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NORTHERN NEWS NORTHERN NEWS Issue 6 March 2018 Issue 6

March 2018

Northern Diary Sunday 18 March 2018, 10:30 to 16:00 Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL

Photographing landscape; whatever the weather with Tony Worobiec FRPS This workshop will alert you to the potential of photographing landscape irrespective of the weather conditions. See website for full information. RPS Members £41 Non-members £55 Booking via the RPS website Sunday 15 April 2018, 10:00 to 16:00 Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL

Distinctions Advisory Day Full details on the RPS website Saturday 21 April 2018 11:30 to 15:30 Distington Community Centre, Church Road, Distington CA14 5TE

A Journey through Fellowships and Beyond James Frost FRPS & Hazel Mason FRPS James is the Regional Organiser for Scotland and a member of the Travel Panel & Hazel is a member of the Licentiate Panel. They are adventurous travel photographers who like nothing more than getting off the beaten track. It is a pleasure to have them in Northern region showing their excellent photography

RPS Members £5

Non-members £7.50

Sunday 28 October 2018, 10:00 to 16:00 Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL

Distinctions Advisory Day Advisory day for LRPS and ARPS (Professional & Applied, Travel categories) Hazel Mason FRPS, James Frost FRPS, Leo Palmer FRPS Full details and booking on the RPS Website Sunday 18 November 2018,

10:00 to 16:00

Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL

Fellowship Advisory Day Before booking, please read the criteria on the RPS website All bookings should be made via the Northern Region Events page on the RPS website 2

Message from


Carol Palmer ARPS

Issue 6 March 2018

Regional Organiser Northern Region

THE NORTHERN TEAM Regional Organiser Carol Palmer ARPS Deputy Regional Organiser Geoff Chrisp LRPS Treasurer Bob Turner ARPS Secretary Bob Gates ARPS Cover Image Š John Devlin ARPS 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.

Well, what a start to Spring with heavy snow & gales throughout our Region, causing disruption to so many people with roads, airports, railways closed. It has however had the benefit of allowing many of us to capture snow images the likes we have not seen for many years and it was great to see so many shared on our Facebook page. Our Facebook page now has 130 members and growing continually. Some of the images are simply stunning and I will be contacting some of you to help with our articles/images for this newsletter and hopefully you will agree. Fortunately, the inclement weather did not affect our most recent event when we had Tom Stoddart Hon FRPS and Tim Smith give us an inspirational day of their photography and stories. The feedback has been very, very positive, and I thank everyone who came along to the event. One event in the North this year is the Great Exhibition of the North. This event, the biggest in the UK this year, will be a programme of amazing exhibitions, live performances, displays of innovations, new artworks and unforgettable experiences throughout 80 days. Almost everything in the programme will be free though some events will need to be booked in advance. There are three hubs to the Exhibition, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead and The Great Northern Museum with each hub connected by three trails. Each hub will host its own programme of experiences. With so much going on during these 80 days (22/6/18 -9/9/18) we feel that a photographic project for our RPS Northern would be a great idea and hope that many you will be inspired by the events to photograph them and let us have your images. We will ideally publish a separate newsletter with images, possibly have an exhibition and publish a photo book as a memory of the Exhibition/project. I do hope that you can support our project.

Editor: Bob Gates ARPS

Carol 3

The Natural World a successful Licentiate panel by Jacqui Mair LRPS As a child I grew up in a coastal village in Angus, Scotland. My father worked in the oil industry which meant he had to spend half of his time working away from home. He had a great love of the Scottish landscape and natural history, taking the family out ‘up the Glens’ at every opportunity. These excursions always included an opportunity for him to take photographs and for me to fall in love with the environment. Afterwards, I would watch with eager anticipation as he developed his own film and produced his final images. The love of nature and the outdoors was instilled into my veins from those very early years and as I grew up, so did my passion for natural history. I initially studied for a degree in Ecology and then specialised in Behavioural Ecology for my doctorate. This career required me to spend a vast amount of time observing wildlife and recording detailed notes on every aspect of their behaviour. A dream come true! Many of the insects and animals I studied showed fascinating behaviours but at the time I had no way to record and share these often fleeting moments. My father unfortunately died in 1998 and I inherited his beloved Nikon SLR. I must admit the range of dials and settings seemed too baffling and, with a busy life I didn’t have the time to get to grips with the camera initially. Eventually, I bought my first DSLR for Christmas in 2013. I wanted to be able to take images for myself and family of a wide range of subjects – the night sky, aurora, natural history and landscapes. It has been a steep learning curve since that first evening opening the box and attempting to attach a lens for the first time!






