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IPF Newsletter - August 2020

Welcome to August edition of the IPF newsletter. We normally would be on a summer break at this time of year and would not be issuing a newsletter until September however we decided to continue with publishing the monthly newsletters over the summer months to continue to keep you updated with relevant news, articles and proposed plans for events going forward especially in the times we now find ourselves in during this pandemic.

My colleagues on Council and I are very conscious of the uncertainty and fear that this pandemic has caused right across the country to the citizens living on the island and to all the members of the affiliated clubs of the Irish Photographic Federation. From the start of this pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and restrictions that it has brought to us all, we found ourselves uncertain as to what we could do and where all of this would lead us. Unfortunately, it's very much still with us and we can't fail to remember that, as I have said in the past the health and well being of you all and that of the Council members is paramount.

However, we are conscious that in a normal year we would all slowly be coming round to getting back into club activities and getting ready for upcoming competitions and events that are held annually, therefore with that in mind the Council meeting in July through a Zoom meeting to put plans together for the coming months having regard for the uncertainty and the conditions in which we find ourselves in.

I would like to advise you of the following, which will be outlined further in the newsletter.

I would like to bring your attention to a very important issue in relation to Insurance and public liability for clubs, regions and special interest groups which our Treasurer Rory O’ Connor has gone through great lengths to get the appropriate advice on and also advice with links covering the steps clubs should be aware of in relation to continuing the fight against the spread of the COVID – 19 Coronavirus.

The Distinctions Committee under the stewardship of its Chairperson Des Clinton is working behind the scenes on preparing to hold a Distinction sitting later in the year. As you can appreciate this will be very different from previous distinctions but nonetheless as fair and as open and transparent as always before. Further notice will be forwarded in due course, however, I must stress that we are all dependent on the conditions we will find ourselves in with the pandemic, but hopefully, we can see it through.

Our Coordinator for the National Shield Andy Magan has also been working behind the scenes organising the National Shield 2020 albeit in a different format “Online “ this year. Further information will be circulated and published in the coming weeks.

As with all our events, the annual “Photographer of the Year & Nature Photographer of the Year” won't take place as normal this year and we are working on putting something together again online that photographers can participate in, albeit in a different format and with some relevant changes. It is our intention to have something ready to run in November carried over into the New Year as in previous years.

The Council will meet again in the coming weeks and further advance its plans going forward and notify all members and clubs.

In the meantime please take care and stay safe.

Until next time,
Kind Regards,
Dominic Reddin FIPF
President Irish Photographic Federation

Distinction Updates

Watch this space.
The Distinctions Committee under the stewardship of its Chairperson Des Clinton is working behind the scenes on preparing to hold a Distinction sitting later in the year.

What's Inside this Month?

  • Distinctions Update
  • Announcing the 2020 National Shield DIGITAL Competition
  • Public Liability Insurance and COVID-19
  • Interview with conceptual, fine art photographer, Julie Corcoran AIPF, AFIAP
  • Seamus Costello - The Photographer
  • FIAP News - August 2020

    IPF National Shield Digital 2020

    Hi all,

    A few dates for your calendar,

    I am back for another year as coordinator of the National Shield Competition. This year, because of the COVID-19 situation, we are going to run a digital shield competition on the weekend of the 14th and 15th November 2020 - register your intention to participate 25th October - closing date for entries on the 8th November.
    I still have a few items to work on and fine-tune before the weekend of the 14/15th November 2020 but will update ASAP.

    There are some changes to the National Shield rules this year, due to the change to a digital competition (available online shortly).

    The Competition as we know it is still an annual inter-club competition which is open to all clubs who are affiliated to the IPF. Only those photographers competing at the non-advanced level are eligible to be represented in this competition. This competition showcases the work of photographers from clubs all over the country. Each competing club may submit a digital panel of colour and monochrome images. Note that only those clubs who enter both sections will be eligible for the overall award.

    The entry fee is set by the IPF Council. The 2020 entry fee is €60. The reduced fees for 2020 reflect the reduced costs arising from this being a digital rather than a print competition.

