Photography News 02

Competitions

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PN: Howmany entries do you get – typically? GE: 10,000 plus

PN: How long have you been involved in the SIE? GE: I joined the committee in 1998 and have put together all the catalogues since 1999 and then became chairman in 2003. PN: What have been the big changes since the first event you organised? GE: In a word, digital. PN: What do you feel have been your greatest achievements during your tenure as organiser? GE: Overseeing the transition from slides (including 6x6cm) to digital. We are justly proud of our A4 colour catalogues which have up to 84 pages. So many exhibitions just send out a CD and most exhibitors, myself included, never even put them in their computers. Apart from the coffee-table books few catalogues are as good as the Southampton ones. The reputation of the exhibition has been enhanced over the years and we are now one of the premier UK salons along with Bristol, Edinburgh and Smethwick.

PN: Have entry numbers varied much in recent years? Or is it pretty constant? GE: Entries shot up with the introduction of digital and grew year on year until big rises in postage costs and the proliferation of exhibitions took place. In the last few years the number of salons approved by FIAP (one of the major supporters of exhibition photography) has risen by 50%. There are simply too many exhibitions for the number of exhibitors. Many clubs seem to see a digital exhibition as a cash cow and have little understanding of the amount of work it involves. PN: Has digital impacted on the way people enter, ie. is projected digital image much bigger than prints (in percentage terms) or are prints still very popular? GE: This year 77% of our entries were digital, but we were pleased that prints have held up at nearly a quarter of the entry. The majority of entries come in online with payment via Paypal. In 2013 I only mailed out four hard copy entry forms. PN: How do you choose your selectors/judges? GE: I use the PAGB Judges’ List (well under 100 in the UK) and the London Salon. Bill Wisden kindly nominated me to go on the PAGB list, so I’ve been active at that level since 2000. I only invite people I know or have been recommended to me by someone whose opinion I value. My team help me with natural history judges, as I’m not a specialist.

TOP Depths of winter by Hunter Kennedy ARPS EFIAP MPAGB ABOVE Ribbon sweetlips and fan coral by Spike Piddock AFIAP DPAGB RIGHT Girl by the window by Leigh Preston FRPS EFIAP MPAGB

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Issue 2 | Photography News

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