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FOCALPOINT The Official MIPP Newsletter

November 2012

in this issue

featuring star gazer William Attard McCarthy, The October Convention and much more.....

Issue No. 24

Oh what a great month October was! I must say that I totally enjoyed every minute of the Octoher Convention this year. As usual I start with special thanks to Charles Calleja for once again pulling up such an event and to all committee members who all chipped in to help tie loose ends! And wow what great panels we had! I was there up front looking on and was in awe with each and every panel. Congratulations to those who passed, whereas ‘don’t give up’ goes out to those who did not make it! I know how hard you have worked because I was in your shoes just last year, however there is also next year! Another congratulations goes out to Alan Grech for winning this year’s Photographer of the Year! I am thrilled about his achievement and weldone also to the other participants who made him sweat to get this award! Finally the Awards night was lovely as expected, with great food, good company and fantastic smiles all round!

Newsletter Team Editor: Therese Debono Design: Therese Debono Articles: Various Contributers Editorial Advice: Kevin Casha

CONTENTS pg 3 pg 5 pg 7 pg 12 pg 16 pg 21 pg 23 pg 25 pg 29 pg 31 pg 35 pg 36 pg 37 pg 38

cover artist


president’s viewpoint sergio’s blog featured mipp photographer member’s article special feature image critique sponsors vox pop october convention gallery archives calendar& ptya results monthly online competition members’ gallery

A note from the President To Limit or not to Limit Starry eyed William Falling for Autumn The Man behind the Award Monthly Online Competition Avantech at the Malta Airshow Getting the Associateship A Review October Convention in Pictures MIPP events’ images from the past MIPP events for November A Review The best images of the month

Martin Agius Martin Agius, has gathered quite a few feathers in his hat, starting off with the recent achievement of his Associateship during October’s Convention. And not to forget his award from The Societies for the Press & News Photographer of the year 2011 in the UK. You can find Martin during Press events since at present he freelances as a photojournalist, however he also loves portrait shots and the fashion and glamour genre. Martin Agius is also on the MIPP Executive Committee and he is always present during most of the MIPP Events since he is also MIPP’s Official Photographer.

president’s viewpoint Dear Members and friends, As most of you know, a recent polemic on taking pictures of underage persons arose and got quite heated. Both the MIPP, as well as myself personally, contributed to set the record straight and also to try and raise awareness in both photographers as well as the general public on this a tricky issue. When one sifts between the rhetoric and the not so educated comments from some bloggers, one tends to be left with two main issues: The fact that Facebook and similar social media networks has opened a Pandora’s box and the other fact that it is not easy for parents and the authorities to control what their kids are doing in their spare time and when away from their house. In my interventions, I pushed on not what is now water under the bridge but on practical ways to try and curb the acts of bogus “photographers”, which for the ease of this write up I will henceforth call “Charlatans”. A Charlatan is one who mainly tries to trick and deceive someone else – that is why I refuse to call these people photographers. Not only do these Charlatans give real hobbyists and photographers bad pub-


licity, but they also taint the fun of photographers and genuine youngsters to model or pose for photographs – which in itself, and when done ethically, has nothing whatsoever wrong. Unfortunately these few wolves in sheep clothing try and hoodwink and sweet talk youngsters into having a photo shoot with them and then use this excuse for their own perverted and warped notions. They usually are quite clever and prey on youngsters coming from a disturbed background or who have family problems, who might easily be diverted and lured into accepting these shady offers, usually coming through contacts from social media. Some of these con men go to the lengths of even stealing other people’s images and putting them up in their websites as their own! This is why youngsters must really be made aware of the dangers that blindly accepting invitations from unknown persons can carry. To do our bit, all involved should ensure that: 1. They are not alone when they are doing photography of underage persons.


The sitter, client or model has someone she/he trusts with them.

3. All photographers, even hobbyists, should report to the authorities or the MIPP, any persons who they think are abusing of their position as “photographers”. 4. Photographers should ensure that signed releases are provided for all shoots. 5.

The MIPP code of ethics should be strictly adhered to.

