Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Landscape & Urbanscape Competition Winners Interviews

The LPA works very hard to promote its members and winning our competitions gives us a chance to give them more good PR. Here are the interviews we held with the winning twelve photographers.

Landscape Single Image Winners

Geoffrey Howe - Gold Interview
Jayne Dennis - silver Interview
Glenn Harper - Bronze Interview

Landscape Series Image Winners

Paul Gorman - Gold Interview
Craig Easton - Silver Interview
Peter Adams - Bronze Interview

Urbanscape Single Image Winners

Nick Alcock - Gold Interview
Drora Bashan - Silver Interview
David Bowman - Bronze Interview

Urbanscape Series Image Winners

Nick Kind - Gold Interview
Ross Andersson - Silver Interview
Burkhard Schittny - Bronze Interview

View the full galleries here,

Landscape single and series

Urbanscape single and series

Ecohealth 2010 Landscape & Urbanscape Exhibition.

An exhibition from the collection of the winners and commended photographers was shown at Ecohealth 2010 through out their three day conference in London. The images were projected in four separate areas around the public spaces and the lecture theatre. Here is the LPA press release that accompanied the exhibition.

The London Photographic Association (LPA), a membership organisation promoting the work and interests of international photographers, photography students and lens-based artists, will be providing a thought-provoking exhibition at Ecohealth 2010. The exhibition will consist of images selected from the LPA's 2010 "Landscape" and "Urbanscape" competitions. LPA Managing Director, Kevin O'Connor, comments on the Association's involvement with Ecohealth 2010.

"The LPA is very pleased to be involved with the Ecohealth 2010 conference and applauds its goals of biodiversity and sustainability," he says. "We live on the most unbelievably beautiful planet and and all need to play our part in looking after it so we can hand it on to future generations. Photographers are a group of people who examine natural beauty, decay and destruction in minute detail and focus on new ways of looking at everyday things.

"It is therefore our hope that the exhibition of images from the LPA's "Landscape" and "Urbanscape" competitions will act as a vivid reminder of the natural beauty of our planet and illustrate man's intervention."

Photograph shown by Glen Harper

Upcoming LPA Photography Exhibition

Artist Sue Golden has curated a photographic art exhibition for LPA/Gallery 1839 opening in Soho, London early October. In this exhibition, called Strange Bedfellows, the tapestry of life is exposed with all its complexities. Here the everyday contrasts with the enigmatic and exceptional, the obvious with the unusual. What’s particular in this presentation is the questions the image groupings provoke - what does a beguiling hybrid feline Tokyo Sphinx cat have to do with a Korean man dressed as a female British noblewoman? Perhaps a commonality of isolated lives…

Strange Bedfellows is a contemporary, eclectic mix of international photographers’ images. Golden has utilised her work experience, artistic perception and a ‘catholic’ eye in choosing a diverse range of images and combinations. Extensive research was undertaken from the sites resulting in a striking conceptual show that relates to the highs and lows of modern times: the contrasts and disparities, the illusions and realities, the unconventional and the ordinary.

All the photographs have been chosen from the fine art, commercial, established and up-and-coming photographers’ collections at the London Photographic Association and Gallery 1839.

Images shown - Existing In Costume Chan-Hyo Bae and Tokyo Sphinx Alissa Eberle

Strange Bedfellows is in 2 parts taking the exhibition/s through to mid November.

This will coincide with the London Art Fairs and East London’s Photomonth Festival.

We will be posting more images from the Strange Bedfellows exhibition over the next month.

Strange Bedfellows 1 & 2 running consecutively at:
The Assembly Rooms
8 Silver Place, Soho, London W1F 0JU
6-22 October and 27 October-19 November 2010

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Nick Alcock Wins LPA Urbanscape Gold Award

LPA Urbanscape Single Image Winner

Nick Alcock had been working on his ‘World' series for some time (and had already entered a completely different kind of image in our Landscape competition, which was commended). "I suddenly realised this 'World' picture fitted the category of Urbanscape perfectly," he says. " You can’t get more of an urban landscape than an image of London, after all. So, I decided to enter it."

The winning image from our Urbanscape single entry competition was taken from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. "My daughter has recently moved to the town," explains Nick, "and I've become fascinated with the visual vibrancy of the area. The viewpoint I shot from provides a really iconic image of London. You can see everything from the Dome, Canary Wharf and the new Olympic Stadium right across to, and beyond, the Gherkin building."

