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THE MAGAZINE OF THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY LANDSCAPE GROUP

Landscape

Spring 2021


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Landscape Magazine Spring 2021


CONTENTS 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)

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

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHERS 8

Dr Tim Rudman FRPS discusses his thoughts on what he looks for in a distinction submission and shows us images from his latest body of work.

8 14 When Tim Pearson was looking to

get away from the madding crowds, he stumbled across North Cliffe Wood on his doorstep.

14 20 Robert Bolton viewed images of

the Glamorgan Heritage Coast which inspired him to pick up a camera some 47 years after being given his first one.

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52 Chris Renk discusses his thoughts

on how he mastered the idea of capturing a successful landscape image and shows us some examples.

52 58 Rajen Nandwana shares images

and experiences that take us from the heat of Mumbai to the Arctic Circle. © 2021 The Royal Photographic Society All rights reserved.

COVER IMAGE: “Colour in Landscape” by Chris Renk

58 62 Mark Banks takes us along some

less-trodden paths in the Cairngorms.

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Printed and Published on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society by Henry Ling Ltd, at the Dorset Press, Dorchester, DT1 1HD.

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

REGULARS

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4 Inspirational Places 6 Editorial 7 Musings from the chair

Adrian Gidney FRPS Alison Taylor ARPS Stephen Miles ARPS David Carine ARPS

Landscape is the Magazine of the RPS Landscape Group and is provided as part of the annual subscription to the Group © 2021 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 Ocean Gems by Rajen Nandwana

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EDITORIAL Welcome to The Royal Photographic Society’s Landscape Special Interest Group’s Spring 2021 magazine. It’s been quite a challenging time in many ways for everyone worldwide. I’ve heard stories of people being marooned far from home for weeks at a time and others who have never spent so much time at home. As a father of two children, the last few months have been centred around their home schooling; as I write this editorial, they are both returning to school, hopefully as the first step to some sort of normal. I hope, as this issue lands through the letterbox, it finds everyone safe and well.

Renk guides us through some of his thought processes and techniques, while Tim Pearson takes inspiration from a place he has returned to many times since his first visit. Rajen Nandwana travels the world for work and takes his camera with him, so that when time permits, he can make the most of the opportunity to take some stunning images. Robert Bolton’s monochrome seascapes have a sense of serenity which, in this slightly weird world, have a somewhat calming presence about them.

In this issue we continue to feature recent distinctions awards and, for the first time, these distinctions are selected specifically from the new Landscape genre. Congratulations to Adrian Gidney FRPS, Stephen Miles ARPS, Alison Taylor ARPS and David Carine ARPS. We also feature work from one of the Landscape Distinction Panel members and well renowned photographer Dr Tim Rudman FRPS. Tim discusses his thoughts on what he looks for in a distinction submission and shows us images from his latest body of work ‘Iceland – An Uneasy Calm’, as well as some recent personal work.

Mark Banks leads a number of our group workshops each year, as well as being an acclaimed professional landscape photographer running a successful business. His inspiration and love of those not so well-trodden paths are discussed in depth, with some exceptional images of those off-the-beaten-track places in Scotland.

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 you’ve had time to tidy up your lightroom catalogue and have found images you would like to send us? Please don’t be worried about the technical elements of sending text and images; we will happily guide you through the process. All it leaves me to say is, stay safe, be positive and reach out if you need to. The editorial team and Committee are all looking forward to seeing the group’s members in a less virtual way, as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Next copy date is 30th July 2021.

As we are unable to travel, then the least we can do as an editorial team, is try and bring the world to our members. As well as Iceland, we have contributions from Germany, India and inspiration from Scotland and the North Wales Coast. Chris

Cairngorms. Mark Banks 6

Landscape Magazine Spring 2021


MUSINGS FROM THE CHAIR Chair’s Welcome

Richard Ellis, Chair, RPS Landscape SIG It doesn’t seem five minutes since Robert was asking me to write my last Chair’s welcome. Since then we have had a significant period of snow; well, anywhere except where I live seems to have done. Although we all enjoy trips away, it has been really great to see lots of lovely images made locally. Local seems to be an emergent theme for landscape photography; Joe Cornish HonFRPS recently gave a talk featuring many images within a short walk of his home. Members have been making books of images shot locally on their daily walks and I have set myself a project to make a book of images from the pine forest near my home. At first glance, a working pine forest, which is basically a tree farm, does not seem a particularly promising subject, yet as I walk around, I am seeing lots of pleasing innerscapes. I think the project has heightened my sense of seeing which is a

Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

good skill for any photographer to develop. I hope you have managed to find something of interest locally also. Working locally also has an advantage in terms of environmental sustainability. As many of you will be aware, the RPS AGM passed a resolution one year ago setting council the task of coming up with a response to the climate crisis. In the Landscape Group we have produced our version of this; more details can be read on the website. Our plan commits us to take environmental considerations into account for our purchasing decisions, to work to minimise unnecessary travel and to establish carbon offsetting for our workshops and travel. We hope these steps make a difference to our activities and inspire others to follow. A more detailed article about carbon offsetting will appear in the group’s newsletter.

