Hill on Photography

'If a camera could capture poetry, this might well be what it would look like' -
The Guardian.

2014 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize

Michael Pritchard, generalissimo of the RPS, was there, took this appealing image, and wrote this:

There was a preview of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 nominees at London’s Photographers’ Gallery last week.

We caught up with our friends Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE ARPS, Colin Ford CBE and his wife Sue; Marta Weiss, curator at the V&A; Brett Rogers Director of the Gallery; and (shown here) photographer and teacher Paul Hill MBE and his partner Maria Falconer FRPS. 

Thank you, Michael

Make up your own mind about the nominees. The winners will be announced on 12 May. (http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/home)

Caption: Thanks Deutsche Borse - the £30k will help us develop our practice, assist with new projects, and help us keep on top of our wine bill…



Camilla Brown

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 

The Box, QUAD, Cathedral Quarter, Derby DE1 3AS Tel. 01332 290606 

6.30 – 8.30       £ 3

Exhibiting your work in a gallery or public context presents its own challenges as it is such a different format of disseminating work, as opposed to the book or presenting a portfolio. As a curator of photography shows Camilla Brown has extensive experience of working with photographers and designing exhibitions and was senior curator at The Photographers Gallery, London. Using examples of exhibitions she has curated, Camilla will discuss the issues faced when displaying work. This should provide an informal context for the group to spend some time thinking about exhibitions.  It would be great to talk about photography exhibitions that have made an impact on you and why, alongside people discussing their ideas about presenting their own work.

Camilla trained as an art historian completing her MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is a curator, writer and lecturer on contemporary art, specialising in photography. For ten years she worked at The Photographers’ Gallery, London and before that was Exhibitions Curator at Tate Liverpool. She now has an academic post at Middlesex University. She regularly writes for artists monographs and contributes to history of photography books, alongside her work as an art critic for Photomonitor.co.uk. Examples of her work appear on her website at www.camillaebrown.co.uk <http://www.camillaebrown.co.uk/> .

If you have any images you would like to share that evening in our 5 X 5 slot, email paul@hillonphotography.co.uk.

Tuesday 27th May

Founded in 2012 by Valentina Abenavoli and Alex Bocchetto, Akina Books is an independent publishing house of hand-made photobooks based in London. Our guests will share some of their past and present projects, including the recent collaborative publication between FORMAT and Slideluck London Hungry Still, and discuss their working practices and processes in publishing. They will also discuss Akina Factory, a photobook production oriented laboratory; a space to conceive projects, manufacture books, share know-how and ideas. It can be incredibly difficult to figure out how to create and self-publish a photobook from scratch. It is time consuming and skill intensive: Akina’s Factory can help you through this creative and technical process. Following on from this, regular host Paul Hill will lead a Q+A session with Valentina and Alex.

Details about Photoforums and booking a place can be found on


New 2 Day Workshop in Sheffield



Site Gallery, Sheffield

May 24th & 25th, 2014

A two-day photography workshop with Paul Hill and Maria Falconer

Explore the mysteries of nature and look beyond the physical nature of things during a weekend workshop with award winning photographer Paul Hill MBE, assisted by Maria Falconer FRPS.

Marking the Land alludes to Paul Hill’s photography of the Peak District, capturing the relationship between marks made on the land by man and nature and by the process of photography.

This workshop takes place during artist Wu Chi-Tsung’s exhibition at Site Gallery, Dust. Chi-Tsung is an artist who tests the application of light and shadow in photography and installation to explore the natural landscapes and city-scapes of East Asia. He captures invisible worlds and re-imagines the technological and natural world around him.

Book your place to join Paul and Maria for a weekend exploring these ideas in the countryside and the city with two field work sessions, where you will have the opportunity to enhance your photographic techniques with hands-on tuition, and group feedback at Site on the photographs you have taken.

This workshop is aimed at photographers of mixed ability and offers appropriate support and guidance to suit varied levels of experience.

£180.00 per person, limited spaces available.
Although the price includes light refreshments and group transport, participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

Each day the workshop starts with coffee at 9.00am and finishes at 5.00pm.

Author of the highly influential book, White Peak Dark Peak, Paul (www.hillonphotography.co.uk) has been teaching photography in higher education for many decades, and was the first professor of photographic practice in a British university. He created the famous Photographers’ Place group workshops in Derbyshire, and has specialised in running photography workshops throughout the world.
A Derbyshire-based photographer, Maria (www.mariafalconer.co.uk) is also a very experienced teacher, whose work Keep Her Unnoticed, received much critical acclaim and resulted in her being awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.

