27 January 2010

Aiming for an 'L' - Advisory Day Report

Last Sunday was the day of my Advisory Day, in Amersham. I finished preparing my proposed panel the day before, when I discovered that the prints I'd mounted earlier had 'cockled'. Very annoying, but too late to do anything about it.

On arrival at the venue, I handed over my images to join the line of panels waiting. It was nice to meet Shirley Hollis who was in the queue with me, and who has already passed her 'L' and was at the day for feedback relating to her 'A'. Her friendliness was a nice 'extra' to the day. After handing over my work I was very grateful for two cups of tea, after which I began to feel a bit more normal!

The day started sharp to time, with two sample panels, an 'L' panel and an 'A' panel. The reasons for their success was discussed before moving on to looking at the print panels brought for comment.

The panels were put up one by one, laid out as per the photographer's designated order, with any 'spare' images put up on a second rack. Comments were made on each panel, from technical to presentation aspects, and in some cases images from the 'spares' were moved into the main panel. It was very interesting to see how the assessors moved images around and what their reasons were for doing so. For the printed panels a lot of the comments related to the 'look' of the panel, which pictures had been selected, and what order they were placed in. It was interesting that the assessors didn't always agree! There seemed to be more 'technical' comment on the projected images, but this may have been just the way it went 'on the day'. The panels varied enormously in content and style so it was also interesting to see other photographers' work.

Several panels were shown before mine was put up, by which time I was very nervous indeed. I was very relieved when my panel received some positive comments with one image requiring some technical tidying up and a couple of others needing to be reprinted at a smaller size to better balance the presentation. Quite straightforward adjustments, so I am on course for submitting my final panel for assessment in March at Focus on Imaging at the NEC.

I would definitely recommend attending an advisory day for anyone who is considering an RPS distinction. It was a very interesting, informative and enjoyable day.

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