The Blog

** Gold and Silver Medals in East Antrim Exhibition 2014 **
03rd June 2014
Gabriel O'Shaughnessy FIPF FRPS MFIAP was the Judge for the East Antrim Exhibition 2014 - and I was delighted to win First and 2nd place in the mono section, being awarded Gold and Silver PAGB Medals.

The Gold Medal Winning image was entitled "The Dreamer" -

Silver medal was awarded to "Chainmail Beauty" -

In addition, I was awarded a Commended Certificate for "Cheeky Hanger" -

And a Commended Certificate for "London's Calling" -

The Exhibition Presentation was well attended, and Gabriel gave incisive feedback on the award winning images.
** EFIAP Award **
31st May 2014
I have been awarded EFIAP or "Excellence of the Federation Internationale De L'Art Photographique" - which makes me the only Club Photographer in N.Ireland to currently hold the Distinction. In many ways this Distinction epitomises what my photography for the last several Years has been about - entering International Photographic Exhibitions (or 'Salons'), and competing against other photographers from around the World.

In order to achieve EFIAP, I had to have 250+ acceptances from 50+ individual photographs, that had been exhibited in at least 20 different Countries. My work has been exhibited in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Iran, USA, Serbia, Slovenia, India, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Austria, Wales, Turkey, Luxembourg, Argentina, Taiwan, Belgium, Czech Republic and Italy!

During the process, there were many awards and medals:

'Stephen' - this image was the Grand Prix Winner in Serbia, coming 1st from a total of 11,201 photographs from 692 photographers from 59 different Countries! The image was on the front cover of the Exhibition Catalogue that was sent out to those 692 photographers throughout the World. Trierenberg Gold Medal 2013.
It was also awarded Top Mono print in the Celtic Challenge in Wales 2012 and a Royal Photographic Society Gold Medal in the Edinburgh International 2012. Winner of the inaugural Will McCrum Cup 2013. Top Mono Print Guernsey Salon 2013.

'Subway Muscle' - The only image to win 2 separate FIAP Gold Medals, at Southampton 2012 and the Great Britain Small Print Circuit 2013. It also won a Silver FIAP Medal in Smethwick 2012, and a Silver PSA Medal in Tallaght 2012. Awarded top mono print in the UK Print Championships at Connahs Quay in October 2013.

'One Black One, One White One' - FIAP Gold Medal in Great British Small Print Circuit 2013 and numerous other awards.

'Seana' - PAGB Gold Medal for top mono in the GB Cup 2013. Accepted into the RPS Biennial Exhibition, in the Top 100 prints from over 8,800 entries.

'Moody Hoody' - Gold Medal in Smethwick 2013; Top Mono Print and Gold Medal, Havant 2013. PSA Ribbon Midlands Salon 2013. Retained the Will McCrum Cup for me in 2014.

** Fellowship Award **
19th May 2014
I am delighted to say that I was awarded the Fellowship of the Irish Photographic Federation at Mullingar on Saturday 17th May 2014. This was my second attempt, the first attempt being 2 years ago with a completely different Panel. I abandoned the original panel, and decided to start afresh - coming back with a panel of 20 monochrome portraits that finally secured the coveted Fellowship Award that I had been working hard to achieve.
The panel of 20 "Timeless and Memorable Portraits" was awarded the Fellowship by a panel of highly qualified Judges including Anne Cassidy FRPS FIPF, Gabriel O'Shaughnessy FIPF FRPS MFIAP, Seamus Costello FIPF, Judy Boyle FIPF FRPS, Des Clinton FIPF FRPS, Michael O'Sullivan FIPF FRPS, and Paul Stanley FIPF.
There were 5 Fellowship applications on Saturday, and this was the only successful panel on the day! If at first you don't succeed, try and try again....!!

Statement of Intent:

Monochrome photography is undoubtedly an art form. By deliberately discarding the distraction of colour, attention is focused onto the visual building blocks of texture, tonal contrast, shape, form and lighting. My intention has been to use all of these elements to create a panel of 20 memorable and timeless portraits. The challenge was to do so in such a way that the grittiness of the male portrait would sit comfortably with the beauty of the female face, and the female form.
In the absence of colour, the viewer’s attention is drawn to the eyes and the faces, the texture of clothing, the lines of the body, the light and the shadows.
I present 20 memorable and timeless portraits - each with a story to tell, a character or a beauty to portray. Monochrome photography will surely be enjoyed forever!

Ross McKelvey
May 2014

Large download of panel layout:

** London Salon of Photography **
08th May 2014
The London Salon of Photography aims to exhibit "only that class of photography in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution."

Its Annual Summer Exhibition consists of prints from all over the World, and it is entirely independent - not run under the patronage of any National or International Organisation. The accepted Prints are framed and exhibited at several venues around the UK.
There are 40+ members of the London Salon, who are entitled to have 2 prints each in the Exhibition, which means that the competition for the remaining places is extremely competitive!

I am very pleased that for the Third Year in a row, I have had 2 mono prints selected into the Exhibition, which will now tour the UK.