To book, contact:


For more details email Jane Faram (jane@sitegallery.org.uk) or paul@hillonphotography.co.uk

Site Gallery, 1,Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS Tel. 0114 2812077


Great time in Paris which started with a fantastic acoustic gig by Skunk Anansie, with Skin and Maria’s brother, Len Arran (right), followed by Brassai and Robert Adams exhibitions, which you had to queue for. Photography is always popular! Matthieu Pernot at Jeu de Paume was a revelation!
Last image is not the Hunchback of Notre Dame on a smartphone, its Maria composing on the steps to Sacre Coeur…

What matters on photography?

Thought this bit of Francis Hodgson’s piece for Photoworks was spot-on. Heiferman is always good value. Read on:

The internet has weakened the role of gate-keeper to knowledge and allowed much more direct access than there used to be. It’s the age of DIY. In something like photography, where access to the material is not the problem, that’s not just a question of having very good cameras on our phones. It’s that we have all become our own in-house curating and collections teams. That’s the thrust of Marvin Heiferman’s Photography Changes Everything, that once a picture or a group of pictures matter enough to anybody, they acquire an importance which is not necessarily implicit in what they are, but in what that person makes them. I’ve written about mattering elsewhere, about how tricky a word it is, and how central in photography. But I think we can formulate it more succinctly than I have in the past. In the new photography, all that matters is that it matters. To somebody.

Workshops in May/June/July

Landscape Photography - Cromford Mill and the Derwent Valley
17 May 2014

09:00 - 17:30


Derbyshire Dales
Cromford Mill
nr Matlock
United Kingdom

RPS Member £130.00 
Non RPS Member £155.00

The RPS has teamed up with the famous Photographers’ Place, and are offering a series of three workshops in the glorious Peak District of Derbyshire in May, June and July. The sessions will appeal to those who have gone beyond the beginners’ stage and want a chance to immerse themselves in photography and explore landscape photography from an aesthetic as well as from a technical point of view.
These workshops will be run by Professor Paul Hill MBE, Martin Shakeshaft MA, and Nick Lockett MA. There will be three different locations for the workshops which can be attended as single events or as a series if you wish. We are also doing TWO more after Cromford Mill.

Dovedale and Ilam Hall– one of Lord Byron’s favourite places

7th June

Magpie Mine and Lathkill Dale – a National Nature Reserve

12th July

Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill is thought by many to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, which it is why it is a World Heritage Site and popular with archeologists and photographers alike. Nearby is Matlock Bath, the destination of the first tourist outing by Thomas Cook. It is on the banks of the River Derwent, as is Willesley Castle, which was built by Arkwright, then the richest man in Europe because of the phenomenal success of his cotton mills and his inventive genius. The workshop is based in the Gothic Warehouse next to Cromford Canal, which once linked with the High Peak railway – the longest in the world at one time.
All around are historic buildings and wonderful countryside – a stimulating mixture of the natural and the man-made.
With three vastly experienced tutors it will be possible to will cover a wide range of topics, including developing personal photographic projects that lead to a meaningful body of work; how to improve your digital capture; medium and large format photography; working with lighting – speedlights and studio lights; moving image on your DSLR; post production in Photoshop and Lightroom; publishing your photography online and in books. As well as an introduction to quadcopter aerial photography!
At the end of the day there will be an open feedback session in the seminar room where the group will look at each other’s selection of images made during the day. Bring your work-in-progress portfolio along for a one-to-one feedback review session with one of the tutors.
Groups will be no more than six people per tutor.