In April 2017, I enrolled in a photography evening class and my tutor encouraged me to put together a panel for my LRPS. As required, all ten images involved using different lenses/techniques but all were based on my love for the natural world. The ten images I had chosen were given the green light at an advisory day in September, and I was thrilled to be awarded my licentiate at an assessment day in October. My passion in photography is to capture and share the beauty of the natural world but also its fragility. If people don’t know and appreciate what is out there how can we ever expect them to develop a love, respect and a desire to protect our planet? The most rewarding and relaxing hours of my time are those spent with my camera in my hand, outdoors in all environments and weather conditions.

Stac a Phris



Wildlife Photography on the Camargue Jayne Renwick Photography Tutor, Newcastle City Learning I have always been fascinated by horses and wildlife so when the opportunity came my way last spring to spend a week taking photographs in the Camargue, I jumped at the chance. The Camargue region is in the South of France, an area of wetland at the mouth of the River Rhone. Travelling with a group of likeminded photographers, upon arrival at Marseille we journeyed for an hour or so by road before checking in at a small hotel just north of Saintes Marie de la Mer. The region is diverse, a unique landscape consisting of wetlands, lakes and marshes. The location proved to be ideal for visiting the local ranches and also just a few kilometres away, Le Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau, a haven for wildlife and a nature conservancy. After a delicious lunch at a nearby café, we grabbed our gear and visited Le Parc Ornithologique. The 150 acre park is home to hundreds of wild flamingos, coypu, hawks, herons, stalks and egrets. Park wardens told us to be ready for feeding time later in the afternoon. Sure enough towards 5:00 pm we noticed a lot of frenzied activity amongst the flamingos as wardens travelled around the site leaving food at strategic points. After feeding, we observed the flamingos running on water as they collectively left the park for the comparative safety of a nearby island to spend the night, free from foxes and other predators. Towards the end of the day we observed birds roosting in nearby trees, bathed in a lovely warm light, an absolute gift for the photographer.

However, us photographers are a hardy bunch so, undeterred, we dressed in waterproofs and headed off in convoy to visit the beach. We didn’t have to wait long before the first horsebox arrived. Once the ramp was lowered the horses charged out in a continuous stream making a bee line for the sea, eager to enjoy a taste of freedom. Camargue horses are one of the oldest breeds in the world, traditionally living in wild conditions in the marshes. Les Guardians, or cowboys of the Camargue, soon rounded up the horses herding them parallel to us so we could capture all their beauty and grace. This was certainly an extreme photoshoot with water splashing all around us and horses galloping by, their hooves echoing on the hard sand. We returned to the hotel later that morning rather wet but extremely happy after experiencing our extreme photoshoot. A few hours later after drying out, it was time to venture outside again to visit a local ranch. This was an exciting prospect for those of us who hadn’t been to the region before. Our guide explained that a lot of the Camargue horses are used on ranches for rounding up the black bulls. Traditionally they are used in a different style of bullfighting where the objective is for the rider to grasp a rosette placed between the bull’s horns, rather than kill the bull. The Spanish style of bullfighting is also popular in the region.

The next day we had to be ready at 6 am to photograph horses galloping in the sea. Unfortunately, the day dawned with torrential rain and strong winds, not ideal conditions to venture out in the open with a DSLR. Sparring Stallions


We were soon to witness an amazing display of horsemanship as the Guardians herded the young bulls through the marshes towards us. We marvelled at their skill and judgement as they manoeuvred the young bulls through the water at speed. After three or four runs with the bulls, it was time for the horses. We spotted the herd in the distance making for the marshes. The lead mare wears a bell around her neck and where she goes the rest follow. We watched the riders herding the horses into the water straight towards us. With cameras firing furiously in burst mode the horses surged towards us. What a viewpoint! We spent an amazing four days in the Camargue experiencing a fantastic variety of photo opportunities including the wildlife park, photographing horses in marshes and in the sea. If you enjoy a challenge and like wildlife photography, this is definitely an area to consider.

