Ihope everyone had a good summer break. At the LPA office, we are welcoming the "new term" feeling that Autumn brings.
We're ready to unveil some exciting plans for the LPA and see some great results for members in the coming year. What are your plans? Let us know what you're up to: you could end up in this newsletter or on our new blog (details below).
Documentary competition: My Back Yard 4
My Back Yard, the LPA's popular documentary competition, is now in its 4th year. We hope to see another crop of great entries and encourage you to get involved.
Call for entry closes on the 25th September 2008, so start to get your entries ready now! An exhibition of the winners' and finalists' images will be held at the Calumet gallery space in London. The private view will be on 19th November 2008 and the exhibition will then hang for one month.
Competition winners interviews
We've caught up with two winners of our recent competitions to give you a little more insight into their work and careers.
The Nude: Series Gold Winner David Knight.
David's winning images were taken in 2007 as part of a solo exhibition which took place in Sydney, where he is based. Saatchi & Saatchi, a long standing client of David's, lent him their amazing reception area as a gallery. It overlooks the Sydney Opera House and is virtually under the Harbour Bridge
David makes his living as an Advertising Photographer. He explains: "This often means delivering on a very rigid brief. At the time of the competition, I hadn't worked on any personal projects for a long while, so was looking for an antidote to the confines of advertising. With this project, I went right back to basics and kept everything as simplistic as possible. I opted for a black background, and used the modeling light from a broncolor pulso G head. As a result, a longer shutter speed was required. When coupled with the movement of the model and dropping the lens in and out of focus, this added a great deal of randomness to the whole process. What I like about working in this way is that you can end up with something very interesting and unexpected."
David decided to enter the LPA's "The Nude" competition when a fellow photographer mentioned it to him. She had attended the opening night of his exhibition and suggested it would be a good competition for him to enter.
David joined the LPA as part of a drive to increase his profile internationally. He feels that the combined effect of winning The Nude and doing well in other competitions and awards can only boost his profile. He now intends to devote more time to personal projects, and would like to exhibit more in the coming years. On the value of entering competitions, David says: "I realise now that awards and competitions can have a huge impact on the success of your business, so I will endeavour to be more proactive and enter as many awards and competitions as I can in the future!"
Still Life: Series Gold Winner Carolina Munoz
Carolina's Still Life series is an ongoing project which she has been working on since 2005. Of the winning images, she says: "Initially, my use of the still life came about as a formal exercise in photography. In August 2003 I participated in a "Photographic Cloister" (Claustro Fotográfico) consisting of a group of people spending five consecutive days and nights at the premises of a photography school in Caracas (ONG - Taller de Fotografía Nelson Garrido) to develop independent photography work. My readings into the genre in classical painting, as well as the images created at this intense workshop, set the platform to later define it as one of my main art projects.
"Wanting to incorporate objects and traditional Venezuelan foods as carriers of meaning beyond their function, I have been exploring themes of social and cultural decay. For me, the still life enables me to express urgent preoccupations with my country's present circumstances. However, my intention and purpose for these images is not to offer a clear road for interpretation. I am very interested in contradiction, ambiguity and the creation of personal metaphors to interpret an image."
Carolina's main interests centre around her sense of place as a Venezuelan while being curious about other cultures. She has spent much of her life living abroad. Her background in graphic design and art direction in advertising has meant that photography has always been an important part of her profession. Going to a photographer's studio was always "a thrill and the icing on the cake with any graphics job," she says.
Whilst still working in advertising in 2002, Carolina started to take photographic courses as a way of self-expression. Years later, she redefined herself as an artist and made a career change into commercial photography to support her art projects. She is about to begin teaching a photography course as a professor's assistant. Her immediate goal is to continue to strengthen her commercial photography skills and experience, while also focusing on her photographic fine art: "Specifically, newer fine art projects include a multidisciplinary work about Venezuela's 1999 mud slide, which involves photographing objects and landscapes, creating photograms and the use of cartography. Another project is photographing some neighbourhoods of Caracas, showing the frantic and chaotic architectural changes they are subjected to. My still lifes will continue as an ongoing project and in the future I wish to publish them into a book."
Carolina explains more about her work: "For my fine art photography I use medium format film so I am not limited in the final output of my images; however, I have also used digital point and shoot cameras and images exposed directly to photographic paper. Basically, I think any type of camera is good as along as the photograph reflects an honest approach to image making."
Carolina's Still Life series has been exhibited in Venezuela and México and is part of a few private collections. Entering the LPA competition was, she says, a step forward to exposing it to a wider audience.
"This is the first time I have entered an LPA competition and I did so out of sheer curiosity to expose my work. After receiving the notice that I was given the Gold Award for my series I was very surprised and of course thrilled at such unexpected recognition! For me, awards and competitions are a way to promote one's work in wider circles, for future publication, exhibits and commissions."
LPA developments: the LPA blog
We are pleased to unveil the LPA blog. It is being edited by Emily Graham, an LPA member who works at Metro imaging as well as working on her own photographic projects.
The blog is a place where we can highlight the achievements and projects of our members through interviews and links. For you, it's a great way to build on your existing profiles. Anyone interested in becoming a regular contributor both here and overseas should contact us for a chat.
Blog editor Emily Graham says:
"The aim of the blog is to widen the sense of the photographic community. It is designed to become a space where people can gain information about what is currently going on in terms of exhibitions, opportunities and events, as well as being a showcase of new and engaging photographic work. The blog will contain posts about contemporary photographers, links to articles about photography, information about competitions, reviews of books and exhibitions, and interviews with photographers.
"Members can send me samples of their work or links to it. I can then review or link to in addition to publishing information about their exhibitions. The blog should work as a news board and discussion forum for contemporary photography."
After graduating from Brighton in 2006 with a BA in Editorial Photography, Emily moved to London and got involved with exhibitions and assisted various photographers. She currently works in production at Metro Imaging for the fine art printing department. She has an avid interest in photography and in her free time she works on her own projects and does editorial work for magazines. She started up a blog a while back as a way to keep herself engaged with contemporary photography (www.contactcollective.blogspot.com) and also contribute to other blogs, such as the PrintSpace blog.
The blog will work best when as many LPA members as possible contribute and link to it as often as possible. So don't be shy, get in touch with Emily and raise your profile!
We have just taken on two new photographers at Gallery 1839: Steve Smith and Ivo Eman. They represent two very different styles but both use a strong sense of narrative throughout their work. Steve Smith is going back to Cuba at Christmas to document the local festivities and we look forward to seeing the outcome. Ivo Eman is working up some additional conceptual pieces which will be with us in the near future: we will keep you posted.
We are looking forward to assisting in the ongoing development of these two photographers. Take a look at their online space at Gallery 1839.
Photography by john Ferguson.