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Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

Spring 2017


PENING

SHOT

Bluebell Wood by Richard Vale Ed: I spotted this beautiful image in the 2016 Travelling Exhibition at the Rally last October and knew instantly that it should be the Opening Shot for the Spring issue.


Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

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Postal Photo Developments Dave Whenham An update on the goings-on at PPC HQ

Into the Darkroom - Part 2 Tony Marlow In this concluding part, Tony considers making the print.

The Photographer’s Eye Clive Piggott A review of Michael Freeman’s new book.

Photography of Cats John Pattison Tips for stunning feline photos from John’s experience

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Hello Everyone

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Jon C Allanson’s Photoshop Notes

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Roy Wilson Roy unpacks a classic photograph

Jon Allanson Cloning, Merging, Sharpening and much more...

A Year In The Life Graham Harvey The top-scoring images in Print Circle 1 from the 2015/2016 season.

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Founder’s Cup 2017 Results

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Classic Cameras

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Twenty Questions... or Less

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Neewer Ring Light

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Notes From The Gulf

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PPC Judging Panel The stunning winning images and judges’ feedback from this year’s competition

Geoff Leah Geoff showcases an image taken with a Soho Reflex

Bob Rawlinson Getting to know Bob and his passion for bird photography.

David Ridley David takes a budget ring light for a spin.

John Pattison A look at social norms in urban photography

Eric’s Corner Eric Ladbury


POSTAL PHOTO

DEVELOPMENTS News and Updates from PPC General Secretary, Dave Whenham ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY You may have noticed the oak leaf discretely tucked away in the bottom right-hand corner on this issue’s stunning front cover. If you haven’t I will pause whilst you turn back to check … OK? This year marks the eightieth, or Oak, anniversary of the founding of the PPC in 1937. Quite a milestone and testament to the hard work of so many people over the years, not least in more recent years of our new President John Kay and his predecessor in the role Bill Hughes. It is thanks to the dedication of people like John and Bill and others before them that we are still here in 2017. Within the next week or so you will all receive a request via Survey Monkey to complete a survey on behalf of the Club and part of the purpose for the survey is to find out what additional skills or ideas can be used to help the Club as we look to grow membership with our centenary tantalisingly in sight. Growing the Club’s membership has been very much in my thoughts during my first couple of months in the PPC hot seat. Looking at the latest membership list I can see that we have 83 paid-up members of whom 40 are only members of online Circles, 28 are exclusively print and 15 have membership of both print and online Circles. This means that 67% of our members are active within an online Circle. Online Circle members are also more likely to belong to more than one Circle too. Such a situation was probably not even considered remotely possible four years ago but it does show how important the online offering has become to the Club overall.

A SPECIAL OFFER! Growing and maintaining our membership base is clearly a key priority but I would particularly like to see a resurgence in print membership, and not just those who are exclusively print workers. The TE is a great opportunity for all members to print their work and it would be great if we could encourage some of our online-only membership to take the plunge and add a print Circle to their membership. As an incentive, any member who is currently in just internet circle(s) and who joins a print

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circle during 2017 will receive a complimentary pack of 12 print folders to get them started. I await your messages and calls with anticipation!

LARGE PRINTS ARE GO! Given that I see myself first and foremost as a print worker rather than purely screen-based I was delighted to see the inauguration of LP1, our first large print Circle and the first new print Circle for many years. Jon Allanson is leading this firstof-it’s-kind Circle and we already have a Secretary lined up for LP2 so I’ve started a waiting list for members wanting to join LP2 when it gets under way. Applications being taken now you know how to contact me by now.

ANNUAL THEMED CIRCLE – ANOTHER FIRST Two online initiatives have also been mooted recently alongside the previous suggestion of a Smartphone Circle and if there is sufficient interest in these we are again opening a waiting list for prospective members. So, if you are up for the challenge of a set of themed rounds with a Salver for the highest aggregate score of the season then you will be interested in an online Circle dedicated to themed folios. I envisage eight themed rounds per annum with the monthly list of topics published three months before the first round was to be run. So for example 1st Feb – issue monthly themes so members can start to plan entries and shoot to the themes. From May to December inclusive the eight themed rounds are run with images eligible for the following year’s DPI Founders Cup which leaves January for the Circle Secretary to canvas views, plan a new set of themes and set up for the next competition.

Postal Photo Developments - Dave Whenham


THE ANONYMOUS CIRCLE? In addition, following on from some comments in the online Notebooks Clive Piggot is looking for between six and eight volunteers to take part in a feasibility study for running an anonymous circle using the forum rather than the current Internet Circles system which cannot handle anonymity. Images would be posted anonymously each month and comments would not be revealed to other members until a session was closed. Clive would like to run monthly sessions for a study period of three months initially and in common with current online practice each session would be open for 10 days. Each volunteer would need to provide a set of images by email before the trial begins and for each session Clive will choose one image from each volunteer and post them anonymously on the forum. Volunteers would then critique each image and choose two favourites and after the session has closed, all authors, critiques and favourites would be made visible to all volunteers. At the end of the trial we would look at feedback from the volunteers to determine the feasibility of offering this type of Circle on a permanent basis. Clearly as existing members you get first chance at all of these initiatives, however, they are also intended to broaden the appeal of the Club and widen its potential for new recruits so please mention them to your local photographers even if they are not immediately of interest to you. So, finally, congratulations to all those featured in the following pages with successes in this year’s Founders Cup. Please look out for the membership survey, entitled Growing the Membership, as it is not only a great way to get involved but also ensures that your ideas and views are properly represented. If any of the opportunities detailed above are of interest I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy this issue, have a creative Spring and I will see you all in the Summer issue.

WORK IN PROGRESS: My latest project involves wandering the streets at night in search of suitable images to process in black & white with a heavy influence from the 1949 film “The Third Man”. This one was from a night-time wander around Bradford city centre last month. To remain as inconspicuous as possible the project is being created using the very discrete yet capable Fuji X100t.

Dave Whenham

COVER PHOTO Selfridge Man by Graham Snowden Ed: Our front cover for this issue is an image that divided opinion when it appeared in an online folio last year so I thought I’d share it with everyone.

Postal Photo Developments - Dave Whenham

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Into the Darkroom - Part 2 In this concluding part, Tony considers making the print. Setting up Select a negative which ideally has some detail in the highlights and the deepest shadows. If the ideal negative isn’t available then it is preferable at least to have some detail in the shadows. If nothing else you can put some tone in the brightest highlights but if the negative is clear there is not much you can do. Give the negative a good clean with an anti-static brush and compressed air to remove any dust. With the negative in the enlarger and the printing easel set to the size of print you want with a white margin all round. Raise or lower the enlarger head to compose the image on the easel within the area selected. If the easel has a dark base board then put a white sheet of paper in so the projected image can be clearly seen. With the lens wide open and no filters in place completely the focusing with a focuscope placed on the easel (see Part One). Adjust the focus knob until the grain in the emulsion is sharp and clear. The grain looks like sand but if the film is fine grained and the enlargement small then it might not be visible and you will have to focus on part of the image. For this exercise I assume we are using resin multigrade paper. Put some of the sheets of the selected paper in the paper safe with the room lights off and safe light on. A safe light torch hanging round your neck makes this easier to do.