Fredau's Shawl:

Body Sock:

** 2 Awards in Southampton International 2014 **
07th March 2014
I have been quiet on the International front this Year, as I am awaiting my EFIAP Certificate - and no further acceptances or awards will count towards the EFIAP/b award until after the date of my Certificate - which will probably be around June 2014. Most people 'hibernate' during that waiting period.

However, I have chosen to enter a couple of the more prestigious Internationals regardless - one of which is Southampton. The results of the 2014 Exhibition came out last week, and I am pleased to say that I managed a total of 9 acceptances and 2 awards - a Southampton Medal for '50 Shades' and a Certificate for 'Charlotte.'

50 Shades - Southampton Camera Club Medal

Charlotte - Certificate

3 Awards in Smethwick International 2013
06th December 2013
The Smethwick International Salon is one of the most prestigious UK based Salons, and I am delighted with 3 awards in the 2013 Exhibition, including a FIAP Silver and a Smethwick PS Gold Medal:

50 Shades was awarded a FIAP Silver Medal

Moody Hoody was awarded a Smethwick PS Gold Medal

Fredau's Shawl was Highly Commended

** Judging the Edinburgh International Exhibition 2014 **
30th November 2013
The Edinburgh International Photographic Exhibition is the longest running such exhibition in the World, and I was thrilled to win a Royal Photographic Society Gold Medal in the 150th exhibition in 2012. I travelled over to see the exhibition and get presented with the medal on the opening night.

Not very many current Northern Ireland Photographers are active on the National and International circuit, and I am delighted to say that I have now been invited to judge the 152nd Edinburgh Exhibition in 2014!

'Stephen' - awarded a Royal Photographic Society Gold Medal in Edinburgh 2012

BPE4* Award
29th November 2013
I have now achieved BPE4* Award, having managed 200+ acceptances into British National Photographic Exhibitions. This has taken 2 years to achieve, as my first such exhibition was Southport in January 2012, and from those 202 acceptances I have managed an incredible 64 Awards including 24 Medals. This equates to an award for every 3.15 acceptances! The only way is down from here.....!

My 3 accepted images in the Frome National Exhibition, which put me over the 200 acceptance mark for BPE4* Award:

Fredau's Shawl :

Moody Hoody:


** Top Mono Print at PAGB Print Championships **
12th November 2013
My image entitled 'Subway Muscle' was awarded Top Mono print and a PAGB Gold Medal at the PAGB Print Championships at Connahs Quay on Saturday 26th October. This was a thrilling award, as the Top Amateur Photographers from all over the UK were involved, including the legendary Wigan10 crew!
My Club, Catchlight Camera Club, Belfast, won the prestigious Plate Competition and Bob Given also got a medal in Mono Prints for 'Wet Jumper.'

The image was printed on Paper Spectrum Warmtone Baryta Paper, and as a bonus, Paper Spectrum intend to display an A2 print of this image at the new Focus on Imaging Show at Birmingham in March 2014!

4 Awards in Havant National Exhibition 2013
30th October 2013
I had a total of 8 images accepted into the Havant National Exhibition 2013 - including 4 awards! This leaves me on a total of 199 acceptances in BPE Exhibitions - just one short of the 200 required for the BPE4* award.

Moody Hoody was awarded Top Mono print and a Gold Medal:

Subway Muscle was awarded a Judge's Medal by Fiona Senior FRPS

Ekaterina was Highly Commended :

London's Calling was awarded a Highly Commended:

Yardley National Exhibition 2013
18th October 2013
The Yardley National Exhibition is one of the many Exhibitions which are part of the Annual Circuit of British Photographic Exhibitions. You need 200 acceptances in order to qualify for BPE4*, and I managed 11 acceptances in total, bringing my new total to 176.

Johnny Fee was awarded a Bronze Medal for 3rd place in mono prints:

One Black One, One White One was Highly Commended:

5 Awards in Great Barr National Exhibition 2013
13th September 2013
I did not quite repeat my success of 2012 in this National Exhibition, but still managed a total of 17 acceptances including 5 awards!
The Great Barr Exhibition in Birmingham, is part of the British Photographic Exhibitions Circuit (BPE) and each acceptance counts towards the BPE crown awards. I was particularly pleased that all 8 of my prints in the Colour and Mono Sections were accepted, and 3 out of 4 prints in the 'Creative' Section.

