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THE MAGAZINE OF THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY LANDSCAPE GROUP

Landscape

Winter 2020


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LANDSCAPE GROUP Editor Robert Brittle ARPS Assistant Editor Gaynor Davies ARPS Layout and Artwork Paul Cayton Contributions please send to landscapemagazine@rps.org

Committee Richard Ellis ARPS (Chair) Sue Wright (Web Editor) Peter Fortune (Newsletter Editor) Andy McLaughlin (Secretary) Mark Reeves ARPS (Pro Event Manager) Diana Wynn (Treasurer) Dave Glenn (Member Led Event Manager) Robert Brittle ARPS (Magazine Editor) Fiona McCowan LRPS (Member Without Portfolio) Jim Souper ARPS (Member Without Portfolio)

CONTENTS 8

The Society has introduced a Landscape Distinction: Two members of the panel answer some questions in a virtual Q&A with the Editor.

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHERS 14

David Rosen is entranced by Iceland’s landscape. Here, he describes his reasons behind that attraction.

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THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY RPS House, 337 Paintworks, Arnos Vale, Bristol, BS4 3AR, UK Patron THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE President DR ALAN HODGSON ASIS FRPS President Elect SIMON HILL FRPS Chief Operating Officer EVAN DAWSON Hon Treasurer JOHN MISKELLY FCA FRPS

@2020 The Royal Photographic Society All rights reserved. COVER IMAGE: Dawn sunburst Winnat’s Pass by Kevin Gibbin

20 Palli Gajree OAM HonFRPS

discusses his lifelong passion for photography and how the RPS has been present throughout.

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32 Andrew Gasson ARPS searches

for the locations illustrated in a book from the 1850s and shows how artistic licence in those times is mirrored in today’s digital world.

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

REGULARS

Mark Reeves ARPS

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Editorial

Jan Harris ARPS

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Musings from the chair

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Inspirational Places

24 Distinctions Success 46 Favourite Places Printed and Published on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society by Henry Ling Ltd The Dorset Press, Dorchester, DT1 1TD.

Landscape Magazine Winter 2020

Landscape is the Magazine of the RPS Landscape Group and is provided as part of the annual subscription to the Group @2020 The Royal Photographic Society All rights reserved on behalf of the contributors and 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, RPS Landscape Group and the Editor accept no liability for any misuse or breach of copyright by a contributor. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Royal Photographic Society or of the Landscape group.

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INSPIRATIONAL PLACES

Clevedon Pier by Robert Bolton. It was taken on the 7th Jan 2017. Perfect conditions for distance, making the pier stand out in an otherworldly isolation. The camera was a Fuji X-

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some long exposure photography with a very still day and Wales barely visible in the -Pro2, lens was XF 18-55mm at 50mm. 30 seconds @ f / 8.0 ISO 200.

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EDITORIAL Welcome to The Royal Photographic Society’s Landscape Special Interest Group’s Winter 2020 magazine. Welcome to issue four of the group’s magazine. I would like to thank all the contributors, especially Joe Cornish HonFRPS and Tony Worobiec FRPS, for their input in these challenging times. I hope that, as this issue lands through the letterbox, it finds everyone safe and well. In these testing times it is always good to hear positive news and, as this issue was being finalised, the first assessment of the new Landscape Distinction was taking place. It is great to hear that one of our previous contributors to the magazine is the recipient of the first Fellow award - well done Adrian Gidney! Hopefully, in the next issue, you will see his successful images and an interview to discuss how he went about deciding on the theme and images he presented. In this issue, Distinctions take up a large part of the magazine. With the launch of the new landscape distinction, I had the chance to virtually sit down with members of the panel Joe Cornish HonFRPS (Chair) and Tony Worobiec FRPS, to ask them some of the key questions about what they look for in submissions when they sit as part of the judging panel. The full list of panel members can be found at: https://rps.org/qualifications/ arps/associate-fellowship-panelmember-list/ Successful Associate panels are included by group members Jan Harris and Mark Reeves congratulations to both of them. Hopefully, seeing successful panels will give members the confidence to consider putting their own submission forward in due course.

Distinctions are one element of being a member of the RPS, but for me, just as important, is being inspired by conversations with members and seeing their images, either of the landscape we inhabit or further afield. It is always interesting, as the editor, to receive submissions from our international members. Palli Gajree OAM HonFRPS describes how membership of the RPS has been a constant in a lifetime of change. David Rosen takes us on a tour of Iceland, while closer to home, Kevin Gibbin shows how careful planning and days out with other photographers can get you to a location at the right time. Sometimes inspiration can come from an unlikely source and Andrew Gasson ARPS tells us of his journeys with a book from the 1850s and how this journey led him to photograph some of the most iconic locations in Cornwall. The photography is, however, only part of the journey; researching not only the locations but also the author gave Andrew a lifetime’s interest and new friendships.

If any reader would like to contribute to the next issue of the group’s magazine, please get in touch. To date, everyone who has been in touch has been published, so maybe it’s time to get out those photographs, dust off the disk drives and send us some images? Please don’t be worried about the technical elements of sending text and images because we will happily guide you through the process. All it leaves me to say now is stay safe and enjoy, what is destined to be, a slightly different Christmas and New Year. Next copy date is 30th March 2021.

Last, but by no means least, the magazine’s assistant editor Gaynor Davies ARPS shares three images of one of her favourite places and discusses how these places make her smile. I would also like to welcome to the editorial team Paul Cayton. Paul brings with him many years of print industry experience which we’ll be putting to good use over the next few issues! On a personal level, without Gaynor’s and Paul’s help, this issue would still be a long way off completion and I would like to publicly thank them for their time, efforts and perseverance.

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MUSINGS FROM THE CHAIR Chair’s Welcome

Richard Ellis, Chair, RPS Landscape SIG When I started to write the last one of these pieces for the magazine, Covid-19 was unknown to most of the world and it was very much business as usual. Today we are approaching nine months since lockdown started and the realisation that there will not be a return to normal for some time yet. I read an article by a disaster specialist who said that the six-month anniversary was a very difficult time for coping with a pandemic or similar event as people had exhausted all the cheerfulness of the first months but not fully adapted to the new normal. It is fortunate then, that for us as landscape photographers, we have winter and spring to look forward to and the opportunity to get out with great light. I have already been on several trips to photograph the autumn colours and a recent trip to the

Dorset coast was a real boost. I hope that you have, and will, be able to get out and enjoy some beautiful views.

very popular. It was really great to see on one of our presentations a woman from the Yukon join in the debate, reflecting our global reach.

A quick view of the RPS booking system shows that we have organised 90 events this year – a phenomenal achievement for a volunteer committee. The committee have had to cope with their own challenges, ranging from home schooling through shielding to family bereavement and yet they have continued to deliver. I am very grateful to them all for their gargantuan effort during this testing time.

