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THE MAGAZINE OF THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY LANDSCAPE GROUP

Landscape

Winter 2018


Landscape Group Weekend Conference and AGM 01 March 2019 - 03 March 2019 The Abbey, Abbey Road, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3ET This will be the landscape group’s second conference and AGM and it will be taking place in the scenic town of Great Malvern, on the foothills of the Malvern Hills AONB in Worcestershire. It will feature a varied programme of talks, workshops and location shoots that we hope will appeal to many of the group’s members. In particular we are delighted that our speakers will include leading professional landscape photographers Thomas Heaton and Paul Gallagher Confirmed Speakers so far are: Thomas Heaton Paul Gallagher Marianthi Lainas Vanda Ralevska Paul Mitchell FRPS Susan Brown FRPS Steve Caplin Additional Events Guided location shoots Distinctions workshop with a senior member of the RPS distinctions panel Mounting workshop Photoshop for landscapes masterclass Opportunities for delegates to exhibit some of their own work. The conference will be taking place in the excellent Abbey Hotel which is not only within walking distance of the hills, but is right in the centre of town, offering much of interest for non-photographer partners. The nearby rail station is a short walk from the hotel, giving easy access to Bristol, Birmingham, London, Hereford and Worcester. All inclusive prices start from £240 if you book early and share a room with a partner or friend. Please download the information pack for an explanation of how to book. https://bit.ly/2ybUlxZ Cancellation policy See attached information pack. Hearing and access requirements See attached information pack. Event Organiser : Mark Reeves Email the event organiser : rps.landscape.events@gmail.com PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION PACK BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO BOOK!


LANDSCAPE GROUP

Editor ROBERT BRITTLE ARPS landscapemagazine@rps.org Contributions Please send to landscapemagazine@rps.org

Committee Richard Ellis LRPS (Chair) Jim Souper ARPS (Web Editor) Mick Rawcliffe LRPS (Newsletter Editor) Pauline Benbrook LRPS (Secretary) Mark Reeves LRPS (Event Manager) John Urquhart LRPS (Treasurer)

CONTENTS 8 To celebrate 25 years of Light and Land in the 1st of a 2 part interview Charlie Waite (HonFRPS) answers questions from the editor on the state of Landscape Photography in the 21st Century 12 Wayne Brittle Previews his showcase at the Groups Members Day in November 2018

THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY Fenton House, 12 Wells Road Bath BA2 3AH, UK Patron Her Majesty the Queen President ROBERT ALBRIGHT HonFRPS President@rps.org Vice President DEL BARRETT FRPS Chief Operating Officer MIKE TAYLOR Director@rps.org Treasurer DEREK TRENDELL ARPS Treasurer@rps.org Director of Education and Public Affairs Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS Membership SIMON BIBB Simon@rps.org +44 (0)1225 325733

@2018 The Royal Photographic Society All rights reserved.

12 16 Susan Brown FRPS considers a trip to the woods with a difference in a distant land.

16 20 Cameron Jinks ABIPP retracing his family tree inspired research into Scotland’s landscapes problematical past.

COVER IMAGE: FERNS AND FALLS by Susan Brown FRPS REAR COVER IMAGE: THE WATER FALLS by Susan Brown FRPS

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHERS Wendy Akers Len Williamson

REGULARS 4 Inspirational Places 6 Editorial 7 Musings from the chair 20 The Last Light

Printed and Publish on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society by Henry Ling Ltd The Dorset Press, Dorchester, DT1 1TD.

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

Landscape is the Magazine of the RPS Landscape Group and is provided as part of the annual subscription to the Group @2018 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 CALLANISH STANDING STONES By Wendy Akers

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Editorial

Welcome

Welcome to The Royal Photographic Society, Landscape Specialist Interest Group Winter 2018 magazine.

