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P h o t o n e w s Winter 2015


Photonews

Winter 2015

Our perception of time is through the movement or changes that occur in front of us. In this issue we explore one members’ experiences of portraying this dimension in his still photography. I have sat alongside Peter during some of his forays into the landscape and through his enthusiasm have dabbled in the medium myself so I hope that some of you are also suitably inspired. Talking of inspiration we had a great response to part one of Eric’s macro-epic (how did such a ‘small’ subject take up so much space?) so I am sure you will all enjoy the second part of what will now be a three-part series. Eric has been a regular contributor apart from his “Corner” and I am currently working out how to keep his contributions coming during 2016. A new, regular contributor from this issue is John Pattison and I am delighted to present the first “View from the Gulf” in this issue following his introductory and largely biographical article in the Autumn issue. I hope that John, like Eric, will become a regular feature of the magazine. This months issue is bursting at the seams, so much so that I think we have set a new record for page-count that is unlikely to be equalled during my tenure as Photonews Editor. Every month I express my sincere thanks for people’s contributions and never more so than in this, my twelfth, issue since taking the editorial reins in Spring 2014. Finally, we have the first of several upcoming member profiles this issue - if you would rather not wait for me to call you then feel free to volunteer to be featured during 2016!!

Photonews is published four times a year. All rights reserved. All materials copyright The Postal Photographic Club and/or the 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. Cover photo:Snow encrusted rocks, Bradgate © Eric Ladbury


Opening Shot FLORAL “The symmetry of this scene caught my eye. As I took it, I’d planned to have the stem central with the two flowers left and right; but as it turned out the blurred background also contributed a nice pattern that I think complements the plant.” © Alan Phillips

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Photonews

Contents

The journal of the Postal Photographic Club

Winter 2015

Featured Articles

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26

45

Welcome … … to the Winter issue of Photonews, the journal of the Postal Photographic Club. The Opening Shot this month is from IC5 member Alan Phillips and unsurprisingly it topped the October 2015 folio. It ties in very well with Eric’s article on depth of field in close-up photography on page 22 in that the EXIF detail for this image sows an aperture of f32 was used on Alan’s 100mm macro lens.

6 - Long Exposure Photography Peter Henry 19 - PPC Website Gallery Spotlight featuring Clive Pigott 22 - Close-up photography and depth of field Eric Ladbury 26 - From the HPCC Archive Ross Martin 34 - Why Film? Rich Walliker 41 - A film user in the digital age: aka the Pragmatist Geoff Stevens 46 - Member Profile Bas Gunn

As always, I would like to extend my very grateful thanks to everyone who has helped with this issue.

Regulars Club Matters - p5, 25, 40 PPC Website - p32 PPC Forum - p33 Classic Cameras - p51 Notes from the Gulf - p45 Erics Corner - p55 http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk http://forum.postalphotoclub.org.uk https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Postal-Photographic-Club/ 227877620675501

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Club Matters Time flies by, this issue of Photonews marks the second anniversary of the club magazine becoming an Internet publication. No longer being limited by printing costs has meant that we have been able to produce it in colour, expand the content and have lots more photographs. I was a bit concerned that the perennial problem of finding ‘copy’ would prove to be even more difficult, but Dave Whenham seems to have the knack of persuading members to contribute articles. We have some talented people in the PPC and it is great that their photographs and expertise can be seen and appreciated by us all.

John Kay, General Secretary

circle to your membership; the club website gives details about all of our circles – postal and Internet. There is no additional membership fee for being in more than one PPC circle; postal circle members receive one free pack of print folders and have to pay for the postage to send the folio to the next member on the rota.

Our thanks are also owed to Dave for making Photonews available in different web formats; we don’t even have the file size restrictions imposed by using e-mail – details of how to view high resolution versions are always given in Dave’s covering email. Welcome to new members A warm welcome is extended to new members - Tom Coulson (IC7), Gordon Hendry (IC2), Frank Mordecai (DP) and Francesca Shearcroft (IC1). It is also good to see Ken Ainscow back in Circle DP. Joining another circle It was good to see so many Internet circle members entering prints into this year’s TE Annual Print Competition. The members of our print circles have the pleasure of receiving their monthly folios from the postman, so get in touch with me if you fancy adding a postal print

Riding Sidesaddle. Porthmadog Victorian Weekend © John Kay

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Long-exposure photography Introduction

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

http://www.peterhenryphotography.com

Photography over the past 10 years or so has evolved exponentially, both in terms of the technology available and the number of people who use it. Never before have so many people had the ability to capture and share images so quickly and easily. Quite literally something can happen which is then caught on camera and broadcast around the world…instantly and in high quality. This has led to a rise in the number of people who not only take snapshot photographs, but have a passion for producing images which have visual appeal and capture something more than simply a moment in time. With digital camera sensors now producing such high quality images along with technological advances in software, both in-camera and post production, the limits of what can be produced from a simple photograph have expanded hugely. The camera can be used as a tool along with computer software to create art, just as a painter uses paint and brushes. The ability to take a wellcomposed image (or series of images) and manipulate every aspect of it provides opportunities limited only by imagination and creativity. The line between photography and art has arguably never been more blurred.

Down Below Hitech IRND 10 stop + Hoya ND16 – 236 seconds @ ISO 100, f8 All images in this article © Peter Henry unless stated

The techniques used for capturing images also play a role in the end result, for example using fast shutter speeds to capture sharp detail in moving subjects such as waves or in sports. HDR photography is also used extensively (with varying degrees of extremity and success I might add) to capture highlight and shadow detail which falls outside of the cameras dynamic range. Another technique used is long exposure photography, which can be used for a variety of purposes and that is what I will be talking about in this article.

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Long-exposure photography

Wast Water comparison - long-exposure and “normal”

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

Top: No filter – 1/20th second @ ISO 100, f14 (+/- 2 stops HDR) Bottom and left: B&W ND110 – 102 seconds @ ISO 100, f14

I have yet to find a definitive definition of how long the shutter needs to be open to class it as a long exposure but my personal rule of thumb is any photo taken where there is a distinguishable pause between shutter opening and closing - which I choose to interpret as anything over one second. Depending on the situation the exposure time can vary from seconds to minutes or in some cases hours, but in all cases require a reduced level of available or ambient light either by natural means (e.g. shooting at night time) or by using neutral density filters to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor. Long-exposures can alter the mood of an image too. In the images of Wast Water above the “normal” shutter speed contributes to the feeling of wild weather but the use of a long exposure adds a calmness to the final image which would not have been apparent at the time. 7


Long-exposure photography Peter Henry IC1, IC3

With the exception of some night time photography where there simply isn’t enough light to use shorter exposure times, long exposures are generally used to capture scenes which involve a combination of static and moving subject matter. This could be a one second exposure to smooth out the water cascading down a waterfall or a three minute exposure to capture the movement of clouds passing overhead. Depending on your aim the results can be as subtle or extreme as you like. It is however painfully clear reading popular photographic magazines and forums that “cotton wool” water and silky waterfalls can be as devisive as the perennial love-hate relationship we have with Marmite. Apart from water and clouds, other subjects which are often captured using this technique are light trails, lightning and busy city streets. If you want to shoot long exposures during daylight there really is no choice but to pack a set of neutral density filters. These are readily available at varying strengths ranging from one stop of light reduction up to sixteen stops. There are several brands available which offer different types of filter. Some are screw-in which attach directly to the front of the lens and others are square, slot-in filters which require an additional holder to attach to the lens. Both types of filters have advantages and disadvantages which we will consider later. For now, let’s concentrate on what makes a good subject for long-exposure photography. Of course this is very subjective and you may well have completely different views. Top Right: Henrhyd falls IV: Hoya ND64 – 4 seconds @ ISO 100, f13 Left: The Wall B&W ND110 – 67 seconds @ ISO 200, f13 Overleaf: Severn II Hitech IRND 10 stop + Hoya ND16 – 236 secs @ ISO100, f8 8


Long-exposure photography Choosing a subject

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

As I mentioned earlier, long exposures can be used for a variety of subjects but a quick trawl through Flickr or any other popular image sharing website will reveal that the most common are: • • • • •

Landscapes – To blur moving clouds, water, foliage or waving grass. Seascapes – To soften the water or capture movement of waves or clouds. Architecture – To blur cloud movement creating soft streaks in contrast with solid structures. People – To create ghosts by capturing movement or eliminate the people altogether from a busy street. Lightning – Long exposures are the best way to capture lightning during the day or at dusk.

Whatever subject you choose you will need a composition with static objects along with moving elements in order to emphasise the movement. Depending on your creative objective exposure times will vary. For example you might want to use a one second exposure to capture the motion of water from a large wave rushing up a beach towards you, creating a scene with drama and movement. Or at the other end of the scale you could be standing in a city looking straight up, in between sky scrapers taking a four minute exposure to blur the movement of the clouds in the sky above and produce a fine art minimalist image like those created by Michael Levin (http://www.michaellevin.ca/bw-work.html), Joel Tjintjelaar (http://www.bwvision.com) or Julia Anna Gospodaro (http:// www.juliaannagospodarou.com). Equally you may want to take a regular landscape photo and simply enhance the reflections of a mountain by smoothing out small ripples in a lake or tarn using a ten second exposure. I often experiment with each approach as oft-times the preferred option is only obvious once you get home and look at the images on the bigger screen and therefore it is better to hedge ones bets as it were. Top: Mumbles Pier Hoya ND64 + ND16 + ND grad – 121 seconds @ ISO 100, f13 Above: The Towers That Be Hoya ND64 + ND16- 6 seconds @ ISO 100, f8

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Long-exposure photography Peter Henry IC1, IC3

Regardless of your aims or chosen shutter speed in my experience the same basic rules apply: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

You WILL need a tripod and either a remote shutter release or the self timer on your camera to eliminate camera shake You will need a composition with a strong static element, such as rocks, buildings etcetera You will need something in the image which moves - water and/or clouds are my favourite choices You will need a filter to reduce light entering the lens if shooting in daylight You will need imagination You will need to be prepared to “fail” and to try, try again.

