The Phoenix Group provides an informal forum for constructive criticism and analysis of members’ work through mutual discussion.
It is open to all members of the Society who wish to take their photography to a higher level.
Group Secretary Neil Scott FRPS EFIAP/s
The Phoenix Group is an informal discussion group – no subscription – and its raison d’être is to act as a forum for people to talk about their photography. The general idea is to bring along a few images (prints and/or PDIs, and maybe up to a dozen) and put them up for discussion. These may be images from a personal project that you are undertaking, from an idea that you are pursuing; they may be the germ of an idea for aiming for a distinction. You may be thinking of entering exhibitions or salons. You might just want to get an opinion of some of your favourite photographs! But we are no longer able to discuss or comment on images that are in the final – panel- stage for RPS distinctions. You must attend one of the RPS Advisory Days or forums to get advice from appointed RPS advisors and adjudicators.
You will get honest opinions at the Phoenix Group. If there is room for improvement in your work, you will be told, although in a gentle manner. We are not a beginners’ group – we do not give basic instruction in technique or equipment. We are more interested in content than cameras, photos rather than Photoshop. Having said that, we do welcome members of all abilities who feel they can take advantage of our approach.
So if you think you can benefit, come along and join us.
We have had three meetings since the New Year, all attended by a mere handful of members. While this is in some way disappointing from a membership nearing 200, it does mean that we can have fairly full discussions about members’ work.. Little of it has been the sort of stuff that gets into salons or scores 20 in club competitions, but the wide variety of techniques and ideas that we have seen shows that there is more to photography than gaining brownie points for FIAP distinctions or amassing points to win cups and trophies in club competitions.
Much of the material presented has been of unusual projects, themes, ideas and techniques. What is encouraging is that we have seen people presenting projects or essays, rather than pretty pictures which are for competitions. We have also seen work recorded on film and printed in the darkroom, as well as digital imagery. In particular we have been enthralled by the work of Chris Osborne who uses Polaroid film in many different ways, with some staggeringly beautiful, unique prints. In our small group we obviously have a store of fertile imagination!
We have one more meeting before the summer break – on April 26. So if you have something new in mind, or on the go, come along and share it with us. It may not be the sort of stuff that wins gold medals, but that doesn’t mean it is not good photography.
Phoenix Group Secretary