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warm welcome to all the group members who have subscribed over the last few years since the inception of the group. The committee has been working hard behind the scenes to move things forward, of which a group magazine is one of a number of initiatives that hopefully the members will get involved in over the next few months. As editor I would like to start by thanking everyone who has contributed images and text to this first issue. As with all new publications the challenge is to keep the magazine going for many issues to come, I have already started looking for material. As a member of the group as well as editor, I am really keen to see as many members images in the magazine as possible. Photography has changed considerably since Fox Talbot fixed a window onto some material, yet sometimes genres can get stuck in a rut, either through equipment short comings or general apathy. The challenge with any artistic discipline is to push these boundary’s and see what lies beyond, I believe landscape photography should be no different. Hopefully this issue and those that follow will not only showcase the best of members work but also show images that challenge some of the genres preconceptions.

Paul Strand suggested that photographs should not be meaningless pictorial representations but should contain a sense of question. This type of image really challenge the viewer and can be a very effective communication, this is something you may wish to consider for your own work. Cameron Jinks research of his family history prompted a long term project to document lost settlements in the landscape. Susan Brown brings the beauty of nature to the fore in her images of an Australian forest. ‘Master of’ is a term used all to frequently but for Charlie Waite I think I can honestly use the term and have little comeback from most members. A quarter of a century of Light and Land is something to celebrate, if you managed to visit the exhibition at the OXO Gallery in London, you would not have been disappointed in the quality of the photography on show by many respected practitioners. As with any membership based organisation the membership is the most important component and I am very happy to feature some exceptional individuals in this issue. Fancy being in the next issue then get in touch via the editors email address landscapemagazine@rps.org

The Society’s constituency is based around the core objectives of education and promotion of the photographic medium

‘The Royal Photographic Society exists to educate members of the public by increasing their knowledge and understanding of Photography and in doing so to promote the highest standards of achievement in Photography in order to encourage public appreciation of Photography.’ With the above in mind it is encouraging to include a technical article by Jan Harris, Jan will be writing further articles on some of those subjects we get stuck with from time to time. Distinctions is another topic that will be covered in depth over the coming issues, anyone willing to discuss their experience and offer advise on gaining a distinction, at any level please get in touch. Landscape has the unusual position of being considered in 3 categories, which brings it’s own set of issues, which will also be addressed. Distinction by exemption is another option, the option for me after gaining a 1st Class honours degree allowing me to be considered for ARPS which has been something of an ambition for as long as I can remember. All that is left for me to do is wish everyone a ‘Happy Christmas & New Year’

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Musings from the Chair

Chairman’s Welcome Richard Ellis, Chairman RPS Landscape

I hope you enjoy the first edition of the RPS Landscape SIG magazine. We are very grateful to Robert Brittle for stepping forward and taking on the role of editor. It does not seem five minutes since we were at the inaugural meeting of the Landscape SIG. Now, three years later we have over 750 members, a thriving group of print circles, a dynamic, geographically spread and varied events programme, a financially sound group and an active presence on the web. All this would not have occurred without the hard work of the committee and other volunteers to whom I am very grateful for their contribution; without them this would not have been possible.

There is a political slogan doing the rounds at the moment “for the many, not the few” Applied to the landscape group it would be “by the few, for the many”. I refer of course to my perennial gripe, the shortage of volunteers. If we are to continue to bring this level of programme to you then we need more volunteers, particularly in contributions for the newsletter and magazine. Please act and write an article – Mick and Robert would be very grateful. On a more optimistic note the days are shortening and the sun lower in the sky so it is for many the prime time for landscape photography.

You can get up later and still enjoy a golden dawn. I hope that you will take advantage of the changing seasons and produce some work that will really reflect how you felt as you viewed the scene before you. We have the conference coming up in March and I know many of you have already booked. For those of you who have not please consider attending. It is a great event with fabulous speakers and the chance to interact with your fellow RPS members. I hope you all enjoy the magazine and very best wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2019.

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

Bed & Breakfast by Len Williamson

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

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INTERVIEW

Light & Land @ 25 Part 1 of a 2 part interview with Charlie Waite, the editor discusses with one of the leading practitioners the pro’s and con’s of curating a London exhibition, launching a new book and life as one of the UK’s leading lights on Landscape photography

Clive Minnitt Title: Mending fishing Nets Location: Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam Editor Launching an exhibition and book in London seems an exciting and somewhat stressful thing to do (from an organisational view point) how did this come about? Charlie We wanted to give back something to our leaders and offer them the chance to show their personal work. The OXO gallery was an excellent venue and the turnout which was in excess of 5,000, it was absolutely fantastic. It was at times a tad stressful, however we had a great team to organise both the exhibition and the book, I took weeks out to fulfil my role of printing all the Light and Land tutor’s images and was a little nervous as to whether they would be pleased with my interpretation of their work, which thankfully they were.

