RCPS Press Report 22nd December 2016

Our final speakers of the year should have come from the Yorkshire Mono Group, a collection of photographers who prefer to work in monochrome. Had they come I am sure that they would have said that ‘monochrome,’ sometimes erroneously called ‘black and white,’ is a more precise definition, encompassing shades of grey with a gradation between whiter tones and black ones, or sepia or any single colour showing the same gradations. Clearly, they would have said, any monochrome image that has a colour popped through it, does not qualify as a monochrome, but a colour image. They would have explained that with great software programmes such as Nik, plus the usual Photoshop and Lightroom, (other software programmes available); there is much to help the monochrome photographer achieve stunning images, especially because contrast and highlighting can really pull out the best in monochrome. They might also have reminded us that where the monochrome photographer loses out is in printing their images because few consumer printers can truly reproduce what a photographer has achieved in the digital darkroom on his or her computer. For this reason, many monochrome photographers thus opt for commercial printing rather than a DIY job. That we did not hear this first hand was unfortunately due to a misunderstanding through a telephone call – clearly arrangements needed to be in ‘black and write!’ (sic). Despite additional e-mails and telephone calls, no one from the Yorkshire Mono Group was available so super-sub Stuart Ward gave us another look at his repertoire of skills, talents and knowledge with an audio-visual presentation of how to produce…. an audio visual presentation! Using Proshow by Photodex (other programmes available), Stuart demonstrated how easy, with practice, it is to produce a slide show with copyright free music and plenty of effects.

The second part of the evening as President Geoffrey Blackman was concerned, was a trip down memory lane, for he treated us to images of Shetland, a place that he and his wife had lived for several years prior to coming to Ripon. Geoff was able to tell us about the island way of life, what had changed, and what had not, backing up his comments with pictures spanning almost a decade. Interestingly he mentioned that around sixty international cruise liners call at Shetland over the summer months and that Cycle Track No 1 starts in the north of Shetland. Other interesting facts included that the island has the smallest Boots shop; only one footwear shop but many hairdressers; it has no midges and otters can be seen around the area of Tesco’s northern most store even in the 24 daylight hours that exist between mid April to mid August, all to service a resident population of around 22,000 people.

Thanks go to both for stepping in at short notice and making it such an interesting evening. During the refreshment break, David Uffindall introduced members to a short questionnaire about RCPS, it being one way the Committee try to engage with members and get a guide as to the direction the Society needs to be going in.

All that remains is to wish everyone a very happy festive season and hope we return refreshed and ready to enjoy the judging of the British Natural History competition on Monday, 9th January.