Outlaws member attains CPAGB accreditation

Nottingham Outlaws member Lois Webb recently earned an award for photographic merit in the form of CPAGB accreditation and kindly wrote of her experience for the Outlaws website.

Attaining accreditation

Awards for Photographic Merit (APM) are open to all members of Clubs affiliated to the PAGB through their Federations and are at three levels
• Credit (CPAGB)
• Distinction (DPAGB)
• Master (MPAGB)
These awards are held for life without any annual fee and holders are entitled to use the designated letters after their name. Applications in still images may be with prints or projected images, but not a mixture. Applicants must qualify in accordance with their Federation’s criteria as an active member of an affiliated Club. This support must have been given for a minimum of 2 years for CPAGB.

Having satisfied the basic entry requirements I decided In April to try to gain my CPAGB. to try to gain my CPAGB. I filled out the application form and sent off the 2 cheques required and waited to see if I would be given an adjudication date this year. The awards are gaining in popularity and with only two adjudication weekends all year for the three levels, space was limited.

Fortunately I was accepted and I was given the adjudication date of Sunday 29 November in Neath, South Wales. I made the decision to make a weekend of it so that I could experience the whole day. There is facility to post your entry but as I was new to the grading process I wanted to see the standard and my competition! I also had the option of submitting my images as PDI’s or prints and opted for the latter. A couple of other nOPS members had mentioned that prints do rather better than projected images and I wanted to exploit every advantage I could.

To gain a CPAGB you are required to present 10 prints. At the adjudication a panel of 6 judges score each print from 2 to 5 so that the resulting score is between 12 and 30. A score of 200 or above is a pass for CPAGB (in other words an average of 20 per print). After a couple of months languishing at the bottom of my to-do list I finally got around to producing a long list of possible images. I then reduced this to about 50 and processed them how I (thought I) wanted them. I lived with this choice for a while, reviewing them every so often myself or with friends and family (too biased). I then quizzed all the other members during the Kit Kat weekend. As photographers they were very helpful on suggested choices and processing alterations. The short list of about 25 was then shown to a few more members and all their comments were noted. At the end of the day though it was my choice. I got the last 15 printed and mounted them all. I had them displayed on my office floor for a couple of weeks before I made the final selection and filled out the entry form. I was still doubting my choice as I sent it off but the deadline was looming so it had to go!

The instructions for labelling and filing the prints were very precise. The guidelines are written plainly but I checked them over and over before I was happy I had got them right. I didn’t want to fail because I hadn’t got my entry right. A disc of the images was also required for PAGB filing purposes.

So the weekend of judgement arrived and my long-suffering boyfriend and I set off to Wales. The journey was uneventful until the Welsh border when the heavy rain and strong winds began to batter the car. It didn’t stop until we crossed back into England Sunday evening (I kid you not!). We stayed in a wonderful boutique hotel and I woke up the next day apprehensive but excited for the day ahead.

After official introductions and dresses from Rod Wheelan (President), Leo Rich (Awards Secretary) and Vince Penticost (President of the WPF) the adjudication began. There were 63 people entered for CPAGB and each print was shown in turn. So all the ones, then all the twos and so on. Scores were read out aloud: 15, 22, 14, 18, 19, 23, 20… Steam punk HDR composites and water sports were scoring very well. Oh dear, that’s not what I had in my rack. I was so nervous. Then my first print was put in front of the judges.

1 Concrete Portal: 20. Phew, I thought, on track.

2 Gazing through Stair Hole: 22. 2 up, not bad. Especially as, by this point, it was clear that landscapes were being judged seemingly harshly.

3 Generations at Home: 25. 7 up, strong.

4 Heading Home: 21. 8 up

5 “Grandad, are we ready yet?”: 25. 13 up. When the title was read out the audience laughed which I took to be a good sign and I was really pleased with this score as it is a pure street photo.

6 Painted Personality: 17. Still 10 up. This was my only sub-20 score and by the time this was shown I was expecting lower.

7 Uyghur Farmer: 24. 14 up. Really pleased with this core too as portraits had had mixed results.

8 Waiting to Pray: 22. 16 up. Although this scored lower than I had hoped I had, at eight images in, got my CPAGB. The lowest score you can get is 12 and I only needed 12 off each of my last two prints. A wonderful feeling.

9 Women Only: 23. 19 up. Another strong score. I was enjoying the show now.

10 Worldly Weathered: 27. 26 up. My best score and I was honoured with a round of applause. Across all 800 plus images from the CPAGB and MPAGB images shown that day only around half a dozen got 27 or 28 and one of them was a print of mine!

So I passed with a score of 226 and an appetite for the next level.


-Lois Webb

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