RPS Landscape Group Newsletter, December 2019

Page 1

NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2019/vol 4/ No 8

South Pennines © Leigh Foster LRPS

2 3 4/5 6/9 10/13 14/15

CONTENTS

Submissions

Editorial Committee News RPS/RNLI Safety advice South Pennines by Roger Styles Yorkshire Waterfalls by Bill Rigby Surrey Hills by Paul Graber

The copy date for submissions to the next newsletter is Friday,10th January,2020. Please note that it may be necessary to hold some submissions for a future newsletter.

16 /20 From Kamchatka to Cornwall by Andrew Gasson ARPS 21/25 ‘On Projects’ by Dougie Cunningham 26/29 Cornwall Weekend by Bridget Davies 30/32 Lake District by Kate Summervell 33 What’s on 34/35 Landscape Group Events 36 Events and bookings details Page 1

If you have an idea for an article, please send a brief synopsis 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 the images in the email. Please send all submissions by email to: landscapenews@rps.org NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Editorial Welcome to the December edition of the Newsletter. A bumper edition to round off 2019.

In the October editorial I mentioned the incessant rain, not knowing how bad it would become in November. Our thoughts are with the unfortunate folk of South Yorkshire, suffering deep floods lasting many days. In the October edition of the RPS journal there was a major article about climate change. Danish photographer Klaus Thymann has set up an organisation called ‘Project Pressure’, to document and visualise climate change. Closer to home, landscaper, Mark Reeves successfully submiited a motion to the RPS AGM arguing that the society ought to be doing more to show the public a higher profile about climate change than now(my words). All these issues are linked and there’s no doubt that climate change is featuring ever more in our lives. As Thymann says, when you are dealing with those who deny climate change, it only takes one wrong step for them to discredit you and say that everything’s wrong. Whilst we as individuals can change our way of life, the steps we take pail into insignificance compared with the steps that need to be taken by government—and world governments are failing miserably. Which brings me to “Meltdown” an exhibition at the Horniman Museum and Gardens which uses science and photography to show the shrinking glaciers and decreasing underground rivers. (until 12th Jan 2020)See here for details

A number of you have written articles, with a wide geographical spread, of workshops or field trips, for which I am grateful. Andrew Gasson describes his motivation for some interesting shots, page 16. I’m particularly grateful to Dougie Cunningham, for his article on page 21 about how he prepared for writing his Fotoview book on Scotland. Thanks are due to Mick Ryan of Fotoview for his special offer to RPS members (please see page 25) Just in time for Christmas?

Thank you to the members who completed the recent questionnaire, and thanks, in particular, to Fiona McCowan for organising and analysing the results. A large number of you have said that you are willing to organise field trips, and at the committee meeting on November 24th we discussed ways to harness this resource. It also confirms my belief that more members will write reports when they realise how easy it can be and other members support them with images of the event. Finally, this is my last newsletter, as I am standing down with immediate effect. I’m sure you will be hearing from the new editor in due course. Thank you to all those who helped me produce an interesting and vibrant landscape newsletter by sending in articles and images.

Can I wish you, and yours, best wishes for Christmas and New Year. Enjoy your photography! Mick Rawcliffe,

Page 2

Newsletter Editor

landscapenews@rps.org

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Committee News Symposium and AGM – 21 March 2020 Bristol HQ Just a reminder that booking is now open for the above event. The symposium promises to be a

really exciting and interesting day with a wide range of subjects covered by top quality photographers.

Bookings and full details on the landscape events section of the RPS website. See here for details

We hope you will join us. =============================================================================

Vacancy - Secretary of the Landscape Group The committee are looking to recruit a secretary to join our Landscape Committee. The role is primarily administrative rather than photographic and the key duties are to keep a record of committee meetings, minutes, etc. If you feel that you can help, then please contact Richard (SIG Chair) to have a discussion about what the role entails. Richard Ellis

- landscapef16@gmail.com

==================================================================

Will you help? Our magazine editor would like some help with the publication of the magazine. If you have experience of InDesign software and are able to devote some time to laying out pages for the magazine Robert would be delighted to hear from you. You could do all the work from home and no travel to meetings would be required. You can contact Robert at landscapemagazine@rps.org

Page 3

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Personal Safety for Photographers As reported in the September ‘Committee News’ we are concerned about the recent spate of deaths and other tragedies involving landscape and seascape photographers. In one incident this year, three photographers were swept into the sea—but only two survived. I’ve been in contact with Steve Instance, Water Safety Manager, RNLI, and we have agreed to work together to raise awareness of the dangers for photographers trying to ‘get the special shot’ without doing a proper risk assessment and working on the side of caution. Of course, we cannot do a proper risk assessment without having a basic understanding of the risks, such as rogue waves, overhanging cliffs etc. so we have agreed to make the advice relevant to photographers-many of whom go to destinations on their own. I hope that we can issue joint advice, in the form of a handout,from the RPS and RNLI, and if the advice stops another tragedy it will be completely worthwhile. Ed.

Meanwhile, Steve Instance, Water Safety Manager for the RNLI, offers this advice:“We are seeing an increasing number of photography related incidents around our coastline both in terms of photographers falling from cliffs or being washed into the sea when storm watching. We have had 4 photography related deaths in the last 2 years in Cornwall alone.” On 16 June last year, keen photographer Barry Bateman fell to his death whilst taking photos of seals at Mutton Cove near Godrevy. The 45 year old father of two had ventured close to the edge to get a better view of the seals which were hauled out on the rocks below before he was seen to stumble and slip on the grass bank before falling to his death. This was the 2nd photography based incident in Cornwall last year, in the other one a lady posing for photos on a stormy beach was engulfed by waves and washed into the sea. She was rescued by coastguards but died later in hospital. The RNLI are asking photographers to assess the risks around them when venturing near the coast “To most a 200ft cliff would come under the title of a clear and obvious danger, but it would appear that for an increasing number of people their focus is solely through the lens and they are tempted to push the limits in order to get that special image. Please be aware of the dangerous environment you are in and keep a safe distance. No photo is worth your life!”