No piece like this would be complete without a heartfelt thank you to all the NHS and key workers who have helped keep us safe during this difficult time. Many thanks. Finally, I would like to wish you and your families all the best for 2021. Richard

We will continue to offer as comprehensive a programme as is possible whilst respecting the various restrictions. We have broadened our reach to bring in international speakers and the virtual workshops have proved

Lamorna Cove by Andrew Gasson ARPS

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LANDSCAPE DISTINCTION

Landscape Distinction Panel Q&A The Society has recently introduced a new distinction genre for landscape photographs and, as this issue went to press, the first assessment day was fast approaching. The editor had the opportunity to virtually pose some questions from the Group’s committee members to two members of the panel: Joe Cornish HonFRPS and Tony Worobiec FRPS. Joe and Tony found time to answer the questions to help anyone considering submitting a panel for their next distinction. All being well, in a future edition, we will be able to catch up with them again after a few assessment days have been completed. Ed. Why do you think there is a need for a landscape category within the RPS distinctions process? JC. As an RPS member who did not go through the distinctions process myself, I felt that there was no natural home for the work that I do (so-called ‘straight’ landscape). Over time I realised that I was almost certainly not the only one who felt that way. While landscape could arguably fall into alternative genres, these force the landscape photographer into what is often a false genre (square peg in a round hole syndrome). TW. The difficulty I have here is that I find myself wearing two hats, as I am a panel member of both the Fine Art panel (which has traditionally been the home for landscape orientated applications) and this new Landscape panel. However, if we carefully consider the criteria for the former, it would be possible to submit a highly “processed” version of a landscape which lacks the authenticity this new genre seeks to promote. It is, for this reason, I believe that a discrete distinction panel, exclusively for landscape, is appropriate. Ed. If there is one piece of advice for someone starting out to gain a RPS distinction, what would it be? JC. I always hesitate to offer anyone else advice about their photography. However, if forced, I’d always ask for authenticity. In other words, do your photography for yourself and don’t try to please others, including the RPS and their assessors. TW. In my opinion the most interesting landscape photographers reveal a passion and an empathy for a particular area. They understand how it is fashioned by varying weather and lighting conditions and have the technical skills to capture these elements at their most revealing. The following questions are loosely based around the definitions provided by the Society in the booklet available online: DISTINCTIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS GENRES DEFINITIONS: ADDITIONAL CRITERIA AND REQUIREMENTS GUIDELINES FOR PRINT, IMAGES FOR SCREEN AND BOOK FORMATS Web Link: https://rps.org/media/ag4mjrvs/dg005-genre-definitions-april-2020.pdf 8 Landscape Magazine Winter 2020


DISTINCTIONS

Ed. Do you think it is possible to be successful with a panel of images taken at wellphotographed locations such as Durdle Door, Luskentyre beach or Blea Tarn for example? JC. Yes, I think it is possible. But the difficulty is that assessors all carry their own prejudices and preconceptions and, in the case of landscape, this may mean having seen many brilliant photographs of these locations. Or they may be familiar with them (the locations) personally. However hard human beings strive to be impartial and objective, this inevitably makes their response to familiar locations harsher. So the bar is (subconsciously) set at a higher level than with unfamiliar or anonymous locations. TW. You certainly have raised a clear dilemma. My response would be that it would be foolish to exclude any image just because it has been taken from a well known “honeypot” location, but one would have to ask the question “how has the author improved our appreciation of it?” If it is largely the same as most other renditions, then clearly it tells us very little about the photographer. Landscape photography should be personal to you and as soon as you become obsessed by a particular location, you become blinded to equally worthy, but less celebrated, alternatives. I genuinely believe that every location has its golden moment and the skill of landscape photography is to anticipate when that is likely to occur. That said, if an original take on a well-known location is included within a panel, then of course it would be warmly received. Ed. Can Landscape Distinction photographs include people or animals? JC. In my opinion, yes they can. However, it remains to be seen how assessors react to the presence of animals and people. For the sake of argument I see this as a matter of emphasis. Is the picture about the landscape? Or the dramatis personae (inc. animals) within it? If the latter, then perhaps the picture is in the wrong category. Thus, I would suggest that animals and people should be…incidental. TW. I can think of numerous examples where the inclusion of animals or people add to the landscape photograph; clearly it will be a matter of balance and intent. For example, a glimpse of a deer taken in the New Forest would, in my opinion, be perfectly acceptable if, as a viewer, I could see that the purpose for taking the photograph was to celebrate the beauty of the New Forest and not specifically to reveal the deer within its natural environment. The intent of the photograph clearly is of importance.

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DISTINCTIONS Ed. How do you think the panel would respond to very abstract landscapes, using techniques such as ICM or multiple exposures? JC. The landscape category is not seeking to lure applicants away from Fine Art or any other genre. Rather, it is aiming to offer a natural home to landscape photographers. Thus, if images are not readily identifiable as landscape (due to creative editing and other techniques), then they probably belong in Fine Art. That is implicit in the definition that you quoted above. However, it is deliberately left not too prescriptive to allow some room for interpretation. One of the beauties of art (and photography) is you cannot predict what people are going to produce! Finally, to try to address your point, anything unsuitable for the landscape distinction should really be re-directed by the RPS Distinctions team before it reaches us, hopefully. TW. What we see as a viewer and what we capture in camera can be quite different. For example, by using a slow shutter speed or perhaps a very wide aperture, the final image will be quite different from the reality of being in the landscape, but of course this is still legitimate “landscape� photography. If I push this a little further, those engaged with night photography often use software in order to enhance the starry sky. The point, however, is that the primary motivation is to capture the essence of the land, whether it relies on specific camera techniques or limited adjustments using editing software. There are, however, numerous photographic techniques which merely use landscape as a vehicle for exploring perfectly praiseworthy aesthetic issues, which would be better suited to being assessed by a different panel. It is a matter of intent.

