Alison Taylor ARPS - Statement of Intent
I love standing on the sand looking out to sea and watching how it interacts with the shore. Sometimes the waves draw lines on the beach and at other times they create shapes which only last a few minutes. In my panel there is no human interaction or intervention. My photographs show what I see when standing on the strandline. It is always changing and never the same. The camera is able to reveal patterns and textures that are invisible to the naked eye adding new dimensions to my shoreline odyssey. I can capture the flow of the sea on the shore and the patterns and reflections it makes in the sand; huge waves make magical shapes and the skies are big and full of character. It is my world.
Following her Licentiateship, Alison was inspired by the coast to create her Associateship Project. Working on a focused plan, it wasn’t until the final stages that Alison took advice to finalise her submission. Here, Alison describes her journey to successful submission.
As soon as I had been awarded my LRPS in 2018 I knew that there was a project in me that would work for an ARPS. I had discovered that my photography love is for the sea and the waves and so an idea was born.
It took me the best part of 2 years to finalise the photographs that would form part of my submission and I took the advice of RPS assessors as I went along. I made a conscious decision not to ask for lots of opinions as I reckoned there was less chance of me receiving conflicting advice and I would always be able to move forward. I had 4 contact points with the RPS along the way and they served me very well. However, at the end of the day, it is up to you to make choices and keep control of the quality and content in your final presentation. I sent my proposed panel to the RPS for a review. The feedback again was very encouraging but it was suggested that the weather conditions in the panel were too similar. In an attempt to get conformity in the shades and tones I hadn’t realised that I was presenting identical weather conditions. This resulted in quite a big upheaval in my panel, especially in the sky and sand sections, but I know there is no point asking advice if you don’t follow it. This was another reason for my decision only to ask RPS assessors for help.
There’s absolutely no room for sentiment in the composition of the final panel. As with the LRPS, you have to be prepared to sacrifice your favourites and insert new images to improve the presentation. I juggled 6x4 prints on my dining room table to see what worked or which images needed to be flipped to achieve better flow.
The process also gave me a wonderful reason to go to the coast whenever I felt the weather was promising. Or even when it wasn’t. Building a portfolio of photographs must never be a chore or you won’t be inspired to get out there and absorb yourself in the environment. You need to be able to access your locations easily or you won’t get enough opportunities to get a large enough photo portfolio and the process is definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. Most of my portfolio was taken within an hour’s drive of home with the remainder on holiday, where I could still revisit promising locations during my stay.
This article was first published in the RPS Landscape Magazine, Spring 2021.
All images are © Alison Taylor ARPS