The news this week is that Ian Whiston has gained his AFIAP!
Although Ian has been a club member for many years, first at Mid-Cheshire CC and now at both clubs it is only relatively recently that he has joined the distinctions trail. What a gruelling trail that can be too, with hundreds of competition entries and awards being needed for the top honours. It is, of course, a gradual process and Ian started by collecting “points” for acceptance in national competitions for the BPE (British Photographic Exhibitors) awards. Meanwhile he applied for his CPAGB. Points continued to accumulate and he was approaching the BPE three crowns, noted as BPE3*, for 100 at about the same time as he applied for and gained his DPAGB. He then took a rest from BPE competitions and turned his attention to internationals qualifying for the FIAP awards. This involves sending work all over the world, since your awards and acceptances must be in a certain number of different countries.
All this is not for the faint hearted, but it helps if your work is top-flight in its class and as finely crafted as Ian’s and then you can expect an encouraging success rate in nationals and internationals.
If you are interested in gaining distinctions but don’t want to set out on the competition trail then the PAGB distinctions (CPAGB, DPAGB and MPAGB) or the RPS ones (LRPS, ARPS, FRPS) are awarded for a on-the-day single assessment. You can find out more by looking here for the PAGB Awards and here for the RPS ones. You must be a member of the RPS to get and continue to hold one of their distinctions but they do assess a wider variety of work. The PAGB concentrate on club photography. The L&CPU offer a mentoring service to L&CPU club members for the PAGB awards, see here.
The current PAGB newsletter, eNEWS, is the second to cover aspects of the last PAGB awards adjudication in April and it brings news that the November date is full, April nearly so and entries for the November 2015 have already started, so act quickly if you would like to try.
One way to see what is popular at the moment in club photography competitions is to go to the PAGB Inter-Club PDI Championships at Warwick University on 12th July, Ticket are £5 and are available by applying through eNews.