A group of seven of us met recently at Ranmore Common in the Surrey Hills at what, because of the darkness, felt like a very early hour even though it was almost seven in the morning. We were joining one of the RPS Landscape Member-Led Events, an outing amongst the beech, oak and other native deciduous trees in a natural woodland setting. Peter Stott had kindly arranged an excellent route, very generously sharing some of his favourite locations for autumn woodland photography.
The day started early with a drive from home to our 5am rendezvous at Thurne Staithe, a time when sensible people are still tucked up safely in their beds. But we are landscape photographers, so what the heck. Our group of six RPS members were warmly greeted by our guide and mentor, Justin Minns FRPS, and following introductions, torches in hand, we wandered down to the area of the Thurne Dyke Drainage Mill to meet the break of day.
About four years ago, I felt that my landscape photography had reached a plateau. I was getting bored with visiting honeypot locations and I felt myself falling out of love with the genre. I knew there was something missing in my photographs but I couldn’t identify it.
On the morning of Friday 4th August seven members, including Group Chair, Colin Balfour LRPS, assembled at the Cross Well in the centre of Linlithgow to meet our guide for the day, local resident and award winning photographer, Viv Cotton ARPS.
I have been fortunate enough to attend a previous workshop run by Justin which I both thoroughly enjoyed and found to be of great benefit in helping me to improve my own landscape photography.
This workshop started at 5:00am on “The Staithe at Thurne” which meant I had to set off from my Surrey home around midnight....
The northeast corner of the Norfolk coast has many beautiful beaches and provides, as the workshop group was to discover, a variety of interesting photographic subject matter.
The accompanying photographs were taken in September of 2016 when my wife and I took a short break holiday in the Lake District. Fortunately, the weather was fine with not too much rain, although we did run into one or two storms that came upon us with little warning. We discovered that the weather can change very quickly there.
I don’t have a Leica and prior to my visit to Leica, I had no plans to buy one. Since 2014 I have been a very happy Fujifilm user and didn’t expect to see this changing in the near future. So why would I go to visit Leica HQ?
I recently completed the RPS Landscape Group on-line workshop with David Rosen entitled Temples of Steel and Glass, a workshop spread over five days with a break between the first three and last two in order to create a small body of work.
The recent Landscape Group Membership Survey indicated that 74% expressed interest in attending an outdoor field trip run by a group member. Having started work mid-April, we are already well on the way to running 20 such events - thanks to the willingness of member leaders to volunteer.
Developing a Personal Style by Taking Control of Colour is an intense workshop run by David Rosen as two-hour sessions on three consecutive days held on Zoom. This enabled Landscape Group members in the US and Sri Lanka to join.
All sorts of fun was to be had at the Harrogate conference of the Landscape Group at the beginning of March. A gathering of old friends and new, some inspiring talks, a good choice of shooting attractions, a biting cold wind and what can only be fondly described as a Fawlty Towers-esque venue.
You+2 is an initiative for us all to do something about the plastic pollution we see. For example, imagine if every photographer, after their ‘shoot’, not only took away their rubbish but also at least two pieces left behind by others?
It was 3 years ago almost to the day that I led my first RPS Field Trip on this stretch of the South Pennine Moorland in 2019. On that occasion the day began in thick mist and horizontal, driving rain which the brave participants endured for the first hour and a half, after which we enjoyed some fabulous, dramatic light.
I left my home town in Renfrewshire when I was 19, heading to Bremen for summer work in 1975. After four years there, a French business degree in Reims later, a management posting to Malawi and finally settling down in various counties of England, I returned to Scotland in July 2021 to start my retirement. It has been quite a journey!
For someone with a lifelong love of the Lake District and a growing involvement in photography, a workshop promising a full day in the mountains, along with the chance to reach a significant summit as well as to explore a notable industrial heritage site, was hugely attractive.
