Photography News Issue 31

Photography News | Issue 31 | absolutephoto.com

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Interview

Photo2016 Spring when you’re winning

This April sees Vale of Evesham Camera Club’s annual exhibition growing in success. Exhibition chairman John Kellett BPE2* gives us the low-down and we hear from this year’s selectors, too

What are the aims ? To raise the profile of VECC and provide a quality exhibition which attracts and showcases the best of British photography. By using highly respected and distinguished selectors, chosen from the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain’s (PAGB) main list of judges, we want to assure entrants that their images will be scored by a panel of knowledgeable and experienced selectors. Acceptances in the exhibition count towards BPE Crown Awards and winning images are awarded PAGB medals and ribbons. What categories are most popular? VECC’s Photo2016 has four digital categories: Colour, Monochrome, Experimental/Creative and Natural History. This year we attracted 4896 entries from 541 entrants. Colour was the most popular category attracting 36% of the entry, with Monochrome being a close secondwith30%, a figure which has increased in recent years. Our Experimental/Creative section which is a less common exhibition category attracted 14% with Natural History having 20%. The Experimental/Creative category means different things to

different people and therein lies the appeal for photographers who like to think outside the box and use their imaginative skills. For the purpose of this exhibition, there are other labels, which cover this genre which include Abstract, Altered Reality, Contemporary, Creative, and Surreal. The common thread is that this embraces a very diverse category of images made using an assortment of techniques and with equally varied intentions. All components of the image must have been created by the entrant andof course thephotographic content should predominate. Are the entries from amateurs, professionals or a mixture? The majority of photographers are amateurs and members of camera clubs. Although there are a number of entrants who are professionals, in the main they specialise in different genres of photography to that of their entries to the exhibition. What awards do winners receive? As the exhibition enjoys PAGB patronage we award Gold and Silver PAGBmedals for the best and runner- up image in each of the four categories. Theseawards are joint decisionsby the

selectors. Each selector then awards their Selector’s Medal to an image of their individual choosing, and they can appoint one for each category in which they act as a judge. Beneath these awards are given PAGB ribbons for Highly Commended images. Commended images are awarded BPE ribbons. The number of ribbons in each category depends upon the size of the category and the discretion of the selectors. This year a total of 79 images were given awards. We endeavour to feature all of the award winning images in our catalogue. What advice would you give to next year’s entrants? To visit exhibitions, either physical or virtual, and study the style andquality of images which gain acceptances. Similarly look at the award-winning images contained in exhibition catalogues and show CDs. Read the comments made by the selectors which usually include valuable tips. Recognise that the selectors will make up their minds about an image in about six seconds, thus images need to have impact and ooze quality. Have a clear point of interest and a pathway through the image to that point without any distractions that

Interviewby Jemma Dodd

Can you give us some background on the competition? To promote British photography exhibitions a group of exhibitors formed the BPE (British Photographic Exhibitions) in 1991. This introduced a set of common guidelines in the way that exhibitions were run, promoted member exhibitions nationwide and introduced a Crown Awards system, which gave recognition to entrants who gained step levels in acceptances. In 2003, recognising the growth in digital photography, the Vale of Evesham Camera Club (VECC) introduced the first totally digital BPE national exhibition with entries and the gallery of acceptances hosted entirely on the Internet. At that time, all the entries arrived by post on CDs and floppy disks. With the acceptances gallery hosted on the Internet, for 12 months, this allowed photographers to view the acceptances from anywhere in the world rather than having to travel to a time-limited showing. VECC has since organised 27 Annual exhibitions with 18 of these being national open events.

lead the eye out of the image. Pictures also need a touch of originality. Is there anything else? Every year the exhibition supports a charity which relates to photographers, and in 2016 it’s photovoice.org. This is a London- based charity which works all over the world and its aim is to help under represented communities use photography to tell their story and to effect positive change. The gallery of accepted images can be seen on VECC’s website at eveshamphoto.net We want to assure entrants that their images will be scored by a panel of knowledgeable and experienced selectors

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