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Perkin Elmer 1010A microdensitometer
CREDIT: Microdensitometer. From a technical paper by Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS

President's news

News from RPS President Dr Alan Hodgson ASIS HonFRPS
Liberation Photography
Preserving our heritage
The role of Photography

How do we store, collect and make heritage images available? Are we documenting the present for the future and storing it in a form that will remain accessible? A focus for some of my International Standards work.

Raised Emboss On ID Card
Collodion conference
A focus on perfection?

Conference attendance serves as a prompt for reflective practice. The Collodion conference reminded me of the value of artefacts in images.

Magic Lantern
An international journey
And through our history too

A journey around the world, despite never leaving my desk. Visits to the RPS AGM followed by the International Audio Visual Retrospective. 

Is this acceptable?
Campaign for Dark Skies

My particular creative genre is twilight photography; substantially affected by light pollution. The RPS has a role representing photography and photographers on issues like this.

Optical Profile
CREDIT: Rachel Saunders & Craig J Williams, University of Manchester
Leaders in their field - Amélie Guillot-Saguez
A thought experiment - what would she do now?

Amélie Guillot-Saguez was trained as a painter and one of the first women to own a Daguerreotype studio, active in Paris by 1844.

Spider On Fern
Animal magic
What is real and what is not

A number of recent events had me pondering the portrayal of reality in photography. The first was the current copy of The RPS Journal; the second one of our on-line talks.

Ferns by Anna Atkins
CREDIT: Anna Atkins, R. K. Mellon Family Foundation, National Gallery of Art Washington DC
Leaders in their field - Anna Atkins
Connections across Society

Looking at some of our International work in the Benelux Autumn eJournal. In there I found the work of Anna Atkins, a leader in the field of photo illustration.

Halftone Print Detail
Photography as a trade
Functional photographer at work

I refer to myself as a functional photographer, one who uses photography as a part of their work but where the image forms only part of the workflow.

RPS Auditorium
CREDIT: Rebecca Faith
AGM 2020
Hope to see you all there

The RPS AGM will be held on 26 September 2020 at 1000 GMT online. I am planning to return to the tradition of delivering a President’s address at this event. Hope you can join us!

Passing By
Just passing through
Images with personal symbolism

A little personal symbolism taken from a trig point atop a Pennine hillside at around midnight in July. A journey from Jupiter to Saturn.

Potatoes Benedict
The importance of Food
Doing fun stuff for a social purpose

Two food based competitions for you. With personal thanks to Benedict Brain for a fun and worthwhile effort on Potato Photographer of the Year.

CREDIT: Oliver Van Zwanenberg
Supporting our Students
Photography education extends into Science too!

I have been enjoying some of the creative work of photography students in the new look RPS Journal. Here is an example of those whose studies take them into the Science of Photography.

Identity Docs
Photography and Identity
Exploring the issues in the new look RPS Journal

Considering the issues of identity in the Graduates section of the new look RPS Journal of July / August, looking at the work of MA and BA students.

ISO Speed
What is this ISO stuff?
And why it is important to us

Ever paused for thought when you "set the ISO" setting on your camera? What does ISO actually mean? Let's take a look.

Mike Taylor
CREDIT: Evan Dawson
Thanks Mike
Saying Goodbye to our Chief Operating Officer

Saying Goodbye to Mike Taylor as Chief Operating Officer of the RPS. This image is a testament to his achievements. From all at the RPS, Thanks!

SIR Image
CREDIT: NASA. From the collection of Alan Hodgson
What is Photography?
This is photography too!

I am still studying  the new look RPS Journal and I have spent some time considering connections with the Science images. This is Photography too!

Working as a team
CREDIT: Evan Dawson
Working as a team
Welcome to Evan Dawson, our new CEO

This week we bid welcome to Evan Dawson who takes up his post as RPS Chief Executive Officer. He comes from the performing arts charity sector but is an accomplished photographer too.

Comet Neowise By Eye
Why I do photography
Seeing my unseen

We all have different reasons for doing photography. Photography is my route to seeing my unseen and on this occasion a comet in the night sky.

Bioluminescent Fungus
CREDIT: Brian Menzies
Connecting across our community
Saying Hello in Australia

I had recently taken part in an online meeting of the Australia Chapter. I was particularly taken by the image of bioluminescent fungus.

Alexandra Eye
CREDIT: Alan Hodgson ASIS HonFRPS from the work of Chloe Alexandra
Studying print close up
Evolution of the printed image

I have a background in print quality so as I had recently received the new look RPS Journal I was interested in taking a closer look.

