15 February 2016
This week’s Monday Muse not only contains great advice, but a very generous offer. Read on ...
All photographers, no matter how good they are, need feedback and critique on their work. This week’s muse is to go and find some. And we have a very generous offer to help you! Former picture editor and four times winner of the British Press Photographer of the Year, Ken Lennox Hon FRPS has offered to write some blog posts for us and in each one, he’ll critique a member’s image. This is an amazing opportunity to get feedback from one of the best in the business.
To submit your image for critique, email a jpeg (72 dpi) to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ken’s Critique” in the subject line. Don’t forget to add your name and a few words about why you like the image.
Please note that we’ve made a few changes to the T&C this week, namely that images can only be submitted via email (although you can, of course, add them to your album) and they do not have to be taken after the topic has been announced.
And to give you an insight into the life of a press photographer, we’re delighted that Ken has shared his experience of taking these fabulous pictures of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother salmon fishing in the River Dee at 80 years of age.
“I had been pestering the Queen mother’s press office for ten years for permission to photograph her fishing on her estate Birkhall in Aberdeenshire adjacent to Balmoral the Queen’s Scottish home.
Out of the blue in August 1980 I got a call from Clarence House the Queen Mother’s London home where her press people are based. “Mr Lennox Queen Elizabeth will be fishing on her stretch of the Dee tomorrow late morning. You might get the photograph you have been seeking.”
I flew up to Aberdeen that night, drove to Braemar and waited until morning. Early the next day I started to patrol the riverbank - her stretch of the river is about 5 miles long and some of the good fishing pools are hidden from the road. I had to check some of them on foot.
At about 11am I spotted her in the river with her ghillie at her side. I stood at the top of the bank about 100 yards away holding my camera above my head. I did not want to startle The Queen Mother as she was thigh deep in the boulder-strewn river with no royal protection visible.
The Queen Mother quickly spotted me and gestured me to come down the bank. I was a good 50 yards away with a 500mm mirror lens and started shooting.
The light was poor, a real gloomy rainy Scottish morning, but there was enough and it was a long anticipated photograph.
The Queen Mother was an experienced fisherwoman and she cast beautifully and accurately. After about ten minutes I stopped shooting and just watched, hoping for a shot with a fish on line. It did not happen.
Eventually the Queen Mother started toward the bank with her ghillie following. She gave me a wave, met up with her Corgi who had been waiting in the heather and disappeared onto her estate.
I flew back to London with my exclusive. Next day I had a front-page picture and a giant photograph over two pages in the centre of the paper of her best cast. Two months later the shot won Royal Picture of the Year. The presenter of the award was Patrick Litchfield, the Queen Mother’s nephew. He shook my hand saying: “Lennox, have you been papping my Auntie?”"
All images © Ken Lennox Hon FRPS
The Monday Muse is an ongoing initiative. There are no deadlines and you don’t have to take the photographs in the week that the Muse is set. Once you’ve set up your album, you can add to it any time. A list of previous Muses can be found here. You don’t have to be a member of the London Region to participate - all-comers welcome!
Monday Muse Info
As the inspirational ideas we posted as part of the Bleeding London project proved to be so popular, we’re going to continue the theme with The Monday Muse. Every Monday, we’ll be posting an inspirational idea for the week, with links to tips and suggestions on how to achieve the best images. We’ll be featuring our favourites here on the blog and in our monthly eZine Capital Interest. And just to add a bit of competition, we’ll be running a points league. There is one point for posting an image and there will be occasional bonus points. At the end of the year, whoever has the most points will receive a gift voucher to spend in the RPS shop.
What to do next
Email your image to email@example.com.
By submitting to The Monday Muse, you agree that we can use your images on the RPS website and in RPS publications. Copyright remains with the photographer. Full accreditation will be given.