It is safe to say that not all scenes will benefit from this technique and some will work better than others, but it is a very interesting and often challenging way to take photographs. There are a few things to bear in mind though. Firstly, and this applies to tripod use in general, if your camera or lens has image stabilisation, it is best to switch it off if possible. I have ruined many shots by leaving this on and the lens actually ADDING blur to the image by trying to compensate for camera movement, which wasn’t really there! Secondly, you will need to prevent any stray light from entering your camera during a long exposure. It is only an issue under certain circumstances but when it does occur you will wish you’d taken steps to avoid it (see over). Light can enter through the viewfinder (most commonly) but sometimes it can get in through other parts of the camera such as gaps between battery compartment and camera body, but this is much less likely. It is always worth making an effort to prevent any ‘light leakage’ by using a viewfinder cover (some cameras come with these in the box and others, such as some Nikon cameras have them built in) or even a dark cloth to cover the whole camera. Just be aware that if you use Aira Beck B&W ND110 – 23 seconds @ ISO 200, f9

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Long-exposure photography Peter Henry IC1, IC3

an infra red remote release you will need to leave the receiver uncovered for it to work. Finally, when composing a shot, it is worth thinking about what you want your final image to look like. This is where your imagination and pre-visualisation skills come to the fore. You will need to decide what you want the main focus of the image to be and how you feel that the long exposure will enhance the scene. As with any genre of photography is all too easy to have too many strong elements in the scene which conflict with each other and make the image too cluttered.Ask yourself if you want the static element to be the main focal point or are you using movement to add drama to a relatively normal scene for example? As with most photography knowing what you want to achieve before you press the shutter release is often beneficial. For example, you could be in the Lake District looking to photograph a jetty but want to make it really stand out from its surroundings. To do this you might want to use a sixty-second plus exposure to completely smooth out the water, creating a strong contrast between the jetty and the lake. In doing this you will also capture movement in the sky (if there are broken or textured clouds) which can be quite effective when done right, but equally it can be distracting and can easily become the dominant element within the scene. In this instance you may want to use a much longer exposure (perhaps three or four minutes) to smooth out the effect of movement in the clouds, making them less dominant.

Above top – without eyepiece covered, below – eyepiece covered. Both are the RAW, unprocessed files. © Dave Whenham See more at: http://davewhenhamphotography.com/2015/04/13/do-you-read-the-manual/

At the other end of the scale, you could be standing on a flat beach with very little to use as a focal point other than the reflection of the sky in the wet sand. If that is the case you could create a dramatic image using the movement of the clouds as the strong element of the image (this often works best if the clouds are moving directly towards you). Ultimately though it will come down to trial and error and your own experience to get the balance right and each composition will work differently. 12


Boom! B&W ND110 & Hoya ND8 – 83 seconds @ ISO 200, f9


Long-exposure photography Choosing the “right” settings

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

This is what could be termed the technical part, which often puts people off shooting long exposures, but really there isn’t much to it and long exposures are well within the abilities of any competent photographer. A lot of it comes down to applying some common sense and also some trial and error (especially with very long exposures) but there are some basics, which can help you capture the best possible image: Firstly, always capture your images in RAW as you will almost certainly need to carry out some post processing (even if it is just a mono conversion). This will allow you to have more control over shadows, highlights and particularly white balance than a JPEG file.

Above: The Wheel B&W ND110 – 10 seconds @ ISO 200, f11

It is always best to use the lowest native ISO that your camera will allow (eg ISO 100 or ISO 50). Don’t be tempted to use the extended range that some cameras offer unless absolutely necessary as this can reduce image quality. The same can be said of using extreme apertures such as f22 or even f32. Light diffraction caused by very small apertures will result in much softer images than those taken at wider apertures such as f10 or f13 for example.

Calculating exposure times is the tricky bit and it is not an exact science due to variations in filter quality and as such this will require the most trial and error. There are plenty of exposure charts available online and even a good few Apps available for Smartphones/ tablets etcetera which can help you determine an appropriate starting point. Basically you take an exposure reading without your filter attached and then use the chart to calculate the approximate exposure time with the filter. For example an initial reading of 1/60th sec will equate to 1/8th second with a 3 stop filter or 15 seconds with a 10 stop filter attached. These figures are approximate but are a good guide to use as a starting point. Some filter manufacturers include handy conversion charts in the box with the more extreme neutral density filters.

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Long-exposure photography What filters? Square versus circular.

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

Circular filters are screwed directly onto the front of the lens and have additional filter threads on the front so they can be stacked if required. The advantage of these is that the lens hood can still be used, helping to prevent flare and improve contrast in certain conditions. I currently use Hoya Pro1 ND 16 (four stop), Hoya Pro1 ND 64 (six stop) and B&W ND110 (ten stop) filters which I use separately or stacked, depending on conditions and the required exposure time. I have found the quality of these glass filters to be excellent and they are definitely worth the money. Circular filters do have a disadvantage over a square filter, which mainly applies to the darkest (six stops+) variety. Due to not being able to see through the lens with the filter on, they need to be removed to recompose or focus. This is also the case with square filters but they simply slide in and out of the holder, whereas the circular type must be unscrewed from the lens. This can be quite fiddly especially if you are using additional ND graduated filters to darken bright skies. In this instance it is much easier to have a square filter system such as Lee (http://www.leefilters.com), Cokin (http://www.cokin.co.uk) or Hitech (https://www.formatt-hitech.com) with all of the filters slotted into the holder which remains attached to the lens. Square filters come in various sizes, most commonly 85mm or 100mm widths and each size will require its own filter holder and respective lens adapter rings. The smaller filters such as Cokin ‘P’ and 84dot5mm (http://www.84dot5mm.com) are generally much cheaper and are ideal for cropsensor DSLRs whereas full frame DSLRs will be better suited to the larger systems such as Cokin Z, Lee or Hitech due to vignetting from the filter holder. Lee also make a SW150 system which is 150mm wide and was originally engineered specifically for the Nikon 14-24mm lens, but is now available with adaptors for other lenses. This system is very expensive indeed and although the prices have come down slightly since it was first released, it will still cost you as much as a DSLR to buy the holder, adapters and a set of filters. A relative newcomer in the UK is Nisi (http:// www.nisidigital.com/en/). The quality of filters can vary dramatically from brand to brand and as a result I would strongly recommend reading plenty of reviews before parting with your cash. There are lots of websites offering reviews on filters and it is definitely worthwhile spending time reading these to see what people think. However, as with most things, you do get what you pay for! By way of an example the two images of the same scene on the next page were taken within a few moments of each other but with different filters. Both claim to be 10 stop filters but the exposure times tell a different story. The ‘B&W ND110’ filter is much darker than the ‘Formatt Hitech Prostop IRND’ filter and results in a longer exposure time. There is also a distinct difference in colour cast between the two, with the ND110 giving a much warmer tone than the Hitech filter which has a decidedly blue colour cast. Both of the images are straight out of the camera and have not been edited to illustrate how results can differ. If your aim is produce black and white images then colour cast will not be as much of an issue as it will be for colour photos but image quality will affect all photos. There is no point spending lots of money on a good quality camera and lenses, only to ruin your shots by placing a poor quality filter in front of them!

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Long-exposure photography Colour shift with extreme ND filters.

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

All of the extreme ND filter that I have used introduce a degree of colour shift, easily corrected in post production or even by applying a custom white balance at the time of taking the photograph.

Above: B&W ND110 ISO100 f11 30 seconds Below: Hitech IRND 10 stop ISO100 f11 15 seconds Both images are RAW files straight from camera with no post production

The final image (above) which was created using the top RAW file opposite with B&W ND110 filter. On this occassion the B&W filter produced an image with better contrast and resolved sharper detail than the Hitech filter. Only a few adjustments were required in Adobe Camera Raw before converting to mono and cropping slightly as you can see to reduce the amount of water at the bottom of the frame. I actually only took these shots in order to compare the 2 filters as the light at the time was very flat but on returning home and looking at the final result on the computer I actually quite like this finished image. The long exposure has helped to remove the ripples from the water and enhanced the reflection of the boats and jetty. 16


Long-exposure photography Conclusion

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

Whilst I can appreciate that long exposure photography is not everyone’s cup of tea I have found it to be a very interesting and challenging technique to get to grips with. I have found myself in some unusual places trying to get a good composition, and indeed suffered pain while crouching under a jetty on Derwentwater looking for a different angle [And complained for a long while afterwards - Ed]. It can take a lot of time to find the right shot but with a little bit of imagination and a fair amount of trial and error the results can definitely be worth the effort! I hope this article has whetted your appetite and if you’ve never tried it before I hope it has encouraged you to try long-exposure for yourself. Seascale Jetty VI B&W ND110 – 64 seconds @ ISO 100, f16

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Long-exposure photography Useful links

Here are a few related websites and books that could be of use to members wishing to explore further: This is a good publication for architectural and fine art images which is available as a digital download or in print (I have both as it includes one of my images :-) http://camerapixo.com/publications/envisionography

Peter Henry IC1, IC3

Popular filters for long exposure photography Lee Filters (http://www.leefilters.com) makers of the Big Stopper and Little Stopper …… Hitech (https://www.formatt-hitech.com) - The popular Firecrest brand

Another publication by Sharon Tenenbaum available as an ebook: http://sharontenenbaum.com/services-products/products/ebook-long-exposure/

or for Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Create-Long-Exposure-Fine-Phtography-ebook/dp/ B004RR1AHE

Hoya (http://www.hoyafilter.com) - Long established, makers of the Hoya Pro-1

and also her website: http://sharontenenbaum.com/

And a few of my favourite fine art photographers: http://www.steendoessing.com/ http://www.michelrajkovic.fr/fr/?language=english&theme=en#/010-Portfolio/1nowhere/ http://russbarnes.co.uk/arcadian

“What is the longest (deliberate) exposure you’ve ever made for a single image?”