    The Judges: TBA

    Judging itself is private, however, viewing of the images will be available from the 16th on the IPF web site.
    On Sunday 22nd November, per Zoom, the judges will give their criteria on the panels and the results will also be announced.

    Our Sponsor:

    Again we have Sheldon from Fine Art Paper check out his new web site: https://www.fineartpapers.ie/

    Sheldon Long of fine art paper is the leading supplier of papers by Canson, Hahnemuhle, Fuji, Epson and St. Cuthbert’s in Ireland and is a fully accredited Gold, Epson Pro Partner for the supply of Epson printers and inks. Sheldon has had a long track record in supporting the National Shield and acknowledges the efforts put in by clubs every year to showcase the works of their non-advanced members. In his own words, “it is fantastic to see camera club members grow from their initial involvement with the Shield to advance members competing on the world stage”.

    I was really looking forward to holding the competition again in Kilkenny, after the fantastic number that turned up last year and the great day, we all had. I had already taken on board the suggestions and constructed comment, made to me, hopefully we can resume where we left off next year.

    I look forward to your participation in this year’s competition.

    If you have any query on the above, please contact:
    andrewmaganaipf@gmail.com or ring me on 087 2331548

    Thanks in advance
    Keep Safe, Keep well

    Andy Magan AIPF, ARPS, EFIAP
    Coordinator of the National Shield
    Irish Photographic Federation

    Public Liability Insurance and COVID-19


    To all Regions, Special Interest Groups & Clubs
    Public Liability Insurance and COVID-19

    Insurance for the Regions and Special Interest Groups
    Council has been advised that in addition to Clubs, all Regions and Special Interest Groups should be required to carry their own public liability insurance. While Regions, Special Interest Groups and Clubs are free to purchase insurance from an insurer of their choice, most IPF Club policies are with Allianz, through Europlan Insurances Tel 01-2951266, contact Moya O’Donoghue. Please also note that a copy of the insurance cert should be emailed to treasurer@irishphoto.ie
    The following is an extract from the advice received:
    “With regard to whom needs insurance – Each member club, region, special interest group etc would need to hold their own insurance as they are running/organising their own activities under their own organisation's name ie Southern Associations of Camera Clubs. They are separately responsible for any event that they run. Therefore any liability would attach to each individual group.”

    Council advises Regions, Groups and Clubs who may be considering organising events, be they indoor or outdoor, to first study the Government guidelines referred to below. Council also advises appointing one or more persons with the expertise to interpret the Government guidelines and to assist with their implementation to ensure that the necessary risk assessment is carried out, the risks in running an event identified and the necessary guidelines put in place and adhered to, in order to protect everyone taking part in the event and members of the public from contracting and spreading the virus.

    Additionally, our insurers have advised that in the event of an insurance claim, any failure to implement the Government guidelines by the organisers of the event could be interpreted as negligence and could result in cover being denied, leaving the individuals involved in running the event vulnerable to being made personally liable.

    While there is no dedicated advice for the Camera Clubs, the COVID health principals remain the same across all sectors of society. Our insurers advise reading the following Government guidelines and tailoring them to the particular needs of the event being organised.

    “Reopening Business and Returning to Work”
    “Roadmap for Opening Society and Business”
    It is important to note the following;
    While the Government documents are reasonably comprehensive, in any situation where an identified risk is not addressed or gives rise to particular concerns or worries, the event should not take place.

    In the meantime, stay safe everybody, the virus has not gone away.

    Rory O’Connor
    IPF National Treasurer
    On behalf of the IPF Council

    Interview with conceptual, fine art photographer, Julie Corcoran AIPF, AFIAP.

    August 2020.

