IWPOY 2008 Judges Announced

It is with great pleasure that we are now able to announce the judges for the IWPOY 2008 and to thank them in advance for the difficult task that they have already started. With such diversity and  quality of images this year their task is not an enviable one however, their photographic skills and backgrounds have equipped them well for this challenge.

Steve Gascoigne
Steve was born in Coventry in 1973. After achieving ‘A’ Levels in Art and Photography, Steve started his career as a photojournalist, before gaining the opportunity to become a photographic hand printer for a leading company in the field. Here he spent 10 years learning the skills and artistry involved in crafting photographic prints for some of the country’s top photographers.

Steve started Available Light Photography after moving to the Isle of Wight in October 2000. Struck by the allure and variety of the Island’s landscape, Steve decided to use his years of photographic experience to capture this beauty. His grounding in traditional photographic techniques helped immensely when Steve took the plunge and ‘went digital’ in 2003. No longer constrained to the darkroom, Steve now has more time to concentrate on taking the unique images he sells, and printing them using the latest archival inks and papers that outlast traditional photographic media.

As Ansel Adams famously said – “The negative can be seen as the score sheet, the print is the performance” and this holds true for digital as well as film. Each image has been crafted to be as close to the scene that was originally perceived, using the traditional darkroom techniques of dodging, burning and masking. This ensures that the beauty of the landscape is uncompromised, and the print can try and do justice to the scene it depicts.  All of Steve’s work can be viewed online on his website, www.availablelight.cc

Chris Barton
Chris was born on the Island way back in the sixties and showed an early interest in photography, setting up a school darkroom and becoming the official unofficial photographer of 1024 squadron air cadets (of which he was a member).

After a school career, in which Chris mostly stayed out of trouble, he spent some time on the mainland learning about photography at college.

Returning to the Island he worked for a photographer and then moved into colour and black & white processing before going into retail. Chris has spent some time as a member of several camera clubs over the years and carried out photographic judging work in the 80’s and 90’s.

Chris has worked for the Island Photo Centre for 18 years, seeing the company evolve to provide different services such as photo restoration, image recall, in-store large format printing, in-house teaching and product photography.

Ben Wood
Based at his studio in Bembridge on The Isle of Wight, where he runs his company Island Images, Ben is best known for his signature black and white marine photography and his highly successful landscape images from his book The Island. However, since re-locating to the island from London ten years ago Ben has diversified into motor-racing, equine and shooting photography.

His most recent exhibition Equus showed in London and Paris and featured 40 prints from the polo fields of Apremont and the race tracks of Chantilly and Longchamps. The shell series started as a private commission and has since developed into Ben’s most current project. The shells and coral are sourced from all over the world and then photographed using very soft light in his studio. In the printing stage the giclee paper is given extra texture by applying a glaze over the image.

Ben also takes on commercial commissions for a wide range of advertising, architectural and design clients and is represented in London by Getty Images and Corbis.

You can view Ben’s work at www.islandimages.org.uk


Please take a little time to view the competition judge’s websites – there are some great images in their galleries and as photographers we can all gain some benefit from their skills and professionalism.


IWPOY First Exhibition Launch for 2008

IWPOY Exhibition Launch

The first IWPOY exhibition of 2008 was launched at the Quay Arts Centre, Thursday 27th March and runs through to Monday 28th April on the ‘cafe wall’. The fifty shortlisted entries from the 2007 competition are being exhibited from a total of 35 Island photographers who were lucky enough to be selected by the panel of judges.  The IWPOY judges commented that it was a difficult task in deciding on the final 50 as there was once again such a high standard of entries.


The Isle of Wight Photographer of the Year competition, was the initial concept of Amanda Johnson ( Editor of Island Pulse and leading figure in the Isle of Wight Digital Imaging Group IWDIG)  who said, 


It’s great to see how much interest the Isle of Wight Photographer of The Year competition has generated since its inception in 2006.  There are clearly a lot of talented people out there with a real passion for both photography and the Isle of Wight. I am grateful for the time and effort that all the entrants have put into their submissions. Whilst there are the obvious top three winners of the IWPOY, I feel all of the 50 chosen images including the 47 runners up, are representative of winners too! 


