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Landscape Group Newsletter July 2021 Volume 6 Number 5

UCSD Library San Diego. Velvia50 4 x 5. © Roger Daines

SUBMISSIONS The copy date for submissions to the next newsletter (September) is Friday 27th September 2021. Please note that it may be necessary to hold some submissions for a future newsletter. If you have an idea for an article, please send a brief synopsis (up to 50 words) of the purpose and content of the piece. Please submit your images as jpeg attachments, sized to 72 dpi with 1200 pixels along the longest edge and borderless. Do not embed images in an email. Please send all submissions to: landscapenews@rps.org

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July 2021 Volume 6 Number 5


Contents

Quicklinks to RPS Landscape Website

3

Editorial by Peter Fortune, RPS Landscape SIG Newsletter Editor

4

Chair Chat from Richard Ellis, RPS Landscape SIG Chair

6

Large Format Photography IS for beginners (Pt 3, Images & Some Technical Issues) by Roger Daines

7

Appeal for Newsletter Articles

14

The Prime Lens Project By David Travis ARPS

15

RPS Landscape Group Instagram advert

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From the Circles By Steve Hartley LRPS

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Landscape Group Launches Mobility-Friendly Events By Mark Reeves ARPS

29

Profile of Mark Reeves ARPS, Landscape SIG Deputy Chair and Pro Events Manager

32

A Little River on Dartmoor By Bridget Davies ARPS

36

Northumberland Coast - The Art of Erosion By Robin Hudson

39

RPS Landscape Monthly Competition for June 2021

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Landscape Group Events

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QUICK LINKS TO RPS LANDSCAPE GROUP WEBSITE Click on image to open

Look out for the great landscape photography entered by Members of RPS Landscape Group to the monthly competitions and are now being displayed throughout the Landscape Group website.

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E DI TORI AL By Peter Fortune At last, after over a year of intermittent bad news about the pandemic and all sorts of public events having been cancelled, there is some good news which may well happen in September. The Photography Show / Video Show will be back, all being well, at the NEC subject, of course, subject to Government restrictions if any by then. So mark your calendar 18 - 21 September, the combined Photography and Video show, and cross everything so that this wretched pandemic does not spoil anything else. In this edition of the Newsletter we have a description of a small river on Dartmoor by Bridget Davies ARPS. The third and final part of Roger Daines’ exposition about large format cameras completes his recommendation to photographers to consider larger formats rather than the now almost universal 35 mm format. We continue with the “From the Circles “ series with an article by Steve Hartley about the E-Critique Circle and a Profile of Mark Reeves ARPS Pro Events Manager and Deputy Chair of the Landscape Group continues our series about Members of the Committee. Robin Hudson gives us a description of one of his favourite areas and how the sea erodes the land. David Travis ARPS describes the first part of a project on the Prime Lenses he works with. (The second part will be in the next edition of the Newsletter - September). Mark Reeves describes the launch of a mobility-friendly series of events which will be trialled later in the year. Fiona McCowan has produced a new advert for theLandscape Group’s Instagram website with a very summery image.

The Thames in near flood

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The British are said to be exceptionally good at moaning about our bad weather. This does not really apply to photographers since we tend to find clear blue, cloudless skies as boring and causing harsh light. For some this can cause conflict for a photographer’s family. I know of one photographer who takes solo holidays in places selected specifically for the locations’ bad weather. My family would not stand for this sort of approach - we decide on holidays and trips together leaving aside extreme locations such as Iceland or Belize neither of which have any appeal for me anyway, we take “pot luck” with the weather. I have taken a solo weeks to specifically good places for photography but as I get older and less mobile, these are chosen with more and more care.

Near Barga in Northern Tuscany On a recent trip I had the opportunity to test out a claim that I found difficult to trust. Nikon have introduced In Body Stabilisation (IBS) for its Z range of mirrorless cameras. People on U tube videos have claimed that this can mean that a camera can be set 5 stops less than the previous standard of a shutter speed at least as fast as the focal length of the lens. So if you are shooting with a 500 mm lens, instead of setting the shutter speed to at least a 500th of a second when hand holding, one could use a shutter of as little say a 15th of a second. (halving 500, 250, 125, 60, 30, -15). That seems incredible and if verified it could lead to the end of the need to use a tripod. Having taken a number of test shots I can report that it seems to me that the 5 stops IBS is credible, at least until the finishing shutter speed gets above 1 second. Of course one rarely needs to rely on the full 5 stops - but it is a remarkable improvement in the utility of the camera. If IBS becomes a standard feature of high end cameras as it surely must, it will represent a major step forward in photography. Since I only follow Nikon in any detail, it may already feature with some other camera brands. I saw the other day an advert for a Canon which announced the introduction of IBS for a new model so the spread is certainly happening! I wonder what will be the next problem to be overcome if camera shake is to be all but eliminated? Will we end up with all cameras being point and shoot, and high end cameras being identified by the quality of their lenses and the ability to switch on or off such things as IBS?

All Images © Peter Fortune

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C H A I R C H AT By

Richard Ellis, RPS Landscape SIG Chair

The last edition of the RPS journal heralded the launch of the new RPS strategy ‘Photography for all’. As well as its discussion there, it is also available on the RPS website. In the group we have been looking at several initiatives to support this overall programme and, as well as the programmes for those with mobility restrictions, we are now planning a workshop for young people to enjoy landscape photography. Our aim for these initiatives is to ensure that the group facilitates the enjoyment of landscape photography by as wide a cross-section of society as possible.