Also a couple of useful filter reviews:

By coincidence, this question was posed in the 10th October Amateur Photographer magazine (other magazines are available)

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/lee-filters-the-big-stopper-filterreview-14590

Readers answered:

http://dancarrphotography.com/blog/2012/08/18/hitech-pro-stop-10-nd-filterreview/ http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/round-ups/accessory_round_ups/ best-9-and-10-stop-nd-filters-9470

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/russian-photographer-tests-hoya-s-pro-ndseries--27938 I can vouch for these Hoya filters, they really are very good. In fact I think I will be purchasing a Hoya Pro ND 1000 filter in the near future!

Less than 29 seconds …………………………….20% 30 - 59 seconds ……………………………………17% 1 - 30 minutes ……………………………………..51% 31 - 59 minutes …………………………………….4% 1 - 24 hours …………………………………………7% More than 24 hours ………………………………..1%

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PPC Website Galleries: Clive Piggott (CP1 and IC2) http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

The PPC Website - members gallery area. For some time now the club has offered members the opportunity to host a small gallery of their work on the club website. It offers visitors a chance to see the varied styles of photography enjoyed by members and adds a crucial visual element to the site. A photographic club’s website should really be about the images after all! It is probably fair to say that this is a much under-utilised aspect of membership so as a way of rasing awareness we are featuring the some members galleries in Photonews. In this first instalment the spotlight is on Clive Piggott, our esteemed Forum Manager.

I took my first photograph some 55 years ago on my dad’s Box Brownie. The heads were cut off. I still remember the intense disappointment! At about ten years old I acquired a plastic camera that used 127 film. I still have one or two images from that. My first real camera was an East German 35mm model called a Boots Beirette, acquired when I was about thirteen with the proceeds of a paper round. I took mainly slides though I did eventually have an enlarger and make some monochrome prints. Then there was a gap until in my early twenties I did some colour printing using the Kodak Ektaflex process. I still have some prints from that time, about 30 years old and still in pretty good condition. After my daughter was born, photography was relegated to recording family holidays, birthdays etc. It was digital photography that latterly revitalised my interest in amateur photography as a proper hobby. For me, the great advantage of digital colour photography is that you can work with it to the same extent (or more) as was possible with 'wet' black and white printing in the darkroom in the past. With colour negative or positive film there wasn't much you could do to 'improve' a print or slide for artistic effect. With digital post-processing a whole new bag of tricks is available e.g. cloning, levels, composites etc. I like having this extent of control and it adds to the interest and enjoyment of a challenging hobby.

All images © Clive Piggott

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PPC Website Galleries: Clive Piggott (CP1 and IC2) http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk


PPC Website Galleries: Clive Piggott (CP1 and IC2) http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

My first digital camera was a purchase around 2003, which had a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels. It proved to be so amazing to be able to fire away for nothing. So, just a week later I bought my first ‘proper’ digital compact: a Kodak which my brother used until very recently as his family camera. Over the next few years two more compacts followed until finally one year the digital SLR dropped into our price range. I eventually settled on the small and neat Nikon D60 and I was delighted with it. I used it happily for a couple of years before upgrading to a D7000. These days I take photos of whatever comes up that looks interesting, though I don’t have the skills for wildlife or astro photography. I’m in the process of changing over to M4/3 for reasons of lighter weight and portability. I now have two Olympus EM10 bodies and two zooms spanning the 14mm to 300mm focal length range, plus a 60mm macro lens. I need to have a good clearout and sell off my excess gear. In total I have six camera bodies and eight or nine lenses and only ‘need’ half of them. I live in Hertfordshire, 20 miles North of London, not a lot of beautiful scenery on my doorstep! I am a member of CP1 (postal colour prints) and IC2 (online images for screen) circles and have been a member of the PPC for over six years, since November 2008, where does the time go? I remember that when I started I had my prints made by Peak Imaging and they weren't at all bad, but I soon wanted to make my own prints and bought a printer. These days I use the paper profile provided by Canon and can usually get a reasonable result after a few test prints. I can’t imagine giving up printing completely in the foreseeable future. I would urge anyone who is interested in meeting like minded folks to join the PPC and add another ingredient to the joy of photography. There are some wonderful photographers in the PPC who, I hope, I have learnt from over the past few years. If you would like your images to appear on the club website, please email webmaster@postalphotoclub.org.uk) Alternatively you can upload them to the website gallery submissions area of the PPC forum.

All images © Clive Piggott 21


Close-up photography and depth of field How aperture affects depth of field

Sigma 105mm macro lens at f4

Eric Ladbury In close-up and macro photography the depth of field is very limited and at wide apertures can amount to a matter of millimeters. Focus is therefore crucial and when practical the use of Live View if you have it is strongly recommended.

The test images on the next few pages show how the distance to the subject, lens aperture and the chosen focus point can have a significant effect on the amount of the scene that is in apparent focus. As the panel opposite demonstrates depth of field is wafer thin at f2.8 and still quite shallow at the landscape photographers go-to apertures of f11 and f16. Even at f32 the image does not enjoy front to back sharpness. Shallow depth of field need not be a problem though as it can be used to creative effect. Understanding the fundamentals however puts you in control. The six images right are taken with the focus point on the “Queen’s” nose tip, on the vertical coin. The coin is at an angle of approximately 30 degrees to the horizontal lines to its left. The grid is at 1/8th inch spacing. The pin point is 3/32nd inch behind the focus point. The grid is measured and printed on a Canon i9950 printer and checked for accuracy against an engineer’s steel rule. The spaces of the printed grid are in one inch squares and divided into 1/8th inch divisions. All test images this page shot on a Canon 40D fitted with a Tamron 90mm Macro lens mounted on a Manfrotto 190 tripod - Manfrotto MHXPRO Head with quick release / Manfrotto 454 Focusing rail / HAHNEL Giga T Pro radio release / Lighting from a small mains LED lamp, white balanced post processing / Focused in auto at first, then tweaked manually with the fine control of focusing rail / Focused using LIVE view

f2.8

f11

f4

f16

f8

f32

All test images © Eric Ladbury. Image of macaroons (top left) © Dave Whenham


Close-up photography and depth of field How choice of focusing point affects depth of field

Eric Ladbury

Row One Focus is on the front edge of the vertical coin.

Row Two Focus is on the point of the “Queen’s” nose on the vertical coin.

Row Three Focus is on the rear edge of the vertical coin, about ¼ (2/8ths) behind the point of the pin.

Row Four Focus is on the PIN base, (piercing point); approximately half way along the horizontal coin.

(Above) Sigma 105mm macro lens at f4.5 © Dave Whenham

When comparing the different images left, it’s worth noting the changes between the f11 and the f22 of each row. The f22 frames although having a greater depth of field do suffer from a slight softness in picture quality, check the horizontal lines receding on the left of each frame, and look at the quality of the coins. Whilst the depth is greater, it reduces sharpness over the whole focused area. Therefore I feel it is NOT worth going beyond f11 if the sharpest image is desired, although this would depend on individual lenses, the use of the image and the subject being photographed.

Test images this page shot on a Canon 7D with a Sigma 180mm Macro lens on a Manfrotto 190 tripod - Manfrotto MHXPRO Head with quick release / Manfrotto 454 Focusing rail / HAHNEL Giga T Pro radio release / Lighting from a small mains LED lamp / white balance adjusted in post processing / Focused in auto to start then tweaked manually with fine control of focusing rail / Final focus using LIVE view at 10x magnification for accuracy.


Close-up photography and depth of field Using a reversed lens to get even closer

Eric Ladbury

Row One Focus is on the base of the PIN base where it pierces the line. Row Two Focus is on the DATE on the edge of the ver@cal coin. Row Three Focus is on the base of the CROWN on the ver@cal coin. All images this page shot on a Canon 7D fi3ed with a Canon 28-135mm lens reversed mounted with Kooka Macro Reverse Adaptor auto link of all lens funcEons to the camera body:- Manfro3o 190 tripod / Manfro3o MHXPRO Head with quick release / Manfro3o 454 Focusing rail / HAHNEL Giga T Pro radio release / LighEng from a small mains LED lamp / Focused in auto to start then tweaked manually with fine control of focusing rail / Focused using LIVE view. Distance from capture plane to subject was 0.4 meters.

