Apologies for the slightly delayed post; following the previous post announcing the shortlist of the British Photography Awards 2020, I’m thrilled to announce that one of my two shortlisted images made it through to the winner’s podium and was kindly recognised by the judges and awarded a Runner Up prize.
Huge thanks to the awards organisers, the judges and all at The Savoy in London for such a wonderful and unforgettable evening. Wonderful to have my partner Yoshie Nishikawa with me to share this joy and also lovely to catch up with so many friends and colleagues at the awards gala evening on the 4th of February, 2020.
Repairs On The Giant Tortoise; Runner Up, Documentary
I’m thrilled to share that the judges of the British Photography Awards have kindly shortlisted two of my photographs for the 2020 awards. My congratulations to all the finalists and also to the judges for their hard work.
Alongside the judges ruling, there is a people’s choice award too, so voting is open to the public. If you like either (or both!) of my images, kindly press the “VOTE” button by the right hand side of each image. It’s a simple click and no registration is needed.
Category-Fashion: Fashion designer Joshua Kane
The portrait of fashion visionary Joshua Kane was shot as part of the Panasonic Lumix international launch campaign for the new Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens and made using my Lumix S1R and a preproduction lens. The raw file was as always processed in Adobe Lightroom.
Category – Documentary: Repairs On The Giant Tortoise
The image of Senior Conservator Arianna Bernucci working on the shell of a giant tortoise, was made using my Lumix S1 and Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4 lens. The raw image was processed in Lightroom and finished in Exposure Software’s Exposure X5.
It’s astonishing to hear from the organisers that “In 2019 our audience potential topped 840 million people worldwide. This year we hope to greatly exceed this and showcase the creativity and dynamism of British photography to the world”. The competition’s results will be announced in 2020 at a black tie gala at The Savoy in Central London.
Thrilled to share that several of my images have been kindly recognised and awarded by the judges of the 2019 Black & White Spider Awards.
Honorable Mention in Advertising | The First Porsche Honorable Mention in Photojournalism | No To Brexit Nominee in People | Birdman Nominee in People | The Rose Nominee in Silhouette | The First Ever Porsche
Interestingly, all of the photographs were shot using my Panasonic Lumix S1, a camera I got at the start of the year, and one that has left me so impressed that I’ve shot most of my work using it (and it’s bigger brother, the higher resolution S1R). The lenses used were the Lumix S 24-105mm f4.0 and the Lumix S-Pro 50mm f1.4.
Honorable Mention in Advertising | The First Porsche
Honorable Mention in Photojournalism | No To Brexit
Nominee in People | Birdman
Nominee in People | The Rose
Nominee in Silhouette | The First Ever Porsche
The international jury comprised of representatives from Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne; The Guardian, London; Contrasto Galleria, Milan; Travel/Discovery Channel, New York; Harper’s Bazaar, UK; Portuguese Center of Photography, Porto; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; Silvan Faessler Fine Art, Zurich; ADK Creative One Inc., Tokyo; Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna; Conny Dietzschold Galleries, Sydney; and Pereira O’Dell in New York judged the 6,418 entries, received from 73 countries. Many thanks to the jury for their hard work and many congratulations to all who had their work recognised.
The raw files were processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and the monochrome treatment finished off in either Nik Collection’s Silver Efex Pro or Exposure Software’s Exposure X4.
An Exhibition By Ealing London Independent Photography
HOME can mean different things to each of us. It can be a familiar place to rest after a long day. It can be a refuge. It may be more transient. ? Is it the comfort of familiar spaces? Or a place to figuratively lay your hat? Is your home in fact a result of not having a home?
The group exhibition is part of BEAT – the Borough of Ealing Art trail 2019. See below for details. Rickyard in Walpole Park. Hope you can swing by and look through a fascinating set of imagery.
The Rickyard, Walpole Park, Ealing, London W5 5BS. From 6th – 15th September, 2019.
Fri 6th, 12 – 7pm; Sat 7th & Sun 8th, 12 – 6pm Mon 9th to Thurs 12th, 12 – 5pm; Fri 13th, 12 -7pm; Sat 14th & Sun 15th, 12 – 6pm
My image was shot earlier this year on a pre-production Panasonic Lumix S1 and Lumix S 24-105mm lens. The raw file was processed in Adobe Lightroom and the monochrome treatment finished in DxO Nik Collection, Silver Efex Pro.
Prints From The Online Gallery
Many thanks to our friends at Pixelrights for their continued support for the group. We have a gallery website where images from the exhibition can be viewed and prints are available to purchase.
Seven Weeks With The Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 (Pre-Production) Lens
“Mmmmm, this is going to be special”. This was what I said to myself as soon as I looked at the the very first test frame I shot with the lens on my Lumix S1R. Followed by, “Its so sharp!”. This was a very good way to start shooting with a brand new lens. In fact, a pre-production model at that, with early, pre-production firmware.
I felt rather honoured when Panasonic Lumix UK got in touch to see if I’d like to test out the unreleased S Pro 24-70mm f2.8, ahead of it’s global launch on August 28th, 2019, which was around 1.5 months away. Unboxing the generic brown box, cutting away the bubble wrap, revealed the new lens. I found out the lens had been carried by hand, all the way from Japan! I got out some black tape, covered up all the markings and began shooting.
