Adrian Gidney FRPS: My Fellowship statement of intent:
Although my journey to Fellowship seems quick to some people, I feel it was a progression from that first digital camera in 2013 in a series of stages, taking each one at a time with no expectations other than to improve my photography to the best of my ability.
I get a huge amount of joy from taking and producing images that I enjoy but this is not as great as the pleasure I get from being in the fells and mountains, watching the light change, often enjoying the solitude and feeling of well-being that it gives me.
Since retiring, Adrian has had the opportunity to pick up his camera and take photographs of friends and his outdoor activities, which eventually led to him being awarded the first Fellowship in the new Landscape Distinctions Category: Congratulations Adrian!
Some people might expect me to say I started photography as a teenager when given a Kodak camera and have worked my way up to attaining a fellowship after 40 years learning the craft.
The reality is I took up digital photography in a serious way in 2013 (I had retired after 30 years in the police) after buying a second-hand Canon G12 compact digital camera. This was to record my hill walking and outdoor activities.
I had spent around 10 years in the 1990s using a film camera, taking slide film of my friends and climbing in the UK and abroad.
In 2018 I completed the RPS/Open University Digital Photography Course: Creating and sharing better images. This was followed later that year by achieving a Licentiate with the RPS using the previous course as a basis for my ten images.
The following year I submitted a panel of fifteen images in the then new Documentary genre and was awarded an Associate of the Society.
2020 and Covid 19 affected us all. I started watching online interviews that the RPS were streaming. One in particular caught my attention and inspired me. It was an interview with landscape photographer Joe Cornish HonFRPS. He had been made panel chair of the newly formed Landscape genre.
I realised I had been photographing the Lake District landscapes seriously for the last five years or so and thought I might have the basis of a Fellowship panel of 20 or 21 images. I selected around 200 images in a ‘collection’ in Lightroom which I quickly shortlisted to around 50.
After the initial lockdown I continued to walk and camp in the fells, taking images early in the mornings and as the sun was setting. I knew my panel was going to be about the light on the landscape and how it constantly and quickly changes. Living on the edge of such a beautiful landscape, one cannot help but be inspired by the way the light transforms every scene in a matter of minutes, depending on the seasons and the weather which changes from sunshine to snow and hail in a matter of minutes. To me, there is nothing better than packing a rucksack with camping gear, setting off to find a space to camp by a tarn or stream, allowing me to wander onto the tops to photograph the sunset, followed by a cup of tea sitting by your tent. A reasonable amount of sleep sees you a short walk from some of the most fantastic sunrises you can see in the UK.
Enjoy your photography but enjoy the landscape and what it gives to us. You can see more of my work at adegidneyphotography.com
This article was first published in the RPS Landscape Magazine, Spring 2021.
All images are © Ade Gidney FRPS