As a club we are becoming increasingly ambitious and there are members amongst us who are starting to think about gaining some 'official' recognition.
There are a number of photographic merit awards at different levels that members can aim for. The Royal Photographic Society offers Licentiate (LRPS), Associate (ARPS) and Fellowship (FRPS). Next season we will be visited by Andrea Hargreaves, who is the awards officer for the Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU), and she will be talking to us about Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) distinctions. The CPAGB (Credit level), the DPAGB (Distinction level) and MPAGB (Master level). Andrea will review the awards and how club members can go about applying for them.
In the meantime, whilst we are still in lockdown, you might want to be thinking about the Open University. Why I hear you say? Well, the Open University offer a module called Digital photography: creating and sharing better images. This module, which is ten weeks, is studied completely online and is developed and presented in partnership with the RPS. A series of weekly hands-on assignments allows you to improve your technical ability with regards to using your camera and image post-processing, as well as learning how to effectively critique your photos. You also have your own individual tutor who you are able to contact to ask questions - this is especially helpful towards the end of the course when you are putting together your portfolio for assessment.
Successful completion of the course will entitle you to attend a RPS Distinctions Advisory Day for free, normally there is a fee, this is a little perk definitely worth considering if you are thinking of applying for the Licentiate Distinction (LRPS).
I have completed this course and can confirm that the online platform is easy to use with a plethora of information on hand. There are lots of short videos to watch along with plentiful online reading. The student forum provides lots of useful feedback and it is interesting to see other people's photos. I've yet to take up the free advisory day - maybe next year...