Lockdown 3.0 does appear to be drawing to a close and I am sure we are all looking forward to getting out again. We will bring back faceto-face activities as soon as it is safe to do so, as well as continuing with our popular programme of online talks and workshops. In the meantime, enjoy your photography. Stay safe Richard

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Dr Tim Rudman FRPS Landscape Distinctions Panel member and well-renowned photographer Dr Tim Rudman FRPS discusses his thoughts on what he looks for in a distinction submission and shows us images from his latest body of work ‘Iceland – An Uneasy Calm’. Still creating images using analogue processes and toning techniques learnt over many years, Tim describes his work as an extension of his mindset at the time and how he still enjoys his craft, which has been documented in a number of publications over the years. When the editor of Landscape invited me to share some of my work in the magazine, he asked if I could also include some reference to my role on the new RPS Landscape Distinctions Panel and what we look for in work submitted to it. As we all know, landscape photography is a very broad church and a popular one. In his video interview with Peter Hayes about the new RPS distinctions genre for landscape photography, Panel Chairman Joe Cornish HonFRPS described it as “a genre with no limits”. For the purposes

of the distinctions, the RPS defines this new distinction genre as “Photography that illustrates and interprets earth’s habitats, from the remotest wilderness to urban environs”. So, in the interest of inclusivity, the submission definitions at this stage are deliberately fairly loose and wideranging. Between the documentation of the Grand Vista and the discrete detail of the Intimate Landscape, there lies unlimited opportunity for exploring the world around us in our own personal ways. For some, this may be an objective recording

‘Spring’ is really a metaphorical title, as the appearance of blossom comes from the use of infrared film. Gold toned lith print. I consider this stand-alone image more as fine art than landscape (see text). 8

of the beauty of light on the land, or perhaps the effect made by man on the natural world. For others, it might be an attempt to express a personal communication with nature the effect that nature has on the photographer. If personal interpretation heavily dominates, or if the intimate subject matter is contrived for example, the point may come where the distinction between ‘landscape photography’ and ‘visual art’ overlap and even, on occasion, may become difficult to make.

‘Yosemite in winter. Dusk’. A winter evening in Yosemite Valley, the snow was knee-deep and a mist was descending into the valley floor, isolating the trees and simplifying the composition. Despite the warm tone, the feeling is one of intense cold.

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‘Silver birches’. A selenium and gold toned lith print of a chance encounter in the Peak District.

Much will depend on the context and the motivation behind the work; but the important thing is the work. Genres, after all, are artificial structures made for our convenience and the last thing the RPS wants is for anybody’s work to be excluded by boundary definitions.

To this end, the Society has made sure help is available in the form of advisory days, one-to-one advice sessions and the new Facebook distinctions discussion group, which has proved to be immensely popular: https://www.facebook.com/ groups/rpsdistinctions/.

‘First light’ was shot in Yellowstone National Park, split sepia toned, followed by a brief gold toning bath to suggest the warm early light of day.

Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

‘Under Yosemite Point’ is a second-pass lith print (bleach and lith redevelopment). As the colour changes through the second development from brown to silver grey, this allows me to ‘snatch’ the print and separate the planes in the scene by colour.

This group is moderated by members of the RPS distinctions panels to ensure that experienced advice is on hand.

‘Saplings in mist’ is a gold toned lith print. The use of false colour can be a powerful way to impart mood in fine art work (see text).

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER With regard to my personal work, I use only black and white film and silver gelatine printing in my darkroom. I do this not because I think it is in any way better than other forms of photography, but simply because I enjoy it. I like the fusion of ‘art’ – the visual and cerebral aspect and the ‘craft’ – the manual and tactile side. I find the process of manual printmaking a very satisfying one. Much of my work is taken in the landscape, but it is not always about the landscape. There is a difference and I work in both Landscape and Visual Art genres. It depends on my mindset at the time, which is why context is important. Sometimes the location is simply a setting for a piece of work, which is just about itself, the locale being secondary. Black and white photography is no simple historical accident, especially in the digital age where the default is colour. Black and White endures because it has the effect of focussing the

eye on light, texture and shape and abstracting the image one step away from the reality of true colour. False colour, from lith printing or other alternative and toning processes, abstracts it much further from reality and, in effect, gives both the artist and the viewer permission to make their own interpretations more freely. The Iceland work here is from my book ‘Iceland. An Uneasy Calm’. I am very much a reactive photographer and generally I don’t research pictures of a place before I go, as I want to see with fresh eyes and respond in my own way, not through the eyes of others. I like to feel a connection with the subject and as I don’t print via Photoshop (etc.), I don’t add or remove anything from a landscape print, but I do print in a poetic way that reproduces, for me, the feeling of the time and of the place. Often this ‘essence of place’ is to be found in quiet, less-travelled areas, rather than at the ‘honeypot’ sites, visited by many.

‘After dark’ was taken shortly after sunset and was used for the book cover because of its simple graphic design. It also represents a metaphor for the explosive beginnings of this country and is consistent with the ‘creation, recreation, recycle of matter’ background narrative to the book. 10 10

‘Storm over Vestrahorn’.Before this mountai celebrity status, I visited it many times in all se for me, this picture encapsulates something of Iceland, so regularly featured in the shipping f

‘Black desert’ was taken from a marked, but b and typifies, for me, the essence of much of th Raw, unspoiled, primitive. Black rocks on black gleaming water.

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in acquired its more recent easons and weathers and, f the soul of this corner of forecast gale warnings.

barely discernible, track in the Northeast he remote, uninhabited parts of Iceland. k dirt, separated from black mountains by

Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

‘Evening tide’ was taken at dusk, whilst exploring some of the many minor roads and tracks that are to be found along stretches of the coast. Much bootsucking black sandy mud was involved. The printing is critical in retaining the sense of enclosing gloom, whilst retaining its depth. It has a primitive feeling for me, almost as if I were watching the formation of this land millions of years ago.

‘Desert pools’. Unlike ‘Black desert’, this is from the south, where miles of windswept black lava desert are crossed by a much-travelled road. After heavy rain, large pools form temporarily in the depressions.

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‘Grasses and lava’ is on the outwash plain of Mýrdalssandur. Metaphorically, this is also a picture of the strong prevailing wind, with the huge rock outcrop Lásadrangur in the distance, appearing to be almost blown out of the picture.