We have been very busy setting up a programme of talks for the autumn and winter so please check the ‘What’s on’ pages for further details. New events are being added all the time so please set a calendar reminder to look at the relevant pages on a regular basis. We have talks ranging from panorama photography to creativity in landscape photography, which we hope you will enjoy.

On a personal note I have spent some time walking on the South West Coastal path, where the scenery is wonderful and I was lucky enough to see seals and a kestrel hunting. I hope you are nding time to get out and enjoy the landscape.

Best wishes

Richard

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LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY IS FOR BEGINNERS! (Part 3, Images & Some Technical Issues) By Roger Daines

Exposure Transparency film is best exposed for the highlights; it favours slight underexposure and black and white film for the shadows as it tolerates some over exposure. You want detail in the highlights with transparency film and detail in the shadows for black and white. I use the Zone system to establish the exposure I need when on location, especially for landscapes.

Metering For example, Velvia 50 has only just over 4 stops of latitude so accurate metering is very important. Familiarity with using the Zone system is important. The zone system is broken up into 10 zones where zone 0 is black without any detail and zone 10 is white with no detail. Zone 5 is the mid tone. Velvia is best exposed between zones 3 to zone 7 to capture as much detail as possible. Spot metering of the scene is important to ensure you capture as much information as the film will record. This necessitates metering all the areas in the image and averaging the exposure to stay within 4 to 5 stop range if you are using E6 film. C41 and black and white. Page 7

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For black and white I like to use TMax or Ilford HP5+ or HP4, all have excellent density and crisp blacks and whites. Black and white film is more forgiving and can be exposed with a 7-stop range. Zone system metering takes a little practice, but if you have a spot meter that can save the different readings it will render an average exposure as a starting point.

Canyon light 4 x5 Exposure Factor (bellows extension) If you are photographing an object, perhaps in the studio at life size, (a magnification of x1) you will be extending the bellows and need to calculate the new f/stop required to get a correct exposure as the light from the lens to the film plane needs to travel further ( inverse square law). If you are using a 150mm lens, then it will focus at infinity at 150mm. For close up work you might need to extend the bellows to twice that length, 300mm. First you will need to make sure your bellows can extend that length on the rail; most field cameras will only extend to just over 300mm. A rule of thumb is that bellows extension that is twice the focal length of the lens you’re using will need an exposure increase of 2 stops. For the photographers who just love the mathematics the formula is {magnification +1}². So, 1+1=2, 2 squared (2x2) = 4. That will be the exposure factor. If the meter calls for a 2 second exposure at f/16 the new exposure would be 2 seconds x4 (the exposure factor), 8 seconds, or a 2 f/stop increase if the depth of field is ok, f/5.6. Don’t worry; there is an app for that! Why are these calculations important? In the “good ole days?” we had Polaroids to use to check the composition, sharpness and exposure before committing to using film. Alas, Polaroid is no longer available so to ensure we don’t waste film it’s necessary to do the computations or use an app. There is a new “Polaroid” on the market, made by a new company, its named “NEW F/N 55”. The film is a positive/negative which you peel apart after the processing. I’ve watched a few videos of this film on You Tube and am not really impressed with the results; it probably needs some more development. The film is not inexpensive, about £10 a sheet!. Page 8

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Noreico razor PPA Loan collection Exposure 3 secs, f-stop45. In-camera masking, Velvia 50 4 x 5

Film Reciprocity There are conditions you will encounter where you will need small apertures and longer shutter speeds to create the image. With DSLR this can be a simple a matter of changing your ISO. With film you can attempt to push the ISO or adjust the developing time, but these can be a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess!). This is where you will need to be able to calculate the reciprocity factor to have the correct exposure. Reciprocity occurs in film when you are using slow shutter speeds, or very high shutter speeds, more than 1/8000sec. When using slow shutter speeds there is the possibility the film will not be properly exposed at the exposure indicated by the light meter, it will be underexposed. Each film has a different reciprocity for different shutter speeds. “Back in the days” it necessitated having a reciprocity chart with you for the film you were using and calculating the exposure. But in this digital age with a plethora of “apps” you can download the apps. Type in your info specific to your camera, film, lens and all will be calculated for you, even if you’re using a bellows extension. The app I use is called “Reciprocity Timer”, not a free app but very inexpensive. Other excellent apps are “Long Exposure”, “f -Stop”, “Viewfinder” and “Set my f-stop” These can all be used for any camera. The viewfinder is really good for LF as it shows you what area of the image will be on the ground glass depending on the lens you use, this saves you swapping lenses to see which would be the best for what you want to capture. Page 9

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It lets you “frame “ your shot without even setting up the camera. These are available in the App Store, not sure if they’re all available in the Android store.

UCSD Library San Diego. Velvia50 4 x 5 This image was metered for the Zone system to expose for the highlights. The f-stop was f-45

and the metered time for exposing was 30secs. Reciprocity is a factor at that exposure time and the Fuji film sheet table showed the film needed an exposure of 52seconds.

