The Red Light District: Busy times ahead


The downside to having new material (did I say downside? I meant upside) is all the work it generates, all the possibilities it offers and paths it opens up.

Many competitions only allow you to enter work taken in the last 12-24 months, so I tended to ignore them during my darkroom-less years. The options and possibilities that are suddenly available to me are mind boggling and are making me feel slightly light headed.

So forgive me for writing a slightly public ‘to do’ list here…though I guess that is the nature of Blogs…

Off the top of my head these are the ones I have my eye on and need to start thinking about entering:


This is a free to enter competition in which readers, or viewers, vote on their favourite images. The editor also picks his daily dozen. Once a month a selection of images are selected for publication in the National Geographic Magazine. The photographer can submit one image a month, and when I do I will be asking everyone to vote via all the usual means – twitter, facebook and email…etc etc.

Details on how to enter can be found here.


The deadline for this one is on the 31st of May, so pretty close. It is the fourth annual Foto8 Summershow, to be held at the Host Gallery in London between the 8th of July and the 12th of August 2011. The entry fee is £30.

Foto8 is open to all photographers and last year received over 2000 entries from 40 countries. There is no set theme, but photographers should submit “recent work, of any subject, style or genre, which engages or challenges the viewer, either to convey stories, raise questions or provoke feeling.”

The Host Gallery is a prominent gallery in London and I have seen many good shows there. This should be well worth entering, though choosing which images to enter will be a challenge. Any suggestions are more than welcome.

More information can be found here, on their website or on the BJP website, here.


This is the seventh year of this competition in which photographers are invited to submit their photographs in two categories. Up to 25 images can be entered as a series or alternatively there is a single image option. Both winners will see their work printed and framed by Spectrum Photographic and exhibited for a week at London’s Host Gallery. The Deadline is the 15th of September.

It just so happens that I have around 25 Images of the Holi festival this year which would work perfectly in an exhibition. Oh, and a couple of strong singles from India too. Perfect.

Go to the BJPs website for more information.


Entries are now being accepted for the 2011 show, to be held, as ever, at the National Portrait Gallery between the 10th of November 2011 and the 12th of February. In 2010 sixty images were selected and were viewed by over 65000 people. The competition is open to everyone over the age of 18 from around the world both amateur and professional.

Portraiture is not something I do much of, but I did go and see last years show and, while I admit to having had mixed feelings about some of the work there, it did include a smattering of documentary and reportage style portraits. So well worth entering.

And once again, any suggestions as to which images I use are more than welcome, bearing in mind it is a £23 entry fee…

More information is at their website.


This is a strange one for me as I feel a strong compulsion to enter, despite the fact the style of landscapes usually chosen for this could not be further from my style of work. The show rarely includes anything in black and white and when it does it is usually very stylized and clichéd. However I consider myself to be a landscape photographer at heart and the venue is probably my favourite in London (The National Theatre, on the South Bank) so every year without fail I am drawn to it and wish I had something to enter. Images must be taken in the UK and within the last two years I think. I had one from the Lake District which I meant to enter last year but I forgot. It is still eligible this year, so I will be going for it.

For more information visit the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the year website.


Again, why not? My images from India are all eligible, so worth a try. The competition is open to all ages, nationalities and levels with folio categories as well as singles categories. This is an incredibly prestigious competition, set up, run and judged by other photographers. This year there is the added advantage that the winners will be exhibited during the build up to the London 2012 Olympics at the Royal Geographical Society’s Kensington Gallery and there will also be a special TPOTY exhibition during the games themselves in a gallery next to Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall, the Science, V&A and Natural History museums. Not a bad location…

Visit the TPOTY website.

There are also all the things Jim and I have spoken about doing, contacting various magazines and organizations about our trip to India which we should be able to start doing now that I have printed over half my images from India. I will keep you posted as and when they happen, but hopefully the aim will be to hold a joint exhibition of our trip: B&W/colour, film/digital etc. It should be interesting.

To view Jims images from Holi, take a look at his website.



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