I first met Graham as the tutor of a college photography group evening class in 2011. I turned out to be the sole pupil but he nevertheless insisted on fulfilling the entire course; and in the same vein, at the School you will meet co-principal Lynn Dumbell and are likely to be taught by either – or both at once – with enthusiastic precision and lively debate.
Courses are as structured as you require, although with such discussion, informal group sessions and – if you wish – group field outings too, you could find it as much a social experience as it is a learning curve. But learn you will, and guided by qualified praise rather than damnation of your poor work, slowly you will improve.
I took sporadic classes with Graham and Lynn over the next three winters (summers are for sailing) and slowly I became aware of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and its Distinction Awards programme. At the end of it you get LRPS after your name; good for the ego if you’re an amateur and great for business if you’re a wannabe professional.
More importantly, it is the process of having to take numerous photographs – of an exacting standard and originality across a breadth of techniques and subjects, sufficient to present a panel of only ten for judging at the end – that necessarily improves your creative and technical skills along the way.
Roger Williams LRPS
In that panel , the judges are also looking for a “fit” of all the images in such a manner that they present a coherent but varied whole (ask Graham or Lynn!); they are looking for an eleventh image to emerge from the presentation of the ten. Probably many of your best individual photographs won’t be in that selection, simply because they don’t make that fit.
The overall LRPS experience is exacting but rewarding – can be frustrating – but will focus your learning in a way that no other photographic course can. Achieve this though and you’ll the glimpse the next summit - the ARPS. Maybe one day; right now I’m off sailing.