Harbour at Blythe by Tony Worobiec FRPS 10 10

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DISTINCTIONS Ed. One of the criteria for successful Fellowship panels is that the work must be distinctive and distinguished. Is it possible to describe what characteristics a panel of landscapes may have, in order to be considered distinctive and distinguished? JC. This question made me think! Initially, I thought it wasn’t possible to answer but then how about....... ‘eliciting a realisation in the viewer that they were seeing the world in a new way?!!’ More reasonably though, all I would ask is that the photographs genuinely communicate the photographer’s own authentic and individual way of seeing. Ideally this will tell us something about the subject, about the photographer and perhaps about the human condition more broadly. Robert Adams said that a landscape photograph might contain geography, autobiography and metaphor. I think that’s about right. TW. Deciding what is a genuine response to the landscape and what is mere affectation clearly is a challenge, which is why the Statement of Intent is so important; it allows the panel members to better understand what motivates the applicant. Clearly, we are all different, but I genuinely believe that landscape is such an awe-inspiring genre, capable of evoking so many nuanced responses, that the skill is to capture these without resorting to gimmicky veneers. The distinctive and the distinguished qualities will emerge as a result of the author’s capacity to view the landscape empathetically, but also possibly by exploring an area or areas that are personal to them. Ed. The genre is defined in the guidelines as ‘photography that illustrates and interprets earth’s habitats, from the remotest wilderness to urban environs.’ Would a panel based on images of the ‘intimate landscape’ be considered for a Landscape Distinction? JC. It depends whether or not the work succeeds on its own terms. It is no more, or less, likely to succeed than photography of wider landscapes; it is as legitimate as subject matter. There might be an argument that intimate landscapes allow the photographer more room for their own interpretation. TW. Whilst I cannot disguise my enthusiasm for the “intimate landscape”, primarily because the work produced is highly personal, it is essential nevertheless, that the spirit of the land is captured. If I am permitted to cite an example, a small pebble on a rocky ledge is certainly intimate, but is it sufficient to call it landscape? Perhaps a single image or two of this nature, within the context of a more comprehensive panel, would prove acceptable, particularly if it served to illustrate an understanding of an aspect of landscape the author was passionate about. Ed. All distinction levels require an element of technical proficiency. Is there one technical element over others that defines a landscape image for a Distinction, or does it come down to the choice of technique in relation to the subject matter and the submitter’s intended visual story telling? JC. There is no defined technical element. Any technical approach is acceptable if it achieves the outcome successfully. TW. We all employ a variety of techniques to achieve our goals, but personal vision must always take primacy. If the image is hindered in some way by poor technique such as camera shake or whatever, then clearly that becomes an issue.

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DISTINCTIONS Ed. For an Associate Level of distinction there are 5 points highlighted in the RPS guidelines, the first of which states that the submission needs to include:

“A Statement of Intent that defines the purpose of the work, identifying its aims and objectives.” How important is this statement (150 words) within the assessment process and can a poor statement be the undoing of, what is visually, a submission that would otherwise be successful? JC. Ha! This is a horrible question, but also a very good one! Statements of Intent are important because they may indicate whether or not the photographer has a sincere goal or not. But even if not, if the work is good enough, it will probably be successful. If a Statement of Intent is inspiring and noble, that may help, but if the work still isn’t up to scratch then it still won’t achieve the distinction. This is a deliberately obscure answer because it really is impossible to quantify its importance. You could argue that submitting without a Statement of Intent should also be allowable. However, I am sure this has been debated within the Society before and the conclusion is that a Statement of Intent provides a measure of credibility, integrity and consistency to the process. TW. As a teacher, whenever assessing work, my first task was to ask open questions; this allowed me to enter the mind-set of the student. Clearly, this isn’t something that we are able to replicate when assessing RPS panels, but the Statement of Intent can serve a similar function. It is so easy to jump to conclusions when viewing other people’s work, as we all have our own in-built prejudices, but a well-considered Statement of Intent immediately helps us to understand the applicant’s intended goals, which ensures that the applicant is fairly assessed. Ed. As the distinction levels become more challenging, do you think the number of images required (L = 10, A = 15, F = 20 or 21) is about right? And, if so, is there any advice you can pass on when selecting images for consideration in a submission? JC. It has remained the same ever since I have been involved and I am confident that the Distinctions Committee have debated this and are satisfied with the present arrangements. It’s not really for me to comment. As for advice, I do think that assessors appreciate a coherent narrative. To achieve this, I’d always suggest seeking support on the editing process, probably from a number of different people, before committing to the final selection. Most photographers are poor curators of their own work. TW. In truth, this is something I have never questioned. As an assessor, I personally think that the balance here is about right.

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DISTINCTIONS Ed. For those members submitting printed images as part of their submission, do you think the move to an online-based submission and assessing via videoconferencing will affect the overall decision-making process? JC. No, hopefully not. Print quality is something we won’t be able to scrutinise first hand for ourselves, but we will have an expert assessor present to assess the print quality for us and I am hopeful that will ensure consistency. TW. Having experienced both processes, I really do believe that print-makers are not in any way disadvantaged by the current video-conferencing system. The central tenet must always be that the image is of primary importance and, in my opinion, the procedures set up by the RPS were exemplary. Clearly, we are not able to see the prints “in the flesh”, but we had a print expert on hand standing alongside the prints, who gave us all a very professional run-down on the strengths and possible weaknesses of any of the panels prior to any decisions being made. It could not have been fairer. Ed. One final question for Tony: What do you wish you had known beforehand when you started out to get your Fellowship? TW. Blimey, I got my Fellowship nearly 34 years ago!!! I honestly cannot remember. One bit of advice I regularly do give to those wishing to apply for a Fellowship however, is to enjoy what you are doing. If you are anguished and constantly questioning yourself, then you really are barking up the wrong tree.

Spurn Head by Tony Worobiec FRPS

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DAVID ROSEN

Nature at its most seductive The stunning beauty of Iceland’s landscapes continues to inspire landscape photographers around the world. Two years ago, I planned a single visit to try and capture, in monochrome, some of its most dramatic waterfalls and seascapes. Three trips later and caught up within the ever-changing restrictions of Covid-19, I find myself obsessively longing to return yet again.

Single Sea Stack It was 1982. I was 15 years old and had owned my Praktica SLR camera for a little over two years. I had just watched Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, in my local cinema and my head was in turmoil. I had never seen such dramatic, intoxicating images. The power of black, the contre jour lighting, the visual tension. I became obsessed with trying to recreate what I had seen on the screen. Lacking both the technical skill and creative talent at that stage, I remained disappointed but undeterred.

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45 years later, with my love for photography undimmed, I had developed an intimate relationship with Photoshop and was probably deserving of shares in Canon, due to my lifelong expenditure record in camera gear. However, encouragingly, I felt I was getting gradually closer to fulfilling my ambition of capturing and creating images that mirrored the drama and tension I had witnessed in Ridley Scott’s films. Fast forward to 2018 and I am stepping off the plane at Keflavik airport for the first time. I had

spent the past two months devouring almost every book on Amazon that described the landscape and locations of Iceland. I displayed a level of excitement and anticipation that I was told by friends was verging on the manic. Within minutes of leaving the airport, I realised that my overzealous excitement was well founded. It sounds clichéd but there is something about the quality of light in Iceland that imbues almost every half decent landscape scene with a sense of drama and mystery.

