1st Place – Wex Photographer of the Year Competition ‘Week 41’

Really pleased to say that my image ‘The Shell’ has been chosen as the week 41 winner of Wex Photographic’s weekly competition for Wex Photographer of the Year 2016. Every week hundreds of photographers submit images on twitter and if they receive a ranking award, they’re given points and a £20 voucher to spend on Wex’s products. The person with the most points at the end of the year is crowned as the overall winner.

Shortlisted – The Royal Photographic Society Monthly Competition

I’m please to announce that ‘I Spy’ has been shortlisted in this months RPS 365 competition which is run by the Royal Photographic Society! The theme for May was ‘On The Street’ so I put a twist on this as my image isn’t strictly on a street but was taken on a concrete jetty. The highest voted image plus the 2 most popular in the RPS staff vote will become the three winners for the month, receiving a print of their image which is produced by Metro-Print and they will also feature in the next issue of the RPS Journal.

See the shortlist here

I Spy

Morecambe, Lancashire, UK. 

This weeks image was born out of frustration and a chance encounter. On Tuesday, I went up to Morecambe to shoot some long exposure seascapes that I’d tried to do a few weeks ago (on that occasion I’d left my spare camera battery at home & the one I had was almost drained). Upon parking my car and setting up on the promenade I came across three words on my camera screen which hit my heart like a lead weight; ‘insert memory card’! Absolutely devastated, I then realised that I’d taken the card out of my camera to upload my previous shoot to the computer and that i hadn’t put it back in my bag. I also realised that my box of spare cards was on my desk, also at home. It’s typical as the conditions at the beach were perfect. The lighting was just right, the tide was at the right height, the clouds were moving nicely etc. Frantically I opened Google maps on my phone and located a Morrisons supermarket around the corner, they’d sell SD cards surely… After searching the store and finally asking a member of staff it turns out that they don’t sell them(!!) Feeling like my day had been ruined, I left the store, preparing to drive the 90 minutes back home. Luckily next door was an Argos! Praying that they had some cards in stock I went in and there they were, hanging on a rail at the checkout! I quickly paid for one and headed back to the promenade, my day wasn’t ruined after all! Or so I thought. When I arrived, I realised that the tide had moved a lot in the thirty minutes since I left and it was now far away in the distance. I thought about just packing up and going home as it really seemed as though the odds were against me! However, I noticed that the sea was just about still swirling around the stone jetty, the water rushing over the mounds of sand and clearing before the next surge arrived. As quick as I could, I made my way there hoping that I could find something to shoot. Whilst looking at the channels of water slowly making their way across the sand and into the sea, I noticed the bench at the end of the jetty (which seems more like a stone pier to me). As I was finding a good composition, two older ladies sat down for a few minutes. Thinking that they would make great subjects, I set up my camera and decided that a couple of seconds exposure time would blur the clouds and sea sufficiently yet hopefully I could time the capture just right so that they remained motionless. As soon as I’d finalised all of my settings, they stood up and left. This was not my day! I then noticed the gentleman who is in my final image. He had been stood at the other side of the jetty and now made his way over to the bench, setting his bicycle against the railings beforehand. A rush of relief then hit me when I saw the binoculars in his hand as I knew that he would remain almost statuesque at some point whilst observing the birds. A three second exposure is all it took to achieve my final image. Something a little different compared to my usual work but yet still felt right to me.
Editing was quite simple. I converted the image to black and white and adjusted the tones to achieve a light yet balanced atmosphere. I then chose a 5:4 crop as it seemed to fit the composition better than the standard 3:2.
After all this I have realised that even when plans don’t work out, there is always a subject to be found 🙂

The Disabled Photographers Society Exhibition 2015

I’m really pleased to announce that ‘Southport Pier’ has won 1st Place in the Open Prints category and Best Monochrome Print in the Disabled Photographers’ Society Exhibition! I also came 3rd in two categories and got 3 Highly Commended awards. It still hasn’t sunk in that I won so many!

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Awarded images are:

Best Monochrome Print in Exhibition & First Place in ‘Preliminary Open Prints’ category – ‘Southport Pier’.
Third Place in ‘Preliminary Open Digital Image’ category – ‘Awaiting Fate’.
Third Place in ‘Preliminary Prints Nature’ category – ‘Six Spot Burnet Moth’.
Highly Commended in ‘Preliminary Open Prints’ category – ‘St Anne’s Beach Huts’.
Highly Commended in ‘Preliminary Open Digital Image’ category – ‘Llandudno Jetty’.
Highly Commended in ‘Preliminary Prints Nature’ category – ‘Pollination’.

Tenement Houses

Ancoats, Manchester, UK.

I drove to this street in Ancoats that I had seen a few day shots of on social media. Originally the houses were built for the workers of the factory at the end of the street, but in a rapidly regenerating city this is now a melancholic reminder of how things were. I love the historic charm of these terraces and being stood at the end of the street felt almost like I was stood in a museum! The night sky shrouded the modern buildings in darkness, hiding their often unimpressive features from my cameras view. As I was shooting handheld and wanted to keep my ISO as low as possible, I chose to use an aperture of f2.8. This probably seems like a strange choice but I think that it has actually worked well as the shallow depth of field along with the pools of light has added atmosphere to my image and helped to recreate my feelings at the time of capture. The only post processing was a conversion into monochrome and basic image adjustments to preserve as much of the original features as possible.

I am very pleased to announce that this image was shortlisted in this weeks WPOTY competition!

Published – Amateur Photographer Magazine

Just opened this weeks Amateur Photographer magazine and found that I’d come in 22nd Place in the ‘Deeper Perspective’ round of Amateur Photographer of the Year 2015! Considering that this is a multinational magazine, I think that placing so high is an achievement, especially considering the amazing talents of the photographers who enter!

Laura’s image of Heysham Old Lighthouse looks as if it could have been taken years ago with a vintage camera. 

– Amateur Photographer Magazine. 

Frosty Glow – Highly Commended!

I am pleased to announce that my image ‘Frosty Glow’ (above) has been Highly Commended by the Disabled Photographers Society in the Winter 2015 competition! This was my first entry into a competition so am very happy to gain a ranking award! It’s also very rare that I work in colour but this image just looked better this way 🙂

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