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Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU) Annual Exhibition 2014

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:

Synchronized bathing practice

The Portrait Trophy winning image:

spotting a square landing
Spotting a square landing

The Rotherham Trophy winning image:

99 on the edge
99 on the edge

I also received a number of certificates for the following images: Rainy day thoughts, In Contemplation, and Pillow Talk.

rainy day thoughts
Rainy day thoughts
in contemplation
In contemplation
pillow talk
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.


Anna Rose

I had not planned to shoot with Anna Rose  (a London based model) and it was only because I had been working the studio the day before and unfortunately or fortunately as it turned out I managed to leave one of my lens at the studio. (True Definition Studio). The owner had phoned me to say he had found my lens and as I need it for the next day I decided to drive back over to Stockport to pick it up.

On arrival I found that there was a studio day on and one of the models was Anna rose and whilst talking with the owner and picking up my lens, it turned that that there was a 1 hour slot available with Anna.

So seeing her I made the decision to do some images with her in that one hour slot. Here are a few of images I shot with her all using the natural light windows of this studio.

The levitation image was a bit of an experiment and is really just some work in progress.

Here is a selection of images we produced in that that short time frame.


FIAP levels and the need to focus

From January to March anyone working towards the FIAP distinctions will have been finalizing their submissions and sending them off to their relevant FIAP coordinator. The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB)  who administer the FIAP scheme in for England have set the deadline date as 31/03/2014.

I, like all the others on the FIAP trail, have submitted my form for the EFIAP/ bronze level, which I talked about in this post. To achieve this level you need 75 acceptances with 25 different Images and have gained 3 awards. As I could only count acceptances from June 2013 (the date of my EFIAP certificate) this was really halfway through the year so I was pleased to have achieved the required acceptance for this level in a relatively short timescale.

So what have been the learning points this year;

Focus

You need to be focused on getting new images into the salons and hopefully gaining acceptances; the important thing with the levels is to build up the number of different accepted images so you can achieve the required number for the level you working towards. It gives you no advantage in submitting previous images accepted, you are wasting your chances of getting other images accepted and building up your image count.

For the FIAP distinctions levels, you do need to have images that have gained awards. You need 3 for the bronze, 4 for the silver, 5 for the gold and 6 for the platinum – which is a total of 18 awarded images overall. Once an image has an award any further awards don’t help you, just the one is all that counts. So continuing to enter the same awarded image into other salons, in the hope of picking up any future awards is a real waste – these awards simply don’t count.

Strategy

The strategy I have adopted with new images is to enter them into at least 3 different salons and see if they gain acceptances. If they do gain an acceptance I then park it and move on to another image.

Learning

My main learning point this year was with image names. I used one image twice with different names and only discovered it as I was preparing my contact sheets. This is not acceptable and again a waste of time. I am not sure what I was doing but I guess entering Salons late at night after a long day at work had something today with it.

So I do need to improve my image numbering/naming system to ensure that images I use are numbered and named correctly to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A few awarded images from my EFIAP/ bronze submission.

black and white geometry to mood
Black and white geometry to mood
in contemplation
In contemplation
kapow
Kapow

Kayleigh Lush

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.

contemporary dance shapes
Contemporary Dance shapes
kayleigh_lush (7 of 7)
In the spot light
red flame
Red flame
kayleigh_lush (3 of 7)
Net shapes
Kayleigh_Lush (2 of 7)
In Blue
kayleigh_lush (4 of 7)
Perfecting the art of chair leviation II
kayleigh_lush (5 of 7)
Shadow play

Dance explosion

kayleigh_lush (6 of 7)
Dance explosion

 


First shoot of the year and first post too

My first shoot of the year and my first post of the year too, it seems to have been a long wait to get back to shooting with a model again, in fact it was back in late September that I last shot with a model.

So it was really good to get a chance to work with Lulu Lockhart. When a trip to London came up and Lulu was available for a shoot I booked her I knew Lulu was a good versatile model who could turn her poses to good shapes and expressions, and that proved to be the case.

I tend to use Adrian Pini studio when I am London as is it not too far from where I am usually based, and also its well priced, a reasonable size and Adrian is a good owner and  helpful if you need an assistant. Worth a look if you are wanting a studio when you are in London.

So here are a few of  the images that we produced on the day,  so thank you again Lulu.

lucy l 6
Delicate tones
lost in thought
Lost in thought
lulu l hs
Lulu L HS
soft light and tones
Soft light and tones
caught in the light
Caught in the light

I have now booked Lulu again for later in the year.


Exposed Salon 2013

In 2012 as part of my project to obtain my EFIAP award I entered the Exposed salon in Slovenia.

When the results came out I was delighted to find that I won the FIAP Blue badge for best author in the Salon.

