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Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

Summer 2019


PENING

SHOT

Harry by Dave Whenham We all get out regularly to take photographs but how many of us make a point of shooting every day? Over six hundred days ago Max invited me to join a 365 group on Flickr and I’ve taken a picture a day, every day since. One big bonus is that I’ve captured so many moments with the grand children that would have been missed if I didn’t keep a camera close at hand.


Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

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Postal Photo Developments

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Digital Manipulation

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Can you help your club?

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Barry Roberts: My First 12 “Firsts”

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Rubber Tramping Part III

John Kay & Dave Whenham An update on the goings-on at PPC HQ

David Ridley LRPS Can manipulation be taken too far or is just another form of expression?

The PPC Leadership An important appeal to all club members

Dave Whenham A departure from the normal 20Qs styles, reviewing Barry’s earliest successes in the circles.

Maxwell Law Max’s journey takes us to Portugal

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From the Webmaster

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Audio Visual

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Graham Dean Some thoughts on the earliest examples of photo-manipulation

Dave Whenham Dave’s notes on AV after the session at the PPC weekend

Notes from the Gulf: A Fujifilm Retrospective John Pattison John’s images from a range of Fuji cameras

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Classic Cameras

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Eric’s Corner - An Eye for IR

Geoff Leah The collapsible Kodak Premo C

Eric Ladbury The different results you can get from an IR-Converted Camera

COVER PHOTO A Close Shave by David Steer “I like the idea of taking portraits and have a wife who will sit for wine. But capturing expression in the bribed has proved elusive. As a result it’s me in the frame. I started off with a disposable but managed to borrow a cut-throat.”


POSTAL PHOTO DEVELOPMENTS News and Updates from Club President, John Kay Normally it would be Sally that was giving you an update on the latest news from around the PPC Circles, but I am sorry to advise that Sally is seriously ill in hospital and has had to stand down as the club’s General Secretary. Sally has been keeping her many friends updated via texts and emails and is very appreciative of the chatty messages people have been sending to her. Dave Whenham and I will be your point of contact until someone else takes over as Gen Sec. We have welcomed several new club members during the first half of this year; we now have 20 active circles operating and membership must be close to, or at, our all-time high. There is no doubt that the move to include on-line circles, with our own bespoke software, has encouraged more devotees of photography - the prince of hobbies - to enjoy the pleasure of seeing and contributing to a monthly folio of pictures by fellow circle members ; usually people that you would have never known. It is also heartening that the number of print circle members is holding strong. Don’t forget, it is easy to add a print circle to your membership if you are only in an Internet circle. Take a look at the PPC website to find out more.

Jack Swindlehurst. 1936 -2019. PPC Honorary Life Member. I am grateful to Barry Roberts ARPS, of Circle LP1, for sending me a copy of tribute from Padiham PS to Jack Swindlehurst. Jack’s health had been failing during the last year and he died in May.

long exposures, they had to make sure no trains were passing otherwise the vibrations would ruin the print. Jack can also be rightly described as a stalwart of the PPC, having become a member in 1973. For many years he was the Circle Secretary of Mono Print C3 and he was a founder member of our colour print and colour slide circles when they were introduced. Jack was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the PPC in 2010 and continued to participate in monthly circles up to 2015. Jack was married to Rona for 63 years and both of them were known to the wider club membership, as they regularly attended the PPC annual rallies - usually staying in their motorhome and calling in to the evening events.

The Annual Print and PDI Competitions You should all by now have received your invitation to submit entries for this year’s Travelling Exhibition competition. Two emails sent out early in June, one for the print competition and the other for the digital competition. If you have not received them then please let me know ASAP so I can resend them – we don’t want anyone missing the opportunity to participate. Everyone is entitled to enter up to eight images regardless of how many Circles they participate in. Full instructions on how to submit your entries are given - please read them carefully because they are NOT the same as last year.

Jack was described as a stalwart of the Padiham Club, having been a member since he was a young boy. During his lifelong membership of the club he undertook all the official offices of the society, including the office of Club President. One section in the fond tribute tells of Jack’s father helping him to make his first B&W print at the age of 10. They lived in a house near the railway in Padiham and, because the darkroom prints needed

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Postal Photo Developments - Dave Whenham

John Kay


From the Editors’ Chair(s) As ever Kieran and I would like to start by thanking the stalwart regular contributors without whom this and previous issues of Photonews would not have happened. I have been editing and producing, more recently co-producing, Photonews since Spring 2014 and it is becoming increasing difficult to attract unsolicited material so the receipt in the post recently of a CD with prospective articles from David Ridley was a more than welcome surprise. Anyone else wanting to submit articles without being nagged by myself would be welcomed with very open arms! At the risk of sounding like a broken record this is YOUR magazine and Kieran and I can only produce four issues a year with YOUR support. Newcomer or veteran to the hobby you all have something of interest to your fellow members – so get in touch – if you are concerned about writing a full article then I will happily offer guidance or even ghost write the piece on your behalf. The Autumn issue will as ever be largely handed over to the Travelling Exhibition (TE) results, so I am looking for material for Winter 2019 and Spring 2020. Without a steady flow of material, written articles or image portfolios, then I’m afraid we will need to revert to two issues per annum next year which will be timed to coincide with the Founders Cup results and of course the TE. Having got that out of the way can I draw your attention to particular two pieces in this issue. In his Presidential note John mentions the very sad news that Sally Anderson is unwell, as some of you will already know of course, and has therefore stepped down from the General Secretary’s chair. If any of you would like messages passed to Sally, then feel free to let me have them and I will ensure they are passed on. I know that several of you are regularly in touch with Sally already and I also know how much she appreciates the regular updates and news.