Although the Catskill Mountains of New York don’t really count as New England, the “Fall” colours are no less spectacular given the right mix of heat and rainfall throughout the summer. However, I found myself on my travels away from the area around the time of “leaf peaking” magnificence (lots of leaf peaking festivals and fairs at this time of year) and by the time I got back to base in mid-October, all that was left were the last vestiges of glory in isolated pockets.
A promise had been made by the RPS, to see Autumn in Torridon and Wester Ross. Well, six intrepid explorers: Colin Balfour, Douglas Hay, myself, Par Campbell, Tony Ivan Hugh, & Vic Cotton) ably assisted by Mark Banks and Mark Reeves all appeared in Gairloch late on one Sunday in October to find out if the promise could be fulfilled.
We met at 7 AM on the Grand Avenue, Savernake Forest at a point marked on the ‘what3words’ app as ‘biker.deserved.though’. At 7 AM it was so dark that even at ISO 12580 we were still only recording tail-lights - six RPS landscape photographers led by professional photographer Robert Harvey.
The instructions were to meet in the car park at 10.00 am prompt, and the participants were all duly present… trying to make each other heard in the 40 mph wind gusting considerably more that was blowing over the headland. But the sun was shining and it wasn’t cold, such has been the extraordinary weather this year. Our workshop leader Robert Harvey arrived and gave us a clear briefing for the day that lay ahead....
I cannot claim to be a dedicated dawn photographer. It has always been by chance that I have been up and about at the sunrise hour. Take, for example, while staying in a holiday cottage just a stone’s throw from a Hadrian’s Wall it was a whine from our dog that told me he needed to go out. Hence, outside in my dressing gown at around 5 am, I saw a clear starry sky and mist across the nearby fields.
In 2018 we discovered a beautiful area in Northern Spain, a mini Swiss Alps, and this summer saw us return for the third time. On our first trip I took photos with my point and shoot automatic camera. On route back to England I decided to hand in my notice at work and re embark on my creative journey.
Over the course of 4 years, I have made numerous trips to one fantastic part of the UK called Dinorwic quarry. This abandoned quarry that started its mining history in 1787 and eventually closed in 1969, is located to the North West of Snowdonia National park
New York, New York, what a wonderful town! A city I used to know very well having visited annually, for either work or pleasure since my early teens. Then Covid hit and an interlude of over four years before I visited this chaotic, frenetic and exciting city again was inevitable. As with most large cities, New York is made up of a series of boroughs and as you walk from one to another, the atmosphere, architecture and local inhabitants change. Sometimes subtly, more often it is like a slap in the face.
I’m a member of the RPS Landscape Group, but wouldn’t call myself a landscape photographer, unlike my friend who spends weeks looking for the right weather conditions, traipses for miles over rough terrain and waiting hours to get the picture – but he takes brilliant landscape photographs. My main interest is street/documentary photography and capturing a moment where you have little time, but plenty of opportunities to capture another if you miss that one. However, cityscapes are something that really interest me and combines well with my love of street photography.
I am tired of landscape photography!
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a well photographed and atmospheric image of our beautiful planet but I grow tired of the cliches - the endless recurrence of Durdle Door, Assynt, Luskentyre beach or Lofoten, trotted out at every camera club competition
On a bright, sunny and mild October morning 5 keen amateur photographers met with Robert Harvey on Hartland Quay, North Devon. We were all looking forward to a day of landscape photography on this dramatic, unspoilt and relatively unknown area of the North Devon Coast. Robert outlined plans for the day, advising on lenses and suitable footwear for each location - 3 in total on the itinerary.
This excellent workshop on Taking Control of Colour run by David Rosen, consisted of 3 2 hour Zoom sessions on 3 successive days with 6 participants (one of whom was in Perth in Australia!)
David started by talking about colour in photography and how it contributes to the success or otherwise of both representational and fine art photography.
Maplin Sands lies off the coast of Essex beyond the resort of Southend and makes up part of the Thames estuary.
