I had a hectic time before my advisory day as I only returned from New Jersey two days before the day.
I was grateful for the help from Steve Hubbard who reviewed my proposed panel and chosen images.
I was also preparing entries for an RPS DIGIC print competition and my upcoming CPAGB assessment. The floor of the room was literally covered with prints for the panel as well as my 9 ‘alternatives’.
The panel had re-printed images from my OU/RPS final submission as well as images from the succeeding years of competition at our camera club. All the images were printed as A4 and mounted on 50 by 40 cm boards. I did have a slight issue as the local supplier of mounting boards had sold out of the boards that I had used for the majority of my prints.
I remembered to go to the RPS website to generate a hanging plan. I had to swiitch to Internet Explorer as my Chrome browser would not accept drag and drop to the template.
This is my hanging plan for the day.
The start of the Advisory Day
My drive around the M25 and down the M23 was uneventful and I arrived at the venue as the local RPS representatives were setting up the hall. I was the first to arrive and was invited to take a seat to wait until I could be checked in.
I did subsequently switch to sitting on the front row for a ‘closer’ view. I checked in second and placed my prints and my alternatives on the tables alongside the hall. My printed hanging plan on the top.
The hall gradually filled and the two members of the advisory panel arrived and were introduced. Time for a cup of tea and a biscuit!
The proceedings started with a talk from the senior advisor, Rosemary Wilman, that explained the process of the day and how this meshed with upcoming assessment days.
Of particular interest to me was the description of just what the RPS meant by avoiding repetition in your panel’s images.
On the stands at the front of the hall were now placed two panels of successful LRPS candidates and they were discussed to help us all understand the process.
One of the local RPS representatives then read out what could best be described as the legal definition of the proceedings which could probably best be summed up as follows: there is no guarantee of success at your assessment even after the advisory day!
My panel’s assessment
I was grateful that I had waited to check-in as my panel was the second panel to assessed rather than the first!
I was invited to sit in the centre of the front row. Once there I nervously watched as my panel was being looked at by the two advisors. They went backwards and forwards peering closely at the prints, occasionally pointing and whispering to each other. This lasted for well over five tense minutes.
After a brief greeting to me my panel was summed up. It seems that I had some really nice images but that I was not yet quite there yet. My print quality was OK but a couple of the images had issues.
The bottom row
Each of the the images was commented on and the row was summarised as being pretty strong. The advisors did look for me in the image of the statue from Oslo and particularly commented on my night scene from Bordeaux. The dancing lilies received a spacial mention as being a creative image.
The top row
This was summarised as the two end images caused both the advisors concerns. The image of the pilots was placed in the only position that it could have in the panel and was again a good image.
The lady on the bridge was felt to have no texture on either her shopping bag or her coat. Under the light at the RPS it would probably look as if ‘there was no printing at all just base paper’ The image itself was felt to be OK despite having letters on the bag but there had to be more texture.
The image of the hand and watch on a ship’s railing was the image that caused the most concern. Exactly which parts of the image were meant to be in focus? In places it was too bright. I was categorically told that it should not be in my panel and it was unceremoniously removed and placed on the bottom row.
My two favourite images were now gone! Both of them having received praise from judges and colleagues alike.
A new panel
For the next few minutes my alternative images were discussed, rejected or accepted as possibles for a revised panel. I had spent hours of soul searching on which images should be in and which should be out but yet within 5 minutes ‘possibles’ were found.
Then these images were added to the panel and alternatively tried in the empty slots. My image of the fountains in Oslo was commented on as being creative image and added. The top row was completed with my image of the Vulcan.
The statue and the scaffolding were then swapped around on the bottom row. I offered that I could invert the statue if that helped the panel. I was told in no uncertain terms that images of places should not be inverted as in future there could be someone who knew the place and would immediately recognise the inversion!
I queried the inclusion of the Vulcan. It maybe one of my favourites but was it good enough? I was told that yes it was good enough.
There was then a discussion, shared with audience, about the amount of ‘blue’ in the four corners of the panel.
The revised panel was now OK to go forward except for the advice to go back to my RAW images and make the blues more natural and to make them the same shades of blue.
As my prints were being moved around it was noticed that the backs were still tacky (they had only been mounted for 36 hours) and that some of them had fluff on the prints. (I had placed them face down on the carpet after mounting – see the first image above)
The whole review took probable about 14 minutes. I took a picture of the revised panel up on the stands to help with my memory of the final recommendation.
The advisors then went to the back of the hall to enter their summary into the RPS form ‘Potential submission:Summary of advice’. This would form part of the my submission when I go for my assessment. I was asked to read the form and sign if I accepted that it summarised the review,. I was also given a copy of the legalese that had been read out before the reviews had started.
- Ready for Submission with minor alterations
- With 2 prints from spares included.
- Advised reviewing blues in skies
My Hanging Plan after the day