Page 1

Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

Winter 2019


PENING

SHOT

The Sun Inn by Dave Whenham Something a little different this issue: a scan of a darkroom print. Taken at the Beamish living museum in County Durham using a Canon AE1 SLR and Berlin 400 B&W negative film. The film was developed in Rodinal (1+50) and printed on Fotospeed RCVC Oyster paper using Grade IV filters. Home processed and printed. #filmisnotdead


Photonews Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and its Members

4

Postal Photo Developments

7

From the Editor’s Chair

Roger Edwardes An update on the goings-on at Mission Control, Torquay

Dave Whenham Current affairs at the PPC from the Editor’s perspective

10

? 15

16

Rubber Tramping - The Extended Cut Maxwell Law A tale of groovy campervans, stunning wildlife and incredible scenery.

To Upgrade Or Not... A Digital Dilemma David Ridley LRPS Should we strive for the latest and greatest kit?

A Load of Old Rubbish? David Ridley LRPS David sets himself a scrapheap challenge...

34

20

Classic Cameras - Head to Head!

22

Twenty Questions (or less...)

26

Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro

28

Digital Art from Photographs

32

From the Webmaster

Geoff Leah Seconds out... Bronica vs Hasselblad...

Harry Wentworth A glimpse of Harry’s decades of photographic experience, and a new project he’s working on.

David Ridley LRPS A review of this popular third-party lens.

John Pattison Examples of using two software packages to add an extra level to your images.

Graham Dean An update from Graham and some images from a late club member, Mr R H Mason.

Wet Weather at Chatsworth Eric Ladbury Making the most of even the dampest of conditions can still yield images.

STOP PRESS - CLUB OFFICERS are pleased to announce that the following roleswill have now been filled: Simon Rhodes be replacing Jon Allanson PRINT We COMPETITION SECRETARY

CLUB TREASURER

Clive Piggott will be taking over from Stuart Carr

We thank both Stuart and Jon for their efforts on behalf of the club over the good many years both have been in post and hope both Clive and Simon enjoy the jobs they have taken on.


POSTAL PHOTO DEVELOPMENTS From the (English) Riviera PPC News, Views and Updates from Mission Control, Torquay Somewhere in the North Sea! No sooner had we got home from the Rally (more of which anon) than the mad scramble began to pack and get ready to head off “In Search of the Northern Lights” – at least that’s what the blurb said of the cruise Lynda decided to book to celebrate my significant birthday. I did point out that a 5D Mark IV would be a very acceptable gift for such an important event, but, “It’s also to mark our retirement from teaching!” discussion(?!) ended! So, with a glorious sunset over the Fawley Oil Refinery we headed out of Southampton aboard the ‘Sapphire Princess’, American owned, but British registered, next stop Ålesund, Norway. The North Sea was in benign mood as we travelled further north, but a deepening low had the Captain upping the speed and we tied up a bit early as strong winds and rain caught up with us and made the rest of the day ashore interesting!

We crossed the Arctic Circle, spent a day in Tromsø, before sailing even further North to Alta. Alta was billed as the main destination for finding the elusive aurora, is claimed as the northernmost city in the world with a population of around 20,000 and is home to the Cathedral of the Northern Lights. Ships the size of ours frequently visit, though not usually so late in the season, but are unable to berth alongside as the port has no facilities large enough. With the fjord being 80m deep anchoring is not an option, so our ship held station on its engines and thrusters for the duration of our stay!

Cathedral of the Northern Lights

4

Postal Photo Developments - Roger Edwardes

Tromsø


Low Tide, Porlock Weir

Northern Lights over Alta

There was plenty of snowfall throughout the first day (we visited the Cathedral), and with no sign of change, the first night was overcast with only the briefest of breaks in the cloud. Much disappointment all round! The following day, though, had everything going for it – cold and clear. Fortunately, that continued into the night and, despite the temperature dropping to -9oC, we managed to get some shots of the lights which made the thawing out process worthwhile! Our final port of call was Stavanger and the old quarter, with its narrow streets and wooden houses, will undoubtedly feature in a folio or two in due course.

Nineteen members and ten guests braved the journey to Somerset and the weekend followed the now well-established format. The President’s Reception on Friday evening got the Rally underway, followed by the first viewing of the Travelling Exhibition and presentation of trophies and certificates. Saturday was the time to get out and about with cameras and on Saturday evening, our own Richard Bown gave an illustrated talk on his most recent projects. Sunday morning brings together those club officers and circle secretaries that have attended the Rally for the annual Committee Meeting. With only 7 members present, the Meeting was not quorate, but the club Constitution does allow for this and so began probably the longest Committee Meeting in PPC History! The Sunday session over, the meeting

Anyway, enough of the personal travelogue and on to the official one!

The PPC Rally – Dunster 2019 This year’s Rally was held over the weekend of October 13th-15th at the Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster. With the North Somerset coast and Exmoor just a short drive away, the venue was well-placed and provided a wealth of photo opportunities. A substantial length of the West Somerset Railway was within easy reach. Minehead, Porlock Weir and Watchett proved quite popular and Burnham-on-Sea, with its iconic (and much photographed!) Victorian lighthouse, was only a little further. But the historic village of Dunster itself, dominated by its castle, had plenty to interest and all within a walk of the hotel. Postal Photo Developments - Roger Edwardes

The Yarn Market, Dunster

5


moved online to allow for committee members not present to comment and approve Proposals. This consultation duly ended on the 31st October. (Concurrence with any other Halloween deadline was purely coincidental!) And thank you to John Kay for once again organising and overseeing this year’s Rally.

General Report The Club has a new hand on the tiller, but the aim is still to ensure we continue as a friendly and diverse group offering a range of circles to meet members’ photographic interests. It is pleasing to report that membership is up again this year and that Subscriptions can be held for another year at £13. Online circles continue to attract the majority of new membership applications, with only a couple seeking to join print circles, so I would encourage members to consider adding a print circle to their list. Trade processed prints are perfectly acceptable – so no excuses! Our social media presence via Facebook was discussed and I would like to remind members that the Club has a private group managed by Dave Whenham, but currently utilised by only around 30 or so members. Any member wishing to join the group can contact Dave directly or through your circle secretary. There have been a number of changes of circle secretary over the course of the year and my thanks to those stepping into the role. Please let me know if you would be willing to act as a circle sec. even if there is no immediate vacancy, it would be helpful.