The set for each test was an A4 sheet of paper mounted on card laid flat on table, using the kitchen as a studio. The grid is laid out in one inch steps with 1/8th intermediate lines created on a computer and checked by steel rule for accuracy. The focus once set was switched to manual and not altered during the session. The target subject is a standard British one pound coin face towards the viewer, resting on a second £1.00 facing tails up. 24


Club Matters - committee updates There were a number of important items on the agenda this year: Club Constitution and Rules Barry Roberts had accepted the task of preparing updated rules at last year’s committee meeting. Barry issued a draft version for comment early in the New Year and a number of amendments were proposed. The revised document was distributed to all committee members for discussion at the rally meeting and the final version has now been approved. All members will be sent a copy before the year end and they will also be posted on the club website. Competition Rules An analysis of the effects of last year’s amendments to the club competition rules had been carried out by Jon Allanson. It was clear that not having top circle awards in the annual competitions had been a disappointment to some members as several familiar names were missing from the entry list. It was agreed that we should reintroduce the inter-circle competition element, but with a different scoring system where circle success did not depend on all of the circle members participating. New Top Circle Trophies are being purchased. Addressing Concerns About Marking In Folios This subject had come out of a Forum discussion, the relevant section in the club rules state – “the ability to evaluate good work is strengthened by arranging the prints / images in order of merit and assigning scores.” Some people are unhappy about having to score the photographs in each folio whereas others like to measure their success via the marks

John Kay, General Secretary

awarded in competition and want to achieve recognition by achieving high scores. It was noted that even though the traditional method of arranging the folio entries was by marking out of 10 or 20 and averaging the scores, there was no reason why the selection of the top photos in each round couldn’t be made by non-scoring methods; such as listing them in simple 1, 2, 3…..order. However a circle cannot enter the Founders Cup Competition if the members decide to have no competitive element and simply give critiques. This is because all of the entries in The Founders Cup Competition must have gained a top 3 place in the circle folios. One of the strengths of the PPC is the freedom that each circle has to operate in a manner agreed by its members - within the guidelines of the Club Rules. The circle notebook is the place where this subject should be debated; the Circle Secretary can then arrange a ballot if there is a call for change. Committee Changes (an updated list will be emailed in December) There are two changes to the committee: Martin Short has stood down from his position of Club Storekeeper after many years. In future print folders will be supplied by our Treasurer, Stuart Carr. John Kay also keeps a stock of folders and can supply them if needed urgently. Dave Williams has now taken over as our Publicity Officer; Dave has been very active in promoting the club on social media sites like Facebook, et al and we are starting to see some positive results from his work.

25


From the HPCC / PPC Archives

Ross Martin ARPS, PPSA, AFIAP Currently DS, IC4, (formerly C8 and CS2)

As a club with a long-history it is always interesting to delve back into the archives and so from time to time we plan to revisit and indeed bring up to date stories from past issues of Photonews. In the Autumn 2006 issue member Ross Martin was “In The Spotlight” and he returned in Autumn 2012 to provide his memories of the club as part of the 75th anniversary edition of Photonews. The following article has been adapted from the two earlier articles and Ross has kindly provided a selection of up to date images. After forty nine years with the club it is great to see Ross still enjoying his membership, being a member of the natural history online circle IC4.

In the late 1950’s, I returned to my native Inverness as a newly qualified chartered accountant and ex-national serviceman. Having already been an enthusiastic snapper since school days, I joined the local Camera Club and for the first time tasted the delights of processing my own films. As a student in ‘digs’ in Edinburgh, my photography had been restricted to having my films processed by the local chemist. Inverness CC President, Roger McLeod had been a wartime photographer and he was to be my guide. He had served with the US Tactical Air Force, where speed of results was of the essence, and tricks such as drying freshly developed film in methylated spirits, setting light to it and blowing the flames out before the emulsion melted, were amongst his repertoire. Fortunately he also introduced me to more conventional methods! One of the highlights of the Inverness Camera Club’s syllabus in those days was the Half Plate Travelling Exhibition, which at the time arrived mounted on 10x8 inch boards, and the picture quality was always universally admired. With the aim of improving my technique I applied with some trepidation to join HPPC, enclosing my two specimen prints, and somewhat to my surprise was accepted, joining Circle 8 in 1966. I continued as a member of Circle 8 until 2001.

Autumn Twilight Altocumulus

Other members from Inverness Camera Club also applied for membership of the HPPC; John Bain also joined in 1966 and we were followed a year or two later by Alex MacKinnon and Alex Hamilton. Indeed around this time there were quite a few members from the north of Scotland, including from Thurso and Orkney as well as our contingent from Inverness, and most seemed to end up in Circle Eight. John, an engineer by profession, was a first class portrait photographer. A highlight of the year in the Inverness Camera Club was when a certain local professional photographer judged Club monthly or annual competitions. To say that the views of John and the judge did not always match would be an understatement, and the audience were therefore guaranteed a fine evening’s entertainment. John was an early “downsizer” and destroyed all his negatives at the end of each year.

Dawn from the Summit (1969) 26


From the HPCC / PPC Archives

Ross Martin ARPS, PPSA, AFIAP Currently DS, IC4, (formerly C8 and CS2)

The first thing that attracted me to the HPCC was the print quality of the entries in the Travelling Exhibition, which then came to Inverness each year - what a stimulus to attain such perfection! I had been a shutterbug since my school days and being a keen hill walker, concentrating on B&W. The arrival of readily-available Kodachrome encouraged me turn my hand to colour slides. Although my slide efforts met with some success in the ICC, a group of crusty old members dismissed colour landscape photos as “fit only for postcards” and photos of flora “as only fit for seed packets”. Thus I returned to Black and White and ultimately to the HPPC. The rather claustrophobic atmosphere of Club Competitions in our somewhat isolated geographical position was also a factor. Local judges were of financial necessity the usual choice, and their personal preferences and prejudices were well-known to competitors. We didn’t have exposure to the photographic tastes and expertise of the wider photographic world. And why did I stay in Circle Eight for 35 years? Basically because I enjoyed it, and because I learned a great deal from my membership. I can remember the thrill when someone at last complimented one of my entries on its print quality – for me this meant I had arrived in the HPPC! From the Notebook one gleaned much information, albeit on a wide-ranging set of topics! I learned much from fellow members, and apart from Bill Hughes, still at the helm; I particularly remember advice from the late Jim McDougall, Jack Thompson and Alex Hamilton. Alex and I were for a while joint Hon Secs of Circle 8, and even organized a circle rally in Inverness. Encouraged by a series of articles in Amateur Photographer, I dabbled in various tricks such as solarisation (see overleaf), posterisation, bas-relief, but normally only once each! I even tried introducing a texture screen at the printing stage. The chatter was that toilet paper of the correct discomfort level was a much cheaper alternative to commercial, expensive screens. I

Hamish - relaxed (printed 1992). Colonel “Hamish” Mackay was commander of the Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkhas in the battle of Mandalay Hill in March 1945 during a campaign in which he was wounded twice, awarded the DSO and Bar, and was also mentioned in despatches. He died in 1988 and is described by Ross as a “wonderful character”. 27


Lochside Vigil This solarised print came second in folio 371 of Circle 8 of the HPCC in April 1975. However, in early 1976 an external judge declared it had “that something extra” and awarded it the Denis Wright Plaque for the best pictorial print in Circle 8 for that year. He went on to say that “this approach of truth and phantasy creates a type of surrealism which I find immensely satisfying." 28


Ross Martin ARPS, PPSA, AFIAP Currently DS, IC4, (formerly C8 and CS2)

From the HPCC / PPC Archives

was quite pleased with the result, until someone drew my attention to the faint reverse lettering of “BRONCO” on my precious print. Then I suppose there was an element of masochism seeing what one’s colleagues had thought fit to write in appraising, i.e. criticising, ones latest efforts. I recall one member complaining that he was being advised to trim his pictures in so many different directions that all that was missing was the recommendation of a diagonal trim. I doubt if things have changed that much over the years! My B&W work was almost entirely 6x6, either with a Rollei VA, now over 50 years old and still working, or Yashicamats which were great when they worked, but for me unreliable. I didn’t experiment much with film and developers, largely being driven by what was readily available locally, but film stock was normally FP3 then FP4 developed in a Paterson developer.

Commando Memorial at Sunset

Wavebreak, Balmedie

I seldom carried and even more seldom used a tripod, relying rather on the camera’s weight, a fence post, or a bean bag for support. I seem to have adopted broadly the same methods and subject selection in colour slides as in b&w, and as over the years I have used both media concurrently I have not experienced difficulty in moving from one to the other. Colour slide-wise, I always use 35mm, my present workhorse being a Minolta X-700 with lenses from 24mm to 200mm. Filmwise I have moved from Kodak to Fuji, with Sensia and Provia at 100 my stock favourites.

The Guagers

When I decided to pension off my darkroom around 2000 I opted to maintain connection with the club which had given me 29


Megalithic Afterglow. Very Highly Commended in the 1993 Founders Cup competition. Taken at twilight at the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney. Yashicamat 1/60th sec at 5f.6 Jessops 120 roll film developed in Aculux

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Ross Martin ARPS, PPSA, AFIAP Currently DS, IC4, (formerly C8 and CS2)

From the HPCC / PPC Archives

great enjoyment over the years, and got a freetransfer to Circle CS2 where I made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed several years of learning and appreciating the Circle’s work. My main interest in photography has I suppose always been landscape though I have dabbled in most subjects. In my more active days I spent a lot of time on the hills, and for me hills in clear weather without some snow were like eggs without salt. Indeed, snow, and even better, hoar frost have always provided a happy hunting ground for both close-up and more distant photography. I always look for something to bring a bit of drama into my pictures, and enjoy using mist, backlighting, contrasty weather and clouds, along usually with a watery foreground. I achieved my LRPS in 1977 and my ARPS in 1993, both with pictorial slides. I started entering International Slide Salons in 1998 and got my AFIAP at the beginning of 2005. A final word from an old (and shaky) hand, always have your camera to hand.

Update from Ross. Winter 2015

Snow fence

Having disposed of all my film cameras and related equipment, I am of necessity now totally converted to digital photography. My deficiency in computing skills causes me some problems, but thanks to the helpful software in Circle IC4, and the patience of John Maule as Hon Sec of Circle DS, I am still able to contribute to the folios. I particularly enjoy the freedom and immediacy of a digi compact camera which encourages me to indulge in record photography in the widest sense, which takes me back full circle to where I started.

