Friday, November 20, 2015

Michael Edwards Awards 2015

Vacant premises, Donaghmede Shopping Centre

Before some nice lady expires from an apoplectic fit, she might just consider the following (i) yesterday was international men's day, so we guys are due a bit of slack, (ii) these premises, despite appearances, are actually vacant - a victim of the recession, and (iii) the Donaghmede Shopping Centre is trying to make us smile in the face of adversity with posters on the windows of vacant premises, of which this is not the only one.

If further mitigation is needed, I am happy to report that, in an activity that I associate mostly with men, women came away with two of the ten prizewinners trophies from last night's photo awards. OK, I know, it's not 50%, and it is an activity without a glass ceiling, but hopefully this will encourage more women to participate in the competition in the future.

Michael Edwards & Ray McManus

Michael Edwards, who has a photography shop and studio in the Donaghmede Shopping Centre has been running these awards for the last 10 years and they are a wonderful outlet for the local camera clubs. Six clubs participated in this year's competition and they came from a fairly wide area around Donaghmede - from as far as Howth, for example.

In fact, local involvement has been massive with about 100 entries each from the six local camera clubs. The public then voted in their numbers, about 2,000 voted, for the best 10 photos from each club and these 60 photos formed the basis for the final overall winner and 9 finalists' trophies last night.

This year's adjudicator was Ray McManus, a world renowned sports photographer, and a man who, apart from picking the winners, added enormously to the evening's entertainment.

Dermot Edwards

Michael's is a family business and his son, Dermot, was busy last night making sure that everthing was in place for the awards ceremony.

Ray introduced himself telling us in no uncertain terms that he was just an ordinary fella who hated Photoshop. I don't quite agree with him on the last bit but I could see where he was coming from. He's one of the Father Browne brand of photographers for whom the photo itself is the thing and you have to see it before you can take it. Everything else is icing on the cake, and as we know, too much icing can ruin your teeth.

Tension mounted, bingo style, as Ray called out the ten winning numbers, in numerical order for now.

The winning photo

And then the overall winner. This was one of those pictures which captured a moment. The wave comes crashing over the sea wall. The young lad is clearly alarmed while his dog is totally oblivious to what is happening.

It's a photo right up Ray's street. Full of movement and emotion and no show-off technical excellence screaming out at you. It could have been taken with a Kodak box brownie, but only by a photographer who actually saw the picture first. And don't get me wrong. That is meant as a compliment.

Michael, Billy White - the overall winner & Ray

And the winner is - - -, Billy White from Raheny who gets a very nice glass trophy etched with Michael's logo.

Michael, Jane Hughes - prizewinner, Brian Whelan, Ray

And it was a good night for Raheny with Jane Hughes coming away with one of the finalist's trophies. As well as the trophy, winning finalists, at least some of them, also got vouchers for Bermingham Cameras. Paddy Bermingham's shop, on Burgh Quay for nearly half a century, is now owned by Brian Whelan (above) who started there in 1968.

Raheny Camera Club winners Jane & Billy with Dermot & Brian

Well, at least we can say Raheny reached its gender quota. However, the male component edged ahead with Billy's two winning photos. If photos have gender, that is.

Gay & Siobhan

Siobhan worked with Michael for 40 years and is a photographer in her own right. I met her for the first time last night.

Gay is Billy White's wife and I met her for the first time two years ago at her brother's funeral. Daithí Mac Cárthaigh had been a classmate of mine.

One of the nine finalists' trophies

The competition was run in association with the Donaghmede Shopping Centre and was sponsored by Dublin City Council. Specifically: the Shopping Centre provided the premises and subsidised the food; Dublin City Council donated the finalists' trophies; Pride and Joy donated the overall winner's trophy; Kay's Kitchen provided the food; and Dunne's Stores donated some wine.

Billy White's winning photo
Click image for a larger version

I thought I'd leave you with a proper look at Billy's winning photo. You can enjoy the the magic moment, the lad's surprise and the dog's insouciance.

Related posts:
2015 competition
2014 competition
Photography Course


Póló said...

Front page coverage in the local RAHENY NEWS

If you've read the above post you'll know that it's 100 entries for EACH camera club. So the winners are chosen out of 600 entries overall.

Póló said...

Competition 2016
2016 remembering 1916

Dermot was interviewed on NearFM (radio) by Conor Doyle on the upcoming 2016 competition.

There is a new category this year for individual entries so out with the cameras.