by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2016
A jam-packed room waits for Vicki Knights and Eddie Judd
Well that's the Convention done for another year! It isfrustrating just how quickly the week passes by; then,during the frantic week getting this issue to press,all the reports and images trickle in showing justhow much I missed! I also missed at least half of thequalification panels, despite being camped around the area most ofthe time - a combination of sitting on adjacent panels and waitingto shoot the joyous celebrations of success made timing tricky. I alsonever came close to seeing the wedding and portrait categories ofthe 16x20 competition and so seeing the high-scorers for the finaljudging was a particular pleasure. Such was the intensity of this wholeoperation that up to five rooms were called into service at any one time.
Both the number and quality of the 16x20 competition was up - thenumber almost three-fold. It is indicative of the standard that nothingI saw scored less than 70 and in order to hang, a score in the 'Excellent'category was generally required. The perfect 100 score for DavidEdmonson's winning print was both historic and a highlight - it is onlythe second time ever that a perfect score has been made. It was nofluke either, David had a number of very high scoring prints to backhis winner up.
The entry from our Sikh and Asian photographers should not gounremarked. Between them they managed to get 52 images throughto the hanging stage and took a winner as well. Their boisterouscelebrations at the Awards Dinner were well earned, they certainlybrought an extraordinary level of joy to the proceedings!
All of this excitement was not limited to the 16x20 rooms. Alongside,the adjudication of qualification panels was running at full throttleand also causing quite a stir. There were some emotionally chargedmoments, none more so that Mark Seymour's fellowship panel whichdocumented the decline and death of his father from Alzheimers. Itwas a complete contrast to the joyous panel, documenting an orthodoxJewish wedding, that had earned Mark his first fellowship of the daynot many moments earlier. This was the first fellowship in documentarythat the Societies has awarded.
Image - Prash Thakker
Outside of the Hilton the various location seminars were wellsubscribed and at universally applauded locations from lightshipsto secret Masonic lodges. We hope to report on more of these asthe dust settles.
So it's back to the grind folks, there are only 355 days before wecan do it all again!
The Convention saw the introduction of a number of camerasboth compact and SLR; the next year is going to be interesting asthe compact system cameras continue to make in-roads into the'big' SLR market but I bet the phot pens in Rio will be full of bigstuff - let's wait and see shall we?
Looking forward we have The Photography Show to survivebefore we get to spring (hopefully!) goodness knows we could alldo with a bit of sun!
CONGRATULATIONS to all our winners in the recently judgedcompetitions and those who have gained qualifications, you didus all proud!
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 168 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 16th March 2022