Photography ArticlesThis is Bradford Photographic Society website's teaching and activities section, where you can find advice and stories from members.

Along with reports of our meetings.

We hope to eventually have a good collection of interesting and entertaining articles on different aspects of photography.

The meeting on 10 November was re-formatted at short notice as our Greenwood Trophy for Novices could not run for lack of entries. However there were plenty of entries for the Norman Stow Trophy for Architectural  Record prints. David Hopkinson won with his 'West Window, Ripon Cathedral' (see below) . Graham Mitchell came second with 'Historic Houses, Freudenburg, Germany' and David's 'Atlas Fountain, Castle Howard' was third. Continuing to stalk the winner, Graeme's 'Architectural Detail, Allianz Stadium, Munich' was highly commended. Our judge, Colin Williams, gave clear and constructive comments as well as scores. Our thanks to him for a very successful competition.

On 3 November our training session led by Andy Holland at Opus Studios attracted fourteen members. Our model was Lizzie Farrar who contributed a lot to the shots we got by using her experience to produce great poses and responding well to individual's ideas.

Andy set out to demonstrate the use of  four studio lights and a white background to produce for different effects. First we tried the high-key set-up with a white background, then a grey background followed by a dark background and finally a artistic rim-lit effect. Everyone had a turn using their camera with the studio flash, posing the model and choosing their shots.

This Thursday 27th. saw the first of this year's competitions.   Being contested were the Tom Scatchard Memorial Trophy for Record photography, the Norfolk Trophy, Nature, and the J.F.Mather Trophy, Pictorial images. All three competitions were for DPI images and there was a very respectable entry of 91 images from 11 society members.


The Judge for the evening was Tony Caunt LRPS of Bradford Camera Club who’s previous visits had been so appreciated that he had merited a recall (something not extended to all judges and speakers).

With thirteen members submitting up to ten images each, there turned out to be 113 images offered for critique in our first critique session this year! Subjects ranged from children to artistic abstract including action and architecture, landscape and street.

Thursday night, 22 September, our members were treated to a really interesting talk on working towards photographic distinctions by Sally Sallet ARPS CPAGB BPE2*. In this talk she told members how to achieve awards from the Royal Photographic Society, Photographic Alliance of Great Britain and British Photographic Exhibitions at all their different levels.


On 15th September, our meeting on software techniques was well attended.

Jason Feather started us off with a demonstration of the power of Snapseed and Circle on a mobile phone. Most of the image adjustments familiar to Lightroom / Photoshop users are availble in Snapseed at the flick of a finger on this free app -how can you do without it? For the rich, an expenditure of under £2 will get you Circle which offers enormous creative possibilities - supply your own imagination.

Street Photography – John, Bridget and Freya Gill September 8 2016

John presented with support from wife Bridget and daughter Freya. The talk was illustrated by photographs from all three family members. One interesting point was the three different focal lengths used – John close-up at 28mm, Bridget 28-105, Freya mostly 105 and upwards.

John showed a variety of styles from the family and much to his obviously amused chagrin some of the biggest applause came for Bridget and Freya’s photos. It was an obvious source of interest for us to guess (usually accurately) who had taken the picture.

Thursday 1 September saw the first meeting of the new session. An impressive fourteen members altogether showed their work. So, with most submitting ten photographs, commentary on each was necessarily brief. It is always fascinating to hear the story behind an image. Some seriously stunning work was on show and we will no doubt see many of these images again in our competitions.

Treasurer Mathew was gainfully employed taking subscriptions with his impressive pre-printed receipts.

Along with a nice catch-up chat, it was a great start to the 2016-17 year!



Our friendly and informative meetings run from September to June, and are normally held at the Upper Bolton Conservative Club (Idle Road, Bradford, BD2 4JN) on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm until approximately 9.30pm.

You can find our syllabus for the year under the BPS Events section. Prospective members are welcome to attend a meeting free of charge before (hopefully) deciding to join us.
Our members have a wide range of photographic interests, experience, and equipment. You can see examples of our photography in the Gallery section. We look forward to meeting you!

