RPS Northern News

Page 1



March 2019


Issue 10

December 2018

Northern Diary A quick preview of some of the events coming up in 2019 Full details are on the RPS Website 15 March Celebration of Distinctions at Whickham in conjunction with Photographic Club


24 March ICM Workshop at Bamburgh 31 March Distinctions Advisory Day at Newton 6 April RPS Historical Group visit to Manchester Museums 12 April Lecture by Paul Mitchell FRPS at Whickham Photographic Club 13 April Coastal Landscape Workshop, Seaham, with Paul Mitchell FRPS 12 May The Forces of Teesdale - guided walk by Geoff Chrisp LRPS 8 September Creative Photography Workshop, Stockton-on-Tees 29 September Distinctions Advisory Day at Newton 12 & 13 October Smartphone Workshops, Corbridge 26 October Street Photography Workshop in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

All bookings should be made via the Northern Region Events page on the RPS website 2

Message from


Carol Palmer ARPS

Issue 11 March 2019

Regional Organiser Northern Region

THE NORTHERN TEAM Regional Organiser Carol Palmer ARPS northern@rps.org Deputy Regional Organiser Geoff Chrisp LRPS Treasurer Bob Turner ARPS Secretary Bob Gates ARPS northernweb@rps.org Cover Image Š Ade Gidney LRPS NORTHERN NEWS INFORMATION Š 2017 All rights reserved on behalf of the authors. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the copyright holder. Requests for such permission must be addressed to the Editor. The Royal Photographic Society, Northern Region and the Editor accept no liability for any misuse or breach of copyright by a contributor. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the RPS or the Northern Region.

Editor: Bob Gates ARPS northernweb@rps.org

It is now 2 years since I took over as RO and I have really enjoyed working with my team to bring so many events and workshops to our region. I have been delighted that everything has been so well supported and in all cases workshops sold out within days of being advertised. We have a super programme of events for 2019 with a number of workshops, talks, advisory days and much more and I am looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with many of you over the coming year. The role of the RO is to provide members with workshops, advisory days, talks etc and produce a newsletter. I believe that we need to continue to keep the region moving forward and abreast with changing trends in photography and ensure we provide the best that we can. To do this I believe that the RO and their team should be changed on a regular basis and I and my team, (Deputy RO, Secretary & Treasurer) have made the decision to stand down at the end of this year. We have a very supportive region and the role of RO is rewarding giving you and your team the opportunity to develop your roles to ensure a varied programme for the membership. It is not location dependant as long it is within our geographical area. I am sure that there will be members who would like to take on the challenge of these roles so do not hestitate to contact me if you would like to discuss them further. Email me at northern@rps.org

Carol 3

Congratulations to... Ade Gidney LRPS

Congratulations to Ade Gidney LRPS from Cumbria who has had quite some success with his images in various publications and photographic bodies. Have you had any success recently? Then why not let me have the images and a short write up about them.

Scale Force in the Lake District taken in June 2018. Canon 6D mk2 Canon 24mm TS-e lens, 1/5th sec, iso 200, f8 three images stitched (panorama using the lens shift function). Shortlisted in OPOTY 2019 4

Taken in spring 2018, A fern about to open at my local quarry (which is also the location of my project towards my ARPS I am working on) Canon 6D mk2 Sigma 105 Macro f2.8. 1/180th sec, iso 800 f6.7 tripod. This image is shortlisted in the 'Small world' category OPOTY 2019.


Assynt storm clouds looking over Cul Mor taken from Knocken Crag Canon 6D 24-70 f4 @ 35mm 1/350th sec, iso 200 f8 handheld. This won best mono landscape print in the 2018 NCPF annual awards and was commended in the Landscape Photographer of the year 2018 (also in the LPOTY year book)

The Falkirk Wheel, between Edinburgh & Glasgow, taken back in May 2015 one of my earliest images with a DSLR. Canon 600D 24-70 f4 lens @ 30mm, iso 200 f8. Three images bracketed and blended in photoshop then processed using silver fex. This image was Highly Commended in the Institute of Engineering and Technology photographer of the year 2018 6

