RPS Northern News

Page 1


May 2017

Northern Calendar Sunday 10 September 2017 10:30 Steel Rigg Car Park, Henshaw, NE47 7AN (Parking Fee £4)

GUIDED WALK ALONG HADRIAN'S WALL Geoff Chrisp and Marj Baillie will lead a guided walk along parts of Hadrian's Wall including Sycamore Gap, Steel Rigg and Crag Lough. A fairly strenuous five mile walk for good walkers. Steep ascents and descents along the path. For full details see the RPS web pages. This is a free event but please register via the RPS website

Sunday 17 September 2017, 10:30 - 16:00 Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield, NE43 7UL


Attending this Advisory day will give you the opportunity to discuss your images with current panel members in a professional but friendly atmosphere. A day open to both members and non-members of the Society, this is intended to assist anyone considering an application to the Distinctions Panels. Full details on the website. Participants should carefully read the information on the website.

Booking essentail via the RPS Website - Northern Region Events Tea/coffee provided - bring packed lunch Advice: RPS Members £15, Non Members £20, Spectators £10

LRPS ASSESSMENT Sunday 8 October 2017, 10:30 to 16:30 The Grainger Room, Royal Station Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle NE1 5DH The hotel is adjacent to Newcastle Central railway station.Tea/Coffee available A rare opportunity to have your Panel assessed in the North

Booking essentail via the RPS website Sunday 19 November, 10:30 to 16:00 Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL

FOTOSPEED PRINTING WORKSHOP An in-depth instructive workshop demonstrating the importance of colour management and printing to ensure the best possible files as well as matching papers to images. Tea/Coffee available but please bring packed lunch RPS Member £10, Non Member £15

Booking via the RPS website

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



from the new

May 2017 Issue 1

Regional Organiser

Carol Palmer ARPS Welcome to the first edition of the RPS Northern Region “e” newsletter,


a new quarterly on line newsletter for all our members across our region. I am delighted to have been elected as your Regional Organiser and will

Regional Organiser Carol Palmer ARPS northern@rps.org

do everything I can to make our region vibrant and this newsletter is just the beginning. The newsletter includes our planned events as well as news about what our members are doing whether it is gaining distinctions, profiles of members, exhibitions in the region. In this edition, we have a profile of Helen Herbert FRPS, from Maryport Cumbria, Sue Hingley ARPS from

Deputy Regional Organiser Geoff Chrisp

Gateshead who recently gained her Travel Associateship, Mark Petherbridge LRPS from Middlesborough, Leo Palmer FRPS, from Heddon on the Wall with his favourite place as well as an article from the NE Documentary group.


We have several events for the next few months including an Advisory

Bob Turner ARPS

Fotospeed and a guided walk in Northumberland. I do hope that these

day, a LRPS assessment, a colour management workshop from are of interest to you although suggestions of other events you would

Secretary Bob Gates ARPS northernweb@rps.org

like will be welcome. We have such any amazing region with many Areas of Outstanding National Beauty including the Northumberland coast, Solway coast, North Pennines & Arnside/Silverdale as well as World Heritage Sites such as Hadrian’s Wall & Durham Cathedral/Castle and so much more besides. We would love volunteers to give us guided walks, so, if you

Cover Image © Lyn Newton LRPS

have a favourite walk please contact me to set up an event. Volunteers for guided walks often say that they are not good enough photographers but no one has to be an A1 photographer to do these walks, a passion for the area is more important.

NORTHERN NEWS INFORMATION © 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

We are want to know about photographic exhibitions in your own area. These could be your own or an exhibition that may interest members. Please let us have venues, dates, website, contacts. Also do you know of any local venues that can be used for exhibitions. We would like to introduce a members’ travelling exhibition around the region. Are you working on projects, assignments or anything thing photographically that others would be interested in and we could publish? If you have any news or something interesting happening that would be of interest to our members either write a report or let us know and we can help with the report.


Northern News interviews Cumbrian member

Helen Herbert FRPS When and how did you get into photography

What are your passions in photography?

My photography ‘career’ commenced many moons ago in November 1979 when I asked my husband to dispose of his photographic gear consisting of old enlarger, copy stand etc., which was cluttering the garage, but he suggested trying it out before tipping it. It was brought back into the house, sited in the kitchen and in difficult circumstances, blanking out windows, warning children not to enter, he demonstrated how to develop and print a negative. Although first attempts were basic, I enjoyed the experience and got hooked, thereafter a darkroom was set up for me in the loft with a Canon A1 and lenses were presented to me at Christmas 1980. The rest is history.