Focusing With Large Format Cameras Focusing is totally manual, no auto focusing or zooming buttons with these cameras! Open the lens shutter wide open (f5.6 is probably the widest you can go). Initial focusing onto the ground glass is achieved by using the lens standard. Push it forward until you see the image come into view in the groundglass. Use the focusing knobs on the front standard to achieve the image size and initial focus. If you are using any of the LF camera movements, you will need to adjust the plane of focus after you’ve finished. Lock the focussing on the front by tightening the focus screw. Final sharp focus is achieved by focusing with the film back while using the loupe on the groundglass to check the focus, (adjusting the lens standard for final focus would change the image perspective). Once in focus lock the film back standard. Now you’re ready to expose the film. Page 10

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Dental Accessories Velvia50 4x5. Client wanted something different; the image was “light painted” with an FX “light gun. Determine the f/stop and speed for the ISO you are using. When you have the right combination, you need, these are the steps I take. (I keep a cheat sheet with my camera to make sure I get it right!).

No reciprocity required for Velvia 50 with exposure times less than 4 secs. Impossible to expose for the main highlight as it was pure sunlight beam. My assistant threw handfuls of sand dust into the beam during the exposure to highlight the beam

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Close The Lens Shutter Cock the shutter lever. Test-trigger the shutter, use a cable release. Re-Check all camera movements are locked! Insert film holder, check you have the white/silver side facing to you.

Recheck The Lens Shutter Is Closed! Cock the shutter. Gently pull out the dark slide completely so as not to disturb the camera orientation. Wait a short while for the camera to settle. Fire the shutter.Replace The Darkslide! Black strip facing you! Remove the film holder and fold over the locking handles on the holder to prevent accidental removal of the dark slide. Congratulations, your masterpiece is in the can! Repeat to move on.

Salk Institute, San Diego. Velvia50. PPA Loan Collection

If you want to know more about large format photography a great starting book is “Medium and Large Format Photography” by Roger Hicks, available on Amazon for about $30. I also have three “bibles” I use. A Kodak book,” Large Format Photography”. My other two are by Leslie Stroebel, “View Camera Technique”, and Steve Simmons, “Using the View Camera.” All have good information and easy to understand“You Tube” is a great source for “how to” videos on large format. I particularly like the videos by Nick Carver. I hope this article inspires you to reach out to large format, once you start using large format it’s addictive!

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About Roger Daines Roger B. Daines, M. Photog, Cr. Photog, CPP, Ca.M. Photog, API, is a retired commercial photographer now living in the UK. He has numerous loan collection images with PPA, two Kodak Epcot awards, a Kodak Gallery award, 5 Fuji Masterpiece Awards and two people’s choice awards. He was a member of Fuji’s Talent Team for several years. Roger has taught at PPC’s West Coast School in San Diego, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and Professional Photographers of California (PPC) conventions and in England, Mexico and South Korea. He is a Lifetime Member of PPA, twice past President of PPC and PPC Fellow, PPC Hall of Fame and a member of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society.

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APPEAL FOR ARTICLES We Are Short of Newsletter Articles! It’s easy! Just submit your text (500 words) in an email and attach your jpg images. (72 dpi,1200 px along the longest edge and borderless) If you have produced an article(s) in the past you are in no way restricted from writing another one. Professional Photographers – this is an opportunity to showcase what you do!

Have a go! If you need help contact Peter Fortune landscapenews@rps.org

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THE PRIME LENS PROJECT By David Travis ARPS

Summary Over a period of 5 days, I shot the same landscape with 5 different prime lenses. I found that each lens has a different personality and made me see the landscape differently.

Introduction When I first got into photography I was a bit of a lens snob. I dismissed zoom lenses and instead aimed to collect a range of prime lenses in the belief that the image quality would be better. With experience, I discovered that the quality of a modern zoom lens is indistinguishable from most prime lenses. And as I get older, I prefer carrying a couple of zoom lenses to hauling around a backpack full of primes — especially since a zoom lens is more flexible. But that flexibility comes at a cost. Sometimes it’s good to give yourself constraints — psychologists tell us that constraints actually enhance creativity. So during one of the pandemic lockdowns, I decided to blow the dust off my prime lenses and mount a different one each day on my Olympus EM-1 Mk II. I wanted to examine how each lens made me see differently. I do the same dog walk in the morning, a circular route of a mile or so, and it takes in a canal, bridges, some woodland, and a fishing lake. I took around 30-60 photos each day and then went through each collection to identify the two I liked the most. To make the comparison meaningful, I didn’t allow myself to do any significant post processing (like cropping the images or cloning out distractions). I just allowed myself basic exposure and contrast enhancements in Lightroom. Here are my thoughts on each focal length.

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Day 1: Wide angle On Day 1, I mounted my Olympus M.12mm f/2 (this is equivalent to 24mm on a full frame camera). Normally with a wide focal length like this I’m looking to find some foreground interest, but that was tricky on this walk. On the plus side, the weather was misty and overcast, which meant I didn’t need to worry about having too much sky in my images.

Fig 1: This is a good example of what you see with this wide angle focal length. It was easy to get the entire canal boat in the frame and as a consequence it gives a real sense of impact. But the downside is that it’s so wide you get dead areas in the picture, like much of the canal foreground and the tops of the trees. It also allows pesky distractions into the frame (like in the bottom right corner). This image is much improved with a 16:9 crop. 1/25s, f/4, ISO 200.

