1 Gold + 1 Highly Commended in this months SWPP Awards April Monthly awards. This month saw a large amount of images submitted 81 in total into Wedding Avant Garde. Here's the Gold Award from this April Wedding featuring Emma & James's Mad hatters teaparty Wedding at The Great Hall at Mains in Blackpool. GOLD
For February's entry below we received Gold award for the below image only 1 of 4 images awarded top marks. You may remember this image also being part of my Mario Acerboni Annual win last year designed as a panel of 4 .
Below is a GOLD Award from SWPP International Mario Acerboni 4-in-1 competition. The image shows 4 images of the day from Amanda & Rick's beautiful wedding in Cartmel & Grange over sands. Sponsored by Mario Acerboni Wedding albums of Italy. A pretty good year winning 3 of the 5 Gold's presented in this years Mario Acerboni International Category.
This is October's SWPP monthly GOLD award competition winner from Lee & Amanda's beautiful wedding in Blackpool, sponsored by Mario Acerboni Wedding albums, I'd love to get down to The London Hilton in January for the UK awards ceremony...will have to wait and see. You can see all the other October award winners here.
After being a member for approx 15 I took the decision last week to leave The BIPP, at least for a few years until the BIPP management hopefully stop their judges from entering the BIPP UK National awards. Whilst some people see no harm in this I see it as unfair advantage & potentially damaging to the Wedding Photography Competition to give judges some influence. 5 sepia toned prints won 5 wedding awards also - no wedding colour images. See winners here and also a seperate article from The BJP photography magazine.
The SWPP already have prevented their judges from entering the monthly awards, after all many of these judges have won many big awards previously in their careers. I believe everyone other than Judges such be given the opportunity to win.
In turn after last year's poor turn out at the BIPP NW I decided in January to stop entering as few as 10 wedding photographers entered last year....However the BIPP have provided me with a fanastic springboard & confidence to motivate myself and I shall never forget my 2007 Creative Wedding 1st win in a star studied room with over 100 people. Them's were the days.
Gone but not forgotten thank you BIPP NW for all the laughs, excitement and friends I have made there. I look forward to hearing about some new trophies invested each year also which the winners can keep maybe as an incentive. :-)
The SWPP recently teamed up with Mario Acerboni of Italy (Wedding Album company) and they have introduced a new Wedding category for 2012. I looked at a few weddings from 2011 and felt the 'Art Deco' feel from Maxine & Neil's wedding at Morecambe's Midland Hotel had some great moody b&w images I could use to show the day.
Here's the Overall Winner for the month winning GOLD for January within the Category.
I hoped the judges would be looking for an arrangement & when I inserted the bottom right image last, I saw the jigsaw fall together. Apparently there is a prize of some sort from Mario Acerboni so I look forward to reporting back what it is....
UPDATE... A free Mario Acerboni 8"x8" album 30 Page Design, very nice thank you & nice newly designed 2012 certificate from SWPP.
2 Landscape shots entered this month, big surprise to get 2 Golds in Monochrome & Open for essentially the same photograph in this months SWPP Awards. 1 straight out of camera, the other Photoshopped to high heaven :-).
This was literally a drive out 1 afternoon on top of Horwich's Winter Hill, pulled the car over took the 70-200 out of the boot, pointed the camera at something misty, took a snap at 100asa and back in the car literally a 30 second job - it was a cold evening! I wanted a warm glow for that sunset glow effect.
Debbie and myself drove up to our first MPA awards night presentation evening at The Hilton, Newcastle. We drove up via the A1 which was a pleasant experience. We had our pictures taken by the photographers there in the entrance and had some drinks.
The MPA/Fuji UK Wedding Photographer Awards. It's seems this image is loved by everyone, hopefully it will winas I have very fond memories of seeing great photographers like Keith Thompson & Nigel Harper win it back in the 90's and early 2000.
We have this image also in The Mario Acerboni 3 in 1 final, surely it must win 1 ??. UPDATE : Didn't win this time my image possibly finished up 2nd as it has now featured next to the winner Sandra Parris on The MPA 2012 Entry Form, but who knows. Will try again next year. Its nice to be in the mix for a big award.
Click on the link to see The MPA/Fuji 2011 competition from the 2 rounds of judging My image is the 3 guys in the archway.
Put October 9th in your diary & add me as a friend at Facebook to find out. I must have spend 2-3 days in January working on this image if it wins I will post the original and take you all through how it was transformed.
Regardless of which wedding photographer wins - a wedding couple will receive £1,000 cash :-)
Being a BIPP member has its benefits, being able to enter The Mario Acerboni Wedding Awards is 1 of them.
After last years overall success UK 2nd place I felt I had more to give & wanted to really give it 1 more shot before baby Dominic arrives in late December this year. As my hands may be tied for a while after this year, we will see. I got the email just as myself & Debbie were going for the 6 month hospital scan so I had a GREAT day thanks MPA/ Mario Acerboni :-)
So I pulled my best image from last year (the yellow doors wedding in Lancaster) and found a couple of other images from that wedding I knew had potential. I had also entered 4 other sets of 3 this time as I really want to win the UK Title this year.
