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Way To Go!
CREDIT: Peter Fortune

Editorial by Peter Fortune, Newsletter June 2024

Peter imagines how early photographers like Ansel Adams, who used bulky equipment and limited film speeds, would react to modern photography.

Way to go!

When I first got seriously interested in photography, we used film (in my case metal cassettes of film which had a capacity for 20 or 36 35mm shots). After one had exposed the film and re-wound it back into the cassette, one sent it off to a developing and printing house and waited patiently for the results which came through the post-prints, which were about the size of a postcard and had no borders. If you wanted to take difficult shots, you bought a cassette of 400 ASA film, which was never quite fast enough but was just about affordable, and any faster film was prohibitively expensive. 

Oh how things have changed! 400 ASA is not particularly fast in today's digital world, and one can stretch the ASA for individual shots by several stops and still get acceptable-quality images. If you want to really go into low light photography, thanks to the technological advances in Photoshop and Lightroom and similar software programmes, one can really go mad! I wonder what the great early masters of photography would have thought! I often think about the legendary Ansel Adams, who used a large plate camera (a very heavy load to cart around the wilder US states in all weather!) On looking him up to check my facts for this article, I was surprised to learn that he only died in 1984 and had a very limited range of ASA plates, but he still managed to become one of the most famous photographers of the 20th Century.

Old Rye
CREDIT: Peter Fortune

Old Rye

Now, with memory cards giving us sometimes thousands of images capacity and ASA variable over a vast range (my camera has a range up to 100,000 ASA), we are truly blessed. We do have to be careful not to accept many images in the hope that at least some will work out. We still have to try to cultivate Ansel Adams’ (and many others') unswerving eye for good images. There is no control on any camera that can give you that! It has to come from your brain.

In this month’s Newsletter, we have four articles. Ian Booth writes and illustrates a walk in Edzell Woods; John Rutherford describes a walk in a long disused quarry; Mike Murphy gives his view of a walk that Mike Walker also described in May’s Newsletter; and Suzanne Graff wrote about a walk in the bluebell woods of Ashridge Forrest. This is close to where I live, and though I have photographed there many times, Suzanne shows me how it should be done.

The Landscape Group Committee is holding a meeting on June 8th, and some changes may well be decided upon. However, I am not expecting anything too controversial. The June Newsletter is due out on June 7th, so there will be a briefing about any changes that might be decided upon in the July Newsletter.

For the rest of the year, there will be Newsletters in July, September, October and November. The plan is to have 8 Newsletters in 2025 - in January, March, May, June, July, September, October and November. Currently, the plan is to publish the Newsletter on the 7th of the month, with the copy deadline being the last day of the previous month.

I hope everyone is enjoying the better weather and getting lots of photography done!

Both images © Peter Fortune