Words by Stuart Fawcett, JackAllTog. Photos courtesy of www.3-monkeys.co.uk.
East London’s art credentials got a further boost this Tuesday with Dizzee Rascal hosting the 'Your Britain' Bing photo competition. Hosted in East London's leading short term gallery for international art - Blackall studios. The event was an stimulating fusion of photography, fashion, enjoyment and the corporate world.
A well planned guest list, cloakroom attendant, greeters and a film crew made you feel very welcome indeed and as soon you walked in you saw works by Dizzee himself and a host of TV screens scrolling through the shortlisted entries.
The Secret Britain section winner, Michael Debrah, was very impressive with his passion and dedication to photography as a hobby that could well lead further. He and girlfriend were a lovely couple who were made very happy by winning that section.
Guests and competition entrants quickly filled the gallery, with us chatting, eating and drinking until Alex Payne, Head of Search at Bing, called us to one end and showed us a video of Dizzee going round his old estate, now bulldozed, to make way for the Olympic stadium. Dizzee was passionate about photography and why Britain was so special. He enjoys 'getting the angle and definition of a face sculpture just right'. He also said he's 'learnt a lot from the experience'. Then he announced the section winners:
An image of an old pub in Wales dubbed the Royal British Legion captured the imagination of Greg Pawelski and demanded the attention of the judges to win the Local Britain category.
An atmospheric sunrise across the Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall was enough to secure the Natural Britain category for Eric Pearce.
The juxtaposition of a wall littered with graffiti as a backdrop with Police tape dominating the foreground created an image worthy of the Urban Britain category title for East Londoner, Danny Seaton.
Clapham junction was the spot of choice for amateur photographer Michael Debrah, whose interpretation of interlinking railway lines impressed the judges enough to steal the Secret Britain category.
Britain at night
It was the calm dusk shot of idle rowing boats decorating an unusually tranquil Stornoway harbour that captured the imagination of the judges and delivered Tim Riches from the Isle of Lewis, the top spot in the Britain at Night category.
The Overall winning image below, with its Bing logo, was by Carl Haynes with a long exposure of bike through a tunnel to signify Britain’s progressive nature. Carl won £10,000 plus the chance for his image to appear on the Bing hompeage.
Carl Haynes said: "I am delighted to have won the Bing Your Britain photography competition. The image is a snapshot of Britain through my eyes and for me, the blurred pair on bikes evokes a feeling of a progressive nation. I love the idea of seeing a trajectory or path from where the riders have come from to where they are heading - that’s what makes this picture work for me.”
Dizzee Rascal, said: "This photo is untamed. I like the energy from the long exposure technique and I can relate to finding something powerful in every day urban life. We should be inspired by our towns and cities by looking for beauty in unlikely places. It’s cool to think this guy’s perception of beautiful Britain will be shared with over 16 million people when it appears on Bing’s homepage tomorrow."
Thanks to ePHOTOzine for the invite, James and Megan of 3-monkeys and Bing and Dizzee for bringing the event together, and the xFM DJ for continuing the evening’s entertainment.
For more information about the competition and to see more of Dizzee’s photography, click through on this link: Your Britain Competition
Words by Stuart Fawcett, JackAllTog