The second very important item is the Situations Vacant notice. We rely heavily on volunteers to run various aspects of the Club and as with most clubs this tends to be a tiny percentage of the membership. We currently have a vacancy for a General Secretary and are also looking for someone to take over the Treasurers role from Stuart towards the end of the year. If you have the skills and could offer your services to ensure the continuation of the Club then please let John Kay know as soon as possible; you don’t need to have been a long-standing member all that is needed is the skills and the enthusiasm to help keep this proud old club running. So, that is all from me this time around. It is a smaller edition compared to some we have produced in the last five years, but I am sure there will be something of interest to all of you within these pages. All the best Dave Whenham

CAN YOU HELP YOUR CLUB? Have a look at page 11 for more details about what we need Postal Photo Developments - Dave Whenham

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Digital Manipulation David explores different techniques and the potential they can unlock I hope that in this article I may provide some ‘food for thought’ on the area of our activities commonly referred to as ‘Image Manipulation’ which in this digital age could strictly be interpreted as any manipulation whatsoever (including minor tweaking, cropping, mono conversion etc.,) carried out using software, and by software I don’t just mean the software in a computer I also mean software in a camera or other imaging device that is used for any alteration or enhancement to an image once we’ve taken/recorded it. So I reckon most of us are using digital means to manipulate images in some form or other for images we select for display, competitions etc. I perhaps can hear some exclaiming well what’s new? Indeed there isn’t anything new about manipulating images as such, and that of course is the point, only that we now mainly use computers rather than darkroom techniques and sometimes a combination of both! When viewing an image that has been manipulated in software I believe that one should always have firmly at the back of one’s mind that such results have evolved from a ‘wet process’ carried out in a darkroom, to a ‘dry process’ performed on electronic equipment, and after all it’s always been the result that counts hasn’t it? Today it’s obvious that we can replicate many darkroom techniques in a fraction of the time and can also achieve a measure of consistency by simply storing our own ‘recipes’ in our chosen software programmes, but we also have the opportunity to experiment with manipulation far beyond what was previously possible or feasible. We certainly do live in an exciting age with many possibilities and far fewer limitations, in fact I often think there aren’t any limitations except imagination. We photographers have ‘never had it so good!’ Now some will undoubtedly ask themselves if the alterations of photographs are carried out in order to create ‘finished images’ of what could loosely be termed as ‘a piece of art work’ and indeed are they still photographs? Perhaps some don’t even give it any thought and just think to themselves that’s not a proper photograph! They have obviously lost sight of the fact that such images were made using photography and current photographic techniques/processes that are available today. I also know some believe there is a line (albeit imaginary on their part) that once crossed changes photography into another art form, although they don’t seem to know what that art form is! Well my friends there are no doubts in my mind that the results are still and will always remain photographs, no matter the amount of manipulation applied, because they can never be anything else, bearing in mind that as alluded to they have been created solely using photographic processes.

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Digital Manipulation - David Ridley LRPS

“Freedom of the sky”


This brings me to explore a little some of the ‘manipulated’ photographic image techniques of today and yesteryear, manipulations which have been progressing in numbers of actual techniques discovered starting from the birth of photography itself, and this will no doubt continue providing results that are different to simple ‘record shots’ regardless if any of us as individuals like it or not! From almost the dawn of developing monochrome images the toning of prints became an accepted practice (which of course is in itself a form of manipulation) and whilst some of these

“5960” surviving prints often have a tone that we today find attractive it was a case that some tones were achieved with chemicals that enhanced the stability of the print which was the actual reason the process was applied & the reason there are still some of these around. Now of course exact replication of these tones is not possible due to the ageing of time and also we don’t have access to the papers that were used, but never the less it’s still popular to tone prints using today’s software for the pleasing of our visual senses and it would seem that the most common tones still used on mono prints are Selenium, Duo Toning, Warm & Cold Tones and Sepia, although with software the shades & densities are virtually limitless. For colour manipulation we are again spoilt for choice and are able to not only add colour casts but have at our disposal pre-sets offering specific replication of iconic colour films, both colour negative & reversal, like Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Agafacolour, and Fuijichrome to mention just a few, and even these presets can be ‘tweaked.’ We also have the continued ability to ‘cross process’ colour that was initially done using chemicals when an E-6 process was applied instead of a C41 and vice versa. However, the visual results of both mono tones and colour manipulations will when printed vary depending on the chosen brand of printing paper, the type of surface and the finish i.e.. glossy, matt etc., but although we are able to further manipulate to get the image we’re happy with, the base tint of papers will always have an effect on visual results just as in a traditional sensitised papers used in darkrooms do.

“Blackpool Tram No. 147”

I hope most would agree that to a greater or lesser extent manipulation in the main starts from the time we prepare an image for ‘showing’ without much thought that in fact we are actually manipulating it. It maybe we’re only converting to mono, toning a mono print, replicating the colour of a

Digital Manipulation - David Ridley LRPS

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were still wet and then place the negative part on to a suitable paper, often artist’s watercolour paper, and apply substantial pressure to the negative via a rubber roller which created a transferred image to the paper when removed. Whilst results were very hit & miss some odd and often pleasing images were the result but naturally as in effect it was a form of contact printing the final size was quite small but could if required be re-photographed onto negative or reversal film. The term ‘Polaroid Transfer’ was born and now it’s replicated in software and naturally as the results are viewed on screen a great amount of ‘tweaking’ to produce an effect you want can be easily achieved. Again a form of manipulation!

“Dolbadarn” particular film, dodging & burning, adding a graduated ND filter, sharpening, selectively blurring, cropping, adding a border, going high key or low key, converting to infrared, adjusting contrast, applying soft focus and so forth. All of these actions are of course definitely manipulations but perhaps never thought of as such due to most of the ‘every day alterations’ we make we not only accept as normal practice or enhancements or perhaps as already mentioned, simply ‘tweaking.’