6. All Photography should be done with a sense of great respect towards the person being photographed. The latter should never be harassed or put into uncomfortable or illegal situations. 7. All of us, photographers, hobbyists, models, and parents should really strive to make youngsters fully aware of the risks they are taking when accepting such situations blindly. 8. All those in doubt on some invitation or other should either contact the MIPP, or better still, a parent, guardian or trusted person before accepting. Let me end on a positive note. These “Charlatans” are few and far between and we should not let them ruin the reputation, standing and enjoyment of the lover of photography. Let us work together to raise more the awareness and eradicate these sick persons. With grownups being more aware and always alert to what is going on around the young generation, the likelihood that these sad people continue to thrive diminishes drastically.


sergio’s blog

To Limit or not to Limit This is a debate that has been raging on for a very long time. I would even dare say that at the moment it is probably hotter than the “is photography art” debate, which I feel has started to settle down, although we all know it will never really end. I have noticed that over the past weeks/months, the argument of whether a photographic artist should issue work in limited editions has started flaring up again. I have personally had this dilemma from the day I printed my first photograph with the intention of selling it. A few years ago, I had a totally different view, centred around the value of a photograph being bound very strongly with it’s rarity, in the same way that many people prefer to purchase paintings or sculpture because of their uniqueness. Most of my initial work was thus issues in editions of only three. Today, after many years and maybe some more sense and experience, I have finally decided to put an end to this dilemma. I have made a decision moving forward, and it is to not limit my prints any further. There are many reasons which lead me to this decision, but now that I have made up my mind, it all seems so much clearer to me that I wonder what took me so long to figure it out.

The Medium Let us start from the nature of the medium itself. The idea of limiting prints stems from printmaking, whereby the nature of the medium would deteriorate over time, thus the limit would guarantee that the buyer is protected from lower quality


prints. Photography is very different from that. It’s nature allows for multiple prints to be created with the same quality, without deterioration of the source, so whatever limit is forced on a particular edition, it is purely artificial. To be clearer, it is purely a marketing exercise designed to allow the photographer or gallery inflate the mark-up, thus earning more money selling less quantity. I do not say that this is wrong – every photographer or gallery is free to do this, and there certainly is a sizeable market for such limited prints – however one cannot say that imposing a pre-defined limit on the number of prints issued from a single photograph is inherent or required by the medium of photography – on the contrary, it is just being untrue to the medium itself.

About Limiting When limiting a print, one is placing a substantial chunk of the value of that print on the fact that it is limited. This is similar to earth’s resources – the value of a resource (e.g. gold, iron, diamonds, etc) increases not only due to the popularity of the resource, but also inversely to its availability. For example, if a material is very useful, it will be expensive because of the demand, however if the supply is also very limited, the price of that material will shoot up very quickly. One very good example is Rhenium, a very rare, very expensive ($6,000 per kg +) element used in the manufacture of high temperature alloys for jet engines. It is obviously a useful element, but the insane pricetag is very much a factor of its rarity. It’s very simply the rule of supply and demand. In an ideal state, the supply and demand creates a balance – when there is more demand, the supply increases to match that demand, thus creating a balance in price. If the supply cannot cope with the demand, then the price will increase to balance things out. When an item is either naturally limited, the supply is fixed, and the demand determines its price. However, when an item is artificially limited, the producer can determine the quantity depending on the perceived demand, and can adjust that value to get the best price even when the demand is not very high. My point is that in the latter case, it is not only the demand which dictates the price, but the limitation of the item which is used to artificially increase the asking price per item. This is a very common practice, where producers create items in limited editions to target higher earners. The higher price is not a result of the higher quality of the item, but purely of it’s limited nature. to be continued...... Featured image in this article by Sergio Muscat(FMIPP FSWPP) Follow Sergio here:


featured mipp photographer

starry eyed william Stars....are amongst the many genres which William is interested in.... however for this issue we caught up with him to get some tips off him on how to shoot such great images! Read on!

