RPS Landscape Special Interest Group Magazine, Spring 2020

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THE MAGAZINE OF THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY LANDSCAPE GROUP

Landscape

Spring 2020


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LANDSCAPE GROUP Editor Robert Brittle ARPS Assistant Editor Gaynor Davies ARPS Contributions please send to landscapemagazine@rps.org

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

CONTENTS 8 Limestone is an integral mineral to our modern lifestyles, Steve Gresty takes an alternative look at the process of extraction. 8 14 Aaron Dickson takes a

fresh look at the medium of film and its qualities in a minimalist approach.

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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 Vacant Chief Operating Officer MIKE TAYLOR Treasurer JOHN MISKELLY FRPS Director of Education and Public Affairs DR MICHAEL PRITCHARD FRPS @2020 The Royal Photographic Society All rights reserved. COVER IMAGE: White Sands #06 by Aaron Dickson

REAR COVER IMAGE: Delamere December 2017 by Mike Lloyd

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us around the Outer Hebrides in the search of monuments to a bygone age.

20 38 Mike Lloyd describes his process towards his latest distinction and some of the inspiration behind his panel. 38

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHERS

REGULARS

Adrian Gidney Peter Fortune

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Inspirational Places

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Editorial

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Musings from the chair

37 View from the Gallery 38 Distinctions Corner Printed and Published on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society by Henry Ling Ltd The Dorset Press, Dorchester, DT1 1TD.

Landscape Magazine Spring 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 Calanish Stones by Jim Souper

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Editorial Welcome to The Royal Photographic Society, Landscape Specialist Interest Group Spring 2020 magazine. A warm welcome to the third issue of the group’s magazine. A big thank you to all the contributors to this issue, which sees the continuation of the series of articles dealing with the process of distinctions and hopefully a selection of interesting and thought provoking articles. The copy deadline for issue 4 is 30th September 2020. Spring is on its way! As most landscape photographers prepare for a period of the year that can prove both fruitful and frustrating in equal measure, it is also time for the latest edition of the group’s magazine. As editor it is always inspiring to be sent some great material from fellow likeminded individual’s, especially when images turn up of familiar locations that are photographed in quite different ways, either from the individuals view point or by continuing to photograph in challenging weather conditions when most of us (including yours truly) would probably be in the nearest hostelry.

In this issue I have tried to include all the contributions received from members since the last issue was published and have also included commissions. One such commission is the work by Steve Gresty, who has recently exhibited images from a longterm project (which continues to evolve) with funding from the Arts Council and various other local funders. Steve details his journey and also provides some pointers to getting funding for potential projects and exhibitions. It is always interesting to hear from professionals on how a place inspires their ongoing work and Don Bishop is one such professional. Based in Cheddar Gorge, Don shares one of his favourite locations.

Distinctions are always a subject of discussion and Mike Lloyd details his journey to gain an associate distinction and shows us his images and panel. Following on from Richard’s article in the last issue, I hope members who may be considering this route have been inspired to progress onwards. Finally, I’d like to thank members, the committee and the assistant editor for their continued support and look forward to more members contribution for the next issue. The magazine can only go from strength to strength with the continued support of the group’s members and their contributions.

Two Bridges by Peter Fortune 6 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


Musings from the Chair Chair’s Welcome

Richard Ellis, Chair RPS Landscape SIG

As I sit writing this, the chill of winter is in the air. A fabulous time for landscape photographers. It only seems five minutes ago that we were all sitting in the middle of a heatwave. It is this variation in weather that gives the UK its unique variety of landscape and something for which I am very grateful. We have the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of scenes without the need for huge amounts of travel. I am just back from a trip to Whitby exploring beaches, coastal architecture and the hidden alleyways of the town: A great example of variety all within a very small area. I was fortunate to attend a recent RPS workshop on Lightroom CC. Although I would consider myself a fairly competent Lightroom Classic user I was amazed to learn about the artificial intelligence capabilities of the CC version and of Apple photos. The search engines are now so sophisticated that if you type ‘sea’ into the search facility it will find all the photos featuring sea