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Set the chemical trays of the appropriate size for the paper, one tray and three jugs for single tray working or three trays for developer, stop bath and fixer. A further tray can be used for washing the print or a propriety print washer. Mix up a jug of the three chemicals according to the instructions on the bottles. Often the fixer has two dilutions given 1+4 with a shorter time or 1+9 with a longer time. The normal working temperature is 20C and if you can keep the room temperature at about 22C to 23C then the chemicals in the tray should remain around the 20C mark. Have a pair of tongs for handling the print in the developer tray and another pair for the stop bath and fixer for moving the print from stop bath to fixer to washer. Don’t dip the developer tongs into the stop or fixer trays. To avoid any damage to the print where a plastic glove instead of using tongs but rinse your gloved hand in clean water between trays. Stop the enlarger lens down about two stops and set the filters to grade 2 1/2 contrast. If you have a multigrade head then there is one dial giving a range from 00 (soft) to 5 (hard) contrast so grade 2 1/2 is midway. If you have a colour head then it is a little more complicated. With most papers there is an instruction sheet giving the various filter settings for each grade of contrast. With Ilford papers table 5 gives settings for Durst, Kodak and Leitze filters. If you have a different enlarger

Into the Darkroom - Part 2 - Tony Marlow


then table 3/4 tells you which of these settings you should use, eg. with my LPL enlarger I use the Kodak settings. You only use the yellow and magenta filters, cyan is set to 0. Ilford give two sets of values, one using a single filter for each grade either yellow or magenta, the other, table 5, giving two filter values for each grade, a combination of yellow and magenta. It is better to use table 5 with two values for each grade as the exposure time remains about the same for each grade. With the single filter values for each grade as you increase the filtration you need to increase the exposure time. For example G4 at 95 M needs about twice the exposure time than grade 2 with no filtration. The first exposure is for a test strip (see opposite) to determine the correct base exposure for a print. Cut a strip of paper about 50mm wide by 150mm long and place on the easel on a part of the image which will give a representative sample of the whole print. Expose the whole strip for 5 seconds with the lens stopped down and grade 2 1/2 filters in place. Cover about a quarter of the paper without moving it and expose the remaining 3/4 of the paper for another 5 secs. Cover half the paper and cover the rest for 10 secs., cover 3/4 of the paper and expose the last quarter for 20secs. With resin paper put it in the developer for 1 min. keeping it moving all the time. Transfer to the stop bath, agitate for 15 secs. and finally in the fixer agitating for 30 secs. ( at 1+4 dilution). Wash for 3 mins. Dry, a hair dryer is useful for this. You will then have a strip with four exposures of 5secs., 10 secs., 20 secs. and 40 secs. each with a 1 stop difference in exposure. Decide which exposure is nearest to what you think it should be hopefully less than 40 secs. and more than 5 secs. It’s worth noting that very short exposures make it difficult to accurately time dodging times (shading part of the print during the base exposure) or burning in times (adding extra exposure to part of the print). If the correct exposure seems very long or very short decrease or increase the lens aperture to either shorten or lengthen the times. A second test strip needs to be done so place another strip of paper on the easel. If you think the correct time is about 15 secs. set the initial exposure for 6 secs. Make seven more exposures of 3 secs. progressively covering up a bit more of the test strip after each exposure. Process as before and will have a strip with eight different exposures of 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 seconds from which you should be able to select the best time for a print. Expose a full print at this time, process as before but wash for 5 mins. In running water above 5C. At this point it is easier to think of the exposure in f stops and not seconds for adjusting the exposure. For example in the test strip the difference between 6 secs. and 9 secs. is over half a stop but the difference between 21 secs. and 24 secs. is

less than a quarter of a stop. Thinking in f stops makes it easier to judge what effect changes in exposure will have on the print. If you don’t have an f stop timer then you can use an f stop calculation table which gives the values for + or – 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 stop adjustments. Plus one stop doubles the time minus 1 stop halves the time. It will be very unusual if this first print is satisfactory. It needs close examination to see what needs to be adjusted to make it comply with your vision of what you wanted to produce. The points to consider are listed overleaf.

Into the Darkroom - Part 2 - Tony Marlow

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Reviewing the first print

Is the horizon level?

Is it generally too light or too dark?

Is it generally too contrasty or too flat?

Are there dust spots or hairs etc. on the negative showing up on the print?

Are there white areas burnt out to paper base white?

Could some areas do with locally lightening or darkening?

Are there solid areas of solid black with no detail?

Are there areas of light near the edge which draw the eye away from the main centre of interest?

Are areas around the borders where you have cropped too tightly or too wide?

Bear in mind that reducing the contrast can bring out detail in the shadows but may muddy up the highlights. If it is too dark or too light decrease or increase the exposure time from about 1/6 stop upwards. If it is too contrasty or too flat reduce or increase the contrast by 1/2 a grade or more. If there are burnt out areas these can be toned down by burning in at grade 00 or 0. If you don’t want to lose the sparkle in

Into the Darkroom - Part 2 - Tony Marlow


Into the Darkroom - Part 2 - Tony Marlow

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these highlights areas burning in with grade 5 may bring some detail but not degrade the whites. This can be useful in cloudy skies where you want more detail or drama but not lose the whiteness of the clouds. Obtrusive light areas around the edges can be toned down by burning in at grade 00. Solid black areas need less exposure and need to be shaded during the base exposure You can either use your hands or pieces of cardboard cut to shape or lumps of bluetack on the end of a piece of wire to shade these areas. The important thing is to keep whatever you are using moving the whole time or you will end up with pale halos or lines from the wire. For dodging you can have a collection of standard shapes cut from card stuck on the end of a piece of wire. These shapes can include small, medium and large discs. Triangles, squares, rectangles, ovals, stars etc. or for more complicated areas cut out a shape to suite. Burning in isolated areas can be done through a hole in a large piece of card or you can use your hands or cut a larger piece of card to suit the shape of the area where you don’t want to give additional exposure. If you are burning in with a soft grade you can spill over into dark areas without it showing. Conversely with burning in with a hard grade spilling over into light areas won’t show. Just keep the shading tool moving all the time and well away from the paper so that the boundary between the shaded and the burnt in area merge into each other with no hard line. Once you have decided what adjustments you need to make to the exposure times in the various areas and what contrast grades to use write out the times you need to give for each exposure in the order you will be working and the contrast grades you need to use for each exposure. To save paper you can use say a third of a sheet for the next exposure and this will show whether you need to make any further adjustments before attempting a full print. Always assess a test print when it is dry, a wet print will get darker as it dries. It may take several attempts before you finally achieve what you want. A couple of final observations. It often pays to be bold in the changes you make initially as you may not see much difference with minor tweaks to the contrast and exposure. Once you are close to your final vision then minor tweaks may be needed. Irrespective of the amount of exposure adjustments made most prints benefit from a burn in of about a third to half a stop along all four edges of the print to give a bit of depth to the print.