Landscape Magazine Winter 2020


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Gullfoss Gullfoss is just over two hours out of Keflavik airport and forms part of Iceland’s golden circle. I arrived at Gullfoss just before sunset and found myself in the company of an American photographer and with some gorgeous late evening light. If you look carefully you can just make him out at the water’s edge in the photograph. It is hard to describe the exhilaration of standing on the edge of Gullfoss. The spray of water was persistent and dense, high winds constantly threatened the equipment and a perilous, slippery plateau required continuous vigilance. Juggling my camera, tripod, filter systems and a makeshift waterproof covering felt like a Bear Grylls TV challenge. None of this mattered of course. At the same time, a major shortfall in my trip planning

Landscape Magazine Winter 2020

became immediately apparent. Despite endless planning and my generous quantities of spare batteries and memory cards etc., I had not appreciated the scale of the challenge presented by the constant spray.

at night one can be one’s own worst critic. I realised that I had not considered the speed of the water or the dynamic range carefully enough, nor had I experimented sufficiently with my exposure times.

Imagine my predicament. A one to three-minute exposure time, with two 3ND filters needing a total re-wipe every 10-15 seconds. That’s a lot of lens wipes. I calculated that I had approximately three days’ supply. As darkness fell and I headed back to the car, I turned around to see my fellow photographer still shooting at the edge of the waterfall. It is this image that stays with me of Gullfoss, rather than perhaps the more dramatic ones taken at the waterfall’s edge.

Had I allowed my overelaborate, long-exposure kit to dominate my thinking, rather than focusing on the various creative opportunities?

As I lay in bed that night in my hotel, I pondered over my shots. The ones I had taken and those that I had missed. Late

When faced with such overwhelming physical sensations as a waterfall capture, it is easy to lose sight of your goals as you struggle with the technical challenges of achieving the shots. Tomorrow I would be at Skogafoss, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. I was determined not to repeat my mistakes.

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DAVID ROSEN Returning to the southern ring road after leaving Gullfoss and after one hour driving eastwards towards Vik, I arrived at Skogafoss. Its impact was both visceral and immediate. The sheer power of the falls, the incalculable volume of water and the deafening roar of the falls were intoxicating. During my research, I had seen countless identikit images of Skogafoss. Some were powerful, others less so. Legions of photographers had tried to capture Skogafoss, using both short and long exposures. However, intriguingly, most of the shots were taken from a reasonable distance. It was obvious. The closer you approached the falls, the greater the quantities of mist and spray.

Long exposure shots from closeup looked nigh on impossible. I had one idea I felt worth trying. I must have looked pretty ridiculous to any onlookers. My plan was this. Place my camera with all of its filters still attached to the tripod bundled under my coat. I would run towards the centre of Skogafoss, pull out the camera and tripod, try as fast as I could to focus and set up a 10 second exposure. Meanwhile, I would hold my coat over the whole setup, while getting soaked to the skin by the spray and mist.

I then had the idea of asking an amused onlooker to run into the falls with me to hold my coat as a makeshift umbrella. Meanwhile, I looked after setting up the equipment, composing the shot and giving the filters one final wipe dry. I got lucky. On my second attempt I managed to steal a 10 second shot that was in focus, not blurred and by a miracle had three ND filters, all of which had somehow escaped the mist and spray.

The first three times were a disaster. Incorrect focus, camera shake and droplets on the filters were making the shot unachievable.

Skogafoss

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Vik Church

It is not just its waterfalls and landscapes that make Iceland an iconic destination. Its architecture, in particular its churches, offer themselves up as unique architectural subjects. One in particular had been on my mind for some time. Vik Church stands on the hillside behind the small town of Vik, close to the spectacular black sand beaches of southern Iceland. In various cities, I had shot skyscrapers, derelict buildings, unusual courtyards and some famous landmarks. With the exception of St Paul’s, I had not spent a great deal of time and energy seeking out religious architecture. The architecture of Iceland’s churches however, holds a unique mystical quality. No two churches in Iceland are similar. They are

Landscape Magazine Winter 2020

sometimes covered in black wooden cladding, such as the church at Budir. Other times, they are brightly coloured and quirky. As I stood at the base of the hill staring up at the church, the uncharacteristically bright blue sky and sunshine stared down at me mockingly. I had wanted to capture Vik church surrounded in mist, as I had seen it captured several times during my location research. I guess that, with perseverance, one has to eventually be lucky. I had prowled around the church for almost four hours, shooting it from every angle possible. Vik church, in the bright sunlight, did not cut it. I was running out of time and needed to get to my next destination before sundown.

However, just as the temperature started to drop in the late afternoon, the mist made its appearance. It lasted for only 30 minutes. However, that was long enough for me to find the right position and fire off enough shots to be sure I had captured the ambiance I was looking for. Sitting here in my study, pondering the upcoming winter and imagining what seems like another series of potential lockdowns, I sometimes stare at Vik Church framed on the wall in my study. I smile and count myself lucky. I have been fortunate enough to visit one of the most beautiful and striking places in the world. Who knows? With the wonders of medical research, I may be there next year.

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DAVID ROSEN Black sand, surf and sunlight: Dyrholaey & Reynisfjara beaches

Dyrholaey Beach The next day, I took a 20-minute drive back along the coastal ring road, reaching the iconic black sands of Dyrholaey Beach.

I had resigned myself to a bright, evenly-lit landscape scene. Yet, within minutes, shafts of sunlight were hitting the surf to create this almost abstract coastline image.

This image was shot from above, during a sudden and unexpected change in the weather system. The light changed in minutes, revealing Dyrholaey’s long expanse of surf, highlighted against its inky black, sandy beach.

Later that morning, I visited a second black sand location, Reynisfjara Beach, which is also an iconic, regularly photographed location.

In this shot, I silhouetted the sea stacks and cliffs, using the light on the wet sand as patterned highlights. However many times I visit Iceland, and this was my third time, I never tire of this beach and its mystical fables. I left Vik feeling that I would have to return again sometime in the near future.

Whilst capturing this image was not particularly challenging, processing it to enable each of the various tones their own compositional role in the image was more difficult. When lighting conditions change almost by the minute, it is sometimes hard to envision a shot that you had been planning weeks before. This was definitely the case here.

Reynisfjara Beach 18 18

Landscape Magazine Winter 2020


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Vestrahorn mountain: Capturing Iceland’s mountainous jewel

Vestrahorn Travelling up Iceland’s eastern coastline is a non-stop smorgasbord of visual stimulation. After leaving the relatively lush landscapes around Vik, you become aware of the increasingly desolate landscape shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity. Although on each of my three visits I left increasing amounts of time for this part of my journey, I always left feeling that I wished I could have stayed longer. I cannot recall how many hours I spent crouching under rickety bridges to capture yet another perspective of a river running through the black volcanic plateaus. By the time I reached Stokksnes, I had experienced the thrill of the glaciers, almost fallen overboard with excitement in Jokulsralon Lagoon and had to be rescued on Diamond Beach. I thought the highlights of the trip were drawing to a close. Then I reached Vestrahorn. Vestrahorn is located at the end of a relatively minor road and, at first sight, appears somewhat underwhelming. After 20 minutes,

Landscape Magazine Winter 2020

you are treated to a small, but welcoming, café and the offer to explore remnants of Viking history. However, the real treat lies in the journey back when Vestrahorn comes fully into view, standing proudly in the black sand and surrounded by water pools. If you don’t own a seriously wideangle lens, you will find it hard to capture the majesty of Vestrahorn. Using a tilt and shift lens, I had to position myself at the far end of the beach, shoot multiple frames and stitch them together in postprocessing. After many hours of experimenting with different viewpoints, I returned to the ring road, my memory cards full, batteries dead and the widest smile imaginable. Sitting here at my desk in London I feel homesick. Not for my real home, the home of my family, friends and everything that feels familiar. But what I now feel has become my spiritual photographic home – Iceland.