Lead Mare wearing Bell

Training the Bulls





A successful Licentiate Print Panel Susan Dawson LRPS

I took up photography as a hobby five years ago, starting in the first month with holiday photos, and then gradually branching out into a wider variety of images. I still have an eclectic mix of photographic interest, rather than specializing in one type, so enjoy forays into landscape and architecture, with occasional portraits and still life. I honed my skills relating to the production and evaluation of images by attending courses and workshops, leading to simple qualifications such as the NCFE certificate in photography. My ideas were further developed through their course in Creative Craft, and by lots of experimentation with the camera. I have really enjoyed being a member of the local camera club, where I learned from others, had feedback from judges, and had company for camera walks. All this soon showed up my lack of expertise with post-processing, which led me on to further training. The RPS Licentiate seemed to be a natural progression from all this, and over the past year I gradually collected images that demonstrated the range of genres I enjoy. Attending my first advisory day was daunting in prospect, but a positive experience in practice. I felt that at least half of my images had potential and worked on some new ones for the remaining part of the panel. At this stage I decided to go completely over to a colour panel. I included two of my favourite still life, and shots where I had experimented with different shutter speeds, one of them on a night shoot. The Tour of Britain cycle race took place just before my panel was put together and I managed to get one I liked of the cyclists in action. I needed the reassurance of a second advisory day, and this confirmed that I was ready to go for assessment for the LRPS.





Bulmer's Birds Bird photography by Durham Photographic Society member

Walter Bulmer LRPS I took a keen interest in photography in my early teens and after trying out various compact cameras I eventually bought a second-hand Zenith SLR. After taking photographs of everything in sight I eventually settled on predominately landscape photography, but the true interest came when I decided to take my photography beneath the waves. Using a Pentax, ME Super enclosed in an Ikalite housing and a Vivitar flash in its own housing with detachable arm the challenge started. At that time (1980`s) it was slide film, and only 36 shots per dive, which was demanding (and expensive), lighting subjects in moving water, and trying different settings, but soon positive results were achieved. The next challenge in my photography came after joining the Durham Photographic Society in 1998. Entering club competitions, I soon realised there was enormous talent in this club and from then I felt my photography taking on a different perspective. Around 2013 my interest in photographing wildlife became more predominant and in 2016 I achieved my distinction LRPS with the RPS

Kingfisher The ‘King of Fishers' is usually glimpsed as a sudden flash of glistening blue. This colourful bird is a splendid sight, bathing in sunlight on a waterside perch. Even dedicated bird-spotters can fail to catch sight of it until it takes flight. Kingfishers travel at lightning speeds, catch several fish each day, raise up to three broods every season and fiercely defend their territory at all times. This image was taken on the South West coast of Scotland. Tech: Nikon D500 Nikon 70/200 2.8, f 7.1, 1/2500, iso 4000 14

Bittern The Bittern is more likely to be heard than seen. The loud booming call, uttered by males during the breeding season, can be heard from up to two kilometers under suitable conditions. It is a secretive bird, its plumage subtly mottled in various shades of brown, which help it to blend with the reed stalks amongst which it lives. When startled it adopts a camouflage posture, bill pointing upwards and neck stretched vertically. In flight it resembles its close relative the heron but, in good visibility, is easily recognised by its coloration. This particular image was taken at Gosforth Nature Reserve in early morning light, a privileged sight. Tech: Nikon D500, Nikon 300 2.8, f 7.1, 1/640, iso 1000

Red Kite The Red Kite is one of Britain's rarest and most spectacular birds, especially at close quarters. Between 2004 and 2007 the Northern Kites Project re-introduced 94 red kites into the lower Derwent Valley. This Project was unique; whereas the previous ones had been carried out in rural areas, this one brought back the kites to a semi-urban environment, close to the large conurbation of Gateshead and its neighbour on the north bank of the River Tyne, Newcastle The image shown here was taken at the Bellymack feeding station in Dumfries. Tech: Nikon D750, Nikon 300 2.8, f 6.3, 1/2000 iso 1250 15

Osprey The Osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution. It can be found in all continents around the world except for Antarctica, but in South America only as a non-breeding migrant. The Osprey is often known by other colloquial names such as ‘Fish hawk’, ‘Seahawk’ or ‘Fish Eagle’. In flight, Ospreys have arched wings and drooping ‘hands’, giving them a gull-like appearance. This photograph was taken at Chesapeake Bay Maryland USA and shows a pair of young birds building a nest where the male would often bring a fish for his mate. Tech: Nikon D600, Nikon 300 2.8 plus 2 x convertor, f 7.1, 1/640 iso 400 16