Here's the email from The MPA to say I'd won the North West Region again back to back, to now go through to the UK Final Awards presentation with the other Regional winners held at Gateshead in early October later on in the year where 1 winner is drawn from the 14 regional winners.
Here are the 3 images (3 from 1) that won the NW Region Wedding Photographer 2011 title for 2nd year running.
These images were taken in Lancaster at St.Thomas Church just opposite KFC :-)
A few weeks ago I shot a few very quick landscapes on the Wales coast. Debbie has relations over that way so we went over to Colywn Bay & Llandudno on a very grey and overcast day...god I love PShop. Here's 1 of the images I have worked on for 30 minutes or so for the SWPP landscape category.
UPDATE : 1 SILVER IN WEDDING CONTEMPORARY
I love my veg and equally love studying their unique forms - this time asparagus. A straight shot. The garden gloves received 'the treatment' this time. Laid out on the Vetch (i think it is called) - a beautiful orange and yellow flower in my front garden. The colour has been enhanced in PShop. No flash just daylight.
I call this 1 Alice in Wonderland - The mind boggles on this perspective like a maze. This image has been shot very quickly we had approx 10 minutes shot at 1600asa leaning over the bannisters to see everything. Again plenty of Photoshop work making use of red/ blue strong primary colour combinations.
This month I submitted a selection of images ranging from Landscape to Wedding and also set up some still-life sets involving various articles I find when out shopping. SWPP stands for The Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers and is a UK based organisation with entries from all over UK/ Europe.
1x GOLD WINNER - OPEN Category
This image was all about the arrangement of the Cep mushrooms (from the Bolete group of edibles). I was always fascinated with mushrooms and have photographed many kinds in the wild over the years maninly within forests. Obviously these have been photographed inside using natural daylight + Canon 5D on a tabletop.
3x SILVER WINNERS - Contemporary Portraiture
This was taken in a building using a silhouette and I loved the window shapes.
I also won 2 other silvers within the wedding category, which you may remember helped me to win overall 2nd in last years Mario Acerboni awards. 1 of my overall favourities only received a bronze below - go figure. Taken at Llandudno, Wales
News & Press UPDATE: GOLD AWARDED The below image has had a nomination for SWPP News & Press Photographer of the Year 2011.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Email from SWPP
Dear Martin Congratulations!
Your Gold Award image in the Category of Press & News has been nominated by our panel of judges for the award of Press & News Photographer of the Year. Your image will be placed in the limited edition of ‘The Societies Collection’ book (available to pre-order now by contacting Head Office) along with the other nominated images, all of which are eligible to win the title of Press & News Photographer of the Year. Should you be successful you will then stand the chance of winning 3rd place, 2nd place or Overall Photographer of the Year.
The smouldering heather's taken on top of Winter Hill, Horwich mid afternoon on the West Pennines during the recent moorland/ forest fires. A Police helicopter drops water on to the buring smouldering terrain - so a very topical image, which has been darkened, smoke highlighted & finally sepia toned.
At Blackpool College (many years ago now) we used 5x4 view cameras for Still-Life Photography using mainly tungsten lighting and tungsten balanced film Fuji 64T. I never really could get interested in the subject matter or the vast amount of time it would take setting up the shot in camera & all the lights, waiting for tranny film to get developed at the college.
However in the days of digital now Still-Life really has re-ignited my interest again. I find it very therapeutic and very different to the hussle & bussle of wedding photography. Here's a few of my latest efforts mainly shot for the SWPP monthly awards (Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers)
What I enjoy about Still-Life photography now is I can spend more time at the computer enhancing an image & not having to adjust lighting positions, camera exposures to get an effect I'm looking for. Instead I can use filters/plug-ins & PhotoShop Actions to get something far removed from the original flat and boring shot of 3 wooden spoons in my kitchen draw. The wooden board was an old warped cutting block/ board gone all battered in the dish-washer and with some computer help to distress it even more.
Dragon Fruit with enhancement
Walking around Tesco the colour of this thing just shouted 'buy me' with its purple coat and green edging. I still had some red paper left over from a chilli shoot I had done previously so I tried it behind the fruit and it really popped I thought 'yes' as I photographed it in the kitchen sink.
Obviously I have introduced a poloaroid effect to make this subject matter dark and more abstract. The depth of field is very limited around 5.6 but I only wanted parts of it in focus, I needed to make it look different somehow. UPDATE: BRONZE AWARDED
This was a blaze on an industrial estate which I took from a high vantage point overlooking Westhoughton, nr Bolton. Seeing the smoke from my window, I then drove for 10 minutes to get this shot. UPDATE: SILVER AWARDED
Wedding ContemporaryUPDATE: SILVER AWARDED
This image won a Gold a few years with the SWPP which I'd share with you. Taken in my bedroom at 3200 asa and toned in PhotoShop it was originally a grey looking image.