Editor What was the feedback for the exhibition at OXO in London? Charlie Beyond our wildest dreams! We learnt that there is a huge appetite for landscape photography both to look at it and practice it. (this new RPS Landscape magazine is perfectly timed to satisfy this demand). Editor The images in the exhibition and book show the vast variety of locations visited by Light & Land and the tutors, is there anywhere you or your tutors haven’t been to but want to organise a trip to?

and Mongolia would be very exciting. Editor Having visited the exhibition at OXO I noted a couple of images that stood out for me, particularly Mark McColl’s Remote House, was there any particular images you were particularly pleased to see on display? Charlie As a collection they worked very well, and I particularly enjoyed talking to visitors about their response to the images. I find this investigation as to what people respond to within a photograph, very intriguing.

Charlie Yes, there are always locations that we are enthusiastic to run trips to. More to South America, Eastern Block countries

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INTERVIEW

Editor One question I do have is related to the image information panel for each image, was there a reason for including the equipment information for each image, for me it seems slightly irrelevant, as each image was strong enough that the camera, back etc. seemed un-necessary? Charlie I completely agree with you, but, for some extraordinary reason there continues to be a demand for technical information to be included in the caption, personally I think as you do, this info is irrelevant. We are much more interested in compositional conundrums. Editor Another slightly difficult question that can be

considered along with Question 5 is; Is it difficult to manage the requirements of running a business related to photography trips / tours and its promotional requirements with staging an ‘art’ exhibition? (if like I do you consider photography an ‘artistic’ discipline (a conversation for another time!).

“I find this investigation as to what people respond to within a photograph, very intriguing.” Charlie No, we’re not necessarily just a travel company as we focus on developing each individual

clients creative style. Often the images made are impressionistic, abstract, inventive and imaginative departures from the literal. Editor Holding the next exhibition at Joe Cornish’s Gallery in Northallerton is a great choice, are you expecting a difference type of audience here than in London? Charlie No. People who love their photography and love looking at photography and discussing photography are the same the world over to my mind. The only thing that will vary is the geographical setting.

Sue Bishop Title: Tulipa “White Star” Location: Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

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INTERVIEW

Adrian Beasley: Title: Valley of the Rocks Location: Valley of the rocks, Lynton, North Devon, UK

Editor Over the last 25 years we have seen photography change immeasurably, as the chosen photographers have continued to evolve their work, is there one particular aspect of Landscape Photographer that excites you and can see a continued development of? Charlie Classic landscape photography and the very many people who love practicing it are growing in numbers. I am convinced that landscape photography will remain as popular as it always has. However, there will be forays into other none literal areas, such as multiple exposure, ICM etc., But bottom line, landscape photographers see their camera as a device through which they can wonder at and relish the landscape that lies in front of them. Editor Is there one thing that you would like to give advice on for the readers of the magazine?

Charlie Yes, take out an annual group subscription! I’m serious, I think this is so exciting that you are launching a landscape magazine, and Light and Land and myself will give you as much support as we possibly can.

Editor Last but not least - we all carry 1 essential piece of equipment in our kit bag, (mine is a child’s spotty beanbag!) that is not photography related / designed / purchased from a camera retailer. What is yours?

My one piece of advice is to look at as many landscape photographs as possible, and work out in the readers mind why they may or may not like the image. This process will help develop their own way of seeing. To be influenced is not a bad thing, we all are.

Charlie A small step ladder. Many of us new to photography are in the habit of photographing at the height at which they stand and moving up or down, left or right, by sometimes just an inch or so can radically change a photograph. I often find I want just another foot or so.