William Attard McCarthy is a 40

year old photographer who has been into photography since the tender age of 5. His passion started when he found his older sister’s Kodak Instamatic lying around, loaded with film, and shot his very first pictures in their front garden in London. When he moved to Malta aged 7, his love for photography developed further with the help of his uncle, Roger McCarthy, who was also an established photographer at the time. He has no particular favourite genre; shooting anything from fashion to weddings, from photojournalism to macro, from architecture to street candids. He believes photography is just like poetry, and as do a poet’s verses change according to his muse, so should a photographer’s subjects… if not, it would become all too boring. He currently works as full time Operations Manager at a multiplex cinema, and this imposes constraints on his


time for photographic assignments. William wants to be a full time photographer, and believes he has the will and the experience to do it, but as many of us out there, sometimes that first step is the hardest. William has always had a keen interest in astronomy, and has owned telescopes since he was a kid. You can point to any particular star or planet in the night sky, and he’ll tell you the name, the constellation and then fall into a passionate oracle about the heavens above us.

The most important things for night sky photography are: patience, a camera with good ISO to noise ratio, a sturdy tripod and a cable release with intervalometer. Other important things are: a patient partner, a good bottle of full-bodied red wine, effective mosquito repellent, and preferable a 4X4 to get away from the roads and the lights.


So basically before I set out I make sure I have a picnic cooler with a some fresh meat in it, some beer and wine, and a disposable BBQ… I check that both my camera batteries are fully charged (I shoot with a Canon 5D MkII, and no…one battery is not enough!). Oh! And don’t forget to take along a music selection and some USB speakers! In my case it’s an iPhone with a good selection of classical rock and New Age music. I find a suitable spot, and by suitable I mean away from light pollution (which unfortunately is a hard thing in Malta, easier done in Gozo). The best places I have found so far in Malta are Ahrax Point near the Chapel, Dingli Cliffs, Mtahleb, Fomm ir-Rih and Ta’ Baldu. When shooting the skies I prefer to use my 24-70mm L series lens on the wider end of the zoom, and then attach my Canon TC80N3 time interval controller. My favourite setting is ISO 3200, f/3.2 with an exposure of 8 seconds. Any longer than this and your stars become streaks due to the Earth’s rotation; the exposure becomes shorter the further you zoom in. I then make sure that my camera shoots its next photo 2 seconds after it has completed its prior shot; so basically if it’s an 8s


exposure and a 2s interval, I key in an interval of 10s on the intervalometer. I never use the Bulb setting, but the Manual setting. I have found that to produce a star trail photo, it is better to shoot a multitude of photos then stack with free software such as StarStax, then to shoot one long exposure. When my intended final result is a time lapse video, I shoot in the smallest size possible (S setting on the MkII) and there’s no need to shoot RAW. This will take advantage of your card’s capacity, and will ensure the short in-camera processing. After all, the longest pixel edge on HD video is 1080…so you don’t need anything more than that. One key factor is to never shoot in Auto White Balance mode, this will give you a flickering effect in your final result. It is important to get your camera level on its tripod before shooting, and once you start shooting the camera should not move at all…not at all! Always use your lens hood to reduce the chance of your lens fogging up with dew. Final tip: Winter is better than summer for night photography. Why? Ever noticed the flickering of the stars in summer? This is caused by heat flowing upwards from the ground… This is absent on cold winter nights, and ensures the sharpest conditions for your shots…no haze! My dream is to buy an equatorial mount with Go-To facilities… A huge expense which will allow my camera to “follow” a target for very long exposures :) The sky is out there for everyone; get out there, have fun and shoot the skies while learning about what you’re capturing!