As had been discussed at the last Meeting, the success of our online circles has necessitated a change to the DPI section of The Founders’ Cup. From the 2020 FC, the number of ‘stickered’ images going forward in the DPI section will be reduced from the top 3 to the top 2. The DPI Competition Secretary had reported the number of entries becoming unmanageable both for himself and for the Judge, and it was agreed the time had to come to make this adjustment. The Print section will remain as is with the top 3 images going forward. The quality of work being produced in the Club was again on display at the first showing of the TE Print and DPI Exhibitions and, once again, congratulations to all with images selected and thanks to the Competition Secretaries. The Exhibition has now begun its travels and if your (other) club(s) isn’t on the list of venues, how about a word with the club’s Programme Sec? The most notable development for the Club going forward, however, is the imminent final testing and roll-out phases of our updated online software, known in short as v2! It has been a while in the gestation, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Final testing will involve Circle Secretaries which will familiarise them with the system before a staggered roll-out brings members onto the new platform. Full details will be sent out in due course. And finally; a big thank you to Dave and Kieran for their efforts in preparing this issue of PhotoNews Roger Edwardes General Secretary PPC

COVER PHOTO Blowing Butterflies by David Ridley Observing the simplicity of some ‘Graffiti’ I took what in essence were some snap shots with a view to exploring any potential images later, knowing that manipulation would likely be the order of the day. On examination of the initial images I decided simplicity was the key and that it was essential to create a deep shadow like presentation with a colourful background.

6

Postal Photo Developments - Roger Edwardes


FROM THE EDITOR’S CHAIR Welcome to the last issue of Photonews for 2019 and also an extended editorial as I bring you some images from this year’s Rally in Dunster. We have published four issues this year, all with the same eclectic mix of content that has largely been provided by our members – some coerced, some from a tiny handful of regulars and a smidgeon from unsolicited sources – could you be on the roster for 2020? First though, two important notes for your diaries from John Kay our Rally Organiser: Next year’s rally will be held in Shropshire over the weekend Friday 16th October to Sunday 18th October 2020 - with the opportunity to extend your stay to 3 nights, leaving on Monday morning. More details and a booking form were sent out in early November. So if you’ve not seen them please get in touch ASAP. The 2021 rally venue has also been booked - a month earlier than usual. We will be staying at Matlock Bath in Derbyshire over weekend Friday 17th to Sunday 19th September. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE IN YOUR DIARY!!

2019 Rally 2019 was our first visit to Dunster and although the numbers were down on previous years it was still a very enjoyable Rally with the usual mix of arranged and informal activities and of course the pleasure of meeting fellow members. I personally hope that we can make it back at some point not least because its situation in the town centre meant that there was somewhere for Amanda to potter around on the Sunday morning whilst I was at the committee meeting. The weather was also a lot kinder to us than was originally forecast which was a bonus. A few members chose to make a week of it and rented a cottage in nearby Watchett. I am indebted to David James for the small collection of images from his time at Dunster and the surrounding area which have been used to illustrate this editorial. Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control there are only a couple of images from the presentation evening. Clive Ferguson. David James and Richard Bown receive their awards from John Kay, Club President at the rally. From The Editor's Chair - Dave Whenham

7


On the Saturday evening, member Richard Bown, whose mugshot happily survived, shared one of his longer-term projects with the group and explained why he is moving towards this approach; producing a series of images on a theme as a way to keep his photography fresh, interesting and relevant. It was an interesting blend of photography, historical research and detective work which could be adapted to whatever subject you were interested in.

Closing remarks So, as I close my final editorial for 2019, can I urge all of you to make 2020 the year that you both attend the annual Rally and also contribute to Photonews – they are both key benefits of your membership after all! So, with every best wish for a healthy and creative 2020 for you and yours, this is me signing off until the new year! Dave Whenham

Critiquing images I’ve been asked several times by newer members about how to approach critiquing images in the folios. The first thing I always say is that the critical analysis of any art is subjective; there are no wrongs and no rights. There are however a few pointers that can help especially when the subject matter or genre is unfamiliar territory. Technical Aspects. You may not know a lot about, say, action photography. But, you can tell if it’s exposed correctly and is in focus (at least where it should be). Is there camera shake? For landscapes is the horizon straight? Do the technical qualities match the authors intentions – assuming they’ve bothered to fill that section in on their submission! Does the image “work”? Compositionally, does it have a clear subject? Does the eye get drawn into the image and around the frame to the subject? Does the composition follow the recommended guides such as rule-of-thirds and if not does the composition benefit from this? If it’s a colour image does the colour palette work harmoniously? If it clashes does this add to the effect? In essence, is the image visually pleasing? Does it move you? Regardless of subject, does the image provoke an emotional response? The most subjective element clearly, perhaps even a touch esoteric, but we are considering art here, not a schematic for a hand drill, and arguably, for an image to stand out from the crowd, it needs to elicit some form of emotional response to lift it from pretty picture to a compelling piece of art that tells a story. Finally, I’ve deliberately referred to photography as art. I know that not everyone agrees – do you feel strongly enough to write in and put the opposing point of view?

Print Circles Just before we went to press, I received a note from Jon Allanson telling me that our two Large Print (A4) circles both have room for one or two more members. They only circulate four folios per year with the next one due in January so still time to get involved. Let Roger know if you would like more information or indeed if you would like to join one of our traditional 7x5 Print Circles.