even if you have not set them up with keywords. As this capability develops you can imagine that keywording will become a task of the past. I watched a very interesting video by Thomas Heaton (one of the speakers at our conference in 2019) in which he explained why he did not buy a new camera. Although it may sound strange that a video about not doing something could be interesting, I found it quite fascinating. Thomas had tested cameras from all the major manufacturers but finally concluded that simply shooting more with the gear he had would help him re-connect with photography and that new gear would not really help him at all. I think this is a great point; photography is about practice not purchase.

We are still struggling to get volunteers to write articles for both this magazine and the newsletter: A big thank you to all who have contributed. Our editors are very happy to work with you on whatever aspect of your article you feel needs help so please give them both some support by putting finger to keyboard or even pen to paper. The Landscape SIG and in fact, all landscape photographers, had a nice present from the distinctions department with the news that there will now be a separate category of Landscape for Associate and Fellowship. This will be developed during 2020 and I am looking forward to seeing the new panels. Finally, I wish you all the best for 2020 and I look forward to seeing you at our speaker day in March. Best wishes Richard

White Sands #08 by Aaron Dickson

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STEVE GRESTY

Limescape: The Shrouded Aesthetic Steve Gresty’s successful bid for Art Council funding to support his exhibition at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery has created further opportunities for the exhibition. The show is now transferring to The Peak Mining Museum in Matlock Bath for its opening on 4th April 2020. Steve gives us an insight into how the exhibition came together and the inspiration and ideas behind the body of work.

Quarry Wall There is an argument that traditional landscape photography offers an overly romanticised notion of the natural world, especially within the UK - wild places, portrayed visually as untouched by human interference. In reality however, most areas perceived as wilderness, from coastlines to national parks, are all in fact managed and reshaped by human enterprise.

“There is an argument that traditional landscape photography offers an overly romanticised notion of the natural world.”

This project, captured over a 3 year period, was initially conceived as a consequence of overhearing tourists visiting Derbyshire, discussing one of the many spectacular vistas, making comments about how the respective view they were observing was spoilt by the situation of an ‘ugly quarry’.

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER It is intriguing to stop and reflect on how society’s principles and desires influence and impact the manner in which we observe and value land-use and this idea led me to ponder on the reasons for the quarries to be sited where they were and also what the reasons were for so many to be situated within the locality of Derbyshire. This Art Council funded work was captured over a 3 year period during which I visited many sites - both operational and dormant. The series explores the phenomenon of Limestone quarrying, an industry that seeks to meet our ceaseless yearning for the comforts and conveniences of modern consumer products; products such as cement, wholemeal bread, breakfast cereal and chicken feed. The vast range of commodities that limestone and calcium carbonate contribute

to are highlighted within the main body of the work through three sets of Polaroid images; Polaroids being used to reference the wasteful, ‘throw-away’ society that we live in. The idea of ‘shrouds’ was conceived as a consequence of the many facets (both physical and metaphoric) that I became aware of whilst immersed in these complex environs during the course of the project. The raw quarried rock and the wider ‘stonescape’ has a fascinating shroud of mystifying beauty that, with a lingering gaze over the myriad of cracks, colours and tones, can unveil the majesty of a Pollock, Kandinsky or even a Picasso.

edge reveals the land of the working quarry, cloaked by the shroud of human intervention and the booming, mechanised sounds of heavy labour; a land demonstrating our industrious ingenuity in altering the landscape for the pursuit of the mineral extraction. Nature’s carboniferous resource is transported, conveyed and commoditised in a cloak of technological activity and the inevitable clouds of dust. It is here that the mineral is manipulated and processed into such a ubiquitous product that, in one form it can offer relief from the consequences of an overindulgent meal and in another, it can satisfy our desire for clean teeth.