My interest in photography has been broad and I have dabbled in most genres of photography except Nature and Sport, but my main interest was mono and landscape work. Luckily I was able to combine my hobbies of photography, and walking in the Lake District which entailed carrying camera, lenses, and tripod which I now find increasingly difficult because of weight. Perhaps the real reason is because of age!

Which if any famous photographers have inspired you and how! Although over the years I have admired and followed many photographers for their style of photography, and have collected a substantial library of famous photographers, I was inspired by two photographers in particular, one a local well known photographer, David Herrod who was a member of the Maryport Camera Club, of which I was a member. It was during that time that I was privileged to see first-hand his beautifully printed mono landscapes, and thought-provoking images. I also greatly admired the diverse range and exquisite print quality in mono work of Arnold Hubbard FRPS, and was fortunate to have had the pleasure of viewing his work at close quarters.


How do you feel coming from a background as a Master Darkroom printer about the Digital Revolution and how has it changed your photography? The digital age has many advantages and has introduced many to photography, whether it be cameras, mobile phones, social media etc. It’s so easy now to get an instant image with a simple click. The time demanding, skilful process from negative to final silver print is no longer necessary. Is that a good thing? I don’t know, but to me there is nothing like viewing a good darkroom fibre monochrome print. 4

Any further ambitions with your photography?

When taking photographs do you always have something in mind about the outcome?

My ambition now is just to keep going and try to keep up in an ever changing digital and technical age. My equipment is simple by today’s standards, but serves my purpose in taking images that please me and hopefully that others might also enjoy.

I am motivated to take images that stir emotions and this could be composition, lighting, colour. Although accurate exposure is still vitally important a lot more can now be done with digital imaging software to enhance the images’ luminosity. Most of my images are “straight” but I do like to digitally manipulate others if I decide it would improve them. Graphic artists and photographers with a flair for creating exciting artistic images come in to their own with the software available to everyone.

Thank you Helen for talking to Northern News about your photography.

Blue Vase

Lapping Waves

Sand Ripples


NORTHERN DOCUMENTARY GROUP Group Co-ordinator Gordon Bates LRPS tells how this successful Group was formed Whenever I talk to fellow members of the RPS, the question of a southern bias in the organisation often crops up. With headquarters in Bath, and many members in London, it is not really surprising so I think it's really important for members to make things happen in their own regions. My primary interest is in documentary photography so I contacted the Documentary Group Chair, Mo Connolly, to see if it was possible to establish a sub group in the region. At that time, in 2015, there were only four group members in the region. Mo asked if I could co-ordinate a Documentary Photo Essay Workshop, in Newcastle led by Alison Baskerville and that took place in May of that year. We used that opportunity to canvass support for a regional group and it was clear that there was sufficient enthusiasm to go ahead. © Lyn Newton LRPS

Members of the group are spread across the region, from Berwick in the north to Teesside in the south and the Tyne Valley in the west. Our meetings have moved about the region, depending on the opportunity to view exhibitions, but the majority take place at the Kibblesworth Village Millennium Centre, near Gateshead.

© Maggi Jari

So, the Northern Region Documentary Group was established two years ago. The original group of four members has now grown to eighteen. The main objectives are to: • provide a forum for critiquing each others work; • promote discussion about documentary photography; • organise photoshoots; • share information about events, exhibitions, publications, websites etc. • take part in joint projects The group meets about every two months.

During 2016, the group took part in a joint project photographing Country Shows throughout the region. Country Shows are an integral part of rural life and gave us the opportunity to work across the whole of the region, from North Yorkshire in the south to Northumberland in the north and Cumbria in the west. Some of the group were more used to making work in an urban environment but relished the prospect of something different and the varying approaches to documenting traditional country events gave rise to interesting discussion. A decision has yet to be taken as to what we do with the work and an exhibition and/or a book has been discussed, although the group enjoyed the project so much that it is likely to be continued during 2017. Some of our members work on this project is included in this newsletter. 6

Š Lynda Golightly

Š Tony Griffiths

Anyone interested in joining the group, or hearing about our work, and future projects, should contact Gordon Bates at docne@rps.org. Our next meeting takes place at Kibblesworth on 1st June at 10.30 am. 7

Why go for a Distinction? Cleveland based member

Mark Petherbridge LRPS tells his story Why go for a distinction? I was going through a period where I felt I had lost my photographic mojo and needed to do something different to get myself out of the rut I was in. Going for a distinction was a great help as I had to focus on at least some images that were different in style to my normal shots. How did you approach it? I went back through some of my more recent work seeking out some images that I thought might fit the bill. I also went out specifically to take images that might be suitable for inclusion in my panel. One thing it was important to recognize is that going for a distinction is not the same as entering a club competition. Did you seek advice? On line guidance is very good and is clear in what the requirements are and there are one or two videos on YouTube that were useful.

