to mount it on card nearer the date of entry. As I’m also a member of an A4 print circle my method is somewhat different from that of the 7 x 5 print circle in that from time to time I look at the 7 x 5 prints I have ‘in stock’ and from
them decide which images I’ll definitely use at a future time and make one or two A4 prints (only one print of each image) with the aim of having three different ‘in stock’ at any one time and of course it may be that I’ve selected some images for larger prints only where no 7 x 5’s are wanted.
printer that is used to make photo inkjet prints as although I’ve digested many articles on the longevity or otherwise about archival properties of particular
I've never suffered any printer problems. I have found that sticking to my system gives me a pleasurable completion to my photo activities in the respect that I ‘stay ahead of printing’ and I don’t ever now think ‘oh dear! I really must get some printing done!’
I have just mentioned that I put the technical info and title onto the edge of one print and as I use A4 paper that is halved to make A5 there is always room for making notes alongside the actual image which of course is in itself a maximum area of 7 x 5 inches thus leaving enough room around it for a few notes.
David Ridley LRPS
I find a real advantage of using only A4 halved to A5 is that A4 paper is generally available in the widest choice of surfaces from all the manufactures and often available at advantageous prices, especially if a particular surface is to be discontinued, and like having prints ready to hand it’s only a matter of building a variety of paper stocks as and when good offers come along. The only time I use 7 x 5 inch paper is to produce prints for the family album. Perhaps worth a mention is that I only use genuine printer manufactures inks in my
provided any good quality paper is used together with the ink cartridges from the printer manufacturer and the resulting prints properly stored that fading shouldn’t pose any great issue and using genuine ink cartridges
inks and papers, I now have inkjet prints of around 15/20 years old that aren’t showing any signs of fading and as such I’ve come to the conclusion that in practice
Do you have your own way of keeping organised with folio and TE printing? Why not share your ideas in a future edition we all work differently and there is bound to be someone who would benefit from your ideas.
EDITORIAL Two for the price of one! Spring exclusive!
Looking back I have been the PPC’s honorary editor for just over seven years, my first issue was Spring 2014 and between then and now over forty issues have been created under my stewardship. This includes four regular issues per annum and twelve Lockdown Specials in 2020. During that time I have had some incredible support from members, including a few like Eric Ladbury, David Ridley, Geoff Leah and John Pattison who have all contributed on a regular basis. Kieran Metcalfe too has been very supportive, helping redesign the look of Photonews when he came onboard as joint editor and offering support and advise whenever required since. To these and all the others whose names have graced the pages of Photonews I am deeply grateful. However, this issue sees the start of a new chapter for Photonews and I’m delighted to welcome Ann Millen to the editorial hot-seat and trust you will give her the support you gave me. I’m going to be hanging around for a little bit however as I’ve offered to support for a while, particularly with putting the content into the format you’ve grown used to. Au Revoir!
Hi, I would like to start by introducing myself. Some of you will already know me from the circles that I am in of course but for the rest of you... My name is Ann Millen, I live in Glasgow and I joined the club a couple of years ago. I enjoy taking photographs of landscapes and animals along with macro photography. During the long lockdown I have had visits from woodpeckers, jackdaws and of course the grey squirrels who can be very amusing. By the way, I am not a big fan of having my photograph taken, so my apologies for the snapshot above. As you may or may not have realised (for my sins!) I have taken on the role of Editor from Dave. I think we all agree that Dave has done a fantastic job in producing the Photonews for the past few years. So, I would like to send a big thank you to Dave from everyone for the splendid job he has done. Also, Dave has offered to mentor me for the year which I accepted extremely quickly! All the best to our readers, I hope you enjoy this edition of Photonews. Stay safe and enjoy your photography.
Salver for the Best Image Overall Best Natural History Image
Blackbird Gary Barton
Great detail, such a hard bird to take and get the level of detail. We see very few British birds in nature competitions, even less of blackbirds and this is up there with best of the exotic.
Salver for the Best Landscape Image
Impressions of the Hebrides Christine Woolgar
This may be a controversial choice, as it is not sharp, but the rules didn’t say it had to be; I think this would look even better as a print on a fine art paper
Salver for the Best Portrait
Great connection with the model, the soft positioning of the hands adds the extra element.