Page 4

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Safety cont’d More than half of the people who accidently lose their life around the coast each year had no intention of being in the water. In order to make sure you are not one of them our advice for anyone heading out to take photographs in coastal areas is: Check the conditions before you go. Many photographers are heading to the coast when they know the conditions are going to be stormy and therefore conducive to getting the best shots. But it is important to understand exactly what the conditions will be like at the spot you have chosen. Most beaches will change dramatically in these conditions and they will continue to change throughout the tide. Stormy conditions can create sudden surges which will have a profound effect on what you will find on the beach. At a beach like Perranporth, a storm swell can wash 200m up a beach in no time at all and will wash you off your feet. Be aware of the tide times and whether you are likely to get cut off by the tide. Stay back Don’t venture too close to cliff edges, many of the cliffs around our coastline are prone to erosion and can give way without notice. Footpaths will be very slippery Always carry a means of calling for help Whenever you are near the coast make sure that you have a mobile phone (or VHF radio) within reach. If you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble call 999 and ask for the coastguard. It is worth trying even if your phone shows there is no signal as your phone will roam all networks when an emergency call is made to try to find the strongest signal. Consider downloading a location app Apps such as What3Words can be used to exactly pin-point your location and will save time for emergency services to be able to locate you by providing your exact location coordinates. Wear a lifejacket If you are determined to venture close to water you should consider wearing a lifejacket. A lifejacket will considerably increase your chances of surviving if you fall into water for long enough for emergency services to rescue you. Float It might appear obvious, but if you fall into cold water it only takes seconds for cold water shock to force your body into protective mode. This means you will be gasping for breath, and as the blood flows away from your limbs, you will no longer be able to use your arms and legs to swim. Instead, fight the urge to panic and lay on your back in a star shape, put your head back and concentrate on your breathing. The effects of cold water shock will pass in a minute or two and then you will be able to swim for safety or call for help. ============================ The advice about lifejackets is correct, but I doubt many photographers will wear them— because they have no intention of going in the water. But remember! If you are swept into the water wearing a photographers backpack, weighing around 10 kg, and your wellies fill with water, there is little chance of you getting to your feet or fighting your way to the surface and struggling out of the backpack before cold water shock or hyperthermia have set in. ALL FOR THAT SPECIAL SHOT? Ed

Page 5

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


South Pennines Moorland Field Trip 6th September by Roger Styles September is often a good month weather-wise and the forecast for the chosen day was “light rain showers, easing through the morning, with a gentle breeze.” So, recalling that during her presentation at the Landscape Group Conference Vanda Ralevska said that showers are the photographer’s friend because they add drama, clear any haze and leave interesting skies, I sent a “Let’s do it!” email to the individuals who had registered to attend the event. Hence the eager participants gathered at a local Visitor Centre cafe the next morning for a hot drink and a croissant before driving up to the walk starting point. As we left the cosy, warm cafe it was indeed raining, and a bit more than a light shower, but nothing had prepared us for the conditions higher up at the car park from which the walk would start. Apart from horizontal heavy rain being driven by a near gale force wind, the visibility was no more than 10 metres!

© Dave Glenn

© Jim Souper ARPS

Nevertheless, we zipped up waterproofs, fitted rain covers to rucksacks, and set off single file on a short, muddy footpath to join the wide, level gravel path on this section of the Pennine Way. Walking northwards, the rain was coming in hard from our left as six brave (or perhaps insane) folk trudged on in pairs, somehow managing to chat over the howling wind and rain and even trusted me when I said that usually one could see Pendle Hill, a full 21 miles distant! After passing, but not being able to clearly see the aptly named Rain Stone, which is one of six so called Stanza Stones that bear a carved poem on a trail from Marsden Moor to Ilkley, we turned right, heading eastwards, and the rain hitting our backs turned to hail! Could it get any worse? No one had expected what happened next…the rain suddenly stopped, just like a switch had been thrown, and within seconds visibility cleared to reveal a photographically fabulous sky! Waterproofs had been tested to the limit. We had arrived at White Holme Reservoir where there is a small beach and a stone on which the words “He leadeth me by still waters” had been carved many years before. An appropriate phrase for such an apparently miraculous change in the weather. Without hesitation, cameras were out, interesting subjects sought and recorded.

After thoroughly exploring the area and drying out a bit, we then retraced our outward route and could now appreciate the distant views with light playing on the hills and also specific close-by locations. We could even read the carved text on the Rain Stone! Page 6

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


© Sheelagh Davidson LRPS

© Gerard Liston Page 7

© Jim Souper ARPS NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


© Leigh Foster LRPS (see front cover)

© Gerard Liston After a welcome pub lunch, we headed south on the Pennine Way to an area quite different in many ways to that visited in the morning. The Roman Road, which is more likely a medieval track way, various small quarries, formations of weathered rocks, and an ancient marker stone all provided interesting compositions as we walked towards the final location of the day, the trig point on Blackstone Edge, standing at 472m above sea level.

© Sheelagh Davidson LRPS

It was fascinating to see the different individual approaches of the group. One person used just one camera and one prime lens for the whole day; another also used only two prime lenses with a change of focal length at lunchtime, two people shot mostly handheld with zoom lenses, and another two sometimes used tripods, filters, L brackets and so on.

© Dave Glenn Each person interpreted the scenery differently as this small selection of the many excellent images taken on the day shows. Everyone remained upbeat throughout what was a fairly tiring and challenging day, and all agreed it had been time well spent. For me, as the leader of this event, it was a great pleasure to show such a positive and enthusiastic group of fellow photographers around my local moorland. Later one person said that the event was made even more enjoyable by the wet start! Page 8

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


The words carved on the Rain Stone, by the poet Simon Armitage, sum it up nicely: -

RAIN Be glad of these freshwater tears, Each pearled droplet some salty old sea-bullet Air-lifted out of the waves, then laundered and sieved, recast as a soft bead and returned. And no matter how much it strafes or sheets, It is no mean feat to catch one raindrop clean in the mouth, To take one drop on the tongue, tasting cloud pollen, grain of the heavens, raw sky. Let it teem, up here where the front of the mind distils the brunt of the world. Footnote: - I will be leading a half-day morning Field Trip to the Blackstone Edge Trig Point on 22 November and on 28 February next year. Please see the RPS website for details.