Did you attend an advisory day and was it useful? Yes and yes. I went along as an observer to an advisory day in Wakefield. The advisors were very constructive to the people who had taken their 8

panels along. This encouraged me to go for it and I applied to attend an advisory day with a panel. The advisory day was at Backworth Hall in October 2016 and I took my 10 prospective images with 10 spares. It was a little nerve wracking waiting for my turn to sit in the hot seat. I got some great advice and it's always good to see other people's work. It is definitely worth following the advice given. I would strongly recommend anyone looking to go for a distinction to attend an advisory day. On the basis of the feedback I received I joined the RPS and applied for the first available assessment day. What did you aim to show in your portfolio? The two main things I was aiming to show were camera craft and presentation. To demonstrate my camera craft I picked images that showed control of shutter speed, depth of field, various lighting conditions, etc. I was less worried about subject matter and concentrated on showing a variety of techniques. I'm quite a fan of mono and I was happy to mix mono with colour images, as long as the mono rendition served a purpose. Regarding presentation, I had not been a confident printer but I treated myself to a nice printer and attended a course on printing. This boosted my confidence. I had learned from the advisory days how important the right paper was and printing my own images gave me full control over the end result. Putting the 10 images in a sequence that was appealing and formed a cohesive panel took quite a lot of thought. I spent a long time with my images laid out on the dining table moving them around until I had, what I thought, was a panel that worked What was the assessment experience like? At the assessment I thought I should be feeling nervous or anxious while I was waiting for my panel to be presented but my fate was out of my hands so I relaxed and enjoyed looking at the other panels. However, when my panel was set out I certainly had a few butterflies. The comments I received were all positive and when my name was called out it was a great feeling. I certainly felt my mojo was well and truly found again. What now? I’ve made a list of potential subjects for ARPS. I am certainly going to go for it and have several projects lined up. Whichever project I settle on for my ARPS I want it to stretch me and take me out of my photographic comfort zone. 9

My Favourite Place White Sands National Park, New Mexico

Leo Palmer FRPS Although you may have seen images of White Sands nothing can prepare you for the experience of seeing it at first hand. If you are lucky with light and weather conditions the colours and textures are truly breath-taking. One hundred million years ago White Sands was an enormous shallow lake; rainfall washed gypsum down into the lake from the surrounding mountains. Over time the lake receded leaving the world’s largest gypsum dunefield; three hundred square miles of white sands. The prevailing winds have created an ever-changing landscape of dunes, sand patterns, lone soaptree yucca plants and the occasional cottonwood tree.

Native Americans believe that the ghostly figure of Manuela, known as “Pavla Blanca”, visits the dunes of White Sands every evening still searching for her lost love. On certain nights, at dusk, when the light plays tricks with the eye and winds whip up eddies of dust it is not difficult to imagine the appearance of a Spanish maiden, dressed in her flowing white wedding dress, ghosting over the dunes.

Last Light, White Sands

Moonrise, White Sands

Legend says that in 1540 a young Spanish conquistador, Hernando de Luna left his true love, Manuela, in Mexico City to join a group to explore White Sands in search of the fabled seven cities of gold. On the edge of White Sands they were ambushed by Apache Indians, some managed to escape but Hernando was left for dead. Hearing the news Manuela went to the area to find him, she was never seen again. 10

The history is however not all romantic. On 16th July 1945, the world’s first nuclear weapon was exploded, on White Sands, at the Trinity test site. Just over two weeks later one was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima followed in three days by another on the city of Nagasaki so ending the Second World War. Twice a year it is possible to visit the Trinity site although radiation levels are still on the high side. White Sands, New Mexico is an area with a rich history and a magical beauty. Don’t go there at high noon and expect to see anything spectacular, the light can be very harsh and the temperatures very high. In my experience the best time for photography is the hour before sunset and 20 minutes after it.

Cottonwood Tree, White Sands

Storm, White Sands


The Durham Miners' Gala a succcessful Travel Associate Panel from Gateshead photographer Sue Hingley ARPS What advice would you give to anyone starting an ARPS?

