DIG News

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DIG News  - December 2016

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'Fighting the Storm' by Peter Stickler ARPS

This past months DIG forum competition winner




After a light weight Distinctions list last month we have a bumper one this.  But that does not diminish the sincere congratulations to everyone who has been successful at which ever level.  All will have worked hard to achieve their Distinctions, so well done everyone.

John Bernard LRPS West Lothian
June Milner LRPS  Hampshire
Kevin Verrant James LRPS  Hampshire
Neill Taylor LRPS  Oxfordshire
Paula Fernley LRPS  Devon
Carolyn Dee LRPS  Buckinghamshire
Robin Simmons LRPS  Northamptonshire
John Marshall LRPS  North Humberside
Adrian Robbins LRPS  Aberdeenshire
John Jennings LRPS  Hertfordshire
Margaret Roberts LRPS  Lincolnshire
Pat Goodall LRPS  Hampshire
Gary Costello ARPS Lancashire
Steven le Provost FRPS Channel Islands


Steve has just gained not one but two Fellowships in one week.  Not only was this his second Fellowship from the RPS (first one was in 2005) but he also achieved one from the Irish Federation.  To make it even more amazing it was with two entirely different panels of work.  I am certain we will see the new FRPS in The Journal soon.


Last month we congratulated Dawn Black on her ARPS success.  I thought you would enjoy seeing her panel and hearing the story behind it.



Dawn Black ARPS
Persistance pays off

I have been contemplating and trying to achieve my Associateship for a couple of years. My initial approach was to look at my extensive landscape and landmark monochromatic archive and try to make a panel from it along with some shots made especially for the ARPS to fill some gaps.


This approach simply did not work. My first attempt was too wide a subject and not coherent. My second attempt of “Under Dutch Skies” was put in front of an Advisory Day in Brussels but my statement and panel were considered not to reflect each other properly with little encouragement regarding the style either. Frustration and despondency set in.

Then, on a group photography trip to Paris in February this year we happened to have a talk about and walk around the celebrated Pere LaChaise cemetery.  Whilst many were hunting down their icons graves, I was totally mesmerized by the angels and lamenting figures adorning a lot of the more modest monuments. (Though I must admit I sought out Jacob Epstein monument to Oscar Wilde!)

When travelling I rarely process the images immediately, allowing myself the time and distance to be more objective about the photographs. On reviewing them at home I felt I had came away with 3 or 4 really good images that resonated with me emotionally. This led to a blog post, which planted the seed of an idea – could I expand on this to create my ARPS panel?


I quickly hatched a plan to return to Paris in April to shoot more (and in a less haphazard way!) I spent two full days wandering the cemetery, up and down the rows, into all the corners, covering all the sections – and there are a lot of them – seeking out any hint of an angel or similar. Knowing I needed to fulfill the guidelines set out by the Society for the panel I took wide angles, look throughs, close-ups, different framing (horizontal, vertical and square) and different depths of field. It was always going to a monochrome panel. The emotion I wanted to convey simply wouldn’t come across in colour and I made sure I processed the images in a consistent way within Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro.

Fairly happy with the results I took the panel along to the RPS Benelux study group that we are running in The Hague as well as asking Armando Jongejan for some feedback. It was mostly positive with only a few variations suggested regarding image choice and layout. Feeling good, I submitted the panel for assessment in Bath in June. As I could not make it across to the Assessment Day I waited with baited breath



for an email to come through to let me know how I had done. It came, and I had not passed. My heart sank. The Assessment Committee felt that one image let the panel down technically and gave me a Referral. The picture was not critically sharp where they felt it should be. I could see their point – the image in question was shot at f/1.4 and had a very shallow depth of field, added to the fact that that particular statue was very weathered made it look blurred.

Now the decision was what to do about it.   I tried placing other images from my shoots into that space but nothing worked for me. There was only one thing for it -  to go back to Paris again and re-shoot it, but better. This I duly did with the company of Jay Haines who helped me find the right monument (it took 2 hours to find!) I took at least 20 fresh images at various apertures to make absolutely sure I got it right this time!

Dawn Black ARPS


Found it  
  The Final Image

If you would like to see the entire panel and read her Statement of Intent go to Dawn’s gallery  HERE




We had a very strong set of images in this months Forum competition which makes the win more hard fought for, but the super work that you see at the top of the page this month was from a member who only entered for the first time this month – well done Peter Stickler for your amazing creative work.

