Photography News Issue 52

Photography News | Issue 52 |

#WexMondays 30

Wex lovesMondays UK photographers are getting hooked on the #WexMondays weekly Twitter-based competition. We catch up with Wex and three winners from last year’s contest to see why

Words by Trevor Lansdown

It started five years ago, and it’s grown year by year. Now this Twitter-based photo contest is taking the world of aspirational photographers by storm. Matt Devine, Wex Photo Video’s head of content explained: “#WexMondays is a vibrant, weekly photo competition in perfect sync with our ever-changing industry and community. We launched on Twitter back in 2013, at a time when social media was becoming an increasingly important platform for photographers. Since then UK photographers across multiple disciplines have taken to it in droves. We now average over 17,000 images a year and it’s

growing every year. In its infancy there was a dominant focus on landscape shots but now we are seeing entries across a wide variety of photo disciplines.” Louis Wahl, Wex Photo Video chief customer officer, added: “We consistently see submissions of a very high standard. #WexMondays has become a community in itself; a self-sustaining community in which people share their skills, experiencesandideas.Photography can be quite a solitary activity – it’s one person behind a camera, so to know we are helping people get together to share their passion and create such fantastic images really makes us feel special.”

#WexMondays has become a community in itself

Right Louis Wahl, Wex Photo Video's chief customer officer, at the 2017 #WexMonday's prize- giving ceremony, which took place at its new London flagship store in East London.

Neil Burnell, Wex Photographer of the Year

The overall 2017 winner was Neil Burnell, a self-taught, Brixham-based photographer with a passion for landscapes. He won £1500 worth of Wex Photo Video vouchers. Even more impressively, he was 2016’s overall winner too. Said Neil: “I had never really taken photographyseriouslyuntil I bought aNikon D3 four years ago. It’s only recently that I’ve become more creative with a camera – but now it’s my most enjoyable hobby, and I’ve had a few, including fishing. I guess fishing is the main reason I got into photography. Just being out on the south Devon coastline and watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset was the trigger for myWex DSLR purchase.” He added: “Right now I am experimenting with various genres and styles and I have plans to be more specifically focused on seascapes this year. Neil started submitting entries to #WexMondays in early 2016. “This community is outstanding,” he said. “So many talented people – and so many that helped me when I first started. I could name so many terrific photographers that ‘play’ and I always look forward to what they are going to upload on a Monday.” Neil revealed that Stilts (pictured) is his favourite entry image to date. “I love the calming colours and the simplicity of the shot created by the long exposure.”

I always look forward to what they are going to upload on a Monday

Above Overall winner Neil Burnell scored consistently well during the #WexMonday 2017 contest with a varied assortment of images. Stilts (above) is Neil’s personal favourite shot from the year.

Now Neil is also experimenting more with ICM (intentional camera movement) techniques, in a bid to use slow shutter speed to introduce blur into a photo in a creative way – “I love the ICM work of Andrew Gray and Doug Chinnery.” A graphic designer by profession, Neil is now

starting to sell his prints. “Certainly not enough to give up my day job, but it is lovely to think people follow my work and good to know my photographic images are sitting in a few homes.”

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