A Portrait Of Britain-Finalist

A bittersweet email from the British Journal of Photography and 1854 Media Awards let me know that “…your entry made it to the second & final round of judging, we regret to tell you that your image has not been shortlisted on this occasion”.

Still, nice to make it that far! Rather than the work remain unseen, thought I would share my Portrait Of Britain here and show the ten images I entered for the awards.

Many thanks to the judges and many congratulations to those shortlisted.

Camera and lens details can be found in all the captions below. All raw files were edited and processed using Adobe Lightroom Classic and finished off in either Alienskin Exposure X4 or Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro.

Alford Gardner, one of the few surviving Windrush passengers, from the 1948 SS Empire Windrush, which left Jamaica bound for Britain. Portrait photographed by the River Thames, South Bank, London, UK. May 25, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix G9 and Leica DG 25mm f1.4 lens.
Mezzo-soprano Angela Simkin, Opera Singer. The University Women’s Club 2 Audley Square, London, United Kingdom. July 17, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix G9 and Leica DG 42.5mm f1.2 lens.
Put It To The People March. Official figures put the numbers at the anti Brexit march at over one million. The demonstration, marched in central London calling for another EU referendum. The demo ends in Parliament Square. London, UK. March 23, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix S1R and Lumix S 24-105mm f4.0 lens.
It’s Their Future. Put It To The People March. Official figures put the numbers at the anti Brexit march at over one million. The demonstration, marched in central London calling for another EU referendum. The demo ends in Parliament Square. London, UK. March 23, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix S1R and Lumix S 24-105mm f4.0 lens.
The UK faces a homeless epidemic, with statistics showing that a homeless person dies every two weeks in London, one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Spiralling property prices are being cited as a huge factor, alongside access to mental health services becoming harder over the last several years. A homeless man lays on the street, apparently passed out from drinking the wine tied to the top of his belongings on his trolley. His guitar, probably used to busk with to pay for the wine, still strapped to his back. Another homeless man, wrapped in a sleeping bag, walks by. Tesco superstore, Pentonville Road, London, UK. March 21, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Sony RX1R M2.
Kel, a homeless man has decorated his corner of the subway for Christmas. He helps bewildered tourists with directions to Harrods and Winter Wonderland (funfair). He’s been homeless for four months following the breakup of his relationship, when he caught his brother and partner together. Hyde Park Corner subway, London, UK. December 16, 2017. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Sony RX1R M2.
London’s Metropolitan police statistics for 2018, show that knife crime has surged by 16 per cent in the capital, as Britain’s crime epidemic continues. John Costi, a reformed armed robber who was jailed for raids on London bookmakers, went on to graduate from the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s where he was awarded a first class honours degree in fine art. After a spiritual awakening during a 6-year prison sentence Costi sought to make sense of the world around him through art. Costi has used his own experiences to create a relationship with young people that allows him to offer guidance to help them to avoid becoming involved in violent crime, alongside also being involved with initiatives like “Art Against Knives”. Capital House, Weston Street, London. Knife Crime Violence In London, UK. May 05, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix G9 and Leica DG 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 lens.
Friends gather and perform parkour jumping tricks on the beach of the River Thames, during a heat wave bank holiday. Bankside, London, UK. May 06, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix G9 and Leica DG 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 lens.
A child runs around whilst bathed in rays of sunlight in the turbine hall. Tate Modern, during a heat wave bank holiday. Bankside, London, UK. May 06, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix G9 and Leica DG 50-200mm f2.8-4.0 lens.
Portrait of violinist Asia Jiménez Antón de Vez. London, UK. January 18, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Image shot on a Panasonic Lumix S1 and Lumix S 24-105mm f4.0 lens.

Sigma L Mount Lenses

Sigma Made In Aizu Event

Geishas from Aizu performing a traditional Japanes dance. Sigma Made In Aizu Event. The Roof Terrace, Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, Soho, London, UK. June 26, 2019. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian. Shot on a Panasonic Lumix S1R and Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4 using face and eye detection AF mode at f1.4.