Fig 2, below: This is another example of a wide angle landscape taken with the 12mm lens. I took the image from a bridge but in an ideal world I’d put some waders on, get in the stream, and get my camera closer to that clump of vegetation in the foreground. Note that tree disappearing into the mist: we’re coming back to that later. 1/80s, f/4, ISO 200. Page 16

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Fig 3, above: To help you orient yourself, the tree here is the same one that’s disappearing into the mist in the second image I took with the 12mm lens. This time, I decided to compose the view through a hole in a dry stone wall to act as a frame. With hindsight, I probably should have got in closer so the wall isn’t taking up so much of the picture. 1/40s, f/7.1, ISO 200.

Conclusion: This tends to be my go-to lens for landscapes but it’s a hard perspective to master. Unless you can get in really close to something interesting in the foreground, it’s likely you’ll get empty areas in the frame that need to be cropped out. But at its best you’ll get an image that looks heroic and epic.

Day 2 The Street Lens On Day 2, I used the Olympus M.17mm f/1.8 lens (this is equivalent to 34mm on a full frame camera). This is a focal length loved by street photographers and photojournalists

Fig 4: This is a fishing lake I go past at the end of my walk. I liked the shapes made by the snow on the lake. I also thought the reeds, even though they are well past their best, added some foreground interest. I didn’t try this view with the 12mm lens on Day 1, but I’m not sure it would have worked as it would push the reeds too far back in the frame. With hindsight, I should have shot this at f/8 (or shot two images and focus stacked them) as the background is soft. 1/80s, f/4, ISO 200.

Conclusion: I should shoot more landscapes at this focal length. It’s true that this lens doesn’t have the wow factor of a wider lens like the 12mm but it’s easier to compose with and it provides a more truthful, eyewitness view. It’s not as brash and in-your-face as the 12mm focal length but it can still bust a few moves when the music is right. I just need to watch my focus. Page 18

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Day 3: The normal lens On Day 3, I used the Olympus M.25mm f/1.8 lens (this is equivalent to 50mm on a full frame camera). I’ve heard people describe this focal length as a 'normal' lens because it matches the field of view of the human eye. I’m not sure I agree with this assertion. It’s true that this lens make objects seem in proportion, but to my eye the world feels a bit zoomed in. And that’s a good summary of how I felt using this lens: a bit zoomed in. I found myself needing to take a step back on more than one occasion to capture what I was seeing. Ironically, it didn’t feel as “normal” a view as with the 17mm lens. And although I felt closer in, the lens wasn’t close enough to take meaningful detail shots.

Fig 5: Here’s a nice image of a canal boat in the mist. It’s the kind of composition that you might see on a postcard. It’s not the kind of image that will engender strong emotions, one way or the other. It’s the lens equivalent of chamber music: reserved, controlled and a bit detached. 1/160s, f/4, ISO 200.

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Fig 6: Compare this with the second image I took with the 12mm lens and I think you’ll agree that this is the right focal length for this landscape view. The tree now looks more in proportion rather than being pushed to the back of the frame. And the stream doesn’t dominate the foreground. There’s a good sense of balance and I imagine it’s the kind of lens a scientist would like: good at capturing reality. 1/250s, f/ 4.5, ISO 200.

Conclusion: This lens feels like a good all rounder. If I’m heading out and I’m not sure what I’ll be shooting, this lens would probably be a good choice. It’s an easy lens to compose with as it makes everything in the scene feel in proportion. The downside is that it feels dispassionate and emotionless, especially with landscape views.

Day 4: The portrait lens On Day 4, I used the Olympus M.45mm f/1.8 lens (this is equivalent to 90mm on a full frame camera). I didn’t have high expectations using this lens for landscape photography, and my expectations were pretty well met. It doesn’t have a short focusing distance, so it’s not very good for macro shots. At the same time, it pulls the scene in so close that it’s hard to create a vista (at least, that’s the case with the views on my dog walk). Perhaps it would fare better if there were semi-distant hills or mountains on my walk, although then I suspect I’d need an even longer lens like a 200mm equivalent. I found it very difficult to see anything worth photographing with this lens. It wasn’t helped by the weather: it was grey and overcast with no interesting light. For some images, I found I needed to boost my ISO setting by a stop to ensure I avoided camera shake. I was taking shots pretty much for the sake of it — I knew that these pictures wouldn’t work, but I tried anyway. When I looked over the images later, it was hard to find even two worth showing.

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Fig 7: This was taken by the fishing lake. Compare this with the second image I took with the 17mm lens and you’ll get an idea of how much this lens pulls you into the scene. 1/80s, f/4, ISO 200

Fig 8: I felt this worked better, though it’s far from an award winning image. I had to wait a while for the horse to turn around to avoid this being just a shot of an equine backside. 1/125s, f/4, ISO 200

Conclusion: This is a specialised lens that I’ll hold onto for portrait photography but I won’t be using for travel and landscape. I just can’t ‘see’ landscapes at this focal length and it brings the world in too close. It’s like that annoying person at a party who insists on getting inside your personal space but you can’t get away from them because there’s a wall behind you. Page 21

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Day 5: The macro lens On Day 5, I used the Olympus M.60mm f/2.8 lens (this is equivalent to 120mm on a full frame camera). I like close-up photography, and from Day 1 of this project, I knew this was a lens that I would enjoy taking out with me. Sadly, it was a struggle to find suitable subjects: everything looked dead. I photographed chains and ropes on canal boats and some rusty metal textures but these weren’t the kind of detail shots I was hoping for.