The Salon is organised by Foto klub Kamnik, and has run for 5 years.

During which time it has built up a good reputation as a Digital photo salon.

It also provides entrants with a good printed catalogue too.

However what I had not realised was that they have a policy of inviting the blue badge winner from the previous years salon to be one of the judges at the folowing years salon. So in early June I received an email from Klemen Brumec, one of the salon organizers inviting me to come and be one of the judges the next salon.

Which of course I was delighted to accept.

Now I have entered over 74 FIAP Salons around the world and pick up over 35 awards, but I had never been involved on the other side i.e. judging.

I was honoured to be invited to judge, especially in a foreign country, but I was also very interested to see and experience the whole process.

So in mid-December I drove to Stansted and flew direct to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. On arrival I was met by Klemen who then drove us to Kamnik a small town about 20 miles outside the capital and home to the Kamnik Foto club.

The judging weekend

Now as I mentioned above Exposed is a digital salon, which means all entries are submitted digitally and to judge them they are displayed/projected.

So two days in a darkened room was ahead. On the day of judging I was joined by two other judges, both from Slovenia, Domen Dolenc, (F1 FZS), and Matej Peljhan, (KMF FZS, EFIAP) – so it was prestigious company to say the least.

judges at work
The Judges at work

In terms of entrants, whilst I don’t know the exact figures there were around 9200 images. These were from around 800 different authors from all over the world.

It was going to be a busy two days of judging with that amount of images.

Judging wise, we were asked to score each image out of 9, using the full range from 1 to 9.

After the first round it is the highest scoring images that went forward to the awards selctions.

These images were then reviewed again with the judges discussing and sometimes debating the merits of a particular image.

I think for me a good point to keep in mind when entering FIAP salons you need to make sure that the images you submit have a high impact. They need to get the judges attention immediately.

As a judge you have a few seconds at best to determine if an image will be accepted or not. More subtle images are less likely to make it through.

Judging 2
More of the judging

Thoughts

As a photographer, I have to say that I felt privileged to see the work of so many different photographers from around the world.

However it was noticeable in a number of the sections that the almost identical image appeared.

It would seem that these were all shot at the same time by multiple authours.

Either at a workshop or staged shoot with each person standing next to each other.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work, getting through that volume of images in two days was quite tiring.

Especially when I wanted to make sure that every image I viewed had the same amount of attention.

Irrespective of whether it was shown at the start or at the end of the judging process.

one of the album
One of the album

The Exposed salon certainly now has good memories for me. In 2012 I won my first Blue badge and now I had the pleasure to meet the organisers and judge the 2013 salon entry.

The hospitality of Kamnik Foto club was excellent and I was made to feel very welcome.

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The 2013 FIAP trail

The 2013 FIAP trial

Overall it has not been a bad year for Salon entries and successes I could not really start my project of gaining the required acceptances for the FIAP/Bronze level until I had received confirmation of the EFIAP award. As you cannot count any acceptance towards the new level until after the confirmation date of the EFIAP award, which for me was confirmed at the beginning of June this year.

So for that reason I have not been entering as many salons this year as in the past few years, due to the reasons stated above. It is only after the award date that you can start to count acceptances towards your next level, so it was really a waste of images and money to do many entries.  I did however support a few salons during that period and did gain a number of acceptances with a new range of images, but as I stated above none of these will count toward the bronze level.

That said there has been a few memorial highlights this year for me, the first high point was gaining acceptance of two images into the London Salon of Photography (2013) but the really highlight was that one of those images was awarded a prestigious London Salon Medal. This was a real surprise and a great achievement too.

These are prized medals as the London Salon only allows 10 medals to be available each year, and in some years only a few medals are award. So to actually be awarded one for your one of your images is really special and a great result. It was good to go  down to London to the exhibition opening and receive the medal and see the images hug on the wall. I was fortunate this year to also get another image accepted into the exhibition.

synchronized bathing practice
Synchronized bathing practice

My second highlight of the year if you are allowed two, was in the Midlands Salon of photography were I was fortunate to win 4 different medals in the Salon.

The following images were medal winners.

Spotting a square landing was awarded PSA Gold Medal

Synchronised bathing Practice was awarded PSA Bronze Medal

Curves in profile was awarded UPI Silver Medal

Perfecting the art of table stands was awarded MCPF Medal

As they say, good things come in three and so finally and following my Blue badge win at the Exposed Salon in 2012. I was invited to be one of the judges for the 2013 Exposed Salon so a trip to Solvenia in the next couple of weeks is now arranged and I am looking forward to see and judging the images submitted into this year Salon.

So in terms of Salon this year I have entered 35 different Salons  and had 204 acceptances and picked up the 24 awards, so not a bad half year really

Here are some of my new images that have gained acceptances in 2013.

