As the Manchester evening drew into winter darkness and the stars twinkled through the skylights of FiveFour studio’s loft space, we joined Shot Up North’s Exposure Awards to celebrate their 30th birthday.
The SUN Awards discover, showcase, and reward the best photography produced each year by professional photographers based in the Northern regions of the UK. As a sponsor, we are proud to support and attend the awards. The prints exhibited around the walls were a great showcase of the featured photographers’ work, striking images with colours popping from print to print.
The evening buzzed progressively, and we saw a variety of industry contacts step into the glowing spotlight; Jon Cohen discussing 30 years of Fujifilm and photographers Geoff Smith and Madeleine Penfold ‘in conversation,’ discussing progression from black and white film to colour film to digital capture.
For the awards, photographers were asked to submit any image(s) taken in the last 30 years to coincide with SUN’s 30th birthday. In third place came Martin Brent with his atmospheric commission for Church End; we were presented with a man, stern in expression looking directly down the lens of the camera, his skin and features harshly lit. In second place came Rob Smalley with his commission shot for E.ON of a lady diving into a blue abyss of water, the force into the water echoed by a trail of air bubbles and dappled legs under the pressure, lit from the top her red swimsuit contrasted pleasantly to her surroundings. Walking away with first prize was Rob Smalley again, this time his image of a svelte lady wearing a trench coat, hair styled into a blonde bob with prominent cheekbones and striking orange shoes confidently striding across a grey floor away from a gun-metal grey car, almost echoing a Gregory Crewdson-esque narrative.
A great night was had by all who attended and thank you to everyone who joined us and the SUN team. For those of you who weren’t able to make it please see our highlights video.
If you are wishing to enter Shot Up North’s 2019 awards the call for entries is announced annually through SUN’s website, publications and online media. Categories include the best image, best use of an image, and best promotion of a photographer. Details and entry forms appear on their website.
We hope to see you and your work exhibited at the next awards!