    As we all know, 2020 has been an unprecedented year leading to a seismic shift in how we all approach our day to day lives.
    Many of us have been touched by great dark clouds of sadness and worry so it can be difficult to find the silver lining. How do we find the positives in this negative landscape?

    cover (1)
    Conceptual fine art photographer, Julie Corcoran AIPF, AFIAP found solace in a creative collaboration with poet, Fidel Hogan Walsh during lockdown. The fruit of that project is a book called ‘Time’, which will be launched on Culture Night, Friday 18th September 2020 in Cavan.

    Julie tell us a bit about the book, where did you get the idea?

    Initially, Fidel had approached me to see if I had a conceptual piece to accompany one of her poems on a bookmark for her first book, ‘Living with Love’, which launched back in February.
    That really was the first time I had explored the creative possibilities of pairing poetry with imagery (Fidel had been doing it for a couple of years with her ‘collaborations that inspire’).

    When lockdown came in March, we were cocooned in our respective family bubbles but kept in contact.
    We found that by focusing on our respective crafts, each week we were producing pieces that complimented each other’s work; serendipity.
    Fidel would send me a message on Whatsapp saying, ‘ I have to read you this new poem!’ and I would reply in a similar way about a new conceptual piece. It gave us something to look forward to each week; it gave us focus.

    I believe that our collaboration was like pairing a fine wine with a delicious meal; both beautiful in their own way; but together elevating a dining experience to a new level.

    Brooke Shaden, however, puts it more eloquently than I ever could;
    ….. the beauty of poetry and imagery; one hints, the other directs.’

    American Fine Art Photographer, Brooke Shaden, wrote the introduction to the book! That’s quite an endorsement!

    Excited doesn’t even cover it! We are so thankful to Brooke for supporting this project. If you’ve watched any of Brooke’s online classes or Youtube videos you will know that she tirelessly champions creativity and finding your passion. I was very lucky to attend her workshop over a year ago in London and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
    She really is as kind, warm and generous in person as she comes across in her videos.
    I emailed the proof to Brooke to read and she emailed us back an amazing introduction to use.
    Even just to know Brooke has seen my images and read Fidel’s words in itself is a highlight for both of us undertaking this project.

    Culture Night, 18th September 2020, is when you’re launching the book, can I get my hands on a copy of ‘Time’ before then?

    Yes. ‘Time’ is a collection of fifteen poems and sixteen images all wrapped up in a full-colour square book. We’ve kept the price as reasonable as possible at €10 and although this first edition of the book will be a softcover with a small print run, we have arranged with our printer here in Ireland to add the book to his online shop mid-August for pre-orders www.eprint.ie/shop which will be posted out the end of August/beginning of September.

    We would love to publish a hardcover version of ‘Time’ and so we’re currently exploring our options.

    Finally, do you have any advice for anybody out there searching for the positives in 2020?

    I would definitely encourage you to keep searching for what brings you comfort and joy.
    When Fidel and myself explored the routes out there for publishing a book, there were very few open to us; it became very obvious we would have to self-publish and self-finance.
    But we didn’t let that put us off because we believed in the project. I managed to keep the costs down by designing and type-setting the book myself and we were very fortunate that the Cavan Arts office came on board to part-fund the first edition giving us the opportunity to link in with Culture Night.
    As a result of our belief in this project; others believed in it too.
    Linking in and supporting fellow creatives, seems obvious, but it definitely helped us and they will get you through a second wave.
    So my best advice is to support one another and we will get through this together.
    To quote John F. Kennedy, “a rising tide lifts all boats”.

    To find out more about Julie’s work check out her website www.juliecorcoranphotography.ie
    to read more of Fidels’ poetry you can find her on Instagram and Twitter @dragonslayerma
    and if you haven’t already checked out Brooke Shaden’s work you can find it on her website www.brookeshaden.com along with links to her vibrant social media accounts.

