RCPS Press Report 31st December

Christmas is over and thoughts turn to the New Year. For some it may be the time to enjoy Santa’s gifts of photographic gear, a new lens, a new camera, software, tripod, bag or just a lens cloth! We return on 4th January with entries due in for the Landscape competition. (Up to three prints and up to three digital projected images each with your membership number, a title and an entry form). The rules for this competition state that ‘Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, land or sea, sometimes vast and unending but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features such as urban areas. A good landscape image depicts the spirit of a place at a point in time. Images may be in colour or monochrome’. The judging, by Elaine Ligo, will be on 18th January.
On the 4th January also we shall be Getting Down and Dirty with Paula Beaumont whose photographic journey started with an appreciation of Yorkshire scenery, although she does admit that her parents were both photographers and she used to love the magic of seeing her dad develop pictures in a darkroom. Sometimes she is gripped by a view along a country lane or by a sky or a scene that cries out to be photographed there and then, at that moment and in that light! Sometimes she knows what she wants and has to go in search of it, being both determined and patient. She is no stranger to lying in the snow or a wet and muddy field just to get an angle on a shot, or striking up relationships with country characters whose portraits she wants to take. Paula looks for the beauty in a picture not only with the capture of a moment but also with elements more timeless and enduring with which people can connect. She says that we all see the world differently and she wants us to share her vision of it with the images she will show us. Her business, Paula Beaumont Photography, has gone from strength to strength in recent years. She shoots around twenty-five weddings a year, runs a fabulous garden studio where she specializes in newborn photography and sells many landscape prints online and at exhibitions. She has just been awarded ‘Qualified’ status in the Photo Guild, which assessed her not only excellent photographic capabilities but tested her customer service credentials as well. It should be a good night and as ever guests are welcome at £3 per adult.
Looking further ahead there is a change to the advertised programme on 11th January when Kathryn Widdowson, who was to have been our first speaker of the new season last October but became ill and had to back out, will be with us in place of the Image Editing workshop. Still further ahead Monday, 25th January is the closing date for entries in the Sport and Journalism competition. More will be written about Kathryn and the aforementioned competition next week.
Finally, this time of year also lends itself to landscapes – the low, often watery sun, long shadows or frosty mornings, even snow present an ideal opportunity to the landscape photographer.
Here are a few tips to improve your snow pictures: Shoot in RAW if you can as this gives you the widest range for changing anything in the processing. Snow and frost can trick the camera into thinking it is brighter than it really is resulting in ‘grey snow’ and a generally darker scene. To combat this, change the meter reading from evaluative to spot and take a reading from the white frost or snow, then press the small +/- exposure compensation button on your camera and add 1.5 to 2 stops to over expose and get the snow looking white. Use aperture priority; focus on one or single shot; shutter speed 1/30sec or faster; ISO 200; white-balance Daylight (or Cloudy if overcast) and use a 50-150mm lens. On some cameras there is a ‘snow mode’ that does the job for you. Of course you need to be well protected against changeable weather, carry a bin-bag if you may need to lie on the ground to grab a particular angle and make sure you can also protect your camera against the wind and rain. If you have to change a lens try and do it either in your car or where there is shelter to minimize the risk of dust and dirt getting into the inner workings.