‘Summer night’ for me captures the peaceful stillness of the endless summer nights in late June, when it never quite gets dark. More of Tim Rudman’s work can be found at www.timrudman.com and www.iceland-anuneasycalm.com 12

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‘Dark force’ is symbolic of the unstoppable forces of the ever-moving glaciers of Iceland. Shot in fading light, the printing adds to its menace and power.

‘White church with fence’. Churches are omnipresent in Iceland and almost as much part of the landscape and history as the rocks and glaciers.

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Tim Pearson Looking for a location to get away from the madding crowds, Tim stumbled across North Cliffe Wood on his doorstep. Immersing himself in the woodland and visiting through the year and at different times of day, Tim has grown to appreciate not only the healing therapy that photography can possess, but also how out natural world is so undervalued as a place of refuge. You wouldn’t know it was there. I didn’t until recently, but having discovered North Cliffe Wood almost on my doorstep during the first lockdown, it has now become a refuge from our increasingly mad world and a source of photographic inspiration. Importantly, what North Cliffe is teaching me is the value of returning, of seeing the same place at different times

of year, in different light, from different angles; the possibilities are limitless. North Cliffe Wood lies to the south of Market Weighton in East Yorkshire, at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds. A little-visited gem overseen by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, it was drained and cleared in the late 19th century, with many mature trees felled

in the early twenties. This has left space for birch and rowan to flourish and for young oak trees to develop and join their mature parents. At its south west corner lies a heath of heather, rush and cotton grass, which catches the low dawn sun perfectly. Of course, the wood and heath are a magnet for wildlife and its relative isolation means that all you hear is the sound of the trees, the birds and

Into the Woods (Setting Moon) - ISO 100, 24-70mm lens at 70mm, f14, 1/25 The sun was beginning to rise behind me, with the slightest illumination of the silver birch trees beginning to show, but my attention was on the setting moon. Having exposed the image to capture a clear moon, I further exposed the foreground in Lightroom to better reflect what I saw. 14 14

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Heathland Sunrise - ISO 100, 24-70mm lens at 36mm, f11, 1/100, medium grad filter I boosted the white balance in camera to enhance the warm glow of the sunrise and its effect on the grass. perhaps the roe deer. In spring, the wood itself is swathed in bluebells and every turn of the path brings different light and different opportunities. I am a relative newcomer to photography and have spent the last couple of years slowly studying, experimenting and learning (I hope) from my mistakes. But the one piece of advice I read constantly, and have found to be absolutely true, is to keep going back; keep exploring the same place; keep looking anew at that place which might otherwise feel so familiar. And guess what? It works. My most recent visits have focussed on the heathland on frosted early mornings. Arriving before dawn and walking the paths through the woodland, stopping occasionally to photograph the setting moon between the trees or the first hint of light on silver birch. Then, arriving at the open heath, Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

capturing the rising sun, or the light on a hoar-frosted fence, or the narrow paths created by the deer across the heath. Many of my ideas come to nothing, because my timing, or the conditions, or my technical expertise, aren’t quite right. There are reflections in the shallow ponds to be captured; countless compositions of birch and oak; moss and lichen with their textures and subtle variations of tone; and of course, the bluebells which, to date, I have only snapped, hand-held, while walking with my partner. I know that I’m not the only photographer to visit this place. I wish it was all mine, but it can’t be and shouldn’t be. One regular I spoke to recently is two years (two years!) into a project photographing a single split oak. His focus is, in a sense, very narrow on that one tree and yet, I know that he sees just as much variety, just as much opportunity,

in that one subject as I do in the wider wood. I’d love to see what he produces. In the context of what the last year has thrown at all of us, when we have been forced to shrink our worlds and lower our horizons to the strictly local, visiting the same place time and again would, for some, feel like part of the problem; living in an open prison, waiting for parole. I feel the same as everyone for much of the time, but I look forward to, and cherish, my visits to North Cliffe Wood and, in between, I plan and envision what I hope to photograph next time, because there surely will be a next time. Tim Pearson Instagram tim_pearson_wolds_ photo. All photographs taken with a Nikon d850.   15


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Skeletal - ISO 400, 24-70mm lens at 58mm, f/11, 1/40 The attraction here was threefold: The delicacy of the foreground grasses; the skeletal form of the trees against the sky and a slight warming glow of the early sunrise.

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Drifting - ISO 100, 24-70mm lens and 70mm, f/11, 1/10 The stillness of the frosty morning allowed me to use a slow shutter speed without losing clarity, and I loved the way that the lone tree is set within drifts of frosted grass.

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Bluebell Walk - ISO 100, 70-300mm lens at 70mm, f/9, 1/125 hand-held This was a snap on my very first visit to North Cliffe Wood, in spring 2020. I had a 70-300mm lens on the camera, thinking that I’d be looking for wildlife, but it was impossible to resist the bluebells.

Through the Heath - ISO 100, 24-70mm lens at 52mm, f/14, 1/30 Deer leave paths that criss-cross the wood and heath. Setting the tripod low, I found a composition to include the moon setting between twin oaks. 18 18

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Hoar Frost - ISO 100, 70-200mm lens at 120mm, f/11, 1/60, medium grad filter New7Year’s Eve morning, 2020 and a beautiful frost on the heath. I occasionally see other Image – Through the Heath photographers at the wood, but on this occasion, they were out in force, with four of us arrayed around the wood. I picked this spot so as to be out of shot of everyone else! Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

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Robert Bolton Images of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast inspired Robert to pick up a camera some 47 years after being given his first one. While family life may have intervened in-between times, Robert never forgot his love of photography. In this article Robert describes his journey, while showcasing his monochrome seascapes.

