Surgery and Printing go Hand in Hand / by Mark Brierley

Hi,

How are ya?

I’m just checking in on you,

Sorry I missed my April update. I cut my thumb open which resulted in Surgery as I had cut 60% of my Extensor Tendon and into the joint of my thumb. I woke up from the surgery with my right hand and forearm in a cast and have since been having hand therapy to get my thumb working properly again. At the time of writing I can move my thumb towards my third finger and have started returning wrist movement. I never would of thought it to be so detailed, I literally have to re train my brain to send signals to my thumb to do the different tasks.

So what have I have I been doing in that time? Well with the West Australian Epson Professional Print Awards just around the corner, a lot of my time has been dedicated to image selection and printing… a lot of printing. This is the first state awards where I will be entering as a fully accredited member so that means four images per category. I will be entering the Commercial category with my Architectural work. Image selection is always difficult as you are always drawn between wanting to enter your favourite images but also ones that will have the best chance of scoring well and at the same time images that push the boundaries. To make it even more interesting the Commercial Category also requires a caption of no more than 50 words which is now an extra part to deal with. After much deliberation and countless hours staring at the images, attending print critiques, rewriting captions, printing and re printing, I have my four entries with nothing left to do but wait for the Judging days on the 14th & 15th of May.

It’s funny how you can spend so much time on four images that on the day they get judged will spend at an absolute maximum 5 minutes per image in front of the Judge, with them most likely spending 2 minutes being judged. The worst being when the Judges Chair simply says 79 next print please. Ouch!!!

So why do I do it? Firstly, because it’s fun, if it’s not fun to do then why bother doing it, I love printing my images. An image isn’t complete until it’s printed and well it is a print competition. Secondly it pushes me to look at my work critically, only accepting the high quality I can achieve at the time which in turn pushes me to improve. As far as the awards go well there are so many fantastic photographers in the AIPP that to receive any type of award is an extreme honour. From a business perspective it can certainly help getting your foot in the door.

On that note with awards I am extremely honoured to announce that for the 2nd year running I have been named Australia’s Top Emerging Architectural Photographer of the Year for Capture Magazine. This was my third year of entering with Runner Up in 2017 and Winning both 2018 and 2019. These Awards are run by the magazine to promote photographers early in their careers. Part of the rules state that professional photographers with under four years experience can enter. That means I am allowed to enter next year and then that will it for me. So pressure will definitely be on to go out with a bang. So a big thank you to Marc Gafen and Capture Mag for promoting the industry and for simply putting together a great Competition.

Also later on in May I will be talking at the Northern Exposure Photography Group about my work and some live editing of my images and generally promoting the Urban Landscape genre. I am really looking forward to this as I know a few of the photographers that are members of the club so it will be great to catch up with them and also meet new people. I’ll let you know how that goes in my next blog.

Lastly before I go and if you’ve read this far then big thumbs up to you. I am now part of the West Australian Photographic Judges Association as a provisional Judge. Basically I am learning to be a Photographic Judge available for judging at camera clubs with their monthly exhibitions. In doing so I get to hang out with the amazing Alex Cearns AOM of Houndstooth Studio she is without a doubt the best animal photographer on an international stage and I get to watch her judge and hopefully get some insight into how she markets herself.

Looking forward to letting you all know how it goes next month, until then.

Keep smiling and see ya later