How did you approach doing your ARPS? In general I take photographs spontaneously and usually quickly, in a process of discovery as experience around me unfolds, rather than planning images beforehand. I also routinely try out my best images in panels of different sizes. In July 2013 and 2014 I went to the Miners Gala, taking lots of pictures of whatever I felt drawn to. I used manual settings for exposure and focus point, with autofocus on the lens, working with prime lenses and a 70-300mm zoom on a full frame Nikon DSLR. (Six of the final images in my panel were taken using a 50mm prime and the rest with the zoom). Processing was done using Aperture (Apple software) and Silver Efex. Later in November 2014 I wondered about using the best of these images for an ARPS panel. I put together a provisional panel and some spares which I took to an Advisory Day in March 2015. This was a very supportive experience, and I went back to the Gala again in July 2015, advised by the suggestions I had received. A second Advisory Day helped me to finalise the panel in October 2015. Eleven of my panel images came from my first two days at the Gala.

Take pictures of something you love and are really interested in. Take them for their own sake, the best you can. Take all the advice about image quality into account, make them look their best in every way possible, and go to an Advisory Day, or more than one if you need to. Do everything you can to be successful, but stay true to yourself and your photography. Is there anything you would do differently, if so elaborate? In taking and processing my images there is nothing I would have done differently. In printing them – yes! I would have made sure I faced my uncertainties about trying out different papers and downloading the profiles. I stayed with one paper because it was automatically compatible with my printer, and I paid the price for avoiding the issue! How did you approach the Statement of Intent? I wrote my Statement of intent after I had taken most of the images. This was helpful, because I could then mention facts about the Gala that I knew were illustrated in the pictures. I also wrote it in a way that expressed my valuing of the Gala and what it stands for. How many images did you take in total before whittling it down to the final 15? In total I took 537 images. Of these I processed and selected sets of best pictures for each of the days, a total of 82 from which the final panel of 15 were selected.


What advice did you receive before submitting the panel? On the first Advisory Day I was advised that each image needed to include some sort of marker that placed it at the Gala. The advisors were also helpful in supporting me to include images I had liked but been unsure about, and suggesting final images needed in 2015. Were there any setbacks in the process and how did you deal with these? On the Assessment Day in October 2016, the assessors detected a bronzing effect on my prints, the panel was deemed to be Associate standard, but was referred to be re-printed then re-assessed solely based on print quality. After waiting a year so that I could be present at my assessment in Bath this was frustrating. I faced the issue about papers and profiles and learnt a lot, discovering that fine art matte papers are great! I was pushed into doing the learning I should have done in the first place. Thank you Sue for sharing your experience of the Distinctions process

Statement of Intent - The Durham Miners' Gala The Miners Gala is held in July every year, surviving through the dedication and determination of the Durham Miners Association and the people of County Durham, in spite of the decimation of the mining industry. Crowds of people fill the Durham streets. Some come simply for a good day out, others play in the brass bands representing their communities and the mines now lost to history, and many more march with the NUM banners behind them, cheered on by everyone else. At the end of the route a huge crowd gathers, people sit and socialise, and the Big Meeting supports the social and political beliefs of the Trade Union Movement as it has done since 1871. My intention in taking these images was to capture moments that illustrate the nature of this unique and special day and the people who come together to create it.



Sunday 19 November 2017

10:30 - 16:00

Newton Community Hall, Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL

Printing Workshop An opportunity to see the variety of printing papers and examples of exhibition quality prints on Fotospeed papers. These range from the Fotospeed Photo quality, Fine Art and Canvas ranges. An in-depth instructive workshop demonstrating the importance of colour management and printing to ensure the best possible files as well as matching papers to images. Fotospeed will bring along their products which you will be able to buy during the day. The workshop is from 10-30 to 16-00, although tea/coffee will be available from 10am. Lunch will be taken between 12-00 to 13-30 which will also give you an opportunity to check out the Fotospeed products. Please bring along a packed lunch as food is very limited in Newton. We expect this workshop to be very popular, please book early via the RPS Northern Website

We now have an RPS Northern Facebook page. Just search for 'RPS Northern' and join. Post your pictures, comments and information.

Notes for contributors to Northern News If you wish to submit articles for 'RPS Northern News', please email all copy to the Editor. Text should be in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format. Image files should be 1200 pixels on the longest side at 72 or 96 dpi, jpg format in sRGB colour mode. Please rename your pictures: YournameSurname_TITLE Items covering any aspect of photography are welcome, including techniques, distinction successes, exhibitions and books.


© Sue Hingley ARPS


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