HIPA Grand Awards – Dubai Photo Week – Dubai Photo Forum

Its hard to believe another year has passed and we are about to witness the climax of the HIPA “Happiness” Competition. The glittering ceremony will be held at Burj Park on March 14th as a reprise to the very first season awards. Lucky or should I say deserving and talented winners will be recognised and awarded with some $400,000 dollars in prizes as well as stunning trophies by His Highness, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, HIPA’s Patron and Crown Prince of Dubai.

From 16th – 19th March the new D3 Design District will be the host for the inaugural Dubai Photo Week where Curators and Exhibitors from all over the world will exhibit photographic works of art.

Dubai Photo Forum 2 - Judging: International Standards and Judges personalities

Dubai Photo Forum 2 – Judging: International Standards and Judges personalities

For me, a real highlight will be to moderate a new format of Photo Forum on the 18th March where the key subjects will be the processes, ethics, mechanics and intricacies of International Judging and image evaluation. I have high hopes that with the participation of my learned panel, it will be a real eye opener for those who have entered or will enter competitions and awards globally. See you there!

 

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Mentoring for success – The importance of investment

Working towards a ‘Professional’ qualification from either the BIPP or the MPA is no easy task. Its certainly not a journey one should take alone or without guidance and support. This is widely described as ‘Mentoring’, the working relationship between the aspiring photographer and their guide, tutor, supporter and teacher, commissioned to guide them to success. Each of the two representative bodies has their own systems in place where members can access a ‘Mentor’ for a limited period. This is an invaluable resource but nothing beats a proper financial investment in an experienced and successful Mentor. The basic service, in practice the means feedback on images that may form part of a submission, but a more formal arrangement can achieve so much more.

The advice given may not always be what the photographer wants to hear, particularly as ‘critique’ is all too often taken personally due to the huge emotional attachment to their images that so many display. This factor alone is a major contributor to the failure of an application. I know how hard it is to stand back from one’s work and look at it as a qualifies assessor may do. But to learn the art of self assessment from your mentor is central to one’s own continuous professional development. An experienced Mentor will be that crucial support mechanism who will offer the support needed and guidance through the process.

This week, one of my Mentees had a double achievement. Joint winner in the BIPP Provisional Photographer of the Year category and his Licentiate professional qualification of the same Institute. This didn’t come easily and alone, it can be a daunting task.

Supporting evidence book prepared for a BIPP submission - printed by One Vision Imaging (courtesy of Allen Thomasson LBIPP)

Supporting evidence book prepared for a BIPP submission – printed by One Vision Imaging (courtesy of Allen Thomasson LBIPP)

So, access the complimentary services but also invest in a great mentor. Commit to that investment. Always remember that its their investment in you that ensures your success. Want more of this? Then feed back to me on Social Media channels and it will be forthcoming.

If you’re looking to invest in a mentor then contact me at mgrahamedunn@mac.com

I’ve got a new Nikon D750!

It’s been quite a while since I changed my DSLR as I am a creature of habit. My faithful D700 has been an amazing workhorse that has accompanied me all over the world on shooting and training assignments, indeed it has been my camera of choice together with my much loved 105mm f2 DC lens and will still be used to complete the current series of images I am working on, purely for consistency of result.

But I now have a shiny new D750 armed with the deliciously bright 85mm f1.4 lens to commence the next phase of my photography in and as Art journey. There are so many features that make this a perfect successor to my current kit. Not the least the tilting screen that opens up a whole range of possibilities to me that in certain locations I use had previously been almost insurmountable. My huge thanks go to the support team @nikonMEA for steering me into the best decision I have made for a long time.

Nikon D750

Nikon D750

In due course I will be posting images shot on the D750 with a short run down on each personally driven assignment.

Creative Workshop in the Derbyshire Peaks July 2016 – Places still available!

This “Pride and Prejudice” meets “Wuthering Heights” creative workshop is being held on Sunday 24th and Monday 25th July 2016 and is suitable for just about any photographer wishing to explore their creativity and indulging in it as an art form.

The Old Cottage Hope Valley. Our base for the Two Day Creative Workshop

The Old Cottage Hope Valley. Our base for the Two Day Creative Workshop

There are just 8 places available and the extremely affordable fee of only £495.00 per person will cover all tuition, models in period costumes and a post event produced Album Epoca Event book designed by Martin incorporating some of the best images from the workshop. Picnic lunches and an evening meal on the first day are also included. This will be two days indulging in art through photography and literature. For more information or to secure your unique place either email Martin at mgrahamedunn@mac.com or call 01926 335247 or 07854 249710 very soon. A deposit secures your valuable place!

To look for Hotels and Guest Houses go to http://www.booking.com

Art in Photography Workshop – Derbyshire Peaks 2016

In a previous post I gave notice of an exciting workshop to be held in the summer of 2016 to bring to life the imagery of the literature of Jane Austen and Emily Brontë with stunning costume portraiture in dramatic locations, come rain or shine. I have given much thought to this project and instead of making two, one day workshops I have come to the conclusion that a two day offering would be more beneficial for all.

To give a little background and context it is generally believed that Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” was partly written in the town of Bakewell, which she calls ‘Lambton’ in her novel. Occasional visitor to the Peaks, Charlotte Brontë, author of “Jane Eyre” may have written much of the book in Hathersage. 

