DIG News

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DIG News  - April 2017

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'Nuthatch with seeds' by Richard Hainsworth LRPS

Joint winner of the forum competition this past month

DI EXPO 2017

An extra reason for coming to DI Expo in September is that the RPS Distinctions department are offering Advisory sessions with two of the best Assessors – Susan Brown FRPS and Ray Spence FRPS. 

This needs to be booked and paid for direct with HQ – but you need to be buying your DI Expo tickets first of course.  www.rps.org/DIGExpo


Inside the latest copy of DIGIT you will have found an A4 DI Expo poster – this is very important and we would ask you not to throw it away!!   We are asking you, our UK DIG members to be our ambassadors and to take the poster along to your local club or photographic group to put on their notice board to advertise the event.


DI Expo is open to everyone but reaching camera clubs proved very difficult two years ago, so this time we decided to use you, our good members, to spread the word.  You may even want to consider car sharing with some of your club members – that would keep everyone’s costs down and make for a fun and informative day out together. 


If your club has a web site and are happy to put up an ad for us then there is an A5 ad, or an A4 size one, that can be downloaded from our web site HERE (A5) or HERE (A4)  Please do your best to help us promote DI Expo


Our congratulations must go to two DIG members who have achieved their Distinctions recently.

Geoffrey Beer  LRPS                                        -  Middlesex

Adrian Robbins  ARPS                                     -   Aberdeenshire 


Last month Martin Gerling achieved his LRPS.  As Martin is a member who lives in Germany we thought his story as to how he worked to get his LRPS might be interesting, so we asked him for a few words and to see what he submitted that was a successful LRPS panel. 

Congratulations again Martin and thank you for showing us your work

  Last year, on October 29th, I participated in an Advisory Day in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Mr. Roy Robertson told us what we should pay attention to and afterwards he showed us some successful panels. When I saw the pictures my first thought was that I should better take my pictures and go home because my pictures definitely would not stand to the quality. Nevertheless, I presented my pictures Roy said I should arrange them differently and should also replace one picture. His friendly but definite way to make us aware of mistakes was very helpful and I got a big boost to finally get LRPS.


When photographing, I am driven by contrasts, because besides photographing nature I like to take photos of colors or in the darkness. The biggest thing for me is to combine everything at the same time.
Right now, I try to paint with light on the pictures by illuminating running water, moving clouds, or moving objects until a new structure is created.

It is my basic concept that a photo should be finished when it comes out of the camera. Only adjusting the brightness, straightening, choosing the cut-out or re-sharpening are small corrections, which are allowed from my point of view. The corrections should be done in a few minutes. I'd rather have a camera in my hand than working with a keyboard and a mouse.



Tiger and Turtle




In March we had joint winners of the monthly forum competition.  Congratulations to Richard Hainsworth LRPS for the ‘Nuthatch with seeds’, as shown on the front cover of this publication.  The other first was from Jack Bolton ARPS with his ‘Blue with light’.

As normal we asked for a few words from the winners….



Nuthatch with seeds by Richard Hainsworth LRPS


This image was taken in February from one of the hides at Marton Heath Trout Pools near Macclesfield. It was my first serious attempt at birding, so I was pleased to get this shot, and like the fact that the Nuthatch has its tongue out.

Canon 5DMkIV with Sigma 150-600 Sport at 600mm f9 1/500s ISO640 with minimal post-processing (for once

Jack Bolton ARPS.


The shot below was taken at Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence, in the south of France. While admiring the Giacometti sculptures, I glanced up and saw this high-level aperture in the wall, affording just a glimpse of something beyond...




Blue with Light by Jack Bolton ARPS

Yorkshire Tree by Rex Waygood - 3rd Place

At Arena I was asked “How do they do that?” by my wife, when looking at some prints. ‘A white layer’ I replied.

Having given a talk on mono conversion at my camera club I realised that I was a bit obsessed with dark ominous skies and thought I’d have a go with a white layer.

This is the result after a few tweaks suggested by forum members. It was then completely panned in a club competition!  So I thought I would put it in the monthly competition.

Rex Waygood.