Nick starts his ‘World’ images by shooting a big panorama (this one was a 12 part stitch). He feels it's important to get this technically and visually as good as possibly. "It’s impossible to make a satisfactory ‘World’ picture without having a sound image to work from," he says. He then spends vast amounts of time in Photoshop producing the final image. "There are literally dozens of visual decisions to make," he says. "There are things you have to leave and come back to the next day with a fresh eye. Sometimes nothing fits and I have to cheat, but my cheats have to remain invisible. It can be quite draining and stressful and sometimes I wonder why I’ve chosen to put myself through the whole process. That’s when I know I need to walk away!

"I’m always surprised how many times a solution comes to me when I’m away from the screen thinking of something else. I also rely heavily on my wonderful A2 Epson printer. I usually print up to 20 tests before I’m happy with the final image."

Nick feels that what makes his winning image so strong is that it's the unfamiliar familiar. "I think it’s the kind of image that’s hard to ignore on many levels," he says. "The amount of detail, the odd glimpse of the river, the on-going building works and, of course, the ‘World’ treatment which gives a new slant on a familiar view."

Nick studied Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Art where photography was an integral part of the course. He particularly enjoyed the darkroom and processing work. "When Photoshop and digital photography came along, it was like all my dreams had come true," he says. He then worked as an art director at major London Advertising agencies, working with some of the world’s top photographers and retouching studios. "I learnt a tremendous amount from them," he says, "particularly how important it is to really look very hard at things. Nowadays, instead of briefing a retouching studio to produce a hugely expensive 10 part comp, I can do it myself. Thank you, Photoshop."

Nick has now been totally freelance for over 20 years, working on everything from TV commercials to book and web design. Since leaving art school, he has always been involved in his own projects and, in recent years, photography has taken a major role in his creative life. He was recently commissioned to shoot a ‘World’ picture for a country house estate in Sussex. He is keen to shoot more images for his ‘World’ series and says there could be some exciting developments ahead.

"I’ve spent my entire career as a creative," he says. "It can be the most rewarding way to earn a living, but also one of the most stressful. When it all gets a bit much I remember, and gain strength from, the famous Woody Allen quote: 80% of success is showing up."
Nick Alcock LPA Portfolio and Profile Page

Drora Bashan Wins LPA Urbanscape Silver Award

LPA Urbanscape Single Image Winner

Drora Bashan started embracing photography after 30 years in the jewellery business. Since 2006, she has been studying photography and participating in Masterclass workshops in Israel.

The image which won Silver in the single entry category of our Urbanscape competition was already in her portfolio, taken in Tel Aviv in 2008. "I took the shot after it had been raining," Drora says. "The sun came out, highlighting the puddles which remained in the middle of the street, displaying a typical reflection of the "White City" of Tel Aviv in golden hues."

This image has seen a lot of success: it was awarded First Prize in the Contrast Category in the "Pixrael – Tel Aviv 100" competition and open-air exhibition (Hungary, 2009) and has been part of a travelling exhibition in China since December 2009.

"I think the sequence of the separate puddles, and the gold reflections contrasting with the street stones, makes it a strong image," says Drora. "The merging of the street with the upside down houses is a 'reality' created by different worlds being momentarily united."

Drora enjoys taking part in competitions. "As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I really appreciate the feed-back," she says. "I enjoy exploring the themes, investigating my own work and looking at many wonderful photos by other photographers."

Drora's favourite subject is reflections. " My other passion is for details and looking at things from a close perspective, cropping them so they become unrecognisable," she says.

Drora Bashan LPA Portfolio and Profile Page

David Bowman Wins LPA Urbanscape Bronze Award

LPA Urbanscape Single Image Winner

David Bowman took his bronze-winning single image in Houston towards the end of 2009. "I'm not really a city person," he says. "Born and raised in rural Wales, I find them to be chaotic and oppressive. I was wandering around Houston looking for interesting subjects and wanted to find a way to convey my feelings about the place. I looked up at the skyscrapers towering around me. Rather than go for the usual receding towers shot, I decided to whip out my ND3 filter which allowed me to drag the shutter for 5 seconds. For four of those seconds, I kept the camera static. In the final second, I shook the camera which added some motion to the picture. I think that motion conveys a sense of chaos."

David trained in photography and audio visual communication and worked as a freelance photographer in the 1980s. He was an early adopter of digital in the late 1990s and began to focus heavily on fine art, travel and portraiture a few years ago. His current goal is to develop his portrait portfolio, enter a number of competitions and explore exhibition opportunities to explore, as well as add to his fine-art portfolio through traveling.

"I love to hear from photographers and those with an avid interest in photography and welcome anyone who wants to join me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DaveBowmanPhotography," he says.

