Mr Philip Pound
I have now been a member of the RPS for more than two years. Photography was always a hobby for me and I was (and still am) an enthusiastic member of two camera clubs - Beckenham Photographic Society and South London Photographic Society (well not such an enthusiastic member of the latter since many of the better photographers have left and the club concentrates on beginners).
The standard at Beckenham Photographic Society is very high and seeing work of such a high standard from other photographers has certainly improved my level of photography.
I started judging a few years ago when fed up with judges who had no idea how photos were created (HDR, plug ins etc.) and therefore no idea whether they were well done or not. There are some very good judges who provide excellent feedback but sadly too many people take the opinion of judges too seriously. My own view is that you should take photos that you like and if someone else likes them that is a bonus. Certainly you should not be taking photos to appeal to a judge.
For 3 years I was Chair of the Federation of South London Photographic Societies.
I "retired" from working in the insurance business to concentrate on an online magic business that I run, and to "take my photography to new levels".
I started a photography business. I sell photographs and greeting cards (created from my photographs), do commissions for weddings, christenings, family and pet portraits etc., and teach photography and Photoshop / Lightroom to all levels, from beginners to advanced workers. I love sharing my knowledge with others, and it is a bonus to get paid for something that I enjoy.
I was never interested in having letters after my name (I did not use the ones that I had in my previous life before retiring so why would I want them for my hobby?).
But, in talking to many friends that I have, who DO have RPS qualifications (and are very proud of them), I realised that getting qualifications at the RPS is a way of improving my photography.
I am always seeking to improve and know that each time that I take photos they are better than the ones that I took before. That is a good thing.
So, after joining the RPS, attending an LRPS Advisory day as an observer in Greenwich, and presenting images at an Advisory Day in Devon, I submitted my Licentiateship panel for judging in Bath. I am pleased to say that after a little hiccup (one of my prints was referred because there was no detail in an area where the sun shone on a glass building and I had to resubmit a different image), my panel passed and I am now an LRPS
I am a member of both the RPS Travel and Digital Imaging Groups and recently became a member of the Travel Group Committee.
I am one of the many people who submitted a panel of 15 images under the Travel category for the next level of distinction - the Associateship, and failed.
I shall almost certainly be resubmitting a panel for the RPS Associateship but it will definitely not be in the Travel category.
That I do not know which (if any of the 15 prints that I included in the panel) were of sufficient standard is evidence that i learned nothing from the process. I thought that going through the RPS distinctions process would improve my photography. How wrong I was.
That so many people failed and so few passed is, I think, evidence that the RPS has failed abysmally in getting people to understand the standard of photography required. I know that view is not shared by the Distinctions Panel.
However, the RPS is more than an organisation for distinctions and I am pleased that I have learnt from attending meetings organised by the RPS and from seeing the work of fellow members.