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Into the Darkroom - Part 2 - Tony Marlow


The Photographer’s Eye Michael Freeman A book review by Clive Piggott

What makes a good photograph? What are the secrets of composition? Are there, should there be, rules? Available on Amazon at time of writing for £13, this book attempts to throw light on some of these questions. Not to be confused with the celebrated book of the same name by John Szarkowski, this text comes from the wellknown photographer and author, Michael Freeman. Freeman is an internationally renowned travel photographer and author of many books on photography. Sub-titled ‘Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos’ this volume does not concern itself with the very basic photographic practicalities but explores many aspects of the theory and effects of framing and compositional choices in the production of photographic images. I think that it is therefore suitable for photographers of all levels of competence and experience. In his introduction Freeman sets out his thesis - contrasting the difference between commentaries on photography written by non-photographers, e.g. Roland Barthe, and those, like this one, which he firmly contends is a guide written by an experienced photographer for the benefit of fellow photographers. He also acknowledges the effect of the digital revolution in democratising photography and bringing postprocessing to its full potential in the creative process. Profusely illustrated throughout by well chosen high-quality images, the book offers comprehensive discussions of the many elements of photographic composition. The writing is clear and unpretentious, sprinkled occasionally with pithy quotations on the point of it all, e.g. Johannes Itten of the Bauhaus, ‘To awaken a vital feeling for the subject through personal observation’. Each chapter considers particular design decisions offered to photographers. However, this is not a book about any particular genre of photography. Those looking for advice about wildlife or sports photography, for example, should look elsewhere. If there is any bias at all it is towards travel photography. It is worth listing the chapter headings, in order of appearance, to give a flavour of the scope and structure of the book:

The Image Frame ( frame dynamics, shape, cropping, placement, dividing the frame)

Design Basics (contrast, Gestalt perception, balance, figure and ground)

Graphic and Photographic Elements (single point, several points, horizontal and vertical lines, corners)

Composing with Light and Colour (Chiaroscuro, colour, black and white)

Intent (conventional, challenging, documentary, expressive)

Process

Szarkowski’s book of the same name was about ‘looking at photographs’ and those examined were not taken by Szarkowski himself who was allegedly an indifferent photographer. Perhaps it is nit-picking, but if pressed, there is one change I would make to Freeman’s book: it would be to apply some of his analysis to some well-known examples rather than always to his own work. Photography has always had an uneasy relationship with the world of art criticism and rather than ignoring this aspect of his subject altogether, Freeman expands upon this in his final chapter ‘Process’, citing and challenging the words of John Szarkowski and others of his ilk. Freeman nails his colours firmly to the mast and is dismissive of e.g. the ‘snapshot aesthetic’ and its proponents who he contends have limited understanding of photography and are ultimately apologists for that deficiency. If you disagree with this opinion, it may safely be ignored without compromising the considerable benefit to be gained from study of the previous chapters.

The Photographer's Eye - Book Review - Clive Piggott

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Photography of Cats How many of us with domestic pets have taken photographs of them? How many of us with pets have taken many photographs of them in an effort to extend ones photographic skills? This article is about the journey I have embarked upon over the years and more recently during the last year. Cats don’t play ball with one photographically speaking, they don’t always stay in one spot and often move just as one presses the shutter release. This is not only frustrating but can lead to the ‘purrfect` shot being missed. Certainly this has happened with me but I persevere. Our family of cats has been diverse and currently we have eight of them. An international bunch they are too, with one from the UK, one from Oman, and the remainder acquired in Qatar. All except our British short hair are rescue cats. For many years I had one cat, Austin. He was also a rescue cat found in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and accompanied me on many travels. Through him I started my pet photography seriously and have many images of him. Sadly he passed away last year. So what is the best way to photograph a cat? In my view one should try to obtain an image that reflects their personality. They each and every one of them are different not only in appearance and colouring, but also in temperament. Capturing those differences makes for a better image than the quick ‘snapshot’. Kittens are good photogenic subjects and I have been fortunate in Qatar that we have acquired several kittens the latest of those being Anna (main image) and Elsa (left) This next image is an one of Guinevere as a kitten demonstrating her inquisitive personality

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Photography of Cats - John Pattison


There has been nothing set up in any of these images, all have either been taken in natural lighting or under domestic lighting. Images have been captured with a variety of camera and lenses as detailed and there is no ‘right’ combination of camera or lens. One’s creative juices dictate what one is attempting to achieve but like most aspects, if not all, practice in this genre improves ones images and an understanding of cats helps too. If the cats are tired then they are more likely to stay in one place whilst being photographed but one still has to be quick because in my experience they soon get bored of having the camera in their space and run off somewhere else often inaccessible to us mere humans. I have also found that continued exposure to the camera sometimes means that they recognise the camera and again they run away. Getting the animals to settle is the most important part and therefore one should not have camera to eye all the time, try to gain the pets confidence but have the camera readily to hand to capture that moment. If one doesn’t succeed and they are your pets then one can try again another day, This of course is not really practical if one is shooting someone else’s pet cat or you have a paid commission. Then as in all such cases one has to get the shot for your client. For that I recommend to turn the camera to continuous focus mode and continuous shutter release and take short bursts of shots. A camera with a quiet or silent shutter mode is useful too. Have the pets owner present and before shooting try to gain the pets confidence and acceptance of you in their space.

If shooting for a friend or under a paid commission agree up front with the owner what that particular cat likes, where they spend most of their time when at rest and try if practical to organise a backdrop within that space, this should also be something that the cat is familiar with or if new allow the cat to be inquisitive and settle – always assuming that they do of course! For this the owner is key to getting the shoot in the bag and some inducement for the cat may be required, a toy, some food, etc; which the owner can assist you with so that you can concentrate on getting the shot.

As with human portraiture the eyes must be in sharp focus unless one is trying for something more creative or different. Above all, do not allow the animal to get stressed, so if the cat wants to leave the set then let it and do not take too long shooting the cat. I have found that the ‘shot’ you want is obtained early on in the shoot and often may be the second or third image taken. As for the setting for the photo shoot itself this depends on whether you are trying for a ‘classic’ pet portrait of something more dynamic.

Photography of Cats - John Pattison

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During the autumn of 2016, on 8”‘ September to be precise, Greta Zimmer Friedman died at the age of 92 in America. You’re probably saying,”Never heard of her”. But I’ll wager a pound to a penny that you will recall the photograph she appeared in at the end of the Japanese War with America on 14 August 1945. On that day in Times Square, New York she was the young lady aged 21 dressed in her nurse’s uniform who was unceremoniously kissed by an American sailor named George Mendonsa , in what became one of the truly iconic photographs of the 20*“ century. “ The photographer who captured the moment was Alfred Eisenstaedt [known in photographic circles as “Eisie”] who worked for Life magazine at the time. The photo was published by Life two weeks later, not on the cover but inside on page 27. Over the years many men and women came forward claiming to be the couple in the Times Square photograph. It wasn’t until 1987 when the Time-Life magazine announced that they would be selling copies of the famous photograph that further investigations commenced to confirm exactly who the two participants were. Richard Benson, Professor of Photography at Yale University agreed to examine the photograph along with others provided by the magazine’s publisher.

were in the photo, “donating their services as a contribution to history”. The clincher for the authors is the presence of Mendonsa’s girl-friend at the time, Rita [who became his wife later that year] and appears quite recognisable in out-takes standing in the background. The photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and the nurse Greta Friedman were both Jewish, and escaped persecution in Germany and Austria during the 1930’s being given American refugee status on arrival in the US. Alfred Eisenstaedt died on 24 August 1995 aged 97, exactly 50 years after the picture was published in 1945. Coincidentally, Alfred was photographed eight hours before he died signing a copy of ‘the’ photograph for a collector. Who knows perhaps many years from now when we’ve all gone ‘to the great photo studio in the sky’, a member of our own family may come across some faded photo of ours which will ignite a memory or two for those delving into a box of very old b&w images! Until the next time.