Great to see the L Mount shaping up and the L Mount Alliance going from strength to strength. I was at Sigma UK’s Made In Aizu event earlier today and as well as being treated to wonderful aspects of Japanese culture in the way of Geisha performances of traditional Japanese song and dance, wonderfully delicious varieties of Sake from Aizu, it was great to see 11 prototype L Mount ART lenses from Sigma. Sigma will have 10 fast aperture ART lenses and one macro by the end of this year. The 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4 will be first and are due within months.

Sigma’s L Mount ART lens line up (prototypes). Sigma Made In Aizu Event. The Roof Terrace, Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, Soho, London, UK. June 26, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

This year Panasonic Lumix will launch a 16-35mm F4, 24-70mm F2.8, 70-200mm F2.8 along with 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. Next year will bring a super telephoto, a macro and at least another fixed focal length lens. The scheduled lens line up for the L-Mount by the end of 2020 from Panasonic, Sigma and Leica will stand at a staggering 42 lenses. From what I’ve seen so far from all three manufacturers, most of these are going to be world class lenses. We’re certainly in for a treat!

BPPA Assignments 2019 Exhibition

Thrilled to have two of my photographs selected by the curators of the BPPA’s (British Press Photographers’ Association) tremendously powerful and not to be missed, Assignments 2019 exhibition. The show is beautifully curated and thanks has to be given to the talented team of curators, comprised of some of the brightest beacons in the photojournalism industry. Many thanks to Tom Stoddart, John Downing, Nikki Sutherland, Lawrence Lustig and Julie Edwards.

The private view and opening of the BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

At the private view of the exhibition, it was an absolute joy to meet Fleet Street’s legendary press photographer John Downing for the first time. He had been a huge inspiration for me and my ethos of never being without a camera came from reading about his work. When a colleague pointed out my photograph (The Joys Of Life), it was an absolute honour to hear him kindly praise the image, saying it was one that he had chosen personally and to hear his kind compliments about the composition, timing and light, pushed me to blush!

Photographer Edmond Terakopian beside “The Joys Of Life”, which was one of two images selected for the exhibition and legendary press photographer John Downing (on right) who was also one of the curators of the show. BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo ©
The Joys Of Life. A child runs around during a heat wave bank holiday, whilst bathed in rays of sunlight in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern, Bankside, London, UK. May 06, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

This photograph was made on a Panasonic Lumix G9 and Leica DG 50-200mm lens. The raw image was processed in Adobe Lightroom and the monochrome treatment was finished in Nik Collection’s Silver Efex Pro on an Apple Mac Pro and fully calibrated Eizo CG monitors.

My photograph “The Joys Of Life” (centre), was one of two images selected for the exhibition by the curators. BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The second image kindly chosen by the curators was of a homeless man, seemingly passed out from wine, after another hard day on the streets.

The UK faces a homeless epidemic, with statistics showing that a homeless person dies every two weeks in London, one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Spiralling property prices are being cited as a huge factor, alongside access to mental health services becoming harder over the last several years. A homeless man lays on the street, apparently passed out from drinking the wine tied to the top of his belongings on his trolley. His guitar, probably used to busk with to pay for the wine, still strapped to his back. Another homeless man, wrapped in a sleeping bag, walks by. Tesco superstore, Pentonville Road, London, UK. March 21, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Photographer Edmond Terakopian beside his image of a homeless man, was one of two images selected for the exhibition by the curators. BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Tracy Howl

The photograph was shot on a Sony RX1RII camera. The raw image was processed in Adobe Lightroom and the monochrome treatment was finished in Alienskin Exposure X3, on an Apple Mac Pro and fully calibrated Eizo CG monitors.

BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition is on from 17th to 19th May, 2019, at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, on all four floors. 

BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Contact Sheets at the BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
A poster for the BPPA Assignments 2019 photography exhibition (on from 17th to 19th May, 2019) at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK. May 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Assignments will also travel to The Potteries Museum and Art gallery in Stoke, from Sat 13th July to Sun 25th August.

An Assignments 2019 book will also soon be available, so keep an eye on the BPPA Shop to get a copy!

National Geographic Photo Contest

Always wonderful to get a nice message about one’s work, but when it comes from National Geographic magazine, it truly becomes special!

“Hi Edmond — Thanks for entering the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest! Your photo was selected as one of our editors’ favorite submissions”. 