“landscape photographers see their camera as a device through which they can

Evolving Landscape Exhibition will open on 30th March 2019 and run until 27th April 2019 at Joe Cornish Galleries, Northallerton

wonder at and relish the landscape that lies in front of For more information visit them.”

lightandland.co.uk

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Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Charlie Waite Title: Blue Window Location: East of Bolonia, Andalucia, Spain

Sam Gregory Title: Mesozoic X Location: Eype Beach, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, UK

Antony Spencer: Title: Hekla Crater. Location: An Aerial view of fog in the valley beneath a crater in the Icelandic volcano Hekla. June 2015 Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

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MEMBERS DAY PREVIEW

WAYNE BRITTLE Another Time, Another Place Previewing his lecture at this years group members day, Wayne Brittle describes his journey in photography and the problems of balancing work and hobby while producing stunning images that regularly grace the pages of magazines.

Another World Sunrise

As a young teenager I can clearly remember being away on a summer holiday with my parents in North Wales. One evening we visited a local fairground with all the usual flashing lights and loud music. But despite the calls from my big sister, who was urging me to have another ride on the Waltzer, one thing that I can clearly recall was just standing still completely in awe of the sight of twilight colours in the evening sky that silhouetted the distant Snowdonia Mountains. I didn’t have a clue back then as to how to capture such a scene let alone have the equipment to hand. Coming from a large family, the only camera I owned was a second hand 110 point and shoot, but the results were always disappointing.

Once I left school and became full time employed, I was finally able to purchase my first film camera (Olympus OM10) and I guess from that point on Landscape photography has become a massive part of my life. I have been very fortunate over the years to have been featured in many photographic magazines as well as books, calendars, cd’s etc. More recently I have become a UK Ambassador for NiSi Filters and corun workshops in Tuscany. It’s a hectic life fitting it around every day work commitments but thanks to a wonderfully supportive wife and family, they help to make it rewarding.

Gardour Lighthouse Aurora 12

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


MEMBERS DAY PREVIEW I have always got a plan laid out to visit a location and it’s this planning that is so critical to the success in capturing a great landscape image. Besides using maps and internet research, one of the major things to consider for my style of landscape is sunrise positions, time of year and of course the predicted weather. I will be honest and say that with all the best planning you still require an element of luck to capture the image you had envisioned in your minds eye! Research of an area before a visit, whether I have been there before or not, is most important. For example, over the next 12 months I am planning visits to the Norfolk Coast, the Assynt (Scotland), Tuscany (workshop), Harris & Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and the Dolomites, Italy. I am already planning location visits for the first two. In between those areas mentioned, there will be loads of ‘add-on’ visits sometimes last minute around the UK and maybe further afield.

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

When visiting a location, for example a sunrise shoot, then I would aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before sunrise, bearing in mind it takes me around 5 minutes to set up, as pre-dawn can sometimes be better than sunrise itself.

“Research of an area before a visit, whether

other shooting opportunities may arise afterwards, especially if there has been a morning mist or the landscape is alive with Autumn colour. I love helping other photographers who are into Landscapes and I’m always willing to give advice on locations that I have visited including techniques and settings I have used to capture a particular image.

I have been there before or not, is most important.” I look for the subtleties within the frame and not just the ‘big picture’ itself. For example, the sky might be stunning and full of colour and drama but it’s equally important to me to capture the first rays of light hitting the rocks or grasses in the foreground which can give the shot more balance. It’s also wise to hang around after the main event as

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MEMBERS DAY PREVIEW Giving talks and slideshows to groups has been very successful so far to the point where I never have to advertise and find that due to other commitments that I have to turn bookings down. The information shared during these talks is hopefully both inspirational and informative for everyone, whether they are an experienced photographer or a complete beginner.

“I am actively promoting photography and helping to inspire others to capture beautiful landscapes. ”

Workshops are one of the routes that I would like to get more into as time goes on. I ran a trial workshop to a mixed group of photographers in the Peak District from which the feedback was very positive. I also co-ran a workshop on the beautiful Dorset coast for NiSi Filters, showing photographers the advantages that this system has over competitors. A workshop in Tuscany was also very successful again with positive feedback and planning is already in the pipeline for another trip in May 2019. I believe that just by ‘getting out there’ whether it be talks, workshops or just going on a planned outing on my own where I often run into other photographers, I am actively

promoting photography and helping to inspire others to capture our beautiful landscape. Ed: Wayne is keynote speaker at the groups members day on 25th November 2018 at Smethwick Photography Society, Birmingham. Group members are welcome to show and tell in an informal afternoon session, Wayne will be present after for advice and guidance. The groups committee have made funds available for all members to attend at no cost, with a small admission charge for nonmembers.

