** FIAP Blue Badge & EFIAP Silver **

22nd June 2016
Today brought double good news!! First thing this morning I received notification that I won the coveted 'Blue Badge' for best individual entrant in a 4* International Salon - the Salon Varna in Bulgaria. This salon produces an excellent printed catalogue with high resolution images. I managed 20 acceptances, and was also awarded 2 FIAP Gold Medals for "Leap in the Dark" and "Angelic" - that is 5 FIAP Gold Medals in the space of a couple of weeks! I was also awarded a Salon Gold Medal for the best individual result in the monochrome section.
The 20 accepted images included 3 x Nature images, street, fine art nude, studio portraiture, sport and creative edits. So if anyone thinks I am 'just' a studio photographer, think again! It may be what I am best at, but I enjoy Sport, Nature and Street just as much. Also, if you are judging Distinctions Panels or International Salons, it is important to be able to demonstrate an understanding and ability in all the genres. Landscape is my 'worst' skill, but I am not slow to hit the 5 button when a deserving landscape is put in front of me. Personally, I think it is a myth, that landscape photographs do not do well in competition - in my experience it has been because they are simply not good enough.

Later in the day I learnt that I was awarded the EFIAP/Silver Distinction - the first and only NI photographer to hold that Distinction. Hopefully this time next year I will manage to achieve the Gold, at which point I will bring my FIAP Distinctions to a close - although I would continue to enter the more prestigious Salons.

Many club photographers in NIPA have little or no exposure to photography outside their own comfort zone - they should start out on the Salon trail.....hugely rewarding, and very good for improving your skills. Even if you are not successful, you get a copy of the catalogue - so you can see the standard overall, and see what you have to do to get acceptances and awards. Many Salons now have sections purely for landscape, portraiture, street, creative etc.