Photography News 08

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Competitions

INTERVIEW

A festival of photography As the 152nd Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography approaches, chairman Richard Bingham gives us a whistle-stop tour through the exhibition then and now

in the magnificent Georgian premises of the EPS in Edinburgh’s New Town. Because of the relatively small number of prints accepted, the percentage acceptance rate is comparatively low, soanEdinburghacceptancesticker (we still give gold labels) is highly prized. It is often said that getting an Edinburgh sticker is like getting an award at other salons! When we celebrated our 150th exhibition two years ago, we changed to producing a larger catalogue depicting every acceptance. This proved very popular and gained us a FIAP 4* rating, which we have maintained to date. Howlonghaveyoubeeninvolvedintheexhibition? I took over the running of the exhibition in November, but prior to that I was one of the many involved every year assisting with the unpacking of packages of prints, preparing material for the catalogue and all manner of tasks required to run an exhibition. What have been the big changes since the first event youwere involved in? I’ve only been in the hot seat for about six months, so some changes were already in the pipeline, such as going over entirely to online entry. We have also implemented a new website with a new domain name at www.edinburghphotosalon.org. How many entries do you get typically and have numbers variedmuch in recent years? In a typical year we receive over 2000 prints from

over 400 photographers in about 40 countries. In our 150th anniversary year, we received over 2500 prints. In 2010 there were slightly less than 1800 entries from 286 photographers, yet the year before that 429 photographers entered 2470 prints; it’s a bit of a yo-yo. Howdo you choose your judges? The appointment of the judges is very important as it is their choice of prints that determines the whole nature of the exhibition. It is likely that with the same pool of prints to choose from different judges could well pick a different result as the entry standards are generally high and an acceptance rate usually below ten per cent means that many worthy images don’t make it through. Our organising committee chooses the judges based on personal knowledge of the people concerned and FIAP mandates that at least one of the judges must be fromanother country, which in the UK is easy as FIAP defines Scotland, Wales and England as three different countries. This year we have Chris Palmer FRPS AFIAP DPAGB APAGB (England); Ross McKelvey ARPS AFIAP MPAGB BPE4* (Northern Ireland); and Kevin Adlard FRPS EFIAP (England) with a reserve nominated as Neil Scott FRPS EFIAP/b DPAGB (Scotland). Why has it remained a print exhibitionwhenmany other exhibitions have moved entirely or partially to digital? The clue is in the word exhibition! Our mission isto

ABOVE LEFT Bill Badger, Adrian Lines, EFIAP MPAGB ABPE (England) TOP RIGHT The Sofa, Tim Pile, ARPS EFIAP/b MPAGB (England) ABOVE RIGHT Pondering, Peter Smith, ARPS EFIAP DPAGB (England)

Interview by Megan Croft

Tell us a bit about your own photographic background. I was given my first camera, a second-hand Box Brownie, when I was seven years old. I became an enthusiastic but indiscriminate snapper and along the way I learned how to develop and print. A new job brought me to Edinburgh and in August 1976 I visited the Edinburgh International Exhibition. This was an eye-opener for me – photography as an art form! I had not even been aware of camera clubs before this. At the exhibition the Edinburgh Photographic Society had posters inviting anyone interested to come along to their annual open night, so I went and joined up. As well as the monthly competitions to hone one’s skills, a programme of inspiring weekly talks from visiting lecturers turned a casual pastime into a major passion. Little did I realise when I saw that exhibition for the first time that nearly 40 years later I would find myself in charge of it. What’s special about the exhibition? The Edinburgh Photographic Society (EPS) was founded in 1861 andhasheldan international exhibition almost every year since then. The Exhibition is print only and this makes it a very rare event indeed, as entrants have to supply their own prints from which just 202 are accepted each year. This exact number arises from the number of prints that can be displayed

Photography News | Issue 8

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