The LRPS or Licentiate of The Royal Photographic Society is an internationally recognised photography qualification. The RPS has three levels of distinction: Licentiate, Associate and Fellow, and although the LRPS is the entry level qualification it is not easy to achieve and to quote the RPS, “requires images of a high standard of photographic execution”.
You will need to put ten images together, which are different and technically excellent. Different not necessarily in subject matter but in approach, showing different techniques e.g landscape, macro, movement, shallow depth of field etc.
When the ten images are ready, send or take them either as PDIs or prints to an assessment day, where they will be judged by a panel of top photographers. All the details are on the RPS site
Here are five top tips for success:
1 LRPS Advisory Day
Go to a LRPS Advisory Day where the ten images can be critiqued by the judges that actually do the assessments. It may be daunting to have your work discussed in front of an audience, but what is blindingly obvious to them, you may not have noticed or thought it important. Whether it be sharpness, blown highlights, lack of detail in shadows etc they will spot it. You will get good advice on whether your panel of images is ready for submission to be assessed, or what work you have to do to achieve that.
2 Technical Excellence is the LRPS Secret
The judges are not looking for beautiful outstanding photographs, they are looking for technically perfect images. Yes, the composition must be reasonable, and there should be no lamp posts growing out of people’s heads. Have a look at the LRPS distinction successes online for the level of technical competence required.
3 Print or PDI
I am told on good authority that more people pass with prints than with PDI’s (screen images). This is because the judging panel can view the images as a whole rather than individually. When the images are judged, the prints will usually be arranged in two rows of five prints. It is up to you to number your prints and provide a hanging plan showing how the prints are to be arranged.
4 Hanging Plan Tricks
Put your best images in the centre of the rows at positions 3 and 8. Then try to balance 2&4 and 7&9. At the end of the row the image should stop the eye and bring the gaze back to the panel of images. Judges maintain that the images hung together like this make up the 11th image. See my effort here.
5 Your Favourite Pics
You may have a fantastic image of New York at night, but unless it is flawless technically try to resist the urge to include your favourite images in the panel. Try to avoid any technical issue, a picture of a bike shed that is in focus and processed correctly is going to tick the box better than a fuzzy but stunning shot of crocodiles attacking wildebeest on the Masai Mara. My advice is to setup a project to take technically supreme pictures. They must be interesting, show a varied approach and have no technical flaws. When you have twenty try to arrange into a hanging plan. If it looks right then it probably is right, and time to book that advisory day.
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