Barn Owl Barn Owls prefer a mixed farming habitat with spinneys, ditches, rough pastures and well-managed field margins and grassland makes good hunting ground, along with hay meadows and Barn Owls are often found around farm buildings, barns and the edge of villages. Short-tailed field voles are the preferred prey species, making up to 60% of their diet. Barn owls will also hunt for mice, shrews, small rats and birds. Barn Owls will breed from April to August, and a second brood may be reared when food sources are high. A breeding pair will use the same nest site year after year if undisturbed. This image was taken in Northumberland in early morning light using the golden colours of the field as a backdrop. Tech: Nikon D600, Nikon 300 2.8 plus 2 x convertor, f 5.6,1 /3200, iso 640 17

Northern News interviews John Devlin ARPS

Why and when did you first get into photography? Before immigrating to South Africa in the early eighties, I remember visiting my wife’s uncle who at the time was a member of a Camera Club and produced a clutch of 12x16” black & white prints. I was bowled over and the following week my wife to be at the time Susan, bought me a Canon AE-1 for my birthday Why did you consider going for a RPS distinction? Sense of achievement. Fulfilment. At one time I was a member of the MPA (Master Photographers Association) and their membership criteria was that everyone must attain their ‘L’ as a minimum within six month in order to retain membership. Although that was fine in a business world, within the camera club environment the RPS was the one to go for and I thought ‘one day’. Although it took quite a number of years before I decided to try it.


How did you approach doing your ARPS? A completely open mind at the start. I felt my photography was at a good enough standard go for an ARPS and skip the LRPS. However I still read and studied what the criteria was and expected. I looked at successful panels and knew the standard of work I had to produce was beyond what I produced before; even though I am quite critical when it comes to editing my own stuff. My subject was the coast photographed at dawn and dusk – mainly dawn however because the quality of light is so much more pure. After extensive editing I ended up with about 60-70 images and although they were all very acceptable images and stood on their own merit, they didn’t automatically fall into a balanced panel. That’s when the work really started. Is there anything you would have done differently? Is so please elaborate. No. I was happy with the way I approached my subject, the editing, working a balance with colour, tonality and structure. Did you write your statement of intent before or after taking the images for the portfolio? After. I had written walking articles for magazines many years ago where my approach was to do the walk, take photographs and notes, then write the article to accompany the route and photographs. It seemed the obvious way to do it for me. I felt if I had written the statement beforehand, then it would be harder to achieve the right photographs. Other photographers may do it the other way round so whatever suits best. What, if any advice did you take before submitting the portfolio. Did you attend any Advisory Days? Did you change anything as a result? I submitted a first batch of images to an RPS expert on-line to get an initial reaction. That proved very positive but opened my eyes and thought process knowing it wasn’t to be a walk in the park. 19

I then attended an Advisory day which was amazing – and totally nerve wrecking. I was advised to change one image and reduce saturation on another two. I followed the advice. What advice would you give to anyone starting to consider working towards the distinction? Be positive, assertive and ruthless with your editing. Produce the best quality images you can and mount them impeccably. Don’t fall into the trap of producing big images – mine were 12x8” which even at that is encroaching on being too big. A4 is more than adequate. Attend advisory days and take the comments on the chin. The panel of experts are there to help and guide you to a successful distinction – they are not your enemy so take their advice. Regarding your Statement of Intent, avoid long winded, lengthy, flowery prose. Keep it brief and too the point and make sure your images match what your statement states. Did you attend the assessment day and if so your views of the day? I thought the advisory day was nerve wrecking but this beats it hand down. It was a hot day to start with but once inside, the room was air-conditioned. You sit with bated breath wondering if your panel is up next. It had taken to the seventh panel before the first acceptance and you think ‘I have no chance’! Then it happens, the men in white gloves place your images one-by-one on the stand and the experts are invited to take a closer look – and by 'eck they do! Before you know it, they are passing very positive comments and then a yes or a no. Total exhilaration follows a ‘yes’…!

What does the future hold for your photography? To build on what I’ve gained. To work on small projects. To talk more at camera clubs although I’m slipping away from the camera club style of life. It’s quite static I think. I feel it needs to be more engaging. And to pass on my experiences to others. I’m also booked for an advisory day in April up in Edinburgh for a fellowship but that is just a completely different level. Depending what is advised on that day, well… 20

Statement of Intent Twice daily, our coastline is subject to tidal movement – a relentless game of hide and seek between land and sea. As a photographer, I wanted to capture the natural beauty and colour that the coastline has to offer and none more so than within one hour at dusk or dawn.


