Dr David Brown

When I was a teenager I had an ambition to become a wildlife photographer, but quickly discovered in those pre-digital days that it would be way-beyond my financial ability to achieve a high standard as an amateur.  I retired from a university academic career in September 2013 and was able to take up photography as the next serious challenge, hopeing to become a successful amateur wildlife photographer now in the digital era.  My first step was to acquire a prime telephoto lens.  I'm a keen competitive member of my local camera club: Gosforth Camera Club, affiliated to Northern Counties Photographic Federation (NCPF).  In 2015 I successfully attained CPAGB, mainly with wildlife images, and saw ARPS in Natural History as my next big challenge.  My son presented me with gift RPS membership for Christmas 2015; and I began my ARPS journey.  I attended a local RPS Distinctions day as an observer, then went to the RPS Nature Group ARPS/FRPS Distinctions Day (Foxton, Cambs: 2nd April 2016) - which was absolutely brilliant and left me with a very clear idea of what I needed to do.  In January 2017 I presented a panel of 'Waders of the Northumberland Coast' at an Advisory Day in Amersham, Bucks, and was advised by Jill Pakenham FRPS that my panel needed more variety of shot types. I rather hastily exchanged excess portrait shots with flying and other behavioural activities, then was assessed in Natural History Category at RPS HQ in Bath on 7th March 2017.  I was unsuccessful but received excellent feedback and was granted a 'resubmission'.  Many of my images lacked 'critical sharpness': I now have a top-of-the-range screen and have learned much about sharpening.  Many of my images showed the birds too large in the frame and would be better smaller and showing more of their environment.  Finally, I used a commercial printer to print, and on matt paper, and was advised that matt had not helped with critical sharpness: I now have an excellent printer (Epson SureColour P600) and am printing my own on far more appropriate paper.  Having followed the feedback advice as rigourously as I was able, and retaining just 4 of my original photographs (reprocessed and reprinted) plus 11 new images, I attended a second Assessment Day in Bath on 4th September 2018 and this time I was successful.

I am now working towards FIAP distinctions.  I am applying for AFIAP in the current 2019 round, and hoping to gain EFIAP by the 2020 application round.

I am External Competitions Secretary for my local club. I serve on Northern Counties Photographic Federation as Representative for the North Tyne Area, and I have recently joined the executive committee of the Northern Counties International Salon of Photography.

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