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Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

Spring 2019

2019 Founder’s Cup Results Issue


Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

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Postal Photo Developments Sally Anderson A new name at the helm of the PPC!

Photographing Flowers in the Studio Barry Roberts Tips on how best to shoot your blooms

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Rubber Tramping Part 2

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Founder’s Cup 2019 Print Results

Maxwell Law More exquisite images from Max’s travels

PPC Judging Panel The results tables and winning images from the Print section

PENING

SHOT

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Low-cost Portable Light Tent

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Classic Camera

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Founder’s Cup 2019 PDI Results

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Circle Spotlight: IC11

David Ridley LRPS A review of a handy accessory.

Geoff Leah The rare but collectible Certo Dollina

PPC Judging Panel The results tables and winning digital images

Dave Whenham Members pick their favourite images from recent folios

Mixed Fruits by Mick Pleszkan This is a very simple straight forward image Mick tells us, with simple cropping and nothing else. The location was the indoor market in Belfast City, which is a top end market with prices to suit you will not find bargains here!


POSTAL PHOTO DEVELOPMENTS News and Updates from the new PPC General Secretary, Sally Anderson A new face in the hot seat! It is with a certain amount of trepidation that I write this as the new General Secretary of PPC. Firstly I wish to express a very sincere thanks to Dave Whenham who has been our General Secretary since taking over from John Kay in 2017. He has done a great task of not only doing both membership and general secretary tasks initially, but also writing and putting together the informative and interesting Photonews. Having now passed the baton over to me, I hope I will be able to the job at least half as well as he has done. I look forward to continuing to hear from Dave through Photonews and wish him well as he takes on other adventures in the future.

An introduction My name is Sally Anderson and I am resident in Lancaster. I joined PPC in January 2013 as an original member of IC1 and very proudly came first in the first round of the first online circle. Since then, I have to say, that has been a very rare occurrenc. I have been a member of most of the online circles over the years and am currently in IC2(open), IC8(mono), IC9 (non-scoring) and IC10 (themed) and currently circle secretary for three of those. I enjoy my photography but am often pushed to get out and take more images, so frequently rely on those taken whilst away on holiday. I do not come from a photographic background and really only started to take photos with a ‘proper’ camera in early 2000’s. However it is pleasing to have my daughter, Nicola, as member of PPC, although she only took up photography, using one of my older cameras, about eight years ago.

Progression As membership secretary for the last year, I have seen a rise in members to around 100 members, including members now in New Zealand, Thailand and the Middle East. It has also led to the number of online circles increasing to 13. It is sad to see the decline in print circle membership, but in the last month we have had several new print members, which is a positive step forward. The large print circles are popular, with a possible new non-scoring LP3 circle at some point in the

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next year. Sadly as each January comes round, we lose a few longer-standing members who though age, illness or personal circumstances do not renew their membership. If any are reading this now, we wish you well and hope you continue to enjoy to hearing about our progress through Photonews.

The challenge At this point I would like to send out a challenge to all members. In the last couple of months we have had several new members joining us as a result of being introduced to PPC by a friend or family member. Do you have any friends or family members that might be interested in giving the club a try? In Lancaster we currently have 14 members who are members of Lancaster Photographic Society and PPC. This has happened through people talking and sharing their experiences. If you are a member of a local club, could you share and perhaps bring in a new member? Several PPC members have parents, children, siblings and other extended family with a shared enjoyment of photography and have been introduced to PPC. You don’t have to be in the same circles! So my challenge is, could you share some of your images with family, friends and colleagues and show them our website and also Photonews. Perhaps they might be interested in giving membership of the club a try.

Founder’s Cup This edition of Photonews always carries important news about the Founder’s Cup, the first of our annual competitions. For those new to PPC, the competition takes the top 3 highest scoring images from each of the circles for each of the months through the year from February to January. Congratulations to all the worthy winners, both those who have won trophies and certificates of merits. It is good to see both new and long-standing members achieving successes in this competition. This year was no exception in providing our two judges with an excellent selection of images to judge, both prints and DPIs, which are judged by separate judges. I will not pre-empt the comments and results found further on in this edition, so take a look for yourself.

Finally I hope I will be able to continue to support John Kay, our president and the committee as well as Dave did and look forward to hearing from any members with suggestions or queries. Enjoy your photography and perhaps this quote will inspire you: “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” — Imogen Cunningham

Postal Photo Developments - Sally Anderson


Dave Whenham

Sally’s first image from IC1 (also the circle’s first winning image)

COVER PHOTO The Dragon and the Flame by Kieran Metcalfe Sunlight breaking through the clouds over Parkhouse Hill in the Peak District. The title refers to the fact that the hill is known locally as The Dragon’s Back. I was over the moon to have this image selected as the winner of the Campaign for National Parks #NP70Moments competition - a celebration of 70 Years of UK National Parks. As a result, it’s been featured in the national press and even ended up on Sky and regional BBC news. A bit of a whirlwind! Postal Photo Developments - Sally Anderson

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Photographing Flowers in the Studio Useful tips and advice from Barry Roberts for capturing the beauty of nature’s blooms Flowers are amazing things when you consider the variety and the complexity and colours in their construction, and because their life is so short it needs to be captured. I also like photography that is more than point and shoot, needing consideration and setting up and perhaps some ingenuity to solve a set design, composition or exposure problem. When I say “In the studio” I mean on the dining room table, between meals. Most of the flowers that I use are either out of the garden or cut flowers from Tesco, or other high street sources. Some garden flowers are in pots and if small enough are taken in doors, larger pots are photographed in situ but carefully set up so that there is no distracting background. Wild flowers are photographed in their environment, but that is another story. But the “behind the scenes story” here is one of DIY and innovation.

