RCPS Press Report 17th March 2016

We always knew that there are many talented photographers within the Society, including some who do not always seek the limelight. Just occasionally we tempt them to share their work with us, as was the case at our recent meeting with the unassuming and slightly less than inspiring title of ‘Members’ Lecturettes.’ So we started, then the WOW happened! How can anyone get inspired by the dirty back end of a bus and think it worthy of photographing? Angie Willis did, and how! Spotting a parked school bus with a rain and grime sodden back end, Angie whipped out her camera and wove her magic. The results included a series of stunning images with abstract concepts such as a monochrome mound of silver birch trees, a forest, random patterns and, with a hint of colour or textured filters from Photoshop, artistic compositions that would fit perfectly on the wall of a modern apartment. And all from Angie seeing an unclean bus! Spurred on by this subject, Angie next chose a dirty wall with a puddle beneath although most folks, seeing her panoramic image, thought it was a monochrome of sky, mountains, hills, forests and a lake – in fact Angie called it ‘Mountains, Trees and Lakes in my Imagination.’ Angie explained how she achieved this effect by first spotting the dirty wall and reflection, panning the shot with her camera to get an idea of composition then going for it with the ‘panorama’ setting chosen on her camera and finally cropping it, letterbox style in Photoshop before tweaking contrast and sharpness. The result was very good indeed and once again showed that almost any subject offers promise to a photographer with imagination.

Stuart Ward’s presentation was over in a flash, so to speak. He shared some thoughts on how to capture shots of lightening. On a holiday in Canada he had forewarning of an advancing storm. He recognised that lightening is fast and unpredictable, thereby rendering impossible any chance of planning a shot, and is mostly accompanied by pretty awful weather, notably rain, which could damage equipment if not protected in some way. He therefore set his camera up on his motor home dashboard, the windscreen being kept dry by the overhanging roof structure of the vehicle, fixed up his remote control, adjusted the camera setting to ‘Bulb,’ the aperture to f14 and experimented with the ISO setting between 400 and 1600. As the storm came over and the lightening started, Stuart pressed his remote sensor to fire off an exposure of around 3 seconds, sometimes, 4 or even 5, checking the results as he got them. Off course, Stuart got lots of blanks when the lightening did not coincide with the camera aperture being open but on the other hand, when it did, the results were testimony to the technique and had ample wow factor.

Shaun Argent treated us to something quite different. He said that in early 2014 he had lost interest in his photography, however at the end of that year he set himself a challenge to improve the quality of his work, improve his black and white photography and increase the profile of his work. He enrolled on Flickr, a photographic web-site where peer-to-peer evaluation of one’s work is possible and found this a real help in stimulating his interest and in pushing forward with the quality of his photography. We knew Shaun was good before, after all he had one of his pictures published in the International Garden Photographer of the Year Book (Collection 7), but his images this time round were even more exceptional. The misty mornings and evenings and the abstracts of forests and landscapes were still present, thankfully, and when put together with a soundtrack his presentation was vibrant, exciting and inspirational.

Frank Vallely gave the final presentation, using a series of prints of Blea Tarn to illustrate how taking the ‘same picture from the same spot’ a number of times can produce very different results due to changing light, seasons, and the weather. A panoramic print of Tarn Hows was much appreciated, more so because Frank revealed that he had taken it on his iPhone, having got fed up of having a weighty DSLR camera around his neck!

Thanks to everyone who contributed, thus confirming the broad spread of talent, skill and enthusiasm that is within the Society membership.

Next up, on Monday 21st March is our AGM when we hope some new faces will be taking their place on the Committee. There will also be a ‘special event’ so it won’t be your ordinary boring AGM – it never is that anyway and I have sat through many!

Just time to say congratulations to Lyndsay Cambell (1), David Morland (2) and John Elvin (4) who had entries accepted for an International salon organized by the Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU) and to John Elvin, again, for the award of his CPAGB status, (Credit of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain). President Richard Littlefair gave John his Certificate who let slip that Richard had achieved the same some time earlier.

Twenty-five members have put a total of 148 images into the YPU for their exhibition starting on May 7th for one week at Wakefield Town Hall. No one will know if an entry by them has been accepted until the opening day – how exciting is that?

And finally, the Annual Dinner and Awards Night, open to members and their guest(s) is now on Monday 11th April at the Black Lion in Skelton on Ure. Details have been circulated but you need to book in advance because it will be a case of first come, first served if demand outstrips the physical space in the chosen location. For more information about RCPS go to our web