It’s Their Future. Put It To The People March. Official figures put the numbers at the anti Brexit march at over one million. The demonstration, marched in central London calling for another EU referendum. The demo ends in Parliament Square. London, UK. March 23, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

To have a look at the work, please visit the People’s section in the Galleries, to see the images chosen by the editors for the photo contest.

The photograph was made on a Panasonic S1R and the S24-105mm lens. The raw image was converted to a DNG file using Adobe’s Raw Converter (as Lightroom hadn’t yet released support for the S Series, which is has done since). The Raw DNG file was then processed in Lightroom and finished in Alienskin’s Exposure X4, on an Apple Mac Pro using calibrated Eizo CG monitors.

Photojournalist Edmond terakopian on assignment with his Lumix S1, S1R and G9. Put It To The People March. Official figures put the numbers at the anti Brexit march at over one million. The demonstration, marched in central London calling for another EU referendum. The demo ends in Parliament Square. London, UK. March 23, 2019. Photo: Ian Burley

Don McCullin in conversation with Fergal Keane

Probably the most moving, revealing, honest, soul shaking and tear jerking talk I have ever been to, was last night’s event at Kings Place. Photojournalist Don McCullin opened his heart and shared his soul in a way I’ve only ever known from the very closest of friends. To say it captivated every ounce of my being would be putting it mildly.

Photojournalist Don McCullin in conversation with foreign correspondent Fergal Keane. Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, UK. 24 April 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Photojournalist Don McCullin shares a story from the Vietnam War, during his conversation with foreign correspondent Fergal Keane. Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, UK. 24 April 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Without doubt, Don McCullin is one of the very greatest photographers of our time. He was in conversation with foreign correspondent Fergal Keane OBE, as they discussed McCullin’s 60 year career, covering his extensive work in war zones across the world, his documenting of poverty throughout Britain, as well as his more recent, therapeutic landscape photography.

The evening though was made unforgettable by hearing, nay, feeling, the inner most thoughts and emotions of a journalist who has dedicated his life to showing the injustices suffered by many.

The Preoccupation With Gear

As the talk came to an end and I collected my emotions, it came as the biggest shock to hear the first question:

“What’s your favourite film stock?”…

Astonishing that the whole emotional and intellectually challenging rollercoaster ride of pure, uncensored heart felt emotions, dotted with the very best of the “stiff upper lip” humour as a temporary escape, a member of the audience’s only question was about the type of film used.

To think that the power of McCullin’s images have anything to do with the brand of film used was as astonishing as it was infuriating. McCullin of course answered patiently that it was Tri-X, but followed with his own question of “Let me ask you something; why did you come here tonight? What were you expecting?”. There was no cruelty in the question, just a genuine wonderment of why after his outpouring of emotion about the human condition, that the only thing thought worthwhile asking was about film. Of course there was no answer from the chap and the questions continued, thankfully about the actual work, not film, aperture, shutter speed or cameras.

Don McCullin’s words, on the wall in his retrospective at the Tate Britain.

Don McCullin’s words, on the wall in his retrospective at the Tate Britain.

During the talk, McCullin did share that sadly he felt that none of his pictures made a difference. Decades of wars continued, captured by his mastery of seeing and he moved onto wars which he didn’t cover. The futility in his voice was exceptionally moving. Thankfully, the final question of the night was as wonderful as it was powerful. A lady thanked him for his dedication and work. Saying that whilst when he was at school studying history, he didn’t have the advantage of seeing pictures by Don McCullin, she had the tremendous advantage of studying history and seeing the photographs by Don McCullin.

Some Thoughts

Anyone who knows me, knows that I take a huge interest in the equipment I use for my work, be that professional assignments and commissions, or personal work. However, this equipment is the tool which helps me create. Its part of the beginning process and not the be all and end all in my photography.

Photography has, what I think is a unique peculiarity about it. When some people look at an amazing photograph, they immediately jump to asking what camera and lens is used, or in the case of this chap from last night, what film was used. However, if the same person has a great meal in a restaurant, they would never ask the chef about the make of pans used, and the model number of the cooker used. When has anyone asked a great author about which pen, typewriter or word processor they used?