    An Insight into Seamus Costello - The Photographer

    Seamus 4
    Seamus 1
    Seamus 2
    Seamus 3
    Images that achieved Rank 1 in Ireland & Rank 7 in World Fashion Photographers One Eyeland U.S.A 2019
    Recent achievements:
    I Entered a prestigious competition in the USA, One
    Eyeland’s World’s top 10 Fashion Photo Contest 2019,
    the world’s largest Photography Awards
    One Eyeland World’s Top 10 Photo Contest 2019.
    Seamus achieved Rank 1 in Ireland as Top Fashion
    Photographer, and Rank 7 in the World.
    Also Achieved 2 Bronze medals, with over 4000 images
    from 53 Countries.
    One Eyeland is the host of the largest photography
    awards that's open to photographers, retouchers &
    CGI artists.

    At the Irish Photographers Federation, Photographer of
    the year 2020 I achieved Judges Award.

    International Photography Salons.
    Won 6 Gold medals in International Photography Salons in India,
    Bulgaria Spain and UK.
    Best Author in Open Mono and Image on the back cover of the brochure in
    Bulgarian Salon.

    Gambia/Ireland relationship in the area of tourism:
    I was very privileged to be asked to travel to Gambia in West Africa and
    photograph this beautiful country.
    My experience in Gambia has to rank as one of the highlights of my
    career. Purpose of the trip was to promote the Gambia/Ireland relationship in the
    area of tourism.

    I have worked as a Photographer in over 15 countries, photographing weddings, portraits, conducting lectures and workshops, and Gambia is
    top of my list of unique experiences.
    It was a dream adventure and a trip into the unknown.
    The highlight of my trip was to have visited Kunta Kinteh Island, an
    important historical site in the West African slave trade. It is listed as a
    UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    I was fortunate to meet Mr Ousainou Darboe, Minister of Foreign
    Affairs, Mr Abdoulie Hydara, Director General of Tourism, and Mr.
    Sanna Jawara member of Parliament. All of whom were extremely
    helpful to me and Ebrahim Sinyan. I had the privilege to visit
    Government buildings and interview and photograph the Deputy Minister
    for Tourism.
    I would like to thank Betty and Ebrahim Sinyan for all their help and
    guidance throughout my memorable visit to Gambia.

    Photographic Trip to North West and East Romania:
    Recently, I travelled to the remote regions of Romania where
    centuries-old traditions still prevail and photograph local village
    life, its people and customs. Through the help of a Romanian guide,
    I was able to explain to the villagers what I do and made sure I had
    their permission to take photos. Particularly, when taking
    photographs its essential to build a rapport, finding out about their
    lives and about the area where they live, this makes the photograph
    more meaningful and personal. Throughout my trip, small hidden treasures appeared everywhere.
    The pace of life in the villages I visited throughout the North West
    and East of Romania, where traditions are still part of every-day life
    was that of total relaxation.
    The countryside is the heart and soul of Romania. Where peasant
    culture remains a strong force and medieval ways prevail like nowhere
    else in Europe.
    Slow-paced villages and gentle welcoming people may be the words that
    best describe the Maramures region, which is situated in northwestern
    Villagers have their own patch of land and livestock, their own small
    farm, which provides enough for their daily lives. Woodlands still account
    for more than 70% of the land in Maramures, wood has long been their
    way of artistic expression. Wooden houses, wooden churches, wooden
    tools and homeware – everything handmade, with great detail and
    Centuries-old traditions are still alive in the rural areas of Maramures,
    Romania's most traditional region, where the way of life has changed
    little over the centuries. Homes are finished in elaborately carved wood,
    wooden gates and even fences are intricately carved.
    I was overwhelmed by the diversity of landscapes, traditions, castles,
    wooden churches, local cuisine, and most of all, friendly welcoming
    One of my most memorable experiences was a visit to the city of Sibiu
    and its Open Air Museum. Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, central
    Romania. It’s known for the Germanic architecture in its old town, the legacy
    of 12th-century Saxon settlers.
    The Open Air Museum located in the middle of a dense forest and
    surrounded by a beautiful lake, ASTRA features more than 300 buildings
    as well as
    watermills and windmills, a collection of wooden farmhouses and
    structures representing village architectural styles from many parts of
    The museum illustrates the technological legacy of the Romanian
    I was also privileged to have photographed several Farriers at their
    forges shoeing horses.
    I met with a Mayor from a Village in the North East of Moldova with
    whom we are hoping to promote that area by inviting photographers to
    visit and experience the uniqueness of this region.
    Plans are already in place and several Photographers are showing keen
    The Mayor provided an escort for me to capture a forested region
    frequented by Bears and Wolves.
    Every day was a unique experience and ever since my memorable trip, I
    am transported back with visual imagery to this beautiful country.
    Keeping it clean (1)
    Farrier at anvil
    Image taken in the Paradise Island of Mauritius, taken in the early morning on the peaceful coastline of Savanne
    Mauritian boats