Benson agreed that George Mendonsa was the sailor and Greta Zimmer Friedman was the dental nurse. Later in 1995 the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab also confirmed that they

C1’s Notebook is not only full of personal news and photographic tidbits but can also be very educational . Photonews “acquired” this example from an entry C1 stalwart Roy Wilson made in a recent folio …

These notes were pulled together from various sources by Roy never intending that they end up in Photonews. Want to find out more? Book on Amazon: http://bit.ly/kissingsailor NY Daily News: http://bit.ly/kissingsailor-ny

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Hello Everyone - Roy Wilson


Hello Everyone - Roy Wilson

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Jon C Allanson’s Photoshop Notes The second in an occasional series of extracts from Jon’s Photoshop Notes. Quick reminder - these were written using Photoshop and Elements for PC so if you use a Mac you will need to bear in mind that the ALT, CMD and CTRL keys work slightly differently. These notes are not meant to be prescriptive, giving exact details of how to achieve the final results, but rather are intended as a set of basic ideas and techniques that can be adapted and applied to your taste. You will need to experiment with them to find the best ways of applying them and the settings that work best for you. A modicum of existing knowledge is assumed.

Cloning out small details: Copy the layer and then switch the layer OFF. Return to the base layer and clone out any unwanted parts using a large stamp, or use the Lasso tool to select an area then CTRL+J to create a new layer and move the ‘new layer’ to the desired position. Go back to the upper layer, create a layer mask and paint out the unwanted details using a small hard edged brush to get a sharp edge and a larger soft edged brush to merge textures in, finally combine the layers.

Sharpening: It is not always necessary to sharpen the whole image especially as the latest DSLRs already produce high quality images similar to that achieved from 35mm film without having to apply additional sharpening. Use of Unsharp Mask (USM) over the whole of an image is probably the most used process and can be used on the whole image or a selection of the image There are 3 controls: •

Amount sets the level of sharpening

Radius sets the width of sharpening along edges; the wider the greater the chance of fringing

Threshold selects the tonal difference; a low figure affects all edges, a high figure only those with significant tonal difference.

Care is needed however, for example, selecting too low a threshold figure can make noise appear particularly in skin tones. I have found that about 100%, 0.8 radius and 32 threshold however can be very effective at enhancing detail in large areas of grass and leaves, while allowing the main subject to be further sharpened at a later stage. A variation on using USM that lends itself to selective sharpening is to copy the layer or a selection from the layer

An alternative method is to select a large area of the required filling and then CTRL+J it, move this selection to cover the unwanted area and then move the layer to below the original and then mask out the unwanted area.

Merging in an Effect using masking: The obvious way to try to merge-in an effect is by feathering. This can be applied to a mask by applying Gaussian Blur to the mask, however if you are applying the mask by painting on the layer mask - paint in/out the bulk of the area at 100% opacity using a hard brush, then change to a soft brush to paint the edge to create a ‘feather’ (the larger the brush – the greater the width of the feather It can also help to reduce the opacity). If this not does not achieve the desired effect, reverse the brush colour and instead of painting out the mask start to paint the edges back in.

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Jon C Allanson's Photoshop Notes


and apply USM to the copy and change the blending mode to LUMINOSITY. The level of sharpening can then be adjusted by changing the opacity of the layer and the area adjusted by painting on a layer mask.

Using the High Pass Filter This is found under FILTERS > OTHER. To Sharpen, Copy the layer then apply the High Pass with a radius of 2-6 pixels, change blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light. To Soften, Copy the layer then apply the High Pass radius 6-15 pixels, then IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > INVERT, change blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light Selective sharpening/softening of the image can be achieved by applying a layer mask to the HIGH PASS layer, or by making selections and creating new layers for the High Pass filter (CTRL+J). Altering the contrast of the grey High Pass layer will alter the degree of sharpening/softening achieved. In addition, stacking a number of High Pass layers can increase the sharpening/ softening effect. Users of Lightroom or the Adobe Raw Converter will be familiar with the CLARITY slider, which perks up much of the image. This can be replicated by the use of USM at a small percentage, a very large radius and a small threshold. Using negative values on the CLARITY slider will soften the image and is often a good way to smooth out facial blemishes whilst inverted High Pass has a similar effect. Using the High Pass filter or Clarity to soften/blur an image has the advantage over Gaussian Blur in that it does not bleed colours into each other. In both Lightroom and ACR there is an opportunity to sharpen your image at a very early stage and I find that an amount of 60-80% with a radius of 1 pixel is a good range to apply. If you then view the image at 100% and hold down the ALT key you can visibly adjust the masking so that it only sharpens the main detail of the image and so allows you to apply further sharpening layer in your processing after you have taken the image into Photoshop or Elements.

Fringing and the appearance of over-sharp edges Over-sharpening of images usually becomes obvious by the presence of fringing or edges of elements that appear very sharp when reality they would not be i.e. birds. If you use selective sharpening or a form of sharpening in which a layer mask/smart layer can be applied, this can easily be avoided

by sharpening the inside of the element and leaving the outer edge unsharpened - make your selection or mask to about a millimetre inside the edge. We hope you’re finding these thoughts useful. In the next part Jon shares some thoughts on HDR and tone-mapping, noise reduction and monochrome conversions.

Jon C Allanson's Photoshop Notes

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A Year In The Life Graham Harvey takes us through the top-scoring images in Print Circle 1 from the 2015/2016 season.

Into the Storm Spit Harbour Martin Hart Folio 872 71.5 points 18

A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey


Elgol Dave Whenham Folio 872 71 points A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey

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L.M.S. 12322 Graham Harvey Folio 870 70.5 points 20

A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey


Jetty Meeting Martin Hart Folio 873 69 points A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey

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Ashley Williams New Star Martin Hart Folio 871 68.5 points 22

A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey


Weathered Pete Toogood Folio 872 67.5 points A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey

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Ramsbottom Station Graham Harvey Folio 871 66.5 points 24

A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey


The round room Graham Harvey Folio 873 66.5 points A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey

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Stairway Graham Harvey Folio 872 66 points 26

A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey


Lunch at Arles Roy Wilson Folio 871 65.5 points A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey

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Pastoral Dave Whenham Folio 873 65 points 28

A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey


A study in Light & Shade Geoff Stevens Folio 868 64.5 points A Year In The Life - Print Circle 1 - Graham Harvey

