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May 2019 NO.3

The 2019 Members' Print Exhibition 2nd - 26th August: Edinburgh 6th - 21st: December: Doncaster Our annual print exhibition roadshow is now well underway. Over 100 members' images are on display this year, whilst the opening exhibition in Croydon was extended until the end of March, allowing more visitors and members to view the pictures.

Mike Taylor, RPS Chief Operating Officer, enjoys the Croydon Exhibition. (Photograph by Wendy Meagher)

Welcome to the Spring edition of our Newsletter. Much has happened since our previous edition and we hope to give you a flavour of this, plus tempting you with events to come. Particular thanks go to Visual Art members Fred Barrington, Ray Higginbottom, David Pollard and Marilyn Taylor who have taken time and commitment to share their thoughts with us this month. Over time, we are hoping to feature more content from members – after all this is your newsletter, not the committee's, so get your thinking caps on. Contact any member of the committee with your great ideas.

All selected entries are listed on our microsite at http://www.rps.org/special-interestgroups/visual-art/about/members-exhibition2019 and all images plus narrative will be printed in the next edition of our magazine due out later this summer. During August a selection of prints will be included in the 157th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography organised for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Contact http://www.edinburghphotosalon.org.uk for more details. As many of you are already aware, we are aiming to provide an additional venue for our 2019 exhibition. This will be at The Point in Doncaster from the 6th of December until the 21st of December. More details will be provided in our next newsletter. But to make this a really successful event and showcase the work of the Visual Art Group and the RPS in general, we will be aiming to involve some of the local photographic community – whether members of VAG or not. We will be contacting regional RPS groups and local photographers in the coming months, but if any VAG members who live within driving distance of Doncaster would like to become involved, then it would be particularly useful as unlike previous exhibitions your committee members do not live close by and this is a new venture for us so we need your support on the ground. Please contact Janie Chapman for more information on this at visualartsec@rps.org.


To whet your appetite further for this year’s exhibition here is an insight into what inspired two of our winning entries. Gloomy Sandwich by Fred Barrington ARPS. Visual Art Group Exhibition 2019. Highly Commended. “The main architecture is a museum of Ocean and Surf in Biarritz, designed by Steven Hull. I was attracted by the strong directional shadows and diagonals leading to the bench at the back. The strong shadows with the white architecture presented challenges in keeping details in both the shadows and the highlights. I was waiting for someone to sit on the bench, but there were not many people around, possibly due to the heat, and my friends are never keen on being models! I actually liked the image without the person, but felt it needed a focal point to make it stand out more. I took the man eating his sandwich in Ljubljana, Slovenia with a view to including it in the image. With him there, I felt that there was a lot of blank sky, and so used a suitable cloud from my very small folder of clouds. I was careful to try to make the shadows realistic. I felt that the cloud above him reflected his seemingly gloomy mood. I do not usually do much compositing in post processing, preferring to take what I see (or at least visualise) in front of me, but I felt that this was an exception that proved the rule.” Twisting into the Light by Marilyn Taylor ARPS. Visual Art Group Exhibition 2019. Highly Commended. “This image has been quite successful for me but it hasn’t always been presented like this.

The bird is an egret, I think, and it was flying overhead when I was on holiday on the beach north of Mombasa. Shot against an unusually white sky, with a bridge camera. Really, nothing special. The background was shot in Kerala, amongst the tea plantations, quite late in the afternoon, with the sun going down. Pleasant, but nothing unusual. Some months later I was looking through a magazine, and I saw a similar image – a white bird, against a soft landscape, and I thought I would try to do the same. It was just a few minutes work to put the egret as a layer on top of the landscape and use the darken blend mode. I didn’t need to do a selection at all! I did manipulate the bird a bit, stretching it out a little. Originally it was a normal 6x4 proportion image, and I presented it like that for a couple of competitions, and then I put it away. However, I was trying to find a suitable image for my Facebook timeline, and I thought if I trimmed the image to a 16:9, it would do the job. I moved the bird a little to fit better with the shape of the hills. I feel embarrassed to say that I don’t quite understand why it is successful. I’ve never been very good at ‘less is more’, but that’s obviously the key to the success of this image. If there’s another moral here, it’s that even ordinary photographs can be combined with others to produce a work of art that anyone would be proud to have on their wall.”


Residential Weekends Autumn 2019 27th – 30th September: Liverpool Windsor has come and gone leaving fond memories for those of us who were fortunate enough to attend. Comments on our Facebook page include: “the wonderful Windsor VAG weekend of listening, looking, exploring, comradeship and of course photography, which is why we were there”

some of the city's best attractions. Scheduled speakers include Nat Coalson ARPS, Carol Emmas, Mark Reeves LRPS, Mark Snowdon ARPS and an old friend of our group, Iñaki Hernández-Lasa FRPS. Nat and Iñaki will also lead workshops. An invitation email should recently have been sent to you all. As our weekends tend to get booked up quickly, we recommend that you get in touch sooner rather than later. Please contact Andreas Klatt for more information on this at visualart@rps.org.