    FIAP News August 2020

    FIAP Nature Biennial
    As I previously announced the Irish Photographic Federation made an entry to the FIAP Nature Biennial. Each photographer who had images selected have been notified of this.
    We submitted a panel of 10 prints on the theme of “Mammals” and a panel of 20 PDI images on a theme of “Birds”.
    The judging was to take place in Russia. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic this was postponed.
    FIAP have now announced that the judging will take place on Saturday 15th August.
    Given the ongoing situation, the judging will be done remotely. The impact of this is that the 10 Print images will judged at PDI images – resulting in there being 2 PDI panels to be judged.
    Panels for FIAP biennials are looked at as individual images and are marked accordingly. They are then looked at as a panel and a mark for Cohesion will then be awarded. This is then added to the cumulative total for the panel images and the placings are then decided. There are also individual awards to be decided on by the judges.
    As soon as I have the results I will notify all concerned and I will then include them in a future newsletter along with the images which are part of both panels. I have not published these images to date – to ensure that there is no undue influence being placed on the judges.

    FIAP Monochrome Biennial
    FIAP were also to arrange a Monochrome Biennial to be hosted by the Federation of Indian Photography and to coincide with the FIAP congress in November 2020.
    Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation both the Biennial and the Congress have been cancelled.

    FIAP Distinctions
    I mentioned in previous newsletters that this year there were 16 photographers from Ireland who applied for FIAP Distinctions and all 16 have been successful. I now have the relevant certificates and pins. However, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions we have not been able to arrange the normal awards ceremony and exhibition. Please bear with us whilst we await developments on this.
    In the meanwhile I need to bring your attention to a difficulty which a small number of applicants encountered this year. This difficulty was also experienced by applicants in other countries.
    The Distinctions Rules ask that a portfolio of images be submitted as part of each application – for each of the FIAP Distinctions. Formerly these portfolios were submitted as prints. But in recent years they have been submitted as PDI images. In Paragraphs 3.3.b and 4.3.b of the Rules specific mention is made saying that the images in the portfolio “must be different and must not resemble or be similar to” those submitted for previous distinctions.
    The difficulty arose this year in that FIAP are now placing more of an emphasis on the words “resemble” and “similar”.
    This year, following the submission of the applications, I was contacted by FIAP who pointed out that for a number of applicants they determined that there was a “resemblance” or “similarity” with images from previous portfolios from the same applicants.
    Luckily each applicant was offered the opportunity to revise their application and substitute other images which met the criteria and as I said earlier all applicants were successful.
    The lesson to be learnt out of this is that with the move to Digital Portfolios as distinct to Print Portfolios and the move by FIAP to digital storage of these portfolios, it is now easier for FIAP to check them and to compare images from each Portfolio. Whilst it was obvious that the images involved were not the same it was also clear that they were of the same subjects and shared a similarity of approach between each image.
    It is clear that FIAP are paying more attention to the rules in relation to similar images whilst not actually publishing definitive guidelines. FIAP also wishes that achieving higher level distinctions is not mechanical but to require a higher level of skill.
    Quite simply, Levels and Diamond Distinctions are not meant to be easy.

    Paul Stanley FIPF EFIAP/g EsFIAP
    FIAP Liaison Office for the IPF

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    Irish Photographic Federation
    Compiled and Edited by Liam Beattie AIPF, ARPS