Natural History distinction by Peter Orr ARPS

23 January 2016

Region: Southern

All images © Peter Orr ARPS


I enjoy working in most genres but 80% of my portfolio is of Wildlife and Landscape images.  Having had an interest in birds for as long as I can remember, I decided to develop that interest by photographing them carrying out their everyday activities and constructing a Natural History panel for my ARPS entry.

Initially, I set out to take flying bird photographs but after a trip to Antarctica I wanted to include penguins so the scope was modified to 15 different species of birds. The majority of the photographs remained of flying birds associated with water taken with a long telephoto lens.  Since I was interested in having as much control over the final product as possible, I decided to print and mount my work myself and was able to filter my portfolio of ARPS prints down to a manageable number by being very careful to include only those images that were sharply in focus at the critical points and that showed no saturated whites.

I initially attended an ARPS assessment day as an observer and later an advisory day to better understand the standards that were deemed acceptable and to obtain feedback along the way. During my preparations I found it very helpful to meet up with other photographers who were also working towards their ARPS in workshops that included some very experienced Natural History photographers who were also panel members. There is a great deal of valuable feedback available during this process and I would strongly recommend any aspiring Distinction applicants to take advantage of the advice and recommendations that are so freely given.

The assessment process was quite onerous on the day at Fenton House and by the time my panel was judged there had been 10 entries with only one recommendation for a pass. I was therefore very pleased and relieved to learn that my entry had been unanimously judged as meeting the required standard and was to be recommended to the RPS committee for acceptance. When the chairman of the Natural History panel judges asked me later if I would be prepared to let the RPS use my prints during their advisory days for reference, I was delighted to be able to assist others on their ARPS journeys.

Hanging Plan

Peter Orr ARPS

see more of Peter's photography at

Comments (1)

15 February 2016

Gorgeous images and some helpful comments in your notes, even for a photographer who, while preparing for an A assessment, is not doing Natural History.

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