Roger Styles

© Gerard Liston

© Leigh Foster LRPS

© Jim Souper ARPS

Page 9

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Yorkshire Dales - Waterfalls Field Trip by Bill Rigby Five of us gathered at Scaleber Force waterfall, near Settle, on the morning of Saturday 19th October 2019 for a day shooting three of the waterfalls in the Ribblesdale area of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. With very wet weather the previous weeks in the Dales, resulting in flooding and road closures in some areas, and an intermittently rainy day forecast for the Saturday of our field trip, there had been some discussion as to whether we should postpone until Sunday (and a better forecast). But ultimately it was decided that we should go ahead on the Saturday. Present were Mick (the organiser), Dave, Mike, Jeff and myself. The field trip had been fully booked and there should have been six of us but one person was a no-show. The morning didn’t start so well for me as Mike’s car hit a patch of mud when parking and slid painfully slowly in to my car’s front bumper. Fortunately with today’s plastic bumpers no damage was done and we then, extremely relieved, introduced ourselves.

Scaleber Force (also known as Scaleber Foss)

Scaleber Force

© Mike Newman

The approach to the base of the waterfall is rather steep and slippery but with the aid of grippers on our feet it was managed without drama. Plus Mick and Dave had arrived early and set up a rope tied to a tree to aid our descent and ascent - very thoughtful indeed.

I personally found it very difficult at this location to compose a satisfactory photograph encompassing the entire falls.

Scaleber Force © Bill Rigby

The main fall comes down at almost 90 degrees to the flow of the river and there is a tree that somewhat blocks the view of the main fall. To my eye even photographs in portrait aspect leave too much of the unattractive valley sides in shot. I therefore endeavoured to concentrate on the lower falls and some of the details.

However, all of this could, of course, just be me (I certainly need the practice) and I look forward to seeing the images taken by others. As usual, once engrossed in photography time flew by and, I guess, after 90 minutes or so we moved on by car to our next stop. Page 10

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Scaleber Force Š Jeff Worsnop Catrigg Force A short drive took us to our parking spot which left a very pleasant walk of just a little more than 1km to these falls. Passing close to Winskill Stones (another noted photography area with its own lone tree) but not visiting on this occasion. The approach to the falls is nowhere near as steep as at Scaleber but I came to regret not wearing my grippers here as once at riverside I managed to perform a slow and graceful face-first fall. No damage done to me or my gear but it was a lesson learned. Compared with Scaleber I found this a much more photogenic location, with the main fall in the background, river framed either side by fallen trees, and a sweep of water on a gentle bend in the river. As usual I took far too many shots but I knew straight away which would be the keepers

Cattrigg Force Š Mike Newman Page 11

It was whilst at this location that I rather stumbled on a metering technique that don’t recall ever having used before. I tend to shoot landscapes using live view and generally using matrix metering, with the histogram displayed. However, other than completely underexposing, no matter how I tried I was still getting the odd spot of burn out in the water (a common problem I think when taking long exposures of moving water). So I set my camera to centre metering, but this alone produced under exposed images. I then found that by leaving the metering on centre-weighted I could then use the histogram to expose to the right. Voila! Good exposures and no burnt out areas NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Incidentally, even though I was taking long exposures I didn’t find it necessary at any of our locations to use a solid ND filter. In the conditions I simply adjusted my ISO to give me the exposure time I required My Nikon D850 goes down to the equivalent of 31 ISO but given the flow of water at all of our locations more often than not I was increasing the ISO so as to shorten the exposure time. Whilst we were at Catrigg a gentleman showed us a photo, taken earlier in the day on his phone, of a salmon leaping at Stainforth Force, our next stop.

Catrigg Force © Bill Rigby

Catrigg Force © Mike Newman Page 12

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Stainforth Force We parked at the pay and display car park on the edge of the village and walked a short distance to the falls. That shot of the salmon leaping should have been a warning, as word had got out and the falls were mobbed with day-trippers hoping to see the salmon, leaving us little room to plant our tripods The river was raging and the falls were in full spate. Though nowhere near as slippery as our other two locations care was needed anywhere close to the waters edge as unlike Scaleber or Catrigg any fall into the water here could have easily resulted in being swept over the main falls.

Stainforth Falls © Jeff Worsnop

Despite the falls being so busy I came away with shots of the tumbling waters (some more abstract than others) with which I was very pleased. We never did see any salmon, leaping or otherwise.

Stainforth Falls © Bill Rigby The Experience This event was well planned and organised by Mick Rawcliffe (and I’m not just saying that as he’s also the editor of this newsletter). Communication before and during the day had been excellent. The opinion of the group, as to whether or not we might have included Winskill Stones in the itinerary, was sought at the end of the day - but on balance I think we all agreed that we had had a full day as it was. Even the weather had remained dry for us all day, with suitably cloudy/bright conditions for shooting waterfalls. In all a fine photographic day out. Page 13

Bill Rigby NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Report of RPS Landscape Surrey Hills and North Downs Weekend Paul Graber The inaugural RPS Landscape Autumn weekend in the Surrey Hills and North Downs filled rapidly. In addition to my wife Shirley and me, relatively local Kingstonites Brian and Clare Collins (the latter to be congratulated on her recent ARPS!) were joined by Peter and Cris Douglas-Jones - Peter well known to the Landscape Group as the organiser of many events in Wales, and as one of the Group’s initial committee members, and by Ian Miller and Roger Marks, visiting the area from Maidstone. A flurry of emails in the build-up to the event discussed whether to postpone our start on Saturday 2nd November to allow participants to watch England play in the Rugby World Cup Final. In fact, everyone decided that they preferred photography to rugby. But fate was to play a part in this decision - the weather was so bad on the Saturday morning (extremely strong winds accompanied by heavy rain) that the National Trust actually closed Winkworth Arboretum, our intended first destination. So those who were interested could watch the rugby - which turned out to be a decidedly mixed blessing! But frankly, photography would have been almost impossible in the quite awful conditions. Whilst the game was going on, our itinerary underwent considerable adjustment to try and minimise the damage caused by the loss of our SatGroup image by Cris Douglas-Jones urday morning. In the event, we met up for lunch at a cafe next door to Newlands Corner, a Surrey beauty spot with commanding views. In truth, it’s best shot with some early morning mist in the valleys, but I think everyone admired our brief view. We then proceeded to England’s largest winery, Denbies, which offers ample parking, plentiful vines, and fine views across Dorking to Box and Leith Hills. The weather, whilst nowhere near as bad as in the morning, still wasn’t great, and the vines had yet to turn to their brilliant autumnal reds (or perhaps were never going to) - so it was of much credit to our group of photographers that some very decent images were taken.