Its great to have nice gear. For me, when I started out as a photographer, I had an aperture priority only camera called the Nikon EM. It was great and I loved it. However, I outgrew it relatively quickly and I would miss photographs or not be able to craft them the way I had envisaged, because of it’s inadequacies. My second camera, a second hand, original Canon F1, had a terrible focusing screen and a stiff lens, which meant focusing became an issue when speed was of the essence. At that stage, as I began my career on my first local paper, the Ealing Gazette, I vowed that I would as much as possible, buy the best equipment I could, as I never wanted to miss a picture because my equipment wasn’t capable enough. I never wanted to blame my tools. I should take the blame, learn what I did wrong and improve.

Looking at photography, especially for those who enjoy this as the most wonderful hobby, or even those about to take the road to becoming a professional, I have one piece of advise; recognise the camera as a tool, for making wonderful imagery. Invest your money after having bought a decent camera and lens, at the beginning stages, into learning about photography. Books, exhibitions and articles written in proper, established photography magazines as well as magazines and newspapers which use great photography. Blogs and YouTube videos by self appointed gurus and influencers will do nothing for improving your photography. Search out workshops by real, proven photographers with real track records, not fake robot followed Instagram accounts by self appointed ambassadors. Photography becomes so much more joyous and interesting when one starts to invest time and money into the craft, rather than just the gear. The gear will always be there and once you know how to craft an image, then getting better gear and more lenses will elevate and not hinder your photography.

Mindfulness, intelligence and emotion, mixed with an aesthetic, a sense of timing and an understanding of the situation, makes the photograph. I’ve found that when a photographer genuinely starts to understand photography, then they truly appreciate the ability of their tools and this then elevate’s their imagery. It’s a long term thing and results in a life long love of photography. Those who just see the gear as being the important thing, will get lots of kit, get disillusioned quickly and leave photography. Play the long game is my advice.

Incidentally, if you haven’t yet seen his retrospective at Tate Britain, I can’t urge you strongly enough to catch it before it closes on the 6th of May 2019.

Travel Photographer Of The Year Exhibition

TPOTY 2019 At London Bridge City

Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition, London Bridge City (by City Hall and Tower Bridge). London, UK. March 28, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Absolutely thrilled to see the fabulous Travel Photographer Of The Year exhibition. So many stunning photographs in such a wonderful setting, just by the River Thames and City Hall, with a backdrop of Tower Bridge in London, UK. The free, open air exhibition is on until April 30th this year.

Best Single Image In A Portfolio; Special Mention. I shot the image in the Tate Modern, using my Lumix G9 with the Leica DG 50-200mm (giving a reach of 400mm). Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition, London Bridge City (by City Hall and Tower Bridge). London, UK. March 28, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition, London Bridge City (by City Hall and Tower Bridge). London, UK. March 28, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

It’s great to have one of my images in the show. Shot on my Panasonic Lumix G9 with the wonderful Leica DG 50-200mm. If you like the image, I would appreciate if you could vote for it please 🙂 To vote, please use this link and choose image number 53. Thank you 🙂

Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition, London Bridge City (by City Hall and Tower Bridge). London, UK. March 28, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

First Look At Sigma L-Mount Lenses

Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras with L-Mount

Pre-production Sigma Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras in L-Mount. L-R: Sigma Mount Converter MC-21 (allows Canon EF mount lenses to be used with L-Mount cameras), SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art and SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lenses, with a Panasonic Lumix S1R full frame mirrorless camera (the lenses and adapter are prototype mockups and final production may vary). March 17, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A joy to get a sneak peek at three of the newly announced Sigma L-Mount Art lenses and also the hotly awaited mount adapter. The samples were in large non working prototypes, but they gave a really good idea of weight, finish and handling.

My already huge fondness of the Lumix S1 and S1R took another leap upwards after initially hearing of the launch lineup, but having seen the quality of these lenses, I’m confident the future of the L Mount, with the L Mount Alliance (Leica, Lumix and Sigma), is going to be very bright indeed (as well as being pin sharp, with great tonal rendition!).

Pre-production Sigma Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras in L-Mount. L-R: SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art and SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lenses, with a Panasonic Lumix S1R full frame mirrorless camera (the lenses and adapter are prototype mockups and final production may vary). March 17, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian