Posts Tagged ‘ Art ’

Are Photographic competitions disheartening ?

I do, on the whole, find photographic competitions most disheartening. Whenever you get the rejection email or letter a little bit of confidence ebbs away. I become subdued and a bit saddened whenever I fail to get shortlisted and its happened countless times. It makes me wonder way we go in for them ? Why do I keep putting myself though this ? Obviously the kudos and honour of selection, let alone the enhancement of your career, can sometimes outweigh the negativity but lately the negative feelings are deterring me from entering too many competitions.
You can probably tell I’ve just received such an email ! I’m disappointed that my selection for the Peaches and Cream IV competition run by the excellent company Millennium Images haven’t been selected but I’m mindful that the images they normally choose are excellent. My images are below and were based on a poem by Raymond Carver called ” The Cobweb “. I’m really looking forward to the exhibited images and I already  know that the standard will be incredibly high.

I’ve had the honour of being a judge on a prestigious worldwide competition and it’s an incredibly hard task to whittle down 2000+ images to just 10 ! Personal choice plays a big part in the selection obviously and you try and be fair to everyone but you still know that 1990+ photographers are going to feel like I do today.

I often find that the costs of entering photographic competitions are a big deterrent especially when the odds are stacked against you. Take for instance the Taylor Wessing Portrait prize. In 2013 they had 5,410 images entered from 2,435 photographers. From the 5,410 images only 60 were selected for the final exhibition. The cost per entry was £ 26.00 per picture. That’s a lot of disappointed photographers. I have to admit again though that the Taylor Wessing prize does champion great photography and the show was visited by over 64,000 people. Great publicity if you can get it.

I’m still unsure if the competition route is an effective way of promoting your imagery or if it is a route to despair and disenchantment. Positives and negatives, if you pardon the pun.

Come tomorrow, today’s disappointment will be consigned to history and I’ll pick up my bottom lip and keep taking the images I love. I enjoy what I do and I just love photography.

neil_juggins_01 Neil_Juggins_02 Neil_Juggins_03 Neil_Juggins_04

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Architecture in Edinburgh, Scotland

I recently spent a few days up in Edinburgh, Scotland and was amazed at some of the wonderful architecture. I particularly liked the combination of old and modern but was really impressed with the modern architecture. My favourite piece of modern architecture was the new Scottish Parliament building in Holyrood, which was designed by the Catalan Enric Miralles, who unfortunately died before its completion. Here are some of my images from this photogenic building.

The other building that I liked was a combination of old & modern architecture used at Usher Hall in the city centre. Here are a couple of my images.

Here are some more images of this beautiful city.

It really was a marvellous short break and this wonderful city is well worth a visit.

Still life project in homage to Irving Penn

I’ve been avidly collecting discarded cigarette packets over the last couple of weeks. Crawling about on the floor, carefully lifting the items off the street has not been a good look but luckily for me the streets of London are littered with them. I’ve collected packets in various states of distress and have come across some excellent examples. Some of the packets I have never seen before. Who’s heard of Manchester or Diana cigarettes ? I’ve also noted that many of the packets come from abroad which is probably a reflection of the cost of smoking in the UK.

I remember seeing a wonderful exhibition of cigarette butt images by Irving Penn. Large in scale, the images were very impressive and obviously memorable. My images were taken with Penn’s in mind. I find something strangely beautiful about discarded, used, and decaying objects, and wanted to show this in the images. I love the colors, the designs, and the decay. Simply beautiful. I also admire the pop art movement and these photos fit this genre.

I went for maximum quality and shot with the Hasselblad H4D 60, HC 120mm and a Profoto ringflash. The images will be able to be printed to a huge size and I’m looking foward to getting a couple printed.

Here are a selection of images. Enjoy and remember that smoking seriously damages your health.

Alexandra Park

Off on my wanderings around Alexandra Park again !! I’m really enjoying this project, especially as the weather is changing rapidly. Summer is well and truly over and the autumnal colour is starting to come to the fore. It’s interesting visiting the same area time and time again. Observing the landscape constantly evolving and changing even within a couple of weeks.
I’ve decided to publish the book early next year and have taken the radical step of not featuring any people in the images. The park is usually very busy but I want to convey the feeling that the park is exclusively mine. To show the space without distraction. I hope I succeed.

Here are a few more images from my recent shoots. They were all taken on the Hasselblad H4D 50 using the HC 120mm and the HC 35-90mm.

I hope you enjoyed them and feel free to comment.

Alexandra Palace, North London

I’m currently working on a set of images of Alexandra Palace in North London. Many photographers make the mistake of traveling miles to get to exotic destinations but forget to photograph their local region. Luckily for me Alexandra Palace is nearly my back garden. It’s a beautiful, tranquil haven, away from the madness of the city and this is what I’m trying to capture in my photographs. It’s quiet and peaceful, steeped in history and is a wonderful location.

I’m photographing this project with the Hasselblad H4D 50 or the H3D 50. The clarity of the images is superb and lends itself to this body of work. It’s going to take some time to complete but hopefully I’m going to try and get an exhibition and publish a book at its completion. My Nikon D2X is getting less of a look in at the moment. The quality just doesn’t compare with the Hasselblad, although its been a great workhorse over the last few years. Horses for courses I suppose.

Here are a few of the images.

Experimental photography

When you are supplying stock agencies or editorial clients, you get very little creative license. Alamy, who I supply, prefer standard stock imagery as opposed to artistic or creative images. It can stifle the artist within you unless you dedicate time to being creative. Some stock agencies notably Millennium welcome “off the wall” images and I’ll be looking to supply to them soon. The Getty Flickr collection is equally diverse and is showing signs of real variety and a unique market position. I like to experiment with photography and hope to develop an artistic style as well as the conventional style that currently runs though my work. I think I’ve just got bored with taking standard pictures. I want some excitement and to produce something very different.

I scanned a couple of images today and played with reversing them, changing the colours, contrasts and much more. let me know what you think !

They are certainly different !

ffffound as a creative resource

My good friend Steve is always trawling though the website http://www.ffffound.com looking at a marvelous multitude of creative imagery.

It’s a creative hub of like minded people sharing all that is good in photography, design and the arts. It’s amazing to see how imaginative people can be, so I thought I’d share a few of my personal highlights.

Image by I Anton from Flickr.

Image by Kurare

Tornado made of steel wool, cotton, ground parsley and moss

Image by Matthew Albanese