It has felt to me that my photographic journey has been rather like learning a language. Firstly, I needed the rules of grammar and syntax, learning more words as I went. Once the rules had been learned and I had a reasonable vocabulary under my belt, I could move on to expressing myself more fully. I could also choose to specialise; poetry, novels, journalism etc. As well as break the rules if I felt like it. If I kept at it, I thought I might find my voice so to speak and a level of mastery: I could say what I really wanted to say. It’s taken me a while to get to the point where I have any sense of that but I do feel I am finally finding my way. It all started with a birthday gift of a Zenith E and 50mm Helios lens when I was 13. That was 47 years ago and I dabbled with all styles and genres but it has always been landscapes, particularly seascapes, that have captured my imagination. I did let my gear gather dust while marriage, a career and raising a family became my priorities for quite a few decades, but I reignited the passion for landscapes at the turn of the century. I had seen some photographs of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast by some accomplished photographers and that started me heading to places like Nash Point whenever I had a spare afternoon, which wasn’t often, but it made me realise 20

Bouzigues Oyster Farm Jetty that landscape photography is like building a relationship with the location; it takes time. You need to get to know your partner and their idiosyncratic ways. When heading to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, I usually arrived about an hour before sunset and favoured the tide at the half-way point between high and low. There are wonderful patterns in the sand at Nash and many sculpted rock pools, as well as the incredible golden cliff face.

A colourful sunset with clouds litup was a joy to me at the time. My images were rich, colourful, big and representative of those evenings, at least in my imagination. When we come out of lockdown, I have a need to go back to this ‘first love’ location, but I have to confess that an evolving style and much (too much) global travel, owing to work in a global professional services’ firm, has meant that I have recently been drawn to something different.

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Bouzigues Oyster Farm

St Agnes Daymark, Isles of Scilly My evolution in style all started when I saw the minimalist black and white photographs of Michael Levin and Jonathan Chritchley. This coincided with a period in my life when I was increasingly stressed in my ‘day job’ and was hankering after a counterbalance. As such, I have been increasingly drawn to the creation of minimal, spare, simple compositions. I also gravitate to the otherworldly, in favour of a more realistic interpretation of the landscape. Such images I Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

find more satisfying; they speak to me at a more elemental level; spiritual even. Strangely, I also find that such images have greater impact when printed. Less really is more when printed large! Rather like music written down versus played live. All of this crystallised for me a few years ago when I travelled to the Oyster Farms of Bouzigues in the South of France near Montpellier. It is such a marvellous place for what

I call Quiet Landscapes. I went in October when often the far landmass of Sete is obscured by a sea mist. It was everything I wanted: minimal, borderline abstract, quiet, zen and “yes”, otherworldly. I have since found similar experiences all around the world, in places as diverse as Ilullisat in Greenland, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula of Iceland, the Marine Lake at Clevedon in Somerset and in a place my wife and I adore, and go to at least once a year, the Isles of Scilly. 21


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER I don’t find my images easy to achieve, which of course is a good thing. However, the jetties, oyster bed frames, daymarks, piers and related paraphernalia lend themselves to such photographs. Still and misty conditions, or snow and ice, help a lot and give that otherworldly and abstract quality I like so much. In particular, on

still days, I find that Bouzigues and the Isles of Scilly are places not quite of the ‘here and now’, but almost! A very special experience.

The taking of these photographs has provided much needed Yin to the Yang of my career and I look forward to the continuing reconciliation.

Anyway, my quest for a photographic voice continues. It will never be complete and is captured at Quietlandscapes.net.

Marine Lake Clevedon Marine Lake

Collioure, South of France

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Nash Point, Glamorgan Heritage Co

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Tresco & Bryher, Isles of Scilly

oast

Hell Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

Adrian Gidney FRPS Since retiring, Adrian has had the opportunity to pick up his camera and take photographs of friends and his outdoor activities, which eventually led to him being awarded the first Fellowship in the new Landscape Distinctions Category: Congratulations Adrian! Some people might expect me to say I started photography as a teenager when given a Kodak camera and have worked my way up to attaining a fellowship after 40 years learning the craft. The reality is I took up digital photography in a serious way in 2013 (I had retired after 30 years in the police) after buying a second-hand Canon G12 compact digital camera. This was to record my hill walking and outdoor activities. I had spent around 10 years in the 1990s using a film camera, taking slide film of my friends and I climbing in the UK and abroad. In 2018 I completed the RPS/Open University Digital Photography Course: Creating and sharing better images. This was followed later that year by achieving a Licentiate with the RPS using the previous course as a basis for my ten images. The following year I submitted a panel of fifteen images in the then new Documentary genre and was awarded an Associate of the Society. 2020 and Covid 19 affected us all. I started watching online interviews that the RPS were streaming. One in particular caught my attention and inspired me. It was an interview with landscape photographer Joe Cornish HonFRPS. He had been made panel chair of the newly formed Landscape genre.

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I realised I had been photographing the Lake District landscapes seriously for the last five years or so and thought I might have the basis of a Fellowship panel of 20 or 21 images. I selected around 200 images in a ‘collection’ in Lightroom which I quickly shortlisted to around 50. After the initial lockdown I continued to walk and camp in the fells, taking images early in the mornings and as the sun was setting. I knew my panel was going to be about the light on the landscape and how it constantly and quickly changes. Living on the edge of such a beautiful landscape, one cannot help but be inspired by the way the light transforms every scene in a matter of minutes, depending on the seasons and the weather which changes from sunshine to snow and hail in a matter of minutes. To me, there is nothing better than packing a rucksack with camping gear, setting off to find a space to camp by a tarn or stream, allowing me to wander onto the tops to photograph the sunset, followed by a cup of tea sitting by your tent. A reasonable amount of sleep sees you a short walk from some of the most fantastic sunrises you can see in the UK. Enjoy your photography but enjoy the landscape and what it gives to us. Ade Gidney FRPS You can see more of my work at adegidneyphotography.com

Calf How Pike

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO My Fellowship statement of intent sums up what I have said in three short paragraphs:

Although my journey to Fellowship seems quick to some people, I feel it was a progression from that first digital camera in 2013 in a series of stages, taking each one at a time with no expectations other than to improve my photography to the best of my ability. I get a huge amount of joy from taking and producing images that I enjoy but this is not as great as the pleasure I get from being in the fells and mountains, watching the light change, often enjoying the solitude and feeling of well-being that it gives me.