© Shirley Graber ARPS

© Brian Collins ARPS Page 14

© Roger Marks NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


© Clare Collins ARPS

© ian Miller

If the first day had been rather hard work, it seemed that everyone enjoyed our communal dinner at the Giggling Squid, an excellent Guildford Thai restaurant. Things could only get better on the photographic front - and they did. Sunday dawned much brighter, and we made the postponed trip to Winkworth Arboretum, and in terms of colour, I think we caught it pretty much at its Autumn best. Even the recent heavy winds had left a fair smattering of leaves on the trees, and they were displaying some gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow. My intention to start the visit with a guided tour soon fell by the wayside, as participants proved entirely happy to do their own thing, and move at their own pace. I think everyone found something to enjoy, two of our number decided to stay on for most of the day, and I know the Maidstone participants were considering a return visit. This was definitely a success - as I hope the accompanying photos will demonstrate. For a variety of reasons, our planned afternoon in the Chantry Woods fell victim to the planning rearrangements we had had to make, but I think despite the weather (and the rugby result!) everyone enjoyed and got something out of the slightly abbreviated weekend. If I run this again, I shall definitely organise better weather! Paul Graber LRPS

© Peter Douglas-Jones ARPS Page 15

© Paul Graber LRPS NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


FROM KAMCHATKA TO CORNWALL By ANDREW GASSON ARPS In 1851, Wilkie Collins - author of The Moonstone, The Woman in White and numerous other novels - published Rambles beyond Railways: or notes in Cornwall taken a-foot, a description of his walking tour of Cornwall earlier that year. The book included twelve lithographs by his travelling companion, the young artist Henry Brandling.

In the Introduction, Collins wrote “On considering where we should go, as pedestrians anxious to walk where fewest strangers had walked before, we found ourselves fairly limited to a choice between Cornwall and Kamchatka - we were patriotic, and selected the former.” The complete tour took a route along the south coast of Cornwall to Land’s End, returning along the northern coast with visits to some inland sites.

On recent visits to Cornwall, I have been attempting to reproduce photographically these twelve scenes as they now appear compared with the early 1850s. Using Lightroom and Silver Efex, images have been converted to black and white and toned to match the original lithographs. Space permits only half of the illustrations to be included here but just to prove Kamchatka in the Russian far east really exists, I’ve included two modern landscapes from that very region.

Page 16

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


St Germans Collins and Brandling began their journey at Plymouth with a boat trip via Saltash to St Germans where Brandling produced his first illustration. The view now is remarkably similar to that of 1851. The 13 th century Norman church is Grade 1 listed, still standing but no longer covered with foliage. The tree on the left is perhaps also the original. The viewpoint is now situated on the private Port Eliot estate - but alas there are no longer strolling families with bonnets and top-hats.

The Cheese-Wring The travellers then visited Looe before turning inland to Bodmin Moor. Here they visited the Cheese-Wring, a precarious looking inverted triangle of stones, both then and now “visible a mile and a half away, on the summit of a steep hill.” Take your choice whether you believe it to be a Druid temple or a natural rock formation. Brandling’s picture makes it appear much more rugged in Collins’s day and at some more recent time it has been stabilised with the additional stones on the left-hand side. Fortuitously a modern tourist substitutes for the Victorian gentleman in the original.

Page 17

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Kynance Cove Collins and Brandling left Bodmin for a hike much further west to the Lizard, England’s most southerly point. They then took a two mile walk along the cliffs to reach Kynance Cove “the place at which the coast scenery of the Lizard district arrives at its climax of grandeur…..unrivalled in Cornwall; perhaps, unrivalled anywhere.”

Brandling’s lithograph shows Steeple Rock, slightly more attenuated than in real life, surrounded by waves – a good example of artistic licence. Kynance Cove is a photographer’s delight to visit with dramatic rocks and caves to explore. The picture as seen, however, is impossible to replicate since it can be achieved only at low tide when this portion of the beach is no longer under water. At high tide, you would either need a boat or to stand up to your neck in sea water.

St Michael’s Mount Situated opposite the small town of Marazion, St Michael’s Mount is now a National Trust property. Lord St Levan of the St Aubyn family retains a 999 year lease to live in the castle and show the historic rooms to the public. The Mount is approached either by boat or along the famous causeway at low tide.

Photographers are frequently accused of ‘Photoshopping the truth’ but artists take even greater liberties with reality. The lithograph of St Michael’s Mount is another case where it proved impossible to replicate the view photographically. Compared with the ‘correct’ modern photograph, it looks as if the artist’s version is a mirror image. We’ll never know if the reversal was deliberate or accidental but it was still present in the second edition of Rambles in 1852.

Page 18

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Land’s End Furthest west, of course, is Land’s End. “Granite, and granite alone, that you see…..presenting an appearance of adamantine solidity and strength…..The solitude on these heights is unbroken - no houses are to be seen - often, no pathway is to be found.” Unlike Collins’s time, Land’s End is a commercial horror of modern attractions, a victim of its own success. They can’t charge for what is public space so they exact an extortionate parking fee. Only go if you’ve never been: if you’ve been before, don’t go back! In any event, here we have more artistic licence but in this case it is the photographer who has cheated by flipping the image horizontally to match the original.