All featured images by William Attard McCarthy You may see William’s Star Scapes video here: BSM7Ro6SPfg


member’s article

Falling for Autumn The change of seasons is always a

welcome respite for me. I always look forward to the beginning of a new season. I need change in my life, thus my excitement about every turn of season. However my favourite season has to be autumn. Now living on an island like Malta, seasons are not as pronounced as other European countries. We do not get that clear distinction between one season and another. One can pretty much sum up our seasons as winter and summer. Reason being that there is never much of springtime because it gets too hot too quick, and one can never really get a taste of autumn because the heat drags along till dare I say November. So really Malta’s season is summer, even though every couple of years we get some nasty winters. However I am not writing this to talk about the weather, which seems to be a constant topic on our island. I am here to talk about the colours of autumn or rather the autumn feel which I love so much and which is so elusive on our island. I fell in love with autumn last year. By falling in love I mean really falling for fall so to speak. However this did not happen locally, but during

“The leaves are all falling, and they are falling like they are falling in love with the ground...” one of my short mini breaks in Zurich last year. I went up visiting a friend, and she really could not get my excitement about the colours and leaves. There we were in a park strolling quietly and all I could do was take photos of fallen leaves. She was sure I would not enjoy Zurich in November because of the weather, whereas I was all giddy about the lovely colours and the subdued lighting on the lake which gave my images a totally different feel. So this is where feeling comes in..... feeling in photography. It is not exactly something one sets out to go and photograph. One can’t exactly photograph a feeling, but surely it can be portrayed beautifully if you just stop and listen to your heart. Mind you, everyone has his own different ways to photograph however I photograph with a passion, and I always do my utmost to give a feeling to my images. Whether it’s romantic, misty, sad,


Left: A portrait with feeling when incorporating simple leaves in the picture

nostalgic or happy; light, composition and location do play an important role to achieve this. One of the most important things when you are a photographer or an aspiring one is to get in touch with your inner self and simply let go of any inhibitions which might hold you from doing what you really want to do. Case in point, my friend made no secret about her surprise of seeing me getting all excited about leaves. For her, leaves are just leaves, or rather autumn leaves are messy because they are all around. The way to make her see how inspired I felt, was to simply take a snap of her in the park. And then she really could get my excitement and loved the leaves and the season. With a little help from Mother Nature we can definitely use simple leaves to


shoot more interesting portraits. This is the trick really, to stop trying to imagine some complicated set up for a shoot, and simply make do with what we find around us and just make it work, by shooting from a different point of view, or including a subject to give an indication of the mood one is in or the surroundings around us. It’s no easy feat to just stop and see. Sometimes things are just right there in your face and we just do not see them. Another reason why autumn is just lovely is because it is perfect for long walks in the countryside or in the park. We do not have many parks over here, however if you go to some city abroad find time to stroll around the parks and really tune in to nature, to what is happening around you, and I guarantee that you will come out at the end of

Above: Get creative with a leaf or a bunch and make lovely postcards.

your walk with a gigabyte or two full of images. You have to use all your senses which we are blessed with. Whether it’s a chirping bird somewhere, a rustle of leaves in another part, the smell of hotdogs coming your way, just follow the lead and somehow am sure you will find something interesting to shoot, and if it’s not interesting then make it your challenge to make it look intriguing, by changing point of view for e.g. Be inventive, be creative, just follow what your heart tells you and let go and snap. So are you ready to fall for autumn this season? If yes, then go out and snap away! Will be interesting to see how each and everyone one of you portrays this season from different point of views!

All featured images & writing by Therese Debono AMIPP-ASWPP


Before starting this feature I must say that Alan at first comes across as the shy quiet type, however once you get to know him he is a very funny and cool guy, never hesitating to chip in some suggestions and also open to critique and learning. I must say that these qualities have surely helped him achieve this award. What made you compete in the PTYA? PTYA was a gateway to having my images critiqued by local industry professionals. Putting your images on social media sites like Flickr or Facebook and expecting honest feedback from anyone, especially professionals, is an illusion. Unfortunately such channels tend to become ego trips. PTYA grants access to people who genuinely care about quality image-making and you get to be present during their critique and thought process of judging the im-


ages. It’s a learning give your utmost to prepare your images and then you learn their flaws from the judges. What challenges did you stumble upon during the comp and how did you overcome them? Having self-imposed a rule on myself that all my submitted images had to feature people in them, one of the major problems throughout the competition was to find the “models� that

