Jan Harris ARPS - Statement of Intent
I have always found the way that mist changes the landscape fascinating, hiding some details and revealing others, shifting and altering, creating an ephemeral beauty. A forecast of mist is, for me, the best reason to get up before dawn. I enjoy walking along the river, watching the light change with the thickness of the mist and the rising of the sun. Only a few people – rowers, boatmen and women and dog walkers – are awake to share this early morning world.
In my panel I aim to record the transient beauty of the misty riverside along three short stretches of the Thames.
Producing a set of images for possible submission for an Associateship is a challenge which Jan Harris describes in the text accompanying her successful panel of fifteen images. Taking the opportunity to discuss her images at the Group’s conference, and identifying a style that she was confident with, meant that everything went according to plan for Jan on assessment day.
Overcoming an insurmountable challenge
Producing an ARPS panel always seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Fifteen prints that all work together and communicate ‘an individual’s vision and understanding’. Where to even start?
Other photographers assured me that I could reach the standard, although I didn’t completely believe them, but that still left the problem of having a style. I took landscapes and macro, travel and urban scenes, occasionally people – all sorts. Over time, I found that the images I was most satisfied with were my misty landscapes – perhaps I did have a style after all!
I looked at my catalogue and found I had about 10 images that I felt were good enough. Clearly, I needed more images but I was limited to when the mist occurred on mornings that I could get out to shoot. I decided to concentrate on taking images along the Thames close to home.
Fortunately, the right conditions did happen on a few mornings and I had what I felt was a good set of images. I took this set to the Landscape Group conference, where there was an informal advisory workshop with Paul Mitchell FRPS. He gave positive feedback so I took the plunge and booked an assessment day in October 2019.
Ironically, just before the conference, I had a couple of mornings with perfect conditions and took several good images. I didn’t have time to print them to take along to the advisory day, but I added these to my set of potential prints to try out some rearrangements and three of these prints went into my final panel.
One useful tip I was given is to produce 7x5 cm prints of your possible images so you can shuffle them around to try out various arrangements of your panel.
The final fifteen were narrowed down from over 30 images, looking for images that worked together and balanced each other in terms of colour and tone. The panel was re-arranged several times until I felt that it looked as good as possible, with a smooth transition of colours between the three rows.
This article was first published in the RPS Landscape Magazine, Winter 2020.
All images are © Jan Harris ARPS