Having spent 35 years in healthcare and recently completed a PhD in health psychology, I have had to constantly put my photography life on hold. At last I can open my wings and embrace it with the passion that has always been there but so often had to take second place. I am lucky enough to be able to share some of my love for photography, running workshops and giving lectures for the RPS Landscape SIG. This enables me to share some of my philosophies and techniques, my love of monochrome and my long exposure techniques. I hope to meet more of you in the future and, in the meantime, you can find me at www.davidrosenphotography. com or on Instagram @ davidrosenphotography.

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PALLI GAJREE OAM HONFRPS

My membership of the RPS has been a most important part of my life Palli Gajree reflects on how photography has been a major part of his life, inspired by life events, assisting others and friends or relatives. The RPS has been there all the way and Palli’s work is held for future generations to view in the Society’s permanent collection. I was born and brought up in Kenya, my parents having migrated from North India back in the mid-20s.

photography at the Manchester College of Technology (now known as Manchester Metropolitan University).

My interest in photography began at the young age of 15, when I saved enough pocket money to invest in a Kodak 127 folding camera just after the last War. It had only cost me an equivalent of $3.00 then!

After the completion of studies, I turned to London and joined a West-End portrait studio with the well-known photographer, the late Walter Bird, FBIPP, FRPS.

Enthusiasm in portraiture developed and, in 1951, I added a twin-lens Rolleiflex to my equipment. Relatives, friends and anyone else who could be persuaded were posing in front of my new toy. Two years later, in 1953, this interest in portraiture took a new turn when I travelled to the United Kingdom to do a two-year full-time course in

Two years’ experience gained from this studio proved most beneficial and any success I achieved in portrait work is largely attributed to this great master of portrait photography. Bird himself was a keen Salon exhibitor, which was to provide even further incentive in competing with other exhibitors around the world. My first exhibition success came in 1957 when one of my

portraits, taken at Walter Bird Studios, was accepted and shown at the London Salon of Photography. The same portrait was subsequently selected and reproduced in The British Journal Photographic Almanac 1958 as well as Photograms of the Year 1958. In 1958 I returned to Nairobi, Kenya to set up my own portrait and commercial studio with some degree of success. To be a successful portraitist one has to be very much aware of the importance of recording the human personality, coupled with rules of composition, lighting, background and so forth. A couple of years later, a job offer as a senior cameraman emerged from the Kenya Government Information Services; an offer too good to refuse. This gave me good exposure to various other branches of photography such as Press, Photojournalism, Architectural, Industrial, Wildlife, Landscape Photography etc. Also, prior to Kenya gaining Independence in 1963, I was made the Head of Photographic Section with the Kenya Government Information Services. I recall that, when Jomo Kenyatta became President of Kenya, I was asked to take the official portrait, in colour, for circulation world-wide. The biggest surprise of my life came in 1964, when my wife gave me a birthday present of

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Foliage and reflected clouds Landscape Magazine Winter 2020


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER a Hasselblad 500C, complete with 150mm and 250mm lenses, magazines and prism finder. This was the major breakthrough in doing wildlife studies in colour and black and white. From then on, most of our week-ends and annual holidays were to be spent around the National Parks and Game Reserves of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; an experience and thrill which is still cherished today. In 1972, having made a momentous decision, we moved to Australia for permanent residence and settled in Melbourne. I joined Swinburne Institute of Technology (now Swinburne University) in 1973, and retired from a full-time lecturing position in Photography some 22 years later. I found teaching immensely enjoyable and stimulating. The students brought challenging ideas to be solved photographically and it is very gratifying to see a number of them go on to establish successful photographic businesses, some on the international scene. My membership of the RPS has been a most important part of

my life. After joining The Society in 1954, I gained my ARPS in Portraiture in 1956 and an FRPS in 1974 with black and white prints of African wildlife. Then, in 1990, I was awarded an Honorary FRPS, “for promoting photography over many years, particularly in Kenya and Australia, as an exhibitor, judge and teacher”. My work is represented in the RPS Permanent Collection, as well as in collections of several other international photographic societies. Exhibiting and lecturing, both locally and internationally, have been a major interest for me and I have been a judge at numerous National and International exhibitions. My interest in international photography has led me to be an active member of several of the leading photographic societies around the world and, over the years, I have gained various skill and service honours from these societies. I have also been awarded the highest skill and service honours of the International Federation of Photographic Art (MFIAP and Hon. EFIAP), the first and, so far, the only Australian to

receive this recognition. In 1989 I was awarded my most treasured award to date. That was the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for “Services to Photography”. For the last two decades I have been involved with digital photography, taking on the challenges of Photoshop and Lightroom. I now use a Canon 5D Mark IV and shoot images in RAW exclusively. My latest interest has been converting a Canon 40D to take infrared images; a new challenge which I am enjoying immensely. Looking back over my 65+ years in photography, I have enjoyed greatly the opportunities I’ve had to make contact with international photographers and thus develop an ability to assess constructively a wide range of photographic disciplines. And above all, I value the long-lasting friendships formed with other photographers, some going back for forty or fifty years. What a pleasure and privilege it has all been.

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PALLI GAJREE OAM HONFRPS

Canberra Fog

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Ringwood Lake in infrared Landscape Magazine Winter 2020


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Rutherglen Landscape

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MARK REEVES ARPS

“Not sure about that” - a story of unlikely success Deciding to start again four months before a booked Fine Art assessment day may seem like a bad idea! But inspiration at what seems to be the eleventh hour proved to be a bold and successful move for Mark. In common with many landscape photographers, I often create images of just parts of a landscape rather than big vistas. Two of my favourite subjects whilst taking such images are plants and buildings. It never really occurred to me that they had much in common until desperation lent a hand. I had booked well in advance for an ARPS Fine Art assessment in October last year (2019). I thought I had a good panel ready but, in any case, took it to an advisory day in June. The advisory day went very well but, for various reasons, I decided not to use that panel for my ‘A’ application. As a result, it was back to the drawing board with less than four months to go. I began by searching through my Lightroom catalogue for ideas for a replacement panel. My