Certificate for the Best Colour Image
Elegant Pat Couder
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: I like the pose, even though not looking at the viewer it nevertheless communicates elegance, I think this would look very good printed on a fine art paper.
Certificate for the Best MonoImage
Honey I Shrunk the Kids Carole Wetherley
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Great timing, the conversion has been very well handled.
Certificates of Merit Oblivious Terri Adcock Great image, timing, processing, was in the running for best mono.
Mr Smith Jo Kelly Super lighting and control of the light with a strong pose; could also work in mono.
Certificates of Merit
Otterbield Bay Charlie Gott The way the sky creates the triangle shape and how it lines up with the tree is strong, it could on another day be best mono/ landscape.
I Love Coffee Carole Wetherley Very creative and no obvious signs of it being a composite image.
Certificates of Merit Forest Shield Bug Stephen Yates Another very strong nature image.
Long-tailed Tit Mike Atkinson A very strong image that should do well in any competition it is entered into, I was only allowed to choose one!
Certificates of Merit Jay Mike Atkinson With so many strong nature, bird images they couldn’t all win, this should get accepted in most national or international exhibitions.
Small Skipper at Sunset Kieran Metcalfe Very good image, just so many many good nature images.
Certificates of Merit It’s so quiet Shurle Woodhouse A good composition with the perspective and control of the bright lights.
Hailes Street after rain Colin Massey The mono section was so strong, this was in my final three; great detail and could have been taken many years ago.
Certificates of Merit Rochester choristers Paul Kerr Hard to get detail in the shadows, with out being noisy, love the colour tone.
Anglican chapel at Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol Bill Stace A strong conversion not afraid of making blacks, black and whites, white, the birds add an extra element creating a feeling of darkness and eeriness.
Certificates of Merit Who’s calling Graham Snowden This has won awards before and is still a strong image with a great story.
Social distance murder tape Pat Couder Very topical, good eye for the crop along the top and left, demonstrates the photographic skills of the photographer.
Certificates of Merit Mary Poppins Kirsty Railton A good image with no obvious signs of all the work that has gone in to it.
Dancer Ann Nissen Firstly, it’s unusual to see a male dancer and I like the creativity giving a sense of speed.
Certificates of Merit Garden spider eating wasp Stephen Yates Good depth of field to have the spider and wasp sharp, and have the background diffused so as not to compete.
Digger wasp with prey Kieran Metcalfe I can’t imagine how hard this is to take, and again should do well in any competition it is entered in to.
Certificates of Merit Reedling at Leighton Moss Mike Atkinson A very strong nature image that again should do well in any competition it is entered into.
House fly after drizzle Stephen Yates The water droplets lift this above just being a great fly image.
Certificates of Merit Wasp face Mike Atkinson Imagine how scary this would look projected on a 10ft x 8ft screen, very strong detail.
Old Lancaster Carole Wetherley Just enough light around the edges to keep it all in, and the main light is not over bright, my mind was thinking, Lady of the Night, either just gone or coming back.
Certificates of Merit Nigella Damascena Pat Couder I hope when I say Beatrix Potter the photographer takes it as a compliment. It was in the running for best colour.
Orange Gerbera Pat Couder This type of image has been done a fair bit in recent times but it still requires a lot of skill with everything in control by the photographer, the overlaid texture suits the image. This would in my opinion be stronger as a print on fine art textured paper.