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Founder’s Cup 2017

Of our two annual competitions I often think that the Founders Cup is the most democratic. As most of you know, the top 3 images (the “stickers”) from each folio completed in the preceding twelve months are collated and an external judge invited to select the trophy winners and award Certificates of Merit as appropriate. There are two categories, DPI and Print, and for me the defining quality of the Founders Cup competition is that the images are in effect selected by the whole membership. As with all activities within the Club the Founders Cup happens because of the hard work of the Circle Secretaries and other officials over the course of the year, culminating in a period of more frenzied activity during February and March. My thanks go to all of the Circle Secretaries for collating the entries from their Circle and ensuring they arrived with the Competition Secretaries in a timely fashion. Jon Allanson, who has been a Competition Secretary for around twenty years,

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

looked after the Print competition this year whilst Graham Harvey managed his first DPI competition since taking on the role last autumn. Graham, together with member Alan Phillips was simultaneously working on a system to automate the DPI competition for future years and I am sure that the volume of work put in this year will pay dividends in the future. We have also produced new Certificates for 2017, which will be presented to members at the Rally in October. Thanks are also due to Kieran for taking on the task of integrating the Founders Cup results within Photonews. We usually issue the results as a two-page PDF and we are delighted to be able to incorporate them within Photonews for the first time ever. Finally, thank you to everyone who contributes every month to Circle folios, without you there would be no Founders Cup.

Thank you for letting me judge the Founders’ Cup Competition. It was difficult but very pleasing to view some super images. Please congratulate and thank all the entrants for allowing me to view their work. There was a great diversity of work, which made it hard. Excellent portrait-people, landscapes and the open, general. When you go through the technical issues and the actual seeing of the image or (setting up of the image) it then comes down to personal choice.

Bill Edwards CPAGB - Print Judge What a super entry of images, I found this judging a challenge whilst being most pleasurable, your members submitted a diverse set of images, some using atmosphere whilst others captured a story, there are images which record and display subjects both inanimate and live to their best advantage, bringing them down to some 40 images was far from an easy task. Thank you for asking me to be part of your Founders Cup 2017.

John Fletcher CPAGB - PDI Judge 30

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results


Print Results Ken Ainscow

DP

Looking Ahead

Certificate of Merit

Ken Ainscow

DP

New Brighton Groyne

Certificate of Merit

Ken Ainscow

DP

The Fascinator

The Norman Richards Portrait Cup

Richard Bown

CP1

Sitting On The Steps

Certificate for the Best Colour Print

Richard Bown

CP1

December Sunrise

Certificate of Merit

Graham Dean

DP

The Time Machine

Certificate of Merit

Roger Edwardes

C19

The Tack Room

Certificate of Merit

Roger Edwardes

C19

Steve the Mechanic

Certificate of Merit

Alan Edwards

C8

Osprey with Trout

Certificate of Merit

Alan Edwards

C8

Trees

Certificate of Merit

Bill Hughes

C19

Thinking of Home

Certificate of Merit

Bill Hughes

C8

Early Morning Tan y Bwlch

Certificate of Merit

Keith Hughes

CP2

Red, White and Blue

Certificate of Merit

David James

DP

Across Dingle Bay

Certificate of Merit

John Kay

CP2

In Monument Valley

The Floyd Trophy for the Best Landscape Print

Malcolm Kingswell

C8

I’ll Have That

The Founder’s Cup for the Best Print Certificate for the Best Mono Print

Bill Maloney

CP1

Amaryllis

Certificate of Merit

Bill Martindale

C8

In a World of his Own

Singleton Trophy for the Best Wet Print

Bob Rawlinson

CP2

Red Kite

Certificate of Merit

Adrian Ripley

CP2

Weathered Facade

Certificate of Merit

Barry Roberts

CP1

Emerging

Certificate of Merit

Barry Roberts

CP1

Barn Owls

Certificate of Merit

Geoff Stevens

C1

A Study in Light & Shade

Certificate of Merit

Richard Vale

DP

Morning Web

Certificate of Merit

Richard Vale

DP

Swallow Tail

Certificate of Merit

Barry Willcock

CP1

Just Awake

Certificate of Merit

Barry Willcock

CP1

Making Music

Certificate of Merit

The Ellis Martin Cup has been jointly won by CP1 and DP

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

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I’ll Have That Malcolm Kingswell

The Founder’s Cup for the Best Print Certificate for the Best Mono Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS 32

What a pair of posers your dogs are, pity they didn’t have a bigger stick - haha. Great action shot, love the dog trying to get hold of the stick. The background is just soft enough to keep you eyes on the dog. The faces of the dogs are pin sharp. Super Image, thanks Malcolm.

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results


The Floyd Trophy for the Best Landscape Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

In Monument Valley John Kay

Super pin sharp right through to the rocks in the background, love the way the dead tree branch comes into the middle of the two-rock feature, it looks like a mythical beast looking for food. Great colours and print quality. Well-done John

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

33


Singleton Trophy for the Best Wet Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS 34

In A World Of His Own Bob Martindale

Long time since I have done any wet printing. Bill you have this place caught well with the old school and the mills. The print quality is spot on. Once you see the figure in the centre your eye is then drawn right to it again and again. This is one of my regular Sunday spots.

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results


Sitting On The Steps Richard Bown

Certificate for the Best Colour Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

To me the image is very simple, it is sharp clean, and it has shapes, patterns and just a little colour. The shape of the stair treads form a diminishing pattern from right to left held in by the handrails. The young lady is in the right spot, good skin tone on the hands and those RED SHOES, YES! Well seen, Richard.

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

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The Fascinator Ken Ainscow

The Norman Richards Portrait Cup

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS 36

Yes, Ken they do go together very well. The model for me is lit just right; the pose is great, the angle of the head spot on and the detail in the fascinator superb. The background is perfect, the contrast between the Edwardian lady and the twenty-first century works superbly well. Possibly tone down the reflection of the hand at the base of the image. The choice of the paper and the quality of the print is A1. Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results


Certificates of Merit - Print

Top Left: Across Dingle Bay Bottom Left: Barn Owls Right: Emerging

David James Barry Roberts Barry Roberts Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

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Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

Top Left:

Amaryllis Bill Maloney

Top Right:

A Study In Light & Shade Geoff Stevens

Bottom Left:

December Sunrise Richard Bown


Top Left:

Early Morning Plas Tan Y Bwelch Bill Hughes

Middle Left:

Trees Alan Edwards

Bottom Left:

Osprey With Trout Alan Edwards

Above:

Making Music Barry Willcock

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

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Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results


Top Left:

The Tack Room

Roger Edwardes

Bottom Left: The Time Machine

Graham Dean

Above:

Thinking Of Home

Bill Hughes

Top Left:

Red Kite

Bob Rawlinson

Top Right:

Looking Ahead

Ken Ainscow

Bottom:

New Brighton Groyne Ken Ainscow

Facing Page:

Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

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Top:

Weathered Faรงade Adrian Ripley

Bottom:

Just Awake Barry Willcock

Facing Page: Top Left:

Morning Web Richard Vale

Top Right:

Red, White And Blue Keith Hughes

Bottom Left:

Steve The Mechanic Roger Edwardes

Bottom Right: Swallow Tail Richard Vale

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Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results