Equipment The camera, of course, is whatever you use for your serious photography, mine is either a Nikon D800 or D750, a tripod is essential so that the set up can be studied in detail , I usually

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use live view so that the whole image can be studied, including those important edges of the frame. A remote release is handy together with the camera’s mirror up facility, and as for lenses I use anything of a suitable focal length, usually a zoom such as 24-120. A fixed focal length macro means you are moving the tripod forward and backward all the time to get your framing, although I do use a Nikon 105mm micro for the underwater shots. Camera settings are ISO 200 or 400 depending on the conditions, if outside you will need a faster shutter speed because of possible subject movement due to wind and changing light. The aperture I use is usually around f/11 or f/16 to get all parts of the subject in focus, even f/22 at times. Using aperture priority the shutter speed takes care of itself but needs to be noticed in case too long shutter speeds are being set which could require an increase in ISO.

Types of Setup Cut flowers, singles or bunches, are usually set up in a small vase or jug, or any other appropriate photogenic container ( keep your eyes open when passing junk shops etc… ) care being taken with the composition, looking out for stray stems and leaves and overlapping blooms.

Photographing Flowers in the Studio - Barry Roberts


Plants that are growing in plant pots can be photographed either just as flowers or, if the pot is photographable, as a complete subject. I try to avoid plain plastic pots, they add nothing to an attractive plant. Underwater flowers is something I tried, successfully, for my ARPS submission. You immerse a bloom, suitably weighted, in a glass tank and wait a few hours for bubbles to form around the edges of the petals, and then with suitable lighting an attractive image can be obtained. The tank I use is home made from 5 pieces of plain glass stuck together with fish tank silicon glue. This is usually photographed with a macro lens ( micro if you use Nikon like me ). Plants outside, usually in the garden, are photographed by adding a background to hide fences and other plants. The enemy here is wind and the direction of the light which may require shielding. Sometimes a bit of fill flash is used if the shadows are too harsh, an overcast day is best. A useful accessory is a Wimberly Plamp ( PLAnt claMP, get it ?), a device that attaches to the tripod leg and the plant stem to reduce movement in the subject.

Backgrounds Background are where your DIY innovation comes in, the photographs here show what I have made, nothing very expensive. The basic background is a coloured card supported on a wooden stand built from scraps in the garage, never throw anything away, you never know when you will need it! Another background I use consists of 2 panels bought from the local DIY shop and stained (with stain that has been in the garage for years, left over from a previous job ). The problem was keeping the 2 panels upright and together so I had to “invent” a block that slotted on the top. The base here is a piece of chipboard with redundant kitchen tiles stuck on top. When using this I have to watch the edges to ensure I don’t get edges of the base in the frame. It all comes apart to be stored flat against the wall in the afore mentioned garage. A setup I like is with the infinity curve of a continuous roll of backing paper, not expensive if you don’t use the proper studio paper. The paper I bought was about £7 a roll off the internet, I got 2 rolls, one black and one white, 75cm wide and 20M long, so there is plenty to cut off and start again if it gets a bit shabby. The stand was again made of scraps in the garage at no cost.

There really is no limit to your ingenuity for backgrounds. But try to keep the background as far behind the subject as possible or you will suffer from unwanted shadows.

Lighting I do not use flash except as fill flash in out-doors shots where the ambient light is less controllable. Generally I prefer natural light but the room I use is North facing and not very well lit so I go for artificial lighting. The lights I use are a pair of 204 LED lights by “Bestlight” with adjustable brightness and powered by 6 AA (rechargeable) batteries or a 6 to 17 VDC power unit via a jack socket. The tripods, supplied with the lights as a kit, are by “Neewer”, all bought from Amazon at reasonable prices. I control the lights by masks cut from black card which slots in behind the filters supplied with the lights. The filters, magnetically attached to the lights, are a plain diffuser and an orange warmup.