Fig 9 above: I came across a clump of mushrooms. I found one on its own and used the Olympus in-camera focus stacking to get sufficient depth of field. This is 8 shots, focus stacked in camera. The in-camera focus stacking isn't perfect here: I can see a halo around the top of the mushroom. But it's not bad considering it was handheld. 1/100s, f/2.8 ISO 800. Page 22

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Reflections on this project This is a circular walk that I’ve been doing for years. Most of the time, I walk the dog on auto-pilot and hardly pay any attention to the world. I enjoyed the 5 days of this project because I paid attention to what I was seeing. And that’s one of the reasons I do photography: to make myself see better. In terms of my expectations, I knew I’d enjoy the 60mm lens but I was surprised that I enjoyed using the 17mm lens so much. Before this, I would have said that a 12mm focal length (or even a super-wide focal length, like 8mm) was where I liked to sit. It will be interesting to see if these findings extrapolate to more epic landscapes.

About David Travis

David is a landscape photographer based in Staffordshire. He holds an Associate Distinction in the landscape genre from the RPS. You can see more of his interesting work at davidtravisphotography.com and find him on Instagram at @dtravis.

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FROM THE CIRCLES By Steve Hartley LRPS

Our E-Critique Circle This article is intended to give you a flavour of what being part of an e-critique circle is like, how it works, what we do and what I get out of it. The circle I am a member of is run by David Travis and has 10 members, each with their own interests and experiences within the Landscape genre. It has been running now for around 2 years. There are no ‘rules’ and we decided against having a formal feedback template, but everyone is very civil and we respect each other’s work, even if sometimes it is not to our personal taste. In theory, we each share an image every month and we provide a critique of the others’ images in return, all done using e-mail and free file transfers. However, David is very good at mixing things up a little so about once a quarter we do something different. Variations have included Zoom meetings to work in small groups to come up with a consensus critique, critiquing the category winners of LPOTY, and sharing project outputs, potential panels, etc. For example, a number of us took part in Mark Banks’ excellent ‘Your Landscape Your Way’ workshops and we had a session sharing our panels and talking about what we had learned. Whichever format we are running in a particular month, we each send our images to David with a narrative and he bundles them up for a single file transfer. The narratives can range from just a title to the full story behind the image and full technical details. Sometimes members will ask for feedback on specific aspects, and sometimes for no comments about specific aspects (e.g. I know the horizon is wonky, or no comments about my dirty sensor please). For the technically minded, we share jpeg files with a maximum long side of 2000 pixels and 200ppi resolution, which may not be the optimal quality but it has proved adequate for our purposes. When I joined, I was merely looking for some feedback on my own images to help me improve my photography, and I think that is working, but being ‘forced’ to look at images as a critical friend has proved to be just as influential. When I critique an image, I like to note my first impressions, what I like about the image and what I don’t like. I then think about how it might be improved, noting that what I see as an improvement may not be seen the same way by others. I might try a different crop, a mono conversion, or different pre-sets to see if I can get the image to be more to my liking. I am fairly sure the others do something similar as they often share their re-processed versions. I found that having no emotional attachment to an image has allowed me to be bold with my cropping and/or re-processing and seeing others’ versions of my images has changed my approach to my own work flow. When making images I am now much more mindful that many of my pixels may end up on the floor of the digital darkroom. As I crop the RAW files to suit the composition and I am now less in a rush to process new images, an attempt to temper the emotional connection to the image I visualised when pressing the shutter or cable release. Page 25

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Another benefit of being in one of these groups is the opportunity to see a diverse range of landscape photography from people who are not seeking social media ‘likes’ or trying to sell you something. I can’t speak for the others but that gives me a lot of pleasure and is extremely helpful in developing my photographic skills.

An example of one of my images that I revisited following feedback on composition, and potential for mono conversion was included here. The image was made in a short window of opportunity on the way to the Knoydart ferry. The light was not at its best, in a classic sense, but I did like the image and shared the square crop with slightly muted colours.

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One of the group said they would like to see more of the water forming of a leading line, and another suggested the textures might suit a mono conversion. Combining those two ideas, and some new skills gained from attending Adrian Beasley’s excellent on-line workshop ‘High Impact Black & White’ resulted in a very different version, one I probably would never have considered without the feedback.

With my second example, I had been so intent on capturing the ‘big picture’ that I missed the fact that the ‘main event’ was just a small part of it. A couple of the critiques suggested that a severe crop was what was needed (a telephoto lens in the field would have been the better way to go). The original image was also a little over-cooked, probably me trying to recreate the feeling I had at the time.

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The revised image, a panoramic crop as suggested by one of the circle, does result in a better, simplified, image. As before, this is not something I would have thought to try without the ‘independent’ advice from some critical friends.