Tintagel Collins’s return journey was along the north coast where most of the places visited such as Botallack mine are either not illustrated in Rambles or, like the convent at Lanhearne, are not strictly landscape scenes. The exception is the last important point of interest represented by the final illustration - “Tintagel Castle, an ancient ruin magnificently situated on a precipice overhanging the sea.” Once again Brandling uses artistic licence and exaggerates the ruins to look like significant remains of the legendary castle. Even in 1851 the remains “only consist of a few straggling walls, loosely piled up.” Since the photograph was taken in April, an unspoiled view of Tintagel is no longer possible because of the new bridge at high level between the two headlands.

Page 19

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


The original 19 century editions of Rambles Beyond Railways have long been out of print. There were two 20 th century editions, neither of which included Brandling’s lithographs. Plans are now afoot to publish in the near future a new, unabridged edition. This will feature both sets of all twelve illustrations as well as a modern commentary.

Finally, I hope this article shows that the artist’s perspective is very often impossible to reproduce photographically. If you doubt ‘the camera never lies’, then consider that artists can be even more ‘economical with the truth’. © Andrew Gasson, ARPS October 2019

Here’s an additional image from Andrew — an extra wide angle view of St Michael’s Mount. Ed.

Page 20

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


On Projects by Dougie Cunningham I love the mountains. No great surprise, coming from a landscape photographer, but there you have it. I have to confess though, Munro baggers always irked me a little. Why limit yourself only to mountains that are over 3000 feet in height? Such an arbitrary number, and it comes at the cost of some beautiful summits. I remember passing the Narnain Boulders on the way to the Cobbler with a friend, when we met another walker. It was a beautiful day, but he was clad top-to-toe in Gore-Tex, complete with gaiters and a map in a waterproof cover on a string around his neck. His “Hardcore Mountaineer” image was completed by a top-of-the range GPS on his ruck-sack strap: this guy was not going to get lost. Or dissolve in the rain. “You guys heading for Bein Ime?” “No, we’re off up the Cobbler today.” “But that’s not even a munro!” He was utterly bewildered, as was I. Ben Ime is a fine mountain, but the Cobbler has one of the most beautiful and entertaining summits in the area, if not the country, and this gent wouldn’t consider it because it wasn’t on his pre-packaged list of mountains to tick off. In my mind, he was reducing something beautiful to little more than admin. To this day, I maintain that focussing on the Munros to the exclusion of all other hills is lunacy. That said, I have slowly come to appreciate why Munro Bagging might be appealing.

The epic heart of Ben Nevis Page 21

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Some years ago I was asked to write a guidebook to Scotland exclusively for landscape photographers. It was a dream job and a mammoth task, one I remain incredibly humbled and grateful to have been trusted with.

Glencoe

The standing stones on Machrie Moor,Arran

Fast forward about four years and we started working on the layout. I’d amassed a massive catalogue of images for the project and never before had I had the opportunity (or the requirement) to go through so much of my work in such detail as I did then. I hadn’t thought I was a bad photographer when I started, but looking back through years of work there was a clear evolution to what I was producing. I became more consistent and made fewer mistakes, which I would put down to greater technical experience, but I think I also started to develop more of a consistent style. As contrary as it sounds, I also introduced more variety to my work.

Orion setting behind The Three Sisters in Glencoe Page 22

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Shooting for yourself, it’s easy to simply take the “hero” shot and go home, yet there is so much more to landscapes than just the grand vista. Knowing that I would need more than just that I made a conscious effort to photograph things that I wouldn’t normally have stopped for, and in doing so pushed my photography in directions it would never have otherwise taken. I took more of an interest in details and incidentals along the way… I learned to tell a better story.

Pleiades and the Cobbler: Pleiades sets behind the summits of the Cobbler, just north of Glasgow. An exceptionally complex shot to take, with over an hour of stacked exposures for the stars using a tracking telescope mount. Once the stars align with the mountain, the mount is stopped and a second series of exposures for the foreground taken and the two parts of the image combined to give an astronomically correct view of the Seven Sisters and the Cobbler.

Compiling the work at the end of the project, it was easy to see how much it had helped me grow as a photographer. It was as humbling as it was satisfying. Perhaps the biggest revelation, for me at least, came some time later. Almost a year after publication I sat down to put together a collection of images for a calendar and was struck by the fact that I’d hardly shot anything since sending the book to the printer. I was aware that in the two to three months immediately following publication I hadn’t felt like getting out much, but honestly thought I’d gotten back in the game since then. Confronted with the evidence to the contrary, I could remember a handful of days where I’d gone out and taken images just for the pleasure of it, but a great many more where I’d decided against it. The forecast wasn’t great. It’d been a long week and I was tired… So many easy excuses! Excuses that would never have flown while I was working towards the book. Page 23

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Deer at Lochranza-just one moment I’d never have caught if not for having a commitment to a long tern project.

Stag in Glen Torridon

I remember coming down from Goatfell on Arran on one of the last trips of the project. I was exhausted and the path deposits you at the brewery, which is both convenient and something of a tradition. The forecast for the evening was good, however, and I knew I wasn’t happy with the images I’d gotten from Machrie Moor on my first visit. Instead of ordering a pint I went back out: I had a commitment, and if I didn’t persevere I wasn’t just missing one image, I was letting the whole project down. I took the longer, coastal route to Machrie and on the way through Lochranza some deer walked across the road in front of me. A few minutes later, I was in position with the deer beautifully lit by the water’s edge and the castle behind them - a perfect moment that I’d have missed if I’d stopped at the brewery as planned.

A familiar sight to anyone that has travelled the A82 across Rannoch Moor. Page 24

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Some of the strongest images in the book have similar stories, not least the cover photograph. I’d spent a week living in my (very basic) camper-van along the north coast in horrific weather. I didn’t come home with much from that trip but that one image of the wind ripping the water from the surface of Loch Stack made it all worthwhile. I’ll never forget that sight, and if not for having the book to write, I’d have been home days previous. Shelter from the Storm - a lone bothy braving the wind at Loch Stack. The worst thing is I’d never have known what I missed. How many magical moments passed me by in my lethargy since the project ended? A good project is a wonderful thing. It helps you grow in your craft and gives you focus but perhaps more importantly it gives you momentum. Who knows, maybe one day I will start counting Munros after all. Because the magic doesn’t happen to a timetable or a forecast - you’ve just got to be out there. All images © Dougie Cunningham

The Cuillins from Elgol, a Scottish Standard.

