The Official MIPP Newsletter
Issue No. 38
April, and now we are finally
stepping into spring and warmer days. I hope those of you who attended the March Seminar at the end of last month enjoyed it thoroughly and that you learnt something valuable.
If you want your photos featured on the newsletterâ€™s front page just send the images to email@example.com. Your contributions are always welcome!
Meanwhile do not forget that this month there is a PTYA judging session on the 15th, and Ramonâ€™s informative talk about Adobe Lightroom and Bridge on the 29th. I urge you all to start coming out of your shells and find time after work to go and shoot a couple of sunsets since we changed the hour.
Assistant Editor Kerstin Arnemann
How about sharing them with Kerstin and myself so that we get to publish them on the newsletter? We are always on the lookout for great images for front covers so feel free to contact us! Meanwhile I wish you all a good month and enjoy the longer days to the full!
Newsletter Team Editor: Therese Debono Assistant Editor: Kerstin Arnemann Design: Therese Debono Articles: Various contributors Editorial Advice: Kevin Casha Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 2014 pg 2 pg 4 pg 8 pg 14 pg 24 pg 30 pg 34 pg 36 pg 37 pg 38
president’s viewpoint mipp news mipp featured member photowalk review photowalk review upcoming exhibition event highlights calendar members’ gallery members’ gallery
April Viewpoint Introducing the Committee Meet Keith Ellul In the Street Birds of Prey Lines of Flight March Seminar Mark your diaries! Images from the last PTYA session Images from IOC
Renata Apanaviciene This image by Renata Apanaviciene is part of an architecture series called ‘Boxes’. Renata explains that the reason why she called the series Boxes is due to the fact that in big cities these buildings do not only represent a good economical situation but also pride for grand business centers and exclusive exterior building details. For Renata even though people come from different cultures etc, they still live in equal areas, where their face is lost. So when one looks at these buildings,one sees loss of identity. This image was shot in Singapore (not far away from Little India; which is a district in Singapore) where alot of migrants reside. She chose to edit this image in black and white to further enhance the coldness of the city.
Viewpoint Dear Members, As you would have noticed, this year’s programme is one of the most extensive that we have embarked on organizing. The average meetings, workshops or events are of three a month, and the standard and level of these events ensure that members are getting the utmost from the MIPP. It is very much a question of quantity and quality as well. The recent lecture on pricing by Alan Carville, was a case in point. The meticulously prepared and well delivered lecture gave ample food for thought to all those who attended. In fact, this event was aimed at both seasoned professionals as well as newcomers. The structured way in which Alan made his arguments must have definitely sounded the alarm bells for those who are accepting to take photographic jobs either for free or for barter. Although there is nothing against this, each one of us must try to understand that due to the huge amount of people joining the fray in the photography business, it has definitely become a ‘buyer’s’ market and not a seller’s market - and buyers are very much aware of this. Buyer’s and users of photography have realized that now they can easily get photographic work for next to nothing and so are exploiting any photographer who comes their way. The structured way that Alan worked out his overheads and profits showed that, on average, a person working for less than 40 euro an hour would actually be losing money! I can also vouch for this as my own homework shows that if I bill less than 40 euro an hour, I might as well pack up and look for something else to do! At least I would be able to benefit from holidays and sick leave! The talk was in no way a “doom and gloom” session but actually an eye opener for all those who want to listen – there is still a way of succeeding - as even some of our own members keep demonstrating – but yes, one does need loads of determination, passion and, of course, talent. Try and search for your niche, try and see what your competition is doing but most of all try and give great service and quality at a reasonable price. Kevin Casha President
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Introducing the Executive Committee KEVIN CASHA - PRESIDENT 1. Head of Executive Committee 2. Official MIPP representative to other organizations both local and foreign unless there is a designated official. 3. General Overseeing of Subcommittees 4. Liaise with the Sponsors and government 5. Training & Courses coordinator 6. Reciprocal Agreements 8. Newsletter coordinator 9. General Correspondence 10. MIPP exhibitions 11. Proof reading of all correspondence 12. Programme coordinator 13. Photowalks coordinator 14. Booking of event Venues 15. Funding projects 16. Mentoring programmes 17. Statute updating
