Nice weather gets us all motivated and hopefully improves our Landscapes!
The warm weather is enticing us outdoors with cameras and the freedoms we once had are beginning to open up although meeting again as a club is a distant dream. In the meantime Zooms are well attended and the CHALLENGES continue to ensure that those who take part hone their existing skills and most seem to feel that as a result they are improving. It is really good to exchange views on the images and appreciate the point of view of people we would otherwise not get the chance to. Well, I like it anyway!

The upcoming PORTRAIT CHALLENGE I hope will be fun and give us lots to talk about ion Thursday

Now for the comments on BETTER LANDSCAPES CHALLENGE :

Jane R says :
Rex Your beach, very deserted! Nice sky. I like the wall as a lead in line but I think I would have cut the bottom off a bit so wall started in corner? Lovely river scene nice and sharp.

Jenny Lovely Alham Vale, dramatic sky nice lead in. Loved your lonely poppy. Road to Farm I like that you turned it into black and white very peaceful.

Janice I love your ones of Litton Reservoir good lead in lines and interest in front, middle and background, lovely. Whistle good composition

Pamela Lookout 1-2 beautifully sharp. A view to die for really sharp good lead in lines and framed as well.

Jill Beautiful all off them.

Suzanne Building and sky compliment each other in A Bath, the brightness of the building draws you into the photo. Lovely light in Paulton Basin, I really must go there!! Plough the Fields I love the colours and the framing.

Pamela says
Rex. I think the light on ‘out of the mist’ is lovely especially the way it falls on the church. I think my favourite is ‘Deserted’. I like the lines, the sky and the great feeling of space.
Graham. Lovely lockdown photos taken last week. Perhaps I can come with you; I think you are better than I am at finding local beauty spots. Yes, they are great photos.
Jill. My favourite is Vicar’s Close. To see it without people, rubbish bins or a car is a treat. Love this photo.
Janice. Litton Reservoir 1. I love the selection of wild flowers and the reflection on the lake. I think I would take out some of the path at the bottom so that the eye is not led to that side. I also really like Litton R 2.
Suzanne. What an interesting view of Bath, and how I miss Bath! I like “Plough the fields. I think the dark shadow adds to the atmosphere.
Tony. ‘Litton Lake’. I really like the composition. The foreground is very attractive and the ducks add to the overall picture of tranquility. ‘Paulton Basin’ is very good too. I think the bridge is positioned well, the reflection is lovely and the light just right.
Jenny. I often take portrait photos but I think here I would have used landscape so it is interesting to see this view. I love the way the poppy stands out and all that space behind it - from here to eternity. Do you have a landscape one for comparison?
Jane R. ‘Lead in Lines’ makes me smile but I’m not sure why|! Perhaps it’s the squiggly lines in the foreground. Whatever the reason for my smile, I think this is a really good landscape. I would crop some of the sky but that might just be me. I’m going through a faze of cropping and perhaps I do too much. I’ll start cropping my hair instead.
Pamela on Pamela. Sorry, there are two photos of the church. I prefer Lookout 1 but thought Lookout 2 is more of a landscape. Would appreciate your views.

Jenny says:
Pamela- I like the view to die for title and the diagonal POV . Good light possibly clouds need more contrast but tricky as you are lifting shadows nicely. I agree Church 2 better than 1 as more space and nicely framed-great stone texture and details. I love tree lines and walls so Peace attracts me I wondered if you might have perhaps moved left a bit to increase the diagonal its all a bit left to right.
Tony: Nice landscapes all three! My favourite is the Barley Field with the movement in the crop. Composition works for me and exposure on clouds is right too.Litton Lake is very tranquil Did you use a polarising filter? Paulton Basin is on my list to visit I so love the reflections on the calm surface Nicely done .
Graham how I love your stories and photos from the past! Nicely captured in USA- I have visited most of these in the past but like your angles.
Jill great to see some examples that illustrate what the rest of us are aiming for! I like the people placement in Chew View and the Panorama I would not know where to start! Vicar’s Close is much photographed but I like the position of the view and the rose in the foreground.
Rex: Deserted is a nice sweeping landscape for me I might have cropped a bit off the bottom as there is a vast expanse of sand and made it letterbox The Dark spot on the left distracts from the cyclists so I might have cloned that out. The misty one is very attractive and atmospheric. My eye is sort of drawn to bottom left lighter areas not in shadow but tricky to get the exposure balanced. The third one is lovely with all the lead in lines and detail as far as I can see. Nice shot.
Jane R: I think the view of Stratton is the weakest only because although the elements are there it is not a remarkable view! I like the other two and you seem to have nailed the focus, lead in lines and foreground interest with perhaps not quite focused at the end of the path in the far distance through the wood?
Janice I like both the Litton ones and all the elements seem to be there as with rule of thirds etc In 1the small orange dot takes my eye and in 2 the pole and the two ducks extreme right are a bit of a draw for me but love the colours. Whistle is on your favourite path and you really do the railway shots proud Nice focus too.
Suzanne what a great photo of the Crescent I actually like the light even though to some extent it divides the shot.The Paulton Basin is a slightly different angle from Tony’s – like the light and the reflections although there are more ripples here. I do like Plough the Fields- colours and lines and trees to frame. All sharp and the foreground although unremarkable , holds it in for me.

