Picture: Derek Birch (left) with former president Roy Robertson

Derek Birch, who developed products such as colour films and papers for Kodak Ltd, will serve as RPS president until 2015, taking over from Roy Robertson.

His plans include boosting the Society’s educational function, through ‘online learning’.

Birch said: ‘The Society has much to offer all photographers, as well as supporting all aspects of imaging more widely.

‘During my term as president I would like to build on the work of my predecessors and further enhance the Society’s educational role through online learning and to expand the membership, which will allow us to more fully realise our founding aim of promoting photography.’

The RPS said that Birch’s traditional photography background reflects the Society’s interests across art and science.

Birch retired in 2006, after 33 years at Kodak, and has been an active member of the RPS’s Imaging Science Group.

He has served as vice-president since 2011.