Now what about some heavier manipulations that may be thought of as having crossed that imaginary line? The first that comes to mind is solarization and although made popular by the photographer Man Ray in the twentieth century when his assistant accidentally turned on the darkroom light before a print had been fixed and upon seeing the effect and fixing it for later examination, Man Ray liked the result and went on to use solarization for many of his future prints. This technique went on to be later used in colour work but results were never precisely predictable in either medium with chemical processes but of course are very much controllable in software for both mono & colour which means we can produce as light or as heavy a result as we choose. A form of manipulation? Of course!

Not what I could term as regularly, but I do quite often see, are images that are what’s termed ‘pop colour’ and whilst this technique doesn’t lend itself well to all subjects it can have quite an impact on the right image, but I must say listening to other photographers it seems it’s one of those things that’s either liked or hated! ‘Pop Colour’ is easily achieved with software and is naturally another manipulation! There are options available to change the colour of a particular item within a photo, options to clone items out, options to insert items and even options to create many paper surface effects like watercolour paper, and of course cross processing already mentioned. Once again more manipulations! I’ve used the term Heavier Manipulation because of that imaginary line already mentioned that some who could be referred to as ‘purists’ think that some manipulations (especially when done by them) is OK but also seem to think some other manipulations aren‘t acceptable, although I wonder if any of them have thought it likely that in past times when some manipulations were first used, which we now consider as simply enhancements, that there were those at the time who also thought that a line had been crossed? Is there a difference between enhancement and manipulation?

Another interesting effect came to the fore during the heyday of Polaroid ‘peel apart’ film. It was discovered that after an image was photographed rather than waiting the recommended time to peel apart the negative from the print it was possible to peel them apart earlier when the chemicals

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Digital Manipulation - David Ridley LRPS

“Tyne Bridge”


Mono - Normal

Mono - Sepia

Mono - High Key

Mono - Low Key

Fujichrome Velvia 100

Kodak Elite Chrome 100

Mono - Cyanotype Tint

Kodachrome 64

Mono - Platinum Tint

Mono - Cool Tone

AGFA Optima 400

Fuji 160S

Kodak Porta 160NC

Kodak Porta 400NC

Digital Manipulation - David Ridley LRPS

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Of course not! I suspect that many would prefer the term enhancement as it sits more comfortably with them when viewing with an image that could perhaps be outside their comfort zone? As everyone’s aware it’s currently possible whilst sitting at the computer to not only replicate techniques that we feel enhance our photographic offerings but to ‘experiment’ with or indeed discover/invent other results that please us, just as those before us did within the limitations available in their time, and who knows in the future there may be others trying to replicate some effects the digital age has made possible but whilst doing so maybe creating new effects themselves. I only wonder if some newer possible techniques of today together with techniques from our past will all by then simply be considered as accepted practices although it’s perhaps likely some future photographers will also have an imaginary line when presented with an image that’s been manipulated differently than to what has gone before their era, or simply the techniques they actually limit themselves to? If we have any doubts we only need to recall the various styles of paintings produced over the years from traditional, impressionist, modern etc., and I think that without doubt there would have been those with whom some styles didn’t sit well.

So today as in the future there are some that offer, and some that will no doubt offer at a future time something away from the current mainstream, because photography like all things evolves over time and that’s there to be embraced as it’s surely exciting!

“The Sign of the Apothecary”

“Glass Flowers”

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Digital Manipulation - David Ridley LRPS

“Practical and Ornate”


CAN YOU HELP YOUR CLUB? There are open positions within the PPC - are you able to take on a role? As you will have read elsewhere, we urgently need to recruit a new General Secretary and will be looking for a new Treasurer in the very near future.

More detailed job descriptions for the General Secretary and Treasurer roles are available from John Kay who is also the first point of call for anyone interested in applying.

GENERAL SECRETARY

The General Secretary has overall responsibility for the smooth running of the Club and does this with the support of a small team of Officials who deal with most of the regular activities of the Club.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY

The Membership Secretary deals with all new membership enquiries and applications along with maintaining the membership records. This role can be contained within the General Secretary’s role if required (as it is now).

CLUB TREASURER

Preparing annual accounts for the club and for presentation to the committee and maintaining a record of member’s payments. Administering the club’s PayPal and bank account and making required payments. Acting as the club Storekeeper.

THINKING OF APPLYING?

As a club, we would like to offer our thanks in advance to anyone who feels able to explore taking on one of the above roles. Please contact the Club President, John Kay: john@kay.me.uk | 01270 624653

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Barry Roberts: My first 12 “firsts” As a change from our usual 20-Questions style members profile I thought it would be fun to delve into the archives and unearth some earlier work from one of our longer-standing members. Barry Roberts was until recently the Circle Secretary of CP1 and has given many years excellent service as a committee member during his membership. At my request, and I do ask very nicely, Barry has sent me the first twelve of his prints to be awarded a First-place sticker. In my turn I have placed them on my scanner to bring them to this wider audience. Bassenthwaite, from folio 227, dates back to 1996 and is the earliest of this set. One member’s, very succinct, comment on this print was “Just Wonderful” and having had the pleasure of seeing the actual print folder I have to say the image has a really timeless appeal. All of this set started as wet prints incidentally from colour negatives which Barry processed himself in his personal darkroom. Compared to today’s bright digital images these older prints have a softer feel to them which simply adds to their charm I feel. Indeed, there is something to be said for these somehow more organic images in my view. Barry’s second print to achieve the coveted First-place was just two folios later in December 1996 when Hawkshead Church took the honours. Shot on Kodak Gold 200 using an Olympus OM1N and a Vivitar 28-200 lens this charming wintry scene takes full advantage of the low October sun and even after all these years the print is a visual treat. It really is a shame that we have to digitise everything but hopefully my scan does the print justice. Barry had to wait until August 1997 for his next “First” with the very minimalist “Winter Reflections” with it’s simple composition and bold use of negative space. Taken at Churn Clough reservoir on a January afternoon Barry notes that it was “VERY COLD!” and that certainly comes across in the print. I was interested to see the comment “Very, very good – though would suggest trying a trim of about 1¼” up to bring the horizon lower still”. It’s interesting to note that cropping advice was alive back in the 1990s too. In November 1997 Barry was by the seaside, the light was “Bad! Raining” and the location was “Scarborough on a Bad Day” although Barry’s Nikon F50, loaded once again with Kodak Gold 200, was taking it in its stride. Walking the Dog impressed the members of what was then simply known as CP however and awarded it first place in folio 245 in April 1998.