Doing some research recently made me use the MY RPS section of the RPS web site and it got me wondering how many of you are aware of what is available to you through this page. 

To access it you first need your RPS login details.

If you have not yet registered for a website account, here’s how:

1.         Go to www.rps.org/existing-member-register

2.         Complete the form using the email address associated with your membership record which is: ______________  and membership number: _______ .  You can create your own username

3.         Follow the instructions in the verification email to complete registration.

If you are already registered but have forgotten your password etc ….

There is a password reset link beneath the password field.  If you have more than one email address and don’t know which one you registered, then you will have to contact HQ to find out.

So having got logged in click on the MY RPS and do take a look under some of the headings.  I was delighted to find some member offers there, which I had no idea existed. 


On the My Account page first you will see your address details and beneath there a box for whether you wish to receive emails or not.

This has been causing a bit of a problem recently as it automatically resets to ‘No’ emails if you renew your RPS membership online – you have to ‘opt in’ by confirming you wish to receive emails.    Given that our main way to communicate with our members is via emails we hope most sincerely that the vast majority of you will choose to receive emails.  We won’t bombard you, but only send you things we feel are important to you getting the best value from your DIG membership.

Do check it though! It should look like this……




We have been delighted with the response from our members for the new DIG Facebook Group.  We are now at over 100 members and it is proving to be a good place for people to post images for comments, ask general questions and generally to interact.  It is a mature and respectful closed user group for those of you with concerns over the some of the more unacceptable ways people use Facebook.  

Only members of DIG will be able to join.  But unlike the RPS main FB page, which is information from HQ, ours is interactive and anyone can post and comment.  It will be moderated, but we would hope most sincerely that everyone will respect each other and that moderation will not be necessary. 

To join just go to the site HERE and click the ‘join’ button.  You will be validated as a DIG member and given access.  This is a manual process so please do not expect instant access.

This is a great opportunity to engage with your fellow DIG members from the comfort of your armchair.  So we hope to see many more of you joining up and making it a lively place to be.   


It was particularly pleasing to see that as the AGM and Print Exhibition progressed committee members were posting to the Facebook page and getting instant responses, thus extending our reach to members unable to attend.





These are the images that achieved Licentiate accreditation.  The distinction was not an easy undertaking for me as I spent almost all year, either in hospital or attending clinics.

During this time, I was unable to drive and relied on my wife Gail, to chauffeur me around.  As I was unable to walk, I wasn’t able to get out and about taking photographs so I decided to search my pictures and put together a panel for the LRPS. I needed something positive to think about and a distraction from my ill health.

I eventually scraped through in late summer, receiving an e-mail from the Society on the 1st August.  This arrived just as we were leaving the hospital grounds shocking my wife and a group of people waiting at the bus stop, who looked on in amazement at my reaction to the news.

It made this old man very happy.

John Marshall LRPS






Click on gallery images to go through to the web site to view.


When I was in HQ recently the Distinction Manager Andy Moore showed me the new Travel Guide that has recently been put together to help members who are entering ARPS panels in that category.  For anyone who is either working in that genre or is considering doing an A panel in Travel, this really is highly recommended reading.


Travel Distinction Guide

A practical guide with hints and tips for the photographer looking to gain an Associate in travel photography.

For the first time the Society has published an illustrated, practical guide, to the much sought-after Associate distinction in travel photography. This 68-page book is packed with hints and tips, plus do's and don't to help potential applicants looking to apply for the coveted Royal Photographic Society Associate in travel photography. It has been produced by the Society with the help of Distinction panel members and well-known travel photographers who have shared their experience to help applicants. 

  • Find out how the RPS defines travel photography for its Distinctions
  • Discover what the most common faults are in submissions
  • Learn how to prepare your submission
  • Read interviews with successful applicants, see their submission and how they succeeded

£11.50 inc p&p  (RPS Online shop)

Andy Moore LRPS

Distinctions Manager

e-mail andy@rps.org

Editorial note – The Distinctions Dept are hoping to produce other similar booklets for other genre, so keep your eyes open on the Online RPS shop for these.


In this video Ken shows you how to deal with distracting backgrounds. He has tried to make it as simple as possible for you. It can also be done in PSCC.