“it was great to see old friends and make new friends. Great speakers too.” “a total success”

Want to improve your critiquing skills?

For a full rundown of the Windsor weekend read Ray Higginbottom’s entertaining blog at http://www.rps.org/special-interestgroups/visual-art/blogs/2019/april/of-batsand-monsters

Developing your critiquing skills is vital to be able to comment effectively on friends’ and colleagues’ images but, more importantly, it is also an aid to improving your own photography.

Here is one of the highlights to tempt you:

This takes time and commitment, but the Visual Art Group can help by providing you with a comfortable framework within which to practice and hone these skills.

“Rhiannon Adam gave a presentation that had the audience transfixed. Her photography and projects covered both art and social documentary. She spent some time giving us an insight into her colourful history and, in particular, her project working on the Pitcairn Islands, documenting the isolated community where much of life has been led in the shadow of convicted child rapists. Full of anecdotes and some striking images, both polaroid and medium format film, she wove a dark tale of loneliness, the passing of time and the strange history of the island. It was thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking. Supper was calling and we left to return later to share and discuss some of the group’s projected images. There followed another early night for some, whilst the bar stalwarts discussed the day's events over a drink or three.”

Another opportunity to join in the fun comes in the autumn when we descend on Liverpool. Our base will be the Atlantic Tower Hotel, overlooking the waterfront from a central location within walking distance to

We have been offering both print and email circles for many years, operating on a monthly cycle and enabling members to post images for comment and feedback within a positive and supporting environment. In addition, some circles vote for the best 3 images of the month and some do not, depending on the preferences of their members. We are always pleased to have new circle members, with new ideas, new experiences and techniques to share. Please contact Gill Dishart for more information on this at Gill@dishart.plus.com


Email circle member David Pollard ARPS provides us with an insider’s view. “I joined the Visual Art Group about ten years ago, mainly because it offered Print and Email Circles. My main interest is in a photojournalistic style, mainly street and documentary photography, and so circles that concentrated solely on visual art wouldn’t have appealed to me. I joined Email Circle One (EC1) which was a general, anything goes, forum, with members photographing a wide variety of subjects in diverse styles. I now belong to EC3 which is also a general photography forum. My approach is to assess whether the photographer has achieved their objective in choice and treatment of subject and to make positive and I hope helpful suggestions for improvement. I also make sure that I comment on the submissions before looking at other circle members’ comments, so I am not influenced by others. Every month I look forward to my first sight of the month’s images with their amazing variety of subject and treatment.”

Annual General Meeting 2019 We had a successful AGM in Old Windsor with some 40 individuals, surprisingly preferring to hear about our Annual Report than be in the hotel bar. The committee was duly elected and business speedily undertaken. For those of you that are interested, the full committee contact details and the minutes of the meeting are available on our micro-site at http://www.rps.org/special-interestgroups/visual-art/about/annual-generalmeeting.

Farewell to Old Friends We have said goodbye to Robert and Jay Charnock who have stood down from the

committee this year. Many of you will know Rob and Jay and appreciate their hard work and commitment to the Visual Art Group over many years especially their key role in delivering a successful members' print exhibition year on year. We wish them all the best with their future plans.

Distinctions Successes We say a big congratulations to our members who have gained their RPS distinctions this year so far: John Sanchez LRPS, East Midlands Region; Claire Wilson LRPS, South West Region; Robert Herringshaw ARPS (Conceptual and Contemporary), Western Region; and Susan Hutton ARPS (Travel), East Midlands Region. We hope to be able to bring this information to you on a continuing basis.

Useful Contacts Chairman: Andreas Klatt ARPS t: 01608 684848 e: visualart@rps.org Secretary: Janie Chapman LRPS t: 01327 342226 e: visualartsec@rps.org Membership Secretary: Mark Deutsch t: 07736 480227 e: mrkdeutsch@aol.com Web editor: Michael Butterworth LRPS t: 01295 710348 e: visualartweb@rps.org Circles: Gill Dishart ARPS t: 01332 874841 e: gill@dishart.plus.com

Website address http://www.rps.org/special-interestgroups/visual-art

Profile for Royal Photographic Society

VAG Newsletter No. 3 May 2019  

Welcome to the Spring edition of our Newsletter. Much has happened since our previous edition and we hope to give you a flavour of this, plu...

VAG Newsletter No. 3 May 2019  

Welcome to the Spring edition of our Newsletter. Much has happened since our previous edition and we hope to give you a flavour of this, plu...

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