Kirkjufel in Iceland at sunset taken on a photography holiday in April 2017. Canon 6D 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm 1/8th sec, iso 400, f11. This won best colour landscape print in the NCPF annual awards 2018 & is shortlisted in the 2019 Outdoor photographer of the year 2019 (OPOTY)


A Master's Project Alex Prescott LRPS

I joined the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in January 2017 and submitted a Portfolio for the Licentiate Distinction (LRPS) in early May 2017. Achieving this qualification gave me sufficient confidence to apply for the Distance Learning Contemporary Photography Masters Course at Falmouth University starting in May 2017. (I was able to use my LRPS submission as part of my application.) I wanted to do this, as being a self-taught pet and wildlife photographer, I felt I had knowledge gaps that were holding me back: not the technical stuff but the theoretical and the overall ‘why’ of successful images. Initially it was a shock to my perception of my hard-acquired skills. Brought up with the mantra of ‘get it right in camera’ I was amazed at the freedom with which editing tools were freely condoned, equipment wasn’t just SLR’s and DSLR’s but included scanners and film exposed on beaches without cameras. However, the clue is in the course title: ‘Contemporary Photography.’

The course was hard work - no denying that - but it is a Masters. It feels like I have been reading forever, from the standard Sontag / Berger/ Barthes essays to esoteric publications such as Burgin’s The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity. You are required to keep an on-line Critical Research Journal that counts towards your grades – the knack is keeping it readable, informative but not too personal and filed in a way that allows future referencing. Working for the initial LRPS submission also equipped me with many of the skills I would need later for the public work displays, which are part of the MA course work. My Project Management qualification and skills also helped with life / study balance.

Now I am here at the final term of the course (six in total over two years) at which point I have to deliver my Final Major Project. “The Final Major Project (FMP) module is the culmination of the preceding two stages of the course, where you have critically examined your practice from three distinct perspectives. It provides you with the opportunity to finalise and produce the critically and professionally informed project that you have defined and developed throughout the Award so far, and to resolve it to a professional and publishable standard.”


The most memorable and helpful quote from my studies is the one that has informed and inspired the creating of my FMP: “Arguably, one of the most important functions of contemporary art is that it may promote critical or even moral discussions among its viewers” Barker (1999) It was an intellectual challenge to find an idea that was wholly original. Whilst successful inspiration occurred early in the course for several of my peers – my ideas proved unworkable in the course periods: wildlife does what it does in its own time, not always term time. Research was my saviour; the more I did, the more my imagination was provoked. This journey took me back to Renaissance art and forwards again, helping me to identify, and consolidate a unique style ‘DNA’ / idea for my FMP. I should also add, that I have absorbed huge amounts of theory, expanded my skill set to include macro photography and studio lighting and met numerous practitioners from different genres around the world. Finally, my grateful thanks to the RPS as there was a discount / subsidy of £1,500 for the course, no small amount when you are relying on student loans. I have also benefitted from free RPS membership for the duration of the course. On completion of the MA – assuming you pass – your qualification is recognized by the RPS as the equivalent of Associate of the RPS (ARPS) and you can apply for crossover certification. And here is an extract from my Final Major Project: ‘Trophies’. (The complete project consists of about 50 images which will appear on my own website, an Installation which will be on public display at Washington Wildfowl and Wetland Trust 18 – 30 March 2019, a privately published Zine and the extract that follows.) Trophies “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi Bambi – a life in the woods, written by Felix Salten in 1923 is widely believed to be the first book on conservation and animal sentience. An original copy of Bambi was one of the first books I was ever given and I still have it today. Since its publication, debate about and consideration for animal sentience has grown. Hunting with hounds is illegal; entertainment provided by live animals is no longer acceptable. Domestic livestock practise has evolved to include equipping cows with waterbeds and enrichment for all. Yet abuse and unacceptable practise still exist beside the evidence and consequences of previous crimes. From early childhood, I have collected animal artefacts and ephemera, remains and reminders of beings that inhabited our shared space. The majority my collection can be dated as early 19thCentury and represent a value system accepted as normal at that time: the perception that animals were not sentient creatures – whose value was as a commodity or a Trophy. I have looked at my collection, added to it, cherished it and learnt from it whilst eventually concluding that it is mostly a reminder of our abuse of animals. 9

