Tag Archives: FIAP

Early Portraits

This little group of portraits is a fair representation of where I was at photographically back in 2014 and in pursuit of my first accreditation of AFIAP. In the Pink (top left) and Grunge and Roses (centre) were taken at a workshop where all I was required to do was turn up, know enough to turn the camera on and click the button. Cabaret (top right) came from a lighting workshop. I thought I was doing pretty well to convert it to black-and-white and add a little smoke. Love Amongst the Ruins (bottom left) is an older shot, taken in the studio at university in my second year and later amalgamated with a shot from Stratford-on-Avon. It was my first nude shoot (not me, the models) and they kept their pants on to preserve their modesty. It was only when I viewed the shots later that I realised the flash had rendered his posing pouch transparent. Hello, Old Friend (bottom right) was a lovely moment on a nature reserve where Jan was feeding the robin on her hand; it seemed to strike a chord with judges as it won a Gold Medal in one of the BPE Salons (another story) and came second in the Nature category in the British Wildlife Exhibition.
All Nikon shots, except Love Amongst the Ruins, which was taken with a Leica.

In the Pink was accepted into three Salons
Cabaret was accepted into fourteen Salons and won an Honourable Mention
Grunge and Roses was accepted into three Salons
Love Amongst the Ruins was accepted into five Salons and won a Silver medal and an Honourable Mention
Hello, Old Friend was accepted into four Salons

A Walk on the Wild Side

Long before I ever set foot in a studio and long before I retired from work to go to university, I cut my photography teeth on nature and wildlife in the nature reserves of the East Midlands and surrounding counties. Spending a day in winter finding and watching birds or, in summer, hunting for butterflies, moths and insects remains one of my abiding passions.
When it comes to wildlife competitive photography, I have only intermittent success, pitted as I am against some of the wonders of the wider world. My domestic animals struggle to hold their own against monkeys in frozen ponds, horses in the Camargue and the many exotic beasts seen on safari.
Every now and then, however, one of my favourite pictures will do well at one of the International Salons and it gives me that little extra bit of pleasure to know they’re having their moment in the sunlight.
The five pictures here were all successful in my first year of competing for the accreditation of AFIAP.

Mating Migrant Hawkers was accepted into two Salons
Broad Bodied Chaser was accepted into two Salons
Brown Hare Running was accepted into four Salons
Brimstone on Scabious was accepted into four Salons
A Wasp Masticating was accepted into eight Salons

Where it began …

… did that get Neil Diamond singing in your head? Never mind; maybe you’re not as old as me – or a cricket fan. Anyway this is the story of the first ‘real shoot’ I did after I finished at university. They were taken for a competition in the Amateur Photography magazine and the only criteria was to use added light, but not in a studio.

We drove in convoy out of the city at night to a retail park in Netherfield. Martyn and Beverley in the first car, because Martyn knew where he was going; Hannah and Mason following on; then Sian and Jack; and finally, Jan and I.
The dark street was perfect. The story was that Hannah was a ‘working girl’, standing under a lamp post waiting for a punter. So I had light shining down on her head and also from Sian’s car, parked to the left of the shot with the headlights on. Mason was driving the car in Mean Streets, pretending to be a punter.
It all went pretty well, considering I had only a shaky idea of what I was doing. Working Girl ended up being a composite but Mean Streets is a straight shot. It was either 2013 or 2014 when we did this and I look at them now and think, “I wish I’d known ….” but everything’s a learning curve, is it not?
It was only as we were packing up to go home that we realised the fence to the right of the shot bordered the Royal Mail depot and we’d had a very interested audience of postal workers while we were working!
It was Hannah’s first experience as a model and she proved that night, and many times since, that she’s a natural, responsive to direction and patient, as well as being adept at the snappy answer.

These were the first two pictures I ever entered in a FIAP Salon, hoping to achieve the first level of AFIAP.
Working Girl was accepted into five FIAP exhibitions.
Mean Streets was accepted into twelve FIAP exhibitions and earned a Highly Commended, an Honourable Mention and a Judge’s Award.