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A visit to the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre

The Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre reopened after a major refurbishment in early February, with its first major exhibition being a retrospective of the work of Andreas Gursky.

Andreas Gursky is an acclaimed German photographer, well known for his large-scale pictures, so a visit was on my list when I was last in London.

This exhibition also marks the beginning of the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary year. The Gallery is nothing much to look at from the outside and the exterior architecture is often described as brutal. However, the two year refurbishment has focussed on allowing the gallery’s pyramid roof lights to bathe the spaces below in natural light, as was in the original design.

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April Images

A selection of image taken during the month of April, hence the title April Images.

As I seem to be failing at the moment to get my Blog posts going on a regular basis, I am trying this approach of having a posts each month where I can just add image and a little text about them. I keep taking lots of images but never seem to get them into a blog post.

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2017 a year in review

So as 2017 comes to an end I thought it was worth taking a bit of time to reflect on this years photography.

Two of the main highlights from 2017 that spring to mind are being awarded a third London Salon medal for one of my images entered in this years (2017) London salon. Having been lucky enough to have been awarded medals at medal at previous Salons – I never thought I would get a third.

The second highlight was having an image in Great Britain entry for this years FIAP colour biennial .
I also achieved the EFIAP/Platiumn award which has been a long-term goal for me. (see below).

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48 hours in Glasgow with my Fuji XT-2

The first time I visited Glasgow in the early 1970s it was a city that gave the impression of being dark, grimy and unwelcoming. All the streets seemed to be empty and the bars didn’t seem to have any windows at street level.  The only restaurants that we could find open were on the central railway station.

First impressions can be lasting, but today Glasgow has a completely different feel and look as the old grime seems to have been washed away. It’s historic beauty created by architects of the likes of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has been blended with the modern architecture designs, like Zaha Hadid with “the Wave” (the Transport Museum). This is now a modern vibrant city and well worth a visit with your camera.

If you are in the centre near the Central Station, a good place to start is a visit to The Lighthouse.  This building was designed by C. R. Mackintosh in 1895 as the offices of the Glasgow Herald, and it is now home to Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. The city scape views from the top are well worth the climb of the corkscrew stairs. There are also several levels of galleries which offer exhibitions and portfolio overviews of contemporary artists and designers.

Images from The Lighthouse location

glasow roof top views from the lighthouse tower
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/3sec @ F / 16

One of the views from the top of the building.

window views of glasgow city scape
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/1250sec @ F / 5.6

The view from the bottom of The Lighthouse tower stairs which start on the third floor of the building.

looking up from the bottom of the lighthouse stairs
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 30 sec @ F / 11

View across to The Lighthouse Tower.

a view of the lighthouse tower in the winter sunshine
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/2000 sec @ F / 4.0

A visit to Bellahouston Park is also well worth making. It’s out of town but well served by buses or take a train to the nearest station. There you’ll find the stunning “House for an Art Lover”, built in 1996, based on an unrealized C. R. Mackintosh design from 1901. The other good thing is that you can take photographs inside which is always a bonus.

Images of the iconic Mackintosh designs

close up of the Stain glass design by mackintosh
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/125 sec @ F / 2.2
Image showing the design details of the wood work designed by mackintosh
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/280 sec @ F / 2.8
close up of the Stain glass design by mackintosh
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/125 sec @ F / 2.8
wooden panelling artist designs by mackintosh
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/450 sec @ F / 2.8
shadows of a window playing on the opposite wall in a corridor
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/125 sec @ F / 4.0

The house is in some great grounds too and with the low winter sunshine and winter frost gave it a different look worth photographing.

image showing the rich browns of the winter trees and shubs in the low winter sun
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/125 sec @ F / 8.0

Modern Architecture

It’s not just the classic architecture that makes Glasgow interesting; there are several large modern buildings which are worth a visit to photograph, including the SEC Armadillo amphitheater and the UFO-like SSE Hydro Arena. Both of these were designed by N. Foster and Partners.

Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/250 sec @ F / 11.0

Another great building to photograph is the Riverside Museum, designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, with a roof that resembles waves of water.