The collection is also evidence of a squandered resource but to allow it to become an iconoclasm would consolidate the original crime. I have therefore photographed each one as a piece of contemporary Vanitas art, the message to be read according to individual conscience. I have chosen to use a black background – ‘mourning’, and the items presented are ungrounded, floating in time and space. I have worked as the artist / curator to remind people of the original flawed curatorship of the whole animal. We have taken all the things we admire, and made them into something we can have at hand - an immediacy of experience. It is ironic that the unwilling donors of these items are often now equally as rare and valuable. Tomorrow this might be all there is – as species decline so does our moral progress.

The Otter Paw The Hunting Trophy Broach has its origins from a time when hunters believed that wearing trophies would bring them luck on each hunt. The trophy was also a form of advertising and selfmarketing – displaying the courage and ability of the hunter. The featured otter paw broach has details succinctly engraved on its mount. “Killed at Acton Water on the 31st August 1925 – weighed 22 Ibs” 10

Fox Paw Trophy Fox Hunting with Hounds was legal in England until February 2005. (It was banned in most European Countries in 1934 and in Scotland from 2002.) ‘Blooding’ was an initiation ceremony for new Hunt Members originally introduced by King James I. The Hunt Master rubbed the blood of the dead fox onto the cheeks of newly initiated member of the hunt. The Hunt Master also distributed the brush (tail) mask and paws as Trophies to deserving Hunt followers. The body of the fox was subsequently, thrown to the hounds. 11

Grouse Claw The Grouse seasons runs from the so-called “Glorious 12th” of August for 121 days, a Victorian habit dating back to 1853. Grouse can fly at up to speeds of 70 miles an hour and so make for challenging shooting. Grouse moors are a subject of dissent as many are managed to provide high bird yields to the detriment of other inhabitants such as Raptors and Mountain Hare. To shoot a brace of grouse costs on average £150 and represents a yearly total economy input of approx. £150 million. Grouse Kilt pins are worn claws facing down and worn for good luck during hunting trips. Ladies Brooches are with the claws facing up. Grouse Claw brooches were also given as Mizpah Broaches. Mizpah engraved tokens were generally exchanged between two people who were lovers or close friends and might be separated from each other for some amount of time. Mizpah - in the book of Genesis: “The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.” 12

Roe Deer Slot Taxidermy was a reflection of Victorian social values evidence of a family’s interest in and connection to the Natural World. In a Patriarchal society, the trophy was also an indicator of the superiority over all creatures of the head of the family. Deer hooves, known as 'slots', and teeth were given as 'trophies' to hunt supporters. The heart went to the landowner and the head with its antlers to the Master of the hunt.

Mink Paws Some Native American tribes consider the mink to be a lucky animal. England’s population of Minks are American Minks (not the European Mink) having their origins in animals brought to the UK in the 1920 for fur farming. The decline of the water vole is commonly attributed to the mink but an increase in agriculture and degradation / loss of habitat started the decline in the 1950’s and 60’s. The nationwide survey of Water Voles 1989-90 identified that they had disappeared from 67% cent of sites where they had been known before 1939. This is widely attributed to the escape of minks from fur farms. In 1996 and 1998, this increased to 89%. Water voles are now legally protected in Britain.


The Rabbit Foot Myxomatosis was used in Australia in the late 19th century to control rabbit populations. It reached Kent in 1953 and was used as a control tool by placing sick rabbits / infected pelts into healthy burrows. Although a law was passed in 1954 to make this illegal (Churchill supported the policy) the outbreak was responsible for the death of 99% of the population. Numbers have since recovered. In October 2018, sightings of dead hares displaying similar symptoms to Myxomatosis have raised concerns that the virus has mutated and crossed species.

