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RPS Landscape Group Circles 

Postal Portfolio Print Circle

Postal Portfolio Print Circle

Doug Lodge, Print Circle ‘C’ 

The RPS Postal Portfolio Print Circles use the ‘old fashioned’ method of print to share and critique each other’s works. There are three groups who have between six and ten members in their group and all work in pretty much the same way to share their prints and information. 

To start I, as the organiser of Circle ‘C’, will make an A4 print of my chosen subject and complete an information sheet with a title for the print, details of when, where and why the shot was taken together with information on the equipment used in the taking and the camera settings etc. 

Details of editing and software are added, with information on printers and papers used, with the reasons why and any other information deemed relevant to the print or processes. 

Once completed, the portfolio is posted to the next member in the group who will critique my print with any suggestions on how the shot or print could, in their opinion, have been improved and anything they liked or disliked. They then add their print and detail sheet and forward it on to the next member for their turn. 

And, so it goes on, critiques and prints are added until, eventually, the portfolio returns to me. I then add my second print and detail sheet, critique all the prints now in the portfolio and send it off again so the process becomes self-perpetuating. By having two prints in the portfolio all members are able to see everyone else’s prints and critiques before the first print is removed to make way for the third print when the portfolio, again, returns to me.

Generally, members will take three to four weeks to complete their critiques and add a new print, therefore, Print Circle ‘C’ has two bags of portfolios on the go at any one time. One of the other circles works on circulating three bags at a time. Currently we have bags containing our fourth and sixth prints and numbers five and seven in the second bag. 

As we have added more prints to the portfolios and members have got to know each other through their works it has been enlightening to see that members are willing, in their critiques, to be honest and also to try and help each other to improve and look at their work from a different viewpoint. Members are not sending out prints which try to say ‘look at me, what a fantastic photographer I am’, but rather prints that may have received mixed reviews at camera club competitions or ones where the member is not sure and is looking for guidance on how to make a good photograph or print become an outstanding one. 

The other, important, fact members have picked up on is the difference the type and quality of paper used for the print makes. There is an awful lot of difference to the look, feel and appearance of the final image. The difference between a scene printed on a run of the mill gloss compared with a quality, textured, fine art matt is difficult to imagine until you actually see it. 

To give a feel to what goes on in the Circle, I have selected a few of the prints together with the full information contained on the detail sheets and a selection from the critiques on each print. Although I give credit to the taker of the photograph, the names of those making comment have been kept secret to avoid any comeback! Actually, a lot of the comments are very similar so don’t need repeating.

Example One:

Autumn Colours at Vimy Ridge © Doug Lodge 

DETAILS AT TAKING STAGE: Concept, Date, Time, Location, Weather, Camera details etc.          

An hour’s stop off at Vimy Ridge Memorial, Arras, France following a wine tasting trip to Burgundy. Because it was such a fantastic day and we had some time to kill our coach driver decided to make a detour to show us the memorial, built by the Canadians to commemorate their fallen from WW1.  

Taken at 12.35 pm on 21st October, 2018 with my Nikon D850, using a Nikkor 24 -70, f2.8 lens. Settings were ISO 250, f/10 at 24mm with a 1/250th second exposure, hand held. As it was very bright in the midday, autumn sun I added a circular polariser to try to kill some of the light and reduce the heat haze a little. It also helped to give a fantastic blue to the sky, contrasting against the almost white of the monument and bring out the copper in the changing leaves on the trees. 

I took several shots of the memorial against the blue sky but, once home, felt this one of the trees, making the monument play second fiddle to their colour was my favourite. Also, it was an angle no one else was using so, for better or worse, gives the scene a more unusual take. I would have liked to change my position a little bit more but, fortunately, the signs which said, ‘danger unexploded ordinance’ were in English as well as French!   

DETAILS AT PROCESSING STAGE: Editing, Printing, Digital Manipulation details etc.

Edited in Lightroom. Standard RAW editing but altered the white balance to give the scene a warmer feel. I used a little more on the vibrancy slider than I normally do and added a minimal amount of saturation to the red and orange sliders and actually took a little out of the blue! Also, a little detail enhancing in NIX. 

Printed on my Epson SureColor P600 using standard Epson inks. My first print was on Innova Fibra Print Baryta 310 g/m which gave a very clear, almost clinical appearance to the scene, so I had a go with Permajet FB Distinction 320 g/m which, although not so crisp as the Baryta, deepened the colours (probably too much for some people) to give, what I feel, is an arty appearance that brings back fond (photographic) memories of the visit. 


I made two mistakes when I put this image in for a club competition. Firstly, I called it Vimy Ridge Memorial when the trees are the main focal point. Secondly, I printed it as a standard 16 x 9 which gave far too much green in the foreground with nothing on it and likewise too much blue overhead. I think I should have used the letter box crop in the first place. 


I enjoyed this very different image of Vimy Ridge which I have visited a few times. The balance between the line of trees and the monument works extremely well and the diminutive figures give a sense of scale, so it is strong on composition. The autumnal colours were a bonus but I would prefer the blue reduced a little. 

The contrast of the sky against the orange / red of the leaves sets the image off very well. The letterbox format is right but where to crop the trees on the left must have been a problem. The leaning trunk on the extreme left is fine. I wonder why there are two bare trees in the middle of the row, which by your positioning echo the two pylons? 