Website: www.LeadingLines.net Instagram: @leading_lines facebook: facebook.com/LeadingLines

Bothy at Lagan, Arran.

FotoVUE has offered a 20% discount code on the entire FotoVUE range (excluding London, the most recent publication) for RPS members. Just enter the discount code DOUGIE at the checkout - free shipping within the UK is included. www.FotoVUE.com Page 25

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


A blustery November weekend in Cornwall by Bridget Davies Storm force 10 westerly winds. Chances of rain greater than 95% for hours. Landscape photographers generally hate clear blue skies & unbroken sunshine. But this was a bit hardcore. Richard Ellis, our leader on this field trip, had his doubts. With a change of plan, it could work. It did. It was clear that Richard had put considerable effort into developing his list of shooting locations. As well as providing useful information which can be gleaned online, such as map references and tide times, he had conducted a physical recce of each location, and thus could advise on particular points of interest, clothing and footwear choices, as well as hazards. With the forecast inclement weather, he assessed additional less-exposed locations the day before we met. He provided a clear set of options and offered flexibility to make the best of the weather conditions and meet the preferences of the group. Overall, the organisation provided by Richard was excellent in somewhat challenging circumstances. Richard, Gavin, Stephen & I met up in Marazion as arranged. We drank tea, reviewed and discussed our previous images, which Richard had suggested we might bring, while the rain fell all morning. Then we ventured out to north and east facing locations provided by the knobbly geography of West Cornwall. Our first call was to Newlyn, the commercial fishing port. Lots of fishing vessels in various stages of repair, rust literally by the bucket load, an endless jumble of rigging, winches, fishing gear and a lighthouse.

St Ives © Gavin Mann

Newlyn © Richard Ellis Then on to smaller scale Mousehole with its picturesque semi-circular harbour. Our last call of the day was at St Ives, with two beaches, complete with surfers & our third harbour of the day. None of these locations were on the original plan, but they offered a good variety of material to shoot, without the risk of being blown off a cliff.

St Ives © Bridget Davies

The second day promised to be somewhat more benign with its weather. Scattered showers, lighter winds. The planned westerly facing locations beckoned. We were joined by Graham at Godrevy Lighthouse. Clambering over the rocks at high tide, with a lively sea, there were waves & spray aplenty. The rain held off. A little sunshine and an appealingly moody sky. This was Stephen’s favourite location, with a choice of viewpoints, the lighthouse itself and a range of rocks and channels. We experimented with various shutter speeds, with and without neutral density filters, and unsurprisingly picked out some similar viewpoints, although with different approaches, catching the waves exploding or alternatively receding, and choosing different ways of cropping our results.

Page 26

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Godrevy Light © Richard Ellis

Godrevy © Graham Fone The next stop was at Botallack, with its abandoned mines. Perched on a cliff 90 metres above sea level, the wind was fearsome. We hunkered down behind whatever form of shelter we could find, consistent with being able to take photos. I didn’t bother with a tripod, believing my camera would be more stable in my hands. I thought that long shutter speeds were unlikely to be successful as the wind just buffeted the tripods, cameras & of course lenses. The others, perhaps more patient than me, persisted with tripods with legs spread wide at their minimum height and got some good results, as Gavin’s shot shows. After the event, we made different choices about how to process the images, as can be seen.

Page 27

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Keen to make the best of the comparatively dry weather, we continued on to Sennen. Back down at sea level, the wind was lighter, & the sun came out. The swell was still high & the rocks adjacent to the harbour provided some spectacular waves.

Botallack © Stephen Roberts

Our final stop was Nanven Cove, with its boulder strewn beach & a fine west facing outlook. This was Gavin’s and my favourite location of the trip. We managed with varying degrees of skill to balance tripods on round rocks. Richard has this off to a tee. I got out my 18mm wide angle manual focus lens, which gives me good depth of field and shows what it is like to be in amongst the rocks with the prospect of getting wet feet or worse. It allows relatively low handheld shutter speeds. My feet stayed dry. The same cannot be said for my tripod (camera not attached, successfully retrieved and later washed free of the salt). The sun appeared briefly & then became increasingly obscured by clouds, with some fine crepuscular rays. No golden hour, but a gentle dusk.

Nanven © Bridget Davies

Nanven © Graham Fone

Page 28

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Those with further to travel stayed an additional night, and woke to the type of weather that Richard had probably been hoping for. Gavin shot an image of St Michael’s Mount, as we had planned for the first day. Stephen took advantage of some lovely light in Penzance, with a passing fishing boat adding to the scene.

St Michael’s Mount © Gavin Mann

Seven locations in two days. Useful advice from Richard, ranging from suggestions of lens choices, viewpoints, & composition options to reminders that the tide would be coming in, potentially much faster than you might think. Lots of friendly camaraderie between the participants, with a determined willingness not to let the weather get us down. Overall, we all had an interesting and enjoyable experience. Some decent images too. As for things which might have gone better, the weather could have been kinder to us. But it is the weather which makes for interesting photography, & we were all well-equipped for it. © Bridget Davies

Penzance © Stephen Roberts Page 29

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Grasmere autumn colours with Mark Banks - November 2019 by Kate Summervell In early November I headed to the Lake District for a four day workshop with one of the great teachers of landscape photography, Mark Banks. Although I have worked with Mark for some time, this is my first year as a member of the RPS, so I was intrigued as to how this workshop might differ from others I have attended previously. Landscape photographers are a pretty hardy breed who take delight in battling extreme weather conditions, and so it proved on our first day. Following an introduction outlining the days ahead and our individual expectations, we headed for some beautiful woodland close to Grasmere where we were based. The rain deluged and we were buffeted by cold, gusty winds. Immediately Mark set us a couple of challenges, firstly, limiting our choice of focal length to shoot several different ideas handheld. Shortly thereafter, reunited with our tripods, we selected and shot our strongest potential images. This helped concentrate the mind and there was a growing realisation that often the strongest landscape images are achieved in the most challenging of conditions. It also helped take our mind off the weather. Other challenges were set using specific techniques or subject matter over the workshop and we shared these at the end of our days together. Often, these challenges take us out of our comfort zone, however, they may teach us new techniques, how to see more creatively, inspire a new project or body of work. There is also so much to be learned from sharing our work, seeing how others see and interpret their vision, and from being in the same places the variety of images was fantastic. Every person creating unique images that reflected them.