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River Brathay

Hardknott Tarn

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Buttermere from Warnscale

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Kirkland Leaps

Crummock from High Stile 30

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Central fells from Borrowdale

Crummock Dawn

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The Step, Deepdale

Newlands Valley 32

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Sunrise Pike O’Blisco

Keskadale from Dale Head Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

Alison Taylor ARPS Following her Licentiateship, Alison was inspired by the coast to create her Associateship Project. Working on a focused plan, it wasn’t until the final stages that Alison took advice to finalise her submission. Here, Alison describes her journey to successful submission. I must go down to the sea again, the lonely sea and the sky. As soon as I had been awarded my LRPS in 2018 I knew that there was a project in me that would work for an ARPS. I had discovered that my photography love is for the sea and the waves and so an idea was born. It took me the best part of 2 years to finalise the photographs that would form part of my submission and I took the advice of RPS assessors as I went along. I made a conscious decision not to ask for lots of opinions as I reckoned there was less chance of me receiving conflicting advice and I would always be able to move forward. I had 4 contact points with the RPS along the way and they served me very well. However, at the end of the day, it is up to you to make choices and keep control of the quality and content in your final presentation.

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I sent my proposed panel to the RPS for a review. The feedback again was very encouraging but it was suggested that the weather conditions in the panel were too similar. In an attempt to get conformity in the shades and tones I hadn’t realised that I was presenting identical weather conditions. This resulted in quite a big upheaval in my panel, especially in the sky and sand sections, but I know there is no point asking advice if you don’t follow it. This was another reason for my decision only to ask RPS assessors for help. There’s absolutely no room for sentiment in the composition of the final panel. As with the LRPS, you have to be prepared to sacrifice your favourites and insert new images to improve the presentation. I juggled 6x4 prints

on my dining room table to see what worked or which images needed to be flipped to achieve better flow. The process also gave me a wonderful reason to go to the coast whenever I felt the weather was promising. Or even when it wasn’t. Building a portfolio of photographs must never be a chore or you won’t be inspired to get out there and absorb yourself in the environment. You need to be able to access your locations easily or you won’t get enough opportunities to get a large enough photo portfolio and the process is definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. Most of my portfolio was taken within an hour’s drive of home with the remainder on holiday, where I could still revisit promising locations during my stay.

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Statement of Intent:

I love standing on the sand looking out to sea and watching how it interacts with the shore. Sometimes the waves draw lines on the beach and at other times they create shapes which only last a few minutes. In my panel there is no human interaction or intervention. My photographs show what I see when standing on the strandline. It is always changing and never the same. The camera is able to reveal patterns and textures that are invisible to the naked eye adding new dimensions to my shoreline odyssey. I can capture the flow of the sea on the shore and the patterns and reflections it makes in the sand; huge waves make magical shapes and the skies are big and full of character. It is my world. Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

Stephen Miles ARPS Completing the Scottish North Coast 500 sleeping in the back of a Mercedes Estate may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for Stephen, the journey was the start of a project that would inform his Associate submission. He explains the usefulness of advisory days in forming the final decisions on selecting images for his submission. My journey to an ‘A’ in Landscape Print I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of putting together an ‘L’ panel in 2014 and, after that, took a few years’ break, with work and motorsport taking priority until, in 2017, I had to take a 6-month contractual break from work between jobs. One of the highlights of this time off was a solo trip to the north of Scotland, taking 16 days to slowly explore the north and west coasts, doing the NC500 road trip. It wasn’t glamorous, with the odd quirky hotel and many a night sleeping (very well, I may add) in the back of a Mercedes C class estate! The photography freedom of no predefined timetable, and being solo, i.e. not wondering

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if your wife was getting bored while you ‘wait for the perfect light’, meant that I captured a few images I was really pleased with that made it to my ‘A’ panel. As this was in November, almost every day had wind, rain, sunshine, more rain and sometimes snow. Perfect for us landscape ‘togs! As an aside that I’m sure you’ll appreciate, after a few nights on the trot in the car, I booked into a top-end country house hotel to dry out and to experience some real luxury. I stayed 3 nights in the end and didn’t hand over any cash, but did a photo barter deal for some images of the hotel, surroundings and detail shots for their marketing – a win-win for everyone!

So, from this trip, I put my first panel of 15 images in colour together for an advisory day with the East Midlands group in the summer of 2018. These are well worth attending, as you learn from other panel discussions as well as from your own. I entered mine into the Fine Art category due to the nature of the images. Summary of advice: “4 great images, 8 technical rejects, 3 don’t fit panel, suggest putting it in a Travel category, not Fine Art”. The next step was to understand the technical failures. This was fine and made me realise the high standard that was being sought. I attempted to rework many of these to get

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to the standard and some were salvageable. I worked on the 16th image, i.e. the Panel as a whole, and went for another advisory day in spring 2019 with high expectations! In Bath, I saw some stunning ‘A’ panels and again enjoyed the day out. This time the pictures were technically better, fitted together well and I had entered into the travel category. Summary of advice: “7 great images, 5 technical rejects, 3 don’t fit panel, suggest putting it in a Fine Art category, not Travel”. So I had exhausted the 3,500 images shot on the trip – time to go back again. By now I had a campervan, hence more luxury and freedom and we had a great 2-week holiday – remember those days when you could travel!! And in 2018 I bagged another 3000 images, albeit not on the best camera but on the backup, as my D810 with a 24-70 f2.8 fell out of my new rucksack on the first day and smashed on to the pavement!