special feature

THE MAN BEHIND THE AWARD Alan Grech is this year’s winner of the ‘Photographer of the Year Award’. In this feature we caught up with Alan and he willingly answered a few questions which most of you should take as inpsiration including myself! Read on! fit the concept. Fortunately enough, friends came to the rescue. Although some I had to hassle more than others, every one I approached ultimately surrendered to my constant nagging. Sometimes having conflicting schedules meant that I would have to postpone the shoots to whenever people were available. Another challenge was wrestling with the concepts and trying to figure everything out to make the final image. Sometimes it was difficult to find locations that fit the image in my head. Lots of running around and asking people I know for ideas usually did the trick. Sometimes the answer does not come from a depleted fuel tank but from the office colleague next door. Lesson learnt...involve people around you, most will go out of their way to help you out. Lastly, explaining the picture in my head to the models and the way they should pose was sometimes a stumbling block. I’m no best-selling author and sometimes words fail me in getting the message across. After seeing many

blank faces, I resorted to sketching my images before the shoot. You’ll be amazed how stick figures can save the day! Which was the most difficult session for you? This was definitely the Events session. I had never shot events and am extremely reluctant to shoot any. It’s just not the type of photography that I enjoy. It’s like giving a pastry chef an assignment on Mongolian just pray he turns out with at least edible food. I, however failed miserably. (Thank god it wasn’t a cooking contest, I would have food-poisoned the judges). The good thing about it is that I got to enjoy some events I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. Which session did you enjoy doing the most? When it comes to fun, the yellow session was truly a blast. All three images where shot in a day and everyone had a lot of fun posing for the shots. Nothing beats pouring custard on someone’s head, wrapping someone up in yellow


fabric and have them jump around like there’s no tomorrow, and finally putting someone half naked on a bed of Twistees. I wish all shoots were like that. It was a game changer for me...I realized for the first time that shoots can be really fun. Theme and inspiration for the last session I love movies. Though some of the images submitted in previous sessions hinted at this, I wanted to submit a panel that although it did not make reference to any movie, it had a distinct cinematic feel to it. I had come across a great fine art photographer by the name of Gregory Crewdson who created jaw dropping images that had a distinct cinematic feel. I purchased a book with a collection of this work including his projects, Twilight, Dream House and Beneath the Roses and I fell in love with his pictures. After reading through the book and doing a lot of research online, I decided to short-list a few of his images I could draw inspiration from. I wanted to take some of his images and introduce a different ingredient to them. The theme I had chosen was a sort of implicit narrative, the pictures would have enough ingredients in them to tell a story but it was never fully laid out to the viewer and everyone could come up with different stories of what was going on in the pictures. I had to be careful that any props introduced to


the pictures would not be too obvious or too telling. Gregory Crewdson builds large sets for his pictures, has a crew that sometimes exceeds 40 professionals, uses cinema lights and cranes, and is known for images which cost as much as a small independent movie to produce. Trying to recreate his style with my modest equipment was a gargantuan task indeed. I’ve only had one assistant in one of the images, the rest I shot alone with the models. Sadly I had to give up on a couple of images I wished to shoot due to lack of resources. I then chose the five images which were somehow doable and worked hammer and tongs to achieve the images in my head. What are your plans after this and any tips for future competitors? Having won the award, one can either sit back, relax, pat himself on the back and believe how great he’s performed or else get back on track creating image after image in pursuit to improving his craft. I’m the latter kind. This doesn’t change anything, I have a lot to learn and I intend to learn in the next twelve months as much as I did in the last. I’m still torn whether to take part in the PTYA next year or to work for the Associateship. For obvious reasons I cannot do sanity (or what’s left of it) would suffer greatly. As for tips for future competitors...first of all, give it a shot, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Secondly, avoid stereo-

types like the plague, most judges built a living around seeing and creating images...present something they might not have seen. to make a good impression. Don’t quit, faced with a difficult session, do your best and continue. Don’t be lazy and wait until the 11th hour to shoot your pictures, I’m guilty of this and has been the main cause of stress...totally self-induced and unnecessary. Try not to pick from

Above: The image which Alan enjoyed shooting the most, and also the most successful one. This image was submitted for the PTYA session called ‘Yellow’.