Post Exposure Processing I will photograph in RAW with a low resolution JPG for viewing in Windows Explorer. The RAW file is then opened in Adobe Camera RAW from Photoshop Elements 15. I find that full Photoshop is unnecessarily advanced for my photography where I prefer to use a minimum of adjustment on the computer. By using artificial lighting, a tripod and a still subject there is no reason why the captured image should not be almost perfect if it is viewed before packing up the session, allowing retakes if some blemishes are seen in the low resolution JPG. Post exposure processing is usually limited to final cropping, levels adjustment, maybe some saturation tweeks and careful sharpening using high pass. So many prints are seen over sharpened. Sensor dust spots will, of course, be cloned out and the whole image examined under magnification on screen for unseen blemishes. A 5x7 print will then be made to see how the image looks on paper with larger prints in mind, the print having quite different characteristics to the on screen image. My preference is for prints rather than DPIs because a print can be studied and appreciated at leisure whereas a DPI is limited to temporary viewing and, for me, only suitable for showing holiday snaps.

Photographing Flowers in the Studio - Barry Roberts

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Photographing Flowers in the Studio - Barry Roberts


Photographing Flowers in the Studio - Barry Roberts

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Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law


Rubber Tramping Part II

France, and the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. Living in a tent and cycling was our means of taking a break. Another way of raising funds was to hire the van out whilst we took a cheap package holiday, but experience in Tunisia brought this idea to a close.

The second instalment of Maxwell’s journeys and adventures

There were some quite marginal and odd characters we met who were also full time on the road. The record stands at 13 years in the same Hymer. I say marginal as some of these people would be totally dependent on their van for a place to live, with no fall back. I say odd because the characters you meet are those who have often been the missing pieces of the jigsaw, like a fellow who said in 11 years of travel he had never got lost, as he never had a destination.

After 12 months on the road the experience of freedom to roam was still fresh. We planned a number of craft and country fairs, selling crafts and mounted images. To be honest the financial income just about covered the cost of a table, somewhere between £250 and £400 at a country fair for a week end, and £1000 for the Rutland Bird Fair. You have to shift a lot of stuff! I started doing exhibitions at Wildfowl and Wetland Trust venues. I exhibited three times at Martin Mere, once at Welney and once at Slimbridge. These brought a lot of interest, and a fair number of sales, and the opportunity to organise workshops. Due to the exposure in Lancashire at Martin Mere, a good number of camera club bookings followed, and I would do a 6 week mini tour of the clubs doing presentations. There would be great interest, especially from the newly retired men in the audiences of living off grid in a camper van, and I knew we were stirring dreams of breaking free of traditional norms. Garstang and Burnley have had presentations 4 times each! We also had the dilemma of how to spend the winter. Snow and frost is splendid when out in the wilds, waking up to early low sun in the most remote places, but the drudgery of rain and mud with many of the small campsites closed for winter had its drawbacks. The solution of course came in the European winter sun rallies organised by the camping and caravanning club, but that’s another story. We had agreed to try this life for 12 months, and at the time of review concluded that it was not enough. There were the little vicissitudes we all stumble across. Marion became a grandmother (Mooma) twice in the year. A good friend passed away and my mum was elderly and needed occasional care. But we were there when we were needed and moved on when we could. The other strange thing was that we still looked for work and wanted holidays. Summers were spent doing seasonal work on campsites to fund other trips. Sometimes we would park up the van and cycle on the tandem. One early trip involved disembarking the ferry at Bilbao and cycling with tent and all gear back to St Malo for the ferry back to Portsmouth. Other long-distance trips included the river valleys on Northern

The photography has always been there. A pic a day since January 1st 2011 and all uploaded into a Flickr 365 group of 50 members. I missed one pic, but I don’t obsess about the numbers, it’s simply a way of life. The 365 thing is really a picture blog, sometimes with all the intensity of preparation, anticipation and patience involved in wildlife photography, sometimes capturing the connection with the world around us in landscapes, and sometimes taking the quickest snap of the beer on the table in front of me. After Scotland in the last issue, the rest of the UK and Ireland is where I will focus with pictures from our travels. Many months have been spent in the southwest, as we have worked in Cornwall and Devon in the summer, but there are also many visits to Lancashire, Leicestershire and Hampshire / West Sussex, all places I have lived in the past. Wales and Norfolk / Suffolk are also favourites, so the travels are widespread.

Kestrel with Vole: Took a trip out to the marshes on the south of the Wirral, in the knowledge that forecast high tides might bring in the waders. It was November and I was hoping for Knot and Godwit. The light was changeable and dramatic, all very promising. Well the tide was high, the sun right in the lens and no waders, but lots of Gulls. They were picking off the voles that were having to swim for there lives on the flooded marsh. I locked onto a Kestrel as it picked up a vole, and tracked it onto a park bench, with some reeds screening me. That was the opportunity. Later in the day New Brighton too was very atmospheric, but this is my choice from the day

Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law

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Marsh Harrier: A Martin Mere image. We spent over 4 weeks staying in the van on a local farm, within walking distance of the reserve, so I would trundle in with big lens in my bike trailer, and spend time in the most favourable light. This was taken from the most glamorously named United Utilities Hide as the sun set. Chris Packham was most impressed with it on Autumnwatch, and the symmetry helped as the light was low.