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Great news. The RPS perhaps were thinking of photographers like us in this group who enjoy this oldest category of work, Landscape, and are caught between Fine Art and Travel, with the introduction of the new Landscape category for distinctions. When I saw this, I booked for the first real submission in October 2020. For tonality reasons I decided to go black and white for my third attempt and, with fresh images to supplement the best earlier ones, I put together a new panel and went this time for a 1:1 advisory. This was again very useful and I would highly recommend it.

Now it was in the hands of the courier and all I had to do was to sit back and wait! Whilst on another holiday in the camper van in Northumbria (a landscape photographer’s hidden gem by the way!) at 10.30am on the morning of judging, I received an email from the RPS, saying Joe Cornish HonFRPS and his team had approved my work. It made the three-year journey so worthwhile!

Summary of advice: “14 great images, 1 doesn’t fit panel, but 13 technical rejects, sort out the processing and submit!” Again, this advice meant I went back to the RAW files, learnt more, applied the knowledge and corrected what was wrong as a common theme in every photo, swapped a couple of images and then went to print for the big day.

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO Statement of Intent

November 17 was the first time I experienced the outstanding natural beauty of the northwest coastline of Scotland. Travelling alone and without schedule for 16 days, just letting the weather, mood, location and whatever I found dictate the pace of my photographic and physical journey along the North Coast 500. I returned in October 19 to immerse myself in this superb landscape, and yet again became absorbed in the contours, fleeting light, clouds and wildness of this country. I hope that I have achieved my aim of capturing, conveying and sharing the feelings from these wonderful travel experiences in the final prints.

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DISTINCTION SUCCESS

David Carine ARPS With the launch of the Society’s new Landscape Distinction, David was inspired to submit a selection of his images for scrutiny. David summarises how he selected his final 15 images for his Associate submission from an initial selection of 40; a process which has made David review his ideas on photography. ARPS thoughts - why and the experience. As a judge for the Surrey Photographic Society, I thought that obtaining the next level of distinction in the RPS would give me more credibility when critiquing images for clubs and their members. I also knew the experience of building my ‘A’ panel would benefit my own photography and make me more aware of the subtleties within images. As a keen landscape photographer, I was so pleased when I discovered that the RPS planned on creating a new Landscape category.

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I began with a Statement of Intent that fitted well with my landscape preferences for seascapes and the variety of moods that they can create. I had around 40 images which I thought were of high enough standard for an ‘A’ panel, from which I needed to create a coherent panel of 15. I began to build my panel by selecting images I thought worked well as a set, then approached a friend who is FRPS and therefore very familiar with the journey I was embarking upon. She also put me in contact with another FRPS landscape expert and the advice

I received from them both on the selection and layout of my panel was paramount to my success. The iterative process of finetuning the panel to balance hues, colours and the overall mood meant rejecting some images that I thought were stronger in order to improve the overall presentation. The whole process was very enjoyable, although surprisingly time-consuming. I was delighted to receive the RPS email promptly on the morning of the assessment confirming that I had been successful.

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Statement of Intent

The Coast With my panel, I am hoping to share my love of dramatic, rugged and sometimes inhospitable coastal scenes that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy and photograph. I have captured moments that will stay with me forever. Each of these images reminding me of the long journeys, early morning hikes and often inclement weather, transporting me back to the feelings of peace, calm and tranquillity that I found during those moments. I hope that the panel will resonate with the viewer, perhaps evoking an emotion or feeling of being in these remote coastal locations. Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

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Chris Renk In this article, Chris describes his thoughts on how he mastered the idea of capturing a successful landscape image and asks the reader several questions which, at some point, we have all probably asked ourselves. Landscape Photography: The Art of Seeing the Beauty ‘Every photographer has undoubtedly dealt with landscape photography at some time, be it during a holiday trip or an excursion to a nearby location. With full vigour, one rushed to the apparently worth-seeing objects and landscape forms to capture as many impressions as possible with one’s camera. After the photographer had photographed the motifs, there was a rush to develop the pictures to see the final result. The disappointment was all the greater that the photos, unfortunately, did not reflect the impressions collected on-site! Does this description sound familiar to you? If so, then this article might be just the right thing for you!

Over the next pages, I will give you a small insight into my thoughts about landscape photography and how I master it.

At first, we have to clarify what landscape photography is! There are many definitions out there, but to me, the most accurate description is as follows: •

Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture nature’s presence, but can also focus on human-made features or disturbances of landscapes.

As you can see, landscape photography isn’t only limited to mountains, forests or lonely places. Rather, landscape photographers enjoy a wide variety of motifs.

Which brings me to the next important question about landscape photography - what’s the reason for it? •

Perhaps the most common is to recall a personal observation or experience while in the outdoors, especially when travelling Others pursue it mainly as an outdoor lifestyle, to be involved with nature and the elements Some as an escape from the artificial world!

For me, it is a mixture of all three of these statements. Of course, the most important is getting a balance to the increasingly demanding workload of my job. Being out in nature, I can immediately feel my heartbeat slowing down and my thoughts are focused only on the beauty of the surrounding landscape, filled with the sound of nature.

Touched by the rising sun

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Even more, I can feel this when I am out during the early morning hours when the sun slowly rises or during late evening, when the sun is gradually disappearing behind the horizon and the blue hour begins.