© John Devlin ARPS


Whitley Bay Duo Pat Porrett LRPS and Alan Porrett ARPS

We have both been interested in photography from an early age. In both cases it was an uncle who introduced us to serious photography. We both joined Whitley Bay Photographic Society about forty years ago, which is where we met. The fact that we are both interested in photography has been a great advantage. We do not have the problem that affects quite a few photographers, where they are restricted to just a few minutes to get their picture. If one of us wants to wait for an hour or more for the light to change it is not a problem. We have always enjoyed entering competitions but do not consider the result to be a matter of life or death. We find hearing comments about pictures to be interesting and sometimes thought provoking. We have entered International Exhibitions all over the world and have achieved reasonable success. Our main reason for entering is to get our work viewed rather than to collect trophies. We feel that photography should be driven by the heart not by trying to please a particular judge in a competition. Whilst we like club competitions we do feel that they can restrict photographic freedom if one is too sensitive to the judge’s comments. Not all judges are open minded and some will not accept non-conventional images in competitions and thereby restrict progress. We believe that everyone should make pictures which please them and above all photography should be fun.

Springbok at Skilpad Š Pat Porrett LRPS


Both of us enjoy landscape photography, though often it is small elements within the landscape rather than the overall view that attracts our attention. We are both very keen on motor sport, particularly Touring Car Racing, and attend several major meetings each year. Our approach to photography is often quite different at these events. Alan tends to concentrate on pictures of the on-track action whilst Pat is keen on photographing the drivers in the Paddock. We often find that the images we produce are different and broaden our coverage rather than duplicating items. We are both happy to dabble in other types of photography. We have occasionally had success with portraits and nature images but these are not our main areas.

Queen Anne's Summerhouse © Alan Porrett ARPS

We have been inspired by several photographers over the years such as Duncan McEwan and Irene Froy. However, the person who has had the greatest effect on us is Freeman Patterson. We were lucky enough to get to know him in 2001 when he came to England to do a lecture tour around the north to celebrate the Centenary of the Northern Counties Photographic Federation. We became good friends and have been across to Canada several times to stay with him. We both love his creative images, all done in camera or by combining more than one image. He is a wonderful teacher with the knack of bringing out talents that his pupils did not realise they had. His teaching skills have earned him honorary awards from nearly every major photographic organisation in the world. He has inspired us to think much more about what we want when making a photograph. One simple thing that he has implanted in our subconscious is “look behind you”. How often do we concentrate on the object that first caught our attention and not notice that there is something as good or even better in the opposite direction? We have used Freeman’s technique of multiple exposure to create some of our favourite prints. We also like his system of combining sharp and de-focussed images to form Dreamscapes. Freeman was also instrumental in getting us to visit Namaqualand in South Africa. It is a place we fell in love with and especially enjoyed our visit there to see the flower season when the semi-desert erupted into an incredible floral display. We will always be extremely grateful to Freeman and the way he changed our photographic approach and indeed our approach to life. 24

Ash Sutton Š Alan Porrett ARPS

Alongside our other photography we have had a project running for over thirty years. We became interested in strange buildings and structures; the type people often refer to as follies. We did a lot of research and compiled a large list of curious items all over the country. These include the buildings but also items which are in a strange location or were once common but have become very rare. In the early years of the project we were both at work and could only manage the occasional long weekend to travel to different areas and photograph our subjects. However, we gradually amassed quite a collection of photographs (Colour Slides). Then of course along came digital. We scanned some of the slides but thought that we would really like to re-visit the items and produce new photographs. Over the last five years we have made several trips each year visiting one or two counties at a time. We have now made photographs of several hundred locations and in addition to giving talks on the subject we are also busy putting them onto a dedicated website. Some of the buildings which were getting into a rather derelict state have been taken over and saved by the Landmark Trust. They have restored them and adapted them so that people can stay in them, a sort of strange holiday let. Over the last three years we have actually stayed in quite a few of our curiosities which has been great fun. At the start of out photographic journey it was our other interests thatinfluenced our pictures, but now it is often our photography that influences where we go and what we do. Along our journey we have met many lovely people and visited a lot places that we probably would not have got to without the photography. We have enjoyed our journey so far and look forward to continuing it in whatever direction it takes us.