Hosta Plant from ground level

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immediate thoughts were that I might have two potential panels, one featuring buildings and the other featuring plants. Trawling the whole catalogue though yielded too few images in either category to make a complete panel. However, whilst searching, I was struck by two images that I found; one of a hosta plant taken from ground level and another of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. The shapes and textures were strikingly similar and they gave me the idea to create a panel of images featuring both plants and buildings. I started to look for other similarities and found some more matching pairs. Although some of these images didn’t make it to the final panel, they were sufficient to convince me that it wasn’t a totally daft idea. Working with both high-key

and low-key images, I managed to find 11 that I could use. The remaining four I had to go and shoot with some very specific requirements in mind, matching not just forms but also ensuring that I would be able to process the resulting RAW files to produce either high- or low-key results, as necessary. Having completed the shooting and processing there was, fortunately, still time to go to another advisory day before the assessment. And even more fortunately, I was given another thumbs up, so I was optimistic about the assessment. My final panel comprised seven architectural subjects and eight plants arranged into three rows of five, alternating between highand low-key images.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

The essence of my Statement of Intent was:

“… I am sometimes struck by how plants and buildings can share similarities of form, lines, shapes and textures… My panel features images of buildings and plants photographed in ways that illustrate and emphasise some of these similarities.” On the day of the assessment, I was pleased to find that mine would be the first work to be viewed… much better to get it over and done with! So, the panel members looked from afar, then close up at my images and then the chair asked one of them to comment. Her first words were, “When I heard the Statement of Intent, my first thoughts were ‘Hmmm…. not sure about that!” Fortunately, however, there was a “but” and the assessor went on to praise the originality of the idea, as well as its execution, and I was recommended for the distinction.

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MARK REEVES ARPS

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ARPS PANEL

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JAN HARRIS ARPS

Overcoming an insurmountable challenge Producing a set of images for possible submission for an Associateship is a challenge which Jan Harris describes in the text accompanying her successful panel of fifteen images. Taking the opportunity to discuss her images at the Group’s conference, and identifying a style that she was confident with, meant that everything went according to plan for Jan on assessment day. Producing an ARPS panel always seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Fifteen prints that all work together and communicate ‘an individual’s vision and understanding’. Where to even start? Other photographers assured me that I could reach the standard, although I didn’t completely believe them, but that still left the problem of having a style. I took landscapes and macro, travel and urban scenes, occasionally people – all sorts. Over time, I found that the images I was most satisfied with were my misty landscapes – perhaps I did have a style after all! I looked at my catalogue and found I had about 10 images that I felt were good enough. Clearly,

Misty Calm 2

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I needed more images but I was limited to when the mist occurred on mornings that I could get out to shoot. I decided to concentrate on taking images along the Thames close to home. Fortunately, the right conditions did happen on a few mornings and I had what I felt was a good set of images. I took this set to the Landscape Group conference, where there was an informal advisory workshop with Paul Mitchell FRPS. He gave positive feedback so I took the plunge and booked an assessment day in October 2019. Ironically, just before the conference, I had a couple of mornings with perfect conditions and took several good images. I didn’t have time to print them to

take along to the advisory day, but I added these to my set of potential prints to try out some rearrangements and three of these prints went into my final panel. One useful tip I was given is to produce 7x5 cm prints of your possible images so you can shuffle them around to try out various arrangements of your panel. The final fifteen were narrowed down from over 30 images, looking for images that worked together and balanced each other in terms of colour and tone. The panel was re-arranged several times until I felt that it looked as good as possible, with a smooth transition of colours between the three rows.

Misty Calm

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

Misty Fence

Early Rising

Statement of Intent I have always found the way that mist changes the landscape fascinating, hiding some details and revealing others, shifting and altering, creating an ephemeral beauty. A forecast of mist is, for me, the best reason to get up before dawn. I enjoy walking along the river, watching the light change with the thickness of the mist and the rising of the sun. Only a few people – rowers, boatmen and women and dog walkers – are awake to share this early morning world. In my panel I aim to record the transient beauty of the misty riverside along three short stretches of the Thames.

Rowing Pair

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Passing in the Mist

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JAN HARRIS ARPS

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Hanging Plan

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ANDREW GASSON ARPS

Cornwall: Then and now The old adage that ‘the camera never lies’ has been superseded by the more recent notion that anything is possible with modern digital editing. In 1851, Wilkie Collins – Victorian author of The Moonstone, The Woman in White and numerous other novels - published Rambles Beyond Railways: or notes in Cornwall taken a-foot. This described his walking tour of Cornwall the previous year and included twelve lithographs by his travelling companion, the young artist Henry Brandling. In his introduction, Collins wrote “On considering where we should go, as pedestrians anxious to walk where fewest strangers had walked before, we found ourselves fairly limited to a choice between Cornwall and Kamchatka - we were patriotic, and selected the former.” In the absence of the railway to Cornwall in 1850 – hence the title of the book - the walking tour for the two travellers started in the east with a boat trip from Plymouth via Saltash to St Germans. Their journey then took a route along the south coast of Cornwall to Land’s End, with excursions inland, returning along the northern coast to end near Tintagel.

Six pairs of images were included in the Landscape Group’s Newsletter for December 2019. It is now possible to reproduce all twelve, presented in the correct order to follow Collins’s original route. Quotations in the text with one exception are taken from the first edition of Rambles. The old adage that ‘the camera never lies’ has been superseded by the more recent notion that anything is possible with modern digital editing. The photographic images are true to the original scenes with no digital additions or subtractions. I hope, when compared to the original lithographs, they will demonstrate that artists – even in the 1850s - employ as much, if not more, licence than photographers.

St Germans Collins and Brandling arrived at St Germans where Brandling produced his first illustration. The view now is remarkably similar to that of 1851. The 13th century Norman church is Grade 1 listed, still standing but no longer covered with foliage. The main house looks very much the same and the tree on the left is perhaps also the original. The viewpoint is now situated on the private Port Eliot estate, requiring permission to enter, and was also chosen to obscure parked cars to the left of the image. On the other hand, alas, there are no longer strolling families with bonnets and top-hats.

On recent visits to Cornwall, I have been attempting to reproduce photographically Brandling’s twelve scenes as they now appear, compared with the early 1850s. Using Lightroom and Silver Efex, images have been converted to black and white and toned to match as far as possible the colouring of the original lithographs. Most of the images were taken with a Nikon D810 using 28-300mm or 18-35mm lenses.

Nikon D810; 28-300; 28 mm; 1/500 at f8 ISO 800 32

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Looe A ten mile walk from St Germans is Looe which was, and still is, a “fishing town on the south coast of Cornwall,” then with a population of about 1400. Collins had anticipated “a little sea-shore paradise” and described Looe as “one of the prettiest places in England.” He stayed at the Ship Inn which is still in existence. The original stone bridge which Brandling drew dated back to 1436, was 384 feet long and consisted of fifteen arches. It was replaced in 1853, three years after Collins’s visit, and still separates East and West Looe. In season, the town is now a very busy tourist destination but small fishing and pleasure boats do still abound. Apart from trying to match the viewpoint, another challenge was to find the tide in a similar state to the original scene.

Nikon D810; 28-300; 78 mm; 1/1600 at f5.6 ISO 400

The Cheese-Wring The travellers followed their visit to Looe by turning inland to Bodmin Moor. Here they visited the Cheese-Wring set above a megalithic site known as the Hurlers. It is a precarious-looking inverted triangle of stones, both then and now “visible a mile and a half away, on the summit of a steep hill ….. the wildest and most wondrous of all the wild and wondrous structures in the rock architecture of the scene.” Take your choice whether you believe it to be a Druid temple or a natural rock formation. Brandling’s picture makes it appear much more rugged in Collins’s day and at some more recent time it has been stabilised with the additional stones on the left-hand side. Fortuitously, a modern tourist substitutes for the Victorian gentleman in the original.

Nikon D810; 28-300; 52 mm; 1/1000 at f9 ISO 800

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ANDREW GASSON ARPS Loo Pool (Loe Bar) The tour continued inland until it reached the Loo-Pool (Collins’s spelling) on the coast. Despite the similarity in name, it is nowhere near the fishing village but about 60 miles further west, a short distance from Helston near Mount’s Bay. It is Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake (the Loe), about two miles long, separated from the sea by the sand and shingle bank of Loe Bar. Brandling’s viewpoint is taken from the eastern side at the south of the lake. There is now no sign of either Brandling’s tree or the cottage on the opposite headland. Long gone, if they ever existed, although Photoshop could no doubt resurrect them. The Loe, according to Tennyson and legend, is possibly the lake into which Excalibur was cast after the death of Arthur.

Nikon D810, 18-35 mm, 18mm1/640 at f11 ISO 250

Kynance Cove Collins and Brandling continued further west to the Lizard, England’s most southerly point, and then took a two mile walk along vertiginous cliffs to reach Kynance Cove, “the place at which the coast scenery of the Lizard district arrives at its climax of grandeur…..unrivalled in Cornwall; perhaps, unrivalled anywhere.” Brandling’s lithograph shows Steeple Rock, slightly more attenuated than in real life, surrounded by waves – a good example of artistic licence. Kynance Cove is a photographer’s delight to visit with dramatic rocks and caves to explore. The original as pictured, however, is impossible to replicate. The viewpoint can be reached only at low tide since, at all other times, this portion of the beach is completely submerged. Nikon D810; 18-35; 18 mm; 1/1000 at f8 ISO 320 34

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER St. Michael’s Mount Situated opposite the small town of Marazion on Mount’s Bay, St Michael’s Mount is now a National Trust property. Lord St Levan of the St Aubyn family retains a 999-year lease to live in the castle and open the historic rooms to the public. The Mount is approached either by boat or along the famous causeway at low tide. The lithograph of St Michael’s Mount is another case where it did not prove feasible to replicate the exact view photographically. Irrespective of the more recent foreground buildings and preponderance of trees, Brandling’s viewpoint is impossible to achieve. The smaller photograph has been flipped horizontally to match the original as closely as possible. The artist’s version is almost a mirror image of the true scene; the larger photograph shows the reallife view.

Nikon D810; 28-300; 70 mm; 1/400 at f11 ISO 400 Image flipped horizontal

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ANDREW GASSON ARPS Lamorna Cove Lamorna Cove is situated beyond St Michael’s Mount on the western side of Mount’s Bay, about four miles from Penzance. In the twentieth century, Lamorna became the home of the surrealist artist, writer and occultist, Ithell Colquhoun. The view today, with its quay and cottages, is completely different from Collins’s time. The centre-piece obelisk of Brandling’s illustration was either pure artistic licence or subsequently removed. Lamorna became the site of extensive granite quarrying between 1849, the year before Collins’s visit, and 1911. Possibly the obelisk was the granite sent to London for the 1851 Great Exhibition or even part of that used to form the Thames Embankment.

Nikon Z7; 24-70; 24 mm; 1/400 at f11 ISO 200

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER The Logan Rock The term logan signifies a pivoted rock as a result of natural erosion. The Logan Rock is situated on the Cornish coast near the village of Treen about five miles from Lamorna. “This farfamed rock rises on the top of a bold promontory of granite, jutting far out in to the sea ….. When you reach the Loggan-Stone, after some little climbing up perilous-looking places, you see a solid, irregular mass of granite, which is computed to weigh eighty-five tons, resting by its centre only, on a flat broad rock.” The recent photograph after a no less perilous climb has been chosen to illustrate the perched position of the stone.

Nikon D810; 28 -300; 28 mm; 1/320 at f11 ISO 250

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ANDREW GASSON ARPS Tol-Peden-Penwith Mid-way between the Logan Rock and Land’s End lies “the desolate pile of rocks and caverns which form the towering promontory, called Tol-PedenPenwith, or, The Holed Headland on the Left.” The latter may refer to “a black, yawning hole that slanted nearly straight downwards, like a tunnel, to unknown and unfathomable depths below” which is located a short walk to the west of the headland. This is the likely spot where, in Collins’s 1852 novel Basil, the villain of the story falls to his death. The photograph gives a reasonable match to the lithograph but the artist has had the luxury of moving the horizon to his preferred position.

Nikon D810; 28-300; 28 mm; 1/320 at f8 ISO 800

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

Nikon D810; 18-35; 18 mm; 1/125 at f16 ISO 400 

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ANDREW GASSON ARPS Lanhearne About 50 miles north-east of Land’s End lies the village of St Mawgan, close to Newquay. Here is found the Carmelite convent of Lanhearne, given to the nuns as a refuge from overseas persecution. “The strictness of their order is preserved with a severity of discipline which is probably without parallel anywhere else in Europe.” Now, as then, the nuns never leave the convent and are never seen. Once again, the artist has the advantage over the photographer, for even at 18 mm it is only just possible to include the adjacent church as well as the convent.

Nikon D810; 18-35; 18 mm; 1/125 at f16 ISO 400  40 40

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Tintagel The travellers returned along the north coast, where most of the places visited, such as Botallack mine (now reincarnated as Poldark) and St Nectan’s Glen, are described but not illustrated in Rambles. The exception is the last important point of interest represented by the final illustration - “Tintagel Castle, an ancient ruin magnificently situated on a precipice overhanging the sea.” Once again Brandling uses artistic licence and exaggerates the ruins to look like significant remains of the legendary castle. Even in 1850 the ruins “only consist of a few straggling walls, loosely piled up.” Since the photograph was taken in April 2019, this relatively unspoiled view of Tintagel is no longer possible because of the new high-level bridge between the two headlands.

The original 19th century editions of Rambles Beyond Railways have long been out of print. There were two 20th century editions, neither of which included Brandling’s lithographs. Plans are now afoot to publish a new, unabridged and annotated edition which will feature all twelve pairs of illustrations. Finally, I hope the images show that the artist’s perspective is very often impossible to reproduce photographically. If you doubt ‘the camera never lies’, then consider that artists can be even more ‘economical with the truth’.

