Craftsman with The Guild of Photographers

23rd February 2018

One of the highlights of 2017 for me was gaining craftsman with the Guild of Photographers after achieving my qualified status with the Guild of Photographers and my panel going so well I decided to try for the Craftsman status which is described in the following section of the guide book

3.3 What do I need to submit to be considered as a Guild ‘Craftsman’in this section?

• You must have ‘Qualified’ status with the Guild to apply.

• You must stipulate the specific genre applied for (e.g. Studio Portraiture / Lifestyle / Events / Commercial / Landscapes etc.) A multi-genre entry is not permitted so a different submission will be required for each specific area you wish to seek Craftsman status for.

• You need to submit 20 images to demonstrate that you are a true ‘Craftsman’ in the art of photography and your chosen genre.

• Your 20 images must have been taken by you in the past 3 years.

• They must be presented in both a digital format and also as prints

• Purposeful text should accompany the submitted images to enhance our evaluation and understanding of your submission (ideally no more than 1200 words).

• It is recommended (but not compulsory) that you include a Presentation Book with your submission (ie. a book containing your submitted images). These can assist your submission

I picked 25 images then booked a mentoring session to discuss my panel and I was advised to have it printed as 6” x 4” standard prints so I could lay them out and see how they would sit together. From the 25 images I was happy with 18 but in the meantime I had been on a few more outings with the camera and picked 2 images from these shoots so another set of test prints, this time I liked the way all the images fit together. After running my panel by my mentor the next step was to decide on which paper to use. I had one image printed on all the papers used by D S Colour Labs then narrowed it down to a choice of 2 Perma jet photo art silk or Hahnemuhle photo rag two stunning fine art papers finally deciding on the photo rag because of its totally matt qualities. I ordered my 12” x 8” prints then it was time to decide on mounts originally I was thinking double Black with a grey accent colour but after ordering samples I decided this was too fussy and detracted from the images so I finally decided on single white window mounts with backing boards. Saal digital had a promotion on photobooks so I took advantage of this for my product, for my brief I decided to give details of each image shutter speed filters and thoughts etc. I purchased a USB stick in a presentation box from 3XM to store my digital images and that was it everything ready.
The date for Judging was Monday 18th September at 11:30am at Guild Headquarters in Stoke upon Trent a good 3 hour’s drive away from where I live so I decided to stay the Sunday night at a Premier Inn in Buxton just half an hour’s drive away making life a lot easier on the Monday morning. My wife and I were having breakfast when I received a phone call from a mate who was just checking how I was getting on and to warn me about traffic but on finding out how close I was to Guild HQ asked me if I would take his earlier 10:30am time slot because he was stuck in traffic and not going to make it. We finished breakfast then packed all our gear into the car and set off for guild HQ arriving just after 10:00am we were met by Steven and Leslie Thirsk who made us feel most welcome and did their best to put me at ease.

At 10:15am I was shown into the judging room and allowed to set out my panel I handed my USB stick to the head judge Kevin Pengelly then I thought I would exit the room and leave the judges to it but no the other four judges entered the room along with David Islip my mentor and head of the Guild Steven Thirsk then I was asked to read my brief this is when I realised my brief did not read well and I would have been better having a more generalised brief stating that I prefer to shoot with an aperture of f/16 and use filters to obtain the desired shutter speeds only when light is changing fast will I change the aperture to get the required shutter speed to get the best from the water movement. This is when the nerves really kicked in and I went into meltdown after reading ab out the first six images the judges put me out of my misery and allowed me to leave the room, I thought I had blown it but Steven Thirsk said to me he thought I had done enough to show that I had good knowledge of my craft. After what seemed an eternity I was called back to the judging room, the judges asked a few questions about my images and seemed to keep me hanging on as long as they could before congratulating me on a pass and informing me there were three minor errors, two images had a minor scratch and one image was half a stop overexposed.
Now all the hard work starts to progress to Mastercraftsman

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