A day for double celebration.

Not only is this my 2500th blip* but, with perfect timing, the postman today delivered this certificate which confirms that I am now an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS).

It is over 9 years since I gained my Licentiateship (LRPS) and I always wanted to try for the Associateship, but I could never come up with a theme which inspired me.  An Associate panel requires a Statement of Intent, which explains what the panel of images is attempting to show.  As my style of photography and the subjects I choose to photograph have changed over the years, I never seemed to be able to settle on a subject for a panel.

However, when my wife saw the images that I brought back from Kolkata last November, she persuaded me that I had the makings of a suitable travel panel.  I took one-to-one advice at the Photography Show in Birmingham last March, and finalised the panel a month or so ago. My trip to Bristol a couple of weeks ago (I didn't make it obvious in my blips) was to attend the assessment day at the RPS Headquarters in the city.

It was a lot of work (selecting images, printing images, re-printing images to improve them, re-re-printing some images because I still wasn't satisfied, discussions with Fotospeed (the manufacturer of the ink and paper I use) about how to reduce bronzing (gloss variation) on the prints, spraying the prints with a protective spray (which solved the problem), mounting the prints, then re-mounting a couple of prints because I didn't feel they were perfect enough).  Waiting for the assessment was also more stressful than I had anticipated.

However, it was all worth it, gaining the award at my first attempt. You can see my successful panel here.

For anyone not familiar with the RPS distinctions, I include below the organisation's suggested paragraph for my "media release" (as if I were going to notify the national newspapers of my success!).

The RPS's distinctions are internationally respected and sought-after by professional and amateur photographers.  Over 1000 applications for Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship are received each year with around 600 being successful. Submissions are held in different categories and are assessed by a qualified Panel of senior members of the Society.  The Society takes great care in maintaining standards and in promoting excellence amongst photographers.

The Royal Photographic Society is the UK's leading photography organisation with a distinguished heritage, a relevance to the present, and a vision for the future.  The RPS's mission is to promote and encourage the highest standards of photography through exhibitions, publications and activities, and to support individual achievement through education and recognition. Both a charity and a membership organisation, with around 11,600 members worldwide, the Society is open to anyone with an interest in photography.  The Society is consulted by government and other organisations and represents photography in the media.

*Note: only the last 2489 blips have been consecutive daily posts as it took me a couple of weeks to get into the habit of daily posting.

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