Peering through the curtain of the strategically planted trees and vegetation along the perimeter

Limestone Products (Polaroids)

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STEVE GRESTY

Blast

Once the industry has ceased its productive monotony and the quarry has been deemed exhausted of its valuable asset, the human presence leaves and the site falls silent. It is now that Mother Nature begins the process of healing by casting her green shroud over this wounded earth and, with calm resolve, the monuments to human consumption crumble and dissolve as she reclaims the land and affords beauty to it once again.

“the human presence leaves and the site falls silent”

Finally, it might be of interest to understand that the project was Art Council funded, primarily to cover the cost of high quality printing and framing to meet the standards required by a commercial gallery. Our first application, made through the council’s Grantium system, was in fact rejected due to no provision being made, within the application, to pay the artist (indeed the applicant) a commission - based on ‘artistic industry standards’. A second application was immediately made, correcting this error and, after a six week waiting period, confirmation was given that the application was successful and the funds arrived about 10 days after.

‘Limescape: The Shrouded Aesthetic’ opens at Peak Mining Museum, Matlock Bath on 17th October 2020. Steve will be presenting his work at an exhibition opening event on 20th October and the exhibition closes on 15th December 2020. 10 10

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Rock Art

Tunstead Quarry Landscape Magazine Spring 2020

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STEVE GRESTY

Drilling Machine

Hopper 12 12

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Site Structures

Derelict Structures

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AARON DICKSON

A Journey to Minimalism Aaron has tinkered with old film cameras on and off over the years and always liked the simplistic nature of them; photography was pared down to the bare minimum, no bells or whistles attached. Aaron describes his interpretation of a minimalist aesthetic in the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

White Sands #01 White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is a fascinating place to photograph; pure white gypsum dunes gently undulating as far as the eye can see. Having come across a collection of images of them in a photographic competition a couple of years ago, they had been on my mind ever since as a place to visit. It took me until April of this year to finally make the trip, but as I look at my finished collection of images I’m glad that it took so long to get there; had I made the trip sooner, I don’t think I would have been ready to photograph them and be satisfied with the results.

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“Working with a manual film camera proved to be a steep learning curve” A couple of years ago I made the conscious decision to use only film for all my professional work. Having used digital for over 15 years I was starting to feel weighed down by my equipment - too many lenses, camera bodies and all the trimmings that go with it; it was beginning to get in the way of my photography.

I had tinkered with old film cameras on and off over the years and always liked the simplistic nature of them; photography was pared down to the bare minimum, no bells or whistles attached. I also liked the slow process involved, from developing my own film to working in a tiny dark room. The effort required to get just one good photo was often Herculean compared to the relative ease of digital, but it also felt incredibly rewarding.

Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER With that in mind, I upgraded my clunky Bronica SQ-A medium format to a fancy Hasselblad 500cm (which is older than I am) and purchased 3 prime lenses, a light meter and burnt my bridges, selling all my digital gear. This ethos of going back to basics carried over into my work and I found myself re-learning landscape photography. Despite having been a keen enthusiast for many years, I began to realise how little I knew. Working with a manual film camera proved to be a steep learning curve, often punctuated with moments of selfdoubt about my decision, but my gamble began to pay off.

Having to use a light meter taught me so much about understanding light and tones and the square format of the Hasselblad really made me think about my composition as it’s a tight frame to work with. My choice of film was Fuji Velvia 50 transparency which is a daylight film and with no auto white balance, you suddenly begin to see how much the colour of light changes with the weather and time of day.

use soft textures such as sand and snow as a blank canvas, something to place a few elements on. I was also happy to leave large parts of my images almost blank, giving elements such as a headland or a rock the room they needed to exist in, rather than being hemmed in by more scenery.