If you would like to watch it please click HERE. 17 min run time.

Steve has kindly allowed Ken Payne to use one of his images to demonstrate how to improve a composition.

This tutorial can be done in Elements 15. To stretch your picture, you must go to IMAGE > RECOMPOSE. This is the same as Content Aware Scale in Photoshop.

If you would like to watch the video please click HERE.  Run time 20mins.


The last Sunday in April is recognised by some as World Pinhole Photography Day, thanks to Gregg Kemp who set up a web site in 2001: www.pinholeday.org  The site annually invites anyone, free of charge, to submit a pinhole photograph taken on this day, which falls on April 30th this year.

There seem to be some misconceptions about pinhole photography. A special camera is not needed as long as you have one from which the lens may be removed. Also it is not necessary to use a film camera; digital is fine. In fact a DSLR is ideal.


I have experimented with pinholes on Canon DSLRs over the years. The photo shows a home-made pinhole on my EOS 5D MkIII. I drilled a quarter-inch hole in the centre of a body cap and stuck behind it a piece of cooking foil in which I had made a small circular hole using a sewing needle.

There follows a sample result from this set-up, with an exposure time of 0.5s at ISO 1250.

The camera was placed on the ground for this shot in order to illustrate a particular feature of pinhole photography: the depth of field is effectively infinite. Objects at all distances are equally well (or poorly) focussed.

It has to be said that the image is not pin-sharp. The sharpness depends on the size of the hole and it is a compromise: make it too small and diffraction spoils the sharpness. Around 1890 Lord Rayleigh worked out a formula for the optimum pinhole diameter (d), in the sense of giving the sharpest image:

            d = 2 ( f λ )

where f is the “focal length” (distance from pinhole to detector) and λ is the wavelength of light (pick the middle of the spectrum at about 550nm  - but remember to put everything as mm in the formula).

I measured the diameter (d) of my pinhole and found it to be 0.53mm. By photographing the top of my camera including the white line marking the position of the detector, I was also able to measure the distance between the pinhole and the detector. The photographic aperture is then simply calculated and in this case it is f / 87.

By using standard extension tubes behind the body cap I can increase f and make the aperture as low as f / 158.

Details of how I made these measurements and further aspects, such as by how many stops such f-numbers lengthen exposure times, may be found on my web site at   www.grelf.net/pinhole.html


Article by Graham Relf


Documentary Group

Want to put your documentary skills to the test?

Want a one on one all day with Stuart Franklin?

Want a fully funded private view and exhibition at a London gallery?

All of these could be yours if you enter The 2017 RPS Documentary Photographer of the Year competition, which will be opening for submissions from the 15th March.   The competition is open and free to all RPS members.


Every photographer has a documentary strand in them, after all what is a picture in its simplest form but a document of what we see.  I remember the first competition in 2012: the Enthusiasts were sent out on one of the coldest February days to shoot the faces of Portobello Market while the Experts visited the centrally heated Comic Con exhibition at the Excel Center.  From those early days the competition has grown in both entrants and importance. 

We have made a few changes this year, gone are the Enthusiasts and Experts categories to be replaced with Colour and Monochrome categories.   We are looking for a photo essay, plus title, consisting of 5 images on a subject of your own choosing.  The judges will be looking for documentary photographic essays that are representative of the subject matter.  The competition will be open to all members of the RPS and will be free to enter.  The closing date is 30th June and the three finalists in each category will be informed by the end of September. 

The finalists, plus the overall winner, will be announced at a Documentary Group private view to be held on 19th October at our partners The Printspace, who will print and mount the winning images, exhibit them for two weeks and will offer prints available to purchase. Approximately 70% of the sale price goes to the photographer.  We have a wonderful prize for the overall winner, a one on one all day session with Stuart Franklin PhD, Hon FRPS, former president of Magnum. Known worldwide as the author of the Tiananmen Square tank man and the Chair of the Judging Panel for the World Press Photography Awards.   This will be offered in London with no payment of other expenses.


The RPS Documentary Photographer of the Year is proudly supported by theprintspace. Their online platform: thehub allows artists and photographers to easily promote & sell fine art limited edition prints of their work and order award-winning prints, mounts and frames for exhibitions.