ALAN CARVILLE SECRETARY 1. General secretary to President and CEO 2. Committee Minutes 3. Courses assistant 4. Professional Pricing structures 5. Assist in funding project
MARTIN AGIUS TREASURER 1. Liaise with Bank 2. Membership fees 3. Maintain all MIPP Accounts, Chase debts 4. Issue Receipts, Invoices, Statements 5. NGO Returns 6. MIPP Facebook Groups 7. Official photographer / Video coordinator 8. Inventory 9. Venue set up coordinator 10. Membership Reminders 11. MIPP official Members’ database 12. PTYA/online competitions Coordinator CHARLES CALLEJA SECRETARY GENERAL 1. Administrative Head of the Committee 2. Substitutes/assists President 3. NGO yearly returns/reports 4. Programme/events - Logistics of actual meetings only (with MA) 5. Coordinates the AGM, EGM, Meetings 6. Seminars Coordinator – March/November 7. Official Photographer (with MA) 8. Substitute Secretary when latter is absent 9. Qualifications structure and Co-ordinator
RAMON SAMMUT 1. MIPP funding and fund raising 2. Assist in Courses 3. Printing matters
DUNCAN CAUCHI 1. Assistant Webmaster 2. Assist in Design matters 3. Gozo seminar
THERESE DEBONO 1. Newsletter Editor 2. Newsletter Designer 3. Newsletter Proof reading 4. PRO 5. MIPP corporate designer (promos, booklets etc) 6. MIPP public awareness
Meet Keith Ellul “The camera is the least important element in photography.” – Julius Shulman The
above quote is the philosophy Ketih Ellul follows when it comes to photography. Read on to get to know Mipp Member Keith, and his take on photography in his life.
In today’s hectic life, it is hard to manage between the responsibilities of a fulltime job, the demanding role of a parent and ones pastimes, not to mention the other things life just throws at you. Photography for me is now more than a mere hobby, it has become a passion. I consider it to be a tool that enables me to immortalise an act, an emotion, life. Through a lens I can see the world and give a glimpse to the public of my interpretations. I always carry a camera with me, be it my trusty SLR or a simple compact camera with direct access to built-in manual controls (some of my favourite shots were taken with a Fuji X-10), something always catches my attention and photo opportunities often come when you least expect them, so you have to be prepared. I love street photography, that candid feeling, when you document a real life event of people in their everyday life. Usually, when I’m out with my family and friends, I often come across new prospects, places and findings which I’ve never come across before; taking “notes” of everything on the path, on the premise that I would return to the site a couple of days later with my SLR camera.
Opposite Page: An image of Kalkara at the breaking of dawn, shot from Fort Rinella
featured mipp member
Training; plays a very important role when having such a hobby. This is an on-going learning process, always refining my techniques and tricks; training is essential. I always keep myself updated by attending photography seminars and workshops organised by the MIPP. Inspiration is all around us, I look around me and at everything in sight with the eye of the photographer, taking each and every opportunity to better my past and present experiences, for the future ahead. If one were to ask me what my favourite subject in terms of photography was to be, it would be quite a difficult question to answer since I shoot various subjects, especially when it comes to portraiture, landscapes and architecture. By waking up very early in the morning just before the break of dawn, I discovered the beauty of sunrises. Every time I am up shooting a sunrise I stop for a moment from composing the shot and enjoy the crisp and warm light of the sun being born at its best, and I wonder how many people are aware of the beautiful sunrise starting the day. This is what I like to call the magic moment; that mystic feeling when light changes from the moment the sun comes up, and the variety of colours changing in the clouds.
Left: â€˜Trappedâ€™ - I used my daughter as a model for this shot, it was very difficult to get the expression right at first, but then I told her to look inside the wine glass as if she had caught a fairy.
As for the future, I am currently working to get my qualification and portfolio together. Indeed, it is not an easy task, when the most difficult part for me was to decide on the subject that interests me the most. I had to argue within myself, a situation that haunted me, and choose by elimination from the list of subjects that I was not quite familiar with, then it was a question of either Portraiture or Architecture. Finally I decided that Architecture is what the final product and the subject I love most, also being the fact that I have to make time for my busy life style.