David Bowman LPA Portfolio and Profile Page

Geoffrey Howe Wins LPA Landscape Gold Award

LPA Landscape Single Image Winner

Geoffrey Howe's winning image in our Landscape single entry competition was taken during a trip to Morocco in 2009. "We were on a mountain pass in the South on our way to the desert region where I was to take a set of images of the 'Groupe des Bambaras', a Berber traditional music and dance group," says Geoffrey. "I like the strong abstract nature of the image, and the depth created by the winding road that leads your eye down to the building at the bottom. It's one of my favourites from the series, and seemed to fulfil the brief of the competition."

Geoffrey's main area of work is dance photography and portrait work. He works with The Sole dance company on their performances at London's The Place theatre. He originally trained in art and design and was involved in furniture and interior design before moving into photography, abstract sculpture and painting.

"I have a strong connection with Vitsoe who manufacture the 606 furniture system designed by Dieter Rams in 1960," he says. "I went to Germany to photograph Dietrich Lub, who was one of the early designers of Braun products in the 1960s and 70s. I photograph many of the Vitsoe systems installed in homes and workplaces, mostly in London but also in Tokyo, Paris and Palma."

Geoffrey likes showing movement in his photographs and is currently working on some abstract portrait shots that include movement.

Geoffrey Howe LPA Portfolio and Profile Page

Jayne Dennis Wins LPA Landscape Silver Award

LPA Landscape Single Image Winner

Jayne Dennis shot her Silver award-winning single image at South Gare in Teesside. "The photograph soon became a historical reminder of what once was," she says, "when Corus Steelworks was forced to partially mothball its Teesside Cast Products plant, changing the lives of many local people. In the foreground of the image, we can see the historical fishermans' huts (most of which are still in use today), with the steelworks in the background.

"I’ve always had great interest in human impact on the environment. Although this image is fundamentally industrial, and has environmental connotations, the image still has a beauty about it. Emotional skies such as these feature a lot in my work, and capturing them is a real pleasure. The wild, dark mood emanating from a stormy sky often injects the perfect emotion into my photographs."

Jayne graduated this year with a Degree in Commercial Photography (with distinction) and is now pursuing photography in a professional capacity. She is also a Motion Graphic Designer and Art Director, with a career spanning over a decade designing, art directing and producing 2D and 3D animations and title sequences for television.

Jayne welcomes commissions particularly in the areas of portraiture, editorial and travel documentary. She is planning a trip to Far North Queensland Australia and traveling South to New Zealand at the end of 2010 and has several ideas for documentary projects which she plans to shoot along the way.

Jayne Dennis LPA Portfolio and Profile Page

Glenn Harper Wins LPA Landscape Bronze

LPA Landscape Single Image Winner

Glenn Harper shot the image which won Bronze in our Landscape Single entry competition during a trip south from Lochinver towards the Summer Isles. "I was driving on the 'wee mad road'," he says, "before taking the track up to the Fiddler. It is a suspense-filled walk, as each ridge reveals yet another until, after a few hours, you are rewarded with this magnificent view.

"I like big views, the sense of space. Your eye wanders across the scene, picking out the details and exploring. I enjoy making images where the viewer is invited to do the same."

Glenn's process consists of gathering the frames as the light plays over different parts of the scene. By blending several frames together, he condenses the experience of the environment in to a single image. "I think the landscape itself is foremost in this image," he says. "Compositionally, it is underpinned by strong diagonals which lead you in, coupled with strong contrast balanced throughout the frame creating a high level of detail in the far distance as well as the foreground."

Glenn works as a commercial photographer and enjoys shooting images for his own enjoyment through his personal work.

Geoffrey Howe LPA Portfolio and Profile

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Nick Kind Wins LPA Urbanscape Gold Award

LPA Urbanscape Series Gold Winner

Nick Kind took his Gold winning series of pictures as part of a project for a magazine in Melbourne, where he is based. "The idea was around contrasting landscapes," he says, "and it was my job to make the centre spread to represent the theme. This collection - titled 'Contrast and Reflection' - explores the transformative nature of rain."

Nick explains how living in Melbourne has changed his relationship with wet weather. "Watching Melbourne's continual progression into drought, rain has become something I look forward to, and something which has a fascinating playfulness in the way it transforms the city," he says. "All of a sudden, familiar surfaces are enlivened with a new personality, the water adding a sheen or creating a puddle and capturing reflections. These images present the viewer with something to work out. Many people have asked me what filters or textures I've used. They're always surprised to hear they were simply looking at a reflection."