Badger Paw Badgers are protected in the UK by the Protection of Badgers Act, 1992, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. It is against the law to • intentionally • damage, • disturb • treat

capture, kill or injure a badger

destroy or block access to their setts

badgers in setts

a badger cruelly

• deliberately send or intentionally allow a dog into

a sett

• bait

or dig for badgers

• have or sell a badger, or offer a live badger for sale • have or possess a dead badger or parts of a badger

(if you got it illegally)

• mark

or attach a marking device to a badger

The DEFRA Bovine TB strategy review published in November 2018 concluded that the presence of infected badgers does pose a threat to local cattle herds. However, this has been exacerbated by poor biosecurity. Recent evidence has also suggested that slurry spreading may also be a contributory factor. There is a need for further research in diagnostics, vaccines, genetic resistance and agricultural practises for a solution other than culling. 14

Raptor Raptor persecution, to protect sheep farming, escalated in early 1700’s, and continued to increase with the take up of game bird hunting in the 1800’s. Persecution of raptors (including poisoning, trapping and shooting), was finally prohibited in 1954 by the Protection of Birds Act. According to the RSPB in 2017, there were four prosecutions for raptor crime from 68 confirmed incidents of raptor persecution in the UK.

Spider Crab Claw Crabs breath through their gills. When micro plastics travel into their systems via the gills, they are retained in the foregut where there are hair-like structures that have evolved to add their digestion.


Smartphone Workshops 12th and 13th October 2019 based in Corbridge with Jo Bradford A relaxed and informative workshop with Jo Bradford, Author of the best-selling book “Smart Phone Smart Photography - Simple techniques for taking incredible pictures with iPhone and Android”. Both Apple and Android users will be offered plenty of opportunity to work on their photography while getting 1 to 1 advice from Jo about composition, framing and the theory of what makes a good photograph. This workshop will teach photographers of all abilities that there is a lot of benefit in being comfortable and willing to shoot pictures with their smartphones. Participants will be taught techniques for realising their own creative voice and given the confidence to pursue the subject matter that interests, them embracing the technology for its ease of use and surprising array of features. Jo will divulge her favourite tried and tested gadgets and apps in her tool kit to improve your smart phone photography. This inspirational course is low on jargon, taught in Jo’s characteristic informal approach. Covering both practical hands on work and with some essential photo theory as it applies to smart phones, the aim of the day is to have fun while you learn. The whole course is designed to give you the skillset and know-how you will need to get out there and start releasing the creative potential of your device, ensuring you can capture those fleeting moments every time.Once everyone is familiar with their camera functions, Jo will provide some inspiration to unleash the creativity before everyone heads out for a photo walk to put what they have learned into practice. With a small group size there will be plenty of time for 1:1 advice and feedback on the walk. The walk will be in the village of Corbridge which offers endless opportunities for images. Corbridge is an easy village to get around with no steep inclines. On our return, we will look at using readily available mobile phone apps to enhance your images and achieve professional quality smart phone photographs worthy of posting online or printing.Please download the free Snapseed app to your phone and make sure it is functioning before arriving for the workshop.If you have a newer version of the iPad, consider investing in the Affinity Photo app for professional quality image editing on a mobile device. Jo is a practising artist and photographer who graduated from University College Falmouth with a master’s degree with distinction in Photography. She now gives tuition and group workshops in Smartphone photography. Jo is based in Dartmoor, Devon. What you should bring: •

• • • •

Packed lunch Walking / outdoor shoes Warm and waterproof clothing A charging cable with a main’s plug and a portable charger if you have one but not essential And of course your Smartphone