8

From The Editor's Chair - Dave Whenham

Two members working on a shot on the beach at Burnham-on-Sea - David James


Top left - Lighthouse on the beach, Burnham-on-Sea Middle left - Vicars Close, Wells Bottom left - St. Audries Bay with Waterfall Above - Scissor Arch, Nave, Wells Cathedral All by David James From The Editor's Chair - Dave Whenham

9


RUBBER TRAMPING... THE EXTENDED CUT As has been seen in earlier articles, I have a bit of an addiction to travel. This being the extended cut, refers to extended travels, in Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. We wandered with friends in hired campers and cars for a total of nearly 12 weeks. Being a tad keen on finding and photographing local wildlife, I took all kit in hand luggage, including Canon 7d mk ii, Canon 100-400 mk ii, a Tamron 17-50mm bought for the trip as I wanted something f 2.8 for night skies, a Gorillapod and Huawei pro 20, along with I-pod, chargers, dongle, etc. The Tamron lasted 5 weeks before being dented beyond repair and was replaced with Tokina 11 -16mm f 2.8. So we set off, first to the torrential rain in Singapore. It began to dry a little after a morning pick up and so we dropped off some

10

luggage but carried valuables and still wearing winter clothes, having had no sleep in 36 hours, visited the Botanic Gardens, 34 degrees and very humid. Very much enjoyed Singapore where money it seems is everything, but with a very well organised infrastructure. It suggested a modern-day Victorian ethos, where work ethic and home ownership were a priority, but philanthropy ensured there were no street beggars. Four days later we arrived in Auckland and picked up our very groovy campers (above). Coramandel, Rotorua, Tongariro Pass and later across and down the West coast of South Island as far as the Southern Alps made it a memorable trip. Five weeks later we returned our funky vans and embarked on our Australian trip, followed by Malaysia but that is another chapter.

Rubber Tramping - Maxwell Law


The Bay gardens in Singapore. Whilst friends dined out at the Ritz on gold dusted Lobster, we declined the invite and settled for a splendid light show and music in the park.

We enjoyed a natural sauna at sunrise on hot water beach (dig a hole in the sand at low tide and thermal springs fill your natural steam bath). Then a drive up the peninsula to an old rural settlement at Colville. Rubber Tramping - Maxwell Law

Singapore at night. The gorillapod held firm wrapped around railings.

Tui, the most heard and hardly seen native New Zealand bird on Tiritiri Matangi, a predator free bird reserve island close to Auckland.

11


The Tongariro Pass. My daughter is studying for a PHD in vulcanology, and collected volcanic rocks from this part of the North Island. She recommended the hike as the best she had ever done, and it did not disappoint crossing steaming rocks, sulphur green lakes and active volcano craters.

New Zealand Dotterel. The New Zealand version of Dotterel seemed as confiding as our British version. Sitting quietly looking over a sand bank at eye level this bird approached to feed and was not perturbed by my presence as I kept quite still.

Shy Albatross. As we crossed from North to South Island we were accompanied by Dolphins which attracted plenty of attention. The Albatross was the sighting that really floated my boat.

We also visited Dawson Falls in a national park at Mount Taranaki, a superb perfectly formed conical volcano.

12

Rubber Tramping - Maxwell Law


When on the Tongariro crossing we met a German woman who was a mental health nurse in Germany, and as this was my past work we talked a fair bit. She caught up with us in Queenstown, and we gave her a lift to Kinloch near Glen Orchy, staying on a dept of conservation camp site (one long drop toilet only) and we feasted on BBQ and beer. The next morning Marion woke me for this sunrise from Kinloch campsite, looking across the lake to Glenorchy. Our friend then embarked on a 5 day hike through the mountains to Milford Sound. Milford Sound - This well known viewpoint is a honey pot for tourists and photographers. I made sure with some forward planning that we stayed 2 nights on the only camp site for morning and evening shots.

Rubber Tramping - Maxwell Law

13


Doubtful Sound. If in this area of New Zealand, I totally recommend this ferry / off road bus / cruise into Doubtful Sound, so named because Cook thought if he sailed in he wouldn't be able to sail out again. It is very remote, and wild enough with its hanging valleys to be used as a set in Jurassic Park. The more it rains, the better it becomes.

Fantail.

Takahe. A Swamp Hen that is flightless and well on the endangered list. Population below 350 in 2017. Photographed on a protected island.

14

Rubber Tramping - Maxwell Law

This fantastic little bird is well known in New Zealand, so much so that its painted all over our little green camper van (image 1) Its often seen, the only problem being that it defends its territory by displaying its fan tail, bottom first. There must be many shots of the back end of this bird.


?

TO UPGRADE OR NOT ... A DIGITAL DILEMMA

As Amateur Photographers I’m sure from time to time (or perhaps regularly) we all ask ourselves just that question? Now I’m pretty sure that advertising and reviews in the photographic press of the latest cameras combined with advances in technology is, and perhaps has always been, at the root of the longing for the latest all singing & dancing camera offerings, because indirectly our mind set is attuned to believe that the latest piece of technology will improve our ability to capture better images, right? If only it was that simple! Sure a larger sensor and more mega pixels are very likely to make an improvement on the quality of an image, but of course these electronics can’t select the subject, compose, and press the button etc., that’s down to the photographer! To be strictly fair the top of the range of so called ‘professional models’ tend to be constructed with metal bodies rather than metal & plastic or wholly plastic and therefore more durable, but always bearing in mind that manufactures are in the business of selling their goods it’s as well to keep our feet firmly on the ground when we see the latest camera models advertised and consider what more will it do for us and ask ourselves do we really need a new camera or simply only want it? However, as far as quality goes it’s perhaps worth firstly considering what we as individuals produce as an end result. Assuming prints are the end product produced it’s definitely worth questioning just how much more quality is desired, and to some extent possible, than that already provided by the current camera used. Obviously the answer will vary from person to person and is likely to be based on the actual technical specification of his or her piece of electronic wizardry already in use. If the current camera has still a reasonable specification by today’s standard I think some thought about what print sizes are produced should be considered because if the sizes are of modest dimensions, say 7 x5 up to borderless A4, the increased quality from a newer model of camera may well prove only marginal and therefore not too obviously noticeable. So would that all singing and dancing new camera model prove its worth of a not inconsiderable outlay of cash? Now it may well be that after consideration an upgrade to a newer camera becomes a reality and for those of us who have ‘invested in a particular manufacturer’ may well decide to stay loyal, not least that if the current model owned has interchangeable lens capabilities we are likely to have invested more heavily in lenses than the camera itself. But before