Above: A girl peeping through a shop window
I eliminated portraiture not because I actually wanted to, since portraiture is a very interesting subject, but simply because it involves a great deal of reliability and responsibilities when it comes to commissioning and engaging third parties. I’ve live it going through past experience what could or might happen when one has to rely on third parties. They would let you down on the 11th hour by not turning up at all depending on their mood of day or coming up with a last minute excuse. I am referring to and depending on models, make-up artists, and lest we forget, I also have to rely on a shoot assistant. Surprises and disappointments is another factor when it comes to engaging a whole cast, and again everything in portraiture depends on good weather. Architecture (immoveable) won’t move an inch, and could be shot at any time of the day, rain or shine, and with no “cheese-please or smile on their facade” , All in all, it’s a subject which I love shooting. I planned to visit various places in Malta and Gozo, also planning for a trip to Rome. I know for a fact that there is plenty of historical architecture all over Italy especially in Rome. I’ve been to Italy couple of times, but this time I intend to visit Rome and its outskirts solely on a photography trip.
So why is it important for me to get a qualification in photography? Well, since I don’t have plans to become a professional photographer and earn a living through photography, I consider any high-standard photographic qualification as a personal achievement. Just because it’s a hobby it doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t take it seriously. I get satisfaction through improving my photographic skills and through my personal development. I am not in any particular hurry to get the qualification, but I have decided to go for it. Article and Images by Keith Ellul
Above: A shot from the Grand Harbour just before sunrise
In the Street with Therese Debono Last month’s photowalk on 8th March, titled ‘In the Street’ took members out in public spaces and it was also my first photowalk as a leader. I was excited, however I found the small group who joined me fun and refreshing. The only task I gave to the group was simply to pick a person and follow them. I wanted the photographers to take the role of a detective and frame their chosen subjects in interesting ways. I gave the group 45 minutes and a landmark to meet and off they went into the street. I gave them 45 minutes so that they do not get fixated on one subject only, and to also access the first trial. Everyone was excited to show me what they snapped. I also had the shy members who were not that comfortable shooting in the street however they still gave me very good results. For the next round, I gave them the same task, however each individual now knew what I wanted from them and so they could tackle the task better. And indeed I was right, because when we met again the results they showed me on their camera screens were better by far! Then we settled for a nice coffee and croissants at a cafe in St John’s Square to discuss the event and to discuss some more tips about street photography. In this review I will be showing a series of images or single images shot by members during this photowalk and critique accordingly so that one gets a better idea of this photographic genre.
Alex Mallia The images on the opposite page are Alex Scerri’s best sequence from this photowalk. He chose to follow one man with his dogs, which allows for more interest in the photography due to the interaction of the man with the dogs. I approve of how he framed his subjects giving a sense of space and place were the person was. There is narrative in this sequence, one can easily follow what the man is doing, a stroll in the city with his dogs, walking in a piazza, stopping for a cafe, walking a bit more and then reaching his destination with the dogs in the last image. It also shows that Alex was patient enough to wait for the man to finish his coffee and continue shooting. One has to have patience in this genre, or else you can miss out on alot of interesting images. Weldone!
Jason Muscat Jason sent me 2 sequences and I chose this one since in my opinion it again shows more interest due to this couplesâ€™ interaction with other people, thus it tells a story. The original sequence had 17 shots, however I narrowed it down to 6 choosing the most interesting shots, and also due to space constrictions. I like the shots and framing of each image. It tells a story of a couple who know one another well and who actually look after one another. I would have preferred if the processing for the monochromatic effect were done a little bit more diligently, however for the purpose of this exercise, Jason got the task by its horns and got it right. Weldone!
Marika Scerri Mallia Marika was one of the shy ones in the group, and she did not give me very long sequences, however I was pleased with this series of 4 images. Her challenge lies in not knowing her camera really well, so I suggest she starts practicing on Manual setting. However this series of 4 images, narrate clearly the life of an old lady in the city during her errands. The first two images not only are framed nicely in the rule of thirds but also give one a good idea of where the lady is. The interaction with the old man is sweet and her walking away alone touching. Weldone!