Ross

The Canon Ixus which I am using features Image Stabilisation, which helps the shaky hand!! 31


The Postal Photographic Club Website

Graham Dean

Your website needs you! Twelve months aDer taking on the role of webmaster the website now fulfils most of the objec@ves that I set myself. I hope others agree. It has taken a couple of false starts and a number of technical issues – these should now be behind us. So the greatest challenge now is to encourage you, the members to contribute more images. Some of the monthly updates have been made up of the best images from the Travelling Exhibi@on – and thanks to Graham Harvey and David James, the November gallery contains a selec@on of images from Circles C1, IC1 and DP. They have sent enough images to provide at least one further gallery – but they are images from the same members. I feel that the website should reflect the work of all members – so (and I guess this plea will be a feature of every column) it would be great to receive more images, from either Circe Secretaries or individual members. Galleries from individual members are par@cularly welcome – images may not appear on the site immediately I receive them, but I do guarantee that I will upload images from everyone who sends something. Twelve months ago I said that upda@ng the links pages would be a priority – over the months it has been pushed down the list of priori@es, but it is s@ll something that I hope to address in the next year. If there is anything else that members would like to see on the website, please let me know by email (webmaster@postalphotoclub.org.uk) or via the club forum.

Graham http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk 32


The Postal Photographic Club Forum

Clive Piggott

http://forum.postalphotoclub.org.uk

This is my 4th contribution to Photonews writing about the developing features and uses of the forum. As the Photonews magazine is a periodical which is published on a quarterly basis, simple arithmetic would indicate that the forum has now been running for a year! Where does the time go? This seems about right as the Forum was launched around about the time of the 2014 Annual Rally. So we have now reached the point of celebrating the first anniversary of this innovative venture for the club, one that can help to bring our members together - in an easy and entertaining way. Forum membership has steadily grown over the last twelve months to the current total of around 40 members, at time of writing, which we are very pleased about. However, the fact is that we would like every member of the PPC eventually to join in and participate in the forum, bringing their valuable knowledge and ideas to share with others. In the last issue, I quoted examples of some of the members' many posts on the forum – just a small sample. But this time I would like to mention that increasingly we also have material that presents helpful information about club matters in an easily accessible form. For example, recent additions to the forum's reference content include Volume and Periodical Indexes for the online issues of Photonews. These are proving very useful and popular. Also recently, John Kay's 'Club Matters' columns from Photonews have been collated together and posted for easy consultation on the forum. These and other similar items are updated in line with future events and issues of Photonews. I genuinely believe that participation in the forum offers a delightful and educational experience; being in the company of many like-minded fellow hobbyists with a collective wisdom and knowledge that is invaluable. So, if you have not already done so, why not join today and see what all the excitement is about!? Like all forums, ultimately ours is what members make of it - so come on in, you will be warmly welcomed!

The PPC Forum has two main sections: The Forum Community area comprises a number of memberoriented discussions.These are spaces which offer members unlimited opportunity to share questions and thoughts about the hobby, share their photographs for appraisal or simply to show their work to other members. There are also general non-photography conversations and Forum news updates. The PPC area contains discussions and news items relating to the club Circles and their operation for example. There is news and updates about the club's Website, Photonews. Annual Rally, Committee members, annual competitions etc. The forum is completely private and the only way to join the forum is by emailing your details to us at: forum@postalphotoclub.org.uk

All the best Clive

33


Why Film?

Richard Walliker C19

Once upon a long, long time ago, I used to have an analogue SLR and a dark room. My historical film camera list is very small and the lineage consisted of a Kodak Box Brownie 127, Ilford Sporti, Practika Nova 1b, Olympus OM10 and to end my film days the Olympus OM2SP. Any thoughts of ever owning a medium format camera were never more than an unrealistic dream! Today I have both dSLR and Fuji X mirror-less cameras and a digital darkroom and film cameras, that’s retirement for you! Although I consider myself to be an experienced user of “Photoshop” and other image processing software, it has never provided the buzz that was almost always involved in the film process. I say almost always, because as we all know failure is failure no matter whether analogue or digital and like all of us I still have plenty of those.! Only recently have I been able to address this imbalance so this is my story so far. A few years ago I met some folks at my local photographic club who have now become good friends. Unlike me, one still has a full darkroom facility and a collection of large, medium and 35mm format cameras and concentrates principally on landscape B&W photography. So what we have is two people becoming very keen on once again exploring analogue photography. I was lucky too, I had an expert not just to guide me, but allow me a privileged insight into his world of photography via Large, medium and 35mm photography. I had not realised that cameras of my dreams were now affordable. Film, although not as available in all the various types and sizes as they once were, is still readily available and many of the old favourites are still in production. I am talking here about Fuji Velvia, Provia, Superior, Ilford FP4, HP5, Delta, Kodak Tri-X, T-Max, Portra and other makes too. This

Canon AE-program – Canon 50mm f1.8

by no means an exhaustive list and some old favourites like Kodachrome and Kodak High Speed Infrared are gone. My re-entry into the world of film came when I borrowed a 35mm Canon AE-program with a standard 50mm lens from this friend who also kindly donated a roll of Ilford Delta Pro 100 and then developed it for me! The rekindling of a passion had commenced! My first picture from this borrowed Canon is shown above. I was hooked! 34


I had recently joined a dedicated group, The North Wales Monochrome Group and later a Slide group where aficionados of B&W photography meet every couple of months. These people are dedicated to their art, so it was with not a little nervousness and apprehension I stood up and presented my first printed images after a few meetings. My images were well received, or, were they just being gentle! Three years later I look forward to my bi-monthly trip to Capel Curig to spend some hours with likeminded folks. Soon after this initiation I, with a lot of help with kind donations of kit and after a break of 25 years, I was able to start to process my own B&W negatives again. I do not have and am unlikely to have a dedicated darkroom to develop and print my negatives. I do some from time to time, but for colour transparencies and some B&W I choose to have them processed by a lab. I also decided it was about time I owned again my own cameras. I bought a mint Olympus OM10 and Zuiko 50mm f1.8 lens from a fellow group member, so I was definitely harking back to my past. Then I bought a Olympus OM2SP with a 35mm f2.8 lens. You can now see how the addiction starts! The use of the Olympus reminded me of times long ago. Above right is an image taken in the early 1980’s with my original OM2SP.

Above: Merchant Navy Class 34027 Taw Valley at Bridgnorth c1985 Photographed with an Olympus OM2SP + Zuiko 50mm f1.8 (left)

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Medium Format Photography. I was bitten by the film bug and it was time to move on and at last a dream of my early days was realised, Medium Format photography. I bought a Bronica ETRSi + 75mm f2.8 lens all boxed and in mint condition for £250! In its day it would have been at least 5 times that price to buy new. I enjoyed this opportunity to break into the medium format world. With it came another challenge, light measurement. Most film cameras I have ever had were either semi or fully automatic. In the early day with the Box Brownie etc. it was a case of going by the instructions or camera back plate to read a suitable exposure value. In time I learned to read the light without reference. Actually in most cases it worked well, but at other times in quickly changing light or shadows it was hit and miss. However, one can always use a digital camera to get a reading, or buy a light meter. A good used analogue meter may be bought cheaply on e-bay or from a vintage camera on-line retailer. I already had one, as in my early days of digital SLR photography I didn’t always trust the meter. My first results were a real boost and spurred me on to delve further into film photography. Llandudno shore – Bronica ETRSi _ 75mm f2.8 PE.

Nikon F100 + 16-35mm f4 – Agfa Precisa

Nikon F100 + 16-35mm f4 – Agfa Precisa

OK, so I had a medium format camera, now I wanted a Nikon 35mm film camera so I could utilise my extensive collection of Nikon lenses. We Nikon users are very fortunate and like Olympus can use legacy lenses with full functionality, unlike our Canon friends as the change in lens mount left many of their film lenses behind. This time I chose an auto camera, the Nikon F100. 36


Extending my passion. I enjoyed the Bronica system, but I had a rare opportunity to purchase a Rolleiflex 2.8f (right) complete with the elusive filter set and hood.! This I did and please accept my use of superlatives, but this camera exceeds all my dreams of owning possibly one the finest MF cameras ever produced. Unlike the Bronica this camera allows ease of walkabout photography due to the shape and weight of the Rolleiflex. I have recently had the camera serviced by Newton Ellis in Liverpool, one of the few remaining film camera repairers in the UK. The light meter didn’t work and sadly still doesn’t, most copies of these cameras don’t have a working coupled light meter as either the selenium cell or the meter itself is faulty and spares are very rare. However, I would never trust it and always use a meter. The service revealed a requirement to adjust the slower shutter speeds and this was done. Leaving the shop I was able to take a few test shots (left). Earlier this year I took the Rollei with me to Ireland. Many members of Circle 19 will know I enjoy Street photography. So, in the style of Vivian Maier (I wish!), I set about using the Rollei while ashore. It was the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania and the town of Cobh was commemorating the 100th anniversary of its sinking with thousands descending on the small port. The camera raised much interest amongst the locals and fellow travellers alike and to satisfy my passion for Street photography I captured some lovely ladies dressed in 1914 costumes. Which film? You will have noted by now that most of my images are in B&W. This is largely intentional as I just really enjoy the contrast that film gives. For the colour folks, the Rollei does a splendid job in colour too. I take both and enjoy both, but improving B&W results is my principal aim. The Ladies of Cobh 37


In a recent article here in the “Photonews” Autumn edition an excellent article “Classic Cameras” written by my mate Geoff Leah was published. Geoff talks about the availability of film and the definite upsurge of film sales, 35mm, 120 and 127 etc. Boots are now stocking a wide range of 35mm films, 120 and 127 are available on line at Amazon, 7dayshop.com and many film retail specialists. I won’t pretend they are not expensive and certainly 35mm transparency film has become expensive of late. However, I do not think it is not too expensive even for the occasional user. I use a mix of film types. My favourite B&W for the Rolleiflex is Kodak’s TriX ISO400 which is a fairly high contrast B&W film, but offers both superb results and the ability to hand hold the camera in lower light. I have also started to use Formapan ISO 400 and often use Fuji Acros 100. For 35mm I tend to like Fuji Acros 100, Ilford Delta Pro 100 or Kodak Tri X 400. Colour 120 and 35mm film is freely available. My favourite for medium format is Fuji Provia 100 or of course Velvia 50 (on a tripod of course!). I do use Kodak Ektar 100 print film occasionally. Try Agfa 35mm Precisa too, very much a halfway house between Provia and Velvia Developing film.