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Light Light also plays a crucial role in landscape photos. Therefore photographers should incorporate all types of light based on availability. Here is a shortlist of which type of light could be used: • • • • • •

The Franconian Forest at Sunset I remember back to my first steps in landscape photography, which were marked by incredible frustration. I must say that I did not make it easy for myself to use the images of the great masters of landscape photography, such as Ansel Adams or Michael Kenna, as a benchmark. Only when I started to think about the aspects of a successful landscape photograph did my pictures improve. In this regard, Herman Melville’s outburst comes to mind, when he once said: “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!”

• • • •

Narrow your aperture (larger f-number) Move further away from the subject Shorten the focal length of your lens Apply the 1/3-2/3 Rule

Focal Point Another critical factor is the focal point, which determines whether a picture is interesting at all. You can emphasise this focal point by using colour in nature or striking terrain points. Composition It is followed by the conscious arrangement of all picture elements according to the Golden Ratio (Rule of Third) rules.

So, what are the aspects of successful landscape photography?

All the following aspects are used to distinguish one’s own picture from the pictures of other photographers.

Depth of Field One of the most important aspects is the depth of field, which draws the viewer into the photo.

Sky The sky is a critical element to many landscape images. Sometimes photographers don’t give it enough thought and focus more on flashier subjects like mountains, lakes and forests. The sky is not only an enhancement but can itself be the main event.

Here are some tips about how to control the depth of field:

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Natural light Daylight Golden hour Blue hour Night Artificial light (light painting)

Filters The use of filters is one of the last steps to raise your images’ quality to that of the true masters of landscape photography. Furthermore, in many situations, only the use of filters makes it possible to create high-grade photographs. Here is a shortlist of available filters used in landscape photography: • • • • • • •

Clear and ultraviolet Colour correction Colour conversion (or light balance) Contrast enhancement Infrared Neutral density, including the graduated neutral density filter and solar filter Polarising

Everyone should note that the use of filters needs practice, as they could also bring disadvantages, especially when using several filters at the same time; unwanted reflections, as well as exposure errors, can occur. Nonetheless, despite the high effort involved in using filters, the resulting outcome is worthwhile. Experimentation Finally, after addressing the essential aspects of a successful landscape image, I would like to invite all members to experiment.

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER length of 70-200mm. These would cover a large part of the possible motifs and leave some room for experimentation. If one were to devote oneself entirely to landscape photography, then I would advise the purchase of an ultra-wide-angle lens (1424mm), used for shots such as waterfalls and forests, as well as bridges and other architecture. But be careful: With an ultrawide-angle lens you capture many more image elements than with a standard wide-angle lens! Of course, these have to be controlled and additionally arranged in the picture. That does not suit every photographer.

Enjoying Calmness and Reflection The factors listed above can be understood as rules. But rules are there to be broken! So try new techniques such as long exposures, deliberate blurring or the use of special purpose-made cameras (without low-pass filters, infrared, etc.). That’s what allows the viewer to experience your interpretation of the landscape.

Scope of the photographic equipment In the following section, I would like to detail the necessary equipment for landscape photography. I understand that this can be an expensive business, but with the current supply of reasonably good photographic equipment, anyone can get adequate equipment at a reasonable price. Camera Let’s start with the camera. Nowadays, all cameras, whether high-end or low-cost, cover the requirements for landscape photography. The introduction of mirrorless cameras also offers an alternative for extreme weight reduction, which can be advantageous, especially for us older people!

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Therefore, there is no need to buy a camera from the high-price segment. What you should look out for, however, is the ease of use, ergonomically arranged controls, power consumption and the availability of different lenses, which should cover the wide-angle and telephoto range. Lenses That leads me to the next item of equipment, the lenses. Here, the question is whether to invest in the usually more expensive camera manufacturer lenses or to switch to third-party lenses. For newcomers to landscape photography, these third-party lenses are a cost-saving way to determine whether this field of photography suits them at all. Should the affinity for landscape photography persist, one could gradually equip oneself with firstclass lenses, ideally with those of the camera manufacturer. I would suggest the following focal lengths: On the one hand a lens with a length of 16 to 24mm and on the other hand a telephoto lens with a

Tripod and tripod head The next pieces of equipment, the tripod and the tripod head, are also essential. Not that I belong to the group of photographers who insist on using a tripod for landscape photography. But to ensure depth of field and to get a good composition, the use of a tripod is extremely helpful. Furthermore, it is crucial to match the tripod and tripod head to your camera equipment. It doesn’t make sense to buy a tripod with a carrying capacity of 2kg if your camera with lens, for example, exceeds 4kg. By using carbon as a material, tripods’ carrying capacity has been significantly increased, despite their low weight. Another positive effect of carbon is its low vibration transmission. As a result, you get sharp pictures in most cases. Regarding the tripod head, we should note that the head’s type and functions should be adapted according to your needs. It is up to you whether you buy a ball head or a 2-D or 3-D panhead. In terms of the total weight of your photo equipment, these are of course, essential considerations.

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER For example, I use the Ballhead CB-58 FTR from FLM (German Company), which can hold up to 60kg of weight and has a 15-degree panorama raster function. Together with my Gitzo tripod, it forms a super base for my landscape shots, weighing in total 5kg. I gladly accept the extra weight! Remote cable release The next piece of equipment I would like to mention is the cable release. For this, I use Nikon’s MC-36, employing it as a standard shutter release to avoid camera shake. Together with the mirror lock-up function, it results in tangle-free and therefore sharp images. Fortunately, the latest cameras already offer built-in Bluetooth or W-LAN connections, accessible via all ordinary mobile phones, eliminating the need for an extra remote shutter release. Of course, these connections consume extra power in the camera and strain the charge status of your mobile phone, which could become a problem on excursions of several days far from civilisation! Batteries To conclude this section, I would like to remind you to take a sufficient number of batteries with you! The new functions of today’s cameras and the taking of long exposures, lead to higher power consumption, which of course has to be satisfied. Weather conditions and seasons also contribute to power consumption, so always have enough batteries on hand!