One of the sponsors of the competition, the Isle of Wight County Press, are also keen to acknowledge photographers on the Island.  Apart from supporting the IWPOY they are also calling for entries in an additional category for 2008 to raise awareness of the extraordinary beauty and variety of our Island entitled ‘Beautiful Island Scenes’ this new category will be going live at the beginning of April.

IWPOY Exhibition

This is a great opportunity to get out into the countryside and capture something special about the rich diversity of the Island landscape. The IW County Press having seen some of the winners from previous years commented that the images are fantastic. They are looking for new pictures to use in their 2009 calendar and they thought that the IWPOY is a good opportunity to get images that don’t just look great, but are also specific to the Isle of Wight and taken by Island photographers.  

Twelve images will be selected in September 2008 before the close of the main IWPOY competition (allowing time for printing the calendar) and will be judged by the IW County Press themselves. The normal IWPOY rules apply and entrants will be able to submit an extra 3 images in this new category as well as the 3 for the main IWPOY gallery. It’s a great opportunity for you to show off your best images with the chance of having them published, photographer’s will be awarded £50 for each image selected so good luck to everyone.

Jo Hummel-Newell Exhibition Co-ordinator

Over 40 photographers and guests attended the exhibition launch and commented on the quality of the images and new approach to the exhibition itself. A special thanks to both the Island Photo Centre and Essential for providing such high quality prints and a special thanks to Jo Hummel-Newell, Quay Arts Exhibition co-ordinator, for her hard work in setting the exhibition up. 

We hope that many of you will visit the Quay Arts to view this exhibition and recognise the talented photographers we have here on the Island.  Hopefully, it will inspire you to enter the Isle of Wight Photographer of the Year competition yourself, we look forward to seeing your images…

IWPOY Prize Fund grows with new 2008 Sponsors

We are very grateful to Island Photo Centre in association with Nikon for sponsoring extra prizes for the top three winners of the IWPOY 2008. Included with ‘a day with a Isle of Wight County Press Photographer’ and a large high quality canvas print, provided by Essential, the first place winner will also receive a Nikon P50 digital camera. The second place photographer will receive a Crumpler Photo Rucksack including Nikon accessories along with their canvas print and Photoshop Elements 6 with their canvas print will be awarded for third place.

IWPOY 2008 IPC & Nikon Sponsorship


The Nikon P50 is a high-performance 8.1 megapixel camera boasting a classic look and feel that is designed to satisfy camera purists. With a 3.6x Zoom-NIKKOR lens with 28mm wide-angle capability, an optical viewfinder, a solid grip, and a handy Mode dial for quick and easy access to Manual shooting mode. The COOLPIX P50 – a veritable powerhouse of pure photographic capability. 

A multi-purpose Nikon-Crumpler photo backpack  provides enough space for all your equipment and more. It features Crumpler’s all new ‘spread-em’ opening system so that you can reach your equipment without prying eyes seeing, an easy access outer side pocket, an inside mesh window pocket with zip, and super strong shoulder straps. The detachable photo compartment has internal divides and extra padding on the bottom, (specification may vary).  

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 6 software, is a major upgrade to the No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software. Available now for Windows® and soon to be released for the Mac, Photoshop Elements combines power and simplicity for consumers to find, view and easily infuse creativity and personality into their photos. This landmark release helps consumers at all experience levels achieve outstanding results and provides interactive options for sharing unique creations via print and Web. 

The IWPOY would like to take this opportunity to thank all of this year’s competition sponsors as without their support the Isle of Wight Photgrapher of the Year online competition would not be possible and with their help the IWPOY is growing in strength and popularity year by year.