Suzanna Diacono Another shy one was Suzanna and she made is very clear that shooting in the street terrified her, but I had faith in her. Since she was so new I told her to stand in a doorway and observe; to try to shoot a sequence. I think with these 3 images she really nailed it. She totally gave me the sense of place these two men were at, in the second image she went in a close up and got the narration going, showing the faces of the two men who seemed to be discussing something really important, and the third image really showed how important patience is, she got these two men getting closer, so it seems like what was being said was also secret maybe...Weldone!
Suzanne Muscat Suzanne presented me with this lovely story of this little girl. Even though she did not follow the people, I think this sequence works well anyway since it is still following the life of these two people interacting together and manages to narrate a story of this little girl and her guardian. The photos are simple and well composed. They show clearly the space these two people are in and the facial expressions of the little girl show an inquisitive and sweet girl. I especially favour the last shot, I like how the little girl is leading the adult to continue with her day. Weldone!
Kerstin Arnemann Kerstin came along to assist me on the day so she preferred shooting whatever came her way. I totally love the first image, there is so much narrative happening in it and the composition is perfect for the whole scene taking place. The old man sweeping, the two figures at the back (Suzanne & Mike!!) just got into the picture, and the pigeous eating and the one pigeon caught in flight. Kerstin here really managed to wrap up alot of scenes in just one image! Then I absolutely approve of her two stairs scenes. Both scenes work well. And the choice in editing the 3rd image in black and white, I think really worked well. Weldone Kerstin and thanks for your support during the photowalk! I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the members who showed up even those who did not submit any images! Without you it wouldnâ€™t have worked!
Birds of Prey Photowalk
Maain Ima m gee cou ourt ur es esyy of Ramon Sammutt
Now that was a great photowalk at Dingli, which our members had last month featuring birds of prey as subjects. It is a pity that I could not make it, however judging from the images I came across on the MIPP Facebook wall by the members who attended, it surely was a fun event with some great captures too! The event was organised by Ramon Sammut and special thanks go to Charlo of Expose Photography and his friends who have these lovely birds of prey as pets! It is such a relief to see them flying free!
Above: Group which attended the photowalk.
Main Image courtesy of Martin Agius
Members Images during the walk
Above: Lovely shot by member Tomoko Goto
Left & Above: Great images by member Suzanne Muscat
Above Left & Right: Images by Mario Micallef
Above: Image by Mike Sapiecha
LINES OF FLIGHT
Marie Louise Kold’s Metal Art Marie Louise Kold’s metal art exhibition Lines of Flight is on at the upper galleries of St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta, between April 5 and May 25, 2014. Ms Kold is Danish and lives and works as a full time artist in Malmö, Sweden and Msida, Malta. Her work is internationally known, with many of her artworks in different countries around the world. She is captivated by copper, bronze and brass, and how those metals can express her innermost thoughts and feelings when she uses a multitude of chemicals to achieve different structures, patterns and colors. Her art is mostly wall-hung, and not sculptures, as one would normally expect in the case of the material being metal. But there is a lot of three-dimensionality in the works. She works a lot with structures and often etches all the way through the metal and creates different layers. How the metal changes over time is very important to her as an artist. She thinks of it as a living material, with the metal often itself dictating the nature of the final artistic result. She uses acids to etch text in a lot of her works. This text is not intended to be read, but to be enjoyed as a visual element in the art. The texts are quite often in Danish by her favourite author Karen Blixen, though words by Hans Christian Andersen are also there, along with a few others in English and, more recently, in Maltese. Through the application of chemicals, she creates patinas on the metal. These result, among others, in vibrant reds, greens, blues, ochres and ambers, each complementing the other and forming an aesthetic that is abstract, but very pleasing to the eye. Sometimes she paints photo-realistic figures on the metal itself. At other times
Opposite Page: “Touch Portable Art - The Gem Eternal”, etched and patinated copper (photo by Marie Louise Kold)
