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Royal Photographic Society Fellow recognised in Birthday Honours
- Published 13th June 2011
The Royal Photographic Society is delighted with the recognition that has been given to Bill Wisden in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. The MBE is awarded to "William Wisden, photographer, for services to Art".
Bill Wisden MBE Hon.FRPS has had a lifelong passion for photography and for sharing that passion by imparting his knowledge and enthusiasm to other people no matter what their level of expertise. An ability to communicate with people is a major strength of his with an ability not to patronise but to show interest, be positive and to encourage. This ability has been of great benefit to those many members of The Royal Photographic Society, Camera Clubs, and others who have sought his advice.
With his commonsense approach, his knowledge, management and leadership skills have been invaluable in his roles as a Trustee, on Distinctions and other committees, in helping to shape Society policies, both as a committee member and chairman. He has also used these skills in other areas of photography, notably as a highly respected member of the London Salon of Photography and Brighton Camera Club.
Bill Wisden achieved his Fellowship of The Society in 1963 and has been involved with the Distinction's process ever since. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 1994 and a Fenton Medal, for services to The Society in 2001. The Award of an MBE is a very fitting tribute to his long and outstanding voluntary service to photography, photographers and in particular, The Society.
Dr Michael Hallett FRPS, Chair of The Society's Distinctions Advisory Board, writes briefly of Bill's exceptional contribution:
'The Royal Photographic Society’s distinctions would not project the global influence they have today without Bill Wisden’s seminal and continuing input. He brings to the table a unique, custodial role that provides a clear vision for the future. Bill Wisden has always been involved with quality issues and as inaugural chair of the Fellowship Board he provided The Society, and its highest distinction, with a process that offers an equality and consistency across its entire spectrum from the arts to the sciences. This is his ultimate achievement.'
Bill speaking about his photography:
“When I did my fellowship in 1963 my panel was a strange mixture of traditional pictorialism, violent tone separation and multi solarisation. There was no (distinctions) advice available in those days and I think the panel caused a bit of shock with its very wide in style. But it gave me an identity. I started to get invited to adjudicate at International salons and see very varying styles of work. I had the feeling that to be able to judge this variety fairly I needed to try differing attitudes. So very deliberately I started photographing people, then I got very interested in subjective content. Then the 20 mm wide angle lens became available and off I went down that route. The only thing I did not get involved in was studio work, I felt very uncomfortable in that environment and I don't like tripods anyway, they slow me down. The interesting thing is that these varying learning attitudes stay with you and it means on a photo trip I can change hats as I go along and get a wide spectrum of pictures in differing styles
So when digital came along I could see there was a whole new world of possibility opening up. Never having used a computer there was a nervous start. But once I got the hang of Photoshop I was off and running. I have a saying concerning my photography, "That truth is the starting point for negotiation".
The majority of what I do today is for myself and it is controlled to suit how I feel it should look, but that in no way impedes my appreciation of any totally pure imaging.“
In summary, Bill has been involved with The Royal Photographic Society Distinctions for nearly 50 years and his enthusiasm, commitment and generosity together with his love of photography continue to be infectious to those who come in contact with him. Bill has always been a leader and opinion former in the many roles he has held within The Society. Without Bill as a member and dedicated volunteer The Society would not be such a vibrant organisation.
The attached photograph of Bill Wisden MBE Hon.FRPS is for use in connection with this press release only and requires the attribution of the photographer, Tony Bowall FRPS.