See the RPS Website for full details of the workshops 16

Images © Jo Bradford




On Friday, 15th February 12 RPS members met at Grey’s Monument for the start of our “behind the scenes” event. Our guide, for the first leg, was Freda who took us across to the Grainger Market. Her knowledge was outstanding and for some she brought back many memories but also gave us lots of information that was new to us as she walked us through the market. Freda is well known in the market and even arranged for us to get to the balcony which is closed to the general public. The Grainger Market is a grade 2 listed building, opened in 1835 and the first covered market in the UK, and unlike many markets in other cities has remained pretty much in tact down to the old gaslights. Improvements are continually being made and a new roof costing £1million is next on the agenda. Then across the road to the Tyneside cinema where Keith showed us around this wonderful building. This is the only remaining newsreel cinema in the UK, and one is shown every day. We had one from 1957 and it certainly makes you appreciate our accessibility to news now compared to the 40s, 50s and 60s. We were shown the various cinemas with their art deco decoration, how a new floor had been built in the 2008 renovation and how a beautiful mural was uncovered and moved to the Electra cinema. This is a fabulous building and well worth a visit. We ended the morning in the Tyneside Café where we had lunch and very good it was too. A short walk took us to the Lit & Phil. A very unattractive building from street level but a Tardis inside. This is another of Newcastle’s gems and Ros our guide was a veritable encyclopaedia of information. There are many firsts acknowledged about this building/organisation with one being the first building ever lit by electric light when Joseph Swan demonstrated it at a meeting in 1879. The Lit & Phil retains its mission: to educate the people of Newcastle and the surrounding area. There are currently around 2000 members, the highest figure for decades, a collection of over 170,000 volumes, an outstanding music library and a thriving events programme. This spectacular library was a real hit with everyone.


Grainger Market Š Carol Palmer ARPS

Grainger Market Š Mike Allport


Tyneside Cinema © Mike Petherbridge LRPS

Lit & Phil © Geoff Chrisp LRPS


Thomas Bewick in foreground © Leo Palmer FRPS


Northern News features... Joe Sheridan ARPS

My name is Joe Sheridan, a photographer from the North East of England, I am 64 years old, married with two sons and two grandsons. I started photography when I was about 12 years old using my fathers old cameras but nothing serious just family and holiday snaps. My true interest in photography started at the age of 52 and after using my new DSLR camera on Auto for what seemed far too long I decided to go to further education to improve my photography skills. What started as a hobby lead to 7 years part time education leading up to a BA(Hons) in photography and media. At the end of my final exhibition I was lucky enough to have on of my prints selected for an exhibition at the 5th Base Gallery, Brick Lane, London. At the ripe old age of 60 I finally graduated and due to my final mark of a 2.1 I managed to achieved my goal which was to become a member of the Royal Photographic Society as an ARPS member of which I am very proud. My love of photography is getting stronger as the years go by and I love taking Landscapes, Street Photography, Documentry and many other Genres but not specialising in one subject. One of my passions is sharing my experiences with like minded photographers at camera clubs throught the North East and North Yorkshire in the form of AV and Powerpoint presentations covering all aspects of my work and my University experiences.

Lonely tree at Ullswater


Sunset in Weardale

Sunrise at Roker


Tyne Bridge at night

The Pub


Furry Friend


Creative Photography Workshop in Stockton-on-Tees, 8 September 2019

with Glenys Garnett and Sylvia Slavin ARPS

© Sylvia Slavin ARPS

Glenys and Sylvia, two well known creative photographers will be sharing their approach to their photography in this workshop. Glenys who lives in Wakefield worked as an IT specialist in a Further Education College in West Yorkshire for over 30 years. After taking early retirement she started her own business in 2011 after obtaining a FirstClass BA (Hons) Degree in Graphic Communication at Leeds Metropolitan University. Glenys can’t remember a time when she didn’t use a camera and has always used it in some way or other as a creative outlet. She is a great advocate of sharing knowledge by helping others to develop and improve their photography skills and particularly encourage the use of creative techniques to develop more artistic approaches to creating images. Glenys is very active on Social Media and has a YouTube Channel where she uploads short instructional tutorials showing how some of my work is created. www.ggcreativeimages.co.uk Sylvia lives in Reeth, Yorkshire Dales and worked as a Psychiatric Nurse at the Friarage Hospital until taking early retirement in 2011. Together with her partner John they set up Digital Swaledale where they teach photography and run workshops. She gained her ARPS in 2012 with a travel panel on the Isle of Skye. From the age of 4, Sylvia has had a camera and was greatly encouraged by her father. She has always been creative with drawing, music, and embroidery but with digital it allowed her to become more creative with her photography. With a digital compact from 2000 she dabbled with Paint Shop Pro and then with a DSLR in 2007 started studying Photoshop and other software. Teaching and sharing skills with others are a great joy to Sylvia and she continues to embrace new skills and techniques which I can then incorporate into my images. www.sylviaslavin.wisite.com/mysite