she creates large portraits made of thousands of individually patinated squares of bronze, resulting in works that are both abstract and photographic at the same time. Portraits of this type of her favourite Danish authors will be part of the Valletta exhibition. She discovered her material at the Lund art school she attended. In 1997 she learned copper printing and some months later came across her very first copper printing plate and fell in love with how it had changed in those months. Realizing that all the changes were in the copper itself, she started using the metal as her material and stopped trying to print with it. Right: Artist - Marie Louise Kold
Marie Louise Kold’s art touches and affects lots of people. Since she started working full time as an artist in 2001, her art has gone from being very appreciated by a lot of people, but not bought – to being both appreciated and purchased extensively. And this by young people buying their very first work of art, and by people who have been collecting art for decades, and everyone in-between. Big companies, organizations and libraries also buy her art, in some cases in the form of permanent installations. In 2009, for instance, she created a 5.5 x 2.8 meter wall of patinated metal at the reception of philantropic foundationRealdania in central Copenhagen. Over the years she has had a great number of visitors to her exhibitions, as well as to her Malmö studio. A prominent visit came a few years ago, when the future queen of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria visited her studio with her husband Prince Daniel, and both were very interested in her art and how she works. During the past three years she has split her time between Sweden and Malta, and the island inspires herimmensely. Ms Kold has admitted that she is in love with the colors of the island and the many shades of the limestone that the sun brings out and how the sun affects old painted doors over time. She is inspired by the strong feeling of history constantly being present, and captivated by old buildings. She finds inspiration both in the micro and in the macro. For example, she has been enthralled with the beautiful patterns of the ħajt tas-sejjieħ and the dramatic coastline at Dingli. A lot of what she sees and feels in Malta finds its way into her art in different ways.
Above: “Karen Blixen”, 1820 squares of individually patinated bronze
She has said that the exhibition is her way of giving a little bit back to the Maltese for what they and their country have given her. The exhibition, curated by Ġorġ Mallia, is a large one, which fills all of the upper galleries at St James Cavalier and represents a lot of the artistic output that has made Marie Louise Kold’s art so popular in her native Scandinavia and in many countries worldwide.
Above: “Lines”, etched and patinated copper and brass. (photo by Marie Louise Kold) Right: “Touch Portable Art - The Gem Eternal”, etched and patinated copper (photo by Kevin Casha)
MARCH SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS MIPP collaboration with the Societies continuesâ€Ś Through the help of the Societies, of the United Kingdom, the MIPP and local photography have continued to benefit from a steady stream of international photographers and personalities who, through such cooperation, have visited our island during various international seminars and conventions. This time round, it was the turn of the talented Kevin Mullins and Tom Lee who managed to inspire all those who attended with their well structured and highly interesting lectures and workshops. The seminar, which has become a standard fixture in the photographic calendar, was split up between two venues, namely ILab in Qormi and at the Le Meridien Hotel, in St Julians, and the topics covered revolved around working with Chromakey, Wedding Photojournalism, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a practical hands- on workshop with models. The two days flew by, with those attending having a great time whilst also availing themselves of the possibility of networking and socializing with fellow photographers as well as the seminarâ€™s Tutors and foreign guests. Below: Tom Lee kickstarted the seminar on Saturday at iLab
Above & Below: Kevin Mullins on Sunday at Le Meridien
Below: Tom Lee with Suzanne Muscat during a demo
CALENDAR 15th April PTYA Judging Session 19:30hrs, Le Meridien
29th April Monthly Talk by Ramon Sammut 19:30hrs, Le Meridien
6th May Monthly Talk by Domenic Aquilina 19:30hrs, Le Meridien
13th May International Online Competition Judging
19:30hrs, Le Meridien
18th May Photowalk with Mike Sapiecha 08:30hrs, Cospicua
20th May Visit to Richard Ellis Archive 19:30hrs - 22:30hrs; Venue TBC
International Online Competition
Gold Awards: Images by Left: Renata Apanaviciene, Above: Duncan Cauchi, Below: Joseph Lungaro
Silver Awards: Clockwise: Tom Lee, Podge Kelly, Romana Wylie, Robert Mifsud & Stefan Cachia.