Paul Burgess ARPS - September Newsletter

Josie - from last month's studio portrait workshop - Paul Burgess

A lot has happened since the last newsletter in August. The studio is open, we have started a new term of creative photography evening classes, and an expanded Marks of Conflict show is currently running at the Kaleidoscope Gallery in Sevenoaks at the invitation of the SVAF Group, which runs the gallery.

The Studio at Turvins Farm

The studio is now fully working and we have had several successful workshops which have allowed us to see how it best works as a space. 3-4 people seem to be the best number per workshop. This gives everybody space to work and it allows me to spend more time with each person.

I've decided to opt for LED lighting for studio work, although I'm retaining my Elinchrom studio flash setup for now. I'm using Godox SL60W's, which look to all intents and purposes like studio flash units but are high-powered LED lights. They take standard Bowens softboxes etc. and can be controlled remotely. The great advantage to me when teaching is that what you see is what you get, allowing you to make fine adjustments to the lighting and see the effect immediately, unlike flash where you only get a vague indication of the end result from the modeling lights. The only downside (if it is actually a downside) is that you have to use larger apertures and possibly higher ISO settings when compared to flash. I find that in a small studio my settings for a flash setup are f11/f16 and ISO 160 (little room for creativity). The image above was taken with the LED setup ISO 400, f4.0, and 1/350 sec. This setup allows me to use large apertures to achieve a shallow depth of focus, which I can't do with flash - win/win!

I'm planning more studio portrait workshops and other studio-based events in the next couple of months - see the dates below.

Studio Portrait Workshop, LED lighting setup - August 2022 - Paul Burgess

Summer Courses and Workshops

I ran a short evening course over the summer. The aim was to get out and photograph while the evening light was good enough. As the weather was generally good, we managed to get out to photograph locally and in London most weeks. Highlights were the street photography session on London's Southbank, the Sunflower Fields at Fordecombe and photographing moving cars from the motorway bridges at Chipstead. We also had a good session in the studio trying out the flash system.

As well as the summer course, I ran several workshops both in and out of the studio:

  • Southbank evening and nighttime photography

  • Sunflower Fields

  • Studio flower photography

  • High-speed flash photography

  • Studio portraits

Here are some images that I grabbed during the summer.

Images from Summer Workshops and Courses - Paul Burgess

Have you ever considered working towards a Royal Photography Society distinction?

If you would like to be recognised for your photography, the Royal Photographic Society (the RPS) offers a range of distinctions that any photographer can work towards. Distinctions are offered at 3 levels:

Licentiate Member (LRPS)

To become a Licentiate of The RPS, applicants must show variety in approach and techniques but not necessarily in the subject matter. Demanding but achievable for most dedicated photographers.

Associate Member (ARPS)

Requires a body of work/project of a high standard and a written Statement of Intent. Strong technical ability using techniques and photographic practices appropriate to the subject.

Fellowship (FRPS)

The highest level of Distinction. Requires a distinctive and cohesive body of work/project accompanied by a written Statement of Intent.

Applying for a distinction is not an overnight process. Building a submission takes considerable time but is worth the effort as the distinction is recognised by photographers around the world.

My Creative Photography courses are a good starting point for you if you are interested in working towards a distinction. The evening course, plus breakout face-to-face workshops will support you as you go through the process. If you are interested, please give me a call on 07983 394 550 or drop me an email

Upcoming Events

There is a lot happening over the next couple of months.

Marks of Conflict Show Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks 14th - 24th September

Multi-image photograph, Chevening - Paul Burgess

Creative Photography, online evening classes.

There is still time to join on either a Monday or Wednesday evening

Each week we look at the work of established photographers in a particular genre and the associated techniques that they use in their work. I suggest weekly homework tasks related to the topics that we have been discussing.

An important part of the class is the sharing of your images via Zoom, with other members of the group. Everybody is encouraged to give constructive feedback in these sessions and to share their knowledge, when appropriate.

As well as the weekly mini-projects, I encourage every student to work towards producing a body of work on a subject of their choice. This may be a short-term personal project or a larger body of work, working towards Royal Photographic Society distinction (LRPS or ARPS), a group or a solo exhibition. This aspect of the course complements and dovetails with the RPS’s programme of advisory days and assessments

Beginners 1 Day Course in the Studio

I still have a couple of places left on the one-day beginner's course in the studio on Saturday 24th of September. This course is for anybody who wants to get to grips with the buttons and menus on their camera or who is thinking of buying their first camera. The course covers all the basics of taking photographs and editing your images. This is a practical course and there will be opportunities during the day to put your new skills into practice.


Landscape Workshops

Flowers and Landscape Workshop at Lullingstone Castle and World Garden

Tuesday, September 27th

Fungi and Autumn Colours - Darent Valley

Sunday 23rd October


Studio Based Workshops

Dunes, Camber Sands - Cyanotype print from digital negative - Paul Burgess

  1. Studio Portraiture - Saturday 15th October

  2. Cyanotype Printing from Digital Negatives - Saturday, October 1st

  3. Flower Photography in the Studio - Saturday 22nd October