Beekinpully Permauls Swing At Mariammah Covil
CREDIT: Linnaeus Tripe, Patrons' Permanent Fund, National Gallery of Art Washington DC
An Artist in Photography
Pulling some thoughts together

Linnaeus Tripe was appointed "Artist in Photography" on an official expedition in the mid 1850s. I found his title as fascinating as the print.

Young Goldfinch
Why do photography?
A question I asked myself this week

A rhetorical question but one I found interesting this week, prompted by three recent events. Why do you do photography? And what do you get out of it?

RPS Journal
It's the RPS Journal!
Looking forward to a good read

The new look RPS Journal has just dropped through my door. Time to get out the reading glasses, pour a cup of tea and get stuck in.

Sojourner Truth
CREDIT: Pepita Milmore Memorial Fund, National Gallery of Art Washington DC
Leaders in their field - Sojourner Truth
Different ways of using portraits

I came across story of Sojourner Truth, who sold her photographs as cartes-de-visite to raise money for abolitionist and women's rights causes.

3D Printing
CREDIT: Polly Greensmith
Sources of inspiration
Stuff to be rightfully proud of

Do what you can do as well as it is possible for you to do. That should be your ambition. Do it well.

Taking inspiration from working together.

Franklin the printer
Creative thoughts on portraits through the ages
Gathering the creative strands

This was a day when three strands of creative thought came together as I reflected on portraits in print and stone.

Pinhole Montage
Pictures of pinholes
An indoor photography project

The rain has arrived, putting an end to twilight photography for a while. So time to look for different sources of photographic inspiration, starting with an RPS online event.

Starburst At Sunrise
Learning by doing
Exercising my Aperture project

A quick exercise in understanding. As the sun rises through a gap in the trees I should see a change in the starburst effect from sharp to diffuse spikes.

Moon And Contrail
A sort of meeting
Creating the memories of lockdown

I will look on contrails in a different way when all this has past. And images like this will be part of my memory journey of the pandemic.

Katie & Radka
CREDIT: Dietmar Wueller
Leaders in their field - Katie Bouman
Studying stuff in The RPS Journal again

Katie led one of the software efforts to produce the iconic black hole image featured in The RPS Journal. I was lucky in that I heard her describe this work at a conference I attended in San Francisco earlier this year.

Journal 1898
CREDIT: RPS Journal 1898
Printed photography
Stuff to study in the RPS Journals

A thought experiment. Take an RPS Journal article and rewrite it without the use of printed photographs. It would certainly look very different.

The Sunflower
CREDIT: Paul Mellon Fund, National Gallery of Art Washington DC
Portrait photography in print
Studying stuff in The Journal

I am fascinated by the ways in which different photographers choose to represent their sitter in portrait photography. Here are some examples I have spotted recently.

DIY Pinhole Kit
Pinhole photography - sort of
Inclusive stuff for an indoor project

An inclusive project that will work anywhere and even if for whatever reason you are cannot venture out for your photography.

Aperture Starbursts
Starbursts revisited
Studying stuff through a lens aperture

The aim of this part of my Aperture project is to generate the knowledge I need to enable the creative use of starbursts. Here is a series of five all taken on the same evening.

Past Is Prologue
Where do we go from here?
Studying stuff to move on

Studying stuff and learning from our on-line events. The past informs us; what we do next is up to us. On-line events are part of our present and of great potential for our future.

Moon And Aircraft
Viewing conditions good
Keeping in touch across communities

After a day interacting across communities viewing conditions for twilight skies looked good. But I had a little interloper!

The Arctic Regions #36
CREDIT: Dunmore & Critcherson. Gift of Mary and Dan Solomon to National Gallery of Art Washington DC
Travel, documentary and fine art
Studying stuff in the work of others; then and now

When studying the work of others I always find it useful to compare and contrast. I see travel, documentary and fine art in the works of Chloe Dewe Mathews and Dunmore & Critcherson.

Cator Family Ablum
Photobooks - now and then
Stuff to study and stuff to do

A study from a long standing interest in photobooks. Modern and historical perspectives of the genre - stuff to do and study!

Phototherapy Prints
Stuff for a social purpose

The Photo-Therapy Day online symposium, a joint event with the 'GRIFO' Photo-Therapy Research Group contained wonderful examples of photography with a therapeutic purpose.

The Great Wave, Sète 1857, Gustave Le Gray
CREDIT: Victoria And Albert Museum, London
Leaders in their field - Gustave Le Gray
Studying stuff - layers the hard way

Gustave Le Gray was primarily an artist, mixing the art of composition with the then emerging science of photography.