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Barry Roberts: My First 12 "Firsts" - Dave Whenham


The Nikon F50 continued to justify it’s keep as did Barry’s use of Kodak Gold 200 negative film. Rydal Water, captured in March graced folio 248 in July 1998. The use of the light in this image is a good reminder to us that the kit is at best secondary and that the light and the photographer’s eye are both more important than any piece of photographic gear. August 1998 sees a change of subject matter with Black Headed Gulls taking the honours in folio 249 with a framefilling composition using the Nikon F50 and presumably the long end of the Nikon 80-200mm lens. As with the previous two “Firsts” this was printed on Tetenal Works and Barry appears to have been very faithful to this paper as all but three of this set have been printed using it.

Clifton, from folio 251 saw the first of four “Firsts” on the bounce and marked a real departure in style being a long exposure taken around 10pm at a location I know well having lived there for many years. There is an interesting footnote to this picture too as Barry notes: “Whilst I was taking this an American asked me to send him a print – I did and he sent me $50”. Barry remained in Bristol for folio 252 with another view of the suspension bridge entitled Avon Gorge and would bring out another image from a very productive August visit to Bristol for folio 254 entitled Night Burn. Three night-time shots of iconic Bristol scenes and I particularly like the spectators’ rim-lit hair in Night Burn.

Barry Roberts: My First 12 "Firsts" - Dave Whenham

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Top: Hawkshead Church Bottom: Winter Reflections

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Top: Walking the Dog Middle: Bullrushes Bottom: Rydal Water Barry Roberts: My First 12 "Firsts" - Dave Whenham

Top: Round Island Light Middle: Loughrigg Tarn Bottom: Black Headed Gu


ulls

Folio 253 sees us transported to the Isles of Scilly with Round Island Light, a gorgeous sunset image which elicited conflicting advice on trimming of the print. Some things never change eh? Loughrigg Tarn, from folio 260 is another timeless rural image, this one taken on a cloudy September day. Like all of the images here I have scanned the print without its accompanying print border, choosing to reinstate it in Photoshop for a consistent look to the images. Other than that, I have scanned the images remaining faithful to the original print and not tweaking any of the settings in post-production. I hope Barry will approve of the scanning when he sees the finished piece! So, we come to number twelve, Bullrushes from folio 262, which also achieved a Commended in the Founders Cup Competition. This was printed on Fuji Crystal Archive, lustre paper although I note that Barry remained faithful to the Tetenal developer. I note that Fujicolour still sell a version of Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper via their website. In 2019 it is described as “a silver halide colour paper, designed exclusively to produce high-image-quality colour prints. This paper incorporates latest silver halide emulsion technology, coupler technology and layer design technology to deliver enhanced colour reproduction, white purity, image stability and handling of the photo”. Let’s hope that it has the same archival qualities as the paper Barry used in September 1999 to print Bullrushes.

Top: Clifton Top Right: Night Burn Bottom: Avon Gorge

I trust this look back at Barry’s first twelve “Firsts” has proven to be an interesting journey for the reader. Do you still have some of your early prints or “stickers” and fancy featuring in a future article? You know where I am!

Barry Roberts: My First 12 "Firsts" - Dave Whenham

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Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law


Rubber Tramping Part III We conclude Maxwell’s journey with his time in Portugal We lived over 7 years on the road. A van is a small space, with a huge garden, the outdoors! Only thing is that garden becomes inaccessible quite often in winter, with rain and mud becoming pretty depressing. Don’t get me wrong, the sound of a good rain storm in a van is just great, its the monotony of grey, wet and mud that isn’t fun. We thought winter rental of holiday cottages would be cheap if we moved in for a few months, but travelling and staying on the Algarve was far cheaper.

Spain, and time in the north in Peneda Geres, so remote and wild that Wolves still roam free. You can see that its a dream of a place for wildlife photography.

The solution we found was in Iberia. Firstly through Camping and Caravan club ‘rallies’ and later through independently travelling in 4x4 pick up with tent and renting chalets, we travelled to the south of Europe for at least 3 months, in 6 out of 7 winters. We still see it as a very nice way of spending time in the winter. In Iberia the weather is lovely in mid winter, and the garden accessible. The tandem comes with us and daily morning rides are the norm.

One of those opportunities that come with anticipating what might occur, and being in the right place at the right time. There is a small peninsula opposite Alvor with a bird conservation area, da Rocha. There are mud flats and accessible paths that place you between the setting sun and the roost areas, and after that its just chance.

So I move to the pictures, so difficult to hone down to about 20.. and have limited them to Portugal in order to stay focussed.

Flamingoes (main image)

The only slight problem is, that I don’t want the constant socialising and excessive daytime drinking that often occurs when people with time on their hands find cheap food booze and sun. I cannot abide ‘Little Britain’, the rowdy raucous Brits abroad behaviour. I equally avoid the burger bars and English pubs in the Algarve and have given certain resorts and campsites a wide birth. Given that short rant, we have joined in on the social side when its something appealing, and have made some great friends whilst travelling. Rubber Tramping became a way of life that was a good fit with daily pics, and the pics themselves represent a pictorial blog, all to be found on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/maxwelllawphotography/ What increasingly became apparent were the fantastic photographic opportunities of the south of Portugal. On a bad weather day the stunning west coast beaches are superb. When the good weather comes, which it does often the birdlife and early spring flowers are magnificent. Many birds are recognisable as the migrate north from late January onwards. Others come to nest and can offer brilliant opportunities. There is also the odd portrait to be caught as the local people congregate and dwell in cafés and squares. We often based ourselves near Lagos, a beautiful town with plenty of Moorish influence. We would also spend weeks in Castro Verde, the steppe region, where nature conservation extends of a huge area of farmland and the wild flowers are amazing. Add excursions to mid Portugal near the border with

Brown Hare The area 70 km north of Faro is superb for birds and wildlife and landscape. Stay in Castro Verde and either book a 4x4 escorted tour or simply stay a while and walk, cycle or drive slowly. This was taken from the van window whilst crawling along a service road on a wet day.

Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law

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Gipsy boys On the same journey when taking the Hare pics, we passed a Gipsy family who gestured with hand out for some money. This is quite normal and not menacing if you don’t comply. We only had about 30 cents and placed that into their hands. Some hours later we returned and they were still gathering roadside grass on their cart. For whatever reason we felt generous and even though there was no gesturing, I stopped the van and walked back. I took a picture or two of the family of four, and when done I gave the older lad a 5 Euro note. At that moment the heavens opened. The parents ran for shelter followed by the lads, on of whom was holing the money aloft. I spent the next 20 minutes under a tarpaulin with them as the storm made it impossible to walk back to the van.

Bee Eater (Left) Very local to the campsite at Espiche, the Bee eaters would arrive in April and feed in the shrub and trees behind the village, which was easily accessible in our Nissan 4x4 (we were stopping in a chalet on site). The car was an excellent hide, and we were positioned below this bird as the trees made a natural frame.

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Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law


Portuguese men We travelled in the van in the very north of Portugal near Bragansa. Off the beaten track on dust roads I saw a farmer sitting in a barn. I parked the van, entered camera settings And went back with wide angle lens to ask politely for a photograph. He had been joined by two friends, and there was no rapport until I pointed to my camera, and then to them and said Facebook Se? A recognisable word it seems even in a village where locals still fetch daily water from the water pump.

Praia do Zavial (left) Always time to visit a beach at sunset when the sun goes down between 6 and 7 pm.

Beach Fingers (right) As I referred to earlier, the beaches on the Portuguese Atlantic coast are truly superb. We have travelled widely, Scottish west coast, Orkney, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cornwall, and though its folly to try and rank them, these are spectacular. Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law

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Bee eaters (top) Bee eaters were very popular in the Southern area camera clubs competition, and weren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I can’t resist them. These were discovered by chance on the day they arrived from Africa and landed in the Portuguese peninsula of Sarges. Wonderful light and their hunger combined to make photography from the 4x4 a joy.

Corn Bunting (left) A rare find in Britain, but plenty of subsistence farming and protection measures mean these thrive in the Algarve, as there is plenty to eat. I include this one as its a great example of Figure and Ground. I like the context as much as the bird.

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Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law


Sardinian Warbler (left) A number of Warblers are to be found, but rarely in the open. This Sardinian Warbler, although common is usually only heard. I liked the way this one reflected the shrubs around with its pose.

Farol da Ponta da Piedade. A well known spot near Lagos, and rather than taking the tourist boat to the Grotto’s its better to go to the lighthouse before dawn and walk down the steps.

Dartford Warbler (below) Another unexpected coastal find, thinking of them as a British bird. I got to know the patch and where on the very rural cliff scrub around Sagres to find them. It was a 4x4 track for this one but others are more accessible with camouflage or hide. This is one of many, and I selected this one for the yellow gorse.

Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law

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Great Bustard Moving north to Castro Verde, living is cheap (7 Euro a night for a camper van) and the photography is exquisite. I have many images but this Bustard, the largest flying bird in Europe is a good example of what can be found. For this I was sitting in a ditch on a predicted flightpath.

Hippy lady The villages just inland from the Algarve coast are great places to find many characters living an alternative lifestyle. The Flea or Hippy market happens monthly with what looks to some like a car boot, but turns into an informal festival of music and dance. Many live off grid in vans and sell their wares, and characters like this lady appear.

Poppy I was keeping watch of a Golden Eagle nest in an undisclosed site, waiting for adult to come in and feed the chick. Easily distracted I noticed the Poppies against a white wall and how they looked through a long lens.

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Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law


Volta ao Algarve When in the low scrubland and you have a long lens and monopod, how could you resist a little slow shutter speed panning as the tour goes by.

Little Egret in flight Becoming familiar with favourite areas leads to regular visits for the light. A small area of reeds, stream and beach by the name of Boca do Rio is a particular favourite. I had seen this bird in the late evening light and had entered settings, particularly exposure compensation for the white plumage ready for it taking flight. Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law

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Little girl Marvao Carrying a 400mm lens around the castle village of Marvao, I had images of Blue Rock Thrush, Black Redstart and Rock Bunting, but on walking back to the van for breakfast I caught sight of this toddler disappearing up the road with mother calling. This was my picture of choice from the morning shoot.

Horsemanship Castro Verde is not a tourist town, its very local Portuguese with no burger bar for miles. If you like the black pork however the local cuisine is superb. This example of the social activities in the town give a taste of what can be found.

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Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law


Cuckoo Moving to mid Portugal on a level with Lisbon, Marvao is found. We spent some weeks here at ‘Gary’s campsite’. Since he opened about 10 years ago, 19 visitors have been so taken with the area that they bought property and moved to the valley. Its stunningly beautiful with rolling hills, granite outcrops and birds such as Cuckoo, Nightingale, Woodpeckers and Shrike easily found. Add the beautiful song of the Golden Oriole to wake you in the morning its a small piece of paradise.