Founder's Cup 2017 - Print Results

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PDI Results Michael P Atkinson Allan Bate Allan Bate Douglas Carberry Roger Edwardes Peter Henry Keith Hughes David James Frank Kent Eric Ladbury Eric Ladbury Eric Ladbury Maxwell Law Maxwell Law Kieran Metcalfe Alan Phillips Alan Phillips Kirsty Railton Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson Peter Redford

IC3 IC3 IC7 IC3 DSO IC3 DSO DSO IC8 IC5 IC6 IC8 IC4 IC5 IC7 IC5 IC5 IC8 IC1 IC1 IC3 IC4 IC4 IC4 IC5 IC7

City Center Racing Lioneye Dark Quays Tulip 1 Up for air Overflow Afternoon Tea Whatever the Weather HMS Belfast Choir, the Nativity and Ascension Window Sawmill On Lower Pond Near Osmaston Grotesque on South Wall Black Kites Mating Strontian Wreck Frosty Dawn Waiting Wet Self Portrait Kestrel at Nest Site with Vole Net Fisherman Ullswater Boat House Short Eared Owl 4 Kestrels Two Grouse Kingfisher War Museum Salford (We will remember)

Peter Redford J. I. Ross Martin Francesca Shearcroft Francesca Shearcroft Graham Snowden Graham Snowden Graham Snowden Graham Snowden Richard Walliker Dave Whenham Barry Willcock Stephen Yates

IC7 DSO IC1 IC1 DSO IC2 IC3 IC6 IC4 DSO IC6 IC4

Slalom Balla School rugby in the snow Faded Glory Canterbury Vaulting Please Share my Umbrella Driver With Fag 9466 Bus Stop Wet Day Etc Sinister Trees Lesser Whitethroat The Post must get through Lancaster Canal 2 Field Digger Wasp Subduing Fly Top Circle Salver goes jointly to DSO and IC3

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Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Best Landscape Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Best Portrait Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Best Colour Image Best Overall Image Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Best Monochrome Image Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit


Best Overall Image Best Colour Image

JUDGE’S

War Museum Salford (We Will Remember) Peter Redford

I found this image to have super colour and clarity capturing and promoting a feeling of what I felt the author was trying to convey about the subject.

COMMENTS Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

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Bus Stop Wet Day Etc Graham Snowden

Best Monochrome Image

JUDGE’S

This image takes the viewer right into that rainy night giving a last bus feeling whilst keeping a sharp image making great use of the reflections to create the whole story.

COMMENTS 46

Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results


Whatever The Weather David James

Best Landscape

JUDGE’S

I was taken by the atmosphere captured and portrayed in this image which took me right into the mystical woodland.

COMMENTS Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

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Self Portrait Kirsty Railton

Best Portrait

JUDGE’S

This portrait showed a real insight into the character of the subject and captured a real interaction between camera and model that is especially good in a self portrait.

COMMENTS 48

Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results


Certificates of Merit - PDI

Top Left: Bottom Left: Right:

City Center Racing Dark Quays Choir, The Nativity And Ascension Window Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Michael P Atkinson Allan Bate Eric Ladbury 49


Top Left: Bottom Left: 50

Afternoon Tea Keith Hughes Canterbury Vaulting Francesca Shearcroft

Top Right: Black Kites Mating Bottom Right: 4 Kestrels

Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Maxwell Law Bob Rawlinson


Top Left: Top Right: Bottom Left: Bottom Right:

Driver With Fag 9466 Frosty Dawn Field Digger Wasp Subduing Fly Grotesque On South Wall

Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Graham Snowden Kieran Metcalfe Stephen Yates Eric Ladbury 51


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Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Top Left:

HMS Belfast Frank Kent

Bottom Left:

Kestrel At Nest Site With Vole Bob Rawlinson

Bottom Right:

Faded Glory Francesca Shearcroft


Top Left: Bottom Left:

Kingfisher Lioneye

Bob Rawlinson Allan Bate

Top Right: Lancaster Canal 2 Bottom Right: Lesser Whitethroat

Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Barry Willcock Richard Walliker 53


Top Left: Top Right: Bottom: 54

Please Share My Umbrella Wet Overflow Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Graham Snowden Alan Philiips Peter Henry


Top Left: Bottom Left: Right:

Net Fisherman School Rugby In The Snow Tulip 1 Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Bob Rawlinson J. I. Ross Martin Douglas Carberry 55


Top Left: Top Right: Bottom: 56

Short Eared Owl Strontian Wreck Up For Air

Bob Rawlinson Maxwell Law Roger Edwardes

Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results


Top: Waiting Bottom Left: Two Grouse Bottom Right: Ullswater Boat House Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Alan Phillips Bob Rawlinson Bob Rawlinson 57


Top Left: Top Right: Bottom Left: Bottom RIght: 58

Sinister Trees Slalom Balla The Post Must Get Through Sawmill On Lower Pond Near Osmaston Founder's Cup 2017 - PDI Results

Graham Snowden Peter Redford Dave Whenham Eric Ladbury


Classic Cameras Geoff Leah showcases processing an image from his Soho Reflex. I thought that you may be interested to see a ‘photo taken by my latest compact camera (with lens it weighs around 7ibs). Whilst the cold weather was around (it still is!) I decided to see if one of my Soho reflexes could be persuaded to work. Initially the shutter (a vertical roller blind type, the size of a small garage door) was wheezing and running very slowly. The blinds appeared to be in good condition, so tiny amounts of WD40 were carefully applied with a small paintbrush, and time spent cocking and firing the shutter. The final result is that the shutter is still slightly slow (about 1/2 stop), but now reliably crashes down like the afore-mentioned garage door. The 3 lenses are fungus-free, but the viewing mirror is in poor condition. Fortunately the camera has a ground-glass screen at the rear, so this can be used for focusing. The bellows are light tight, and the movements (rise/fall and swing) function well. The main problem was the huge one of film. Four double darkslides came with the camera, but they are for glass plates, size 4.5 x 3.5 inches! Plates are not available, nor is film in this size. I therefore decided to try to cut-down some 5x4 inch film. This proved extremely difficult. It has to be done in total darkness, yet with a high degree of accuracy. Trying to use scissors to cut around a template proved impossible. Eventually, after much experiment and wastage of expensive 5x4 film I found the solution. I have a large guillotine, and by

making two “stops” out of layers of mount board I could cut the film. Firstly I cut it to length by sliding a piece of film up against the length “stop” making sure my fingers were out of the way, don’t forget this is in total darkness, then operating the guillotine. The “stop” was then changed, and each piece cut to width. The problem of having no glass in the darkslides was eventually solved by cutting pieces of thin glass to the correct size, then loading the darkslides in the dark with two pieces of glass back-to-back, with a piece of film on the outside surfaces. This “sandwich” was then slid into the darkslide. I had to be careful not to cut off the identifying notches on each piece of film, because without these it is impossible to know which is the emulsion side. Luckily my “Combo Tank” that I use for 5x4 is adjustable for 4.5x3.5 film. I made lots of mistakes, and wasted lots of film, but eventually got results from the camera and lenses. The ‘photo here was taken with the Ross “Xpres’’ 6inch lens and shows Denbigh Castle (the original print from which this was scanned has been enlarged slightly). The film was Fuji “Acros” developed in Prescysol. I also have an earlier model of the Soho, made by the Marion Company, so I might try to get this going some time. Pity I’ve nothing else better to do?