Whooper Swan: Separating out a single bird from the Swan Hide at Martin Mere is really tricky. Its just so busy. Conditions were good, with fog / mist helping take away the busyness, and a gentle breeze coming from behind me ensuring the birds would glide in. White birds in gloom usually come out well. I took out the colour apart from its bill (there wasn’t much) and for good reason. I didn’t want to clone out the i/d rings, but they were bright purple and and took the eye. It happened on close inspection that it was ringed at Slimbridge, confirmed as the man who performed the ringing was at Martin Mere and purchased the image.

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Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law


Wild and Free: Life on the road was often an opportunity for my wife Marion to look at possible housing renovation projects. We had no tie with Devon, but really enjoyed the blend of remote moors, beautiful countryside and access to cities and transport links. Hence we took on a cottage that had stood empty for 10 years! In between times we would take frequent trips out onto the moor, and I really wanted to capture one of the ponies looking less than twee and cuddly. It helps to have a 100-400mm primed and ready to go.

Gannet in Flight: It’s another one of those where you watch for conditions i.e. light, wind and sun strength, make your decision and go to a certain spot with anticipation set high. In this case it was Bempton Cliffs, which in recent years has become ‘planet gannet’. The breeze needs to be offshore so that the birds hang in the air, and the time of day generally later so that the sun has a chance of coming around to light the birds. In this case I managed to get a dark cliff (well out of focus) behind the bird which all helps, and because the bird more than filled the camera frame, I cropped in a little. Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law

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Seals Bonding: The seals at Donna Nook are worth the trip, but the advice is get there early for the light and to do a recce to find the best vantage point, as you can be forced to be looking down at a 30 degree angle, which totally destroys and intimate feel in the image. I did get there early, but 5am was a tad excessive when first light is about 7.30am.This pair were slightly higher on a small dune which helped with getting to eye level.

Rainbow looking towards Carleton: Parked the van on a farm in Carleton near Skipton, as friends live there. Camera in bag as usual and on the way back from the great pub at Four Lane Ends, just had to stop for a while and capture the rainbow.

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Fireworks at Arnside: We found a small farm site at less than ÂŁ10 a night and so stopped for a month. Great cycling, visits to RSPB Leighton Moss, walks in the Lakes and Silverdale, selling cards in the coffee shop, meeting with other photographers and going ‘on shoots’. Top it all with fireworks on the pier, and its a sample of the freedom of rubber tramping.confirmed as the man who performed the ringing was at Martin Mere and purchased the image.

Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law


Scaleber Force: Visited fellow full time travellers and photographers, the Dilgers at Settle. Lovely area and up on the moor is Scaleber Force. It was late winter afternoon and I used my Tokina wide angle. Its impossible to fit filters to this globe of a lens, so low light really counted.

Battle of Naseby: I had only just invested in new kit, a Canon 7d ii and Canon 100-400 ii lens, and tested it out at this mock battle of Naseby. I come from South Leicestershire, and so one or two shots taken in the area, as we used park up on my mothers drive, sorting her out and at the same time catching up with friends and family. Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law

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Great Crested Grebes on the Soar lakes. Leicestershire again and early morning out with friend generally ‘birding’. The fishermen platforms were vacant and were perfect to get down so low that my 600mm lens was a couple of inches above the water. The Grebes were doing a bit of courtship, and this was one of the few within reach.

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Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law


Bittern at Lakenheath. We had just taken down an exhibition at the local WWT and I had an hour to walk down to the reedbed and hope I caught a Bittern. to be honest for such a scarce bird I have come across Bittern on at least 10 occasions. I was lucky here as although they take flight almost hourly on some days when nesting, this one took to the sky within 5 minutes of getting there and did a curved flight in front of me. No major cropping required.

Gorple Rocks. I used to live close to this place and I would pass these rocks two or three times a week on my longer runs. Hence on return in the motorhome I wanted to walk up onto the moors to photograph them, and Monochrome seemed the best option. Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law

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Seasick Steve. You cannot live off grid and not go to the occasional festival. Larger Tree was good as it was smallish, no more than 4000 people.For this shot I stuck camera and 400mm on monopod, did all the settings and focal distance and locked them in, set it on live view and 10 sec shutter delay, and raised the periscope. Leaning backwards at the same time to see that I was focussed on the right place I must have looked a little weird, but it got results.

Black Headed Gulls: Taken on Hayling Island when out looking for less common birds such as mergansers and Little Terns, I looked at possibilities with the huge flocks that kept taking off and tried to isolate the lead birds, to give the feel of being there.