Gosh, you’ve some blue ink with this, Lightroom must have been almost on steroids! The over saturated blue sky aside, this is a very effective image. I like the composition a lot. I may have been tempted to remove the people in front of the memorial to make the image and its message so much stronger. 

I think both blue and green channels could do with pulling back a little to make this look more natural. 

I like the strong colours, but over saturated for my taste. People are small enough not to detract. 

It seems as though the living trees are waiting patiently in line to pay their respects to the fallen cohort of humanity represented by the Memorial. The bareness of the sky and foreground greatly enhance the poignancy of the scene. Over saturated for my taste, a colder appearance would have worked better given the sombreness of the subject matter. 


Example Two:

Tresco, Isles Of Scilly © Nigel Goode

DETAILS AT TAKING STAGE: Concept, Date, Time, Location, Weather, Camera details etc.        

I took this shot from the ferry from Tresco to St. Mary’s on the Iles of Scilly. It had been a dreadful, wet day but it cleared up just as I was leaving Tresco, leaving strong clouds and sunlight dappling the island which caught my eye. 

It was taken with a Nikon Z7 with 24-70 mm zoom at 34mm, handheld. Exposure was 500th second, aperture priority and ISO64. 

DETAILS AT PROCESSING STAGE: Editing, Printing, Digital Manipulation details etc.    

I processed it in Lightroom Classic with adjustments to whites and blacks, highlights and shadows and a little added contrast. Finally, I used Color Effex Pro to further enhance the details in the clouds. It is printed on Permajet Museum Heritage paper. 


I have never been to the Scilly Isles but travelling between the islands from Hugh Town, St. Mary’s is easy and opens up fantastic possibilities for landscape photography. The islands are small enough to walk around and the coastlines are very varied. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would very much like to go back. 


The landscape isn’t dramatic but it is beautiful, especially when the light works in one’s favour. You’ve certainly captured some gorgeous light here, particularly on the right side of the image. The sea’s a bit uninteresting so your decision to exclude most of it is a wise one; I’m less convinced by your inclusion of so much sky. It is quite interesting (thanks to Nik!!) but makes up the vast majority of the image. I’d rather you’d cropped off the less interesting quarter to a third off the left of the frame and reduced the amount of sky accordingly. As it is, I’m left with a very, very narrow line of interest on the land which is where my main attention should lie. 

I too have tried to take photographs from a ship / ferry and unfortunately, I found what the human eyes see the camera rarely records. Had the ferry been somewhat closer the image would have been entirely different. The centre of attraction for me is the buildings with the orange roofs on the right hand side and perhaps, development of that part of the image would produce more balance with more land and less sky. 

Glorious sky Nigel and the composition reflects the importance you attach to it. 

In general, this comes across as a well exposed image. The detail in the island appears sharp and there is an appealing degree of contrast in the clouds with only a hint of clipped highlights in the large cumulus on the left hand side. The dark blue of the sea is especially well matched by the corresponding cobalt hue of the sky. My only niggle is the title. Visually, the overwhelmingly arresting part of the image is the dramatic cloudscape that completely dominates the island, which in itself takes up less than 6% of the print area. I’d be tempted to have something more in keeping with what we’re looking at. ‘Strong Clouds over Tresco’ or even, if you want a literary reference, ‘Storm Clouds over Storm Island’ after a mystery novel by Ann Quinton set in Tresco. 

The processing and choice of paper suit this image and really pull the detail of the buildings out. 

Overall, a very pleasing image, improved by the choice of a matt, textured paper. I would like to see the image printed out three or four times the size to really appreciate the drama. 


I hope I have been able to show that some excellent photographs pass round the group and from the critiques, it proves what we all know, photography is a very personal and subjective medium. Not everyone likes every image and we all have our own take on what might be done to improve it in some shape and form. 

I think we would all agree the group has helped us improve our photography by being able to look at others’ photographs and learn the effects they have achieved from the information they have given. The way others have viewed our images and their critiques always give good food for thought and suggest ways in which we might improve – all very worthwhile! 


Information about all the Circle Groups

Free with your RPS Landscape Group membership.

There are three circle groups running for Landscape Group Members: Processing, Print and Critique Circles.  Each group meets over Zoom or discusses images by email. Group size varies from 6 to 10 members. 

eCritique circles 

ach member sends in one image per month for other members to evaluate. The critiques you receive on your photographs go way beyond the comments you'll get on social media and will give you insight into how other people view your work. And the discipline of appraising other people's landscape photographs has the benefit of enriching your own photographic vision. Some critique circles work over email and some meet via Zoom.

The four eCritique circles are managed by Martyn Bennett, David Travis, Bill Daniels and Mark Sims. 

Processing circles 

One member each month submits a RAW image for the other members to edit. It’s fascinating to see first-hand the techniques used by fellow members as they interpret the same starting image in a variety of different ways. This exposure to different editing styles and ideas expands your horizons and encourages you to try new techniques with your images. Processing groups meet over Zoom. Three of the processing groups use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop; one group uses Affinity Photo.

The four processing circles are managed by Irene Stupples, Jim Stupples, Leigh Foster and Claire Wallace-Watson.

Print circles 

Physical prints are circulated for constructive critique amongst the Print Circle members.

Printing and circulating your photographs among a community of photographers not only helps you grow as an artist but also provides a tangible experience that enhances the connection between you and your work.

The three print circles are managed by Diana Wynn and Doug Lodge. 


To join a circle, email the RPS Landscape Group Circles Co-ordinator David Travis ARPS at In your email, please say which type of circle you would like to join.




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