I refer to Ansel Adams’s statement, when he said that “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. I fully agree with Ansel Adams on this. It is the meticulous preparation of a shoot that guarantees a perfect and outstanding landscape photograph. Moreover, nowadays, you can easily access the necessary tools without paying for some of them. I divide my preparations into three fields: the photo location, the environment and the weather. Locations I mostly use Google Maps and Google Earth to explore and determine the photo location. I also make use of available databases and websites that specialise in photogenic places worth seeing. Environment After deciding on a location, I find out about the different light conditions such as sunrise/sunset, the course of the sun/moon and the Milky Way. Furthermore, I explore the presence of key terrain features and their position in relation to the sun and the moon. For this, I usually use the app ‘PhotoPills’,

which you can purchase for a small fee for all standard mobile phone platforms. Another beneficial tool is ‘The Photographers Ephemeris’, which is available as a web tool for all operating systems. Weather Finally, I research the expected weather conditions, such as clouds, fog and expected precipitation. Here, too, I use freely-available resources on the Internet or my mobile phone. So you see, good preparation is no trick and can be done by anyone, even with limited resources! In summary, I would like to give you a short checklist with which you are guaranteed to create great landscape photos: • • • • • •

Be prepared Select a mid-range aperture Choose a low ISO Use a tripod if you need one Shoot during the special hours Use a photo filter

Finally, I would like to thank you for your interest in this article and wish you every success in your future landscape photography projects.

It is all about planning! In the last section, I would like to talk about the importance of planning for landscape photography. Like on a Moon

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Lonely moments along the Baltic coast

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Highland Sunrise at Loch Ewe

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Rajen Nandwana From the heat of Mumbai to the cold of the Arctic circle, Rajen not only experiences extreme changes in temperature during his photographic wanderings, but also captures some of the scenes these places have to experience.

Between 2013 and 2017, my photography revolved around the fascinating variations of nature on the face of Mother Earth that we reduce to the word ‘landscape’. The years 2013 and 2015 were devoted to the icy parts of the world, Iceland and Norway respectively. I visited these countries during their late winters. It was a great experience not only to see, but also to feel, the complete opposite of the ‘hot and very hot’ conditions of the metropolis Mumbai, where I live.

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For a day in 2017, I was fortunate to be in Arizona in Navajo nation, a landscape paradise in the middle of nowhere. This huge area in the USA is surprisingly larger than five key states or bigger than the sum of five smaller states. It has attracted photographers from all over the world. The stay was too short, too unplanned and yet it was so photogenic that the few frames that I could capture please me immensely.

Journeys to Iceland and Norway involved withstanding multiple weather changes in an hour. For someone who usually lives in +20 degrees and above, freezing temperatures and high winds are daring enough. A steady tripod was almost as impossible to use as a lens without repeated swipes with a lens cloth. In some places, hail and high winds made life impossible but the images captured won me several places in international competitions. To make things more exciting, I used a 24mm T&S lens and filters for the first time.

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Navajo nation was too short a visit for explorations. Unlike the black sands and lava rocks of Iceland, it was a stark contrast to see rich red soil and red rock formations. Peculiar weather conditions created interesting sand patterns. The photo submission here consists of hurried attempts to take landscape pictures. There remains a deep desire to revisit these beautiful places in the near future.

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A DIFFERENT VIEW

Mark Banks Following a well-trodden path is not for Mark Banks. Although the Cairngorms is a location where Mark feels very at home with his camera, he always tries to capture images of places less well-photographed. Marks shows us some of the images he has captured while venturing off into the landscape.

As a professional photographer, I’m always on the lookout for locations that offer remarkable photo opportunities but are generally less-visited by landscape photographers. One such place is the Cairngorms area of Scotland. I think this is likely because it has softer, less dramatic terrain compared to the more rugged west coast of Scotland. Yet, for those who love photographing trees, lochs, waterfalls and macro, it’s landscape photography heaven! The Cairngorms is the UK’s largest National Park covering over 1,700 square miles - twice the size of the English Lake District and bigger than Belgium! Nearly half of the National Park is considered ‘wildland’ and is, therefore, popular with wildlife photographers and

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many other outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Although this National Park is busy in summer and winter (for the skiing season), it’s particularly quiet in spring and autumn, allowing you to wander around the many woodland lanes and tracks with ease and solitude. In contrast to the west coast, there are also many relatively flat areas that would suit those dependent on wheelchair access or who have limited mobility. From late September, the Cairngorms becomes awash with autumn colour due to the large variety of native tree species that predominantly cover the Park - of which Birches are the principal species. In early autumn, these trees’ colours become a striking gold and yellow, intertwined with

the remaining green leaves and multi-coloured bracken that covers the woodland floor. Within the National Park are many lochs, lochans and rivers, which offer a large diversity of scenes and abstracts to photograph. September and October are perfect for experiencing early morning mist. Many of the lochs are sheltered by the height of the surrounding forest and, therefore, become calm and reflective, creating mirrored reflections of the landscape. All in all, the Cairngorms is a treasure-trove of photographic potential for any budding landscape photographer and I for one, will be visiting it for many years to come.

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Mark is running a landscape group residential workshop in Aviemore in the Cairngorms, to capture the stunning autumn colours in the Highlands from 26th September 2021, see web link for more information. https://rps.org/events/groups/landscape/2021/september/wmb-cairngorms-autumn-in-the-highlands/ Landscape Magazine Spring 2021

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Profile for Royal Photographic Society

RPS Landscape Group Spring 2021 Magazine  

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