PDI Founders Cup 2021 The PDI Competition: Judged by Paul Dunmall CPAGB, QCP
Salver for the Best Image Overall Best Natural History Image
Certificate for the Best Colour Image
Impressions Of The Hebrides
Salver for the Best Landscape Image
Honey I Shrunk The Kids
Certificate for the Best Mono Image
Salver for the Best Portrait
View the winning images at: https://tinyurl.com/n7xam5cs 66
Certificates of Merit Ann Nissen
Anglican Chapel at Arnos Vale Cemetery Bristol
I Love Coffee
Hailes Street After Rain
Small Skipper at Sunset
Digger Wasp With Prey
Long Tailed Tit
Reedling At Leighton Moss
Social Distance Murder Tape
It's So Quiet
Garden Spider Eating Wasp
Forest Shield Bug
House Fly After Drizzle
Stating the obvious, a pinhole is a small circular hole, as could be made with the point of a pin. A pinhole camera meanwhile is a simple camera without a lens but with a tiny aperture (the so-called pinhole). Literally a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through the aperture and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box, which is known as the camera obscura effect. The camera obscura effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon; early known descriptions are found in the Chinese Mozi writings (circa 500 BC) and the Aristotelian Problems (circa 300 – 600 BC). The first known description of pinhole photography is reputedly found in the 1856 book The Stereoscope by Scottish inventor David Brewster, including the description of the idea as "a camera without lenses, and with only a pin-hole". Sir William Crookes and William de Wiveleslie Abney were other early photographers to try the pinhole technique An extremely small hole in a thin material can create an image when all light rays from a scene go through a single point. In order to produce a reasonably clear image, the aperture has to be about 1/100th the distance to the screen, or less. The shutter of a pinhole camera usually consists of a hand operated flap of some light-proof material to cover and uncover the pinhole. If the hole were made bigger then more rays from each point on the subject would pass through the larger hole at slightly different angles causing the image to blur. By making the aperture smaller you block the stray rays of light that would contribute to blur and thus achieve a greater depth-of-field and a sharper image without the help of optics.
Zero Image 5x4 pinhole camera in use - note the high-tech rubber bands holding the film holder in place
WORLD PINHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY DAY Early in 2019 I came across the World Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD) website. Anyone, anywhere in the world, who makes a pinhole photograph on the last Sunday in April, can scan it and upload it to this website where it will become part of the annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day celebration's online gallery. I enjoy the occasional foray with a pinhole camera, even building one myself not so long ago and so was annoyed with myself for missing WPPD in 2019. I was determined not to miss it this year however and had even scouted out a couple of suitable locations on the River Calder ready for the big day. I was it seemed all-set and ready to go.
I missed WPD-2019 and had big plans for 2020
Of course, April was in the middle of Lockdown and I was shielding, however I was determined not to miss the fun though and so the night before I loaded a fresh roll of Acros II into my wooden Zero Image 612 pinhole camera and dug out a mini tripod. At 7.30am on WPPD morning I was out in my backyard with pinhole camera, mini tripod and light meter to capture my first WPPD submission. When set to 12×6 my pinhole camera takes five frames (you can shoot six but the sixth is truncated) and as exposure can be hit and miss it is important to think before opening the shutter. I took three compositions, two of which I ended up scanning. The first two compositions were bracketed, two frames at different exposure times, and I used an App on my phone as a light meter having first checked with my handheld meter that it was reading sufficiently accurately. The benefit of the App is that it will display the exposure for an f-stop of 150 which my light meter does not.
After breakfast I processed the roll of film in Perceptol (1+1) and was chuffed to find some decent exposures; indeed, every frame could be darkroom printed if desired and the negatives scanned very nicely on my Epson scanner. My chosen image (above) was uploaded the following morning although I did upload it to my Flickr photo stream on the Sunday afternoon along with one of the other compositions. The third composition I chose not to use as it had not worked as well as I’d hoped but two out of three is not bad! The next WPPD will be on April 25th 2021 .
DIGITAL TOO: I choose to use film cameras for my pinhole photography. I have a 3”x3” home-made camera for creating paper negatives, a 5x4 Zero Image camera and also a 120 roll film version which is adjustable and has six sizes from 6x4.5 and 12x6. Above: Intrepid 5x4 with pinhole board - shooting into the sun Previous page: A Sense of Place Four pinhole images (Zero Image 612b)
However, it is straightforward enough to make a pinhole from an old digital camera body cap and a few basic household tools (just search for “digital pinhole adapters”). Alternatively there are various places selling adapters for your camera of choice too. There are even adapters available that allow for multiple sizes of pinhole to give even more creative control.