Classic Cameras - Geoff Leah

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Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...) Please tell us a little about yourself and your background I am a 70 year old pensioner with two sons, I have worked since being 15 and retired at 59, I have done various jobs I did three jobs that involved cutting, the last job I did I worked for a company who produced Automotive Fabric where I started as a Team Leader, finished up as the Maintenance Plan Administer.

How long have you been a photographer? Well from an early age probably from the age of 10, my Grandad was a photographer who had a shop and did black and white weddings I used to go to his shop and watched him printing. My Uncle Eddie ended up as picture Editor for the Daily Mirror, so I reckon it’s in my blood.

How did you get started in the hobby? I was given a medium format camera in my early teens, I dabbled at night school, and took holiday snaps, but got serious when my competitive body-building career finished, I was involved in body-building for 41 years and ran two gyms, when at the body-building shows I started taking photos of the competitors and if I knew them I would give them copies. I needed a better camera so I bought an Amateur Photographer magazine and saw an article on the Minolta 7000 the first autofocus camera, and was voted European Camera of the Year. so I decided to buy one, still in the film days then of course. My images improved no end with the purchase. I was then asked by a show promoter to cover a show for him, which in turn led me being asked to cover shows for a Body-building Magazine who I worked for as a freelance for 10 years, which got me into all the top shows, front row for free.

Who has influenced your photography the most? Cant really say anybody I just like to do my own thing and are self taught.

Which other photographers do you admire and why? I like Joe Cornish who’s photos always have fabulous evening or early morning light.

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How long have you been involved with the PPC and other clubs? Over 14 years, I was the Publicity Officer for 6 years, I am currently in 4 digital circles and one print circle. I have been in three camera clubs, Burnley, Bury and Padiham I was at Padiham for 25 years and have left recently where I was the Syllabus Secretary and Annual Exhibition Organiser for many years. I judge and give lectures at other clubs. Just a member of the Postal Club now.

Any funny/amusing stories from Rallies to share? At one of the rallies in Wales I was with Peter Redford and Les Walsh and we saw the trains running at the back of the hotel so we had a drive around the and saw a train line so we decided to wait for the next train to take some pictures we waited an hour and a half no trains so we give up, we found out later we were waiting on a different train line.

Are there any types of photographic “genres” you specialise in? Yes my favourite subject is wildlife mainly birds I also like landscape photography, I don’t do many portraits now I did have a full studio set up once, sold it. I have done well over 100 weddings which has helped to pay for the gear. Don’t do any now too much responsibility and hassle, was good fun though.

Are there any fads or fashions in photography you particularly like / dislike? I don’t like all this Photoshopping, I do the bare minimum. I am afraid I am also a JPEG man through and through. I am sick of people telling me you should be doing RAW. I have tried RAW on several occasions and quite honestly can’t see any difference. My images do reasonably well in competitions against RAW images so I am not changing.

Film or digital? Digital all the way, I had a darkroom where I had the full Monty in a bedroom three enlargers, stainless steel sink, Jobo, fridge, trays up to 30”x 20”loads of 5 litres of chemicals and

Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...)


Above: Abysinian Roller, Hammercop Below: Blue-chested Kingfisher, Black-winged Stilt, Verreauxs Eagle Owl All taken in The Gambia

Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...)

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Above: Longtailed Glossy Starling, Senegal Coucal Below: Shikra, Yellow-billed Shrike, Night Heron All taken in the Gambia Facing page: Castlerigg with Blencathra

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Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...)


more. I used to do all my own colour , black white prints and transparencies ,even ciba chromes , washing washing and drying to prevent contamination Grrrrr! I hated that the most. However I did like seeing a black and white image appear in the tray. No danger of going back to those days. I have a large format Epson printer now best thing since sliced bread. I do miss the smell of stop though that’s all.

What equipment do you currently use? I have quite a lot of gear, as I originally bought a Minolta all my lenses are Minolta/Sony A mount fit. I have 4 Sony cameras a 900A which is a full frame, two 77A s and a 77A mk11. My main lens for wildlife is a Sigma 500mm F4.5 I also use a Sigma 70-200 F2.8 which will auto focus with a 2x er. I have an Minolta 300mm F2.8 with a 2x er and a 1.4x er. The auto focus is a bit intermittent so don’t use it now. For landscapes I use the full frame with a Tokina 17-35mm F2.8 plus a Sigma 24-70 F2.8 I find these two lenses cover most eventualities. I have a few more lenses some primes. I use a Gitzo carbon fibre tripod. For my 500 I use a monopod, also use it as a walking stick for

my dodgy knees. For carrying my gear I have a wagon drivers foldable sack truck with big wheels which is great. I have two portable collapsible hides.

What has been your favourite camera over the years? Probably my Sony 77A mk11 my latest one I have bought, I had a Mamiya 645 Super, medium format film camera with three lenses you got some great quality. I had a MPP 5X4 camera which was great with all the angles you could get.

What is your best photographic achievement? Well in the Postal Club it must be winning the best image for two last consecutive years in the Internet Circles Founders Cup and some more stuff over the years in the PPC. I came 6th out of 138 in the L&CPU wildlife annual a few years back.

What do you like best about the hobby? It gets you out in the fresh air all over the country and as a pensioner it keeps you busy.

Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...)

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Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...)


If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs, where would you go?

Photographically what do you think is in store for you in the next five years?

Costa Rica, when this goes to print I will have been to The Gambia for the fourth time which is a great country and affordable. Saving up for Costa Rica.

Hopefully living for another 5 years.

If you could pass on just one tip about photography to a newcomer what would it be?

Do you have any ongoing projects you would like to share with members?

Left: Valley near Buttermere, Ashness Bridge, Langledales reflection

Yes, I have started printing my bird pictures on canvas I then varnish them and put them in a 7x5 frame without glass it gives an oil painting look. I want to produce about 200. then show them in Towneley Hall Burnley in an exhibition, I have had a chat with them and they seem interested. I would love to take a small party of photographers on an organised trip to The Gambia.

Above: My favorite tree near Keswick

Thanks Dave for giving me this opportunity on the 20 Qs.

Never think you are better than you are.

Bob Rawlinson in Twenty Questions (or less...)