All images © Steve Hartley That is not to say that I always agree on the feedback, and I am sure others in the circle feel the same about my critiques, but, as you may have guessed, I am very much an advocate of the ecircle format. I would only counsel against joining one if you are very precious about your images and have no desire to learn from your peers. Steve Hartley LRPS

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Landscape Group Launches Mobility-Friendly Events By Mark Reeves ARPS Five years! Over five years, in fact. The landscape group was launched in January 2016 and only now have we arranged our first specifically-planned mobility-friendly workshop. Of course we should have done it long ago but better late than never! As the organiser of the group’s professionally-led events programme, I have long been very aware that most of our events are not accessible to people with limited mobility. Taking place in the rural and often rugged places that are popular with landscape photographers, getting to these workshops is often just not possible for anyone with a significant mobility impairment. To date I have ensured that as much information as possible is given in event descriptions to enable people to judge for themselves whether the terrain and location will suit their particular ability or fitness. In addition, where possible, I have asked our event leaders to consider designating some of our events as “wheelchair accessible”. These have mainly been those workshops held in urban locations or coastal locations where photographing from a promenade or other paved surface has been possible. But now I am really pleased to announce that this autumn we will be running our first speciallydesigned mobility-friendly event. If it is popular and successful (which I am sure it will be) then it hopefully be the first of many.

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This first event will enable photographers to capture the beauty of the Chilterns in autumn colours. The National Trust estate at Ashridge features wheelchair accessible trails through the woods and also has mobility vehicles available for those who need them. The detailed planning of this event has been done by Simon Turnbull FRPS who will also be the workshop leader. Living locally, Simon knows the area intimately and has plenty of experience of running workshops at Ashridge.

All images © Simon Turnbull Simon said, “Landscape photography can often feel like an overwhelming business, particularly with the amount of planning and technical know-how needed. Add to that worrying about suitable parking, rough terrain and many other logistical factors for those lacking mobility and it takes it to a whole new faff level. I’m all about mindfulness so was thrilled to be asked to help design and run a workshop that would remove as many of these challenges as possible."

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Sue added, “I’m passionate about making photography possible for everyone so when Mark mentioned that Simon wanted to run a second Chiltern Woodland Masterclass in the autumn that would be mobility friendly I was delighted to help him by sharing my experience. In May, Simon and I met up in the car park of Ashridge Estate to do a recce of the two wheelchair accessible trails. I took my electric wheelchair along and I’m glad to say, apart from the puddles (it had rained non-stop that month!) the paths are manageable and easy to get around”.

Details of the workshop can be found on the RPS website at https://rps.org/events/groups/ landscape/2021/november/wstchiltern-woodland-mobility-friendly/ There will be a maximum of six participants and helpers are also welcome to come along for free. You do not have to be a wheelchair or mobility scooter user to attend but if you are ablebodied please book on the twin event whose details are at https:// rps.org/events/groups/landscape/

Any feedback or suggestions for future mobility-friendly locations will be very gladly received. Please email me at the address below. Mark Reeves ARPS Professional-led events manager landscapeproevents@rps.org

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Simon’s planning has been benefited from invaluable input and piloting from Sue Wright. Sue is the Landscape Group’s Web Manager and happens to use a wheelchair herself for longer walks. When I mentioned to Sue that I wanted to organise such an event she was immediately enthusiastic in her offer to help.


This is the fourth of the series of articles about our committee members and their photographic journeys. This month we feature Mark Reeves ARPS.

Profile of Mark Reeves ARPS, Landscape SIG Deputy Chair and Pro Events Manager

Q. When did you first become interested in photography and how? When I was given a camera for my 10th birthday. As a birthday treat my parents took my brother and me to Greenwich Park where I then spent much of the morning taking really rubbish photos of my younger brother – a great comic but hopeless actor – pretending to succumb to various sticky ends. Page 32

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Q. What does Photography mean to you? For me it’s a means of artistic expression. I’m no good with musical instruments and hopeless with a pencil or a paintbrush but give me a camera and I’m off. It’s the only way I’ve found that I can express my creativity and generate the slightest inkling of enthusiasm from others.

Q. What do you most like to shoot? Anything outdoors that will enable me to create images that I find artistically interesting. Anywhere with a degree of wilderness about it is always a good start – so mountains and coasts are my favourites. And then, at the other end of the scale, I really like photographing modern architecture. Couldn’t get much less wilderness-like than that! But otherwise, most places outdoors will do it for me, as long as they don’t involve people or animals.

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Q. How do you approach a shooting? Do you choose the location/subject in advance, or do you just drive somewhere and start taking pictures? I’m definitely in the “show up and see what you can find” camp. I’ll use Google Maps to look for interesting buildings or bits of coastline and I’ll usually check my weather and tide apps. But that’s about it. I don’t like looking to see how other people have photographed places because it takes away the feeling of doing something original. And, anyway, what’s the point in copying

Q. Are you a member of a camera club? No! I’ve been a member of several in the past and I don’t find them to be places where creativity is encouraged or rewarded. Quite the opposite in my experience. I enjoy the contact with other photographers that you get from camera clubs but I get this from teaching photography and, of course, from the RPS. I’ve made a lot of friends through the society.