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FIAP Awards

I started on the FIAP Distinction trail in 2010 and when I entered some images in the GB Small Print Championship and managed to gain a number of acceptances, I started to see if I could achieve my AFIAP.  That became my project for 2011 and I have been submitting to salons on a regular basis ever since.

Thankfully I have been lucky enough to have my work feature amongst the awards in a number of salons, and so rather then keep posting in my blog I have put this gallery together which features my images that have received awards.

 Received Awards

FIAP Blue Badge/Best Author (x1)PSA Gold Medal (x4)
FIAP Gold Medal (x 2)PSA Silver Medal (x2)
 PSA Bronze Medal (x2)
FIAP Bronze Medal (x2)PSA Honorable Mention (x1)
FIAP Ribbon (x6) 
FIAP Honourable Mention (x13)London Salon Medal (x1)
UPI Gold Medal (x1) 
UPA Silver Medal (x1)Salon Medal (x6)
AFFR Gold Medal (x1)Judges Medal (x2)
FFS Gold Medal (x1) 
RPS Silver Medal (x1)Salon Praise/Honorable Mention (x2)
RPS Ribbon (x1) 

Awarded Images

Count

To date my count stands at 481 acceptances from 172 images, 74 salons from 23 countries & 35 awards from 21 different images


Distinctions

  • AFIAP- June 2012
  • EFIAP – June 2013

Good things come in Pairs

As I have mentioned in my previous blog post  EFIAP Distinction Award, I enter images into international photographic exhibitions and with each salon there normally comes a catalogue (often a printed one, but some send a CD or DVD instead).

These are usually records of the award winning images and a selection of the accepted images from the exhibition. Now it is good to get acceptances with your submitted images in the exhibitions but when you get awards too it is good to have a record of that fact.
I recently received two packages on the same day containing catalogues and medals from two different salons.
One was from Serbia – the Photo Cinema club “POZAREVAC” who run the Salon of Art Photography “WORLD AROUND US ” and the other was from Spain from the Spanish Andorran Iberoamerican digital circuit.

The first was a good printed catalogue, the other a CD.
In both of these salons my images had gained acceptances and in Spanish Circuit my image entitled, ‘In Contemplation’ had been awarded a Gold medal and one of my other images entitled ‘Kapow’ had gained a FIAP Ribbon.

In the World Around Us Salon, my image entitled ‘Rainy day thought’s had picked up a Silver Medal and had a full page spread which is always pleasing.

in contemplation
In contemplation
rainy day thoughts
Rainy day thoughts
kapow
Kapow

So as the Chinese say ‘good things come in pairs’

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A few images from a visit to Cork (Ireland) with the Fuji XE-1

Now Cork is a great place to visit and when it combines with the Guinness jazz festival I thought it would be a good place to put my newly acquired Fuji XE-1 thought its paces. I had chosen to stay with prime lenses with this camera and so all these images were shot using the 18mm and 35mm Fuji primes, which equate to approx 28mm and 56 mm with the sensor crop.

Fuji have some great info on their web site as well as the mini-product site at http://fujifilm-x.com/x-e1/en/. Worth a look if you are interested, but do please come back here to finish reading my post.

I  have to say I loved using the XE-1 camera – setting the aperture and shutter speed is easy and you quickly start to enjoy having it in the hand and framing the shot using the rear screen. I have yet to use the electronic view finder that the XE-1 comes with, but there is time to try this in the future.  Overall I thought the XE-1 performed really well giving good details and colours. The lighting conditions in some of the venues were challenging to say the least and it needed an ISO setting of 6400 to have any chance of getting an image and yet I feel it returned some acceptable images despite the difficult lighting.

Outside on the street the camera performed equally as well capturing some of the things that attracted me as we walked around the streets visiting the sites off and around As  Patrick Street. and also visiting some of the more interesting bars.

Mutton Lane, with its candlelit dark corners and some fine tasty pints was again a good place to test out the XE-1 low light capabilities, they opened 20mins early for me so managed to get some images without customers. As well as the main Patrick Street.
One recommended addition to the XE-1 is a grip and following some research on the web I found a Fuji users website on which there were a lot of recommendations for the i_shoot grip for the Fuji XE-1. It comes from China and I think it is made there for the Really Right Stuff company  as it looks exactly like one of their items but costs considerable less than the RRS grip.

I purchased it via ebay and it arrived in about 14 days and is a great addition to the XE-1. Far better than the Fuji grip as there is no need to remove it to change the battery or memory card. It also fits the tripod head mount so that is a win win for me.

Overall I really like the XE-1 and looking forward to using it again in trying it out in the studio too.


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