We had talked about going to Basque Country in Northern Spain for a number of years, and Bilbao was on my list as a Spanish city I wanted to visit too. We decided to take the plunge and make arrangements to go there for a few days and experience the Basque region.
In January of this year I had chance to work with a new (to me) model Rosa Brighid, she is based in Plymouth but was in my area and so we arranged to work together. As it was January a studio location was the best option, so I booked Hallum Mill in Stockport. It turned out to be a very wet day (glad I had chosen to work in the studio) so having collected Rosa Brighid from where she was staying, we headed over the hills to across to Hallum Mills.
It is always difficult to review a year (in terms of photography that is) as you always seem to be planning ahead for the next shoot. So perhaps taking the time to review what you have done in the past year is worth doing, at least in the terms of showing some of the images I created over 2014.
I have worked with a number of new models this year. In January, I had the pleaure to meet and work with Lulu Lockhart, this turned out to be the first of 3 shoots we had together during the year, so I guess I liked working with her. Others I had the pleasure of meeting and working with included Natasha-J-Bella, Anna Rose, Faith Obae, Christen Rock and finally Elle Beth.
I also did more location shoots this year with an Urban ballet themed shoot with Kayleigh Lush in Saltaire and a woodland shoot with Faith Obae.
On the FIAP salon trail, it was another good year for my images with two real highlights – the first being a Gold medal at the Feldkrich salon in the Trierenburg Super Salon, which resulted in an invitation to the Gala dinner in Linz in October to collect this. It certainly was a great evening with the chance to met fellow photograhers and enjoy their work and company. Tim Pile and Brian Hopper were also there so it was good to catch up with Tim and meet Brian for the first time, plus other fellow award winners from around the globe.
The second highlight was being lucky enough to be awarded another Medal in the London Salon year.
A visit to Iceland in late September/early October for 10 days of landscape photography with Daniel Bergman – high winds, rain, snow and some fine landscape views to photograph made it well worth the trip. I will certainly look at returning.
On the judging front I enjoyed judging the work entered into the Yorkshire International Salon of Photography, with fellow judges Margaret Salisbury and Ray Brammall – a good choice of weekend – two days before before Christmas!
I finished the year with a publication in Sensual Photography book No3 – so its not been a bad year overall!
So here are some image from the year:
A website that I post on from time to time and use as a resource is Sensual-photography.eu
If you don’t know it, this is a French based participatory photo gallery based around a single theme of sensual photography and the sensuality of the woman. The images are chosen by the editors Nicole Fily and Francois Rommens so each image is validated by them to ensure that it fits with the theme.
For the last 2 years they have published a limited edition book with images that have been published on the site, and that they selected to make up the book. The 2014 edition will be their third book and as the saying goes: “good things come in threes”!
So in the 2014 edition I was really pleased to find that one of my images had been selected to be included in this 3rd edition from Sensual photography.
I think I am the only UK member this year to have had an image selected so that is really pleasing too. The book which is 200 pages in full colour has already sold out too.
I don’t know which image has been selected until I see the edition. However you can get a feel for the images that are selected to be published on the site by the on below. which is the last one I uploaded and had accepted into the gallery. This one features the model, Elle Beth, and was shot in early December just using natural light.
Part of the introduction on the Trierenberg Super Circuit website states that:
“It is the aim of this competition to find out the very best photography from different styles, techniques and genres. The Trierenberg Super Circuit has established as an international benchmark of perfect photography. Not only amateur photographers, but also internationally well-known artists and professionals have been participating.”
And on Monday of this week (13/10/2014) I was among those photographers at the gala dinner and awards evening held at the Design Centre in Linz, Austria. One of my 8 accepted images had been awarded a gold medal for best colourprint image in the Feldkirch salon. (Expression on red Pointe).
As medal winner you get an invite to attend the Gala Dinner and awards evening, and as I have known other UK and Irish photographers, (Ron and Maggie Tear and Ciaran Whyte) to name but two, who have attended in the past and talked about the event being impressive, so when the invitation came I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to attend.
I was not disappointed as it was certainly an impressive event, well organised and with a well curated exhibition of a large number of the accepted prints. To have one of your images on display with all the other impressive work and to stand on the stage in front of all those other photographers and creative artists was a good and humbling feeling.
They were also there to collect medals for their work so it was good to meet up with them and also spend time with photographers from around the world, the furthest being one from Australia and the other from Brazil.
Thanks to Brian Hooper for the the next two images, which are me collecting my medal; and the other guests on our table (myself and Ro, Lotta van Droom and partner, Brian Hooper, Jalal Sazeli and Jack).
Then we have Tim Pile been interviewed on stage.
Three photographers who I met at the event and whose work is worth looking at are :
Lotta van Droom (Ireland),
Jalal Sazeli from Singapore, and
Mohammadreza Rezinia from Iran is also an impressive creative and it was good to meet and talk with him about the challenges he faces in creating his work.
Have a look at their websites if you have the time.
To sum up the Gala evening – it is just amazing. The presentation of the images, awards, and company made it a special event, and if you ever get the invite, then GO.
Having finally managed to process some of the urban ballet images from my recent shoot with the dancer Kayleigh Lush .
I thought it was worth sharing a few of them in my blog.