Here is what Peter had to say about his image and some screen grabs so that you can see how he put it together.





I was enjoying a walk on the cliff tops at Rhosilli early this year. It was a windy day – there was a film crew recording a scene for a Sky TV production called Britannia. I quickly took a few images of the woman on the cliff top with my Nikon D750 and my Nikon 28 to 300 lens (it was set at maximum 300mm). When I opened the image at home I was very disappointed with the result so I added a new sky, then digital rain, I made digital lightening and added a face in the sky from my extensive selection of props. I put it in the monthly competition hoping that someone may like it.





Members often say that DIG is all about creative/montage work – it seriously is not.  Yes a creative work won this month but look at the 2nd and 3rd placed images, or indeed many of the others in the comp.

2nd place went to Neal Higham  - I found this very poignant


Gone and almost forgotten



3rd placed was a great portrait that I know you will want to see from Ashish Chalapuram.

Jack Bolton was only one point behind again – that was how close it was this month.  

Don’t forget at the end of the competition year all the points are going to be added up and the winner gets a RPS Portfolio 3 book.






Ken has been working overtime on producing new tutorials this past month – so much so that we are literally spoilt for choice.  

He has three in a series on ‘Preparing Your Picture for a Competition’.  So we will feature the first one but if you want to advance through the series then you will find them on his You Tube.  Even this first video is almost 53 minutes long so make a cup of tea, sit back, learn and enjoy. Go HERE to view.






  The gallery from DIG member  Christopher Harrison shows art nudes in a great location.  The use of light and mono have both been well handled and the model / photographer communication has resulted in some interesting work.
View the gallery HERE



The second of our recommended galleries this month is from Kevin Verrant James LRPS.  Some really super images in his LRPS panel and a short statement about his dedication to put this work together.  
View the gallery HERE






On November 24th we all had an email from RPS HQ inviting us to nominate for the next round of  RPS Awards.  It is important that as many of us as possible, should contribute, so that we can influence the outcome.  All too often we bemoan the choices, but perhaps we only have ourselves to blame if we do not contribute our ideas.
On a personal level I have nominated Bertie Gregory for the under 35’s Vic Odden Award.  If you have had the privilege of hearing this young man speak you will know he is passionate about his nature work with
National Geographic.  He is charismatic, talented, friendly and engaging;  In my book the next David Attenborough.  If you want to know more then go to   http://www.bertiegregory.com   I believe he would be a great ambassador for the RPS and attracting other young photographers.  

For a list of the various Awards go to this page on the RPS site

But most importantly do take time to consider who you want to see get a prestigious RPS Award and then follow this link to route to the nomination form  http://www.rps.org/about/awards/nominate

Closing date is January 16th.




Regrettably we have to announce that our DIG Mids Centre has had to go into hibernation.  The Centre Organiser there, Ian Bailey, has found it necessary to resign due to health problems.  We thank you for your time as the CO Ian and wish you a speedy and full recovery.

DIG Centre NW welcome new volunteers Peter Jarvis (Secretary) and webmasters Andrew Williams and John Hartley.  Thank you to all who volunteer as without you we cannot survive.  

Thames Valley Centre



All change at Thames Valley Centre


After many years at the helm Laurie Pate is standing down as the Centre Organiser at TV and Alan Bousfield is taking over.   We thank Laurie for
his years of service and for continuing on their committee, which I am sure will be an asset to Alan as he gets into his new role.


Alan has been interested in wildlife imagery from

an early age, and was envious of people like David

Attenborough and his BBC Wildlife cameramen.

He would have loved a career in photography, but

alas his parents convinced him engineering was a

better option.?In 2004 with a chance of very early

retirement, it was time for a career change, and

what better than photography!! On his doorstep

was Blackpool College, renowned worldwide for

its Photography Degree Course.

