Joint Field Trip with the Travel Group

11 November 2014

Region: South East

Another successful field trip to Rye held in conjunction with the Travel Group. Some of those who had attended the field trip last year brought prints to show and tell. The Southeast Region Organiser, Terry McGhie ARPS, gave an overview of the region's activities and asked members for their comments.  Then, a brief introduction to Travel Photography by Liz Rhodes, Chairman of the Travel Group, followed by a presentation of prints by Chelin Miller LRPS. We then set off to explore the photographic opportunities offered by the town and the harbour. To see photographs taken by participants visit the Rye Gallery

Travel Photography - By Liz Rhodes

To travel:  ‘Make a Journey’; the action of travelling; journeys, especially abroad.

Photography:  ‘taking and processing of photographs’

Ever since I became Chairman of the RPS Travel Group I have been wrestling with the idea of what is travel photography?   What do we mean by it and why has it become a ‘genre’ within the photographic world?   Books on travel photography have suddenly sprouted on shelves containing all sorts of work on photography and some time ago I came across a publication entitled ‘Travel Photography made easy’.    Then there are competitions on the theme of travel photography, such as ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’ and categories for ‘travel photographs’ in other competitions, such as the ‘Outdoor Photographer of the Year’ and, of course as members of the RPS you can go for a distinction in Travel.

What makes a travel image? The RPS Distinctions handbook sets out the following:

The answer is virtually anything that records an impression of a time and place, i.e. environment, portraits, architecture, landscape, street life, still life if it identified a location, an event or show, qualifies as photographic travel.   There is no need to travel to the far ends of the world;  travel photography can begin with stepping outside your front door.  

For the purposes of putting together a panel for a Distinction, the actual place which the photography depicts is not of great importance. It can be literally anywhere in the world but it should be entirely in one place or region which can be as small as a beach or as large as a country. A panel should focus on a theme, which could relate to a journey from place to place to aspects of a particular place, landscapes, seascapes or architecture of a region, to an event or activity carried out at a particular place or of the people of a country, etc.

Thus, overall, it is about capturing a sense of place.


Some Tips to help improve your images:

- Pre-plan your visit, do some research, but be open to serendipity

- Set yourself a project, e.g. doors, archways, patterns

- Be culturally aware

- Try to use any instantly familiar landmarks as a backdrop to something less familiar and more interesting

- Vary the angles of your shot – you don’t always have to shoot perfectly vertical or horizontal images

- Focus in tight on some interesting details that give you a flavour of the place you are visiting (this is rarely suitable for a stand alone image)

- Fill the frame

- Try something different

- Stay alert and ready:  look for local colour, e.g. distinctive, colourful architecture

- Show scale


Some information about Rye, Medieval Gem of the Cinque Ports

One of the best preserved medieval towns in England, Rye is home to the enchanting cobbled Mermaid Street, the impressive Norman church of St Mary’s, a rich selection of specialist shops and a thriving fishing fleet.

The famous Mermaid Inn was once the haunt of notorious smugglers, the Hawkhurst Gang. 

Camber Castle, built by Henry VIII is located in the dramatic Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Rye was once surrounded on three sides by the sea and its maritime heritage dates back to Norman times. To defend it against frequent attacks from the French, Rye became an ‘antient town’ of the powerful Cinque Ports Confederation.

Take time to discover its architectural treasures and narrow passageways.

Climb the tower of St Mary’s Parish Church for fine views to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and the beautiful hilltop town of Winchelsea, with its maze of medieval wine cellars.

Rye has always been a magnet for writers and artists. Lamb House, a National Trust property, was once the home of Henry James and later E.F.Benson, creator of the Mapp and Lucia books.  The artists Paul Nash, Edward Burra and Captain Pugwash creator, John Ryan all lived in Rye. Today a wealth of art and photography galleries thrives in the town.


To see more images by members taken on the day visit the Rye Gallery.

Feature photo by Lynda Morris LRPS

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12 November 2014


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