The building is Glasgow’s Transport Museum and houses a collection of more than 3,000 historic cars, trams and motorcycles.

a black and white image showing the design of the wave building designed by Zaha Hadid
Fuji X-T2 – Lens: Touit 2.8 – 1/500 sec @ F / 5.6

You can walk to this musum along the River Clyde which has now been redeveloped and gives some good photographic oppertunities as the images below show.

landscape view of the clyde Arc and the finnieston crane
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/250sec @ F / 11.0
a landscape view from the clyde river and clyde arc bridge
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/30sec @ F / 16.0

The Finnieston Crane or Stobcross Crane structure and its shadows made an interesting image

Structures and shadow on the the finnieston crane structure
Fuji X-T2 – XF 55-200mm F 3.5 – 1/125 sec @ F / 6.4

The BBC Scotland building and the Bells Bridge

image shot across the river clyde showing the bbc building
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/250 sec @ F / 9.0

The Tradeston pedestrian bridge

the tradeston bridge a pedestrian bridge across the River Clyde
Fuji X-T2 – XF 18mm F 2.0 R – 1/60 sec @ F / 14.0

The final image was a scene I came upon outside the transport museum – bungy jumping Santa Claus!  This was fun to watch and a good reminder of the festive season to come.

Fuji X-T2 – XF55-200mm F 3.5 – 4.8 R 1/250 sec @ F / 9.0

FIAP colour biennial 2017

on pointe expression FIAP colour biennial 2017
Canon EOS 5D Mark II : EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM 1/125 @ F / 9.0

FIAP colour biennial 2017

Every year FIAP (International Federation of Photographic Art) hold international competitions called FIAP Biennials. These are hosted by different Federations around the world, under conditions laid out by FIAP. This year the competition was hosted by Norway and was a colour Biennial.

This is the first year that FIAP have merged the colour Print and Projected Image Biennials together.

In 2018 there will be the Black and White and Nature Biennials.

Within each medium, each country chooses its own theme for its entry, and puts together a panel of images or prints on that theme aiming to get the entries as coherent as possible.

During the competition the panel of entries is given both individual scores for each work, and also a mark for how coherent the panel is.

Obviously then the country with the highest combined score is the winner.

This year the Great Britain theme was “Dance and Movement” and the PAGB selectors selected 10 images to make that theme, including an image from myself.

Other authors representing GB were Dinah Jayes, Roger Parry, Derwood Pamphilon, Steve Marriot, Pauline Pentony, Joan Blease, Tim Pile, Greg Duncan, and Valerie Duncan.

In the competition the entry received a coherence score of 45 and an individual print score of 119, total score of 164.

There were 19 countries entered into the Colour Biennial (Print) and this score placed us 5th overall and we also received an honourable mention. We were one point off the FIAP Biennial bronze which went to Norway. Other notable awards were to Dinah Jayes who was awarded the FIAP Biennial individual gold medal for her image.

The overall winners of the World Cup were Italy.

Gold went to Luxembourg and Spain picking up the Silver, Norway the bronze medals

In the Projected Image Biennial, GB came second which was also a great result.

It was great to receive the printed catalogue showing all the print entries and I was especially impressed with the coherence of Luxembourg images, which was on a theme of ‘Black and Red’ .


Zurich a short visit

And so on to Zurich – after  a smooth and fast journey to Zurich during which you certainly got a relaxed view of the French country side as you sped through it. When we arrived in Zurich main station there was a lot of people around and Saturday night entertainments as in most big cities seem to be in full swing. After a bit of walking around we found our hotel. (We chose this Boutique hotel,  just by the station). An evening stroll around the streets of Zurich then gave us a bit of idea where to go on the following day.

Exploring Zurich.

Setting out the next day with my Fuji XT-1, we walked around the town crossing the river via the many bridges and walking to various locations of interest. Here are a few of the more general tourist type images of the iconic buildings and a few different views of the place. I had to include the  locks on the bridge as the colours made them stand out in places.

Autumn colours

Were also at their best and the golden colours made a good feature to include in some images. In others, they gave a strong focal point.

As with all street photography it is often good to explore up side streets and see what interesting things you can find. Sometimes nothing – other times some more interesting street images. Here are a few of the more interesting finds.

You can also walk along the side of Lake Zurich and when you hear the sound of Alpine horns, you have to go and see what is happening. It turned out to be a group of Alpine horn players giving a free concert.

Strolling a little further along the shore line we came across this scene with the kids really enjoying the giant bubbles being created and then chasing them around

Stopping for a drink and a bit to eat provided an opportunity for a few interesting images.

Just loved the sign.

Heading back into town I spotted this chap who seemed to be directing trams at a junction that was having a bit of major work being undertaken. Not sure why you need to direct trams on tracks but they seemed to manage ok when went for a break.

