RCPS Press Report 11th November 2015

Members and guests recently enjoyed a night on the town, painting it red, white and blue – not in the celebratory sense but by using creative photography to light up scenes and capture the best of Ripon at night. President, Richard Littlefair provided an initial input at base, pointing out useful tips before people split into groups and went to various locations to try their hand before retuning for a welcome hot drink. For once the road closure on the Market Place allowed unfettered pedestrian access to enable shots to be taken from places not normally so safely accessible. Mind you, the evening was not without controversy as several members of the passing public, seeing a number of photographers with tripods and camera pointing at the illuminated Town Hall, approached to ask what the occasion was and if it was an “incident” or a “celebrity” we were all trying to record!
Next week sees the return of a speaker, this time Bob Watson MBE, who will be talking about A Life of Sobriety. In this case Sobriety refers not to a lifestyle but to a project, steered by Bob, using a barge of that name to work with challenging young people. Interestingly, the Sobriety Project was for many years chaired by Ripon Councillor and ex-Mayor, Mick Stanley. In 1972 Bob spent a year teaching in Kano in northern Nigeria before returning to the UK to become a teacher at Goole Grammar School from 1966 to 1987. Seconded by the local authority to run the Sobriety Project, he became its director in 1988, retiring in 2010. In between, in 1993 Bob led a Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society expedition to the Tibetan Plateau. This year Bob has just had published a book, “A Cuckoo in the Curriculum” which tells the Sobriety story with reference to the value of informal learning within the broader curriculum of schools, prisons and youth organisations and deplores the tyranny of testing which dominates today’s education service. (Copies of Bob’s book will be available to purchase if anyone wishes). Bob claims that the greatest influences on his professional life have been City Challenge, the then urban arm of the Outward Bound organization, and the education priorities enunciated by Sir Alec Clegg, once Chief Education Officer of the then West Riding Local Education Authority.
Bob had the honour of being awarded an MBE in 2006. This promises to be an interesting night, delivered in Bob’s own unique, direct and humorous style.

Looking further ahead, Monday 23rd November is the closing date for our next competition, “Altered Reality”. The rules of engagement state “The image must display a change in natural colour, form, shape or any combination of these. Creative images are often montages (a blending or composite of multiple images). High Dynamic Range, (HDR) images without further changes are not considered ‘Altered Reality’. All images, including textures etc must be taken by the author and may not be constructed entirely within a computer but images may be in colour or monochrome.”