M81 82 HST Subaru S
CREDIT: Robert Gendler, Roberto Colombari, Hubble Legacy Archive, Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Spitzer Telescope
Happy Birthday Hubble!
30 years in photography; stuff of inspiration

The Hubble Space Telescope images have been an inspiration to many. Here is my list of stuff to do as it may help you with your thoughts.

Venus As A Banana
On the shoulders of Giants
An exercise in capturing stuff

A challenge for my Aperture project. Can I ride on the shoulders of Galileo and record the phases of Venus with a standard camera lens and DSLR? Just about!

Blue Filtered Landscape
In search of skies
Stuff to study in the past and present

Thinking about the difficulties that Landscape photographers must have had with early photographic materials. I find I learn much better if I try stuff out and here is a little project anyone can try.

Venus And HIP18508
A project on Aperture
Illustrating stuff with overexposure

One of the less extensively explored use of aperture control is the production of starbursts features. Try it out as a creative use of gross overexposure.

Ruth Harriet Louise Potato
In the style of Ruth Harriet Louise
Stuff to do for a social purpose

Moving on with ideas for Potato Photographer of the Year, this time in the style of Ruth Harriet Louise, early Hollywood photographer.

Punishment Hooks Sachsenhausen Memorial
A moment of reflection
75th anniversary of VE day

Today nations together shared moments of reflection. To the whole RPS community on this day I wish you safety, peace, and good health.

Full Moon
A sense of community
Doing stuff together at this time

The interactions across the RPS community community are important to me. Examples of doing stuff with members old and new.

Agfa Billy 1
Just some old camera?
Stuff to see and build

Stop and see some possibilities for stuff to do. IR conversion for analogue use, digital conversion for monochrome photo. And Potato Photographer of the Year.

Project Aperture
Study stuff - my Aperture project
Sharing some thoughts on camera lenses

Like many photographers I have amassed a set of lenses over the years. The aim of this project is to gain a greater insight into these lenses and why they exhibit such individuality.

Potato Family in the style of Viscountess Jocelyn
Food for thought
Stuff to do and study for a social purpose

I have two "Photography of the Year" awards to share with you, both with a strong social purpose. I recommend both to you as worthy of your consideration as stuff to do and stuff to study.

Interior Of Room
CREDIT: Viscountess Jocelyn, National Gallery of Art Washington DC, R. K. Mellon Family Foundation
Sharing knowledge - now and then
Studying stuff with members past and present

Sharing of knowledge is what membership is all about and goes right back to the origins of the RPS. 

The Great West Illustrated In A Series Of Photographic Views Across The Continent 1869
CREDIT: Andrew Joseph Russell, Avalon Fund and New Century Fund, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Photo books the hard way
Studying stuff in the work of others

Cool and wet this evening so no sky photography. The sky is plain and grey but reminding me of some older work I had studied.

Venus In Pleiades
Sharing our ideas
Doing stuff (sort of) together

One of the great virtues of The RPS comes from the connections across photography. An example of a common project with a fellow member.

Steel Mirror Mount
Weight and see
Building stuff - moon camera part 5

A lesson in staying safe at this point in time and in my photography. Please join me in the same thoughts, stay safe and find stuff to do.

The Eye Of The Sun
Giants of Photography - Lady Elizabeth Eastlake
Studying stuff in the writings of others

I have been studying stuff in the work of Lady Elizabeth Eastlake, a leading proponent of Photography as Art. "Integrating art and science, photography.."

Mission Moon David Eicher
A journey through 3D images
Studying stuff on my bookshelf

Being locked down is a chance to spend time studying stuff. Take a browse around The RPS Shop for a book or gift that motivates you

Trees At A Distance
My camera as an image sensor
Building stuff - moon camera part 4

Just a DSLR image sensor, a 2000mm f/6 mirror and a little persistence. First light achieved for this telescope!

A Chimney In My Mirror
My camera as a camera
Building stuff - moon camera part 3

When I built optical instruments in the past I got into the habit of a quick proof of principle before exploring the full capabilities. Here is an example with my moon camera prototype.

Camera Self Portrait
My camera as a measurement tool
Building stuff - moon camera part 2

Using a camera as a measurement tool. While I was doing this, one selfie of my DSLR, shot in an unusual manner in a telescope mirror.

Camera Configuration
My camera as a notebook
Building stuff - moon camera part 1

I have been promising myself I would build another really big camera. Here is the first step on the way. I get a lot of satisfaction and learning from building stuff. Give it a try.