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Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law


Puffin Portrait. I don’t do ‘pay and display’ as I don’t take satisfaction from somebody else providing the set up whilst I press the shutter button. This is about as close as I come. I paid for a ‘workshop’ on Skomer, South Wales, as it was the only way I could get to stay overnight on the island. Other very well known photographers had the same idea, and we had a great time. The big advantage was having the Puffins in early and late light, and having the opportunity to stay very still and close to the birds without disturbance. This one I took in the last rays of sunlight, which of course is impossible if you are on the last boat back at 3.30pm

Rubber Tramping Part 2 - Maxwell Law

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Founder’s Cup 2019 Printed Image Results Richard Bown CP1 Winter Morning, Law Dam Ken Ainscow DP Astley Green Pit Head Geoff Stevens C1 Ella - Miles Away Neil Bland DP Sundown at Brimham Rocks Ken Ainscow DP Rhino Ken Ainscow DP Critical Gaze Ken Ainscow DP Morris 8 Ken Ainscow DP St Michaels on the Wyre Ken Ainscow DP The Juggler Ken Ainscow DP Black Rhino Jon Allanson C19 Rajathan Elder Jon Allanson DP We Will Catch You Richard Bown CP1 A Kilometre to Go Richard Bown CP1 Pissed Off Roger Edwardes C19 Speed Demon Cliff Ferguson DP Artist at Work Roy Maddison CP2 Cedarwood Textures David Ridley DP Ornamental Mask Barry Roberts CP1 Tulips Against the Light Richard Vale DP Austrian Winter Jeff Waters C19 Choosing to Walk Jeff Waters C19 Not Their Kind of Music Jeff Waters C19 Awaiting Clearance Dave Whenham C1 Llyn Padarn’s Lone Tree Chris Woodcock CP1 Hairy Moment

Founders’ Cup for the Best Overall Print Certificate for the Best Colour print Certificate for the Best Monochrome Print Norman Richards Portrait Cup The Floyd Landscape Trophy 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 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 Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit

The most successful circle and winner of the Ellis Martin Cup is DP Large Print Circle Competition John Metcalfe Alan Edwards Dave Whenham

LP2 LP1 LP2

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS Tony Redford 20

Water Force from Birksdal Glacier Mad Max Media City UK

Certificate for the Best Print Certificate of Merit Certificate of Merit

The entry of 171 images provided quite a challenge, albeit a most enjoyable one. Such was the overall quality that even after a ruthless initial “cull” there were still over 50 left on the “short list”. Eventually these were whittled down to the 20 permitted for Certificates of Merit in addition to the Section winners. There will be many authors feeling a little hard done by, whose strong images have been seemingly overlooked, but all are subject to the personal preferences and prejudices of the judge of course and yours may have done much better at the hands of a different assessor. Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


The Founder’s Cup for the Best Overall Print Certificate for the Best Colour Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

Winter Morning, Law Dam Richard Bown

Successfully conveying atmosphere in a print isn’t easy but the feeling of a winter morning comes across here in spades thanks in the main to the softness and muted colour palette. The spikey foreground contrasts well with the misty trees in the distance but it’s that subtle touch of warmer tones, top left, which helps lift this into the winning slot. Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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The Floyd Trophy for the Best Landscape Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS 22

Sundown at Brimham Rocks Neil Bland

Great detail and natural colour throughout with any slight over sharpening serving to emphasise the textures in the rocks and fine detail in the tree. The angular shapes add to the feeing of bleak isolation. A most pleasing yet simple composition.

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


Certificate for the Best Monochrome Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

Astley Green Pit Head Ken Ainscow

If ever a subject suited the monochrome treatment, this is it. The strong lead-in to that pin sharp and stark pit head gear, the stormy sky and darkened surrounding foliage all serve to provide a compelling image, well handled.

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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The Norman Richards Cup for the Best Portrait Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS 24

Ella, Miles Away Geoff Stevens

Totally natural pose and expression which perfectly conveys the sentiment , as expressed in your title, of this lovely young lady’s thoughts being ”miles away”. And the print quality does it full justice.

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


Certificate for the Best Large Print

Water Force from Birksdal Glacier John Metcalfe

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS A picture full of drama. Any shortcomings in print quality are more than compensated for by the impact of white water crashing on rocks. The silhouetted figures on the bridge make a suitably strong focal point as well as emphasising the scale and from the sharp foreground, the eye is led in a strong arc right through to the falls entering top right. Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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Certificates of Merit for Print

Artist at Work Cliff Ferguson

St Michael’s on the Wyre Ken Ainscow

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Tulips Against The Light Barry Roberts

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


We Will Catch You Jon Allanson

Llyn Padarn’s Lone Tree Dave Whenham

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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Morris 8 Ken Ainscow

A Kilometre to Go Richard Bown

Not Their Kind of Music Jeff Waters

Austrian Winter Richard Vale

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Morris 8 Ken Ainscow

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


Choosing To Walk Jeff Waters

The Juggler Ken Ainscow

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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Awaiting Clearance Jeff Waters

Cedarwood Textures Roy Maddison

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Rhino Ken Ainscow

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

Ra Jo


ajasthani Elder on Allanson

Hairy Moment Chris Woodcock

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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Black Rhino Ken Ainscow

Ornamental Mask David Ridley Critical Gaze Ken Ainscow

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Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


Speed Demon Roger Edwardes

Pissed Off Richard Bown

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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Certificates of Mer Media City UK Dave Whenham

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Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results


rit for Large Prints Mad Max Alan Edwards

Founder's Cup 2019 - Print Results

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Low-cost Portable Light Tent David’s thoughts on a useful accessory for product and close-up photography 36

Low-cost Portable Light Tent - David Ridley LRPS


For a while now I’ve been considering purchasing a light tent although considering is probably not really accurate as it was more a matter that it was something that had been at the back of my mind for a while, you know one of those things you think ‘I’ll get around to that’. Well now I have!