Period portrait by Martin Grahame-Dunn

Period portrait by Martin Grahame-Dunn

The Workshop will be held on Sunday 24th July and Monday 25th July 2016 at locations in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District of Derbyshire and suitable for Amateurs and Professionals alike of a creative and artistic disposition wishing to expand their technique or simply indulge a love of photography as an art form.

There are just 8 places available and the fee of only £495.00 per person will cover all tuition, models in period costumes and a post event produced Album Epoca Event book designed by Martin incorporating some of the best images from the workshop. Picnic lunches and an evening meal on the first day are also included. This will be two days indulging in art through photography and literature. For more information or to secure your unique place either email Martin at mgrahamedunn@mac.com or call 07854 249710 very soon.

Guidance for Photographers and Photographic Judges – Referencing outside of Photography

by Anthony Van Dyck. An analysis of dynamics

by Anthony Van Dyck. An analysis of dynamics

The art galleries of this world either actual or virtual are a primary source of reference outside the world of Photography and to an extent there is a wealth of visual content on the internet courtesy of those temples of aesthetics. But what should we be looking for to derive both education and inspiration? What is to be learned by making a careful study of figurative art?

For a start, LIGHTING! Then closely followed by POSING and perhaps most influentially, COMPOSITION. Paintings were often created to fit a given space. The client, in many cases the Catholic Church, would say “I need a piece for just over my altar. Perhaps a Triptych?”. And that constituted the compositional brief. In the same discussion, the Bishop, Cardinal or even the Pope himself would ‘suggest’ the subject matter. Perhaps relating to the patron of the particular church or cathedral. Take a good look at the majestic piece, the crucifixion of St.Paul by the Renaissance master, Caravaggio. You’ll learn so much about the application of light, a limited palette and his Tenebrism style so often attributed to Chiaroscuro.

My own photographic journey is on a new but at the same time, old course. A determination to use photography in its digital form as my paint brushes and palette as I strive to create ‘Photographic Art’. More soon…

My experimentation creating images for "Shadows of Magdalene" a poetry collection in the making from Katypoetess

My experimentation creating images for “Shadows of Magdalene” a poetry collection in the making from Katypoetess

Mind & Heart – Workshops to explore evaluative processes in photography

Lecturing at the HIPA Grand Awards 2015

Lecturing at the HIPA Grand Awards 2015

Its been quite some time since I discussed the concept of evaluative processes in photography for organisations who use print judging systems are designed to qualify their members as ‘professional’ photographers. Being privileged to lecture worldwide and have been involved in the design and inception of systems in a number of Countries, this has given me more than a domestic perspective. Its always been a thorny subject as, in a perceived art form it is said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and therefore a SUBJECTIVE process, defined as ‘Personal opinions, assumptions, interpretations and beliefs’ rather than OBJECTIVE, defined as ‘Observation of measurable facts’. At some point, for any system to function fairly a mixture of the two must be taken into consideration.

My role will be to offer suggestions, discuss quantifiable criteria and hopefully inspire a new generation of judges and re-kindle a passion in the experienced ones.

My sincere thanks go to Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri, Kylie Lyons and the Board of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography for giving me the opportunity to share and hopefully, inspire.

See you soon Australia!

Martin Grahame-Dunn

Martin Grahame-Dunn

Online Portfolio Appraisals – Limited Offer!

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Have you been frustrated by the lack of success when entering photo competitions? You keep entering awards & competitions and not getting the results you wished for. Ever wondered why some photographers have a monopoly on winning competitions. Or is the world of awards nothing more than a murky secret?
Here is your chance to discover the ‘mysteries’ of how an image is marked by the leading judges in the world of professional photography via the medium of 1:1 ONLINE portfolio reviews by Martin Grahame-Dunn.
The format is very informal and questions are invited and expected throughout. If you would like to see how your image will fare in a competition, you will need to book a session, download the ‘join.me’ app and send a folder of images at 1000 pixels at 300dpi to Martin. A one hour session is only £40 until August 1st 2015. Contact Martin now on 07854 249710 or email at mgrahamedunn@mac.com

Taking back control – Medium Format IS the way forward!

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Seeing the world through a viewfinder smack bang in front of your face sure hides everything outside that tiny field of view. When we as Professional Photographers used film, most especially those bastions of image quality, the medium format camera, mounted on a tripod, we were forced to initiate the process by taking care of the technical requirements of FOCUS, APERTURE and SHUTTER SPEED relevant to obtaining that perfect exposure.

Once done, our ‘Focus’ became the command, control and observation essential to capturing that perfect image in one solitary frame by looking at our subjects, engaging with them and eliciting that expression appropriate to the mood and flattery of our subjects. We saw the world as it should be seen and the camera was the tool of capture over which we had control.

To shoot like you are using film, that precious and costly silver based commodity made us conscious of doing our job efficiently and in a manner that set the professional apart from the enthusiast and amateur. With this in mind, let’s take back control and consider the enormous advantages and virtues of Medium Format once again. My aim? To get my hands on a new Pentax 645Z and go back to doing what every ‘Pro’ did so well.

HIPA Grand Awards 2015

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I have recently just returned from the HIPA grand awards event which the main theme was “Life in Colour.”  The winning image above by Anurag Kumar was perfectly suited to the brief.  In fact all of the winners selected by the judging panel of the 2014-2015 competition categories amply reflected all the category briefs, which is the essence of any good competition.

My part in the events was again to deliver a four hour presentation during which I was able to set criteria, analyse images and give constructive critique and feedback to a substantial amount of attendees.  As part of the event, I involved the attendees in learning how to critique images which provided an invaluable learning experience for the photographers.