On making further enquiries, he discovered they had started to run a degree course in Wildlife Photography. Having obtained an unconditional place on the course, he decided early retirement wasn’t on the cards for him. Over the next 5 years Alan juggled academia and work, eventually obtaining an Honours Degree in Wildlife Photography from Lancaster University in July 2009.?Having previously been a student member of the RPS, in 2013 he decided to apply for ARPS Exemption status, allowing him to work for a Fellowship, which he failed at his first attempt. But, not to be deterred, he is currently working on two different panels, hopefully to be ready for assessment in early 2017.?Alan is currently on the judges list for the KCPA and SxPF (PAGB Federations), with a specific interest in Nature/Natural History Competitions.’


I'm still enjoying my membership of the group a great deal. I was very impressed with the PDI competition in the summer - I made a last minute entry & by the following week, the images had been judged & the accepted ones displayed on the website! Very impressive - congratulations to all the organisers.

Best regards,

Gill Peachey LRPS


We have not one but two new discounts being offered to members.  So if it is a photographic workshop that is top on your Christmas wish list then here is the way to drop some hints to your partner – open up the DIG web page HERE and leave it on your computer staring them in the face all day.   Maybe that will do the trick.

Andy Beel FRPS is offering Master Classes or Tours in North Devon, Permbrokeshire and Shropshire.   Whilst  Ken Whalley  will guide you to all the very best locations in West Cornwall.  

…. One of each please Santa !





That the DIG web site has hidden pages?  

These are pages for members only.  Go to www.rps.org/DIG and see the list down the right hand side.   Unlike my list, which you can see below in the screen grab,  ordinarily you will not be seeing  DIGIT Archive nor the online Welcome Pack.


DIGIT Archive is particularly interesting as it is the past 8 issues of DIGIT, plus competition catalogues.  

To view these hidden pages you need to log on to the RPS web site using the large blue Login button in the top right corner of any page.   It then says My RPS.  Once logged in the hidden pages become visible, but only to DIG members.    

This is a valuable facility that the RPS have fairly recently enabled on their web site and one we may well use more in future.  So it is worth finding out how to log on to see them.








This month we are featuring
Todd Allison
from Kansas, USA

All I have ever wanted to do is to make the perfect image. While clearly such a thing doesn’t exist, I am always looking for a flawless composition and the essence of a place. Photographers often talk about those concepts in portraiture, but I also feel that spaces have souls like people do. 



 I attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in the early 1990’s. Initially, I concentrated on learning classical B&W techniques – taking instruction under one of Ansel Adams former assistants - and worked on my commercial photography skills. I also spent many hours learning alternative processes like platinum/palladium printing, cyanotyping, and mordancage. Because of the nature of these processes, I put in a lot of hours using 8x10 large format cameras. While in college, I participated in an off-campus study in England for a semester. While there, I was dramatically impacted by the work of early British photographers. It was during my time in England that I discovered the RPS.



I had a bit of a personal awakening once I left art school. While I wanted to think of myself a photographer in the classical sense of Edward Weston, I found I was better at digital work and interpretive color photography. Eventually, I stopped fighting the inevitable and went with the flow. While I didn’t initially embrace digital cameras – despite being a Photoshop user and digital imaging professional – I found that they embraced me. I usually previsualize my shots and shoot for digital interpretation. Ultimately, I decided it was better to go where my talents were naturally taking me instead of where I thought my talents should lie.

My largest influences are William Eggleston, Birney Imes, Joel Meyerowitz, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, Jim Dine, and Julia Margret Cameron. Photographers of the American South have really made an impression on me. While I can’t say I have idolized any of these artists, when I look at their work I can see that I follow a similar calling. Looking at their work somehow satisfies something in me and inspires me to do my own work.

Todd Allison
Kansas, USA

To view more of Todd’s work then you can link to his web site HERE



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So with Christmas on the horizon no doubt you will all be madly busy and what gets squeezed out of our hectic lives is often that which we enjoy most – our photography.  It does though perhaps gives us an opportunity to step away from our preferred genre to do things like Street photography as we go shopping, or People when the family come round.  And not just family snaps for memories but candid moments – remember that delightful little girl swirling round in a pretty pink dress that the RPS have used on the Journal and other places?  That could be your child or grandchild.  So keep the camera handy and ‘catch the moment’.  You never know you too might get a stunning winner if you are prepared and at the ready.


  However you spend the holiday season do relax and enjoy your time.  And here is an early toast to 2017 and whatever that may have in store for you.






Janet Haines ARPS
DIG Chair