Richard Ellis ARPS - Statement of Intend
Sea and Structure
Having grown up on the Welsh coast in a village that only existed thanks to coastal structures they have always held a fascination for me. Humans have constructed coastal structures for leisure, to defend their land from both erosion and invaders, and to guide mariners to safe passage.
My portfolio explores the form of man-made structures, that resonate with me, within their coastal environment.
In 2015 I was awarded my LRPS with a panel based on my natural history and landscape photography. Having been given my award I took a break from the distinctions process and just enjoyed my “L” status. Happiness has been defined as “wanting what you have” and this seemed to apply here.
After a year or so I was ready to embark on the challenge of the associateship and so started to think about a project.
I was born on the mid-Wales coast and so the sea and the role of sea defences in protecting the coast provided some inspiration. After some more thought and some photography I settled on shooting a panel of images that explored the form of man-made structures that resonate with me, within their coastal environment.
Initial panel (28/12/2016)
I planned a series of excursions to the coast, using Google satellite views and the internet to identify suitable locations. In January 2017 I was ready to go for my first advisory day. The feedback was that the panel subject was suitable but needed some better images so I needed to get out and shoot lots more images in order to have a bigger bench from which to pick.
I persevered with the images and presented my work a couple of times at the Photographers in Camera (PiC) group associated with Amersham Photographic Society.
- Pick a subject that really fires your imagination: You will be shooting the subject over a prolonged period so you need to want to get out there and do it.
- Get the photography right first and then worry about the printing, panelling and presentation – I spent too long on the printing, panelling and presentation and not enough time on the photography for my first advisory day.
- Do not shoot too many of the honeypot locations - it is hard to do something novel. - Present your panel widely and gather feedback but remember it is your panel.
- When you seal your box up and take it to HQ make sure there is nothing you wished you had done; it needs to be your very best effort.
- Maintain perspective and enjoy the process: Remember you are doing it to challenge yourself.
This was a great source of inspiration and ideas. Finally, in October 2018 I was ready for my assessment and after a nervous few minutes I was delighted when the chairman read out my name. I thought it may be of interest to show how the panel evolved so I have included a panel of my first submission.
Richard Ellis is the chair of the RPS Landscape SIG and a member of Windsor Photographic Society.
This article was first published in the RPS Landscape Magazine, Spring 2019.
All images are © Richard Ellis ARPS