An interesting place for some different types of images for me, expensive but worth the trip to visit and explore.


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Le Train Bleu Restaurant -Images

As I recounted in this  blog. I have been lucky enough to attend the Austrian Super Salon Gala Dinner and awards evening in Linz. Another successful year at the Super Salon Circuit Salon meant I received an invite to attend the event so we need to plan another trip to Linz.

With a few days of research by my wife on how best to get to Linz with out flying, resulted in us opting to going by train. Which gave us the option of taking a few other places we had wanted to visit too. We found that we could get a visits to Zurich, Linz and Vienna as part of this trip. (We opted to fly home from Vienna). So instead of flying both ways as the last time see my blog about my visit to Munich  we opted to go by train. (Thanks to the man in seat 61)

The trip started with a train down to London on the East Coast main line an overnight in the London area then out from St Pancras by Eurostar to Paris. A few stops on the Paris Metro to Paris Gare de Lyon. Where the modern French TGV-Lyria train leaves for Switzerland. It whisks you across France and on into Switzerland via Basel and then Zurich. Running at up to 320 km/h (200mph) you arrive in Zurich around 4 hours after departing from Paris.

Le Train Bleu Restaurant.

Before I post some of the Zurich images I though it was worth sharing these images of the historic Le Train Bleu Restaurant (“The Blue Train”) which is located in Hall 1 of the Gare de Lyon station.

The restaurant was originally created for the World’s fair (1900) and each of the ornate dining rooms are themed to represent cities and regions of France and they are decorated with 41 paintings by some of the most popular artists of that time.

Initially called “Buffet de la Gare de Lyon”, it was renamed “Le Train Bleu restaurant” in 1963, after the train of the same name. It was designated a Monument Historique in 1972.

Having seen the website we decided that it was well worth getting to Gare de Lyon station with a few hours to spare so we could pay a visit to this historic Restaurant.

A few Images

le train bleu sign
1/60 sec @f8.0 XF18mm f2.0
le train bleu interior ceiling
1/60 sec @ f11 ISO5000 Touit 2.8 12mm
le train bleu restaurant interior I
1/60 sec @ f5.6 ISO1600 Touit 2.8 12mm
le train bleu restaurant interior II
1/30 sec @ f9.0 ISO3200 Touit 2.8 12mm

It is not cheap but is well worth spending the extra euros just to take in the interior decorations, which are certainly very impressive as you can see from the images above – no one seemed to mind you taking images either.

The final image is as we started to pull out of the station on our way to Zurich really liked the all the lines and the feeling of traveling with this one.

high and low Lines
1/125 @ f8.0 ISO200 – Fuji XF 35mm F1.4

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EFIAP/Platinum Distinction Level

FIAP Distinctions for Photographic Merit

I received notification that my application for the EFIAP/Platinum Distinction level award (EFIAP/p) has been successful. This was great news as it has been a project which I started in 2012. The aim was to see if my images would gain acceptances in international photographic salons around the world.

All these photographic salons are run under the auspices of FIAP (Federation Internationale de L’Art Photographique).

Following on from my successful AFIAP (Artist FIAP) application I gained my EFIAP distinction in 2013 (Excellence FIAP) and each subsequent year since then I have achieved the required acceptance to progress up the levels each year.

I have also managed to pick up a number of awards along the way too, which is always a good feeling.

Efiap/Platinum a simple point of the foot
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 7.1

EFIAP/p: Excellence FIAP/Platinum

So a year on from achieving my EFIAP Gold (EFIAP/g), I managed to achieve and pass the requirement required for the EFIAP/p level.

I think it is worth just sharing the requirement for EFIAP/p distinction level. You need to exceed 700 acceptances with at least 250 different works, which have gained acceptances in at least 20 different counties, as well as 7 photographs gaining awards in 7 different counties and different salons.

Hence to achieve this level you need to have a pretty substantial body of work and to have been actively submitting that work to photographic salons around the world.  It really is no mean feat to achieve it.

In my post about achieving my EFIAP Silver, I noted with some regret that FIAP in their wisdom had made major changes to these awards requirements for the following year, which made me question the rationale of continuing to enter international salons.

However later in the year at the FIAP conference, the changes introduced to all the requirements of the awards were revised further, making the requirements sensible again.

So what I have learned along the way with this Project ?