As my photography progressed, I began to look at my images as less about the scenery and more about the shapes, lines and curves within it. I started to

White Sands #02

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AARON DICKSON

By the time I arrived at White Sands I was clearly on a path to minimalism. As I walked amongst the dunes I felt much more comfortable with the scenery than I would have before. A couple of years ago I would not have seen the subtle curves and tonal changes. I would have been lost looking for an object to focus on or fallen victim to the dramatic skies at sunset, allowing the

dunes to sink to the bottom of the frame. I find a sense of serenity in being somewhere so minimalist. With dramatic mountains or coast, you are often at the edge of the scene looking in but, with no obvious focal point to gravitate towards, your mind is free to wander and become immersed in the land around you.

This becomes reflected in the final images – I often feel that the less obvious a photograph is, the more time you spend looking at it, being drawn in and clearing your mind of all other thoughts. This is what minimalism means to me; providing the space within which to clear your mind.

White Sands #03

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

White Sands #04

White Sands #09

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AARON DICKSON

White Sands #13

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

White Sands #08

White Sands #12 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020

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JIM SOUPER, ARPS

ISLAND STONES Jim Souper’s exploration of the islands began just over three years ago. It has focused as much upon the archaeology of the islands as upon their wild beauty and sense of place. The Outer Hebrides have long offered inspiration to landscape photographers. Images of Harris and Lewis - their beaches in particular - regularly feature in photography magazines and on our own Facebook page. Opportunities to explore the islands with professionally-run photography tours and workshops abound. My own exploration of the islands began just over three years ago. It has focused as much upon

the archaeology of the islands as upon their wild beauty. It is the development of Island Stones, my interpretation in photographs of the archaeology and landscape history of the Outer Hebrides, which is the subject of this article. The first part of the project began with a summer school in August 2016 and ended with an exhibition the following February. The five-day Art and Archaeology Summer School was run by the University of the Highlands and

Islands at Lochmaddy on North Uist. This offered the opportunity to visit a range of archaeological sites across the Uists and to learn about the recording and documenting of material in the field. Prior to the summer school I was unaware of just how many archaeological remains are to be found on the islands. This short introduction inspired me to navigate the remaining ten days of my trip by some of the more significant sites.

Calanais Dusk, Lewis, August 2016

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Clach Steineagaidh, Harris, May 2018

The majority of the images made during this first trip were of the more imposing Neolithic standing stones or stone circles; they were both easier to find and more obviously photogenic. Generally, my approach was to frame images so that the stones dominated, to include only the signs of ancient settlement. I sought to convey something of the mystery and mythology of the landscape. While I made as many images as possible during the golden hours of dawn and dusk, limited time on the islands meant that I was making images throughout the

Landscape Magazine Spring 2020

day, in all weathers. Given these variations in light, I felt the use of black and white would give more equal weight to each image when viewed as a series. Furthermore, the textures and tones in the stones also seemed to lend themselves to the medium.

“The masterclass, tutored by Eddie Ephraums and Adrian Hollister, proved invaluable.�

Mellon Charles in northwest Scotland. The masterclass, tutored by Eddie Ephraums and Adrian Hollister, proved invaluable. In addition to learning a great deal about black and white processing and printing, I was able to make the first half dozen test prints and print files for the exhibition. I left Mellon Charles with a clear vision of how I would make my final exhibition prints, right down to the choice of paper.

I began to process the images from this first trip while attending a Black and White Masterclass at Open Studio Workshops at

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JIM SOUPER, ARPS The exhibition, shared with a group of photographers I had met on an earlier workshop at Mellon Charles, was entitled Journeys. It was held in February 2017 at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable. The selection of four or five images to work on at Mellon Charles had been relatively straightforward. The greater challenge was to choose and sequence those which would complete the series to exhibit.

Most of the single standing stones I had photographed were composed to show a view toward the sea. While they worked as single images, as a set they lacked impact. This led me to consider images that differed from my main intent, in that they included obvious signs of man’s recent impact on the landscape. These included a view of the standing stone at Breibhig (on Barra) which included a relatively recent stone

hut and another of the Iron Age remains at Cleitreabhal Deas with modern communication masts in the background. Both strengthened the overall sequencing of the images and, much to my surprise, were remarked upon as being the more interesting and compelling.