The final piece that is supplied is the front cover made of the same material and white colour as the main structure which again is held in place by Velcro fastenings and has a good size central slit through which the camera lens is positioned thus ensuring even daylight enters the tent.

Some time ago I wrote an article on a ‘Neewer’ ring light which cost the princely sum of around £20, an accessory that I found useful, and still do. So, now that I was focused on the purchase of a light tent I was immediately drawn to a one that was also branded ‘Neewer’ that I eventually purchased from Amazon for just £13.99 and according to the short blurb on the web site it seemed exactly what I was looking for in size & portability and it came complete with four different colour backdrops. In round figures my own measurements of the tent is a generous 24” x 24” (width & depth) & 22” in height. The overall size is such that it can sit comfortably on a small size dining table but for my part however, even with a larger dining table, I didn’t purchase it with indoor photography in mind and in the main use it outdoors on a dry, bright and overcast day so I don’t have the chore of setting up lighting. For me this when a light tent comes into its own surrounded with bright natural light all around it. I find it convenient to place the tent either on an ironing board (to give better working height) or on a fairly large cardboard box which then sits on a patio seat at the rear of the house where it’s sheltered from breezes most of the time, and of course should it be a day when there is strong direct sunlight it’s a simple matter of moving the ironing board or the seat to a position that’s bright but out of the direct sun.

The main structure is in one piece and is always supported by the covered framework of thin flexible metal which can be collapsed by bending the whole thing flat for storage. I have discovered that when partially folded the tent then becomes flat with in effect three layers of the white material on top of each other to a size of approximately 24” x 22” which gives a good density of material which can be used as a white reflector for other applications whilst the framework around it provides a natural grip to hold onto when using it to reflect light.

The tent is constructed of a white semi-opaque nylon type material and is easily and quickly assembled. It comes in a neat zipped case complete with four coloured backgrounds all of the same material which can be attached inside the tent, secured by Velcro fastenings. I consider that the use of one of these is generally necessary as they reduce the amount of backlight entering the tent but also create a smooth plain coloured curve from the base of the tent and therefore form a complete backdrop. The colours supplied are red, blue, black and of course another piece of the same white semi-opaque material used in the main construction which gives a clear/clean white background to the object being photographed. When I received the package the coloured backgrounds were obviously folded and showed the fold marks which I decided to remove as I wanted to ensure that the backgrounds were completely smooth, so although as I’ve said the material is of a nylon type I decided to remove the creases with a steam iron set to a medium heat and applied through a clean thin tea towel which has proved successful and didn’t cause any damage. Of course the great thing about a light tent is that it’s a semi-controlled environment that can give rise to a little experimentation such as making and using backdrops of your own materials and/or using other objects as background props to compliment the subject(s) being portrayed.

As far as the coloured backdrops go the white & the black are for me the most useful colours and whilst I consider the other colours may get the very occasional outing I certainly think it will only be occasional because plain white or black (in that order) will be the ones that will nearly always produce the results I am likely to want. For my own usage I’m likely to enjoy a photo session with it for a few hours at a time, but probably like a lot of fellow photographers this isn’t an accessory that would be in regular use although I believe it’s not unlike many accessories we acquire in the respect that it’s worth having as part of ‘our kit’ and for the very reasonable price and for the overall quality I can thoroughly recommend this accessory even if it’s only used now and again it’s certainly worth owning at such low cost ...... even if it’s just on the basis of “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!”

Low-cost Portable Light Tent - David Ridley LRPS

The tent packs down into compact storage bag

The three included backdrops

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Classic Cameras CERTO “DOLLINA� 1937 There probably are few people who have heard of the German Certo Camera Werk. Founded in 1902, their first camera was released in 1905. The first Certo cameras were mainly folding types, using glass plates or roll film. When Kodak released their 35mm. format film in 1934, Certo decided to make a camera which could use this film. The original Certo did not have a rangefinder, so when the Certo 2 was released it had a rangefinder that also was coupled to the focusing system. This works by moving the whole lens/shutter assembly back and forth. A separate window next to the viewfinder is utilised for the rangefinder, which is of the splitimage type. When released to the public the Certo 2 was a top-of-the-line camera, with a variety of non- interchangeable lenses available to order, and a top shutter speed of 1/500th sec (this was very un-common at the time). My model has the Zeiss Tessar 50mm. f2.8 lens, set in a Compur-Rapid shutter, speeded to 1/500th sec. There is no built-in exposure meter. There are three knobs on the camera top, one for film advance (the shutter has to be cocked manually), one small one for film re-wind, and a large one on top of the rangefinder which focuses the lens. This knob is also calibrated to give a manual read-out of the taking distance, should it be required. On the rear of the camera is a depth of field table. The Dollina has quite a following amongst camera collectors, and they are un-common in the UK.