your existing library of images, treat each session as an assignment and pour your heart into it, you will end up with better images for sure. Seek friends who will call a spade a spade and won’t think twice to pinpoint the flaws in your images or shoot them down outright. Keep these friends close to you, they are your lifeline. Favourite Image? Although it might not be the most complex or technical image I have presented, the Twistees photo, has to be my favourite. It’s the most “successful” image of mine, by this I mean, it’s my most popular image online, has produced a fan page on Facebook by an anonymous user and ended up in an article by a well-known “journalist” on the island. However it’s my favourite not for these reasons but for the story behind it. I didn’t know the model at the time. In a semi-inebriated daze I had taken a photo of him during the Nadur Carnival. Someone let him know that I posted the picture


on facebook and we made friends online. About a week after that, I got the idea for the photo and for the first time ever, I didn’t let my shyness kill the idea, decided to step out of my comfort zone and approach this person with an idea of shooting him half-naked on a bed of Twistees. Luckily for me, he was adventurous enough to go for it and we ended up being best of friends. Lesson of the day...sometimes the craziest idea will give you far more than just a good picture.

Above: The five images Alan submitted for the final round of the PTYA Award. “I then chose the five images which were somehow do-able and worked hammer and tongs to achieving the images in my head.�


image critique


Kevin Casha’s critique on the October Monthly Online Competition Photos! Read on!

Gold - Christopher Azzopardi (left) This image cannot fail to get the viewer to sit up and notice. The colour harmony, composition and sense of power and movement of the horse all contribute to its success. The flying dust and unobtrusive background further complement the subject.

Silver - Russell Mizzi (right) A good, sensitive child portrait, having the necessary mood and soft feeling. The extra catchlight on the left eye should have been removed and more contrast in the image’s monochrome rendition would have most probably raised this image to Gold level.


Bronze - Sergio Sammut (above) An eye catching street photograph providing contrast between the human element and the manikin of the altar boy, soliciting alms. An image with a message and interest. Unfortunately, the middle person is conscious of the camera and has slightly spoiled the feeling of the moment, thus prompting me to peg down the image to a Bronze award.

Unclassified (above) This image could have been interesting, as the ingredients were present for perhaps a more adventurous crop or viewpoint. Going closer and eliminating the sky would have removed the obtrusive blank uninteresting sky. When entering images for competitions, one must ask himself whether his image is just a document or a record. One must ask if there is that added interest which a story or a message can deliver. One also needs to look out for little things which can show carelessness by the photographer - such as the little tiny bit of paper on the extreme lower left hand side.



PHOTOGRAPHERS TREATED AT THE MALTA INT Canon was the official camera of the Malta International Air Show at this year’s 20th edition. Available on the Avantech stand were a wide variety of professional camera bodies and telephoto lenses which included the prestigious EF 400mm f/2.8, EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM, EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM, EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM, EOS 5D mk III and EOS 1DX. Lenses of this calibre are in the high end price sector of the Canon lens range and are used by photographers in major international events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. Avantech and Canon were keen to give all enthusiastic amateur and professional photographers a chance to use these high performance lenses. The Malta International Air Show was a perfect venue for such an event, with constant guaranteed visual spectacles for the photographers to snap. On Saturday evening Avantech invited photographers to a night photography session of the static display of all the aeroplanes participating in the Air Show.


An illusion created by Darrin Zammit Lupi using one of the Canon Lenses


Clockwise: - One of Domenic Aquilina’s night shots - The EF600mm lens - Visitors trying out the Canon lenses - The Canon Stand



This time round we asked the 4 members who sat for their Associateship and made it, a few questions about the how and why they got the qualification! Will they repeat the experience? Read on to find out! ALAN FALZON AMIPP How did you decide to work on the chosen theme? My theme is art of an ongoing project. How long did it take you to collect all the images? An verage of 4 months since January 2012. Was your L in the same theme as your A? Yes I concentrated on Architecture. How did you feel whilst putting up your panel, when the judges came out and when you finally got the result? The feeling is similar to performing on stage in front of a large crowd. Excited until you step out and start. Then its just all about concentrating during setting up and feeling relieved when judges come out. It feels like a large load was relieved of your back. During set up, my work looked good and there was nothing else I could do. Just smile, have a shot(s) of whiskey and take a few photos. Hearing the result was not the best part however the comments from the judges showed that my message got through to them. They did not just see 20 images. They saw a body of work. That was my goal. Will you do it again? Sure, its the fellowship next! Few tips for our members Forget the gear. Forget life’s hassles. Be happy. Enjoy shooting.