Lockdown adventures with
Saving my sanity... 2020 has been the strangest of years and 2021 is looking full of hope and promise, but sadly not until after more months of disruption and pain. I’ve been riding bicycles for a long time and an opportunity arose where I was able to buy an e-bike, a Carrera Crossfire. Not the most expensive bike, but good value. It claims the battery will give me 60 miles, but it depends on terrain and wind, the average is about 35-45. It’s what’s called an “Assist” bike, so the motor only kicks in when I call for it, enabling it to help flatten out the hills (we have a lot of those) and tame the facing winds. That means my ageing legs can take me further and easier. The opportunity was “Lockdown”. Inspired by glorious weather, what better time to ride around the beautiful area where I live. I commenced “lockdown” riding on that day it was announced, March 23rd on my Hybrid bicycle, but for this article I shall start on May 26th when I bought Eric the e-bike and when we had the wonderful Spring weather. During my travels I used a variety of cameras, from Compact System to Compact only. All my rides start from Rhuddlan, Denbighshire. We have one of King Edward 1st’s chain of castles (see right) along the coast. work on this one commenced in 1777 so it has some age. Most of my excursions pass by, or near to the castle, passing through our wildlife reserve with the carving of the benefactor local businessman Raymond Fagan (see over) who saved it from becoming a incineration plant. Panasonic Lumix G9 + Panasonic 12-60mm f2.8-4
Local wood sculptor Mike Owens carved this humorous tribute to Raymond Fagan. As a lad he was noted for always having to be told to do his shoelaces up! Opposite this is another of his carvings of three knights (see below) suitably adorned with masks by the locals. I photoshopped the middle knight out to uphold social distancing and put it on local social media. It caused an outcry as some thought it had been stolen!
Both images: Panasonic Lumix G9 + Panasonic 12-60mm f2.8-4
Many of my rides pass along the Clwyd Estuary. The main problem with the estuary ride is the 5 steel cattle secure gates to be opened, a real pain! Once away from the estuary I arrive at Rhyl. The first point of interest is the Marine Lake with its Miniature Railway built over 100 years ago. It was closed to passengers for the first lockdown and this was taken as they were closing on the day before. Sadly, these two engines were not seen working until four months later! Arriving at Rhyl harbour Pont y Ddraig (Dragons Bridge), a walkway and cycle path bridge, can be seen dominating the skyline. Costing £4.3M and opened in 2013 there are two sections of deck which lifts, with the underside lit up with lights that change from green to red. The bridge carries part of the National Cycle Network Route 5 which travels 366.7 miles from the Chiltern Hills to Holyhead via a protracted route. Both images: Panasonic DMCTZ100
This image features Eric resting next to the metal tribute to three local legends. From left to right they are Don Spendlove, who scored 629 goals in the 1950 and 60’s. Nobel prizewinning scientist Sir John Houghton and Mic Peters of 1980’s band “The Alarm”. Mic’s tribute faces the other way to the others simply because the artist made the guitarist left-handed when in fact it was the reverse. Ooops! Rhyl promenade starts commences at the harbour near Pont y Ddraig, where the coastal walk and cycle paths split westwards towards Holyhead and eastwards towards Chester.
Coastal – West bound. Travelling west takes me past the holiday chalets towards Pensarn and onwards. This is an opportunity only offered to the cyclist or walker to photograph scenes that can only be viewed from the main roads such as the A55. These include Grwych Castle, recently used to host “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here” and Raynes Pier where stone is loaded onto coastal ships complete with “Stickle Brick” coastal reinforcements. Along this route approaching Raynes Pier is the apt named climb “Up and over Urggh”, a climb I would now be totally incapable of without the e- bikes assistance which my old legs manage with ease. Further on the seaside towns of Colwyn Bay and Rhos on Sea. All quiet because of lockdown (see overleaf). The sight of the metal cut outs on the promenade, the Covid warning sign and a beach devoid of people gives a surreal and eerie feel to the view. Onwards to Rhos on Sea, an extension town to Colwyn Bay and we find the chapel of Saint Trillo on the foreshore at Rhos-on-Sea The chapel by the sea is on the site of a pre-Christian, sacred holy well. The altar is built directly over the pure water of the well. Saint Trillo, the son of Ithel Hael from Llydaw (Snowdonia), also founded a church at Llandrillo in Denbighshire.
Fuji X-T3 + 55-200mm f3.5-4.9
Coastal – East bound Travelling westbound from Rhyl is only accessible as far as Prestatyn, a distance of about 3 miles. After this the route takes a detour and the coast proper can be accessed again at Talacre. From there I only ever venture as far as the Point of Ayr which was a working coal mine until 1996. After that there is little cycle path and much busy road to contend with. Leaving Pont y Ddraig at Rhyl, I pass the RNLI Lifeboat station where the “Shannon” class lifeboat, “Anthony Kenneth Heard” which is often out as a visitor attraction and collecting donations for the RNLI. Unfortunately, this year, donations were very low as lockdown meant the visitors couldn’t come! Seeing the beaches and promenade so empty in late spring was both devastating for the local economy, but surreal for us who are used to the hustle and bustle.