Winnats Rock - Dawn Light - Peak District

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MEMBERS DAY PREVIEW

Ice Beach, Receding Tide Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

SUSAN BROWN FRPS A Walk in the Blue Mountains If you go down to the woods you maybe pleasantly surprised, as Susan Brown found out in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.

Reflected Falls I was ready to leave for a walk in the rain forest of the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. Destination - The Katoomba Falls. It was raining, and the fog was dense in places – PERFECT! It was a challenging walk, slippery in the rain and the fog made the dense forest seem eerily quiet. An occasional rustling amongst the leaves would startle me; maybe snakes? The strange sounds of the

Australian birds were haunting; the Kookaburra laughing at my occasional anxieties.

“It was raining, and the fog was dense in places – PERFECT!”

life large and lush and then occasional clearings where on a ‘good’ day you can the see the iconic Three Sisters. For me this day was a good day as I couldn’t see the Three Sisters because of dense fog, but I could feel they were there and had glimpses as patches of fog cleared momentarily.

The Falls are beautiful, tantalising with occasional views of waterfalls between the trees, the plant

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Hidden Waterfall On returning to the car my hair was dripping round my face, my wet trousers clinging to my legs, I had hardly been aware of the conditions such was my involvement with the environment.

For me this day was an example of photographing feelings, I hope looking at these images you can hear, feel and sense what it was like to be there, at the end of the day, Landscape photography is all about communication.

Many thanks to Len Metcalf for taking me out on this memorable walk.

“I hope looking at these images you can hear, feel and sense what it was like to be there, at the end of the day, Landscape photography is all about communication.� 17 Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Blowing Tree Fern and Waterfall

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Minimalism and Negative Space

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Len Williamson Colore I Contorno en Toscana For Len Williamson landscape photography is all about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment and being fully aware of the possibilities available in any moment.

Belvedere I Toscana is a magical place to be with a scene screaming to be photographed round every bend you turn. I was lucky enough to be there in April with Tim Mannakee (our guide and leader), Gilly, Rob, Sou, Heather, Jenni and Bob. Capturing the images here was challenging but aside from the photography it was just an amazing place to be. At this time of year the sun rises early so we got up to leave at 5am for our first shoot. The popular places are now so busy you have to get there before the crowds to get a parking place and

House on the Hill 20

stake out your spot.

“At this time of year the sun rises early so we got up to leave at 5am for our first shoot� After setting up I make a mug of tea from my flask and walk around thinking about the possible compositions. I talk to others there about what they have done and where to go.

On our first day I meet a number of disappointed photographers who have been for a number of mornings with no success as the mists did not clear. But we were in luck. It is amusing to know that there are probably about 50 photographers here at the same time as I took these shots and also that there is an industrial area right behind us. After the early start we head back home to our very Tuscan and much photographed villa and are ready for a hearty breakfast.

Lonely Tree

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Daytime shooting has endless possibilities. Toscana has so many contours and the meetings of sky and land are always tempting the eye. For me it has been interesting to see how many famous photographers have visited these same places over the years. I am sure they would be bemused and a little horrified to see how many people there are now taking a picture at the same time as you. Sadly, there is a violent disturbance of the tranquil peace with the arrival of the horrible whine of the drones going up above you and in to your shot.

“There are places we went where nothing came together” There are places we went where nothing came together. I spent one morning at Belvedere for three hours in which nothing happened, but it was wonderful nonetheless. You just never know and often there are fewer people there when it isn’t perfect conditions and I just love taking in the scene and the changing light trying to be fully aware of what might happen next.

Bed and Breakfast is a place many head too in the afternoon for a well known shot. We got there early and could lie in the grass in glorious sunshine looking forward to its setting a couple of hours later. Then more people came, then more and finally there must have been around a hundred photographers ramming tripods in to each others space and sending drones up above. You always get one photographer who annoys everyone by going down in front to spoil your shot. He soon moved when a hundred voices told him to get out of the way.

