Photography News 04

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Photo2014 It was the first British Photographic Exhibition to go completely digital, a decade ago in 2003. Since then, the Vale of Evesham Camera Club’s exhibition has gone from strength to strength. Exhibition chairman and club secretary, John Kellett BPE2* shares his insights for the forthcoming Photo2014 Competitions INTERVIEW

Give us an ‘in a nutshell’ guide to the VECC’s exhibition. This year, Photo2014, will be the 25th photographic exhibition, organised by VECC (Vale of Evesham Camera Club). Back in 2003, we began to allow digital entries and we hosted the gallery of acceptances on the Internet – at the time, it was the first national digital exhibition of this type. Our exhibition was also unusual at that time for including a category for creative/reality-altered images, which attracted manipulated images. This was in addition to the near standard exhibition categories of Colour, Monochrome and Natural History. Since the change to digital, the exhibition has grown practically every year; last year attracting just under 4000 entries. Photo2014.net is a member of BPE (British Photographic Exhibitions); there are currently 21 affiliated exhibitions. Acceptances in these count towards crown awards. There are various levels of award and they start at BPE1* for entrants who have accumulated 25 acceptances in BPE events. They receive a certificate and ribbon and can use the letters after their name to acknowledge their award. The exhibition also enjoys PAGB patronage and so is able to present PAGB medals and ribbons to award- winning images. Each of our selectors also awards a VECC selector’s medal to images of their individual choice in each category. All entrants receive a colour illustrated printed catalogue and accepted images are displayed in the gallery on the exhibition website. Additionally we sell exhibition show DVDs and they are popular for showing at club nights. How long have you been involved in the VECC? I joined in 2001 and have been the ‘long suffering hon sec’ since 2002, with the usual tour of duty as ‘hon chairman’ from 2007 to 2009. I had previously been a member of Solihull Photographic Society and spent 11 years in various roles on its Committee. I have been involved in the organisation of exhibitions since the 1980s and clearly the biggest changes have been the introduction of digital cameras, the progress in photographers’ skills with Photoshop and the demise of slides. In more recent times, there’s been the development of inkjet printers capable of producing black & white prints comparable to darkroom prints. What have been the big changes since the first event you organised?

Interview by Will Cheung

Tell us a bit about your own photographic background. Both my father and grandfather were keen photographers. My earliest memory of taking photographs would be of waterfalls circa 1958. In the 1960s I used to take pictures with a pre-war folding Zeiss Ikon roll film camera. However later, whilst working at a Grand Prix abroad as a constructor, I was accidentally, due to language difficulties and being in the company of three press friends, given a press photographer’s pass. It took a long time to live down the mirth of my paddock colleagues who, as I was taking some pictures of engineering detail, saw the press pass along with my old bellows-fronted camera. I felt forced to purchase a 35mm SLR camera. As well as motorsport, I then started taking pictures in folk clubs using fast films, like Kodak 2475 recording film, which could be pushed to ISO 6400. I gained my first exhibition acceptances back in 1977 with live folk club and motorsport images. Who are your favourite photographers? Now this is a difficult question. I always admired and was influenced by Don McCullin, who made his reputation with stark black & white Vietnam war photographs – he’s one of Britain’s greatest ever photojournalists. In the 1970s I was inspired to join a camera club by the late Ron Edwards FRPS who used to sketch the idea for an image then set out to collect images of all the component parts to make up a darkroom engineered composite colour derivative image. I can still recall and describe in detail a number of his images despite having not seen them since the 1970s. I also like Steven Le Prevost FRPS, AFIAP, MPAGB; Colin Harrison FRPS, MPAGB, MFIAP, EFIAP/s, FBPE; Kathryn Scorah MPAGB, FBPE and Gwen Charnock FRPS, MFIAP. Additionally, Guy Edwardes, renowned for his landscape and wildlife photography.

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Photography News | Issue 4

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