Grasmere © Ingrid Popplewell

Autumn Woodland © Mike Lloyd

Mark was always available for tuition and discussion on how to improve our photography, both in the field, where he regularly appeared at our side to encourage and support us. Equally important was the processing time, and Mark demonstrated how much can be achieved by using so little in Lightroom, particularly with a competent raw file. This underlines the importance of a well composed, balanced image with the correct exposure, depth of field, filters etc being achieved on location.

Motion © Douglas Hay Page 30

Autumn Colours © Douglas Hay NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


© Ingrid Popplewell

© Kate Summervell

As important as the tutor is, the other participants also play a pivotal role in the success and enjoyment of a workshop. We were a small, tight knit group who got on well, and at times we laughed until we cried. Everyone was happy to share their knowledge, as well as both previous and current images which helps everyone there. It is truly inspirational when people are prepared to show their work and have it critiqued along the way. This is not always comfortable, however, we can all gain so much from contributing in this way and seeing a wide variety of work which can inspire us to experiment, perhaps try a different technique and enhance our creative vision. So to my fellow participants, Douglas, Ingrid, Lesley, Mike and Patrick, it was great to share those days with you, and thank you all for making this such a positive experience. Here are your comments on the workshop:Extremely well organised. Life changing workshop. Detailed, practical tuition. Intensive, inspirational, productive. Professional. Balanced in the field/composition and technical /processing. Excellent tuition for my needs. A very patient person, is that Mark, or both Marks. Mark also has special abilities to recognise colour tints to an extreme level. Photography, passion, perfection.

Motion © Mike Lloyd

Sunrise © Mike Lloyd Page 31

© Kate Summervell NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Tarn Hows © Patrick Smith

Loughrigg Tarn © Patrick Smith

Oak tree © Mark Reeves

Misty Dawn, Grasmere © Mark Reeves

There was a good variety of locations throughout the workshop. We visited woodlands, tarns, river walks and quarries, enabling everyone the opportunity to shoot from details, abstracts to wide vistas and so there really was something for everyone whether it was in monochrome or colour. There is no doubt that one of the massive advantages of doing a four day workshop is that it is so immersive, the conversations continue, the friendships, camaraderie and laughter develop steadily over the days, and it shows real commitment to your photography, however, it is not always so simple to achieve. However, it will take your photography to another level. Anyone considering a workshop of any length, I cant recommend it enough. My only word of caution is that I would recommend you thoroughly know your way around your camera before you go so you can get the most out of your tutor’s skill and knowledge. Some people questioned the value of going to a cafe for lunch everyday because of the time spent. Personally, A huge thank you for the decent coffee stops which definitely helps recharge the creative batteries before heading out again. It really was not the weather for soggy sandwiches! Mark Banks is one of the most patient people on this planet. No question is too simple, and he goes to great lengths to share his knowledge and love of photography, both technically and creatively. He is an enthusiastic teacher who just wants to help everyone get the best from their images, and is happy to share everything he knows. Mark also shared a selection of his prints which underlined the breadth of his creativity. He is a really good leader who plans all locations with military precision, having paid attention to being in the right place at the right time, and hopefully with the right light! Thanks also to Mark Reeves for driving duties and general chat. As a newcomer to the RPS there was some Distinctions chat which was slightly baffling, however I am playing catch up, maybe next year! Would I attend another workshop, absolutely. It was a great experience and it can only take your own photography to another level. Kate Summervell

Page 32

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


What's On

A selection of exhibitions & events which may be of interest to landscape group members

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020

Field Meeting To the Ainsdale Dunes

Landscape Photographer of the Year have announced that they will be open for entries from the 15th January – 5th April 2020

This field trip is organised by the NATURE Group, but the venue offers multiple opportunities for landscapes and seascapes. See here for details

6th June 2020 10am Ainsdale nr Southport

Categories are:Classic View

The Photography Show 2020

Urban Life

NEC Birmingham 14-17 March 2020

Your View Black and White Young Photographers Competition And, as in previous years, an exhibition of the winners will tour the main line stations sponsored by Network Rail.

A new website is in progress www.lpoty.co.uk

https://

• Over 32,000 like-minded visitors over 4 days • The latest kit from over 300 brands • Get inspired with exciting talks & live demos • Learn from the best at tailored masterclasses • Get hands on, practical advice (words taken from advert—Ed)

See here for details

Conferences, Fairs and Festivals None to report

Page 33

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Landscape Group EVENTS Listed below are events with vacancies at the time of publication. For details of all Landscape Group events and of additional workshops and events of interest to group members, please visit the Group’s events page

Coastal long exposures 12th March 2020

Harwich

This workshop focuses on the creative use of shutter speed to add impact to your landscapes. We will be using ND filters to control the shutter speed and looking at the different effects possible. Workshop leader Justin Minns will provide tuition on composition, camera settings and using filters. See here for details

The Intimate Landscape with Tony Worobiec FRPS 7th March 2020 Bristol The great thing about the intimate landscape is that it is personal, as only you will have noticed it, but in order to be successful much will depend on your powers of observation, your understanding of the visual elements and your imagination.

Colin & Chrissie Westgate at DIG Thames Valley 22nd March 2020

Wokingham

A print presentation which seeks to answer the question "what is an 'expressive' landscape"?

