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The Old Abandoned Railway by John McDowall
CREDIT: John McDowall

RPS Landscape Group Monthly Competition April 2021

An online Photography competition for RPS Landscape Group Members.


Members submitted another wonderful collection of images to the Landscape Group competition between the 1st and the 23rd of April!  



1st Place

The Old Abandoned Railway By John McDowall

I live in East Hertfordshire and particularly enjoy capturing local landscapes within a 5 mile radius from home, a project that became increasingly more important during Lockdown.

This image was taken earlier in April on part of the site of the former Buntingford railway, an abandoned branch line which used to be served by direct trains from London Liverpool Street. The railway was first opened in 1863 and closed to passengers in 1964.

Much of the line in the area has been either developed for housing or reclaimed by local Farmers. Fortunately some sections of the old line are still visible and make for an enjoyable walk particularly at daybreak.

Having made the effort to rise early, I took a walk along this section which is marked by a beautiful canopy of trees and bushes on either side of the old track. It was a magical moment as the rising Sun was just beginning to glow through the tops of the trees and the air was still with no sound other than the odd Pheasant. The result was exactly as I had anticipated in my minds eye and felt rather special.

The RAW image was processed in Photoshop CC with minor adjustments to exposure and clarity.

You can see more of John's photography on Instagram 


Comments made by RPS Landscape Members when voting for John's image

  • A beautifully composed image capturing the light with a painterly feel and showing great detail. D.M. Shillabeer ARPS.
  • A beautiful but not overdone scene.
  • A beautiful balance of atmosphere, light and shade, with a sense of being drawn through the image to brighter area around the bend. David Penrose LRPS.
  • I chose the Old Abandoned Railway due to the glow in the trees making it look like a tunnel with the light shining at the end. Chas Hockin. 
  • Great atmosphere and well composed
  • It was very close between the old abandoned railway and cuddington brook for me. Cuddington Brook I can almost hear the stream and peacefulness. But the light is beautiful in the image the old abandoned railway so it just edged in front. Caroline 
  • My first place would go to The Old Abandoned Railway. The soft light in this image is beautiful and the leading lines of the track works really well with it.
  • I like the way the composition and the colours draw you in to the image
  • Beautiful subtle lighting. Very atmospheric. Line of old railway leads viewer through the image. 



2nd Place

Rocky Inlet By Sue Searle 

See more of Sue's work on her website

Comment made by a member when voting for Sue's image

  • An intimate landscape capturing lines, shapes and colour that fit together well.



3rd Place

Beached At Seasalter By Steve Finch

Comments made by RPS Landscape Members when voting for Steve's image

  • Simple and elegant. Just right with the long exposure too. Very hard to choose from so many good entries.
  • Lovely long exposure with an interesting composition.
  • I like the way the narrow spit of gravel beach leads from the bottom right corner to the beached boat, the movement in the sky and the reflection in the water has been captured beautifully.
  • Superb composition and exposure engendering peace and tranquillity. 
  • Good use of a leading line taking the eye to the beached boat.  Lovely use of long exposure.



How the competition works

  • Landscape Members email their image.
  • Images are displayed on RPS Landscape group’s website.
  • In the last week of the month, Members are sent a link to a voting form and invited to vote for their favourite 3 images.
  • The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are announced on the 1st of the month and can be seen on the Landscape Group competition web page.
  • The Prize - for the first 6 months the 1st place winner will get to choose one of fotoVUE's photo-location guidebooks.
  • At the end of year all 1st place images will be entered into a further round in the competition and Landscape photographer, Thomas Heaton will select an overall  winner for 2021!

Full instructions can be found on the RPS Landscape Group website.

Look out on the RPS Landscape Group Facebook page for updates.

Landscape Group Events can be found here