The winning image by Nick DesprsPress Release:
Ilford Photo has had a busy time handling the results of its recent
series of competitions.
First, there was the Prize Draw at this year's Focus on Imaging
exhibition which saw a winning entry drawn from nearly 500 completed
questionnaires on the subject of print toning. The winner, retired
deputy-headmaster Colman Culhane from County Cork, Ireland, selected
£100 of Ilford Multigrade IV RC glossy paper as his prize.
Then, involving a great deal of consideration, judgement and evaluation
was Ilford Photo's Image on a Box competition. Launched at the
beginning of the year, this event invited photographers to submit
images suitable for printing on the company's boxes and envelopes which
hold its photographic paper. Not surprisingly, this unique opportunity
achieved a high response with hundreds of entries vying for this
Submissions came from far and wide, with the final four winners located
in very different environments. The winner of the first prize, with a
shot of windmills in Mota del Cueuo, Spain, is Nick Després
of Guernsey, Channel Islands. Taking second prize with her shot of a
gorilla is Kate Seymour of Victoria BC, Canada, while third and fourth
winners are, respectively, Neil Watt of Powys, Wales, with his picture
of a house in a field landscape, and Stephen Owen of Cranleigh, Surrey,
UK, with an image of tropical rooftops.
“This was a really close contest,
says Ilford Photo marketing director Howard Hopwood. “We had
around 500 pictures from which to choose the winners, and they were all
great representations of the art of black-and-white photography.
“The four winners will see their pictures take a
place in history as they are used to decorate our iconic photographic
paper containers which will be appearing later in the year. Our thanks
and best wishes go not only to the winners, but to all who participated
- we look forward to seeing their work again as we mount other
competitions and opportunities for them to display their skills and
Although not a full time professional photographer, Nick
Després has achieved an international reputation. Over the
past 20 years he has won many awards in competitions and exhibitions
around the world for his creative landscape work, including the
Ilford/AP Black-and-White Photographer of the Year in 2000.
Other accolades achieved by Després include a category win
in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and the title
of Photographic Society of America Photojournalist of the Year. He is
also a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.
Després has concentrated on black-and-white work for the
past eight years, and particularly excels at natural history and
landscape photography. In addition to having his images used on the
Ilford Photo boxes, Després receives £500 of
Ilford Photo material.
Canadian Kate Seymour has not only been a keen enthusiast photographer
for the past 20 years, she is totally immersed in photographic
processing. She works as a technician for a high street minilab which,
despite being called The London Drugs Photo Lab, is based in Victoria,
British Columbia, while in her spare time she runs the photographic
darkrooms at a local cooperative artists' centre. The centre also
provides a venue where Seymour exhibits and sells her work.
“Winning second place in this competition is just
” says Seymour. “I
have been a long term user of Ilford products, both for my own work and
in the darkrooms, so to be awarded this prize by the company is a real
accolade. I look forward to seeing my image on the cover of the
Multigrade IV RC Deluxe 8x10ins pearl paper boxes.
Seymour receives Ilford Photo material to the value of £250.
Winner of the third prize, Welshman Neil Watt, will receive Ilford
Photo material to the value of £100 as well as seeing his
image on the envelopes which contain Multigrade IV RC Deluxe Glossy
Also receiving £100 of Ilford Photo material is Stephen Owen
who was awarded fourth place in the competition. Owen's creative vision
is split between his photography and the carpentry/cabinet making
business to which he was apprenticed when a boy. As with his
photography, Owen produces pieces of furniture to be used and enjoyed.
While shooting landscapes and townscapes for his personal satisfaction,
Owen has developed a distinctive style of candid photography which he
applies to weddings and other social events. With as little fuss and
delay as possible, he shoots numerous photographs to record the
celebrations as naturally as the planned events unfold, with most
people unaware of being in the eye of the camera. In this way, informal
portraits of family and friends are made while they are relaxed and
This style has proved so impressive, that a New York photographer
acquaintance of Owen's asked him to go to Chile to photograph his own
wedding. The laid-back style of the resulting pictures proved highly
successful, and appears to have laid the foundations for a new approach
to wedding photography in both Chile and the US.
The eclectic mix of photographers, their styles and approaches,
represented by this quartet of winners puts the black-and-white
community into context: there is not just one particular type of
photographer who appreciates the artistry and quality of monochrome. It
is very much an application for everyone who understands and
appreciates the nuances and beauty of tonal quality which cannot be
replicated by any other means.