Awarded the LRPS Distinction from the Royal Photographic Society

After several years and many workshops I was very proud to gain my Licentiateship Distinction from the Royal Photographic Society on Sunday 16th November.
The Royal Photographic Society’s Distinctions are recognised as measures of achievement throughout the world.
When a photographer works towards a Distinction they will improve their photographic skills and also know that once you they have been successful the quality of their work will be recognised worldwide. Distinctions are awarded on the basis of a portfolio of work.
I spent many hours and weeks assembling the final images I submitted to work in a cohesive hanging plan. Many I loved didn’t make the final cut as they didn’t fit with the overall hanging plan and tonal flow.
The Licentiateship (LRPS) requires a sound technical skill and the ability to compose and control the image or medium as a means of communication. Evidence of developing a personal style is desirable
Editing, selection and sequencing should be considered to display the portfolio to its best advantage. The overall impression should be coherent with sufficient variety of approach even within a narrow range of subject. Repetition of similar images should be avoided.

Technique – Camera Work
Choice of viewpoint and lighting should be sympathetic with the subject.
Accuracy of focusing and exposure.
Suitable depth of field by use of correct aperture.
Choice of appropriate shutter speed to record the subject with suitable sharpness.
Highlight and shadow detail and colour correctly recorded.

Technical Quality
Absence of processing faults i.e. chemical staining or spots and digital manipulation artefact’s.
Choice of materials suitable for the subject depicted.
Evidence of tonal control.
Seeing – Visual Awareness
An understanding of light and effect on mood and texture is expected as well as good use of colour.
Composition, design and cropping of the images should be visually satisfying.
Intrusive and inappropriate backgrounds should be avoided and correct viewpoint considered.
Thinking – Communication
Evidence is expected of personal input, understanding of, and empathy with the subject.
Evidence of communication as appropriate of mood, ideas, narrative and information is required.
The choice of the medium should suit the subject and assist in communication. An approach which shows some imagination and creativity is expected and an ability to capture the decisive moment.
I was pretty nervous at the final assessment as there were a panel of judges inspecting my prints under bright lights and the standard of the other portfolios I saw was very high but the judges paid particular focus on the communication they experienced from the images. Images that they particularly liked were the drying sisal in Madagascar which reminded them of crosses in a graveyard (I was thinking exactly the same when I pressed the shutter!), the little boy running down the sandy road in the Avenue of the Baobabs which reminded them of the famous shot of the little girl in Vietnam after the napalm attacks and the tonal range of the tree roots overgrowing the temples in Cambodia.
A long time in the making but it was all worth it in the end.
I will be making a limited edition run of signed signature prints available in the New Year so keep and eye on my landscape site David Bostock Photography which is just about to go through a overhaul for more details……..
Let me know what you think of the images by leaving a comment on the site here!


  1. Simon Lawrence

    David thank you for sharing your experience and panel. I am just starting out on this journey and find myself roaming the internet for as much help as I can find. Congratulations on achieving your LRPS with an excellent set of images.

    • David Bostock

      thank you Simon and good luck with your journey into photography


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