Book online, but non-members have to register




Please come equipped with sturdy boots or shoes, wet weather gear and a day bag to carry lunches, cameras etc. Walking will be on easy terrain but with plenty of stops to make pictures. Participants should bring a digital SLR with a blank memory card – or of course you can shoot on film / medium format / large format. Bring your laptop, if you have one, to edit your images at the end of the day before the feedback session. Remember to bring your portfolio if you would like a one-to-one feedback review session with one of the tutors.
If you are a National Trust member, bring your membership card to Ilam Hall. There are two car parks at both Cromford Mill and Monyash. Online map links:
Although you can bring your own food, there will be coffee, tea, and biscuits available in the workshop venues. Despite the rural locations of the workshops, there are several cafes and pubs nearby.
Over its 20 year history, The Place taught a whole generation of photographers and inspired many to also set up independent photography groups (e.g. London Independent Photography), galleries (e.g. Street Level, Glasgow), festivals (e.g. Derby International Festival of Photography, now FORMAT), and the RPS Contemporary Group.
Amongst those who led workshops and master classes during its previous existence were: Martin Parr, Thomas Joshua Cooper, John Blakemore, Brian Griffin, Raymond Moore, Lewis Baltz, Bill Jay, Hamish Fulton, Andy Earl, Aaron Siskind, Paul Caponigro, Jo Spence, Cole Weston and Ralph Gibson.
Workshop attendees included Fay Godwin, then improving her photography and Paul Graham, getting his early education in art photography at that time.
Paul is visiting professor of photography at De Montfort University, Leicester and the University of Derby.
After a career in journalism, Paul Hill became a full-time lecturer in photography at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham in 1974 where he was later appointed head of the trend-setting Creative Photography course. In the seventies he also set up, with his late wife, Angela, The Photographers’ Place – the UK’s first residential photography workshop – at their Peak District home.
He has exhibited regularly since 1970 throughout the British Isles, Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia and is co- author (with Thomas J. Cooper) of Dialogue with Photography (1979/2005), followed by Approaching Photography (1982/2004), White Peak Dark Peak (1990), and Corridor of Uncertainty (2010). His work is in the art collections of, amongst others, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford; Arts Council England; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Cleveland Museum of Art in the USA. He was the first chairman of the RPS Contemporary Group and the Contemporary Distinctions Panel. In 1994 he was awarded an MBE by The Queen for services to photography.
Martin Shakeshaft is a documentary photographer based in the Peak District. He combines working on editorial projects with teaching digital imaging. A particular area of interest is developing opportunities that the internet and new media offer the contemporary photographer.
Editorial clients have included, BBC; Channel 4 Television; S4C; The Economist; The Daily Mirror; The Independent; Newsweek Magazine and many others. A selection of his work is housed in the National Museum of Wales’s permanent collection. He also set up the MA in Visual Journalism and Documentary at De Montfort University, Leicester.
He has recently concluded a 25 year project, looking at the long term effects of the closure of the coal industry on the people and landscape of South Wales. This has been widely published both in this country and abroad.
Nick Lockett lectures in photography, video and digital imaging at De Montfort University, and also works as a busy freelance editorial photographer. He is a very experienced photography teacher and workshop leader. Much of his personal landscape photography is concerned with ancient sites and trackways near his home in the Peak District. He works digitally but also has a passion for large format photography, often making pictures at night.
For twenty years he was Chief Photographer and Head of Pictures for Carlton Television in London, producing still images and picture publicity on TV programmes as diverse as INSPECTOR MORSE, SPITTING IMAGE and POP IDOL. His work has been widely published in books and magazines, and has been exhibited in the UK and abroad.
Time: 9.00am – 5pm
Place: Cromford Mill
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/coadS
Parking: There is parking at the venue.
Image: © Paul Hill MBE
Cancellation policy
Notice of Cancellation - Please inform us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a course as it is not possible to refund any cancellation or transfer to another workshop less than 14 days prior to course start date. The Society reserves the right to cancel a workshop 7 days prior to its start date - please check your hotel and travel cancellation policy as this may be affected.

Well done Doctor Taylor!


Good to be around - together with his wife, Chris(right) and Maria Falconer - when my old mate Roger Taylor received his Honorary Doctorate ay University of Derby recently. Well overdue!!


When I started teaching at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham in the 1970s one of first students was TOM SANDBERG, who subsequently carved out an illustrious photographic career in his native Norway. He sadly died recently after a long illness.
He lived life to the full, but above all he was a passionate photographic artist with a unique vision.

Tom was a great student and we saw each other several times after he graduated from Trent Polytechnic. He helped me with workshops at The Photographers Place in the mid 1970s and when I went over in 1977 to the Fotogaleriet in Oslo. It was the first photo gallery in Norway. He was complex and troubled a lot of the time, but when we were together he had a great generosity of spirit, as well as tremendous enthusiasm and ambition for his own work and photography in general. His personal vision was outstanding and his exhibitions and publications will form a lasting legacy of a wonderful photographer and artist.

I remember when I did some workshops in Norway and Sweden over 30 years ago, Tom got on the train to Sweden so he could get involved with my British Council funded trip. When he got to Stockholm overland, he had nowhere to stay and little money, but I managed to sneak him into the posh hotel that they put me me in though a back door, and he slept on the couch in my bedroom! It was good to have him there and I was so glad that he was able to make some lasting photographic contacts in Stockholm too.

Photo: Jamie Parslow

Bumped into Richard Billingham in Weston super Mare. 
He is really into nature and says that if it wasn&#8217;t for that passion for the outdoors when he was a kid on a Black Country council estate, he doesn&#8217;t think he could have managed to escape his turbulent childhood and the surrounding poverty.
He also told me he borrowed White Peak Dark Peak from the library and had it out for 3 months, which shows he&#8217;s got taste:-)


Bumped into Richard Billingham in Weston super Mare.
He is really into nature and says that if it wasn’t for that passion for the outdoors when he was a kid on a Black Country council estate, he doesn’t think he could have managed to escape his turbulent childhood and the surrounding poverty.
He also told me he borrowed White Peak Dark Peak from the library and had it out for 3 months, which shows he’s got taste:-)