MARTIN AGIUS AMIPP-ASWPP How did you decide to work on the chosen theme? My genre was not fashion & glamour in the beginning of my photography career however I just took it up for fun and stuck with it. How long did it take you to collect all the images? It took me over two years to come up with the whole panel since Fashion & Glamour involves a number of people to get a shoot done. Was your L in the same theme as your A? I failed my Licentiateship last year but my panel was in a different theme. Last year I did events because my fashion & glamour panel was not ready yet. I should have waited and sat just for the Assocaiteship but I wanted to try. Failing has made me stronger though and its a lesson I will never forget. How did you feel whilst putting up your panel, when the judges came out and when you finally got the result? I was nervous since the morning. I wanted to badly get this qualification, but then when Charles Calleja announced that I passed I felt relieved, tired and of course happy! Will you do it again? For now am happy with the Associateship. I will work for my Fellowship but not right now, there is plenty of time for that. Tips for members who plan to sit for their qualification Get a mentor who is specialized in the subject you want to qualify in. Invest in yourself by going to workshops and courses, and ultimately learn from the experience whether you pass or fail to keep on improving!



How did you decide to work on the chosen theme? This was easy.... hanging around with Sergio Muscat (my mentor) got me the architectural bug. My licenciate panel was mainly architectural, so I challenged myself to just get better. How long did it take you to collect all the images? The final panel is the result of sifting through around 300 images shot over a period of one year. Was your L in the same theme as your A? Last year the Licentiate was mainly architecure plus other themes. How did you feel whilst putting up your panel, when the judges came out and when you finally got the result? I felt less excited then when I presented my L panel. I knew I had good photos, there were a couple of weak ones, but all in all the panel worked well. Before actually finalising and printing the panel, I showed my panel to a couple of really good friends who, friendship apart, are good at critique and it received good reveiws, so that made me feel more secure. Not to mention the help I got from my mentor. Will you do it again? Actually no. I will not do another A panel, but surely look forward to improve my photography and qualifications. Few tips for our members The secret is work... work...and work harder. Get a mentor who is into your type of photography and also seek help and opinions from fellow friends. Do not get into cliches, be bold and be yourself. Try to be original. One has to spend hours sifting through images, changing panel layout, and most of all editing! Don’t be scared to talk about what’s worrying you, as maybe you are not seeing things right and another pair of eyes and a thoughtful mind will make you see things in the right perspective.



How did you decide to work on the chosen theme? Travel opportunities in the last few years resulted in a substantial portfolio portraying people and their environment. I had other panel choices, even within travel itself. This panel was the strongest as it depicted the people and their different cultures. How long did it take you to collect all the images? The selection was done over 4 years and 9 trips. Was your L in the same theme as your A? Back in 2009 the L panel did not require a specific themes, therefore the panel I submitted for my Licentitate had a variety of subjects amongst them being nature, landscapes, architecture & portraiture How did you feel whilst putting up your panel, when the judges came out and when you finally got the result? After the lengthy process of selecting the images, starts the mentoring (Thanks to Mr Joe Smith). This is crucial in the selection process although we agreed to most of the images. The mentor has no feelings attached to your images and sees them at face value, to the extent that you might have to drop a favorite image for reasons you do not even see. Research, advice and hard work made me confident that the panel will pass. Of course five judges, different opinions pump up a lot of adrenalin and excitement. Will you do it again? Yes I would do it again :) Few tips for our members Know your theme, research and take many photos. Show you images (mobile, ipad etc) to colleagues and friends and notice their reactions. The good ones will always be liked.