Crescent Moon
Leaders in their field - Warren De La Rue
Studying stuff in moon photography

On a journey studying stuff around how the changes in equipment, materials and intent have changed across the ages.

CREDIT: RPS Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Giants of Photography - Julia Margaret Cameron
Seeing stuff in the work of others

I was recently studying the work of Ruth Harriet Louise and concentrating on seeing beyond the print into the intent of the work. I was  taken by the parallels with the work of Julia Margaret Cameron.

Ruth Harriet Louise
CREDIT: Self portrait by Ruth Harriet Louise
Leaders in their field - Ruth Harriet Louise
Portrait photography in the Hollywood machine

I visited the John Kobal Foundation exhibition "Hollywood Icons" in Portugal. One photographer from the early days caught my eye - Ruth Harriet Louise.

Hollywood Icon
Stuff to share

The sense of imprisonment as we are confined to our homes. And the release that photography brings for me encapsulated in this image.

Moon And Venus
In search of serenity
Stuff to see and share

A calming moment on a quiet evening with the Moon and Venus. Look out for them and join me in their serenity.

Kaikoura Moon
Now and then
Seeing stuff in Moon photography

One of my favourite objects for photography is our Moon. Try some moon photography from home. Aim for a focal length around 400mm.

Mother And Child
Plight and pleasure
Learning by sharing stuff

"I found photojournalism at its finest, exploring world issues with a combination of the decisive moment and technical excellence."

Irene And Frederic Joilet Curie
CREDIT: A reflection in a Cartier-Bresson image - Tete a Tete Portraits exhibition
On the shoulders of giants
An exercise in seeing stuff

"Study a picture and imagine yourself placed within it. Where would you put yourself? How would it change the message?"

Hunter & Penrose Camera
Truth and Photography
Studying stuff for inspiration

"A lot of my professional work has involved photography to establish truth, for academic papers and to document identity."

IR Conversion
Stuff to do

"We are all facing the prospect of a period isolated from normality due to the infection outbreak... A passion for photography has its place in this..."

Virgin Of The Rocks
CREDIT: © National Gallery, London
Going beneath the surface
The diversity of photographic applications

"Just like Layers in photo editing software artists leave details not visible in the final image."

Cartier-Bresson Portraits exhibition
Giants of Photography - Henri Cartier-Bresson
A masterclass in portraiture

"On view were portraits that capture the who's who of a generation. The power of a portrait before digital and without colour through the work of a maestro, capturing the essence of the sitter."

Ready Steady Jump
CREDIT: Bryan Roberts ARPS
SE region AGM
Another chance for print viewing

"Off to join the RPS South East region AGM today. Not helped by Storm Dennis passing through but made it eventually..."

no.12 The Uncanny
CREDIT: Chirag Jindal
The ground beneath us
And the diversity of Photography

"I have been looking at some interesting, useful and beautiful images of the ground beneath our feet. The first was by the Under 30s IPE award winner Chirag Jindal..."

Image Power
CREDIT: Sandra Roberts LRPS
Out and about with The RPS
The diversity of photography

"Our president, Alan Hodgson, writes about visiting both the London Region Print Exhibition and International Garden Photographer of the Year."

Christina Lewis 2
CREDIT: Christina Lewis
Photography for social purpose
Students making a difference

"I mentioned in a previous entry that I had sat in on a series of presentations at RPS House from local students. I will share with you the creative intent of the student photographer Christina Lewis..."

CREDIT: Mandy Barker
Plastic recycling
And the role of cameras

"At present 79% of plastic is discarded. To meet recycling commitments by 2025 we need to increase recycling rates 3.5 times..."

Smartphone And DSLR
Smartphone photography good is good?

"We cannot afford to criticise pictures just because they are not taken on a high end DSLR..."

Portrait Of Two Boys By William Edward Kilburn,
CREDIT: Robert B. Menschel and the Vital Projects Fund, National Gallery of Art Washington DC
3D Imaging
... then and now

"Back in the USA again, this time San Francisco for the Electronic Imaging conference. I am here mainly for the smartphone imaging content but there is a lot on 3D imaging and holography too..."

Portrait Of The Wife Of William Ward Booth Junior
CREDIT: Victoria & Albert museum collection
Then and now
And a focus on our future

"Still looking at my copy of the December 2019 edition of The Journal arrived. IPE LiDAR image, Robert Gendler who I met at the 2019 Awards evening  but this time my gaze was drawn to 2 images of climate activist Greta Thunberg."

Jaguar E Type
Photography in motion
Automobile photography as a profession

"In a previous item on the diversity of photography I noted my view that we need more examples of real role models to encourage more entrants to photography as a professional..."