See more of Pat and Alan's photography at


Orchid © Pat Porrett LRPS

October Symphony © Alan Porrett ARPS

Dawn Tree © Pat Porrett LRPS


My Love Affair with Iceland Ian Thoms LRPS My first visit to Iceland was in September 2014 and it has been a sort of annual pilgrimage for me ever since and I’ve recently been going on ‘photographic adventures’ with landscape photographer, Bruce Percy, to some of the lesser known locations around the island. The objective of these adventures has been to get to interesting places at the times of day when the light is at it’s best. This has suited me just right and after many visits, I can honestly say that no superlatives could possibly describe the beauty of the landscape I have seen. I feel drawn back to it the minute my plane touches down in the UK. I remember feeling quite overwhelmed by the amount of photo opportunities that presented themselves to me, especially during those first couple of trips. Being in that environment caused a me a great deal of anxiety, as I found myself trying to cram everything into one image as I endeavoured to capture all the big vistas. Now looking back on those early trips I see some fundamental flaws in a number of my photographs. Despite that I still like many of the images that I took, albeit I don’t see the connection with the landscape that I feel has recently developed in my work. I have come to realise that developing a connection with one’s surroundings is fundamental to landscape photography. Being in a place for a short amount of time does not serve me well, as I need time. That is a reason I return every year and now I feel it is starting to pay off. I see the benefits of becoming familiar with a place. You develop a relationship with the environment, you deepen your emotional connection and your photography takes on a new direction. When I received Bruce’s invitation to his last expedition in February 2017, I asked why he had invited me; thinking he liked my work. He said, “Because you used to be a Fireman and you can look after yourself”. This is typical of his humour, which made me laugh and brought me back down to earth. Naturally I accepted. Including Bruce, we were a group of six photographers plus two skilled guides who accompanied us and drove the two 4X4 super trucks rigged with all the food and equipment needed to withstand the depths of winter in Fjallabak, in the Central Highlands. The plan was to go where no one had been before. During the summer months, vehicles are not allowed off the dirt tracks due to soil erosion protocols and heavy fines are imposed on those who do. They don’t even want footprints as it take thousands of years for them to erode. During the winter months, these areas are covered in several metres of snow. So, all we needed was a vehicle that Jokulsarlon © Ian Thoms LRPS could get us there and back. We had that, so it was agreed why not try. 27

Godafoss © Ian Thoms LRPS

Fjallabak Sunset © Ian Thoms LRPS


Our destination was a cabin in Dalakoffin, deep in the Fjallabak region. This is located in the south, normally a summer camping place for hikers, now a welcoming refuge for us. There was no guarantee we would get there due to the severe weather conditions and terrain. Nevertheless, after a long day negotiating snow bridges over rivers we arrived in one piece. We knew we were the first (besides the locals) to have ever been there in winter, as one of our guides runs the cabin in the summer months and he assured us that there had never been any previous attempts to get photographers like us there. For safety reasons, two vehicles are required, which makes it hugely expensive for the average photographic party. We were blessed to have this experience of a lifetime. After the first day’s shooting, we started to venture further afield into what could only be described as ‘an extreme minimalist wilderness.’ It took a while to become accustomed to the lack of detail in the surrounding snow covered environment. However as we continued and became acclimatised, the compositions became clearer. The lack of detail was quite exciting as interesting graphical features began to imerge from the snowscape. On many occasions when we stopped, everybody would jump out and point their cameras in completely different directions, which just goes to show not everyone sees the same. Snow blowing off the black volcanic ridges and mountains left a white landscape surrounding them and when combined with the white-out conditions, made them look as if they were hovering in mid air. This landscape put me in mind of an artist’s brush strokes across a white canvas and when I look at the images I took there, I am reminded of that feeling and how it impacted upon what I chose to capture. For most of the trip, the weather kept us from seeing further than a few hundred metres. I think this was the turning point, which allowed me to really engage with this environment. Soon it was time to return to civilisation and just to remind us of how far we were off the beaten track, the snow bridges over the river had collapsed and once again, we had to dig out ramps in the embankments to get the vehicles across. As we ventured south, the weather began to clear and the volcano’s Krafla, Hekla and the infamous Eyjafjallajokull began to appear. Travelling over the dirt tracks took several hours to reach the main roads, but these three giants always remained in our view. 29


