Photographic Portfolio

RCTS Photographic Portfolios – Vacancies

The RCTS has a number of photographic portfolios circulating among participants, where photos of railway interest, are subject to scrutiny and constructive criticism by other participants. Any railway-related subject matter is acceptable. Portfolios are generally posted or passed on by hand to the next member on the list. There are both print and digital portfolios, and there are currently vacancies in both.

The print portfolios are for those who like to produce, see and handle high quality prints. These are usually around A4 size (bigger ones cannot be handled) or sometimes smaller. Each picture has a criticism sheet where the photographer inserts caption and technical details, and other participants write their comments on it. The benefit – as I have certainly discovered from participation over many years- is that we all learn from each other about techniques, products, etc. A notebook accompanies each portfolio, or ‘box’, in which free discussion about what we’re all up to, where we’ve been, various photographic techniques, etc. The quality generally is high, and seeing the work of others is often a real inspiration. Boxes are passed on by post (at the participant’s expense), though circulation is arranged so that hand delivery is a realistic alternative where possible. There are currently 4 boxes in circulation, members participate in all boxes and can expect to receive one every 3 months or so.

The digital portfolio consists of a travelling memory stick on which participants can put their images for criticism. Comments may include revised versions of a picture by other participants. This is likely to be of interest more to those who rarely print but like to post or view images on screen or on electronic media such as websites.

Bob Avery looks after the print portfolios and Dave Sharp in Sheffield looks after the digital portfolios, though Bob has overall responsibility. There three main rules:

  • Participants must be RCTS members,
  • Participants must take care of portfolios while in their possession and not hold onto portfolios for inappropriate lengths of time (two weeks is considered a good benchmark)
  • Participants must not be rude or abusive in their criticisms.

Why not make it a New Year’s resolution to join the portfolios? Anyone who is interested in joining our ranks is asked to contact Bob Avery in the first instance by email to

Last updated: 31st January 2020