There are two members’ annual competitions – Prints and Projected Image.  For each we like to produce catalogues, which go out with DIGIT and seem to be appreciated by you, our members.

To produce the catalogue requires us to adhere to strict colour and image size files so that we can reproduce your work as faithfully as possible.  It is therefore really important that work submitted by members follow our guidelines and rules of the competitions.  This includes not only sizing and naming them correctly, but also having embedded colour profiles.  To assist you with embedded profiles in particular we have prepared some easy to follow screen grab guidelines – these can be downloaded from the web site HERE



John Baker ARPS has contacted us asking if there is a DIG member who is familiar with Capture One Pro 9 software who can give him any help please?  He wants to use this for RAW processing in the future.

John lives at Godalming and is happy to pay for tuition.  If you can help then please contact  John via jwebaker@talktalk.net 


As is our policy we welcome feedback good or bad.  It is nice to hear positive words but equally we can learn from complaints.

Dear Janet, I refer to pages 20 and 21 in the above journal (DIGIT). I think the images shown are inappropriate as they are revoltingly horrific in their content and quite unnecessary to show a technical technique in an RPS publication. My RPS journals are left where my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can pick them up and look at them and see good photography.  These images are nightmarish and represent a poor taste that should be avoided.

It is a sad fact that purveyors of bad practices habitually try to push the limits of behaviour so ratcheting up the unacceptable.     I think it is the job of the editor to set the boundaries and ensure that they are adhered to.

I sincerely hope that a new limit of poor taste has been set by Digit.

Your sincerely    Frank Adams


Really pleased with the article.  It looks great!  Many thanks for asking me to write it, and giving me the opportunity to show my work.  I really appreciate it.


All the best.





Links to all the Centres web sites can be found HERE



This month is rather different to normal as I spotted a member who lives in Dubai with an email address that indicated he was possibly a professional.  So I contacted Alex Jeffries and I am delighted to say he agreed to write us a short piece. 


Hi everyone, thank you for inviting me to write Janet. As this is a Digital Imaging Group, I thought it suitable to explain our workflow. The images shown below, were photographed at the new Jumeirah, Al Naseem hotel in Dubai; we were invited to shoot by the company that did the lighting.Upon visiting the site, it became clear that the shoot times had to be at sunset, this would be challenging as there were multiple locations and the sun sets fast in Dubai, so we ended up visiting 3 times and trying to get 2-3 shots at each visit. 



Al Naseem


The kit I’m presently using is a Nikon D810.  I trigger with a wireless shutter release from Vello, I use a high vis tether cable from Tether Tools and I use a Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod with a Manfrotto 405 Pro Digital Geared Head, equipped with a Really Right Stuff L plate, for quick release and change between landscape and portrait images.





I’m using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC and tethering so I can see the images as soon as they’re shot to check for problems or issues I need to fix, whilst shooting. Back at the office once all the images are captured I edit using Adobe Photoshop CC. If the images have time, we have a trusted Retoucher in America we use, if the retouching is not too complex, we have a team in India and if the turnaround is quite tight and images are needed quickly for the client, we would complete in house. We have the latest versions of all software, 2 reasons - 1. We receive it complimentary as I am an Adobe partner and teach Lightroom and Photoshop when time permits and 2. We want to have the latest software and technology available to us to make the best images we can for clients.

You can see some of the before and after images here, to see the kind of things we fix in Post Production - http://alexjeffriesphotographygroup.com/retouching

And some of our other Interiors work here http://alexjeffriesphotographygroup.com/portfolio/interiors

Read more about Alex and the company here http://alexjeffriesphotographygroup.com/about-us


Thank you to those members who have contributed to DIG News this month.  I am always delighted with the response I get when asking members to write for us – even better when members volunteer articles as did Graham Relf this month. 

So if you have something to contribute then we are always delighted to hear from you, whether it is something short for DIG News that goes out monthly, or a longer more involved piece for DIGIT. Both of our communications are written by the members for the members.  So don’t be shy – if you have something to say then do get in touch





Janet Haines ARPS
DIG Chair