New Arrival Since I started writing this I’ve managed to buy a Bronica RF645 camera (above), one of the last professional MF film camera made. Released in 2002 after Tamron took on-board the ailing Bronica manufacturer. It won many awards and was innovative in so much that it has auto metering and many of the options found on professional 35mm cameras of the day. The days of analogue photography were coming to an end and I like so many others turned to digital.

I do occasionally develop my own 120 and 35mm film, although never colour and I don’t wet process the negatives to prints. I use “Peak Imaging” for all colour print and transparency films. “Peak” offer a superb and efficient service and even provide a posting cardboard box for sending the film via Royal Mail, free of charge too! I scan all my films on my Canoscan 8800f scanner and output high resolution files for printing with Canon Pixma 9500 Pro Mk2 printer. So, Why Film? This is my indulgence which takes me beyond my digital world and is so very different, but in a good way. I enjoy digital and have Nikon and Fuji X cameras 38


and lenses. For high quality print work I use Nikon. Fuji X cameras and lenses step in for superb travel and lightweight option to the Nikons. Returning to film has completely revitalised my interest in photography for many reasons. Firstly, unlike in the digital world, one cannot rattle off images without regards to cost. Moreover and far more importantly, I have re-learned lost skills such as taking far more time considering composition, speed and aperture selection and a greater use of a tripod. Another major bonus is that I now have made some very good friends who share my passion and for this I am extremely grateful for all the help and support they have given me. Without their help none of this would have happened and it is supported by my membership of Rhyl Photography Society, The North Wales Monochrome and Slide Groups and the Postal Circles. What’s next? Many reading this will be far more expert in the film world than I ever will be. However, it is these folks who have stirred my passion. I look forward to a long friendship with film again and I have even starting to build my own camera collection, but only to be loaded with film and used. I hope to purchase a few more Rolleiflex cameras and use them. One could say, “I am smitten…again”. 39


Club Matters - housekeeping Print Folders The print folders will continue to be issued in packs of 12, please note that the folders will be sent out in batches on a monthly basis. If your subscription is received before the end of this December you will receive your folders early in January. The next batch of folders will be sent out by the end of January and another two batches will follow in February and March. The last batch will be posted during April. If you need some extra folders at some other time in the year they can be ordered using the form on the PPC website, paying by PayPal - the cost is £4.50 a pack, including postage. If you want to pay by cheque send it to the Treasurer, Stuart Carr or to the General Secretary. Club website and the PPC Forum Graham Dean looks after and updates the club website. Don’t forget that we would be pleased feature your photographs in the Members Galleries section and also arrange two way links to PPC members own websites, as well as other photographic society websites. The website has a link to the PPC page on Facebook. Clive Piggott is our Forum Administrator, if you are not registered on the Forum you can e-mail Clive from a link on the website. Print Exhibition Secretary David James is our Print Exhibition Secretary and the club contact for The Travelling Exhibition. It is well worth seeing if you cannot make it to the Annual Rally and we really do need to show it to a wider audience. The TE has the top 80 prints from the Annual Print Competition, plus a

John Kay, General Secretary

PictureToExe presentation showing the judge’s selection of prints and projected images competition from both the Founders Cup and Annual Competitions. The best way to view the prints is to organise the audience into small groups and get individual members in the groups to give short critiques; just like they would expect from a visiting judge. The 2015/16 TE has started its tour of the UK; does your Camera Club / U3A group / Photo Group take the TE? Why don’t you ask the Programme Secretary at your club to get in touch with David? Annual Rally 2016 Next year’s Rally will be held in the Cotswolds, over the weekend 7th to 9th October 2016. We have booked the Mayfield House Hotel in Crudwell, which is near to Malmesbury; it is where we held the successful rally in 2014. Details of the venue and nearby places to visit can be seen on their website http://www.mayfieldhousehotel.co.uk The cost for the weekend with an en suite room, including meals from Friday evening to Sunday lunch (Saturday lunch NOT included) is £160 per person. In recent years, quite a number of members have extended their stay at the rally venue by a couple of nights, a very favourable rate of £60.00 per person per night, for dinner, bed and breakfast has been negotiated for those wishing to add Thursday night and / or Sunday night to their visit. Please put the date in your diary. Deposits of £25 per person will be required. I will e-mail everyone in December with more details.

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A film user in the digital age: aka the Pragmatist

Geoff Stevens

In photography, as in many other things, I would consider myself a pragmatist, certainly not a zealot. Further, I think that it is often circumstance as much as planning that determines the way that we work. These two factors have contributed to the way that I work (if that is the correct term) in photography – I take photographs with a manual film camera, home develop, then scan and print digitally. Also, very importantly for me, photography is a hobby – something that I really enjoy doing, and not being too serious about. Like many of you, I’m sure, my photography started at a young age - for me with a Brownie 127, progressing to a Halina Super 35x, the one with a lever wind and bright-line viewfinder. I had saved (for what seemed like) a long time to progress from the Brownie. I had thought about a Voigtlander Vitoret, but the Halina looked better, had the obvious lever wind, and was better value for money. With that camera, I began to learn about taking pictures and the process of photography. With some friends from school, I was able to start developing and printing, and experience the joy of controlling the whole process from pressing the button to producing the print. Since that time, I have always had an interest in photography, but the first flush of enthusiasm waned and other things ‘took centre stage’ – so my photos were largely records of holidays and family events. It was in the late 1990s / early 2000s that I was bitten by the photographic bug again. I bought myself a Pentax MZ3 with the famous 43mm (‘limited edition’!) lens. I mainly concentrated on slides, and I still feel that the view of a well exposed slide through a loupe on a light table takes some beating. Slides though are not a terribly accessible medium, and, apart from the occasional slide evening, the results of my photo taking were limited to my personal domain. It was a chance meeting with one of the leading lights of a local photographic society that I became aware of the possibilities of scanning. You could take your slide, pass it through a scanner, and end up with an image on your computer. This could then be displayed on the screen, for all to see, and also printed, to distribute to friends and family. This was surely worth a try. At that time, I worked as a computer consultant and software developer, so had most of the necessary computer equipment. I bought myself a Canon FS2710 41


42


A film user in the digital age: aka the Pragmatist

Geoff Stevens

scanner, and, I think, a Lexmark printer. Vuescan software (available quite cheaply, free at first I think) produced better images from the scanner, and Picture Window (again low cost software, but well equipped for the task) enabled me to correct the odd blemish, and occasionally alter the ‘brightness’ or contrast to produce the desired effect. The weak link in the process was the printer, being slow, poor quality, and not producing accurate colours. Despite the shortcomings, the process suited me – echoing my earliest photographic experiences. I took my camera into the ‘field’, identified the subject, decided the ‘correct’ exposure, hoping that I had captured an image that accurately reflected what I saw and that took me back. My camera was a part of the experience and not the experience itself. Sometime later I would scan the film to see whether I had been successful. Over the subsequent years, I became more interested in black and white photography and also thought of the possibilities of developing and printing. I invested in a changing bag, Paterson tank and graduates, plus chemicals – Ilford ID11 was the developer, I think. Printers were also improving and I graduated to an Epson 1290S, so the quality of the final print became more acceptable. It was at this time that I became a member of the Postal Photographic Club (Circle 1 – B&W 7x5 prints) – I’ve just checked and my first Folio was 752, dated August 2005. I think I was probably ‘ahead of the game’ at that time, with most of the circle still producing darkroom prints. My current way of working is not substantially different. I now have a Nikon Coolscan V scanner and print using an Epson R3000. The print is the finished product in the photographic process and the Epson produces excellent results. I do print colour (from my Fuji digital camera, so I’m not a total luddite!), but, by

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A film user in the digital age: aka the Pragmatist

Geoff Stevens

using the Epson’s Advanced Black and White mode, I am able to produce cast free black and white prints with great detail and a super range of tones (sometimes!). I still use Vuescan with the scanner, and Picture Window for minor adjustments to the image – I’ve never felt the need for Photoshop. I also now use Qimage to print – it seems to get the most out of an image. Try these products, you’ll be surprised how good they are. On the film and developer front, I’ve tried all sorts of products and methods – stand developing with Rodinal, the use of various specialist Spur products, Foma films, etc. However, I always return to ID11 (or equivalent) together with FP4/HP5. The products are reliable, consistently produce good results, and are easy to use. I now use a stainless steel developing tank and a litre pack of ID11, decanted into 250ml bottles, will develop two films if diluted 1:1. I can develop two films in about an hour and a half and scan them in a similar time. I now use an old Leica (M4-P), usually with a 50mm lens fitted with a yellow filter. I work with an exposure meter, but often guess about right. So my photographic process is not far from where I started out those many years ago. The key elements are in the taking of the photograph, not rushed and being an integral part of the overall experience, then developing the negative and producing the finished print which should represent my original view and evoke my original feelings. I’m not sure that I’ve worded this very well, but I hope you get the gist. In no way do I decry the wholly digital approach, although I do baulk at dropped in skies, and huge moons! My methods work for me and it is a thoroughly enjoyable process from start to finish. From time to time, I succeed in my ambitions and produce a print that says to me ‘yes, that’s where I was, that’s what I saw, and that’s how I felt’. Technical Details All: Leica M4-P. Film/Developer: All images © Geoff Stevens

Page 39 (Top): PanF / Neofin Blue (Bottom): HP5 / Spur HRX

Page 40: PanF / Rodinal Stand

Page 41: FP4 / ID11

Page 42: Rollei Retro 100 / Rodinal Stand

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Notes from the Gulf

John Pattison

Welcome to the first in a regular series of Notes from the Gulf penned by IC1 veteran John Pattison. Given his location we’ve asked John to share some of the locations in which he is able to photograph and also some of the trials and tribulations of photography in a climate somewhat different to that of the UK.