Nick is a self-taught photographer who works as a graphic designer as well as a freelance photographer. After his first exhibition, he was appointed to teach a night course in Photography at the Richard Attenborough Arts Centre in the UK. "Teaching was a fantastic experience as it accelerated my own learning and appreciation of the art of photography," he says.

Encountering a recent patch of artist's block resulted in Nick's most recent exhibition 'Interference'. The images were well received at a prominent Melbourne gallery earlier this year. "This very personal and challenging show really taught me that it is possible to reconnect with something that you thought had been lost," he says. Nick now aims to secure a solo show to exhibit the 'Contrast and Reflection' collection of images and is working on a project to publish a coffee-table book of his recent collection 'Urban Trace'.

Nick Kind LPA Portfolio and Profile page.

Ross Andersson Wins LPA Urbanscape Silver Award

LPA Urbanscape Series Silver Winner

Ross Andersson began his career as a fine artist, studying painting, filmmaking and photography before discovering a passion for fashion photography. He's been creating intense and iconic imagery for the fashion and beauty industry's advertising scene since 2006. His commercial clients include Macy's, Aveda, Regis, Mia and Maxx and L'Anza Hair Care.

The images which won him Silver in our Urbanscape series entry competition - the mezzanine project - are a new and evolving series exploring the aesthetic abstraction and ideology of modernist public spaces. "The project is a study of line and perspective," he says, "where social intent is purposely concealed. Stark, structural landscapes of concrete and rebar create new narratives that belie function and revel strictly in form, leaving the viewer to invent their own understanding of the meaning and purpose of these strange and compelling landscapes."

Ross enjoys entering competitions, feeling they give him a great opportunity to place his work in front of a different type of audience to his normally strictly-commercial clientele.

He recalls one of his most memorable commercial commissions. "It was a photo story for a hair care client," he says. "The wardrobe was created by gluing together hundreds of paper doilies from the supermarket. It was really outrageous and a lot of work, but the end product was stunning. It won the Grand Prize at the North American Hairstyling Awards show."

Ross is currently finishing Phase Two of his mezzanine project and plans to travel to south America to shoot Phase Three. He'd like to exhibit this Silver winning series and eventually publish a book of the entire collection.

Ross Andersson LPA Portfolio and Profile.

Burkhard Schittny Wins LPA Urbanscape Bronze Award

LPA Urbanscape Series Bronze Winner

Burkhard Schittny has worked on personal photography projects throughout his career, even whilst focused on working as commercial photographer for advertising and magazines between 1997 and 2007. In 2007, he decided to concentrate fully on fine art.

In the winter of 2007, Burkhard travelled to New York City. "When I started filming I didn't have a real concept in mind," he says. "I just wanted to do something. Later, after selecting the stills and working on them on the computer, I realised most of them had a gloomy, murky touch. The series, now called UNTITLED, somehow came back to ideas and feelings I had when I was creating the video performances for my MA at Central St Martins: desperation, insecurity, anonymity and alienation. The stills are like scraps of memory struggling to reveal the fear of a place - fragmented and out of focus."

For these projects, Burkhard films on a consumer video camera, selecting the images on a computer. All images are full frame with no composing, just colourshifting and saturation and desaturation in photoshop. "I keep the characteristic interlaced lines that video creates," he says. "Ideally, the work should be viewed in large scale to understand the construction and deconstruction of the subject."

Burkhard is currently working a series of around 20 new images from different places. He received a project grant from a German organisation for his landscape series and will use the funds to shoot a project about trauma and his own family history in Poland. He hopes to exhibit his UNTITLED series in the near future.

Burkhard Schittny LPA Portfolio and Profile

Paul Gorman Wins LPA Landscape Competition

LPA Landscape Series Gold Winner

Paul Gorman's University tutor encouraged him to enter these winning images - created for a University project - into competitions. "He said my images would win, but I didn't take him seriously," he says. "But lots of people seem to like them and I am very proud I have created them." Paul is currently studying BA Honours in photography at AUCB in Bournemouth

The images were all taken at sunrise or sunset. "The light is amazing at that time and is best suited for landscape," says Paul. "The images are about how we interact with the surroundings and how we direct our vision to objects within the landscape. I wanted to create something that shows how our perceptions can change as we move around, and - through multiple exposures - show how these new perceptions merge with existing ones. I wanted to make the viewer engage with the work in a similar way to how we get a feeling of the sublime when we are in the landscape."

Paul was inspired by Picasso's attempts to show the flatness of the canvas by using lots of different viewpoints on the same images. "I thought it would be great to circle the tree or ponds and take a picture at various points around it," he says. "The backdrop builds up, creating a weird and wonderful world, almost like a dream scene that baffles and challenges the viewer. The more you look, the more you notice." The images were all taken with film.