Janice says
:Rex, Sunlight, Shade & reflections is a well handled image.
Good exposure and composition and sharp throughout. Out of the Mist is
very atmospheric and Deserted has a good lead in with the wall. I
agree with the other comments re cropping some off the bottom.
the wall in Alham Vale leads you nicely into the image which also has a
great sky. Road to the Farm is my favourite of your three. The post is
perfectly positioned and the image has a good tonal range and nice
Graham, all three images are great landscape pictures.
Niagara Falls is a force of nature and this angle shows it’s incredible
power so well. I like how the river leads you through the image in Big
Horn Canyon.
Pamela, A View To Die For is a great title for a well
composed, sharp image. I like the receding lines of gravestones and
the interesting sky. Both Church Lookout 1 & 2 are well framed but I
prefer Church 1, great detail and textures in the stonework.
Panorama is very well done. Having a lake at both ends of the image
balances it well. The people in Chew View are perfectly positioned and
I like the fact we are seeing the same view as they are. You were
lucky to find Vicar’s Close free of cars. It’s a joy to photograph
with those strong lines of chimneys to lead in.
Suzanne, in your BathLandscape you have cleverly made an imposing building look quite small
from your view point and I like that, it’s different to obvious
Crescent photos. Lovely light and composition in Paulton Basin. Good
use of the trees in Plough The Fields to hold the image together.
Lead In Lines was well spotted but I agree with Pamela I would crop
most of the sky. Good use of the power lines in View to Stratton
leading you to the church on the horizon.
Tony, Barley Field is lovely,
just the right shutter speed and good composition. Both Litton and
Paulton Basin have nice light and good composition.

Jill says :
Rex – Desert (ed) Good lead in line and nice sky but if you crop off some of the foreground it would go from the corner which would be even better
Out of the mist – Good atmospheric shot with great light on the church
Sunlight & shade – the best of the 3 – great lead ion lines in thr reflections and good foreground interest. A pleasing shot
Janice – Litton Reservoir and Whistle – great foreground interest, lead in lines and depth of field
Pamela – Church Lookout – great use of a natural frame and good foreground interest in the graves
A view to die for – Great title! Also lead in lines, foreground interest, depth of field and sky!
Peace – Wall gives a sense of scale as well as a lead in line. Tree branches help to fill a fairly boring sky.
Jane R – lead in Lines – They certainly are. Lovely shades of green, I would crop out the sky as it doesn’t add anything to the picture. Think it would be great without it!
Through the woods – Again good foreground and lead in lines but the distance needs darkening down.
View to Stratton on the Fosse – The pylons do provide a lead in line but they are not very photogenic. Again would have cropped some of the sky.
Tony- Paulton Basin – Good foreground and lovely warm evening light and reflections
Litton Reservoir – Good foreground and ducks add to the picture by providing a lead line
Barley Field – Lovely country scene with the barley swaying in the breeze. The gaps in the barley provide good lead in lines and the farmhouse and big tree are both on the third.
Suzanne - Paulton Basin – Very similar to Tony’s with good lead in lines, depth of field and bridge and trees on the third.
Plough the Fields & Scatter – Good foreground and natural frame. The red soil is a great contrast to the green
Bath Landscape- Lovely cruve and good sky but wonder if the curve would be more accentuated with some of the sky cropped off?
Jenny – Altham Vale- The wall is a good lead in line but is a bit too bright. Also would have cloned out the sapling on the left which isn’t quite in the picture and it takes the eye away from the focal point. Perhaps also a bit more contrast in the lovely clouds.
Lonely Poppy – A good attempt at realising that the poppy could be used as foreground but it is very “busy” surrounding it and I don’t feel there is enough interest beyond into the distance especially as the sky is fairly bland.
Road to the Farm – The best of the 3 with good lead in lines and depth of field. However, is all a bit grey with no real blacks. Adding a bit more contrast, particularly in the sky would make it a great picture.