OCTOBER CONVENTION 2012 A Review Another MIPP International Convention is now over, and we need to look back to analyse these past days, and look forward to create something better next year. There are always several questions I ask to myself at the conclusion of such a hectic and fun weekend. It was jam packed with lectures and, in my opinion, all the lecturers gave us an impetus to delve into the photographic medium and the skills pertaining. The main question, though, is where do we go from here? Every year, we introduce new ideas and learn from previous years. This year we laid out the convention to make it more instructive, rather than a hands on workshop as in previous years. This seemed to yield a better result and proved to be better in terms of organisation and outcome. The forum, as in previous years, was also a great success and many valid points were raised. These are now on the agenda to be address as best possible. Finally I trust and hope that it was a valid and enjoyable experience for all. After all, photography should be fun. I look forward to seeing everybody, and more, next year.

Charles Calleja Secretary General MIPP


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OCTOBER CONVENTION IN PICTURES This year’s October Convention was held at Corinthia San Gorg on 19th, 20th & 21st October. Amongst many other speakers we had Christina Lee Lauder and Dennis Orchard from the SWPP Uk Group, Joe Zammit Lucia joined us once again and also conducted our Forum. Alan Carville had a jam packed workshop about lighting whereas Sergio Muscat inspired us with his lecture about his passion for light!

Avantech at the Convention

Dennis Orchard during one of hi

The iLab Team at the Convention

Charles Mifsud during his lectur


is lectures

Alan Carville during his Demo Workshop


Christina Lee Lauder during her lecture


QUALIFICATION PANELS AT THE CONVENTION The room was buzzing with anxiety and nerves when it was time for the judging of the qualifications panels! Here are a few snapshots of the members whilst putting up their panels....

Erica Pereyra’s A Panel

Alan Falzon putting up his A Panel

Martin Agius putting up his A Panel


Joe Borg putting up his A Pan


Anthony Cilia aided by Sergio Muscat to put up his A Panel

Joe Maniscalco smiling proudly with his winning A Panel


from the archives


Featured here are some images highlighting past events and activities helping us to commemorate our eventful history.

LEFT: Yerbury strikes a pose during the November 2006 seminar

ABOVE: MIPP President Kevin Casha being presented with an American flag by Dave Newman to commemorate September 11th.

L LEFT: SSWPP March Seminar 2007 action at Villa Oreana

LEFT: SWPP March Seminar 2007 action at Villa Oreana




11th November MIPP Photowalk Street Photography & Architecture 9:00am; Siggiewi Parish Church

20th November Special Image Critique Night by Artists Corinthia San Gorg

PTYA RESULTS So finally the PTYA Award has been announced during the October Convention Awards Dinner on 21st October. It was an exciting evening when finally the winner was announced. Alan Grech is the Photographer of the year 2012 with a total of 344 points! Weldone to all participants especially those who ran through this whole competition and made Alan sweat for his achievement! Above: Starting for L-R Alexie Sammuit, Martin Agius, Alan Grech & Sergio Muscat


MONTHLY ONLINE COMPETION REVIEW The Monthly Online Competition came to an end for this year 2012. This has been the first year that we ran such a competition so we noted down all the fine tunings which we will implement next year. All in all this has been a successful competition and I am sure that the participants used to wait expectantly for the results every beginning of the month! All sorts of images have been submitted and judges have been as fair as possible to give their awards properly. Ultimately the award for the winner of the 2012 Monthly Online competition went out to Christopher Azzopardi who got 9 Golds and 9 Silvers, followed by Anthony Cilia with 6 Golds and 7 Silvers and in third place having Armand Sciberras with 6 Golds and 6 Silver awards. The competition was tough, but ultimately it’s all in the participation. We have ran two pages every month on the newsletter whereby the judge of the month would critique 4 images in all, one from each category including one from the unclassified category. We hope that this critique has been of help to all of you, and we look forward to have you submit more images next year, and hopefully get more awards than this year! Keep them coming!






3 4

1. Christopher Azzopardi (Gold Award) 2. Renzo Mazzola (Gold Award) 3. Sergio Sammut (Gold Award) 4. Benjamin Sant (Silver Award)



MIPP Official Monthly Newsletter

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