It is a vast area of sand that stretches up to 5km from the shore at low tide and across this area is an ancient footpath – The Broomway – which connects Foulness Island with the mainland.
I spent the pandemic shielding as a clinically extremely vulnerable person. I followed the guidance diligently, isolating indoors and having all my needs delivered to me. After shielding had ended, having spent so many months inside I had lost my confidence in going out and in total it was very nearly 2 years that I did not leave the house. In order to provide myself with motivation and to force myself to get outside again I decided for 2022 I would set myself the challenge of learning how to consistently take good landscape photographs (not just the odd lucky snapshot).
The Marais is a region of wetland in SW France. Covering an area of 25 hectors it is the largest limestone wetland in the Dordogne and is protected by the Regional Nature Reserves of Aquitaine. Access is by a two kilometre circuit of duckboard walkways and footbridges.
Cornwall, a land of towering cliffs, rugged moorland and deeply incised river valleys doesn’t necessarily suggest flat and minimal landscapes yet living in a county, bursting with honey pot locations, didn’t stop us signing up for Alex Hare’s remote workshop, “Flat and Minimalist Landscapes”. Having listened to Alex’s talks and enjoyed the book making workshop he runs with Lizzie Shepherd, we had been inspired by how he uses classic styles and approaches to finding unique viewpoints. We wanted to move further away from planting our tripods where so many others have placed theirs.
As Shakespeare wrote of “May’s new-fangled mirth” the weather did seem to be toying with us on a workshop led by Philip Bedford to the Firle Beacon and the wider South Downs on the 19th May. We were treated to three seasons from dawn to midday, which never failed to obscure the beauty in this East Sussex corner of England’s newest National Park.
To celebrate the New Year, I went with my Wife and a couple of friends for a week’s break staying in Marhamchurch near Widemouth Bay just outside of Bude, Cornwall. It was a long-delayed break having been booked two years previously and then delayed due to Covid.
A good motto for a photography workshop, it seems to me, would be to expect the unexpected. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when on a workshop with Mark Banks, entitled ‘Seeing in black and white’, we started off looking at possibly the most colourful line of beach huts that I’ve ever seen.
This was part three of the trilogy of workshops that I had been fortunate enough to attend during the Autumn of 2021 and this location was in stark contrast to the autumnal woodland settings of the first two workshops. We were gathering at Southwold pier in Suffolk to spend the day visiting 3 locations on the coast – with hardly a tree in view!
John Updike wrote the following “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain there would be no life”. Well, on a workshop led by Mark Banks at Falling Foss in the North York Moors National Park on Saturday 30th October, we were graced with rain for most of the morning and the early part of the afternoon.
Ten days after a successful trip to Hatfield Forest for my last RPS Landscape group workshop – I was off driving west along the M4 to meet up with Robert Harvey to search out some photographic gems in Wiltshire.
This area of Sussex has become a favourite English location for photography where I’m starting to gain a deeper understanding of varied seascapes and shorelines, big views and more intimate images. I’ve seen Rachael Talibart’s work and been on a few of her one-day workshops and, having previously done days with Philip Bedford around the Devils Dyke and Alfriston, I booked his Seven Sisters workshop as soon as it became available online.
You know the feeling. You take the card out of the camera and pop it into the computer. Excitement rises, tempered by history. So often your hard work has been wasted; or at best compromised. There’s a distraction on one of the edges. Fancy not noticing the tree crossing the horizon. Why didn’t you move another metre to the left or right? And worst of all; the main interest is not quite pin sharp.
I don’t know about you, but once in a while I like to book some time off work and go ‘somewhere new’ and challenge myself to capture some images outside my usual ‘comfort zone’. I like to try and get away around October time so, in search of inspiration, I had another look at my Landscape Photographer of the Year (Collection 13) book and was drawn to an image by Chris Lauder (page 168) taken at Loch Ard.