I have been asked to put down some words on my experiences during the process of getting the LRPS so that it may be helpful to others thinking of taking the plunge.
First the encouragement.
This is plenty in OPS. Being member of OPS certainly seems to help on this front. Some of the other candidates at the assessment did not have the privilege of belonging to a photo club and it did seem to show in the work. In my case, during a casual members evening (I think it was sometime in March), while showing some of my images from India, Phil first recommended that I put together my best shots and have a go at LRPS. I had to ask twice if he was serious! Encouragement then poured in from everywhere! I certainly would not have thought of going for LRPS other wise.
Choosing the images:
Again help was at hand in OPS. We have some experienced people.
I chose about 30 images to start with. After further process of elimination and help from Phil, Jeff and Gary during a pub session this was reduced to 20. Few weeks later, (or was it months? Can’t remember now), with help of Colin Harrison a preliminary panel was born but some images certainly needed improving using Photoshop. Final panel was put on flickr for a final check. Frustration and doubts was present all the time. You will have to accept this as part and parcel of the process! Keep asking others for help.
You will also find that you have to rely on other people’s judgements. Accept this, as yours may not have developed enough at this stage. There might be a tendency of including an image just because it means something to you. Avoid this. Try not to get attached to an image.
For example, during my assessment day there was a lady who had put 4 images in her panel of her dog/s playing in water. Though she may have related to the images and thought they were great, the judges did not and of course she did not pass.
Registering for the assessment day:
Register your self for LRPS assessment (another word for exams or torture house) as early as possible. Places fill up fast! There seems to be a bit of masochism in photographers! More and more enthusiasts are going for LRPS. Subsequently standards are rising.
Visit RPS web site and read up on LRPS and availability of the nail-biting dates. They have information on the required standards and other help on the matter.
Try and go as an observer on one of the assessment days or one of the workshops. Again space is limited so book early. Though I did not do that, on hind site it would have prepared me better on what exactly the judges were looking for in the panel. No matter how many times you read the requirements, sitting through the process of judging is more informative.