The Zubarah Fort was constructed in 1938 by order of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani the then ruler of Qatar recognised by Britain, which brought Qatar under their Trucial States Administration Treaty in 1916. The fort was manned by the Qatari army and police force to guard the North West coast. The town of Zabarah, a pearl fishing town is long gone but is presently an archaeological site; one of the best preserved in Qatar and is accessible via a dusty desert track from the fort. Zubarah and the Zubarah Fort were honoured by the United Nations in June 2013 being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photography, especially outdoor photography, can be difficult on both the photographer and the gear during the summer months. The image of the fort set out here was taken in early July 2015 when the temperature at mid-afternoon was still around the 44° Celsius mark and humidity was also very high. As I write this some eight weeks later in late August, the temperature has risen to 48.5°C and humidity has been as high as 95% RH on some nights during the last week. These ambient conditions are extreme but normal for summer months in this region and my photography is curtailed until the ambient conditions become milder which is usual from late October. As I write it is half way through October and the ambient conditions are still extreme, humidity is unseasonably high and temperatures although falling are still in the high 30 to mid-40°C during the day . The local met office has issued a statement (unusual for them) that this year’s temperatures hit a maximum of 52°C.

The image was taken using my Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera and Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS lens. I have adapted the image in post processing using Adobe Lightroom CC (2015) to give an antique appearance in keeping with its late 1930’s early 1940’s heritage. © John Pattison

The fort is presently a museum with various exhibits displayed in the several ground level rooms formerly occupied by the garrison stationed there. The Fort was refurbished in 1987 and is also presently undergoing extensive refurbishment hence the foreshortened POV of the image showing the main gate and the ubiquitous canon. The forts three round towers in particular are presently enshrouded in scaffolding but there are many images available via the internet for those interested in viewing the fort in all its architectural splendour. 45


My Early Days in Photography

Bas Gunn, CP1

I was about twelve that I first started to get interested in photography. I do not remember what first got me interested but my mother had an old box camera and one day I decided to develop the film myself. I bought a couple of dishes, a little packet of developer and some fixer. I do not remember where I got the information from but I blacked out the toilet window, this being the smallest window in the house. I mixed my chemicals and tried to develop the film by putting it into the dish and sort of slipping it backwards and forwards through the developer, a quick rinse in a bucket of water then into the fixer all this of course carried out in total darkness. The result was disappointing there were some figures visible on the film but it was all sort of cloudy. The next morning I took my film to the local chemist’s shop. In those days there were no photographic shops and I had bought my chemicals at this local chemists. I showed my film to the chemist, “it is fogged,” he told me. “Fogged, how can it be fogged?” I asked. “Your blackout was not very good and there must have been some light leaking in, go home and black it out again then sit in the dark for ten or fifteen minutes. You will be surprised but eventually as your eyes become accustomed to the dark you will see that things will become visible, then you have to improve your black out until it remains dark no matter how long you sit there in the dark. I did as he told me and after a couple more attempts it was dark and I successfully developed my first film. Then I had to buy a safe light and a little printing frame to make contact prints from the 3.5 by 2.5 inch negatives. From then on I was hooked although it was quite some time before I could afford to buy a better camera. So for a year or two I continued taking photos with the old box camera and I still have some negatives and prints from that first camera. After saving up as much as I could I bought an Ilford camera that took 127 size film and produce negatives that were oblong. Over the next couple of years I had to satisfy myself with taking pictures that were really only snap shots of friends and family including the family dog. Then eventually I managed to buy a Gnome enlarger which enabled me to make enlargements. It was then that I started to try to take some pictures other than the snap shots. My main problem was not having a darkroom so eventually I started to blackout the bathroom. I made a board to fit over the bath to stand the enlarger and the rest of the gear, the developing dishes and stuff on it. The only other problem was that some of my developer splashed out of the dishes and stained the bath, this of course drove my mother wild, so my bathroom darkroom was banned. Then I realised that my camera was not really up to the task of making decent pictures. I looked at better cameras, but there was no way that I could afford to buy anything so for quite a while I lost interest and just took a few more snaps shots. Even when I started work I did not go any further until I was doing my National service. I was actually twenty one and married when I was eventually finished at college and finally they caught up with me and after basic training at West Kirby and trade training at Yatesbury I finished up as a wireless mechanic at RAF Marham on 148 squadron which was part of our V-bomber nuclear force in 1956. All images © Bas Gunn

This was taken in Nigeria. I was working for NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Company) and I was amused by the sign saying persecuted when as you’ll have worked out it should have said prosecuted 46


My Early Days in Photography

Bas Gunn, CP1

I managed to find a small house for rent in Kings Lynn and I brought my wife Maureen and baby daughter to live with me. At we were very short of money but after a while my wife got a part time job and I was offered an evening job selling Ice cream from a sort of tricycle cart. So from then on we were not hard up all the time,I even had enough money to but a half decent camera, so I bought a Ziess Nettar folding camera with a 5 speed shutter. This was a vast improvement on the one I had used before of course there was no exposure meter or rangefinder so I merely used the guide that came with each film. For example it told us, in bright sunlight use 1/125 sec at F11 etc, and of course I had to guess how far away the subject was from the camera in order to focus on the subject. I was still limited ro contact prinys but at least most of them were properly exposed and reasonably sharp. However around this time I enrolled in Cleveland Technical College for a City &Guilds course in Photography. This was partly to improve my photography and partly just to get out of the house for one night every week, the course lasted 2 years and at the end I got a nice certificate. The course was taught by a man called George Dunning, who also just happened to be the principal of the college and therefore he had a big say in equipping the place for this course. Of course he was a keen photographer so we had the use of some very sophisticated equipment that I suspected he bought as much for his own interests as for the course, but we all enjoyed the course and all this expensive equipment that we could use. So we were quite happy and everyone enjoyed the course. The very next week the boss called me into his office and said, ‘ I believe that you know a bit about photography, you have a City & Guilds,’ ’Yes I am a pretty keen photographer,’ ‘ Good, could you do better than this?’ He showed me a metal bar with a crack in it and a photo. The picture had been taken like a snapshot and just showed the bar on a table and the crack was hardly visible. ‘Of course I can, my wife could have done better than that.’ He took me into another room and showed me a Lieca M2 with four different lenses and a visoflex attachment that sort of turned it into a sort of SLR there was a copying stand and a Lietz enlarger. ‘All the darkroom equipment is in the cupboards so do your best and show me the photo as soon as it is finished’ With that sort of gear it was no problem I took a few shots showing the complete bar and a real close up of the crack. I soon developed the film and dried it off as quickly as possible. Then I made the prints and when they were in the final wash I went to his office and told him that they were finished. He took a quick look at Linda. A local girl who hoped to be a model.

47


Jazz Bass

Burnett moth on thistle

48


My Early Days in Photography

Bas Gunn, CP1

Where are the Boats? Snow Pattern, which won the Founders Cup a few years ago

them and said, ‘I want you to start on days tomorrow you will be attached to the quality control department but most of your work will be doing the photography that is needed around the plant. It is surprising just how many things need a photographic record. So I was now doing a job that I really enjoyed but I found that I was also expected to take quite a lot of photo’s for the company magazine. AE&CI had several factories around the country and the magazine included pictures from every area. So I found myself taking photo’s of all sorts of things, the kids Christmas party the local sports teams and even the local amateur dramatic society that put on all sorts of shows. I quite enjoyed this one because there were two or three very attractive young women in it. There was one called Shelly who was particularly nice and very friendly and when I asked her if I could take some pictures of her away from the usual show pictures I got a nice surprise when she agreed. She was from an English speaking South African family and they were not like the Afrikaans’s who were very over protective of there women. The pictures that I took were just portraits, then one day she asked me to take some of her in her bikini. Seaside Sunset

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Autumn. Š Bas Gunn 50


My Early Days in Photography At work I was enjoying all the different sorts of photography that I had to do, even some things that I had never done before. There was photomicrography that mostly involved photographing stuff through a microscope. One of our plants made PVC and other plastics and one of the senior chemists had an interest on how quickly the particles of plastic absorbed the plasticizers so I found myself taking hundreds of pictures of these things at timed intervals to show how long it took for the plastic particles to absorb the liquids. This was extremely boring but I had to do more interesting stuff like getting inside a distillation column to show how wet chlorine gas had destroyed the trays inside the column. I spent more time inside various columns and vessels than any one else ever thought of. But there was always the photo’s of the kids p a r t y, t h e c o m p a n i e s Christmas party and sports events to break the monotony. But my favourite was the amateur dramatic show where there were some more very attractive young women!

Taken in Libya two of my friends Alan & Eric with a local from the bakers.

Bas Gunn, CP1

Street Musician.