Walter Menzie and Derek Birch
Walter Benzie Hon FRPS
Past President, died 15/1/20

"We heard on the 15th January that Walter Benzie, 63rd President of The Society, had died after a long illness."

CREDIT: Jamie Horrigan
The Issue of Identity
... and its many facets

"Do you ever pick up a magazine and find so much interesting content there that it stays on your table for ages?"

Cafe Art logo
Photography, homelessness
...and charitable status too

"We will all be aware of the issue of homelessness within our communities. I have seen a couple of examples recently where photography can make a difference."

Заяц (zayats), Russian for rabbit
CREDIT: Lin Jermakova
The diversity of Photography
The role of education

"Creating new role models is important for us if we are to encourage more entrants to photography as a profession or an interest."

Happy Birthday ISG
CREDIT: Unknown
Happy Centenary ISG!
…and a little reflective practice

"I have been a member of The RPS Imaging Science Group for around 15 years but this is a mere fraction of the Group history. Their first meeting took place 100 years ago this month."

M42 From Oliver Van Zwanenberg
CREDIT: Oliver Van Zwanenberg
Good Picture 2019
A discussion with a Photography student

"The RPS Imaging Science Group runs an annual meeting called Good Picture. Through this event the Group endeavours to show how photography works, and how this can help make you a better photographer."

2019 Awards Al Bovik
CREDIT: Derryn Vranch Photography
Giants of Photography - Al Bovik
Literally and metaphorically

"The Giants of Photography do not all have to be photographers like Fenton and Eisenstaedt. There are giants out there that make an immense contribution "behind the scenes"."

Bristol Royal Infirmary at night
CREDIT: Bristol Royal Infirmary at night © Alice Kenny
Print viewing
And the benefits it brings

"With the move to Bristol we were keen to create links with the Clinical photography unit there and to build the linkage with the RPS Medical Group."

Masters of Print poster
CREDIT: Smartphone photo by Alan Hodgson
Print viewing
And the joy it brings

"I have a background in photo printing and the viewing of prints is a pleasure that has never left me. A few recent events have allowed me to exercise that pleasure to the full."

Perkin Elmer 1010A microdensitometer
CREDIT: Microdensitometer. From a technical paper by Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS
Long road to digital
...tell your story

"I list myself as one of those lucky people that has made a career out of digital imaging. Over the years I have shared the experience across RPS events, international conferences and camera clubs."

Kristjan 9
CREDIT: Jack Latham / National Archives Iceland
The power of photography
Author: Dr Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS

"Reading the visitors book from a couple of recent and complementary exhibitions at RPS House."

Monochrome Camera
CREDIT: Monochrome camera board @ Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS
The heart of the camera
Interested in exploring?

"As a child I had a curiosity about how things worked. This was a significant driver that guided my early interest in photography"

Celebrating Our Heritage
CREDIT: UNESCO World Heritage celebration © Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS
Photo connections and communities
…where do your pictures go?

"I am interested in our photo connections and other communities using photography. I worked in astrophotography for a while so images of the night sky catch my eye."

Fruit And Flowers
CREDIT: National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Paul Mellon Fund
Giants of Photography - Roger Fenton
...a century old lesson in still life

"I have been travelling recently and in 2 very different locations I was able to admire the work of Roger Fenton, a photographer who features strongly in the history of The Society."

Science In The Society
Science in the Society Science need not always equate to Scientific

"A couple of recent RPS events have for me served to illustrate the breadth reached in Photography, our educational remit and our connections to other communities."

191113 RPS Awards 2019 0373 HIGH RES
CREDIT: Derryn Vranch
Denis Thorpe - memories rekindled
...connections across Photography

"There was a lot to admire about the Awards and here I want to concentrate on one of the deliverables that we bring to our community"

Alfred Eisenstaedt
CREDIT: Alfred Eisenstaedt exhibition. Smartphone photograph by Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS
Giants of photography - Alfred Eisenstaedt
...a lesson in photojournalism

"Visited the "Mid-Century Master: The Photography of Alfred Eisenstaedt" exhibition at the Hillwood Estate, Washington DC."

Shanghai Skyline
CREDIT: Shanghai Skyline © Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS
Thoughts from China
...image display, inkjet printing, sustainability

"Shortly after the AGM I left for 2 weeks of meetings in Shanghai, China. Around 4000 of us descended on the city"

AGM 2019
CREDIT: AGM 2019 © Janet Haines ARPS
The 2019 AGM
...and our route to a Sustainable Society

"We passed a number of resolutions at the AGM, including one to consider the Society’s position with regard to climate change."