RCPS Press Report 17th September 2015

As the memory of our Annual Photographic Exhibition fades, we could do worse than reflect on a job well done. Derek Hodson, Carol Morrison, Ericka Green and Tim Nichols volunteered to be the Exhibition Sub-Committee and as an ex-member of this group myself, I know very well just how much time, effort and attention to detail goes into making such an event a success. There has to be a long-term strategy with significant mileposts to ensure that premises and display stands are booked in advance, the guest to open the event is chosen and booked, the publicity machine is well oiled and ready to go and of course, most importantly, members contacted and encouraged to enter prints and digital images, for without these there would be no exhibition. Nearer the time all the prints and digital images have to be collected, catalogued, named and titled. This is a very time-consuming job but one which results in a very professional and stylish outcome. Posters for the exhibition have to be designed, (take a bow and thank you, Helen Tabor), printed and then delivered by hand across the city. Similarly, leaflets with information about the coming season’s programme, have to be produced – (thank you Carol), for the exhibition and for distribution to the library and tourist information points. There is always an appeal for members and their families or friends to contribute cakes and buns to sell on the day and the need for members to staff the refreshment facility throughout the exhibition – (thank you Carol, Ericka, Anita, Norma and others who joined in). There has to be a co-ordinated army of members to collect display boards, A Boards, food, tea and coffee etc., hang up a banner outside the premises – (well done Chris Pitt for heading to the heights), and then on the eve of the event, descend on the venue and put it all together. This year Derek surpassed even his high standards by creating a 3D model showing exactly where each set of display panels should go to ensure maximum impact via a line of sight and be certain that there was free access for wheelchair users to every part of the exhibition. A special mention must be made of David Morrison, (AKA The Human Spirit Level), whom despite not being a member but nevertheless was drafted along to help by wife, Carol, was superb at levelling prints on display panels! As in previous years, we were grateful for the support given by Stephen Craggs from G Craggs, Ripon, in loaning a large television set through which our digital images could be played to great effect. Delivering, setting up and similarly doing the reverse at the end of day was part of the service – thank you again. And, after the one day showing, it all had to be taken down and many items returned to the good people and organisations that either freely loaned or hired equipment to us.

It is a lot of effort for a few hours of exhibition time as a number of visitors remarked, however the present venue is only available for the one weekend day and as it is central, accessible to all and adjacent to good car parks it suits the purpose well. RCPS is delighted to be able to show our community and visitors from further afield just what local people who are enthusiastic about their photography can do and by so doing hopefully encourage more people to join us. There were lots of positive comments from visitors, many saying that this was the best exhibition yet with outstanding images of such variety and subject matter that it was almost impossible to vote for just three favourites – which is what each visitor was invited to do in return for the chance to win a print of their choice when the draw is made in late September. One visitor even commented on how much she had enjoyed reading the regular reports in the Ripon Gazette over the summer and how these had helped re-kindle her desire to go out and take pictures!

Without doubt, with 227 visitors, this was the best-attended, free exhibition of the Society in living memory, therefore presenting next year’s Exhibition Sub-Committee with a huge challenge to better it! Thankfully the refreshment team’s sales together with the voluntary retiring collection resulted in the venue costs almost being met therefore reducing the burden on our funds a little. Work has already begun on thinking about next year’s event and the Exhibition Sub-Committee will be pleased to hear from anyone, member, visitor or friend with either comments about this year’s event, what to do differently next year, or anyone interested in contributing to the costs through advertising or sponsorship!

Meanwhile congratulations are due to two members who have achieved greater success over the summer. Competition Secretary, John Elvin has achieved the distinction of adding AFIAP after his name, which translates into Artiste Federation Internationale de L’Art Photographique. To achieve this he had to exhibit his work in International Exhibitions, obtaining at least 40 acceptances with at least 15 different photographs from 15 different salons with FIAP patronage spread over at least 8 different countries. (So, if anyone wants to know the cost of overseas postage, speak to John!) Another high-flyer, our President, Richard Littlefair, gained a Credit from The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain giving him a certificate and a Blue Badge, (nothing to do with Blue Peter badges or Blue Badges in cars!), and the right to add CPAGB after his name! Well done to both and I am sure they will be happy to explain the process to those interested in furthering their own photographic qualifications.

More next week about our new season that starts on Monday 28th September