Q. What is your favourite camera? Probably the Fuji XT2. I used to use a Canon 5D but when mirrorless cameras started to come on the market I quickly realised that the future would be mirrorless and traded in all my Canon gear for Fuji. I had an X-T1, then an X-T2 and then the X-T4. The X-T4 is a wonderful bit of kit but there was something really lovely about the smaller, lighter predecessor. I kept my X-T1 and converted it to infrared. Page 34

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Q. What are you working on now? I have a few projects on the go…. I have booked an FRPS assessment in the autumn which will be in the Visual Art category so I have to get all my prints ready for that. Also, I am working on a book whose working title is “A Portrait of Fife”. It’s a very personal project, portraying the place I grew up. It was prompted by my mother’s death last year and perhaps it’s connected with saying goodbye? The book is all about the photographs and the places, not my sentiments, but even so I don’t suppose anybody else will be particularly interested and it certainly isn’t planned as a commercial proposition! And now I’ve just acquired a drone. Although I’d pondered a drone for a while, it was a pretty spontaneous purchase as someone I knew through a Facebook group was selling it second hand. So I’m now trying to learn the whole new art of creating compelling images from the air. If nothing else, it should be a bit of fun. On those very rare occasions when I’ve flown in tiny aircraft I’ve really enjoyed it so a couple of years ago I booked a trip in a microlight. We flew along the north Wirral coast and I had a great time creating abstracts from the patterns of water on the beaches. Doing it from a drone will be much easier to organise and much less polluting, if not quite as much fun!

All images © Mark Reeves

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A LITTLE RIVER ON DARTMOOR By Bridget Davies ARPS

The East Okemont River is a modest affair. Just five miles long, it rises below Oke Tor, flows north out of the Dartmoor National Park and into Okehampton where it meets its counterpart, the West Oke River to form the Okemont River. So many misspelt oaks! Repetitious, as some Dartmoor names are, but it is indicative of the trees which dominate.

Its wooded stretch offers the most interest to me. There are no gentle glides here, nor calm meanderings. No wide-open views, nor glimpses of the broader landscape. In their place are jumbled rocks, little falls and miniature rapids, some larger slabs of rock, and the overhanging canopy of oaks, which alters the colour palette with the seasons. Slightly claustrophobic in feel, but well sheltered from howling winds and the other weather that Dartmoor can throw at you. It is a spate river, so its dimensions and character can alter significantly with the level of rainfall.

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The small scale of the river invites relatively close up shots. I like to allow some motion blur, and prefer to retain some detail in the water. I don’t bother with filters, finding that low ISO, as low as 31, works well to slow the shutter speed, and can cope better with the wide dynamic range needed. Shooting up close, the standard rules of composition do not usually apply, not that I would necessarily follow them. I go with my gut feel. I am flexible about the crop, and quite often finish up with a square, which suits diagonals well. With wider shots, I avoid the sky. It plays havoc with exposure and creates fussy bits of contrasty detail in the upper branches of the trees. This is a very photogenic part of the world and is often missed by the hordes of people rushing to Southern Devon and Cornwall as they drive by with barely a glance at the photographic gems they are missing. If you’re passing on the A30, perhaps on the long drive to Cornwall, it could be a pleasant place to have a break. No facilities (you can find them elsewhere). The car park is at latitude: 50° 44' 9" N, longitude: 3° 58' 52" W, a few yards from the river, a little over one mile from the A30 exit. Page 37

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All images © Bridget Davies

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NORTHUMBERLAND COAST THE ART OF EROSION By Robin Hudson The Northumberland coast is one of my favourite locations for landscape photography. I have visited on numerous occasions for workshops, solo photography trips and family holidays. When lockdown restrictions were lifted in the middle of April this year, I hastily arranged a three-day visit with the aim of building up my portfolio of abstract rock images. Whilst Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle and Dunstanburgh Castle are iconic landscape locations and popular for obvious reasons, there are plenty of other opportunities to explore the coastline for the more intimate landscapes, which I love.

Spittal Perhaps the best-known of these amongst the landscape photography community are the sandstone outcrops on the beach at Spittal just South of Berwick-on-Tweed. If you drive into Spittal, there is small free car park at the farthest point of the road (which is a dead-end). The rocks are situated at the South end of the beach but are only accessible when the tide is out. The outcrops look insignificant from a distance but on close inspection (in the right conditions), they offer a wealth of opportunities to explore the texture, form and colours of the sedimentary sandstone bedrock. I stress in “the right conditions” because being at the mercy of the tides and weather, they can be virtually covered by sand. If they are exposed, they can’t fail to impress. The following images are from a trip I made in 2017.

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If you continue walking beyond the outcrops to where the promenade gives way to a cliff face, there is small stream which exits the base of the cliff via a cave or mineshaft of some kind. The water is clearly iron rich, and on its’ journey down to the beach stains the rocks a vivid rusty orange colour providing further photographic opportunities.

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Cocklawburn Beach Cocklawburn beach is a little further down the coast from Spittal. April was my first visit to this particular location, and I wasn’t disappointed.

At the North end of the beach the sand gives way to rocky outcrops and low cliffs with a great variety of textured boulders and colourful eroded bedrock. I have had it mind for some time to put together a set of abstracts for a hand-made book and spent most of the day exploring this area.

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I didn’t have enough time to fully explore the South end of the beach where this a nature reserve, but once again there are very interesting sections of eroded bedrock and even some fossilised coral and worm-like creatures.