Cleitreabhal a Deas, North Uist, August 2016

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER The feedback and critique I received, from both the masterclass and the exhibition, caused me to review my approach to the project. I became fascinated by the many different layers of history to be found in the landscape. Throughout the islands ancient Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age remains lie beside the marks left on the landscape by more recent history. I have used my two subsequent visits, in May 2018 and in March 2019, to make a number of images that illustrate this.

I have often sought to juxtapose the Neolithic with the modern. Compare the image I made at Cnoc Ceann a’ Ghàrraidh in 2018, with dilapidated buildings in the background, with the one I made on my first visit, for example (see page 25). Elsewhere, many stones and stone circles now lie within the boundaries of working crofts and I have sought to embrace this in the composition of my photographs. The most extreme juxtaposition of the ancient and modern that I have found is the standing stone at Stonefield which stands, on

its original site, adjacent to a 1960s housing development in Breasclete. Other images reflect the more recent history of the Outer Hebrides. The Bridge to Nowhere was built around 1921, as part of Lord Leverhulme’s grand plan to build a new road north from Tolsta to Sgiogarstaigh, on the east coast of Lewis; the road was never built. The graffiti belongs to the present century and may be familiar to those who have travelled the motorways of north-west England.

Stonefield Standing Stone, Lewis, March 2019

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JIM SOUPER, ARPS After three visits to the Outer Hebrides, what next? Are further visits to the Hebrides needed to complete the project? There are still sites I should like to find and others where I feel I can make a better image. I am also keen to study the history of the islands in greater depth. I am acutely aware

that the research I have done so far has only scratched the surface of a complex story. Aside from the images shown here, I have yet to show work from my last two trips. I should like to exhibit a more complete set of images from the series, possibly

on the Hebrides. I also plan to make a self-published book. Whether or not I am successful in either venture, I shall be visiting the Outer Hebrides for some time to come.

Bridge to Nowhere, Lewis, March 2019

Additional Information The images I exhibited in February 2017 can be viewed at: https://www.jimsouper.co.uk/v/photos/72558nrx/island-stones I have used a number of websites to help my research. These include: https://www.megalithic.co.uk https://www.ancient-scotland.co.uk https://www.themodernantiquarian.com

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Cnoc Ceann a’ Ghàrraidh, Lewis, August 2016

Cnoc Ceann a’ Ghàrraidh, Lewis, May 2018 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020

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JIM SOUPER, ARPS

Ceann Thulabhaig, Lewis, March 2019

Rubha Bhidein Stone Circle, Benbecula, May 2018 26 26

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Achmore Stone Circle, Lewis, May 2018

Pobull Fhinn, North Uist, August 2016 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020

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ADRIAN GIDNEY Inspired by the likes of Billy Currie, Adrian has developed a style in Black and White digital images by retracing some of his earliest steps in photography.

Thread Mill Museum, Paisley. 24mm f8 1.5secs iso 200, Tripod, 3 image panorama using 24mm Tilt shift lens shifted upwards in landscape mode. Since the early ‘90s I have visited Scotland as a place to walk and climb (I live in the Lake District). When I took up a digital camera about 5 years ago I returned to Scotland to photograph all the places I had visited in those early years. Like a lot of people with digital photography, I started with mostly colour images (and still make them). However, I was inspired by the likes of Billy Currie who makes what I consider to be fantastic black and white landscape images.

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“Like a lot of people with digital photography I started with mostly colour images (and still make them)”

So much so, that a couple of years ago, I went on one of his workshops (two of these images were made on that workshop). Scotland has so much variety big mountains, rugged coastline, wide open spaces and some great architecture - that I don’t think one would ever get bored visiting to photograph there. More of Adrian’s images can be found at: www.Adegidneyphotography.com

Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Corpach boat, 20mm, f8, 20secs, ISO125

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ADRIAN GIDNEY

Clashgour fishing bothy, 24mm, f8, 1/20sec, ISO125, Tilt shift lens, Tripod.