Marion in Peneda Geres The beauty and the step back in time in the National Park in the north was stunning. I did go out with locals tracking Wolves finding fresh tracks and Wolf Poo. The remoteness was beyond anything you normally find. An 86 year old woman saw dancers on my shirt, and danced with me in the street. She then pointed to her husband hand tilling the field with hoe, and wrote his age on my chest with her finger. 92! The granite dome tops to the mountains made me want to return with a 4x4 camper to sleep wild. Marion is pictured here enjoying the expanse. Having always loved to explore, there are more travels to come, but this concludes the 3 episodes of ‘Rubbertramping’. Thanks for stopping to look and read. Rubber Tramping Part III - Maxwell Law

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From the Webmaster Although Dave asks me to write a column as the webmaster – I’m sure that most readers would welcome a change from my regular requests to send images for the monthly gallery – so for this issue, something completely different (but don’t let that stop anyone volunteering images for the monthly gallery)! As those PPC members who belong to clubs in the North West are likely to know, I visit camera clubs giving illustrated talks. In recent years I have been surprised at the number of people (both club members and general public) who are surprised to learn that manipulation of photographs began long before advent of Photoshop and digital manipulation.

the history of photo manipulation (I don’t work very quickly). During my reading, even I’ve been surprised at just how early photographers faked images – the earliest that I have come across is by Hippolyte Bayard from 1840 (though it’s likely that this was “set-up” rather than edited in post processing). Following this there are a multitude of examples where images have been changed, either for aesthetic or propaganda purposes. Why did the phrase, “The Camera Doesn’t Lie,” ever emerge?

So for the last few years I’ve been preparing a new talk on

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From the Webmaster - Graham Dean


Abraham Lincoln's head superimposed on the body of John Calhoun! Who knows why - could Lincoln not hold such a statesman like pose? https:// iconicphotos. wordpress. com/2010/04/24/ lincoln-calhouncomposite/

The “Two Ways of Life� was created by Oscar Rejlander in 1857. On the left it shows vice; gambling, wine and prostitution, and on the right virtue; religion, industry and family. The image was the first publicly exhibited photograph of a nude in England, the first major art photograph and the first photo-montage. https:// en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Oscar_ Gustave_Rejlander

From the Webmaster - Graham Dean

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Audio Visual Dave presents some notes on planning and preparing AV presentations. Those of you who attended the Club Rally in 2018 would have enjoyed a presentation from Jill Bunting and John Smith centred on their love for audio-visual. At the time I promised a few notes on AV production and so a little later than planned here they are!

happens to take place whilst some sound is being played. It is the complete sequence that counts, not the individual components. An effective sequence will have unity of concept, visuals and sound. These should reinforce and support each other to create a satisfactory whole.

Audio Visual - is a unique combination of photography and sound, blended together to produce a result known as an ‘AV Sequence’ which is limited only by the imagination and the skill of the producer. Audio-Visual techniques can be employed to make:

A question that is often asked is, “do I need to take images especially for my sequence?” When you start out you may try and produce a sequence from the images that you have already taken, however, to keep an audience’s interest, a variety of distant, medium and close up shots are required you may need dozens to hundreds of top quality pictures to make your sequence. When you get more advanced, you will be thinking even whilst taking the photographs about what pictures will come before and after the one that you are taking and compose these so that each picture will ‘melt’ into the next, rather than merely just ‘changing.’ The composition of a picture intended to be part of the flow of a sequence may differ from the ideal composition of a similar picture intended to be viewed on its own. Many seemingly simple pictures are actually composed of elements which are dynamically brought in from several other images rather than changing the

enjoyable, and therefore more effective, ‘Power point’- type presentations,

pictures-to-music productions which are much more satisfying and enjoyable,

more elaborate sequences which inform, entertain or tell a story of some sort.

Pictures and sound are the raw ingredients, but it’s what you do with them that determines whether you have made an audio-visual sequence or merely a slide show that

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From the Webmaster - Graham Dean


picture as a whole - thus further enhancing the sense of visual progression.

manipulation can easily be overdone and result in an effect counter-productive to the author’s intentions.

Similarly, the soundtrack and how it relates to the pictures should be borne in mind at all times, even if it’s just one piece of music. The pictures and sound should fuse together into a single entity, so they must be considered together right from the outset. As you progress further you may want to construct a more complicated multiple soundtrack which maybe introduces a voiceover and ambient sound effects.

So, there we have it - Audio Visual sequences are not just about pictures and sound - it can become a whole new way of looking at and communicating about the world around us. That is what makes AV so fascinating with so many different avenues to explore and so many skills to practice. You will often find that you go out and visit many interesting places in order to obtain all the necessary pictures and sounds - places that you might not otherwise have considered visiting. You will discover that you are now looking for different pictures and becoming more aware of the sounds around you.

The final technique to master is production - the process of bringing together all of the component parts to make a sequence which is truly greater than the sum of those parts. The use of skilful digital manipulation of both images and sound is encouraged but, as with all such techniques, the

Interested in learning more? This brief introduction was taken from an L&CPU handout left at the 2018 Rally by Jill Bunting. You can contact the L&CPU AV Secretary at avsec@lcpu.org.uk Specialist websites such as www.avnews.org.uk would be worth investigating Details of clubs with AV groups in the L&CPU area are on their website wvvw.lcpu.org If you live in or near West Yorkshire, then the Leeds AV Group may be worth a look - http://www.leedsavgroup.co.uk (full disclosure: I’m a member, tell them Dave sent you). The Leeds AV Group also host regular AV Days on behalf of the RPS at Leeds Trinity University, details on their website. To see top quality work, you might want to attend one of the International and National AV competitions that are held each year. One of these is The Great Northern Festival which is held in Manchester at the beginning of December. Details of this can be found at wvvvv.gnfestival.org.uk The North Wales & Wirral Audio Visual Group are also well worth a look, find them at: http://host.magic-smoke.com/~marion/northwalesandwirralavg/northwalesandwirralavg/Home.html

From the Webmaster - Graham Dean

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Notes from the Gulf:

A Fujifilm X Retrospective John Pattison compares the current Fuji mirrorless line-up which other models he has used over the years. My introduction to Fujifilm cameras dates back to the late 1990’s but I have been a Fujifilm film aficionado since the 1970’s. My first Fujifilm camera was a Fujifilm Finepix A10 – a small light weight point and shoot, which I purchased mostly for use with my work and to record the landscapes of Muscat, Oman and the surrounding areas where I was then located. Later I purchased a Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro DSLR having dipped toes into the Nikon ecosystem and not liked their approach with their cheaper DSLR line up. The S5 Pro served me well and I still have the camera and some of the lenses that I purchased for it. Then several years later my first dip into mirrorless was the XE-2 soon followed by the XT-1 Graphite Edition and the most recent being an XT-20 and it these three later cameras that the rest of this article will focus on, all of which I still own and use. I am not going to regurgitate here the technical specifications of the mirrorless cameras those are freely available for anyone interested all over the internet. Suffice to say that the XE-2 and the XT-1 share the same 16 MPx sensor and the XT-20 has the second generation 24 MPx sensor. So, are these cameras still relevant in 2019? In my opinion yes, despite the notable improvements that Fujifilm have made in their XT line-up and to a lesser extent with the XE line up, which was last updated with the X-E2s. However, much of the improved functionality of that camera was later made available through a firmware update to the X-E2 camera. This is one of the differentiators of Fujifilm; they continuously improve their existing legacy cameras to the maximum that the processors and internal memory storage will allow through free downloadable firmware improvements. In some cases, as has been said by many others, often to the extent of turning the older camera into a new one! The X-E line of cameras may be considered a slimmed down version of the Fujifilm X-Pro line that is currently at X-Pro 2 level. The chief difference between the X- Pro and X-E line of

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cameras is the omission of the optical viewfinder on the X-E line that has an electronic viewfinder. One of the objections raised by some photographers is that the electronic view finder is not real time but again I refer to the firmware updates and, in my experience, there is now no discernible fall off due to viewing lag. I also think that there is an advantage with the electronic viewfinder over the optical viewfinder in low light situations, which would render being able to ‘see’ the subject through an optical viewfinder difficult at best and at worst impossible However, there are significant improvements with current cameras in the Fujifilm line up in the area of AF, tracking, face and eye detection with the latter not being available on the older cameras The X-T1 became the Fujifilm flagship camera when introduced surpassing the X-Pro 1 that had carried that banner previously, in all areas except for the optical viewfinder and the subjective quality of images produced by the first-generation sensor installed in the X-Pro 1. Since I have no experience of the X-Pro line of cameras I will forgo further comment on this. The X-T1 is however different from the X-E2 with the latter having a range finder style appearance to the X-T1 ‘s SLR form factor appearance. The X-T1 has also been provided with a far greater range of camera adjustment and extended ranges for shutter speed, etc compared to the X-E2. These provide the photographer with an ‘easier’ choice of creative choices although similar can be achieved with care and practice using the X-E2. Again, I will not go in depth here into the physical attributes as these can be researched elsewhere. Picture quality is the same for both cameras as to be expected since both cameras use the same sensor and processing engine. The X-T20 has been said to be 90% of an X-T2 and I would concur with that statement as this is a far more sophisticated

Notes from the Gulf: A Fujifilm X Retrospective - John Pattison


camera than even the X-T1. Again, Fujifilm have used an SLR form factor shape but in a much physically slimmed down and smaller overall camera body compared to its big brother the X-T2 and the X-T1. In my experience picture quality from the X-T20 is similar to the previous era of cameras discussed here. But there is greater flexibility for composition through cropping and greater detail retained in doing so due to the updated sensor and processing engine found in the X-T20. Lens choice and quality of the glass will additionally also greatly influence these matters and of course these comments are subjective, and I acknowledge that others whom own any of these cameras may have differing experiences dependent upon their use of the cameras and the genre(s) of photography to which they are applied. Is it worth upgrading or buying for the first time the latest X range of cameras? This is a difficult question that will have different answers for different photographers. Speaking personally, I would aspire to have an X-T3 to replace the X-T1 body should funds allow but will likely pass on this until the X-T4 comes out no doubt having a far greater range of improvements compared to the current X-T3. However, in all honesty apart from GAS I have no real need for the X-T3: the X-T20 currently more than suffices for occasions when I need more pixels for my type of photography! I therefore think that obtaining good glass, which has been said by many others, is a far better expenditure and that if one can find a good used copy of any of the three cameras discussed above one will have a more than adequate camera body that is indeed still relevant in the current market place and each are more than capable of producing excellent images. Camera Images, above: X-E2 and X-T20 taken with X-T1, X-T1 image taken with X-E2 Right: Seychelles Sunset, X-T1 Notes from the Gulf: A Fujifilm X Retrospective - John Pattison

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Notes from the Gulf: A Fujifilm X Retrospective - John Pattison


Top Left: Bali, taken with X-T20 Top Right: I’ve Got My Eye on You, taken with X-E2

Bottom Left: Rein in The World, taken with X-E2, Bottom Middle: Devotional Offering, taken with X-T1 Bottom Right: Rascal, taken with X-T20

Notes from the Gulf: A Fujifilm X Retrospective - John Pattison

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Classic Cameras The folding camera from Kodak, The “Premo C” Although this folding camera is badged as being made by Eastman Kodak, it was originally made by Rochester Optical Co. Kodak took-over Rochester in 1903, and initially re-badged the Rochester cameras. The Premo C was made for several years, with this particular model dating from 1910. It was made until 1926, when roll-film became more popular than glass plates. The camera body is wood, covered in black leatherette. The bellows are made from a dark red leatherette, and the inside of the baseboard is polished to a high finish. The metal fittings are chrome plated, with the exception of the brass mount surrounding the lens. A Bausch f4 Planatograph un-coated lens is fitted, along with an aperture control calibrated from f4 to f28. Shutter speeds of 1/25th, 1/50th and 1/100th sec, plus B and T are available. The shutter can be fired either by a small lever on the brass mount, or by a rubber bulb and pneumatic cylinder to the right of the lens. Focussing is achieved by turning the silver knurled knob on the left hand edge of the base board. A small white scale is screwed to the baseboard, and a chrome lever on the front stand of the camera reads against this scale. The viewfinder is mounted on the front right hand corner of the baseboard, and has a folding chrome cover (shown open). The image is recorded on glass plates measuring 31/4” x 41/4”. The camera measures 51/2” high, 4” wide and 2”deep. It is of high quality, very light, and in 1910 cost $12.