Member Profiles are a very important part of Photonews and as ever I am very grateful to all of those who have agreed to be featured in this issue. If you would like to be featured then please get in touch. I am happy to ghost write an article based on your notes, edit an article you’ve submitted or even supply a questionnaire to enable a Q&A style profile. Contact me at editor@postalphotoclub.org.uk 51


Classic Cameras - The reminiscences of an old Flasher with Geoff Leah I took my first ‘photo at the age of 6 or 7, using my Dad’s old Soho Pilot folder. This was used until I was 12, when a friend showed me his new Kodak Sterling folder. This had all the features I’d dreamed of, viz. eye-level viewfinder, top mounted shutter release, accessory shoe, but more importantly it was flash synchronised! I had to have a flash synchronised camera so that I could use a flash-gun, just like the professionals. I frantically saved my 5 shillings per week (25p today) paperround wages for a year, but then had to go into hospital, still £2 short of my target. Un-beknown to me, my parents took my money to the Sheffield Photo Co. (now long gone) to buy the Kodak. They were correctly informed that the Kodak was made from plastic, and had a plastic lens. They were advised to buy the Ross Ensign Clubman folder, which had a 3 element glass lens, and grey painted all-metal body. It also had all the features I wanted/needed. They paid the extra cost of the Clubman, and gave the camera to me whilst I was still in hospital. I was delighted with the camera, and for the next Christmas received my first flashgun and a pack of bayonet cap flashbulbs. This instantly made me a pro. photographer. Capless flashbulbs next appeared, blue glass for colour film and clear for monochrome. Inside each bulb, on the insulator, was a tiny blue spot. If this turned pink, it meant moisture had entered the bulb, and it wouldn’t work. By now I was working, so I bought a new gun to take these bulbs, and started using them. After a while I had saved enough to buy my first 35mm. camera, a Super Frankarette with an excellent Schneider Xenar lens. This was followed by my first electronic flashgun, a Metz. The large flash-head fastened to the side of the camera using a flashbar, whilst the “works” were contained in a large impressive case that had a row of push switches on the top. This hung from my shoulder by a strap. I used the gun quite a lot, but very soon more powerful and much smaller electronic flashguns arrived, some were even built into the camera body. Somehow none of these had that certain magic of the flashbulb – the special noise when it fired, the smell of the plastic anti-shatter coating on the glass when it became hot, and the crackling noise when it cooled down. Ahh, those were the days, weren’t they?

Geoff

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FROM BASICS TO FINE ART BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY - ARCHITECTURE AND BEYOND Book Review by Clive Piggott The authors: JULIA ANNA GOSPODAROU is an architect with a Masters degree and is an International Award-Winning B&W Fine Art photographer. JOEL TJINTJELAAR is a black & white fine-art photographer from the Netherlands. The work of both these photographers has helped define, and push the boundaries of long exposure photography, a relatively new genre in the fine art world. It is available here: http://sites.fastspring.com/juliaannagospodarou/product/frombasicstofineart

This book essentially contains a narrative about the authors' practice of photographing architecture and making an end product of fine-art abstracts in black and white . There are 32 chapters. Some show examples of before (colour) photographs and after (black and white) photographs, and describe how the 'afters' were made from the 'befores'. Photographs of buildings are essentially used as starting points to supply geometric shapes for the production of B&W fine-art abstracts. Though they claim that these images can reveal the 'soul' of a building, they consequently lose much of the descriptive photographic element. The underlying concept is seemingly predicated on re-framing a photographic formula so much admired for landscape (i.e. Ansel Adams) and attempting by association to hitch a contemporary bandwagon to it. Their philosophy is neatly stated by Gospodarou, 'we can say that vision and software have become more important in the digital era than what we capture in the camera... we are slowly becoming like painters, building our frames the way we imagine, not necessarily the way they are in the outside world.' The foreword boldly claims that '(outside of Ansel Adams’ Basic Photo Series) [this] is the best book on B&W photography written in the last 40 years' and, '... Julia’s (en)Visionography and Photography Drawing [is] the most important innovation in B&W photography since the invention of the Zone System.' From Gospodarou herself we learn that, '...in the case of digital photography we have much more freedom in interpreting and transforming the image to suit our vision. What software introduces ...is a much greater freedom of expression, since now there are practically no limits to how much one can transform an image from the point of view of light and volume shaping. This freedom leads to vision having a much greater role in the process of the creation of photographs. (en)Visionography... is a new name I gave to photography, or more precisely to fine art photography... It is photography the way we do it in the digital era, which is something almost totally different from what we used to call photography in the film days.' In among such abundant and contentious opinionating, there are practical chapters that seem relevant to general photography. The best sections are those on composition, the lighting and modelling of 3d volumes, tilt-shift lenses, and processing techniques such as luminosity masking and selective gradient masking. A section on the use and selection of ND filters is also included and will be of interest to those who make use of long exposure times. It is claimed that the overall techniques described may be adapted for use in many genres of photography, but I feel there is a lack of the variety of techniques and examples you might find in a good book by Galer or Freeman. If you are a B&W photographer interested in new ways of photographing architecture or in producing abstract prints, this book may give you some food for thought, though I found the style of examples to be rather similar throughout - select a shapely building, print very dark in black and white and artificially introduce a shaft of light that stands out while all around is darkness. Ultimately, I came away thinking that their examples were predictable and all very alike, the shaft of light quickly becomes a clichéd mannerism, and this may represent a stylistic dead end which will date quickly.

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Created by Ladbury

How many times have you been out with the camera(s) only to stand searching for ideas or scratch your head for a subject, possibly to enter into the next club competition or exhibition? The odds are the topic of destruction or dereliction has not crossed your mind! When reading a magazine article recently I was prodded into looking at the web site of Chris Leslie (www.chrisleslie.com), seeing his many themes, one relating to a large block of flats due for demolition appealed. His images are of detritus, rubble and abandonment. This brought memories of pictures I have taken over the years of some similar subjects although perhaps mine are not the high quality range of images as by CL. Many chaotic, disarranged, overgrown and discarded subjects have come to my attention whilst walking in the company of like minded ramblers from my local rambling club. Often, well occasionally, the group would stumble across an old building or broken down equipment, or tools, abandoned, disowned or plainly forgotten in the mists of time, and start to explore it. Can an old broken rusting collapsed item really give inspiration to becoming a piece of “fine art”, painters’ sculptors’ photographers artists in general turn to abstraction of themes and attempt to create speciality imagery, carvings, montages or assemblages of some quality in the name of art. Where does one look, where can it be sourced, just how can subject matter it be obtained? The short answer is anywhere and everywhere. I suppose really it is in the mind of the creator, it’s amazing when viewing rubbish items how artistic types break down the subject in a different way, looking at decay and destruction they see beauty in form and patterns through colour and texture. Not the untidiness, clutter, confusion or disarray, but finding order, timelessness, form, or a story of the past with associations to some long forgotten place or entity.

1

So what to look for, hum! Maybe we are too set in our views (ways) to notice the beauty of a broken window with light streaming through or the scene beyond in complete contrast with the current surroundings. Perhaps the memorabilia strewn through a pile of rusting ageing vandalised debris is not observed. Clearly recognising potential is missed or simply not realised for its photographic (artistic) possibility. The use of light across a gritty textured shape or rust-encrusted item from many years in the elements, the faded colour or lack of, in the weathered bleached paints of the old abandoned material, the new shape

2

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as two (or more) items come together in an unexpected manner, the suggestion of an entirely different object to the one being observed. Where do these pictures come from? What physical location can they be found in? As mentioned earlier, when out walking, or partaking in another hobby or interest, there’s often the unexpected vision which stumbles into view. Favourite areas I explore a lot are stately homes owned by such as the National Trust, National Trust for Scotland or English Heritage, any ancient monuments or maybe even a forgotten corner of our own gardens? Try walking off the main thoroughfare when visiting a tourist city or town, go down those hidden alleyway, passages or dark corners, but do take care avoid trespassing or rogue dogs (and their owners), don’t risk unnecessarily dangerous exposure to the roguish members of society… basically use common sense.

3

A further point to bear in mind is if the weather is inclement then use that unexpected opportunity of time to go into old outbuildings, potting sheds or greenhouses, often in these quarters there’s no restriction with regards to photography as opposed to in the “big house” where special permission is usually required.

Processing can be fun and the field is wide open to the methods used, the more outrageous approaches often reveal the best pictures. The basics can include conversion to monochrome with perhaps a more than normal contrast even going as far as a silhouette, known as the soot and whitewash “look” in the film days; maybe try toning, for example sepia, cyanotype or antique effect; or solarization even split toning and embossing; possibly use a modified camera with filter changes for infrared work; or possibly a specialised lens could reveal other aspects, possibly macro or a shift control maybe a fisheye. There are no rules except perhaps those relating to a competition envisaged, the possibilities are endless, and the only real control is the creative mind. 56


4

5

6

Images 1 & 6: Garage and pump taken during a days rambling with my local walking club. During the lunch stop at Duffield Derbyshire. Whilst the other members were eating at the stop venue in the village, I was hunting (as always in those days) for images and photo ideas. Images 2 & 5: taken during a visit to Calke Abbey a local N.T. building. Exploring the old, yet renovated adjoining out buildings and associated gardens belonging to the Abbey. Image 3: Derelict shed/outbuilding found whilst doing a recce for a future tutorial about photography for my local club. I was in and around the grounds of Bradgate Park near Leicester. Image 4: Taken during a walk with the walking club around the Osmaston area, near Ashbourne. Stumbled upon this old farm building in the grounds of a local manor house.

All images Š Eric Ladbury


Subscriptions The annual subscription for 2016 will remain at ÂŁ13.00, rising to ÂŁ14.00 if payment is not received by the end of March. Late payers also forfeit their free pack of print folders. An e-mail reminder will be sent out to all members in early December, but in these Internet days you may prefer to use the subscription renewal form on the club website and pay via PayPal. The facility to order extra folders is also on the form. Cheques should be sent to John Kay and made payable to THE POSTAL PHOTOGRAPHIC CLUB. We can now accept payments by direct transfer but please e-mail Stuart and copy to me if you use it to make payment. It would help if you attach a reference (for me it would be JK.CP2). The PPC bank details will be shown on the e-mailed renewal form.

For membership information please head to http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

Photonews is published four times a year. All rights reserved. All materials copyright The Postal Photographic Club and/or the 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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Photonews Winter 2015  

Photonews, the quarterly magazine of the Postal Photographic Club. Find us here http://www.postalphotoclub.org.uk

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