jumping in with both feet it may be prudent to consider looking at the second hand market and in particular top end camera models of a couple of years ago or so which may well sport the extra specifications felt desirable. Once identified you won’t be paying the ‘new premium’ and likely have purchased not only a bargain but what could still be considered a top end camera that suits your style & needs. Whilst most of us don’t use all the functions on our cameras and indeed don’t need all the functions on our current or likely future purchases, what may well prove of more practical use could be a higher quality lens or perhaps a higher quality specialist lens that possibly could prove it’s worth once coupled with an existing camera body that is not only familiar to use but is already likely to suffice the needs of our activities. Worth bearing in mind is that whilst both camera & lens are required to make an image, the camera, no matter how advanced, can only work with the quality of the light transmitted via the glass in the lens being used, including any filter attached. Which begs the further question of would a camera already owned suffice one’s needs using higher quality glass which should also in it’s own right provide an improvement in image quality? On the lens front (new or second hand) it’s worth noting that quite a number of optics are available with varying maximum f stops so it’s worth giving thought as to which actual lens is of every day practical use. For example if say a prime 50mm (in 35mm terms) of the same quality, design and construction is offered in three maximum apertures, say f1.2, f1.4 & f1.8 I personally would ask myself would I really use the full potential of an f1.2 model? Once again if a purchase of a high spec lens is the decision, then don’t forget the second hand market is awash with these offerings at much more sensible prices because again someone else has paid the ‘new premium’! There is a saying that the best camera is the one you’ve got with you, but perhaps to that should be added ‘and the one you’re totally familiar with.’ So if I’ve poured a little cold water on anyone’s aspirations/intentions of owning the latest top of the range camera then you have my apologies, but I honestly believe that the vast majority of experienced amateurs already own kit that is far more advanced than what’s actually needed and simply wonder if any desire for new cameras may really be just a hidden desire for producing more of the images that we’re happy with? Of course as already alluded to it’s the photographer that sees & makes the image by usage of a camera as a tool. On a final note maybe a comparison of a top end camera can be likened to a top of the range car in the respect that both will likely perform the required function and the practical every day difference may be simply in the satisfaction of ownership.

To Upgrade or Not ... A Digital Dilemma - David Ridley LRPS

David Ridley LRPS

15


A LOAD OF OLD RUBBISH? David Ridley explores a scrapyard in search of inspiration A short while ago my photographic activity was a little lacklustre and I was certainly struggling for any sort of inspiration. I started to read as much as I could on the subject and indeed was reading some articles a few times over but of course this in itself wasn’t producing any images for me no matter how informative the articles were, and I knew I had to do something about it, but what? Well I went from magazine articles to looking back through a collection I have of what I consider in the main to be inspirational quotes from photographers past & present. In the end I hovered for a while over one of my favourites and one that I believe is as relevant today, as ever, by the American Photographer Robert Adams - ‘No place is boring if you’ve had a good nights sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film’. Thinking about this for only a few seconds it came over me that the problem I was experiencing was not that I wasn’t getting out with camera in hand often enough, I simply wasn’t actually using the camera enough in everyday situations that one can simply dismiss and pass by! So what was to be done? This question I pondered on for much longer when I suddenly remembered that many years ago in my youth I was chatting to a local Policeman I knew who was what one could term as an ‘old fashioned bobby’ who that day was standing in the doorway of a shop and appeared to be doing very little. I asked what he was actually doing and he told me that he often stood in doorways to simply observe what was going on. He said ‘You know son, if you just stop still for a while and look around it’s amazing what you can see.’ With these words echoing back to me I thought yes, he was right! How many times I asked myself had I kept walking when in fact I would have been better off standing still to look at what was not only in front of me but also what was to each side of me and whatever there was how much detail was contained within my view? Regrettably all too often I answered myself, but with a promise that this would not happen again! It drifted through my thoughts that although like many photographers I’d usually set out with an idea in mind like I’m looking for landscapes today or I’m going to shoot some flowers today or perhaps I’ll take some candid photos today, but now I had by now decided that this wouldn’t be enough from now on. I promised myself that wherever I was out & about, just like the policeman, that I would spend time not only looking at the overall view but trying to identify the many smaller parts making up that view, in other words what can I isolate of interest! Of course in our domain that means ‘zooming in’ close, very close or closer still be that with a zoom lens or using one’s feet! Top - Disk Brake Bottom - Disconnected Supply

16

A Load of Old Rubbish? - David Ridley


When next out on a photo jaunt I was as usual walking about but now with no particular goal in mind save for wanting to take some pictures. I was now stopping at regular intervals to cast an eye on all before me when I found myself staring at a scrap yard that I’d passed & dismissed many times before as of little interest when I started eyeing up what exactly it contained rather than saying to myself ‘It’s just a scrap yard.’ I stood for a while staring into it and looking in particular at some of the individual twisted, broken or simply discarded vehicles, caravans and other items that it contained when it became obvious closer inspection of these objects was needed because in the past I’d only ever viewed it as a large uninteresting mass and an eyesore. How wrong I has been! Once actually in the scrap yard I stood in a place of safety and looked harder at the many twisted, mangled and partly dismantled various types of rubbish that was all around me.

Flapping in the Breeze As you can imagine I was continually aware of my personal safety and only ventured into clear areas that didn’t present a hazard to me, but naturally this restriction limited my exploration a little. However, using one of the best lenses in the world (my eyes) I was able to visualise and isolate possibilities of interesting images but restricting myself as to where I could stand safely also meant in order to capture some of the close up details identified it proved necessary to use a camera lens of longer focal length than perhaps I’d have normally chosen ..... no matter because I was taking pictures of a type that I’d never previously done, let alone attempted! Now whilst I appreciate that my results are not likely to be everyone’s cup of tea I came away with a clutch of pictures that I was personally happy with and had spent a pleasant time exercising my powers of observation and at the same time experienced my thoughts being provoked by the

A Load of Old Rubbish? - David Ridley

17


surroundings. When looking at larger items in their entirety I couldn’t help wondering who owned that car, that van, that washing machine, that caravan, that chair and so forth. In the case of the badly damaged vehicles my thoughts turned to the drivers who I hoped hadn’t been injured or worse still ; perhaps they got away with only a loss of some no claims bonus? So it was click, click, click whilst trying to compose images by zooming in quite closely on the wealth of detail I had discovered and sticking to aperture priority at 400 ISO. I shot all the frames in colour mode as I had decided that although I was in what I considered to be a place of stark reality that some results may simply benefit from a little tweaking later and that also left me with the choice of mono conversions rather than making the decision to shoot in camera monochrome. Amongst the numerous details I identified as possible final images were cars with shattered windscreens, parts of cars not normally exposed, satellite dishes, parts of caravans and even a sticker on a van window that proved suitable for my ‘heavy art treatment’ as I call it. As said, my results will not be to everyone’s taste but it’s something a little different which was the overall effort of two visits in quick succession although I expect that on a re-visit at some future date would provide the potential for new possibilities as the ‘stock’ in a scrap yard is continually changing.