Aonach Mor, 400mm, f8, 1/1500sec, ISO200, shot handheld from about 6km a layby on the way up to the ‘Commando memorial’ at Spean Bridge. 30

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Sango Bay, 24mm, f13, 4secs, ISO100, ND filter, Tripod. Whilst on a workshop with the aforementioned Billy Currie

Assynt Storm, 35mm, f8, 1/350sec, ISO 200. 31 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


PETER FORTUNE Holidays are an opportunity to take your camera to far flung places to capture images not readily available on your doorstep. Peter Fortune tells us how he uses his two weeks in Europe each year to take two week-long photographic trips

Zakynthos, 70mm 1/50 F18 ISO 200 I had two weeks in Europe last year, taking Photographic trips. Every year I take two trips, each a week long. In June I went to the island of Zakynthos where I had been before and enjoyed it enough to go back to the town of Laganas. In September I was in Northern Tuscany near Barga. Both were very interesting, affording many photo opportunities and, for both weeks, the weather was absolutely perfect!

For each trip there was a professional photographer who drove me around and, of course, knew the best places for pictures.

“In June I went to the island of Zakynthos where I had been before and enjoyed it enough to go back to the town of Laganas�

I took my Nikon D850 and my 25-85 mm f3.5/4.5, a 18-35 mm f3.5 - 4.5, and a 70-200 f1.4 lenses and a tripod and, although I had my filters with me, I did not use them. Zakynthos is a wonderful island to the west of the main Greek peninsular and just south of Athens. A local photographer drove me all over the island and I took pictures at some stunning locations. From a high spot, the view of Zante (the principal town) and the harbour was beguiling, but by no means the only spectacular view!

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER The ships taking passengers and cars to and from the mainland dock here, as do many luxury (and VERY expensive) yachts. This may not be Juin les Pins or Monte Carlo but there are more than enough luxury vessels to go round! Zante Town was at the epicentre of a big earthquake in 1953 when all but three buildings were demolished and most of them, being timber, were completely

burnt by fires that sprang up all over the town. The other towns on the island also suffered but not to the same extent as Zante. So if you ever visit Zante do not try to find the ‘old town’ because there isn’t one. But there are many great restaurants and shops so there is plenty to keep visitors spending their money.

One place that is advertised as a ‘must go to visit’ is the beach with a wrecked ocean-going boat on it. You cannot get there by land and have to take a boat from the eastern side of the island round the northern tip to land on the beach. However, in my view, it is not worth the trip. The beach is just a mass of pebbles above the shore line and it is not worth taking a picture of the boat.

Sea Turtle, 200mm F22 1/2000 ISO 12800

Diagonally across the island to the south is the town of Laganas. It is very popular with young people, to the point that, photographically, at the height of summer in the evenings, it is hardly worth a visit. The town does have a unique attraction in that, just off shore in water that is barely four metres

deep, the largest group of sea turtles in the Mediterranean live and swim. They are mammals and so have to come to the surface to breath and so quick-thinking photographers can get shots of them. You mainly only see mature turtles whose shells are often 0.9 metres by 0.5 metres in size. There

are many 20 to 30 seat boats that will take you out to see the turtles and then to an island beach where you can bathe or sit in the sun. The turtles come ashore to a heavily protected beach just up the coast from Laganas to lay their eggs and so far the population is stable or growing slightly.

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PETER FORTUNE My second trip was to Northern Tuscany - a mountainous area that contains one of Italy’s National Parks - Garfagnana which we visited extensively. I chose Tuscany because I had not visited that region before and was not disappointed. We flew into Pisa Airport but avoided going to the central square where the famous Leaning Tower stands because the square has a high incidence of crime and expensive photographic gear is a magnet for trouble.