See here for details

A presentation on India though the eyes of Chrissie Westgate

Sunrise at Stonehenge

See here for details

8th March 2020 Wiltshire

Teesmouth long exposures workshop

The Landscape Group has secured a limited number of places for an early morning shoot at the Stonehenge stones. Access to Stonehenge is usually limited to normal office hours and visitors must remain outside a perimeter cordon. This shoot will take place at dawn and participants will be able to gain exclusive access to the stones.

17th April 2020

See here for details

Landscape Group AGM and speakers day 21st March 2020 Bristol HQ A day of renowned speakers covering many aspects of landscape . photography: Paul Sanders

Linda Wevill

Redcar

In this workshop, Mark Banks will be providing tuition on achieving well-balanced long exposure images using nearby locations such as the small harbour of Paddy’s Hole (with its fishing boats), the pier with its lighthouse and the wind farm tucked along the coast. The workshop will finish at sunset (if there is one) and ideal for both colour and black and white photography. See here for details

Firle Beacon and the Ouse Valley 30th April 2020 West Sussex

A Sense of Place with Benedict Brain ARPS.

A valley in the heart of the South Downs National Park, with Firle Beacon and Mount Caburn guiding the Ouse river down to the south coast. Experience the morning mists rising over the river in the early morning, with views across the beautiful rural countryside and the dynamic lines and contrast from the fall of sunlight across the downs. We’ll capture the sunrise from Firle Beacon and then tour a few viewpoints across the valley.

10th March 2020 Bethesda

See here for details

Tony Worobiec

Sam Gregory.

The speakers will be covering creativity, experimentation, composition and story telling inlandscape photography.

See here for details

This two-day workshop will provide practical tips and advice on photography technique. However, the emphasis will be on looking at ways to explore the landscape through ideas and vision to create a small, but meaningful body of work See here for details Page 34

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


DIG Thames Valley: Sam Gregory - more than an image

Long exposures on the North Somerset coast

17th may 2020 Wokingham

2nd September 2020 Clevedon

During the course of the day, Sam will take you on a journey through his landscape photography work. With classic vistas and dramatic scenes from all around the world, he will discuss what makes a compelling landscape image in his eyes.

The stretch of coastline from Clevedon to Burnham-on-Sea, provides for the perfect location for long exposure photography. Clevedon's graceful Victorian pier, the magnificent long pier and vast stretch of beach at Weston-Super-Mare, and the striking Grade 11 Lower lighthouse at Burnham-on -Sea are our principle subject matter for this workshop, During the course of the day, Sam will take you on a journey offering plenty of opportunities to make some wonderfully through his landscape photography work. With classic vismoody captures. See here for details tas and dramatic scenes from all around the world, he will discuss what makes a compelling landscape image in his eyes.

Waterfalls of the Vale of Neath

See here for details

15th October 2020 Neath

Swaledale wildflower meadows 5th June 2020 Yorkshire Dales The late, great Alfred Wainwright (fell walker and author) said Swaledale was the finest of all Dales and in early June each year its many meadows are covered in a carpet of lush and colourful wildflowers. The quaint village of Muker is the epicentre of this activity and where we shall meet for a full day of wildflower photography. Professional photographer Mark Banks will be on hand throughout the day to give practical advice, tips and tricks.

See here for details

North York Moors in summer colours 21st August 2020

Great Ayton

Summer colour is at its most vibrant at this time of year with colourful heather, summer flowers and yellow gorse decorating the countryside. This location on the edge of the North York Moors offer fine views over the Cleveland Plain where you will be shooting big vistas over to Roseberry Topping, Captain Cook’s monument and the Cleveland Hills.

See here for details

Here, the rivers Mellte, Hepste and Neddfechan have worn away the soft rocks to create steep wooded gorges full of caves and waterfalls. These beautiful secluded woodlands on the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, contain a series of picturesque tumbling streams and falls. Each with their own unique character, these falls are some of the loveliest we have encountered and offer potential for some wonderful photography See here for details

The Art of Monochrome 16th October 2020 Vale of Glamorgan Black and white photographs have a classic appeal which stand the test of time. Without the distraction of colour, we can introduce an air of mystery and atmosphere into our images, an interpretation of reality. A black-and-white image allows us to deconstruct a scene and to re-explore the basic elements of composition, lighting, tonal contrast, texture and form. Monochrome is also the perfect medium for creating stunning minimalist images. See here for details

Could you host an event? If you know of a promising and photogenic location in your area, and you would be willing to organise an informal session for other members of the Group, please email to landscapememberevents@rps.org We welcome all volunteers and would very much like to hear from members in all parts of the UK.

Page 35

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8


Event categories The categories below aim to help members understand what is on offer at any particular landscape group event. They are also a guide for potential event leaders who might be worried that their photographic skills are not sufficiently strong for them to lead an event. Group A – Field trips where the guide has a good knowledge of the location (e.g. good viewpoints, good subjects, good times of day, tides if relevant etc.) and will have ideas about what to do in case of unhelpful weather or light conditions, but does not wish to offer any advice on photography skills or techniques. Group B - Field trips where the trip leader has a good knowledge of the location (as in Group A) but is also willing to offer general technical support and advice to inexperienced photographers. The leader is NOT expected to be an expert in anything but should be sufficiently experienced to pass on knowledge of the basics. Group C - Field trips that focus on a particular technique – such as long exposures or photographing at night. The leaders of these events will primarily offer advice about technique and location knowledge will be sufficient to enable participants to learn and practice the technique(s) concerned. Group D - Workshops that primarily focus on skills or technique and where location is irrelevant or is a secondary consideration. These may take place indoors or outdoors. The workshop leader may have limited knowledge of the location but will be experienced and skilled in the topic of the workshop.

Booking Confirmations A few members have contacted us because they were unsure as to whether or not they were booked on an event. Here is a brief guide to how you can check this for yourselves. When you book a landscape event through the RPS website, the system should send you a confirmation email. If you have not received it and want to check if you are booked on an event, then login to your account on the RPS website, select the tab labeled events and tick the box for events you are booked on. Any events you have booked will show up in orange.

Page 36

NEWSLETTER December 2019 / VOL. 4 / NO. 8