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Neewer Ring Light David Ridley LRPS takes a budget ring light for a spin. A while ago I saw an article in the photo press about a ring light (not a ring flash) which was available for the incredible price of £20 … yes that’s right Twenty Pounds! Obviously at that price it grabbed my attention and having digested the article several times I thought “ok then for £20. it’s got to be worth a go!” Well, I must say I was suitably impressed with such a reasonably priced accessory from the moment I opened the box. The actual light can be used as a full ring of light or on half power which means that only 90 degrees of the 180 degree light is switched on which may be useful if side lighting is required. The light itself screws into the camera lens filter thread via one of the adaptors which are supplied with it in various popular thread sizes and are easily interchangeable from one size to another should a change of lens necessitate this. The coiled power cable which is permanently wired into the light housing connects via a jack plug into a small power unit that fixes onto the camera hot shoe which is a neat way to make it fully portable. The power from the unit is provided by either two AA batteries or from a mains adaptor (also supplied) should constant light be required over longer periods. However, I personally favour the battery option at all times as obviously there is no mains lead to get in the way of anything and I find batteries last a fair amount of time in any case. Like all batteries used in photo equipment the best option I’ve always thought to be alkaline ones which provide good power with minimal chance of leakage and these days can be purchased at a Pound a pack from one of several ’Pound Retailers.’ The choice is yours, but do remove the batteries from the power unit if not using it for longer periods of time and also remember to remove batteries when using mains power. If you’ve never considered a ring light simply think of it as a constant light that provides a shadow less or almost shadow less light to illuminate still life studies and smaller close-up objects etc., indoors or indeed outdoors or even as a fill-in/ boost to available daylight within it’s power output which

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could prove invaluable in many situations. Naturally it doesn’t have the ability to ‘freeze’ subjects that flash is able to do but then that’s not it’s purpose. The combination of a constant light and a digital camera make for easy focusing and the effect of the illumination you see is what you get making it easy to alter shutter speeds, apertures & ISO ratings as you feel appropriate in a given situation. Like flash you can just leave the camera set on AWB and use auto focus or manual focus as you wish. The accompanying images simply illustrate how well this accessory can perform with a variety of subjects, materials and backgrounds which were all taken one day whilst at our caravan in Cumbria. There are of course more powerful ring lights available with more sophisticated light switching options (at higher prices of course) but this Neewer offering is in my books a little gem! It is so simple to set up & operate but small & light enough to keep alongside other accessories in many peoples camera bag, yet has sufficient power for a lot of close-up situations. I just wish I’d come across it sooner. No prizes for guessing that I am totally satisfied with and can recommend the Neewer Ring Light which can only be purchased from Amazon (as far as I’m aware) and perhaps like me you may consider that for Twenty Pounds it’s worth buying if only to have for occasional use or simply to experiment with as the fancy takes?

Neewer Ring Light - David Ridley LRPS


David’s example images Top Row: Flower with Insect, Section of Lens Cap, Decaying Leaf Middle: Pencil with Card Background Bottom Row: Section of Gas Bottle Top, Slice of Cheese, Watch Face, Apple With Stalk.

Neewer Ring Light - David Ridley LRPS

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Notes From The Gulf John Pattison shares some thoughts on Societal Norms in Urban Photography There is in the present day a rising social pressure on the photographer shooting in urban areas to desist from taking photographs of the public going about their business at large, since the act of photographing is perceived as an invasion of the individuals’ privacy. The upswing in public opinion against street photography has a solid juxtaposition with the modern phenomena of the popularity of street photography across the planet, which for example borders on or even actualises public hysteria, particularly where photographs of children are concerned. The media and certain societal pressures because of paedophile activity have often fuelled this latter case. In addition and possibly in current political times the very real perception in the public’s view of terrorist activity has also driven down to photography on the street. The time of one being able to take a shot of a building for example now requires strict adherence to the law regarding trespass and private property. We have all read the reports of such instances in the photographic and general press and some of the readers of this article may have had personal experience of been accosted by ‘security’ persons or perhaps the Police for taking images. I am currently located work wise in Riyadh and here there is strict anti- photography laws against street photography of any kind be it of buildings and especially of people. In France, there are also strict personal privacy laws and some public buildings and monuments require the photographer to obtain a photography licence. In the UK some buildings in London are strictly off – limits to photographers and it is a similar case in Qatar and the UAE and to a lesser publicised degree in The Sultanate of Oman.

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Notes From The Gulf - John Pattison


In Qatar, I have personally been stopped by the Emiri Guard and requested to both show and then delete various images that were considered inappropriate by the Emiri Guard officer. It seems that I had captured a white wall that enclosed a Royal residence of which I was unaware and although that was not the subject I was photographing I did delete the images even though I was in a public place with no signage stating ‘No Photography’; it was the sensible thing to do to avoid arrest! In Abu Dhabi, several years ago, I was taking shots at the port when I was approached by the Port Police and again requested to show them my images. In this case, the Police did not ask me to delete any images, but it could so easily have been the reverse. Has the advent of urban and in particular the ‘people street’ genre of photography gone too far? Perhaps with some photographers it has. I am thinking in particular of those photographers (including a few famous Magnum photographers) who deliberately impose themselves into one’s personal space to grab a shot. Asking a stranger if one can photograph them seems to be far less than common practice. Taking the wider context of urban photography where architectural photography and environmental or even social commentary photography is the primary reason for shooting then as with many things in life it is to my mind a question of nuance and delicacy and observation of the laws applicable in that place at that time and there will always be the exception! Notes From The Gulf - John Pattison

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It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… I was listening to a radio four documentary about the “feather quill scratching” of Dickens. He resided in Kent, the county of my birth, and as I heard the narrator and her guest, a typesetter and printer historian, the thoughts of my childhood in this southern county came flooding back. I was drooling over the towns of Rochester and Chatham, and comparing “Charles’s” deterioration in his latter years; the failing of health and yet, the dedication needed to put his pen to paper for the nearing dead-line of his latest column in the local “Rag” up in London. My own recent medical dilemmas now beginning to recede, had allowed room in my thoughts for future planned (and dreamed), outings with the cameras; along with newly acquired knowledge, gleaned from photo magazines and local guides of locations across Britain read during months of confinement, yet to be fulfilled with a visit, which flooded every corner of my mind. The space therein now being connected as more literature and inspired thoughts collided in my now racing mind. As the clouds scudded across the greying skies, with hints of pristine blue peeping through the pressured greys and whites, so my cognitive dreams opened more doors to energise skills and schemes, raising destinations new and old, to areas of this inviting land. Much rushing from pages of half read tomes along with maps folded around the spine, the books with their bookmarks and tabs strewn through dog-eared leaves littered the room.

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I must move away from these reminiscences, to grab pieces of not yet mastered imagery. I have a void to fill, now left by departing ailments of aging and wear. Thus on a temporary lift of photographic euphoric heart to the summits passed and routes yet found. To these ends I have re-kindled an alliance with the local walking club (albeit I cannot keep their pace or distances gained). They do have regular coach outings, a part of the group activities I’ve missed; they actually stopped organising the trips due to no one filling the empty post of the organiser. Now resolved the journeys can once again be captured on film (sorry digital array). The first jaunt will be to York, an old favourite destination of mine, made in the past by coach, car or bicycle; and over the years walking of many of the walls and Roman routes, along the narrow streets, in search of that perfect view depicting a life of the past. Also of course the more recent history relating to steam travel a method of note not often undertaken, until recent years of retirement meant better valued ticket prices to the senior citizens of this land. So dream on of images captured and memories increased to while away with photo album or projected viewing. See you round the corner soon…

Eric's Corner - It Was The Best Of Times


Eric’s

C ne r or

Eric's Corner - It Was The Best Of Times

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Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members Photonews is published four times per year. 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.

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Eric's Corner - It Was The Best Of Times

Profile for PPC Photonews

PPC Photonews Spring 2017  

The quarterly magazine of the Postal Photographic Club. http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

PPC Photonews Spring 2017  

The quarterly magazine of the Postal Photographic Club. http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

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