Landscape Group Committee Member Profile - Howard Klein LRPS, Exhibitions and Member Led Events Manager
When did you first become interested in photography and how?
I’ve always loved the outdoors, since my Duke of Edinburgh Award days (including as a leader) when mountains/wild country became important. While my interest in photography may have started as a supplement to hill-walking and other activities, it then became more relevant with family albums.
Image: Seven Sisters In A Force 7
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is an interest that can consume us, so it became a chance for me to try to be creative when juggling between work around the world and family life; more recently, retirement meant a more relaxed approach - and gaining my LRPS.
I usually take more from visiting a location than just the opportunity to make images; “just being there” is important (and underrated) and in most locations I can explore the area - even if I do not get any images time is never wasted.
The online world has brought many benefits, but maybe there are just too many images “out there”; I prefer seeing images in print, giving a chance to linger at what the photographer has put into the image. This made me want to print my own images, which I find very satisfying (as do a few of my friends). So it was natural for me to organise the RPS Landscape Group Members’ Exhibition over the past 18 months (thanks again to those who helped).
Image: Derwent Valley Dawn
Image: Last Light In Reine, Norway
What do you most like to shoot?
My natural attraction for me towards landscape photography started with bigger views, but I now appreciate leaving stuff out to concentrate on what matters. For me, water can be a key feature in a wild country, so it was natural to add coastal photography over the last 5 years, including dozens of visits to the East Sussex coast just 90 minutes away - if only the Isle of Harris was closer!
I love cold & remote places: Scotland remains my go-to favourite, with its ever-changing weather conditions and challenges, albeit that it’s some distance from leafy Surrey.
Further afield, I’ve been able to grab some very early mornings on holidays to New Zealand, Norway, Iceland etc. I write this while in Newfoundland, albeit with a challenge of no tripod or NDs.
Image: Stormy Waves
How do you approach a shooting?
Do you choose the location/subject in advance, or do you drive somewhere and start taking pictures?
As a collector of maps since a teenager (now with over 200 Ordnance Survey alone), I can normally research & visualise a location from the printed page. I then supplement with The Photographer’s Ephemeris, likely weather and also look at moon phases/tide times to help with planning coastal shoots. There is certainly room for some serendipity, but I find some planning can help be in the right place to find it.
The back of my camera is set to square over the 2x3 full size as I increasingly prefer that format and also shoot 4x5 (vertical especially); with an occasional 16x9.
Image: Rosamol Grasses
Are you a member of a camera club?
Yes, Guildford Camera Club. Although a less frequent visitor over the last 18 months, given my various RPS projects, I hope to get back more often again.
What is your favourite camera?
Having started with a Vivitar compact and Vericolour film, before moving to a Pentax SLR with a variety on lenses & filters, I now have a 5D mk IV. However, I do still miss my EF-S 17-55 f2.8 lens that has taken my best images (some shown here).
What are you working on now?
I have 4, one-day workshops booked with a variety of leading Pros in November and a couple of trips to the coast around full/new moon; then back to Torridon in February (a 5th time). Also, my backlog of printing may be combined with some Photo book making and, having created a first website during early-Covid, it now needs a revamp.
For RPS, I have a Talk-Walk-Talk to run at the end of October and, having run one Member-Led Event last month (of the 18 being held), I have to launch a new MLE programme for 2024, and also support the next phase of the Talk-Walk-Talk programme.
All Images © Howard Klein LRPS
Header Image: Reflection on a Dreich Day