“the area has some great villages and towns to visit and masses of rural photo opportunities ”

Barga, the town near which I was staying, is a few hundred metres lower than Ben Nevis and it has very strong links with Glasgow and the Scots for historical reasons. I arrived at the start of ‘Scottish Week’ in Barga and enjoyed the fact that there were so many Scots there. Very different from Greece, the area has some great villages and towns to visit and masses of rural photo opportunities.

Barga, 200 mm F11 1/800 ISO 800

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Tree Woman - 18 mm F8 1/200 ISO 400

As this picture shows, the town has a hill-top site but, because of this, there are many steep, narrow streets leading up to the church which yields commanding views of the countryside. Again I was driven round, but this time by a Scot and not by a local; a Scot who has been visiting the area for 30 years and has a flat in Barga. There were many restaurants to enjoy and interesting sites at every turn. Barga is a town for ‘foodies’, with pasta and cured meats as specialities. There is something very special about eating out and enjoying the local delicacies.

Column - 60 mm F16 1/200 ISO400

About a third of the distance from Barga to Pisa lies the wonderful and exciting town of Lucca. Many of the religious buildings are built from the local Carrera marble which shines brightly in the sunshine. The town also has a large number of interesting statues, many of which cause one to stop and think about whether it is a natural occurrence or a very clever man-made object. This statue looks like a ‘tree woman’ and is one of many situated on the walks round the city walls. The city is also famous for its buildings, many of which show remarkably detailed

craftsmanship - a testament to the local skilled artisans who were working hundreds of years ago. This column is part of a large church in Lucca and reveals the intricate work and the clever use of colour in the way the column was constructed. Overall, the city is a ‘must visit’ town with remarkable contrasts between the old and the modern. It is busy but friendly and a place that is full of surprises. One turns a corner and one’s breath is taken away by the unexpected sight one comes across!

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PETER FORTUNE Finally I had to mention two sights that were captivating; the two bridges that were so photographically compelling that they could not be left out of this brief narrative about a relatively unknown part of Italy.

Many know the gentle rolling hills of Southern Tuscany but the northern part of the region is a joy to discover! Here are pictures of ‘the Devil’s Bridge’ and ‘Two Bridges’ that contrast with, and complement, each other.

With special thanks to Denia Vythoulka and family at Villa Spiros and Martin Sproul of F Stop Training who were my guides in Zakynthos and Tuscany.

Devils Bridge, 40 mm F11 1/200 ISO 200

Two Bridges, 25 mm F11 1/400 ISO 200 36 36

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A GALLERY WITH A VIEW The Willows Gallery, based in the beautiful Cheddar Gorge, is run by photographer Don Bishop. In an occasional series, Don discusses an image that inspires him to leave his gallery and get out into the British countryside. Don describes in detail his love of the Lake District and one particular location that catches his imagination every time he travels north.

Loughrigg Tarn Canon EOS 5DS, 24-105mm f4 L lens, Lee 0.6 medium ND Grad, Lee Polariser, Tripod. 1/5th sec @ f13. ISO100

Living in Somerset, an area itself blessed with many beautiful locations for landscape photography, and several other areas within a relatively short drive away, it may seem odd that I often travel the 250 miles north to the Lake District to enjoy my landscape photography. The Lakes are though, blessed with endless opportunities for landscape photographers, such as the fantastic mountain backdrops, often snow-capped in the winter and, in the autumn, covered in spectacular colours which I make an annual pilgrimage to enjoy. So, along with the Scottish Highlands, this area is, without doubt, a personal favourite, as it is with many others. From my previous visits I keep in mind locations that I have seen that I decided I’d like to

photograph but which may not have been in the ‘right’ conditions to create a great image on that visit. If the light isn’t ‘right’ and the weather conditions not what I want to see in the image, then instead, I’ll spend time checking where the sun will be at certain times of the day and year and previsualise the perfect image that I feel is possible for a future visit. I’ll also look around for fauna and other features that will help make the composition of the image just what I desire. I’m then able to visit the area again with some pre-visualised ideas of shots that I might be able to get if the conditions and circumstances all work out well. Sometimes it can take several years and multiple attempts to get the shot I desire; on others, I turn up at the location, set up

