The recent events that resulted in me taking up the RPS Presidency nine months early caught me somewhat by surprise so I have been busy playing ‘catch-up’ with the various responsibilities of that office. Of course, the most important of these is to ensure the ongoing viability of the Board of Trustees (Council) in terms of membership and skills; to that end, I am hoping the Board will approve the appointment of three additional co-opted Trustees that will broaden the skill set of the Board, increase its diversity and take our number to eight, thus sharing the burden of work.
Although Board duties have taken up most of my time, I must now turn my attention to another responsibility, that of the President’s Blog. Both of my recent predecessors in the office of President - Dr Del Barrett ARPS (September 2019 - November 2019) and Dr Alan Hodgson HonFRPS (November 2019 - January 2021) had a definite talent for blogging but this is a completely new venture for me.
We have all enjoyed Alan’s many blogs during his time as President - amazingly, over 130 blog posts during his 14 months as President - but, alas, I cannot promise to be as prolific with my own output. That said, I will try to make each of my blogs interesting and informative, while one or two may even be very slightly inspirational. We’ll see, perhaps the discerning reader will be the best judge of that.
I am so very grateful to Emily Mathisen (RPS Web Content Manager) for taking the time to brief me on the process of blogging … she has the patience of a saint! Interestingly, both Emily and I share an interest in Star Trek so the “President’s Blog” very nearly became the “Captain’s Log” although we thought Evan - our Captain - might take exception to that. However my blogs will be judged by the reader, Emily must take the credit for helping me through the creative and technical process but any errors or omissions will be entirely my own.
Over the past few years, the RPS has moved forward in leaps and bounds with the frequency and quality of its communications to Members and to the wider photographic community. This has been achieved with such great success that I wonder what additional information or what benefit there could possibly be in a blog from the President. Well, I hope my blog - published on the RPS website under President's News - does not let the side down.
What on earth am I going to write about? To try to answer that question, I looked for a definition of ‘blog’ and found it described as a medium for expressing “thoughts, opinions and experiences to be shared with others” (Cambridge English Dictionary). So, using my Covid Lockdown time productively, that is exactly how I shall use the President’s Blog. I hope you enjoy my ramblings as I share with you, over the next two and a half years, some of my random “thoughts, opinions and experiences.”
To be strictly accurate, what you are now reading is actually my first blog. It is not just my first blog as RPS President but my first blog ever! So, I should perhaps end this one here and ‘knuckle down’ to writing my second blog. For that, I intend to write about something that links my home town of Harrogate (although I actually live some miles ‘out of town’ in Nidderdale) to the genre of British magazine photojournalism, and that to the creation of what is arguably the definitive archive of British press photography. I hope you find it an interesting read. Coming soon … Emily, help!
A wide open field in the cold light of a winter’s day … I hope this is not a metaphor for the RPS Presidency! One of hundreds of photographs taken during Lockdown while walking my dog, Oscar, to be used in a forthcoming book about the former Royal Hunting Forest of Knaresborough (which may also be the subject of a future President’s Blog).
Hasselblad X1D, 30mm f/3.5
Copyright © Simon Hill HonFRPS