Winning a major photography award is a BIG moment in any one’s life; but particularly when you have made the leap of faith and tossed in a regularly paying job and moved into the business world with your own little enterprise.
Such was the case when I won the Queensland section of the Ilford Joy Award (….in 1975).
The competition called for a themed set of four images illustrating the award’s title. Having a brand new girl friend who was a model – the joy was all mine, trust me! As I was busy promising to make her rich and famous, this Award could go a long way towards quantifying my modeling proposal. Ilford FP4 film shot through my Hasselblad 500CM with an 80mm f2.8 T* Zeiss Planar and a 150mm f4 CF T* Zeiss Sonnar, and processed in ID-11; I was on my way. Following a test shoot, which involved a longish drive in the country, it was decided to re-convene in a park near my Studio; which had a large old tree that had previously been used for portrait shoots. See, I was learning – young attractive model contrasting with gnarled rough textured tree trunk for comparison. A no-brainer. I am on fire.
In defense of the fashions portrayed in these (prize winning) images, it must be said that it was contemporary uber-stylish, which could only enhance my photographic presentation. Well, I suspect that my ability was eclipsed by the fashion. Denise had a better touch in this regard, and I was at the start of a very steep learning curve, photographically speaking.
Of a technical note, all my images were printed full frame in the square format – showing my great knowledge of the art maxim that indicated “this image is not cropped, but presented as the author saw and exposed the negative“. I knew this type of deep and sensitive knowledge of photographic art would sway the Judges. I further knew that by including the traditional double V notches on the left side of the print, the Judges would respect my wise and astute investment into the Hasselblad system.
The naivete of the Boy Photographer is almost touching.
Denise Moran from Sabcar Model Agency was the joyful subject of this exercise; and doubtless I am indebted to her for swaying the Judges into giving me my first valuable prize in photography.