It’s a bit of a special feeling knowing only a handful of people globally have seen the lens and I’ve been asked to test it and make images with it to be possibly used for the global launch. It’s also quite stressful, knowing photographs have to be made to not only showcase, but live up to every aspect of what was already proving to be a spectacularly good lens.
One of the characteristics that hit me as I begun shooting more and more, was that this wasn’t just a sharp lens, but it had something special. Pure clinical sharpness is ok for forensic type photography, but for being creative, for conveying mood, for sharing a story, one also needs gentleness, subtlety and grace. The rendering from this lens has all of that.
Generally, a 24-70mm f2.8, is a bread and butter lens; pretty much everyone will have one in their bag and it’s the standard professional zoom. Versatile, useful and a safe choice. What I found special though, was this wasn’t just a bread and butter lens. Where one may have a standard zoom for safety, one would also have a special prime with nicer rendering, for making those special portraits or creative shots.
Well, the S 24-70mm f2.8 has all of that. It’s truly special to have all these qualities wrapped up in one lens. Versatility and speed, but also beautiful rendering, colour, contrast, detail and well, a bit of poetry too. I found it captured light and colour beautifully and rendered a nicely soft background in out of focus areas. As much as I hate talking about this and using the word bokeh, it does have beautiful bokeh! (I need to add my dislike is purely based on people who only care about bokeh and nothing else, especially not the craft of photography).
It is chunky though. I felt the same way as when I first picked up the S Pro 50mm f1.4. Although I wished all of the S Series lenses could be a little smaller, just as with the S 50mm, as soon as I started shooting with the S 24-70mm, it justified it’s size and won a place in my camera bag. In fact, I pretty much didn’t shoot with anything else and seven weeks on, it’s always been mounted on either my S1 or S1R.
It just produces beautiful images and no matter what type of subject I point it at, it does as I ask and produces what I want. Fast to react and precise in rendering.
Super fast and silent AF, outstanding build quality and stunning optics. I have a feeling the scientific types at DxO Labs are going to enjoy putting this through their rigorous tests.
So please don’t read this small post as a review; it really is a quick preview. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Keep in mind though that this is a pre-production lens with early, non final firmware and so is definitely a pre-release lens. Yet, it helped make these images with grace. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final thing! If you have an L Mount camera, I suggest you try it too!
It’s been an absolute honour and a positively stress filled joy, to have been one of the three judges in the RAF‘s annual competition.
The Royal Airforce has trained some phenomenal photojournalists and I would say the top of that list would be Don McCullin, who signed up to National Service in the RAF as a photographic assistant. To be invited back for the second year to judge the work of McCullin’s contemporaries is indeed a special treat.
One certain way of knowing how high the level of photography is in any competition is by looking at how much discussion, heated debate and heart breaking compromise occurs between judges.
Well, I can say that this year, even more so than last year, the debates were passionate. Its also worth noting that Highly Commended places were optionally awarded by the judges, purely because the level of the work was so high and the competition was so close.
Judging of the 13 different categories of the RAF Photographer Of The Year Competition 2019 took place at the RAF Museum, in London. Jim Hedge (Picture Editor at the Guardian), Martin Keene (Press Association Group Picture Editor) and myself spent a day looking through hundreds and hundreds of prints. For the video category, we had access to view the entries beforehand and then spent around an hour together viewing our favourites and discussing the merits of our chosen favourites.
The Image Of The Year (Category L) was a great illustration of the skill of the RAF’s photographers. The winning image by Cpl Ash Keates, titled Concorde, grabbed my attention the second I saw it after entering the judging hall and it stayed with me. I later found it had had the same effect on one of my fellow judges too. A strong sense of composition, colour, technical perfection married to the subtlety of capturing the shadows left by the Red Arrows on the water, raised it from a great picture to a winning photograph.
The four images I’ve shared here show an absolute mastery of craft; bringing not only fast reflexes, but an art of composition, a deep aesthetic sensibility and layers of subtlety. Our task was to choose just one winner, but the work was so good that we decided to also award six Highly Commended places too.
The Photographer of the Year (Category K) was won by a superb portfolio of six images by Cpl Tim Laurence (ACSSU, RAF Halton). Another showcase of mastery of craft, with a varied set of images which worked extremely well together, yet each in their own right shone. Another extremely difficult category to judge with much debate and discussion as the level of work was so high. Cpl Laurence also had his phenomenal photograph titled Stargazer (of a Chinook at night) highly commended in the Image Of The Year category.
First place in the Video (Category D) section goes to SAC Ed Wright (Photo ACSSU) for Fortune Favours the Bold. Finland will be the host nation of Bold Quest 19.1 held in April-May 2019. Bold Quest 19.1 is a multinational joint fires interoperability demonstration and assessment event sponsored and facilitated by the United States Joint Staff.
The People’s Choice-Vote Now!
During the judging process, these nine images made it to our People’s Choice board. Have a look at the stunning photographs and make your vote (It’s a quick, one click vote).
Behind The Scenes
It really is a joy talking about great images, championing favourites and being treated to so many great images. Many congratulations on all the winners, all who were highly commended and my best wishes to all who entered their fantastic work. I’ve only shared some of the winners here, but do pop by the RAF Photographers’ Instagram to see more work. You can also find them on Facebook.
Here’s a video prepared by the RAF, part of which is a behind the scenes look to the work done by their photographers and also gives a glimpse of the judges at work.