and just wait for the light to be just right for what I am after. The shot here is just such an instance; it is taken from just above Loughrigg Tarn looking towards the Langdale Pikes with a wonderful array of autumn colours. I stood and waited, occasionally pressing the shutter in case I was seeing it at the best it was going to get that day, but still quite determined that it could get better. The sun illuminated some of the trees, then perhaps the mountains but not the trees, until, a short while before the sun disappeared over the horizon to my left, suddenly the whole scene lit up; the later and lower sun actually being an added benefit to the final shot. I then knew I had seen the location at its best and that I could pack up and leave, satisfied that I’d got my shot. 37

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DISTINCTIONS CORNER

Mike Lloyd ARPS ARPS panel: Delamere Forest I obtained my Licentiate distinction in June 2018, which gave me a huge boost in confidence and, now finally feeling that I could be trusted with my camera to take a reasonable picture, I started looking at the Associate level distinction. I attended a couple of ARPS Advisory days as an observer and I became very enthusiastic about progressing my photography. However, the concept of taking fifteen photographs on a theme filled me with concern - both

because of volume and choosing a suitable subject matter – not to mention the small matter that the Statement of Intent had to be written with decent grammar!

“I attended a couple of ARPS Advisory days as an observer

I have always been fascinated by woodlands and trees. I have been drawn to the technical challenge of creating some form of order within an often chaotic environment and the shape of trees and the interplay of light and form has always been challenging, but also fascinating.

and I got very enthusiastic about progressing my photography”

Submitted Panel

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DISTINCTIONS CORNER I then started looking at some wonderful photographs being taken by other experienced woodland photographers and quickly realised that I needed to get up earlier in the morning to capture the best atmosphere. The softness of morning light, mist and foliage were going to be the only way to take those special photographs.

From my first library of 40 photographs I chose a panel of 15 (and 5 spares) and headed off to attend an advisory day to get advice on my Woodland scene panel. Whilst the Advisor on that day, Chris Palmer, advised me to submit, he also encouraged me to spend some time on the tonal cohesion - for which I would need more photographs!

The photographic journey to ARPS has been exciting, daunting, challenging but also inspiring.

The Statement of Intent was written as an initial guide but was only finalised after the panel was completed.

Taking good pictures on a single theme was difficult enough but the next challenge of making a cohesive panel was equally daunting. I realised that many more pictures than I had originally imagined would be needed in order to achieve that cohesion of different tones, tree shapes and light conditions. In order to reduce the options, I began framing all my photographs in a vertical 5 by 7 format and excluding the sky. I also found that the most cohesive panel did not always include my favourite photographs!

From my eventual library of 70 photographs I put together my panel for assessment in October 2018.

I needed many more photographs than I originally envisaged to complete a cohesive panel.

I decided to attend the judging day in order to see other panels at this level and was beginning to get very anxious as previous panels were being rejected - even though I thought they were better than mine. I found the judging especially nerve-racking as Paul Mitchell (the well-renowned tree photographer) was a judge!

Listen to advice; I mean really listen.

Your panel is ready when you can no longer think of ways of improving it as a cohesive panel.

Choosing a subject theme that can be found close to home is a huge benefit.

I could not have felt prouder when I passed.

Looking back at my APRS journey I learnt that:

01 Alvanley Moss

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02 Alvanley Moss A01a

03 Great Midgel Moss 40

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04 Birchenholt South

05 Near Long Shaw Moss 41 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


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06 Dead Lake

07 Alvanley Moss A11 42

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08 Alvanley Moss

09 Near Doolittle Moss 43 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


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10 Dead Lake

11 Great Midgel Moss 44

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12 Near Barnsbridge Basin

13 Near Pierson’s Moss 45 Landscape Magazine Spring 2020


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14 Near Black Lake

15 Birchenholt South 46 46

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