Presentation of a successful ARPS panel

On March 25th we were privileged to be given a look at the level of excellence and consistency that is required to achieve one of photography’s most valued awards, the Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS).

Our speaker for the evening, Dr. Prabir Mitra, is known within KLDCC as one of our best creators of photo-journalistic, travel images, often featuring the beauty and culture of his native India. The fact that he was successful in winning his ARPS at his first attempt and without adopting the normal route of LRPS first, comes as no great surprise, especially when one sees the actual prints that were presented to the RPS judging panel. What I found quite astonishing was the trouble, effort and sheer hardship Prabir undertook in order to complete his mission. Nights out at sub-zero temperatures and altitudes where most would find just breathing an effort is definitely ‘above and beyond’ and deserves to be honoured. But the judges take no account of the manner of capturing photographs; they are judging purely on the image with which they are presented.

As Prabir told us, the Associateship requires applicants to submit a panel of 15 images along with a ‘Statement of Intent’ (max 150 words) explaining their objective in constructing the panel.  Prabir’s statement explained that he had chosen to illustrate the creation of the Pashmina from it’s beginning with goatherds roaming remote plateaux in the Himalayan foothills, some 12,000’ above sea level, through to the finished product on display in specialist stores throughout the sub-continent.

An inherent part of the judging process, the assessors will consider how well the images achieve the aims set out in your ‘Statement’ and it has to be said that Prabir accomplished this part of the challenge 100%. He managed to incorporate a vivid human story of the lifestyles of the people involved at every stage of the process, from the nomads tending the goats in the back of beyond through to the shopkeepers standing proudly in their stores surrounded by the product of some many hours toil, and all this whilst demonstrating an excellent eye for a shot and composition.

Congratulations, Prabir, on gaining your ARPS, well done for last night and thank you for letting us all take a peek into how it was achieved.