See the RPS Website for full details of the workshop 26

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Project by members of the

Tynedale Photo Group Working on projects and themes is a wonderful opportunity which gives you a body of work and many photographers I know prefer this to capturing the single image. It can lead to distinctions, exhibitions, books and of course giving talks to organisations including camera clubs. The Tynedale Photo group of which I am a member, has worked on two projects in the three years since we formed and the diversity of photography from individuals includes documentary, visual art, abstract, architecture, nature etc is excellent. Our latest project is “Newcastle Upon Tyne” and images must be taken anywhere in the postal address. Most people think of Newcastle as the “Quayside” but the diverse set of images (102) from 17 members of the group show that there is more to Newcastle than the iconic quayside as you will see from a selection chosen for this article. As a group we will get together and talk about the images we have submitted for this project and it is fun to hear some of the comments and anecdotes behind them. Are you working on a project? Is your camera club doing something along those lines? If so, we can include it in our newsletter, just get in touch at northern@rps.org

© Henry Swaddle


© Bob Turner ARPS


© Michael Borthwick LRPS


© Carol Palmer ARPS

© Robert Gates ARPS


© Keith Robertson ARPS

© Christine Swaddle LRPS


© Leo Palmer FRPS

© Margaret Hogarth LRPS


© Geoff Chrisp LRPS

© Marj Baillie LRPS


Fellowship Advisory Day November 2018 Our region held its first FRPS Advisory Day in November 2018 when 12 members brought along their prospective Fellowship portfolios for advice. Fellowship Advisory Days are few and far between and many of those attending had travelled from other parts of the UK including Aberdeen, Cheshire and Leeds although our region was well represented. These Advisory Days are currently held in camera, so no spectators are allowed although I believe that RPS HQ are considering a change to this policy. There were some exciting projects on show, many having been work in progress for some time. The Fellowship is a very personal project for the individual; and it must be a subject for which the photographer feels a real passion, a half-hearted, not very sure approach is invariably doomed to failure. Members attending, shared their portfolios and thoughts with Leo Palmer and Roy Robertson, the advisors on the day. It was shown that a strong unambiguous statement of intent is essential. Most of the portfolios were work in progress, the images being built into a Fellowship submission. It is very rare that someone attends with a set of images that would immediately form a submission although on the day we had two that displayed that potential. That is not to say they will necessarily be successful when assessed by the appropriate panel, but it does show in the opinion of the advisors on the day that the members and their subjects were worthy of consideration. Fellowship Advisory Days can be held in regions at any time but a minimum of eight attendees are needed. If you are interested in the future then please contact me. 34

From The RPS Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Sir Donald McCullin CBE HonFRPS was born in 1935 in London and grew up in a deprived area in the north of the city. His first published image was of friends in a local gang. He is best known for his images of war. Working mostly for The Sunday Times, he covered conflicts in Biafra, Vietnam and Northern Ireland. After over twenty years photographing war and misery in the trouble spots of the world, the privacy and intimacy of Don McCullin's still-life work have acted as a personal catharsis and have a stillness and calmness of purpose. Like Roger Fenton 130 years earlier, and whose still lifes he loves, McCullin's props come from near and far. In this 1991 still life, an abandoned bird's nest from his garden in Somerset is juxtaposed with statuettes collected from Irian Jaya in Indonesia. Don McCullin was the first photojournalist to be appointed CBE (1993) and received a knighthood in 2017 for services to photography. The Society awarded him Honorary Fellowship in 1977 and the Centenary Medal in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2007. A retrospective exhibition is currently showing at Tate Britain, London until 6 May. 35

Bob Gates ARPS

In the Gents at the Lit & Phil, Newcastle © Robert Gates ARPS

Follow us on Facebook

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.