Bed & Breakfast

And finally, a bit of pot luck with the Chapel on the Hill. We had tried a couple of evenings, but things didn’t quite work out. We saw some cloud which always offers possibilities but is also unpredictable. As we approached we saw a break appear and ran about 100 metres to get to a good vantage point, quickly set up, took the shot and the light then quickly moved on. It was magical.

“As we approached we saw a break appear and ran about 100 metres to get to a good vantage point, quickly set up, took the shot and the light then quickly moved on. It

The other essential ingredient to any successful landscape photograph is a little bit of luck. I was lucky to have Tim Mannakee with me to share with me what he knows about this very special place. I also felt very lucky with the light and the conditions we got during this visit to a place everyone on the planet recognises instantly as Toscana.

was magical.”

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SELECTED PORTFOLIO

God’s Spotlight

Town on the Hill

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Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Wendy Akers Harris & Lewis, Outer Hebrides Wendy has recently spent a week on a Colin Prior photography workshop on Lewis and Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, off the north west coast of Scotland. Wendy describes what was involved in capturing the portfolio of images.

An Abandoned Croft The scenery was breath-taking with endless miles of shell sand, marram dunes and turquoise seas, shimmering lochs, heather studded moorland, majestic sea stacks, crumbling crofts and ancient standing stones. No wonder artists have been flocking here for years. We were based at the excellent Harris hotel in Tarbet and each day Colin and his assistant Justin ferried us all over the island making sure we enjoyed as many photo opportunities as possible, alternating between early starts for sunrises to late finishes for sunsets.

“The scenery was breathtaking with endless miles of shell sand, marram dunes and turquoise seas, shimmering lochs, heather studded moorland, majestic sea stacks, crumbling crofts and ancient standing stones. No wonder artists have been flocking here for years.�

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

And when it rained on a couple of mornings, we were treated to an excellent tutorial and critique session of our images. The group size was limited to nine people to ensure Colin could give as much one to one tuition as possible. For me this is really what set the workshop apart from others I have been on, as Colin was so hands on and so ready with advice. This was not just the best photography workshop I have been on but one of my best holidays ever. I just want to go back and do it all over again. 23


SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Mangersta Sea Stacks, Lewis

Harris is awash with beautiful lochs

Traig Mheilein, Harris

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Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Tràigh Iar, Harris

Tràigh Iar II, Harris

Tràigh Mhòr, isle of Harris

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

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TECHNICAL CORNER

Jan Harris Some Thoughts On Composition What makes a successful landscape photograph? It’s a very subjective question, but one measure of success can be whether we persuade the viewer to see what we want them to see, or to feel (at least in part) the emotion we wish to convey. In my view composition is particularly important in landscape photography, more so than in, for example, wildlife photography, although all photography benefits from good composition. Composition is the structure imposed by an artist or photographer, commanding the viewer’s eye. Mood, light and other intangibles are important as well, but without composition they become less effective. A snapshot shows the world what your camera sees, but when you create a composition, you show the world what you see. The art of composition was developed by painters, however the techniques are applicable to photography. There is one big difference between painting and photography – painting starts with a blank canvas, and is an additive process, and is not bound by reality. A photographer has less freedom – rather than creating a composition, a photographer must find one, ideally only including the objects they wish to include. Post-processing does allow us to remove or de-emphasize elements, but photography is inevitably more tethered to reality than painting. The real world doesn’t tend to line up the way the photographer would prefer – exploration and patience are required to create and refine good compositions.

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We often talk about ‘The Rules of Composition’; it is worth remembering that good composition does not come from rules – the ‘rules’ come from analysing good composition. The ‘rules’ help us to understand what our brains perceive intuitively. The ‘rules’ should not be followed slavishly – think of them as ‘tools’ not ‘rules’. Don’t force a composition to follow the ’rules’ if that means the composition doesn’t feel right. Rather than thinking about placing elements on thirds or having odd numbers of objects in the frame, I prefer to think of an image in terms of visual balance and flow.