Hekla frequently had cloud formations above it and looked like it was threatening to erupt. However, our guides reassured us if it were active, we would not have been there. Standing 4,882 ft, it is one Iceland’s most active volcanos. Apparently, it has erupted every 10 years since 1970, last erupting in 2000 and is now thought to be overdue. We had wanted to stop and photograph this area but had hot showers awaiting us in our hotel in Reykjavik, followed by planes to catch. On the return journey the temperature had climbed from well below zero in Fjallabak to a balmy 7°C in the capitol and it felt like an almost tropical way to end our trip. On my return home, I took my time processing my images and was struck by the progression I could see from previous years through to the present day. I believe Iceland has really helped me evolve as a photographer. Before travelling through this extraordinary landscape, I was always looking for the big picture and often missing the smaller details. Now when I have a camera in my hand, I am much more aware of shapes, curves, textures and the importance of tones. It has been a steep learning curve, one that I have thoroughly enjoyed and so it will come as no surprise to hear I will be back there later this year, in order to continue my pilgrimage. To see more of Ian's work click HERE

MY WAY TO THE LRPS April meeting in Cumbria Richard Dennis LRPS

21 April, 2018 at Distington Community Centre Church Road, Distington, Workington CA14 5TE 11:30 to 15:30

A Journey through Fellowships and Beyond with James Frost FRPS and Hazel Mason FRPS

Š James Frost FRPS

James is the Regional Organiser for Scotland and a member of the Travel Panel & Hazel is a member of the Licentiate Panel. They are adventurous travel photographers who like nothing more than getting off the beaten track. It is a pleasure to have them in Northern region showing their excellent photography They will start the first session of the day with their travel adventures in Myanmar & Bangladesh. After lunch we will be transported to Calcutta and their photography with the Calcutta rescue along with more about their Fellowships. This Travel lecture is co-hosted with West Cumbria Photo Group who have kindly provided the accommodation and lunch for this event. Ticket price includes buffet lunch. Booking on-line only 30 30

DOCUMENTARY NORTHERN The RPS Documentary Group has a thriving Northern sub-group based in our region. We are a keen and supportive group of documentary photographers who have been meeting regularly in the north-east over the past year. We have visited various exhibitions together, presented our own work and taken part in practical exercises. For the future we have lots of ideas for meetings and hands on practical activities. We would welcome new members to join us. Meetings are held in the Kibblesworth Village Millennium Centre, Kibblesworth, Gateshead NE11 0XN. Check the RPS website for details of the next meeting. If you would like to attend please contact for more details

Malaga Market Š Marj Baillie LRPS - Documentary Northern member


Bookings being taken on the RPS website for two Distinctions Advisory Days to be held in the autumn at Newton Community Hall 28 October - Licentiate and Associate Advisory Day 18 November - Fellowship Advisory Day 31

My Route to LRPS by Hexham photographer David Theobald LRPS

I started taking photographs as a schoolboy when my father taught me to develop film and make contact prints. Deciding on a life at sea from the age of 17, I’ve been documenting by life at sea until my retirement 2 years ago. The last 12 years were in Azerbaijan on the shores of the Caspian sea where there have been some fantastic opportunities for landscapes. Since leaving employment, I felt that I needed another purpose in my photography so decided to go down the RPS route in 2015. I was also becoming more involved in my local photographic club as competition secretary, so an accreditation would stand me in good stead with other members and contacts with other clubs in the north of England. My main interests are Landscapes and Nature – especially birds in flight, which I think I’m getting quite good at! I like a technical challenge so have also been dabbling in time lapse photography especially in the astro photography field.


I attended an Advisory Day at Backworth Hall in Northumberland in 2015 as an observer just to see what the standard was, and to see the panels being submitted. Encouraged, I attended another appraisal day with my panel hot off my printer at the same venue in October 2016 with a few spare and had my panel pulled apart – literally, but I was nearly there, even though my favourite image of a red kite was rejected due to a bland background! Undeterred, I made the suggested changes and again attended an Advisory Day, this time at Newton in the Tyne valley as this venue was very close to my home. The main problem this time was not with content but technical problems with the prints such as slight colour casts or focus on the wrong part. As I’d already paid for a September judging day in Newcastle, I decided to submit my panel anyway after making more changes - crossed my fingers. Result!! It passed!


images © David Theobald LRPS


We now have 130 Facebook members a good place to chat and show us your stunning pictures

