Thought Leadership

Photography and getting my ARPS (or not)

By Colin Walls

As I have mentioned from time to time, when I am not thinking about embedded software or family matters, my main hobby is photography, which has given me much pleasure over the years. I am currently involved in a couple of specific photographic projects …

Photography is, obviously, all about taking pictures – we all do that. For me, my hobby needs some kind of focus [no pun intended]. To that end, I am an active member of my local camera club, which gives me the opportunity to mix with like-minded people and participate in activities, like competitions. I am also on the committee, as I do like to be involved, not just show up each week. If you enjoy photography, I encourage you to investigate available clubs in your area.

I like to have other projects that keep photography in my mind.

The first project is quite long term – it started back in June and is due to continue for a year. I started a photo blog called Drawing with Light. The idea is very simple: I just post a picture, along with a comment about it, every day. They may be new pictures or old favorites. It gives me the opportunity to review my work and perhaps display some pictures that I have not utilized before. After the year is complete, I plan to use the material as the basis for a talk.

My other project is shorter term. I am endeavoring to obtain a photographic qualification, as I mentioned a few months back. The award that I am seeking comes from the Royal Photographic Society, which is one of the most prestigious organizations of its type in the world. They basically offer 3 levels of qualification: Licentiate [LRPS], which is the basic level – I already have CPAGB, which is broadly equivalent; Associate [ARPS], which requires some illustration of a style – this is what I am going for; Fellow [FRPS] this is generally some kind of specific project – maybe I will do this in the future.

For an ARPS I need to provide a “panel” of 15 pictures. I have chosen to arrange them as 3×5 and all my pictures are the same size and they are square. Here is what my panel looks like:


I also have to provide a “statement of intent” – i.e. what is the point of the panel? My text reads as follows: “I like simple, seen pictures and indirect imaging (reflections, shadows, silhouettes and abstractions) and enjoy exploring the tension between these two perspectives. I believe that format and presentation are an important part of bringing out the best in an image and that this is reflected by my panel.”

Next Tuesday is the assessment session, when I will go along to the RPS, accompanied by a number of other club members who are pursuing the same objective. We will be in the audience when the relevant experts critique each panel and may or may not award the qualifications. Apparently they only identify the owner of a panel when they have a positive result. Wish me luck!


0 thoughts about “Photography and getting my ARPS (or not)
  • Dear Colin,
    I am contacting you to see if you are interested in giving a talk to Bromsgrove Photographic Society one Tuesday evening during the 2019 to 2020 season. I will give you more details when I hear from you. Thank you, Jan Harris

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at