Both images: Panasonic DMC-TZ100
A lone cyclist approaches between Rhyl and Prestatyn. Panasonic DMC-TZ100
At Prestatyn the main section of the cycle section finishes and although after diverting inland for a few miles before returning to the coast, most of it until the border with England and much of it inland. For the first three months of lockdown the weather was very dry and warm. However, it coincided with my 70th birthday that the weather changes. For the first time since March we had rain! Fuji X-H1 – 23mm f2
These two markers have been placed at The Nova beach Prestatyn marking the start of the Offa’s Dyke Path. This also marks the start of the 177 mile Path travelling along the border of England and Wales to Chepstow, also known as the Welsh Marches. Both images Fuji X-H1 – 23mm f2
The route now travels inland for a few miles until entering Flintshire and Talacre. Many reading this will know of the iconic leaning Talacre or Point of Ayr lighthouse. Many a judge has marked down a competition entry by stating that the images author should have aligned it vertically! This always provides a sigh amongst members. The 60ft lighthouse was built in 1776 and abandoned in the 1840’s. It is now privately owned having sold a few years ago for £100,000!
Fuji X-H1 – 18-55 f2.8-4
A few miles further on from Talacre along the Dee Estuary, I arrive at the furthest extent of my coastal cycle rides where the coastal views give way to the old industrial areas of Flintshire. Point of Ayr colliery was a mainstay of coal production right up to 1996 when it finally closed. The image below shows the preserved colliery winding wheel. After demolition it became a gas terminal accepting the gas from Liverpool Bay. This gas is known as “sour” gas and the plant was built to remove sulphur compounds. The gas is then piped to Connah's Quay Power Station. It is said that the amount of gas brought ashore could produce half the amount of electricity needed to power half of Wales! Now we come full circle, as pictured right is a wooden carving by the same local sculptor Mike Owens seen at the start of this journey celebrating the work of the pit ponies. Some of the ponies worked to the day the pit closed and were very well cared for.
Both images: Fuji X100f
20th December 2020 Now we come full circle, as pictured here is a wooden carving by the same local sculptor Mike Owens seen at the start of this journey celebrating the work of the pit ponies. Some of the ponies worked to the day the pit closed and were very well cared for. I have had a really satisfying time carefully avoiding the daily briefings and trying to keep away from the media doom and gloom. It’s been a sad year, but in some ways I also managed to keep mentally healthy through the joy of cycling and to combine this by supporting a charity. I embarked on the Prostrate Cancer cycle challenge, 100 miles in 1 month. With the support of so many kind folks, including the generosity by some reading this, I cycled 230 miles and raised £569! So, a win-win. Although a vaccine has arrived, this darned virus continues wreaking havoc as I write. I hope that in 2021 a simple bike ride will continue to keep me fit and healthy and continue taking my mind off the pain that surrounds us all. In this amble along the North Wales coast, I covered mostly the sea and its sights. I also explored a lot of the countryside, but I’ll keep that perhaps for another day. Stay safe, keep well. Richard
With David Ridley LRPS
Backgrounds can be an expensive outlay and there isn’t always a big choice especially if only a small size is required. A simple answer is to make several varied, textured, and coloured backgrounds on a home computer and printer. Now straight away I’m going to point out the obvious in that the maximum size achievable is governed by the maximum paper size that a printer can output and realistically for most home operations that will be A3+ although depending on the application the background is intended for, A4 may well prove a good choice especially if it’s destined to be used behind a small plant or other object. Start by photographing an area of stone (a JPEG is fine) that you are able to roughly fill the viewfinder with. I recommend photographing sandstone for this exercise as the colours and textures achievable in post processing in my opinion can’t be matched by other types of stone. Once the file has been downloaded onto the computer crop the image as a vertical 4 x 6 inch size then adjust it to the correct brightness and contrast. Now “Save As” using a descriptive file name and close the file. I then re-open the image and apply ‘A Levels Auto Fix’ and this should bring out the texture of the stone which in most cases will give patches/patterns of vivid or
strong colours. In the case of sandstone the colours likely to be achieved are deep reds through to deep blues and possibly yellow mixed in. If you feel the colours are not bold enough, simply apply ‘A Levels Auto Fix’ again. If the colours are too bright reduce the saturation. Now Save the changes and close the file. Once again, re-open the image and treat it with a ‘Slight Blur’ but only a weak application of blur is necessary. Remember the intention is to have unique muted colours, but also remember there will be a further blurring effect in any final image when used as a background for close-up and macro shots, which will depend on the type of lens and aperture used together with the distance the background is placed behind the subject being photographed.