Suzanne says :
PAMELA- I like your Church Project; it’s something I often find myself
taking! I particularly like the inclusion of the grass and tombstones in C. Lookout 2. The
brightness draws my eye through the tree framing onto the scene and the tombstones lead me
up and around the picture. C.L 1 is great also as its composition concentrates on the church and
its detailed stonework. Both images are sharp. With the added, humorous “A View to Die For”
title, you can now produce a triptych image. Maybe, on your next visit try taking “To Die for”
picture from a much lower angle because it would make the gravestones appear much larger and
higher up in the frame. Don’t forget to take your kneeler!
JANICE- Litton Reservoir 1/2 I
like both, but for me Pic’ 1 is the best because the stone wall in the foreground leading
diagonally from l to r and on around the corner tells me this is a reservoir image. It seems sharp
from front to back, the green and white foliage along with the shadows on the water all go
together to make this a tranquil English scene. WHISTLE - Nice lead in lines- (rails and posts)
and the whistle sign on your left third makes this a super composition leading your eye to the
signal –depth of field good. Maybe, a great one to try again when the light and sky is stronger!
JANE R - LEAD IN LINES - What a good find, Jane. Love the greens and the light on the
fields. I think the same as someone else re cropping the sky? Maybe, completely because it
could make your wiggly, lead in lines, plus the adjoining two green striped fields, even stronger.
Your r/h side tree could still appear on a third if you jiggle your image about a bit. Of course, I
could be completely wrong! Your image seems sharp from front to back. Why can’t I find fields
like that? THROUGH THE WOODS- I love the light and the path leading you down to the
person (or object!) at the far end of it. VIEW TO S ON F- This gentle picture could be called
Lead in Lines 2 Jane!
JENNY- Nice to see you are still enjoying seeing pictures in BW - ROAD TO THE FARM has a
good b/w sky and your lead in lines direct your eye to the house. I really like this natural, rural
image with its mown field and rope around the gate I wonder if you cropped a strip of the l.h
side to just before the gate and a bit of the r.h side which would make it more of a square
format picture and so transform it into a stronger image. Maybe darken the sky a bit too. Just
a thought! ALHAM VALE – Great clouds and the water makes a natural lead in to the variety of
trees in the background. Taken on a bright and sunny day which makes for lots of contrast in
your picture. Do the dark areas at the back need to be highlighted a tad? A nice image.
LONELY POPPY - (Sounds like a book title). I love it. Just up my street with that lone red
poppy. Composition good – three quarters land, one quarter sky, a passing cloud to add interest,
all helped by the two green hedge/wood lead in lines, either side of this portrait format
landscape. The thistle, well we can’t always have it all our way with nature!
JILL- I Love VICARS CLOSE - which was not car-less when I went the other week! It’s a
detailed, sharp and crisp, punchy B/W image. CHEW VIEW - Like this picture too with the
people on the third sat enjoying the vista which has a nice pastel sky that doesn’t overpower
your image of the lake and countryside. MENDIP PANORAMA – A picture that just had to be
taken on a lovely summer’s day. Good depth of field throughout. Hope you took a drink with you
after climbing up there!

GRAHAM- Well, your pictures are memory jerkers, for you and all of us who miss travel. And
yes, you were good at taking landscapes- (and still are!)
PAULTON BASIN – TONY, great minds think alike. It was lovely light that night for
photographing water as your picture shows. Great colours, also your reflections are strong in
this image plus you have captured the bridge perfectly. LITTON LAKE – Ducks on your third,
reflections and interesting foreground greenery which lead your eye around the image. But best
of your three for me is ... BARLEY FIELD. The lighting over this picture is lovely, those white
clouds in the summer sky along with the deep strong colours of the house roof and trees, give
this picture for me a feeling of an oil painting. It sings to me. The lead in lines through the
swaying barley and that large tree on your third makes for a great composition.
REX - DESERT(ED) – and it almost is on this lovely day. The wall makes a good lead in line. Even
the sky leads your eye into the seaside town. Perhaps try a crop along the bottom to where the
line in the prom surface starts as that line would lead you in as well. Whatever, a great record
shot for the future. OUT OF THE MIST - Quite an atmospheric shot which I like, especially
those trees appearing out of the mist. Maybe a crop of the bottom here also . Or maybe not!
SUNLIGHT, SHADE AND ... Good lead in lines here- to the bend in the river and beyond. A
well thought out composition using shadows and reflections to make this bright and colourful
picture my favourite of your three.

Jane L says
It was clear that the photographers had taken heed of Jill’s landscape “rules” and the submissions show that they do make a difference! These were my top pic(k)s.
Suzanne tackled the exposure challenge of dark and light in her pictures well I think. Great viewpoint for the Royal Crescent and successful wide angle. Paulton Basin is a favourite haunt. Nice dappled trees in Plough ...

Like the angle of the gravestones and tree framing in Pamela’s To Die For (good title). The Lookout 2 (good framing) is better for me as the bottom crop to the building to remove the stones is too tight. Peace is nice too. Good wall angle and detail but find the top rhs trees and left side twigs draw the eye. Would a camera move to the left sort both and increase the framing a little?

Jane’s Woods is lovely with its path lead in and foreground tree detail. Feel the third rules could still be applied in Lead In Lines if the sky was reduced as there are other horizontals. Texture and patterns great. The power line lead in works well in Downside. Like the diagonal juxtaposition in foreground and cloud.

Tony’s use of wide angle in his Paulton Basin works well with good foreground and distant detail. Nice light and composition. Great capture of movement in the Barley field. Just the right amount of foreground for me with interesting patterns leading in to the tree then house. Good thirds! My favourite I think.

Jenny’s Poppy is a great composition, eye popping (!) colour, low viewpoint and the wide angle expanse of foreground works as the lead in to the distant view framed by the trees. Would not be the same without that cloud! Road to the Farm and Alham Vale are really pleasing images but find myself wanting colour!

[i]Jill’s Chew View has grown on me. Captures the mood of the moment and nice to see her applying her depth of field and thirds rules so well! Reminds me a bit of a “Visit Chew Valley” tourist brochure which is no bad thing.

Janice’s Whistle has very strong lead in lines. Great composition and another favourite place for me.