After graduation, Paul hopes to travel in order to study the theme of human vision.

Craig Easton Wins LPA Landscape Silver

LPA Landscape Series Silver Winner

Craig Easton selected the images which won Silver in our Landscape Series entry competition from the beginnings of a new project which follows on from the success of his book ’52 Weekends by the Sea’. "For me, landscape photography is not about what it looks like, but what it feels like," he says. "The pictures are about the essence of the British countryside, what makes it so special and so different to other landscapes around the world. Space is often at a premium in the UK and these pictures are not just about the landscape itself, but about our influence on it, how we have shaped it and how we live or have lived within it."

Craig's career began in the early 1990s as a photojournalist at The Independent, shooting black and white film and making wet prints in the basement darkroom. Since then, he has shot a lot of commercial and advertising work, alongside books and magazine editorial. Landscape has always been a big part of his work. He recently shot a campaign of sportspeople in iconic British locations. "Whilst these were portraits, they required a really strong sense of the landscape, connecting the British landscape with the 2012 Olympics," he says.

Craig's book ‘52 Weekends by the Sea’ has been shortlisted as a top 5 finalist in the British Book Awards. The associated website www.52hq.co.uk is the beginning of an exciting online community celebrating the British coast.

Craig Easton LPA folio and Profile.

Peter Adams Wins LPA Landscape Bronze

LPA Landscape Series Bronze Winner

Peter Adams's Bronze winning series are aerial photographs taken in Namibia. "This was the first time I've done any aerial pictures," he says. "I was blown away by the new perspective. The pictures here are some of the more abstract from the series; I was particularly enthralled by some salt works. The amazing colours and patterns reminded of the paintings of Mark Rothko."

Peter started his career in 1986, working for design studios, advertising agencies and corporate clients, before concentrating on travel photography. He was awarded Travel Photographer of The Year in 2003. He recalls a commission from his early days as a photographer: "I enjoyed an extended job for a company that made uniforms and work wear. The fire brigade were good enough to set up situations for me. We shot hunting clothes in great light on The Mendips and had great difficulty finding a suitable model for a 18 stone, 5’ 5’’ king of a small African nation! It was all good experience and a steep learning curve."

Peter currently has some limited edition fine art prints coming out through an international gallery. He is working on several ideas for a book (with the possibility of an accompanying exhibition) and hopes to base some of his forthcoming travel plans around these projects.

Peter Adams LPA Portfolio and Profile.

Universal Music Group Clashes with MTV Over Music Videos

Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's biggest record label with hit artists Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, among others, has pulled its music videos from the websites owned by MTV Networks (MTVN).

MTVN, which arguably established the concept of music-TV channels worldwide, including the original MTV, also transmits music videos on the internet. Its most popular websites are MTV.com, CMT.com and VH1.com.

MTVN has always negotiated directly with record companies for its websites' videos. Until last December, when UMG joined forces with another major label Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Company to launch Vevo, an online streamed music-video syndication service.

UMG is insisting all websites wanting UMG videos must take them from only Vevo. And until its websites comply, MTVN is now allowed to show UMG videos.

In a statement, UMG said it believes it can make more money syndicating its artists' videos through Vevo. It said: "Vevo… is the best way to maximise revenue for our artists, our songwriters and ourselves, while bringing our videos to the widest possible audience."

Negotiations were said to be ongoing and industry observers are also waiting to see if Sony will also want to remove its videos from MTVN sites.

Photography by Agnieszka Zychska

Buying Spree in UK Film and TV Sectors

The season of acquisitions in the UK film and TV industry is here. Hollywood studio Time Warner is now the majority owner of Shed Media, its first investment in a UK independent TV-production company.

According to media reports, the entertainment giant has acquired a 55.75% stake in Shed Media, valuing the latter at £100 million. Shed Media produces international TV franchises Supernanny and Who Do You Think You Are?

All3Media, creator of popular international TV dramas Midsomer Murders and Skins, is reported to be buying Optomen TV. Optomen is another indie production house famous for making culinary shows starring TV chef Gordon Ramsay.

These developments follow the acquisition of UK indie RDF Media by Zodiak Entertainment, a rapidly growing international media group, in June.

Meanwhile, another British institution could be affected by the sale of Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), which is still desperately looking for a buyer to take on its $3.7 billion debt. It's been on sale since April.

Its financial woes could lead to the postponement of the next movie in the James Bond series, which is produced by the Broccoli family-owned EON Productions.

Scheduled to be filmed at the UK's Pinewood Studios, the movie will be directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes.

Photography by Agnieszka Zychska