“Rather than thinking about placing elements on thirds or having odd numbers of objects in the frame, I prefer to think of an image in terms of visual balance and flow” To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk – Edward Weston. If you can lead the eye into the picture and create the illusion of 3D perspective in your 2D image, you can create a ‘visual flow’ that pulls the viewer into the image. If the viewer is immersed in the scene they establish an emotional connection with the photograph that keeps them looking at it again and again. This is the pinnacle you want to aim for.

“an emotional connection with the photograph that keeps them looking” Images can be thought of as a combination of shapes, space and depth. Shapes fill the space and bring life to an image, space provides structure to the composition, and depth draws the viewer in. Depth can be created by using perspective cues such as scale, vanishing point, overlap, shadows and shading, and atmospheric perspective. When we are composing a landscape image it is important to allow ourselves time to explore the scene and find the best way to capture it. The place you first got out of the car is unlikely to be the ideal spot to take your photo. You need to explore to find the best angle, and to try variations of your initial composition. As you work and become absorbed in what you are doing you can enter a ‘flow state’ that promotes creativity. Your camera’s position relative to a scene will determine not only the content of your composition but the structure. No lens matches the binocular field of view of human eyes; lenses alter the reality and affect how the photographer sees the world. They also allow us to select the area of our composition, including or excluding elements. Your distance from the subject and your height and position relative to it, your focus and depth of field all affect your composition. A good photograph is knowing where to stand – Ansel Adams.

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


TECHNICAL CORNER

Mill on the Stour by Jan Harris

Winter Rorbu by Jan Harris

In this image, ‘The Mill On The Stour’, I have used the diminishing scale of the lily pads on the river and the river width to give depth to the image, and to lead the eye towards the mill, despite its small size in the frame.

In this image a triangular composition of the red poles, red rorbu, and the mountain keeps the viewer in the frame As the eye moves between the elements of the image.

Step into the Blue by David Harris Callanish Dawn 2 by Jan Harris In this image of Callanish stone circle the shadows of the stones form a triangle that leads the eye towards the focal starburst of the sun; the lit stones on the left act as a counterpoint to balance visual mass of the sun: Landscape Magazine Winter 2018

Balance depends on the visual mass of elements in the image. Visual mass is the strength of an element in an image - a small but eye catching element can have a large visual mass. Using colour contrast makes a small area of sky through a drain have a large visual mass in this image: 27


A QUESTION OF LANDSCAPE

Cameron Jinks ABIPP Part 1: Emptied Land In the first part of a two part article, Cameron considers how history and culture play their part in a landscape and how an individuals photographic practice communicates these aspects of a landscape.

Dun Carloway, Isle of Lewis (3), April 2008 Having been born in Scotland but moved away when very young I have become fascinated by the country’s history and culture. I have, in the last 10 years combined this interest with my photography and ventured into the landscape of the highlands with particular interest in historically significant sites.

it is easy to imagine that this was always the case.

The highlands are now relatively empty with only about 20% of Scotland’s population living in the region, looking at the bleakness of the landscape

However, some of the sites I photograph, Aoneadh Mor for example, were forcibly cleared of their tenant farmers in the nineteenth century to make way

“ventured into the landscape of the highlands with particular interest in historically significant sites”

for more profitable sheep. The result of these, often brutal, ‘clearances’ was a reduction in the population from about 50% of Scotland’s total to 20%. The Highland region of Scotland remained untouched by the Roman invasion and therefore has a unique place in British history. Little is known of Scotland’s early history, but some traces can be seen in the landscape in the form of Iron Age brochs and Pictish symbol stones.

28 Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


A QUESTION OF LANDSCAPE What is now fairly well known is that after the Romans left in the 5th century, Scotland was made up of at least 4 major kingdoms. Dal Riata in the West, who were Gaelic, though there is some debate as to whether they migrated from Ireland, or were indigenous to the region. The Picts in the East, who were Brythonic and seem to have merged with their Gaelic speaking neighbours some time in the 9th-10th centuries to become the kingdom of Scotland. In the South West was the Kingdom of Strathclyde, also Brythonic, which was absorbed into the kingdom of Scotland sometime during the 10th-11th centuries, and in the South East the Angles in Lothian, which came under Scottish control in the 10th century. The formation of Scotland