Once happy with the result it only remains once again to correct the Brightness, Contrast and Saturation should it be felt necessary. Now save the final image & close the file. You are now ready to print out the background and I would therefore suggest a small test print of perhaps 7x5 or A5 size to confirm that it’s suitable for your purpose. In my experience matt photo paper is essential to help avoid glare during use Although you’ll be using photo paper it is only necessary to set the printer to ‘standard quality’ as you’re not intending to produce a high resolution image, and of course a standard setting normally uses less ink! Provided you’re happy with the result you have a nondescript background that can be replicated (up to the maximum printer paper size) time and time again so any damage/marks occurring whilst using the background won’t prove problematic, you simply bin it (preferably recycle it) and print out another one!
Whilst I’ve described using stone and in particular sandstone as a basis for producing unique and varied backgrounds I’m sure that it wouldn’t be too difficult to exercise the imagination and come up with other things that may well prove just as suitable using the same technique. I have myself tried out other common objects that work well, eg. bricks, walls, fences and the likes, but I always return to sandstone as my ‘gold standard’.
Matte paper is essential In practise the results obtained by the finished backgrounds will vary depending on the lens and aperture selected, the distance placed behind the subject and any colour tweaking in post processing. However, I’ve found that since the backgrounds are of a blurred nondescript nature that the most important element is the overall colour achieved when producing these backgrounds and consideration needs to be given to matching the background colour with the subject being photographed, and of course how much out of focus you want the background to be. Assuming you’re going to build up a collection of these, storage of them can be made simple by either using an empty cardboard box that printer paper was supplied in, or for transportation to use in the field perhaps one of the sturdy, thin & hinged clear plastic document boxes that are available from many stationary outlets at reasonable cost may prove a better option.
The Postal Photographic Club - Officials & Circle Secretaries PPC President: John Kay (John@kay.me.uk) General Secretary: Roger Edwardes (firstname.lastname@example.org) Membership Secretary: Roger Edwardes (see above) Treasurer: Clive Piggott (Clivepigg@hotmail.com) Competition Secretary (Print): Simon Rhodes (Simonrhodes281@gmail.com) Competition Secretary (PDI): Graham Harvey (Glharvey@me.com) Travelling Exhibition Organiser: David James (Dajames@ymail.com) Website Manager: Graham Dean (Graham@gandljdean.co.uk) Photonews Editor: Ann Millen (email@example.com)
Print Circle Secretaries
Online Circle Secretaries
Online Circle Secretaries (contd)
C1: Graham Harvey
DSO: John Maule
IC7: Pat Couder
C19: Roger Edwardes
IC1: Michael Freeman
IC8: Bill Stace
CP1: Simon Rhodes
IC2: John Pattison
IC9: Maxwell Law
DP: David James
IC3: Simon Rhodes
IC10: Bill Stace
LP1: John Kay
IC4: Mike Atkinson
IC11: Pat Couder
LP2: Jon Allanson
IC5: Gary Barton
IC12: Jon Allanson
There is no increase in subscription if you belong to more than one Circle - if you would like to join another Circle please contact the Membership Secretary (details above) in the first instance.
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Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members
All rights reserved. All materials copyright The Postal Photographic Club and/or their respective authors. Any opinion or statement expressed by the author of any article published in this magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of The Postal Photographic Club, the editor or its members. Photonews is published four times per year.
Celebrating the PPC and its members. This issue sees the announcement of the Award-winning images from the 2021 Founder's Cup competition. M...
Published on Mar 5, 2021
Celebrating the PPC and its members. This issue sees the announcement of the Award-winning images from the 2021 Founder's Cup competition. M...