Ekaterina - PAGB Bronze Medal for 3rd place in mono digital

Laced Gloves - PAGB Ribbon in Colour Print Section

Joey - Commended in Mono print Section

London's Calling - Ribbon in Creative Prints

Subway Bandit - Ribbon in Creative Prints

** 2 Awards in Argentina **
20th August 2013
Sometimes International Salons don't send out individual results, and such was the case with the 'F2 Salon Internacional de Fotografia' in Argentina recently. Although the results have been on their website for a couple of months, I was not aware that I had been successful, nor that 2 of my pictures had been awarded.
So it was a pleasant surprise when I received an e-mail from the Salon Organiser, asking me for 2 high resolution copies for their catalogue. I went online to have a look, and discovered that the 2 images in question had been awarded a Bronze Medal, and a RPS Ribbon:

Top Drawer - Salon Bronze Medal

Stephen - RPS Ribbon

2 Awards in Welsh International Salon 2013
06th August 2013
The Welsh International Salon 2013

One Black One, One White One scored the maximum 15/15 and was Highly Commended

Snow Queen was accepted and was Commended

2 additional images were accepted into the Salon:


Poppyfields Are Forever

2 Awards in Midlands Salon of International Photography 2013
24th June 2013
I was delighted to learn that 2 brand new prints (never entered into open exhibition before) have won awards in the Midland Salon 64th International Exhibition - I was awarded the PSA Gold Medal for 'Ekaterina' and a PSA Ribbon for 'Moody Hoody.' Both prints scored the maximum 15/15!

'Ekaterina' :

And 'Moody Hoody' (featuring my friend and fellow photographer Gerald Gribbon)

London Salon of Photography
07th June 2013
The London Salon of Photography aims to exhibit "only that class of photography in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution."

Its Annual Summer Exhibition consists of prints from all over the World, and it is entirely independent - not run under any patronage from any National or International Organisation. The accepted Prints are framed and exhibited at several venues around the UK.
There are 40+ members of the London Salon, who are entitled to have 2 prints each in the Exhibition, which means that the competition for the remaining places is extremely competitive!

I am very pleased that for the second Year in a row, I have had 2 mono prints selected into the Exhibition, which will now tour the UK. The full acceptance list can be downloaded here:
2013 Acceptances

Underground Glamour:

Subway Muscle:

** 6 Awards in East Antrim Open Exhibition 2013 **
06th June 2013
The East Antrim Photographic Union holds an Annual Open Exhibition, which used to be a Print exhibition but changed to digital last year. This was my first time of entering as a Projected Digital Image Exhibition, and also my first Exhibition to enter since getting the MPAGB.
I was delighted with the fact that I was awarded 3 medals - getting 2nd and 3rd place in the mono section, and 2nd place in the Colour section - all of which were images from my MPAGB Panel.

PAGB Silver medal in mono - 'One Black One, One White One.'

PAGB Bronze Medal - 'Subway Muscle'

PAGB Silver Medal in Colour - 'Poppyfields are Forever.'

I also was awarded a PAGB Ribbon for 'Stephen, and a Commended for 'Fields of Blue' and a Commended for 'Seana.' In all I entered 12 images and got 9 selected, winning a total of 6 awards!

Creative Day in the Studio
27th May 2013
There is nothing quite like having a creative day in the studio - surrounded by people with a passion for what they do, and more importantly who are prepared to think outside the box! On Sunday 26th May I was the photographer for a creative day at Catchlight Studios, organised by Make Up Artist Tippy Logronio, with 2 excellent local models in Ekaterina De Rossi and Leah McCormick. The Hair stylist was Caroline Sugden of

We had a fair idea of what we wanted to achieve during the day, with 5 distinct pictures in mind. It is always better to 'work to a theme' - rather than simply try to shoot pictures with no idea of what you want to end up with. In this case I think we all made a great team, and the end results may well feature in some of my forthcoming exhibition entries.

Here are a couple of processed shots from the day:

Gold PAGB Medal in Robin Hood Open 2013
25th May 2013
The Robin Hood Open Exhibition is one of the approximately 18 National Photographic Exhibitions run on an annual basis by the British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE). The results for 2013 have just been announced, and I had 7 images accepted into the Exhibition, and won the PAGB Gold Medal in the Monochrome Class - with 'One Black One, One White One.'

This is the 3rd medal this image has won in 2013 - following the PAGB Silver in the NIPA Annual Exhibition 2013, and the FIAP Gold Medal in the Great British Small Print Circuit 2013.
**Update - also won a PAGB Silver Medal in the East Antrim Open Exhibition 2013

Time for Print Shoot
21st May 2013
I was recently asked to do a 'Time for Print' (TFP) shoot with the sister of a model that I have used a couple of times recently. TFP is essentially an agreement whereby the photographer and the model agree to provide their services free of charge to each other, for mutual benefit. I do not agree to do TFP very often, but took the chance on this occasion - and am glad I did!
The key to a successful TFP shoot is to think about the phrase 'mutual benefit' - what is in it for you? Is the model good enough to give you good pictures? From the model's perspective, is the photographer good enough for the images to appear in your portfolio? If the answer to any of these questions is 'no' then either party should think again, before agreeing to a TFP shoot!

The model was Jurgita Mineikyte, originally from Lithuania but now living in N.Ireland. A newly qualified makeup artist was arranged, Lesley-Ann Watson and she did the model's makeup perfectly for the look we wanted.

The shoot took a mere 2 hours (including the makeup!) and the model has been provided with 20+ quality pictures from the shoot, and I have excellent material for both my own portfolio and potential exhibition entries.

Ross McKelvey MPAGB