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KEVIN GIBBIN

Peak Practice The easing of lockdown in the summer of 2020, for most people, was an opportunity to get out into the local countryside with some decent boots and suitable clothing. Kevin also included his camera with his packed lunch and headed off into the stunning landscape of the Peak District National Park. Planning trips out with both friends and family, the results are an impressive collection of images from some of the iconic locations of the area. Since the easing of lockdown, I have managed to achieve four separate trips into the Peak District; three purely for photographic purposes and the fourth taking two of my granddaughters walking for the day. On each occasion I managed to come away with some acceptable images. Hopefully practice will eventually make perfect! Living near Nottingham, many parts of the Peak District, particularly the Derbyshire parts, are within a drive of about one and a half hours so I suppose I have little excuse not to manage more trips!

Armed with a bit of local knowledge, reference to the fotovue book on the area by Chris Gilbert and Mick Ryan and a 1:25,000 OS map, I was able to plan what I wanted to achieve from the first three photographic trips. The planned walk was along Stanage Edge, with which I was already familiar, so I took a camera, something I would do invariably anyway. The first two of the three photo shoots were to Higger Tor, a rocky outcrop below and to the east of Stanage Edge, not far from

Hathersage. These required an especially early start to be in place in time for dawn; on August 8th this was at 5.35 am so it required an early start – up at 3am to allow travel time plus getting into position – and I’m not exactly an early bird!! On my second visit, this time with a great friend, Trevor Burton, from my local photographic society, Nottingham and Notts, the hour was a bit kinder – dawn at 6.02 am. I was keen to photograph the heather as well as securing the warmth of the dawn light. Dawn

Dawn light Higger Tor (Image 1)

Heather sunburst (Image 3)

Heather in dawn mist (Image 2)

Carl Wark from Higger Tor (Image 4)

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

was bright and clear with just a little mist in the valley and the rocks of the tor were bathed in a lovely warm glow (Image 1). However, within half an hour, the mist rolled in and the temperature dropped significantly but there was still a warmth in the light and I was inspired to focus in on some heather clinging to the rock (Image 2). These were the best images of that trip.

On the second foray with Trevor, nearly three weeks later, dawn once again appeared with a bright but largely overcast start and I felt inspired to obtain several images as the sun appeared. I used the smallest aperture on the lens, f/22, to obtain the star-burst using the diffraction within the lens (Image 3). This was an HDR of five images merged in Lightroom. There is a small amount of flare in this image but I am prepared to accept that as part of the price to pay for obtaining the starburst.

Image 4, a view from Higger Tor almost due south, allowed me to get some nice side-lighting on Carl Wark, an Iron Age hillfort on a rocky outcrop of the local millstone grit. By the time of taking this image the warmth of the early sun had gone but there was still some lovely side-light on the rocks and on the heather on Higger Tor.

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KEVIN GIBBIN

Stanage Edge from Callow Bank (Image 7)

Stanage Edge from the Edge (Image 8) A little later at about 7.30am we had moved away from Higger Tor and Image 5 shows Stanage Edge from below. I was pleased to be able to frame the Edge with the rocks and the heather and also to show the path acting as a lead-in line to the Edge itself. Image 6 is of Callow Bank, a small promontory below Stanage, looking across Bamford Moor to the Kinder plateau in the far distance; a cropped single frame. Image 7 is a panorama of Stanage from Callow Bank, six frames taken with my 70 – 200mm

Nikkor and stitched in Lightroom. The detail is superb; a great lens. On the day my wife and I went walking with our granddaughters, three days later, the weather was dry but heavily overcast. This grab shot (Image 8) has been converted to mono and the sky emphasised to allow the dark cloud to balance the mass of the prominence of Stanage Edge on the left: I particularly like the leadin of the rocks of the Edge itself sweeping in from the foreground. Mono conversions are so useful when dull dark conditions prevail.

The next two images are of Winnat’s Pass near Castleton on a venture with my good friend and outstanding photographer Dave Jones. Dawn was at the positively leisurely hour of 6.35am! Happily, there was a gap of clear sky on the horizon and the sun prevailed, albeit for a short but timely period, to allow the capture of several images from the top of the pass looking into the dawn light (Images 9 (front cover) and 10). Shortly after this the sky darkened and, by the time we had walked the relatively short distance back to the cars, it was raining moderately heavily.

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Overcast weather, with or without the rain, is a good time for waterfalls so we headed for Waterfall Swallet, near the plague village of Eyam. Providentially, the rain had eased when we got there, although unfortunately, there was only a modest amount of water in the fall. The final two images show the fall; firstly, a general view and then one of the detail shots that I took.

Dawn light on Winnat’s Pass (Image 10)

I suppose the main message from an article such as this is that planning is paramount but flexibility of approach is also needed, especially when the weather experienced differs from that forecast. In any event, one has to take inspiration at the time from the prevailing conditions. Footnote: The equipment used for these images was Nikon Z7/ Nikkor Z 24 – 70 mm (Images 2 – 6, 8, 11, 12) and Nikon D810 with Nikkor F/2.8 70 – 200mm at 200mm (Image 7) and Nikkor f/2.8 14 – 24 mm at 19mm (Images 9,10) and at 24mm (Image 1). As I have commented in a previous article in the May 2020 Landscape Newsletter, “Storm Dennis and a Photographic trip to Torridon”, I use Lightroom for almost all of my processing with Nik Silver Efex for most of my mono conversions, although I sometimes use the B&W pre-sets in Lightroom for mono.

Waterfall Swallet (Image 11)

Detail shot of Waterfall Swallet (Image 12)

Image 9 ‘Dawn sunburst Winnat’s Pass’ is the cover image for this issue 45 Landscape Magazine Winter 2020


FAVOURITE PLACES Gaynor Davies ARPS My favourite place? Anywhere that puts a smile on my face! I don’t know about you, but I have noticed that when I feel really inspired by a place, I walk around with a permanent smile because I am so absorbed and ‘in the flow’, being swept along by the atmosphere or sense of possibilities that the location has to offer. It doesn’t always have to be the obvious places either. Yes,

it can be the majesty of the Lofoten Islands, the wilderness of Scotland, the Calatrava bridges of Rotterdam or the modern architecture of La Défense in Paris – I love them all and have all the shots that you would expect to see to prove it. But what really interests me are the photographs I took in those places which could be from anywhere; which don’t scream out where they are from but rather,

conjure up a sense of a place, whilst also appealing on a more universal level. They can be of small, seemingly insignificant details, or bigger picture views, and often give no clue as to where they are from. These three images are from a very well-photographed location but I would imagine that many people would struggle to identify them as being from Glencoe. And that makes me smile.

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Profile for Royal Photographic Society

RPS Landscape Group Winter 2020 Magazine  

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