18

A Load of Old Rubbish? - David Ridley


On a cautionary note If anyone decides they fancy a look around any scrap yards do remember to exercise awareness at all times as to safety aspects and that also permission from the owner(s) is required as these sites are private property. My experience has left me a little richer in my vision but has also left me pondering as to how many everyday sights and/or locations are waiting to be explored in closer detail be they local or afar? Combined with this question I’ve also been asking myself that since I’m an Amateur Photographer and my photos aren’t for sale nor for general publication how many companies/ organizations, if approached, may allow me access to their premises to take photographs which could open up previously untapped possibilities for individual images whilst each venue possibly providing a mini project as well? Far Left - Shattered Opp. Top - I Wonder What It Does Opp. Middle - Let There Be Light Opp. Bottom - No Signal Available Top - No Speeding! Middle - Wired Up Bottom - Saved By The Seatbelt Above - Underneath Swivel Chair A Load of Old Rubbish? - David Ridley

19


CLASSIC CAMERAS - HEAD TO HEAD! Geoff pits two medium format classics against each other to see how they compare... Here we have two very high quality medium-format roll film cameras - The Bronica RF645 and Hasselblad 500CM. Both are beautifully made, and use superb lenses. Either is capable of magnificent images. When new both were very expensive, and now either will cost £500/600 approx. Both cameras are easy to use, but very different in specification.

Viewfinder: The Bronica has a clear optical v/finder with split image rangefinder superimposed. The Hasselblad has reflex viewing via a mirror onto a screen, so is reversed L to R. It isn’t as bright as the Bronica. My Preference: Bronica

Exposure Meter

Image Size:

Exposure Information Display:

The Bronica produces 15 6x4.5 cms. images on 120 film whilst the Hasselblad gives 12 6x6cms. images on 120 film. My Preference: Equal

The Bronica’s viewfinder shows exposure details. The Hasselblad shows only the image. My Preference: Bronica

Lens Choice:

Image Orientation:

There are only 3 lenses made to fit the Bronica, whilst the Hasselblad has a huge range. My Preference: Hasselblad

The Bronica has to be held vertically (“portrait” mode) to shoot in landscape mode. This is because the images are produced on the film with the long 6cms. side vertically across the film. The Hasselblad’s §square format has no such problem. My Preference: Hasselblad

Camera Backs: The Bronica does not have inter-changeable backs, but the Hasselblad does. My Preference: Hasselblad

Ease of Focusing:

Both cameras are sync’d for electronic flash. My Preference: Equal

The Bronica has easy focussing due to the split-image viewfinder. Focussing the Hasselblad needs the flip-up magnifier in the hood to be used as the image isn’t as clear as the Bronica. My Preference: Bronica

Shutter / Film Advance:

Handling:

The Bronica needs a small battery to operate the shutter cocking mechanism & meter. The Hasselblad needs no batteries. Both cameras use lever-wind to advance the film. My Preference: Hasselblad

The Bronica can easily be used hand-held, and can be treated as a 35mm. film camera. The Hasselblad is more cumbersome and really needs to be on a tripod. My Preference: Bronica

Flash:

20

The Bronica has a very accurate built-in exposure meter. The Hasselblad has no meter. My Preference: Bronica

Classic Cameras - Head to Head! - Geoff Leah


Weight: The Bronica with 3 lenses isn’t too heavy to carry. The Hasselblad with 3 similar lenses is much heavier. My Preference: Bronica

Overall: Very difficult as I love both cameras. Performance-wise they are equal; the different frame size doesn’t worry me. Actually using the cameras is where any difference shows. The ability to have an accurate built-in metering system, and to be able to

hand-hold the camera successfully, is a big bonus. Repairing Hasselblads is easier due to more repairers being available than for the Bronica. The residual values of both cameras are similar, but the Bronica is much rarer than the Hasselblad. I don’t want to part with either, but when finances dictate that I must, I will keep the Bronica, and weep over the loss of the Hasselblad.

Classic Cameras - Head to Head! - Geoff Leah

21


Harry Wentworth In Twenty Questions (or less...) Please tell us a little about yourself and your background Born 69 years ago in a small mining village near Darlington, County Durham, didn’t live there long as my parents re-located to Leeds, West Yorkshire. After leaving school went to work in an accounts office for a local company and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1978. I worked for several companies large and small and for the last 7 years before retirement at age 65 set up my own accountancy business. Married at age 21 we have been together for 48 years and have 2 grown up children a boy and a girl. My other interest besides photography is following my local semi professional football team.

How long have you been a photographer? Probably started about 40 years ago.

How did you get started in the hobby? When we went on holiday in our mid twenties with my brother in law, he had a good compact camera and I didn’t, so I bought one whilst on holiday.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos? How to use manual exposure and the importance of the golden hours in landscape photography.

Who has influenced your photography the most? When I first started and got to grips with manual exposure I specialised in landscapes taken on transparencies mainly in the Lakes District, Yorkshire Dales and the east coast of Yorkshire and I admired the work of Charlie Waite who produced rich saturated images using a 6x6 Hasselblad.

Which other photographers do you admire and why? Helmut Newton for his gritty mono erotic male and female images from the 50’s, Ansel Adams for his sublime mono American landscapes, Cartier Bresson for his candid street

22

images from the early 20 century , Annie Leibovitz for her dramatic, iconic and quirky images of celebrities.

How long have you been involved with the PPC? Six months.

Are there any types of photographic genres you specialise in? As mentioned above when I first started I specialised in landscape for about 30 years, then with the advent of digital I became really interested in composite images and specialised in that for 10 years. I needed figures to use in my composites so started taking female studio photographs and for the last 3 years I have specialised in female fashion and beauty throughout the ages, but not for composites, but as portraits in their own right.