RPS Landscape Group The RPS Landscape Group have organised several events in our region. Check the RPS Landscape Group web pages for details and booking. 29 April - Central Lakes Photoshoot 29 April - Monochrome Landscape Workshop 24 June - Urban Abstracts Workshop 1 July - Processing landscape images (optional photo walk)

Just time to enter the RPS International Photography Exhibition 161 The call for entries to the International Photography Exhibition (IPE) has now been announced welcoming entries from all genres, styles and approaches by photographers worldwide, at all levels of practice. Enter at

Closing Date 4 April Now in its 161st edition, the IPE is a celebration of photography today and continues to offer insight into current trends and subjects whilst providing a platform for the photographers of tomorrow. 35

SLOW WATER MOVEMENT WORKSHOP with Malcolm Blenkey ARPS 22 April 2018, Sandsend, Whitby

The aim of this workshop. which is aimed at the beginner/intermediate photographer, is to introduce you to the techniques used to capture images of moving water. It will cover: the use of manual settings on your camera (aperture priority mode and focusing) • understanding the histogram and how to use exposure compensation • use of long/fast exposures to portray the movement of water • how to control exposure using Neutral Density (ND), ND graduated filters, polarisers • aspects of composition in landscape photography. The workshop will be held at Sandsend beach near Whitby, North Yorkshire starting at 9:30 am and stopping for lunch at 1 pm. Following lunch there will be an option to change location to Saltwick Bay which is about 15 minutes’ drive from Sandsend. This will give us an opportunity to visit the site of the wreck of the Admiral Van Tromp which is only accessible at low tide. The meeting point will be the large public car park at the bottom of Lythe Bank at the West end of the beach. An information pack will be sent to all those participating in this workshop giving information about equipment needed, clothing, location & Health & Safety. The workshop will be led by Malcolm Blenkey ARPS who is very accomplished with these photographic techniques. Malcolm has checked out tidal conditions to ensure they will be perfect for this type of photography. THIS WORKSHOP IS LIMITED TO TEN PARTICIPANTS - FURTHER DETAILS & BOOKING VIA THE WEBSITE


From the RPS Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum This cute little girl, and her equally cute kitten, was photographed about 1940 by Nickolas Muray for the front cover of The Parents' Magazine run by The Parents' Institute of NewYork. Muray was born in Hungary in 1892 the son of a postal worker. He studied sculpture before leaving school to work as an engraver. He spent some time in Germany before moving to the United States in 1913. With about 50 words of English and an International Engravers Certificate he settled in New York, working as an engraver and colour separator for a Brooklyn company. In his spare time he studied photography. In a shared Greenwich Village studio he started to build his own photography business. After selling a portrait of the actress Florence Reed to Harpers Bazaar in 1920 he became an in-demand celebrity photographer almost overnight. Assignments came from all the leading publications of the day. He was commissioned by Vanity Fair in 1926 to travel to Europe and photograph Claude Monet and George Bernard Shaw. He captured many famous faces including Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt and Eisenhower. During the 1920s he photographed many Hollywood movie stars for Vanity Fair. Between 1920 and 1940 he produced over 10,000 portraits and his commercial projects included advertisements for companies such as General Electric, Sara Lee, American Cyanamid and Kraft. In 1928 he met Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the two developed an on-and-off relationship lasting over a decade. It outlasted his third marriage to Monica O'Shea, whom he married in 1930. Monica divorced him in 1937 on the grounds of cruelty according to a report in The New York Times. Muray wanted to marry Kahlo but it became clear that Kahlo wanted a lover, not a husband. Muray left her for good and married his fouth wife, Margaret Schwab Muray. He remained on good terms with Kahlo and photographed her many times using the Carbro technique, a type of carbon pigment process for making colour prints which he perfected. In addition to photography, Muray excelled at fencing and was US Saber Champion in 1927-1928. He competed in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam and in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics brought home a bronze medal.He remained active in the sport for the rest of his life and died on 2nd November 1965, after collapsing during a fencing match at the New York Athletic Club. "Photography, fortunately, to me has not only been a profession but also a contact between people, to understand human nature and record, if possible, the best in each individual." Nickolas Muray Bob Gates ARPS 37

Back Lonnen in Winter © Carol Palmer ARPS

Baltic View © Leo Palmer FRPS

RPS Northern News March 2018  
RPS Northern News March 2018  

Newsletter of the RPS Northern Region