So as I started playing about with photography a bit more and particularly after going to a couple of camera clubs I thought I’d like to see how my pics compare against a wider group. A kind of benchmarking if you like. There’s various ways I suppose you can do this, the most obvious being competitions and qualifications, awards and distinctions.
Club competitions are a fun way pit your skills against the other members of your club. The big problem here is the vagaries of judging! By and large I think I do ok but my own choice pics do consistently better than the set subject images that I submit. Maybe I need to view the set subjects differently.
The natural continuation of club competitions is probably Salon entry. So I tried one and had some images accepted but beyond this it just seems to be an expensive ish way to enter more competitions.
I’m not a big fan of further education, leastways in it’s modern cash machine guise so photographic qualifications for me are out.
Which in the UK leaves the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) APM awards and the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) distinctions.
I’d really like to do an RPS distinction, probably an “A” panel. Not because I think I’m too good for the “L” but more because the idea of a coherent set of images appeals more as a challenge. The issue for me with this is that I’d have to rejoin the RPS. My problem here being that in a cost/benefit analysis, for me they came up wanting.
So I’ve had a punt at the PAGB merit. I met the qualifying criteria – I’ve been in a camera club long enough, paid my money, submitted 10 images – not an easy thing to do, in the end my hand was forced by work meaning I had to just get on with it. In just over a week I should find out if I make the grade, cut the mustard or fail dismally…
I will post my results, along with the images submitted in a week or so after the judgement has been handed down. Links to the RPS and PAGB awards are offered below.