was further complicated by the arrival of the Vikings, who settled in and controlled the Western Isles, the Orkneys and Shetland, and the North of Scotland in what is now Sutherland and Caithness with these regions coming under Scottish control gradually between the 13th and 15th centuries. The Highland region and the Western Isles continued to be a semi- independent region controlled by the MacDonald ‘Lords of the Isles’ until the 15th century, when James IV seized their estates and titles. However this control was tenuous and the conflict among the clans of the region was rife until the virtual demise of highland culture in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion in 1745-6. Control of the land altered during this time, with the clan

chiefs’ role changing from that of protector of the clan’s interests to landlords, and this enabled them to evict their tenant farmers to make way for vast sheep farm in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of these evictees emigrated to Canada and America at this time, and also to the growing cities at the time of the industrial revolution. It is now estimated that 432 people control half of the privately owned land in Scotland and has led the Scottish Government to try and enact radical land reforms. This is the history that I am trying to document through my images.

Port a’ Bhata (3), Moidart, March 2012 29 Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


THE LAST LIGHT

Robert Brittle ARPS An occasional series of discussions about a particular photograph, that questions some of certain predefinitions in the genre of Landscape Photography. A Landscape image, more often than not, is described by words such as ‘picturesque’, beautiful’, ‘sublime’ and many gushing phrases with similar meaning, yet the landscape most of us see on a daily basis can be described as anything but and very few take the time and effort to create imagery in such places. Vanda Ralevska is one such photographer that has attempted to depict every day landscapes and create images with not only aesthetic quality but challenges the viewer to see beauty in the every day. Electricity pylons and associated infrastructure criss cross our landscapes the world over. They stand sentinels to man’s predisposition for the hunger for power, for our everyday lives, charging all sorts of gadgets, including of course, batteries for our cameras whether attached to a mobile phone or not.

Electric Valley by Vanda Ralevska Electric Valley shows all the hallmarks of a traditional landscape, rolling countryside, distant horizons, shadow creating depth but stood right in the middle is this man made steel structure. A central position in the image gives it dominance over everything else in the scene, if it had been a tumbled down ruin, I’m sure Len Williamson would testify there would be 50 plus photographers arguing over where the best spot to stand is, but it isn’t and I bet Vanda had the place to herself?

More on Vanda’s project Lines in the Landscape can be found on her website mylenscapes. co.uk, Vanda will also be speaking at the groups conference in Spring 2019 and will feature in issue 2. 30

Landscape Magazine Winter 2018


Royal Photographic Society Landscape Specialist Interest Group Members Day Sunday 25th November 2018 10am to 4.30pm Group Members and Non-Members are invited to attend the 2018 Members Day, we hope as many members as possible will be able to attend, held at the Smethwick Photographic Societies’ venue at Old School House, Smethwick, West Midlands. The Members Day is an opportunity for members to meet informally to discuss and present their photographs, it gives the organisers great pleasure to announce Wayne Brittle as the events guest speaker. The members day is designed to be both informative and fun for all, with the morning including a talk by Wayne followed by a question and answer session. The afternoon will be an opportunity for those who want to, to show either Digital or Print Images* and for informal discussion.

Guest Speaker - Wayne Brittle Along with the talk, recent images are included bring along a notebook and pen as there is a lot of information available during the event.

Event Held At Smethwick Photographic Society The Old School House Churchbridge Oldbury West Midlands B69 2AS

Tickets Available via the Landscape Groups events page http://www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/landscape/events Tickets are free for group members and ÂŁ6.00 for non-members Tickets include morning & afternoon Tea & Coffee, please bring a packed lunch * Please select the ticket type (including show) at time of booking, to be allocated at presentation time slot (between 13.30 & 16.00) up to a maximum of 20 images (digital or print)


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Profile for Royal Photographic Society

RPS Landscape Special Interest Group Magazine, Winter 2018  

Royal Photographic Society - Landscape Specialist Interest Group Magazine - Winter 2018 New Group Magazine dedicated to landscape photograp...

RPS Landscape Special Interest Group Magazine, Winter 2018  

Royal Photographic Society - Landscape Specialist Interest Group Magazine - Winter 2018 New Group Magazine dedicated to landscape photograp...