Photography News 10

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Competitions

Make it Britain INTERVIEW

The EEF Photography Competition 2014: Make it Britain was established to promote British manufacturing and Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, fills us in on how the industry has been inspiring photographers

Interview by Megan Croft

ABOVE TOP Watching and Waiting, Ray Troll, runner-up of the 2012 professional photographer category. Shane Butler, winner of the 2013 amateur photographer category. BELOWPrecision, Mike Smith, winner of the 2012 professional photographer category. ABOVE RIGHT Molten Man 2.0,

For our readers who haven’t heard of EEF, could you give us a brief introduction? Essentially, we are the voice of British manufacturing, we aim to secure the future of British manufacturing and to give those who ‘Make it Britain’ the support they need to achieve success and growth. We ensure that manufacturers and their needs are heard by the Government and policy makers. We also provide them with the tools and information they need to evolve and compete in a fast-changing world. What was the catalyst for starting up a photography competition? British manufacturing is vital to our economy. Our sector employs 2.6 million people and accounts for 11% of GDP. However, in many ways the success of British manufacturing is flying under the radar. Our own research shows that there are many myths and

Why do you think British manufacturing makes an interesting genre for photographers? It’s diverse, it’s dynamic and it’s a challenge. Manufacturing covers every sector from electronics to food, to aerospace to clothing – nothing is too big or small to be caught on camera. A lot of people still think manufacturing is about men in boiler suits and dirty factories, so when people see exciting and impactful images to the contrary they do a double take. This is also the challenge presented to photographers in this competition: capture the essence of modern manufacturing and try to make people rethink what it really is. The response has been great; the images that go on display have the ‘wow factor’ and are a real talking point. They grasp the imagination, challenge outdated stereotypes andmake us rethink what manufacturing is today. We’ve even had senior politicians request photographs to hang in their offices, which is a real testament to the outstanding quality of many of the entries we receive. We’ve also got some heavyweight backing, with support from Lombard, Canon, The ERA Foundation, BIS, APMG, The Guild of Photographers, The Manufacturer magazine and The Times . This shows that others take the aims of the competition as seriously as we do. What kind of response have you had to the competition? How many photos were entered into the competition last year? Last year we had just under 900 entries and 77 of these were shortlisted. The split was roughly 50/50 between the professional category and amateur and young categories. Previous entrants have ranged from manufacturing businesses, people working

misperceptions out there. Many wrongly believe that we don’t make things in Britain any more. Every day we take for granted products and inventions that have been made by British brains and hands. A large part of the success of our industry is wrapped up in how people see what we do and how they think about it. Pictures are both powerful and emotive, so a photographic competition felt like the right way to promote what our industry is doing and to demonstrate how modern, creative and exciting it is. Why did you decide to establish a photography competition to promote British manufacturing instead of anything else? Manufacturing is a driving force behind the British economy but we are still not vocal enough in celebrating its achievements. A picture tells a thousand words and nothing captures the public’s imagination quite like an amazing photograph. The competition also fits brilliantlywith our broader ‘Make it Britain’ campaign, which aims to demonstrate how integral manufacturing is to Britain today. A key part of this is encouraging companies, manufacturers and apprentices to tell their story, share pictures and to demonstrate what makes manufacturing so great. We want gifted photographers to help us put British manufacturing in the spotlight by capturing its brilliance and significance. We are looking for iconic images that truly showcase our sector’s creativity, diversity and dynamism. The right photograph can capture the imagination and inspire generations. We believe the best way of showing people this and challenging their own perceptions is through the eye of a lens. What do you aim to achieve with your photography competition?

Photography News | Issue 10

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