Are there any fads or fashions in photography you particularly like / dislike? They come and go and sometimes I start off liking them then after a while don’t like them anymore e.g.. Flaming Pear flood plugin for PS.

Film or digital? Digital.

What equipment do you currently use? Canon 5d Mk2 and my favourite lens is my Canon L series 24-105mm f4. It’s getting on a bit now and I sometimes think about upgrading but I am very happy with it, know how to use it and I don’t think a new camera will improve my photography. I also have a Canon cropped frame 40d for backup.

Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought, why? Small softbox that fits on speedlight when mounted on camera.

Harry Wentworth in Twenty Questions (or less...)


Working Girl ‘Working Girl’ - A composite made up of the New York Manhattan skyline stretched using the smudge tool, a section of the skyline was also used to created the ‘road’ the figure is my daughter in silhouette taken in her bedroom and the ‘light’ from behind her was created with a soft white brush.

What has been your favourite camera over the years? Canon 5d Mk2 (previously I had two Canon A1 film cameras)

What is your best photographic achievement? I am a member of The Societies of Photographers, the fastest growing photography association in Europe and 2 years ago I won Photographer of the Year (digital images) award.

What do you like best about the hobby? Friendship and competition.

If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs, where would you go? Many places, I have not done landscape photography for many years but thinking about going back to it again.

If you could pass on just one tip about photography to a newcomer what would it be? Learn how to take photographs using manual / semi automatic

modes as soon as possible and get an understanding and appreciation of natural light.

Photographically what do you think is in store for you in the next five years? Maybe diversifying from portraits.

What motivates you to continue taking pictures? Competition.

Do you have any ongoing projects you would like to share with members? I have just applied for my LRPS after all these years and if I pass, in November, I will go straight on and apply for my ARPS. I have been working on a project for the last 3 years, the theme of which is ‘Female Fashion and Beauty Throughout the Ages’ and will fit the ARPS theme nicely. I have photographed many models over the last 3 years in period costume, covering all periods of history from cavewoman to current day latex.

Harry Wentworth in Twenty Questions (or less...)

23


All of these images are from a project entitled “Fashion and Beauty Throughout the Ages� a 3 year project I have just about completed and will be used for my ARPS submission, I sourced the dresses and models and shot them using my own lighting equipment in a local church hall.

24

Top Left - Cave Woman, 2 Million Years BC Top Right - Flapper, 1920s Bottom Left - Pre Raphaelite, 1848-1854 (but based on the medieval period) Bottom Middle - Rockabilly, 1950s Bottom Right - Edwardian, 1901-1910

Harry Wentworth in Twenty Questions (or less...)

To To To Bo Bo Bo


op Left - Summer of Love, 1967 op Middle - Marie Antoinette, 1755-1973 op Right - Regency, 1811-1820 ottom Left - Twiggy, 1965 ottom Middle - Miss Havisham, 1861 ottom Right - Latex, 2019

Harry Wentworth in Twenty Questions (or less...)

25


SIGMA 150MM F2.8 MACRO David takes a look at this third party macro lens Whilst many of you are aware I’m quite a fan of bridge cameras and higher end compacts I do in addition own a now ageing Canon 400D which is paired with a battery grip both of which I’ve had since 2008. Some short while ago I did consider parting with these two items even though I’d only get a pittance for them, but then reflected on the fact that I also had three Canon lenses & a couple of Sigma EX lenses all of which would fetch a better price than the camera & grip. I was in a bit of a quandary about what to do about the ‘Canon System’ which hasn’t been used for some time, until the obvious dawned on me that my bridge camera was only capable of 25mm (35mm Equiv.) at the wide end and although in most circumstances that’s fine it would be nice to have a wider option if occasionally required. So I made the decision that I would attach my Sigma 10/20 zoom (16/32mm Equiv. on the cropped sensor of the 400D) on a semi - permanent basis and store this combination in a separate camera bag which would be kept in the car boot whilst I was out on photo jaunts so it would never be far away should I need the wider option, and 16mm in ‘old money’ is reasonably wide. Fairly recently when out & about with the bridge camera in hand I was looking at taking some close - ups which doesn’t present much of a problem with this camera as it can focus down to 3cms once the close focus option is selected and since I only print to a maximum of A4 I seem able to produce quite acceptable results with this technique. However, I started to think since I’m now keeping the Canon & wide angle combination in the car boot it may just be that a prime macro lens kept alongside may prove occasionally beneficial to me and in any case it would see use at home under more controlled conditions from time to time. With this in mind I started to look at various macro lenses and since I have always been happy with Sigma’s offerings it was indeed a Sigma that I eventually settled upon in the form of the SIGMA 150 f2.8 APO MACRO EX DG OS to give it it’s full title. Perhaps straight off it’s worth mentioning that although this lens produces 1:1 macro images that it is also a 150mm prime lens that can be used in the normal manner by correctly setting the Focus Limiter Switch. There are three settings available, these being Full Setting, .38m to infinity, .53m to infinity & .38m to .53m of which my personal preference is the ‘Full Setting’ when using hand held outdoors as I like to have all options available at all times, although when mounted on a tripod for the sole purpose of macro the .38m to .53m setting is then my preferred choice. This lens can also be

26

used in conjunction with the Sigma 1.4 EX DG or the 2.0 EX DG teleconverters which then in effect the lens becomes approximately a 210mm f4 or a 300mm f5.6 (on Cropped Sensors) but since I haven’t got a Teleconverter I can’t offer any details regarding further ‘reach’ which may be achieved with a cropped sensor, as sensors vary depending upon the manufacturer. However it’s worth noting that whilst the 1.4 converter maintains full auto control, the 2.0 times does not. Construction and finish of the lens in my opinion is excellent and well up to the standard I would expect from Sigma’s ‘EX’ offerings. At the 150mm construction a greater distance to subject range is achieved than some macro lens which is likely to be advantageous when photographing insects and the like, and of course with Sigma’s OS (Optical Stabilizer) which allows the use of shutter speeds up to four times slower than would normally be possible, therefore being able to do hand held macro photography is for me one of the main reasons for my purchase of this 150mm lens. Since the OS is powered by the camera battery it would be prudent in my opinion to only switch it on only when actually taking images and remember to have a spare battery to hand unless like me you opt to have a battery grip attached which holds two batteries and as a plus makes for easier use of the camera. In any case when the lens is being attached or removed to/from the camera body the OS system should be switched off to prevent any possible damage to it, so once attached in the switched off mode I just leave it off until needed and if and when used on a tripod the OS system should always be switched off and should always be switched off if using a long exposure. Whilst the lens incorporates a Hyper Sonic Motor to ensure quick and quiet auto focus with manual focus available as well, it also boasts a floating inner focusing system which moves two different lens groups to different positions thus compensating for astigmatic & spherical aberrations ensuring extremely high optical performance over its full focusing range of infinity down to

Sigma 150mm Macro Review - David Ridley LRPS


1:1 macro. This lens also has three Special Low Dispersion glass elements and Super Multi - Layer coating and takes 72mm screw in filters. Ease of handling is maintained throughout the focus range as the physical length of the lens doesn’t alter. In addition to the supplied lens hood is a ‘Hood Adaptor’ that when attached to the actual lens hood in effect extends it to provide extra shading of the front element when using a camera with an APS - C sensor. The ‘Hood Adaptor’ should only be used with APS - C sensors as with larger size sensors a vignette effect will likely be evident. Attached to the lens is a tripod socket & collar which in turn allows it to be attached to a tripod rather than attaching the camera body itself. Once attached to a tripod the loosening of the locking wheel allows the freedom to rotate the camera & lens combination thus enabling easy alternation between horizontal and vertical positions. Being able to rotate the collar I have found useful when using it tripod mounted for final adjustment & when using it hand held as the part of it that attaches to a tripod can be moved to a different position for comfort. The lens has a rounded nine blade diaphragm which makes for attractive blurred areas on the part(s) of the image that is out of focus. Taking all things together, the build quality, the components, the overall capabilities, the ease of use, the increased distance to subject compared to many macro lenses, the ability offered to do hand held macro photography, the large f2.8 aperture and not forgetting the value for money, to say I’m impressed with this lens is a bit of an understatement! For anyone considering the purchase of this lens, prior to actual purchase should naturally check for themselves not only the suitability for their needs but also the compatibility for their particular make and model of camera and any restrictions that may apply when fitted to that make & model of camera. On a final note the usual sensible precautions should always be taken in use and in storage in particular noting that it is not waterproof. Since having this lens I decided that the 400D I have should stay semi-retired coupled with the Sigma W/A zoom and have purchased a second hand 600D (at a great price) for use with the macro lens so in effect I now have two cameras ‘ready to go’ for two distinct situations. David Ridley LRPS Sigma 150mm Macro Review - David Ridley LRPS

27


DIGITAL ART FROM PHOTOGRAPHS Are you an artist in the traditional sense? A creative using canvas and paints, have you tried digital art and creating digital art from a photograph? In this article I explore some aspects of the process of creating something different from a photograph using a couple of digital art software programs. There are several programs in the marketplace including the industry No.1 - Adobe Photoshop that enable one to take a photograph and turn it into a painting. Some of the alternative software programs are better than others at this conversion and different programs have differing levels of adjustment available. In this piece I look at Dynamic Auto Painter (DAP) by Media Chance Software and Snap Art 4 by Exposure Software.

Dynamic Auto Painter - Image Copyright Media Chance Software, www.mediachance.com/dap/

Dynamic Auto Painter DAP has been around for several years and is now in its 6th Version. The software allows one to ‘paint’ in several ‘styles’ of famous artists from history including Sergeant, Monet, Van Gogh and others; together with making one’s own styles and downloading other styles from the DAP Community much the same as pre-sets are made available in other software packages. The software is made available in a Home edition and a Pro edition with differing licensing agreements. A trial version is also available from the Media Chance website. The level of adaptability and adjustment of each of the ‘Artist Styles’ by the user has increased with each version of the software and one can also manually control the painting effects if one is proficient but the ‘Auto’ setting I have found is perfectly adequate. The latest Pro version also allows a modicum of none painting related adjustments. The following images demonstrate what is possible. I have provided before and after versions for comparison. As can be seen the level of use of the style and the degree of use of the various ‘artist brushes’ in built within the program is comprehensive. Final images can be saved to Adobe psd format for further editing in Adobe Photoshop if required as well as jpeg files. Palm Tree, using DAP ‘Illustrator’

28

Digital Art from Photographs - John Pattison


Waiting in Ras Al Khaimer, using DAP ‘Aquarell’

Impressionist Landscape using DAP ‘Benson’

Coja Boathouse using DAP ‘Illustrator’

A Day in the Park, using DAP ‘Sargeant’

Digital Art from Photographs - John Pattison

29


Snap Art 4 The Exposure Software (previously Alien Skin Software) ‘Snap Art 4’ program I came across more recently having transferred to the Alien Skin software suite which also included Exposure X3 (now X5) and Blow Up programs allowing a full range of choice in post processing and finalisation of images and in creating digital art.

The Snap Art 4 software allows the creative to develop digital art images to their individual artistic style as it does not include pre-defined ‘artist styles’ The Snap Art program accordingly requires more familiarity with the creation of paintings than DAP and an artistic background would be an advantage to the creative using this program. Nevertheless, pleasing images can be created by the novice with a bit more work. The program has several creative options built in based upon traditional artist media, including impasto, oil paint, crayon, pencil and watercolour, choices of paper and cloth bases, layers and brushes for retaining details from the original image and the application of vignettes amongst many others. Final images are saved to jpeg format. The software is available as a stand-alone program or as a plug in to Photoshop or Lightroom.

Image Copyright Wim Arys Photography, www.wimarys.com {accessed 25 October 2019}

Qantab Beach, using Snap Art ‘Oil Paint’

30

Qantab Beach, using Snap Art ‘Impasto Paint’ Digital Art from Photographs - John Pattison

Oman Museum Exhibit, using Snap Art ‘Oilpaint Paint’


Dhow on the Bay, using Snap Art ‘Impasto Paint’ Both DAP and Snap Art allow one to maintain a degree of photographic realism which can be varied from 100 % to 0% although keeping at 100% somewhat defeats the purpose of the digital painting art form. Also, there are various filters that can be added to the basic art and variations to brush sizes is also available. In Snap Art one can also direct the strength and direction of ‘light’ across the image to one’s artistic intent.

The saved images can also have further post-production work carried out by importing into other software packages allowing full flexibility to achieve one’s final vision. There is much scope here for ones creative juices to flow to provide that ‘digital art masterpiece’ for framing and wall display providing a further extension of one’s photography.

Digital Art from Photographs - John Pattison

31


FROM THE W

Members who entered the Travelling Exhibition received prints back (ones that aren’t going to of last year’s exhibition). What do you do with members do with returned entries from the mo

A professional photographer friend of mine reg shops in search of vintage cameras and other p he emailed me to ask if the “Half Plate Postal C Photographic Club” – he knew that I was a mem

It turned out that he had picked up a collection 1960s to the late 1980s from a Mr R H Mason o District landscapes – there’s a few here accomp

When Johnny (my photographer friend) buys o finds partly exposed films inside them, which h exhibition in the near future (in a gallery space include some prints from these cameras possib footage from old cine cameras. Do any members remember Mr Mason?

Back to the question I posed at the top of the p prints? Could yours end up in an exhibition in h bin (which is where most of mine go)? Regardl your prints were retained for the TE (and they email a low resolution version of the files (max postalphotoclub.org.uk) for inclusion in a futur

32

From the Webmaster - Graham Dean


WEBMASTER

n (TE) print competition will have recently o be part of the TE, or ones that did form part them? For that matter, what do the print onthly circle entries?

gularly visits car boot sales and charity photographic memorabilia. Earlier this year Club” had changed its name to the “Postal mber of the PPC?

n of entries to the TE dated from the late of Bowness. Most of the images are Lake panying my notes.

old cameras (still and cine) , he often he has processed. He’s hoping to stage an e in disused shop in Morecambe) which will bly some of Mr Mason’s prints along with

page – what do you do with old PPC half a century? Or do they end up in the less of the answer to that however, if were printed from digital files) - why not x 1600 x 1200 pixels) to me (webmaster@ re web gallery?

From the Webmaster - Graham Dean

33


St. Peter's church in the Village of Edensor in the Chatsworth Estate, with the centre of the village climbing westward away from the Derwent valley.

WET WEATHER AT CHATSWORTH It had showered raw rain all Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning, and my plans over the past week had been a trip northeast from home to Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire. Whilst breakfasting around 05:45 I re-checked the local weather forecast and it was unchanged showing intermittent showers with some sunny periods, followed by an overcast dry afternoon! The trip was on, going to the Derbyshire Dales and alighting from the local bus on the doorstep of Chatsworth Hall; I had past through several short sharp showers travelling to Chatsworth. Pleasingly the opening steps I trod in the grounds were dry if rather on the dark side due to an overcast sky. Setting up the camera gear I did at least have the comfort of knowing I had a camera “Rain jacket” plus a waterproof cover for my camera backpack. Also, my own clothing was in good all-weather order, hopefully. My opening salvo of shots, not surprisingly, concentrated

34

on a rainbow I had viewed on and off along the approach to these Derbyshire Dales. As always, I make careful notes and alternative routes in the preliminary planning stage, therefore my route map had many references and notes to anticipated photographs to be made, with alternatives for poor conditions ahead. After the first flurry of shots I headed Northeast from the Devonshire’s home, crossing the river Derwent and climbing the small hill hiding the repositioned village of Edensor, the new village dwellings now resting in the valley half a mile away. The high ground brought views of this village to the west, and the Park with the Hall across the river eastward. It also invited more water to fall from the heavens. I circled this low hillock and sheltered every now and then from the heavy showers heading horizontally across the Estate. There were many seats and benches around, but no rest for me as I splashed onward dipping back into the Derwent’s half hidden valley coursing through the Estates low terrain. My way now south following

Eric's Corner


Eric’s

the flow of the river, and at times, being so wet, I thought I was actually wading in the stream. At this southern end of Chatsworth’s domain, stands a garden centre and the small hamlet of Carlton Lees, where the valley winds yonder and I was following along both the path of the river and the track of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. To finish on the muddy walking paths, or do I mean sliding ways, back onto the main A6 at Rowsley, a village I had travelled through earlier in the day, closing a full soggy circle of wanderings for the snapping of “BAD WEATHER” pictures’ albeit with a spattering of sunshine.

C

ne r or

A pot of gold over Baslow village? Image taken from the north side of Chatsworth House ~ still dry on the estate.

It was still wet with heavy rain and the sky promised more to follow, but, determined not to be only a “fair-weather photographer”, I was undeterred, full of enthusiasm to enjoy a day of mix conditions and grab some images to swell the stocks of foul weather orientated imagery for sure. The precipitation had drained the skies over the whole weekend, from squalling short sharp showers to stinging horizontal gust of funnelled wind driven storm force rain, washing over the landscape and me. A week later I did make a second visit to the Chatsworth Estate area, this time with more sun than clouds and completely differing style of photography too. A mix bag of weather over seven days and a mix bag of images to match. It cannot be all bad!

Paine’s bridge across the river Derwent at Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire.

A whole bunch of fungi resting under a very damp tree on the Chatsworth Estate (Park). Stump Puffball [lycoperdon pyriforme] found on tree stumps growing in a troop on dead wood as seen here ~ widespread and very common.

Until the next time, I’ll see you around the corner!

Edensor village from the footpath to the House, at Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire.

Eric's Corner

35


Three’s a crowd of trees in Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire

A closer view of the bridge crossing the river Derwent taken from the west bank again.

A wet walk across the route between Edensor the House following the track across the rising ground between the two.

36

Eric's Corner


Making their way home like lost sheep on the Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire.

Bowing down to the house from the west bank of the river Derwent at Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire.

Following like sheep alongside the river Derwent heading southwards towards Carlton Lees hamlet adjacent to the Chatsworth garden centre. Do they know this is a Derwent Valley Heritage Way. Eric's Corner

37


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.

38

Eric's Corner

Profile for PPC Photonews

PPC Photonews - Winter 2019  

Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and it's members

PPC Photonews - Winter 2019  

Celebrating the Postal Photographic Club and it's members

Advertisement