Pixel's Photography Competition 2016Editor - 19th January 2017
Here, we provide you a rundown of the recent success of Pixel’s new platform, Pixel.co.uk and introduces the Pixel Photography Competition and its winners
2016 has been a prevalent year for the photographic industry, and it’s been nothing less for us here at the Pixel towers. With our new platform – Pixel.co.uk – being introduced earlier in the year, providing a learning and development platform for retailers to undertake training courses created by manufacturers themselves, as well as offering a communication and news platform for the photography sector, Pixel magazine also welcomed the addition of the Pixel Photography Competition.
With three main areas; communication, engagement and learning, all interlinked with a host of powerful functions, the Pixel Platform has so far helped bring individuals in a team together through online training tasks, therefore strengthening the connection between them and broadening knowledge base and overall sales focus. The e-learning sector of the Pixel Platform allows and encourages counter staff to immerse themselves into different training modules to ensure they are up-to-date and knowledgeable on selling the industry’s hottest products and information to cater to the needs and enquiries of consumers. Courses are graded and badges are awarded upon completion of courses, and the Platform can act as a digital portfolio for achievements, where badges will appear on the member’s profile and can be collected and then downloaded into a ‘personal backpack’.
In addition to this and on the other hand, the Pixel Platform has also been an important tool in keeping members connected with the rest of the industry, with a live newsfeed that allows companies to share new updates and information with the rest of the photographic world, whether this be for new products, events or general announcements. This industry-specific newsfeed will ensure members are up to date with what is going on in the industry and, with it being supplemented by a BBC news block, Pixel.co.uk is the go-to site for all key information, both industry-specific or otherwise.
“Pixel.co.uk offers the industry an integrated learning communication platform and, therefore, an opportunity to help each other in maintaining and developing the excellence of the photographic industry as a whole,” said Pixel Editor, Jenny Ardagh. She continued: “It’s important for staff to be aware of the newest products and to develop the skills and learning information they need to help customers and, in turn, manufacturers can learn more about what retailers need from them, which is essential.”
Launched last year via the Pixel Platform was the Pixel Photography Competition, which saw hundreds of budding photographers – both professional and amateur – sending in their own shots with the hope of producing a winning image for one of five categories, each decided by the team here at Pixel magazine. Being launched over Pixel’s new platform meant that only registered users of the site or in other words, retailers, manufacturers or other industry experts, were the only people able to enter the competition, making it all the more personal to the imaging and print industries and keeping the standard of imaging high. The categories included in Pixel’s Photography Competition included Landscape, Fashion, Wildife, Street and Monochrome, and while participants could enter images into as many of these categories as they wanted, we were inundated with entries and there could only be one winner for each category.
Jenny Ardagh also said: “As it’s the first year we have run this competition we were super excited to see all of the entries, and were particularly impressed with the quality of the images. Each category winner used very different technique styles and expertise to produce their final product, and huge congratulations should go to each and every one of them. I’d happily have each image displayed in my own home!”
Of course, with winning comes a prize, and the winners of Pixel’s Photography Competition were, first off, lucky enough to attend 2016’s annual Pixel Trade Awards. Not only did they get to devour a 3-course meal made by the event’s venue, the Grange City Hotel in London, but were also invited on stage to receive their own winner’s trophy. In addition to this, each winner is invited to Genesis Imaging in London, where they will be able to witness their winning shots being printed.
The winners of the Pixel Photography Competition are as follows:
Simon Barker, Wilkindon Cameras: “Overall, I am overwhelmed to win and I had a fantastic evening at the Pixel Trade Awards ceremony. Over many years in photographic retail, I always enjoyed reading the Pixel magazine and more recently, online. The awards evening was a particular highlight as I looked out for familiar faces, although it seemed weird to be joining them!”
Andy Hoang, Calumet Bristol: “I am very grateful and honoured to be awarded best in the inaugural Fashion category. The continued support I receive from all Calumet management and staff in my pursuit to do well within the field of fashion photography is mind blowing. I could not ask for a better team to join me on my journeys.”
Jorge Mendes, Calumet London: “I am overwhelmed with Joy for such an honour. Photography has been a passion that has been with me since my youth and each recognition I achieve is a step that encourages my self-improvement and strengthens my dedication to it. It has been amazing to work on this side of the photographic business and I have met impressive people with so much talent and with whom I’ve learned so much already. For all of us, it’s working with photography that still makes us smile every morning. This was one of my first experiences photographing wildlife and I was fascinated by the results; the way you can play with the tones and the backgrounds, adapt what you see to the focus of your attention. Overall it was a very enriching experience with great results. The equipment I used was a Canon 5D Mark III with an EF 200-400mm L series lens.”
Andy Robinson, J&A Cameras: “I’ve worked for J&A Cameras for thirty years this month and during a large part of that time, Pixel magazine has been an ever-present companion. As far as I can remember, this is the first photographic competition that has been organised and I am so proud to have won one of the categories, and runner-up in another. In the case of the winning ‘Street’ entry, it was so last minute that I had only taken the photograph two days previously whilst on a lightening trip to Venice. The photograph was taken on my Olympus PEN F with the 17mm f1.8 lens, which proved to be the perfect street camera, discreet and very responsive. I have been exclusively using the Olympus micro system since the launch of the OMD EM-1 and as J&A’s Wedding photographer, trust the system to deliver professional results in all situations! I have never been disappointed! The 2nd placed image in the fashion category was taken with my Olympus OMD EM-1 and 75mm f1.8 lens. Being old and wrinkled, I am constantly amazed at the usefulness of some of the modern camera’s features and for this shot I utilised the ability of the camera to be controlled by a phone!”
Mark Puertolas, Caulmet London: “I am a big fan of Long Exposure Photography. My winning shot was taken with long Exposure – 15 stop ND filters + Polariser, ISO 100 and 25 mins 50 sec exposure. It was taken with a Canon Eos 5D mark III, an EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM and 34mm Cokin Nuances Filters. I’m Very thankful of this award.”
Fujifilm UK’s Peter Wigington, with his years of experience in the imaging and print industry, was Pixel’s trustworthy partner in judging the competition entries. He said of the winning images: “Of course it is always difficult to judge these competitions – every photographer has a different eye for what makes a good photo and looks at what pleases them most and hopes the viewer sees the same . So in my defense I did as asked – I thought about the category theme and determined to only consider those images that jumped out at me as best representing that BUT that weren’t , dare I say it, composed in a way I’ve seen in a thousand other photos. So it was that I chose on composition, colour, movement, drama – all the things that strike you in a millisecond with an image you like and then keep you coming back to just that one…”