The idea of the project was to shoot a set of ballet themed images in a urban setting.
First of all I needed a good location, which also needed to be fairly local to me.
That choice of location was Saltaire, which is near Shipley and very local to me.
Because I have been there a number of times I knew that it had some really good locations which we could to shoot ballet against.
Another requirement was a trained ballet dancer, so I contacted Kayleigh Lush.
Now having worked with Kayleigh before , I knew she was capable of producing good ballet poses. Which is what I wanted for this project.
Kayleigh is a trained dancer and works really hard to produce great images, especially dance. So was the ideal choice for this project.
As I mentioned above the choice of location was Saltaire, near Shipley which is a world heritage site and has some interesting buildings to work against.
These include the famous Salts Mill with the Leeds Liverpool Canal running between its buildings.
As well as the impressive United Reformed Church. which is just across the canal for the mill builds.
All these building were built by Sir Titus Salt around the 1850s, and I was sure would give good and different building to shoot dance poses against.
On the day the weather was overcast and grey which was good, but to lift Kayleigh out of the background I needed some extra light.
To provided this extra punch of light, I therefore set up a single off camera flash unit fitted with a 19″ McGillicuddy beauty dish . This is my favourite modifier to use with a single off camera flash set up.
Urban ballet Images
As the day progressed the weather turned to light rain, which made working on pointe and landing jumps tricky for Kayleigh.
This therefore required us to make a change to the location, fortunately there was some local woods near by.
Which would provided some shelter from the rain for a while, but still allow us to shoot the projects theme of dance.
A trip to London this weekend to attend the opening of the prestigious London Salon of Photography. This is third year that I have been down to attend the opening of this Salon. Although it is not a FIAP salon and therefore does not count towards any FIAP awards, I have tried to support it since being invited to submit some images three years ago. It is not an easy salon to get images into as they have a unique selection process where the images are viewed by all the assembled salon members and the images have to be passed by them, which is not easy. The images selected have to show distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution. It may not be a FIAP salon but it does receives thousand of entries from all over the world.
So to have managed to get images selected for inclusion within the exhibition for the last 3 years I feel is a great achievement. My first image selected into the Salon (2012) was entitled: the Lady and the Lamp.
Last year I managed gain two acceptances into the salon ( this is the maximum anyone can get selected), and “Synchronized Bathing Practice” picked up a Salon medal which is a really great achievement as only 10 medal are awarded at each salon.
So to this year – I again managed to have two images selected: “Perfecting the art of chair hurdling” and “Perfecting the art of table stands” are both on the exhibition wall.
The first image was also award a Salon Medal, which I was delighted with. To hold two London Salon medals is, I feel, a really great achievement.
A little later than I wanted to blog about this but I have had a busy few weeks since the assemble and opening of this exhibition.
If you are in the Yorkshire area and a club photographer, then the Yorkshire Photographic Union’s (YPU) annual exhibition is the show case for the work from Yorkshire photographers. The Annual Exhibition is the place to be on the opening morning as you get a chance to see the work that has made it to the exhibition wall. This year it is being run by Halifax photographic society and is held in the Bankfield Museum in Halifax.
So how did I fare in this year’s Annual Exhibition? I knew I must have got a few acceptances as when I arrived a number of different people offered their congratulation, but that didn’t really prepare me for the results.
You are allowed to enter 6 prints and 6 digital images. I was certainly very successful with my print entry, as all 6 of my prints made it into the exhibition, certainly a very rare occurrence. I was also successful with 3 of my projected images being accepted into the digital presentation too. So that was another good result.
Having got six print images accepted, I was also delighted to find that three of them picked up Individual awards. Two monochrome prints were awarded trophies: Synchronised Bathing Practice –The Challenge Cup for best pictorial Print Monochrome; and Spotting a Square Landing – the Portrait Trophy for best Portrait or People study Print. In Colour prints general, my image entitled: ‘99 on the edge’ was awarded the Rotherham Trophy for the best sport, action or photojournalism Print.
The Challenge Cup winning image:
The Portrait Trophy winning image:
The Rotherham Trophy winning image:
I also received a number of certificates for the following images: Rainy day thoughts, In Contemplation, and Pillow Talk.
Ilkley Camera Club also picked up two Society awards – The JE Barker trophy for colour prints and the Keighley Challenge trophy for monochrome prints, so we may well be going to represent the YPU in the PAGB Interclub Championship for 2014.
The exhibition runs until the 31st May 2014.
The last time I worked with Model and dancer Kayleigh Lush was in August 2012 when I was working at the Para-Olympics in London and with a day off I arrange to shoot with Kayleigh. She is certain a great model and dancer. I am still working with and processing images from that shoot, as we seemed to produced so many good ones. So quite why I had left it so long to book to work with her again, I am not sure, but when another few day together can about during a visit to London, I decided it was time to see if I could work with here again.
I used the same studio location as I usually use when in down there and that is the studio run by Adrian Pini .( as I have mentioned in my post First shoot of the year) it a studio close to where I am usually base, and Adrian is a good owner and helpful if you need an assistant.
So here are a few of the images that we produced on the day, Kayleigh was a star again and produced some great shapes and moves.
So thanks again to Kayleigh she works so hard to produce great dance shapes and has great athleticism.
I will be booking her again soon.
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