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Classic Cameras - Geoff Leah


Founder’s Cup 2019

Projected Digital Image Results Michael Atkinson

IC4

Starling

Certificate for the Best Colour image

Allan Bate

IC2

Eus

Certificate of Merit

Peter Biebrach

IC3

Hot shoe

Certificate of Merit

Pat Couder

IC7

West Pier Sunrise

Salver for the Best Landscape Image

Roger Edwardes

DSO

Front Crawl

Certificate of Merit

Roger Edwardes

DSO

Speed Demon

Certificate of Merit

Michael Freeman

IC1

Red In The Face

Certificate of Merit

Mandy Foreman

IC8

Pack Up Ya Troubles M

Certificate of Merit

Charlie Gott

IC5

The Lone Tree

Certificate of Merit

Ruth Lochrie

IC11

Sarah Angel

Certificate of Merit

Maxwell Law

IC4

Short Eared Owls

Certificate of Merit

Maxwell Law

IC4

Wren

Certificate of Merit

Rodney Marsh

IC11

Clouds and Mountains

Certificate of Merit

Rodney Marsh

IC11

Just missed

Certificate of Merit

Rodney Marsh

IC11

Watching

Certificate of Merit

Kieran Metcalfe

IC7

Higgar tor from carl wark

Certificate of Merit

Kieran Metcalfe

IC7

Mam Tor Summit

Certificate of Merit

John Murray

IC2

Goodbye

Certificate of Merit

John Murray

IC2

Smile

Certificate of Merit

John Murray

IC8

The Race

Certificate of Merit

John Murray

IC8

Together Apart

Certificate of Merit

Peter Nutkins

IC7

Bluebell Dream

Certificate of Merit

Peter Nutkins

IC7

Harry

Salver for the Best Portrait Image

Alan Phillips

IC10

Angles

Certificate of Merit

Kirsty Railton

IC10

Blueberries

Certificate of Merit

Kirsty Railton

IC3

Kieren141

Certificate of Merit

Simon Rhodes

IC3

The games people play

Certificate of Merit

Graham Snowden IC6 Standing Stones On Hill

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

Salver for the Best Image Certificate for Best Mono Image

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Graham Snowden

IC3

Tate modern stairs

Certificate of Merit

Graham Snowden

IC3

Teton storm

Certificate of Merit

David Steer

IC11

Flute

Certificate of Merit

David Steer

IC11

Tree

Certificate of Merit

Dave Whenham

IC11

Blue Hour Llyn Padarn

Certificate of Merit

Stephen Yates

IC4

Roosting Cormorant

Certificate of Merit

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS Alf Myers

I work in the world of IT and it constantly tries to hold captive my creative and artistic side, however with a camera in my hand I can explore and create. For 29 years, give or take, photography has been around in my life, from the film days to the early days of digital, to now and at each stage, I’ve can safely say grown and developed. I personally don’t think we ever stop learning and improving. The urban, street and candid genres of photography are where I started and grew up. However, it is the world of Street Photography that now inspires me and helps to give a style to my portraits and weddings shots when I’m privileged to be asked to do them. 419 images, so many to look through and of a high quality too. Covering the full range of genres from nature (there were sufficient images there to have a category all on its own), portrait, sport, landscape, macro and street. Each genre represented strongly and with good technical skill. For me, when I look at an images I like them to trigger an emotion and inspire my mind to tell the story that the author wants to present. Now that reacTon can be it a positive or negative, calmness or joy, wonder or intrigue – but it needs to be there, and the simplest of images can trigger that. I’m glad to say that my journey across these 419 images gave me all of those.

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Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Salver for the Best Image Certificate for the Best Mono Image

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

Standing Stones on Hill Graham Snowden

For me an images needs to trigger an emotion, spark the imagination and tell a story above and this image does that in spades. The use of composition, contrast, grain and mood really add to that emotional connection. Would love to see this image printed to a large scale. Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

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Certificate for the Best Colour Image

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

Starling Mike Atkinson

A relatively simple images but the attention to detail is spot on. Background soft and defused with no distraction pulling you away from the beautifully sharp starling. Layered on top of all that is the way the irradiance of the feathers has been captured and brought out. A generally black bird has been shown to be full of colour with blues and purples coming through. A cracking example of a relatively common native bird being displayed to its best.

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Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Salver for the Best Landscape Image

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS

West Pier Sunrise Pat Couder

There is a composition that draws you into the skeleton of what is left of the pier. That along with the misty waters of a long exposure and the pastel tones makes for a compelling landscape.