Cullernose Point and Rumbling Kern Cullernose point and Rumbling Kern are South of Craster near Howick. They’re close enough together to explore in one visit. The beach just South of Cullernose Point is accessed via a short path across National Trust land from the coast road. There’s a small number of parking spaces at the roadside near the start of the path. The beach here is strewn with boulders at low tide and can be quite treacherous but there are also some interesting rock formations and tidal pools. This image, again from 2012 was taken on raised platform of slate. [07 - Cullernose Point 1. Copyright Robin Hudson 2012] Rumbling Kern is another mile or so down the road and is well-known for the Victorian Bath House which is right next to the sea. Access is via a short footpath near the entrance to a farm where there are a few parking spaces. Page 42

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When I revisited in April, I was on my way home and the weather looked ominous, so I only had time for a quick wander down with my lightweight kit – a Sony A6500. I know Rumbling Kern quite well so wasn’t really expecting to find anything new but thankfully it took me by surprise.

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Of course, there are many other locations I have yet to explore so I’ll be planning another trip as soon as is practical.

All Images © Robin Hudson

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RPS Landscape Group Monthly Competition Ju n e 2 0 2 1 Winners Announcement Members submitted another stunning collection of images to the Landscape Group competition during June

1st Place

London Geometry By Morag Forbes LRPS I live in rural Perthshire but love to take photographs in the city, in particular London. This picture was taken just days after travel restrictions were lifted in May this year, and a few days in London were swiftly booked. I love to go take photographs early in the morning and wander about the city as it wakes up. I had tried to get a shot at this spot the day before, but relentless rain made a long exposure shot very difficult. Page 45

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The next morning I stepped out into a city bathed in the most glorious sunrise and after a few shots on the millennium bridge, headed back to try again. I did wonder if I was making the best use of the sunrise as I knew in my mind that this shot would be a mono conversion, but I was happy with the way the early morning light was falling on the Shard and the buildings beside it. Once home I edited the RAW file in photoshop, and replaced the sky with one I took in Harris. I like the dramatic feel it gives to the image. I recently gained LRPS in April and would like to continue the theme of architecture in a fine art style somehow in ARPS, but I am sure that will be a long term project to work on! View more of Morag’s photography on Instagam and moragforbesphotography.com

Comments made by RPS Landscape Members when voting for Morag's image

Great combination of angular structures and LE clouds highlighted by the mono conversion.

Lovely composition, BW choice perfect, a photo I'd love to have taken.

I love the tonal range in this image, and the hard, straight lines against the glassy river surface. Well seen.

Chooses an iconic site with a skilfully composed scene, and adds further dimensions in terms of the lighting and in the starting point at the stairs, looking across the water. There is a narrative hinted at here, perhaps in terms of the picture frame element of the stairway that suggests an oblique view across to an important focal point. But what is the meaning of the lighting on this central tower with the rays of light exploding from behind it? What is the journey we can take if we look through the picture frame? The image pleases in its basics but its power lies in adding potential avenues to further meaning for us to ponder.

Great composition from a different viewpoint and the lighting is superb for this B&W image - London Geometry

Stylistically interesting and well executed. Captured the essence!

Composition, vision, processing - all strong.

Wonderful composition of shapes and tones - emphasised by the choice of Black and white

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2nd Place The Corpse By Susan Brown FRPS

View more of Susan's photography www.susanbrownphotography.co.uk and on Instagram

Comment made by members when voting for Susan’s image I like B&W rendering and touch of minimalistic simplicity. I love the simplicity of the composition, and the B&W treatment. Excellent image. I chose The Copse as my rst place image as I like to way the image has been processed and love the negative space around the subject matter. Beautiful. Landscape and minimalism The simplicity of the image. The composition and the use of monochrome makes this image stand out for me. Combines simplicity of composition with complexity and detail of the trees.

⁃ ⁃ ⁃ ⁃ ⁃ ⁃

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3rd Place Summerhill Waterfall by Phillip Dove LRPS

View more of Phillip’s photography www.phillipdovephotography.com and on Instagram Page 48

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Comments made by RPS Landscape Members when voting for Phillip's image

• The exposure is timed just right to show detail in the water. • I love the smooth ow of the water and the author has managed to capture both the light in the water whilst keeping some detail in the shadows. The water isn't too smooth and there is a sense of both ow and detail. • Perfectly balances movement and solidity, with a low exposure emphasising the water. • Good composition, lighting and selection of shutter speed to show movement in the water but de nition in the veils of water. • A different take on the classic waterfall image. Excellent mood and image quality. • Even if the picture is not so dif cult to take, the light is perfect and draws you into the picture. You want to be there to cool down and to think. Unwind under the soft jets of water. Very attractive.

Full instructions about the competition can be found on RPS Landscape Group website.

Look out on Facebook for updates

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EVENTS Listed below are the events not sold out, cancelled or postponed at the time of writing. If an event catches your eye you can go to the Landscape Events page of the RPS website by clicking here You can then search by date for the event in which you are interested. Cost range represents Landscape SIG, RPS Members and members or neither. Events may be subject to Covid restrictions, check if you are not sure!

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Profile for Royal Photographic Society

RPS Landscape Group Newsletter, July 2021  

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