RPS Advisory Day at Wakefield 18 June 2016

Hazel Mason FRPS assisted by James Frost FRPS


Hazel is an RPS judge and had been judging actual applications in Bath the previous week. She is a GP living in the Scottish borders. One of the spectators, who has attended a number of these advisory days, said that this was the best, most constructive and friendliest he had seen.


RPS Marking

Main considerations are:

1.       Presentation      A cohesive 11th image must be created by the panel.

2.       Camera Work    Illustrate that you can deal with lighting, contrast, highlights and shadows.

3.       Digital Errors       Colour management, edges, intrusion of background   in post processing.

4.       Seeing                  Cropping, viewpoint - be different.

5.       Thinking               Seeing a picture creatively - avoid 'just a snap'.

Remember the lighting will be very bright. It shows up errors. Choosing a small print size tends to conceal errors but they will look even more closely. Everything must be on a 400x500 mount, all the same colour. Most failures recently have been due to digital errors in post-processing.

There will be five judges and a majority vote will be needed for a pass.


Comments on The Single ARPS Entry

There are five possible categories for an ARPS entry. 15 images on a theme. Read the rules carefully! A statement is required to link the images. Don't over-promise and keep it short. You don't have to use the full maximum limit of words.

The 'Travel' category is trying to create a sense of 'place' or a 'journey'. Avoid images that could have been taken anywhere.

Don't alter the 'truth' of the image. You can modify it, even HDR, but the result must look natural.

B&W can work well but there must be a uniform tone throughout the set.

Pictures of people walking away are OK but not too many.


Comments on the 16 LRPS Entries

These generally applicable comments came up during the advice given on the individual entries:

1.       A panel of all birds is allowable but there must be variety of size in the frame, activities etc.

2.       Sharpness needs to be on the eyes of all humans and animals.

3.       Matt paper reduces luminosity. Gloss shows bright colours better, also semi-gloss. Textured paper is a no-no for nature prints. Titanium paper suits some images and not others e.g. looks blue in B&W. You can vary papers within a panel but in a purposeful way. Don't let it look accidental.

4.       Make sure skin tones look natural.

5.       Epson 600 printer has a very good internal B&W conversion.

6.       You will NOT fail on the panelling if all the images are perfect.

7.       One waterfall is enough in a panel. Two street views are OK if they are different in closeness.

8.       Different formats e.g. landscape, portrait, square and panoramic can be used but their placing must produce a pleasing pattern in the overall panel.

9.       Images need to look dramatic, not ordinary.

10.   Avoid blown-out highlights and detail-less shadows. Blown-out shine on metal is OK as it's natural. Also blown-out sun is OK provided it is a small area.

11.   Be careful not to produce unnatural artefacts in post-processing by over-use of sharpening, clarity or noise-reduction. e.g. bright halos, chromatic fringes.

12.   Proper, deliberate rim-light is fine.


Tom Heggie        21 June 2016

Due to a variety of reasons, the number of members and spouses who went on the trip reduced to only seven. Then because of the weather, the two island trip was amended to be only land on one (Health and Safety - slippy causeway).

Still that did not deter us from getting some fantastic shots of the birds and a few seals from a distance. Paul and Graeme have already posted some images on our Facebook page.



By gum those Terns are vicious little birds protecting their nest.







A gorgeous evening on Thursday 12th of May was spent by four teams of BPS members indulging in a photographic Treasure Hunt. Each allocated a colour, the challenge was to was to present a set of five images with that colour as their theme.

Don Crabtree acted as judge and he had a difficult task with a similar standard offered by all the sets. It was encouraging that Don considered that no set was complete rubbish - but slightly surprising since the whole exercise took about 90 minutes from finding suitable subjects to presenting the finished set complete with any desired post-processing.











The reports of the meetings held by Bradford Photographic Society

Reports of BPS Exhibitions and talks held by others

Articles on the history of Bradford Photographic Society

Reports about Bradford Photographic Society photowalks and shoots

Articles on how to improve photographic techniques

Other articles about Bradford Photographic Society or photography in general

Reports on the various competitions in which BPS is involved