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

43


Salver for the Best Portrait Print

JUDGE’S

COMMENTS 44

Harry Peter Nutkins

A rather captiviating shot, and I found the use of negitive space really added to the shot and somehow helped you to focus in on Harry. That negitive space and the boxes help to tell you how “small” Harry is yet at the same time draw you into his character. Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Certificates of Merit - PDI

Eus Allan Bate

Flute David Steer

Frront Crawl Roger Edwardes

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

45


Clouds and Mountains Rodney Marsh

The Race John Murray

46

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Tree David Steer

Hot Shoe Peter Biebrach

Bluebell Dream Peter Nutkins

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

47


Sarah Angel Ruth Lochrie

Watching Rodney Marsh

48

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Blueberries Kirsty Railton

The Lone Tree Charlie Gott

Mam Tor Summit Kieran Metcalfe

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

49


Tate Modern Stairs Graham Snowden

Higgar Tor from Carl Wark Kieran Metcalfe

50

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Kieren141 Kirsty Railton

Red In The Face Michael Freeman

Smile John Murray

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

51


Teton Storm Graham Snowden

Just Missed Rodney Marsh

Goodbye John Murray

52

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Wren Maxwell Law

Angles Alan Phillips

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

Blue Hour Llyn Padarn Dave Whenham

53


Speed Demon Roger Edwardes

Pack Up Ya Troubles M Mandy Foreman

Together Apart John Murray

54

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results


Short-Eared Owls Maxwell Law Roosting Cormonant Stephen Yates

The Games People Play Simon Rhodes

Founder's Cup 2019 - PDI Results

55


Circle Spotlight: IC11 Joint Editor Dave does what he is so good at and picks on IC11 for this Circle Spotlight. He asked members to nominate their favourite image from the last six folios and to explain why they chose it. The images presented here give a small flavour of the quality of photography to be found in IC11 Flooded Stairs Stuart Roberts Stuart is the newest member of IC11, indeed at the time of penning this spotlight article he has yet to participate in a folio. However, he kindly sent me this image from a cold and windy morning at Louisa Bay near Broadstairs. “I’m pleased with the way the image turned out, considering I was at almost full zoom and not using a tripod. I was trying to balance the organic nature of the waves against the brutalist concrete of the stairs. The balustrade acts like a barrier between Mother Nature and Man Made creating a sort of ying and yang drawing you in to a few somewhat insignificant people.” A great start to your PPC membership Stuart – I hope you have a long and productive relationship with the Club.

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Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham


Flute David Steer The March folio in IC11 is an occasional themed one and the chosen subject is macro and close-ups. David’s image here, Flute, is currently the highest scoring image in this year’s IC11 competition and would have fitted the theme wonderfully. I asked David about the image: “I noticed the flute at the back of the drinks cabinet catching some back-light. I’ve rotated and put it on an angle to try make a more abstract image. It’s indicative of my photography that I stumble across images then fiddle with them to try and make them work.” Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham

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Poppy Emerging Pat Couder Circle Secretary Pat had no hesitation in selecting this lovely image of a poppy as her favourite from the last six months. Why? “Because it was blowing a gale and although I had it fairly stable with a Wimberly Plamp it was still tricky to get sharp, handheld. I hate tripods! I also like flowers and I wanted to take the poppy in a different stage of its development as opposed to being fully open.�

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Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham


Tulips Rodney Marsh Rodney’s choice from his recent uploads is Tulips from September 2018 which gained equal first place and an average score of 9.0. I asked him why he chose this particular image from his impressive portfolio. “Because it is very different from my normal image and was great fun to create. I love soft pastel colours. Additionally, it is sometimes nice to break the rules and get away with it. The main tulip is on the left edge of the images, nothing is sharp; yet it has been appreciated everywhere I’ve shown it. I hope one day to be inspired again!” Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham

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New Love Ruth Lochrie Ruth has only been a member for around five months but is quickly getting her feet under the IC11 table as it were. Asked why she chose this image, which has yet to grace a folio, she said “… it’s one of my favourites of this year so far. A new-born first child 7 days old, depicting New love. It’s something I’ve tried to create a couple of times and 3rd time lucky I think I cracked it!“ I think we would all agree that she has indeed ‘cracked it’ with this lovely mono image.

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Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham


Working Girl Harry Wentworth Harry is one of the newer members of IC11 having only joined in February of this year. His entry, “Working Girl” is a composite as he explains: “ The background of Manhattan was taken from the ferry coming back from Staten Island on a trip to see the Statue of Liberty and has been stretched and de-saturated in PS, the ‘road’ at the bottom is part of skyscraper background re-shaped to give perspective . The figure is my grown-up daughter taken at home in a business suit.” Welcome to IC11 Harry and I look forward to seeing more from you in the coming months and hopefully years. Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham

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To view more of our images, learn about the club and for membership information, please visit postalphotoclub.org.uk

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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Circle Spotlight: IC11 - Dave Whenham

Profile for PPC Photonews

PPC Photonews Spring 2019  

Celebrating the PPC and its members. This issue sees the announcement of the Award-winning images from the 2019 Founder's Cup competition....

PPC Photonews Spring 2019  

Celebrating the PPC and its members. This issue sees the announcement of the Award-winning images from the 2019 Founder's Cup competition....

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