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Classic Cameras - Geoff Leah


Eric’s

An Eye for IR I, like many other photographers I’m sure, enjoy converting (or taking), certain images in monochrome, especially black and white; there is a difference between mono and B & W: this means B &W is purely shades between black and white in tones of grey, whereas monochrome is an image made of just one tone or colour throughout this includes black and white, meaning the base tone can be any colour e.g. sepia (brown), selenium (blue) or any shade of your choice including black. There is a further choice in my camera bag, and that is I often carry a second camera body converted to infrared (IR), this could be a whole range of IR filter strengths (measured in Nanometres [nm]), usually the choice for converting the final file once worked is 720nm or even higher. However, I have used from 650nm to 1000nm; beyond this is really not feasible to work with in a normal photographic conversion. My goto filter like many, is the 720nm, as this wave length allows a reasonably powerful conversion to mono yet does retain the option of a false colour conversion too. Using the higher filters from 750nm to 1000nm gets progressively monochromatic (black), and harder to view in the taking stage. With the more usual choice of from 720nm to 850nm giving a powerful yet workable range of infrared for monochromatic work, the 850nm being the stronger contrast results in some wide ranging black and white files with quite different tones to the more conventional RGB (red, green, blue) conversion; for instance, the capture of foliage such as grass or leaves transfer to either white or light to mid tone greys depending on several factors, the main ones being the time of day shooting takes place, and the amount of sunlight which is available or not. Another characteristic of IR registration is blue skies become quite dark even going black (with the right post processing applied), add some fluffy white clouds and the sky is transformed in mono. Now they are the most noticeable and more obvious transitions which take place between the two methods of converting from their original raw of RGB colour or IR false colour. But there is yet another powerful advantage not often appreciated by infrared workers and this is the exposure levels of IR compared to the RGB do vary significantly in differing lighting conditions. I have been pleasantly surprised when taking interiors of buildings such as halls or churches at the faster exposure speeds which can be used indoor even allowing hand held shooting if require. This is due mainly to the different way in which the light or waves of light are bounced around an interior or also the shadow side of an object when in the open.

C ne r or

Hello,

It should now be evident that using these two quite diverse methods of shooting a scene will produce considerably different results, and when compared neither is right or wrong, they just create a choice of end results to the same subject photographed. This applies to both monochromatic and chromatic (colour).

So, there it is, simply a choice of one’s preferred, or an alternative to, the “normal” use of recording the tones within a scene, and then changing this to grey shades, or even after the mono conversion, applying an overall one tone as in sepia. However, it doesn’t end there, as when a grey value or level is applied to a tone, by either method (RGB or IR), it can also be manipulated later during the post processing. This opens up a thousand alternate ways of displaying the monochromatic recorded picture, be it by using one of the many various methods of generating a mono image in your favourite program, or by using a specialist monochromatic program such as Nik’s SEP (Silver Efex Pro), now owned by Google.

So when I thought that as in the old film days I would have to carry two (or more) camera bodies to facilitate a choice of media - RGB, MONO or COLOUR; when going “digital” I would only need one camera in the bag which could allow post any media finishing, alas I had forgotten I have a liking (now a passion), for infrared in all its guises. Ah well back to carrying two or three camera bodies, one for RGB/mono and second and/or third of different IR wave lengths for infrared work – that’s progress… Bye for now… see you around the corner soon!

1) Standard RGB - Taken with a standard Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7, 4/3rds camera. Lens a Lumix G Vario 12-32 Zoom set at 12mm with 1/320 speed, F11, ISO 400. Processed in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC for basics only, e.g. colour balance and sharpening and border.

A Eye for IR - Eric Ladbury

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2) Converted Monochrome Colour as in image [1] then transferred the file to Nik sep (Silver Efex Pro2 – now owned by Google), Using their presets on the left-hand toolbox and then freely adjusted to taste with individual controls in the right-hand panels. Note the heavy shadows on the right and the various shades of greys for the red brick building, the sky, and the foliage

3) Camera converted to Infrared Use Taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, 4/3rds camera converted with a standard 720nm IR internal filter. Lens a Lumix G Vario 12-32 Zoom, set at 12mm with 1/200 speed, F11, ISO125. Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC for basics only, e.g. Light balance and sharpening.

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A Eye for IR - Eric Ladbury


4) Camera converted to Infrared Use IR colour as in image [3] taken into Adobe Photoshop CC and basic Channel swapping applied to give these (Infrared) false colours, occasionally I will tweak all channels to fine tune the tones to suit the image. Plus a border. Note the deep blue tones in the sky with clear white clouds, and much more visible detail in the hedge shadows on the right, plus the peach tones of the foliage. The red brick building has remained a neutral greyish tone.

5) Camera converted to Infrared Use The IR false colour image in [4] is transferred into Nik sep for similar work to be applied as before using their presets on the left-hand toolbox and then freely adjusted to taste with individual controls in the right-hand panels. Note deep black sky with brighter white clouds compared to the rgb camera but quite a considerably different tonal range in the foliage and the red brick building displays slightly darker mid grey tones.

A Eye for IR - Eric Ladbury

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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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A Eye for IR - Eric Ladbury

Profile for PPC Photonews

Photonews Summer 2019  

Celebrating the PPC and its members. More information and a membership application form at http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

Photonews Summer 2019  

Celebrating the PPC and its members. More information and a membership application form at http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

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