First and foremost you need a good database to keep track of the salons you have entered and your image titles.

Within that database you will also need to keep the record of the FIAP Salon number of the salon you have entered and whether you have entered a Print or a PDI (Projected digital image), together with the year, and the country in which the salon is taking place. If the salon is a circuit you need to record each salon of the circuit and the images entered in each salon making up the circuit.

Upon receiving your results, it is important to check that the titles on the results sheet match your titles, as errors do occur and you need to make sure that the titles that are published in the results are the same as the ones in your database. You also need to record which images have received awards. The check of the awards is done on the image titles against the salon returns to FIAP so they need to match.

You can record lots of other things if you want but those listed above are the main things you will need at the end of the year when you are filling out your application submission.

Image titles are also very important. Make sure you don’t duplicate titles, over a year you can sometimes struggle to think of a title and end up using one that you have already used.  I made that mistake a few times and you can only use the title for one image, so effectively you lose the acceptances you gained from the duplicated title. Also make sure you don’t use the next image in a sequence of images you may have shot as they will be too similar. It is tempting to use another image from a shoot if one has done well. Look carefully at the images you use.

It is important to pick your salons, as you do need a good spread of countries each year. You may be very successful in one country, and it is very tempting to keep entering images in the same area if they do well. You will learn quickly which salons are well run and which to avoid!

If you want to read some of my other blogs about the FIAP distinction trail then the links are below:

 EFIAP2013 and EFIAP/b 2014), EFIAP/s 2015, EFIAP Gold

Here are a few of the images that were part of my EFIAP Platinum application :

Kirkjufell mountain and waterfall
Canon EOS 5D Mark III : EF16-35mm F2.8 1.6sec @ F / 22.0
Efiap Platinum
Pentax 645Z Lens: FA 645 150mm f/2.8 1/100sec @ F / 2.8
Efiap/Platinum aerial splits blue silks
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 5.0
Efiap/Platinum victorian candle maker
Fuji X-T2 : XF18mmF2 R
1/4sec @ f / 11.0
Canon 5D EF 70-200mm F2.8 L 1/125sec @ F / 6.3
EFIAP/ Platinum magic dust sweeping
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 4.5
EFIAP/ Platinum angela hudson
Canon EOS 5D Mark III : EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 4.5

So having achieved my aim of gaining the EFIAP/Platinum level what is next ?

I plan to keep entering a few of the international salons but I will be very selective in the ones I spend my money on.

I will mainly be focusing in on the ones that have prints sections. I enjoy creating prints and certainly feel that it is important to keep supporting salons that exhibit prints.

Final thoughts:

As I have pursued the FIAP Salons trail I have seen lots of inspiring work; I have met a number of good photographers; and made some new friends. I’ve been lucky to have travelled internationally as both an award winner and also as a judge.

EFIAP/Platinum thoughts of the one IV Elle beth
Canon 5D MkIII – 1/125sec @ f / 11.0 EF70-200mm F2.8 L
EFIAP/Platinum towards the light
Canon 5D MkII – 1/40sec @ f / 3.5 EF70-200mm F2.8 L

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And then it was Three !

London Salon Medal 2017

A bit of an unusual title for one of my posts, but – when you find that you have been awarded a Medal in the prestigious London Salon of photography), and it is your third, then I think it is worth posting with an offbeat title.

Over the years I have always tried to support the London Salon, which is dedicated to exhibiting only that class of photographic work in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution.

The London Salon does not run under FIAP Patronage yet it receives entries from around the world, so to get an image accepted is a real achievement, and then to be awarded a medal is really a great result.

Blue Haired Beauty was from a beauty shoot with the Model Amber Tutton and features the make up artistry of Monica Montalvo.

This was the image that received the award of the Salon medal.

blue haired beauty
Blue haired beauty Model: Amber Tutton, MUA: Monica Montalvo

I had another image accepted into the Salon too, which was from a location fashion shoot, Styled by Jen Brook, Design by Mishi May, MUA: Sopie Battersby, Millinary: Donna Graham, part of the Walters wardrobe team.

Couture Fashion Stairway Elegance (Designer Mishi May)

couture fashion stairway elegance (designer mishi may
Model: Nicky Philips, MUA: Sopie Battersby, Designer Mishi May, Millinary: Donna Graham, Stlyist Jen Brook, Production Walters Wardrode
Camera Model: Fuji X-T2, Lens: Fuji XF56mmF1.2 R

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