21 October 2015

Special thanks to Fitzgerald Photo Lab

FiPP is deeply appreciative of all our sponsors in 2015. 
We must make special mention of Fitzgerald Photo Labs who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. 
'Fitzies' printed all 109 finalist's entries, 4 huge murals and the trophy. The quality of printing and finish is of the highest calibre and the project was finished ahead of time. A huge vote of thanks to Paul, PJ, Nova and all the team at Fitzgerald for an extraordinary and generous job well done!

03 September 2015

FiPP Website up and running - Long List published

Good news!

After a minor hiccup the FiPP Website is up and running again.

The LONG LIST of the top 620 entries (from 1865) is now available for viewing.

Click HERE to view results 

FiPP Website experiencing technical problems

Our apologies - the FiPP website is currently experiencing some technical problems and is down. We are working on teh problem and hope to have it up and running ASAP.

Dale Neill
Chief Steward

Houstin, we havea problem.

Houston, we have a problem!

Currently, we are attempting to email almost 2000 entrants to notify them if they have progressed past the first round of FiPP judging.

Every entrant will receive an email for every entry.
Our ISP has limited the number of emails we can send each hour and we are arranging to have that limit removed.

We hope that all the emails notifications will go out in the next 2-3 hours at the best and the next 2 days at the worst.

Thanks for your patience and your support of FiPP and Arthritis WA.

Dale Neill, Chief Steward

20 August 2015

Meet the 2015 Fremantle Portrait Prize Judges - Mark Greenland

Mark Greenland
Mark Greenland is well-known amateur photographer excelling in portraiture. His portrait images have won numerous awards. Mark is long-time, enthusiastic member of the Northern Exposure Camera Club (NEPG) and is also  a highly experienced and eloquent photographic judge. 

By day, Mark is a lawyer and runs his own law practice.  He is familiar with some of the technical and legal aspects of photography and photographic judging. Mark is a valued member of the judging team who have the challenging task of selecting winners in the 2015 Fremantle International Portrait Prize.

Whenever Mark is in a room with you know its not going to be a quiet evening.  One needs to be on guard as Mark's quick wit can easily leave you wondering what will happen next!. The sheer  exuberance  of photography and life is never far away when Mark Greenland is within flash distance.

Here are Mark's  answers to the questions I posed:

Mark as an Elinchrom flash model. photo: Dale Neill
FiPP:  What is your favourite overseas country/location? Why? 

Mark:  Avalon (the fabled isle to which King Arthur retired), because it would be mystical and spiritual, and free of marketing and electronic devices that don’t work.

FiPP:  Do you have a favourite sport/hobby/pastime? 

Mark: I’m fond of playing guitars, as long as I never find out how poorly I do it.

FiPP:  If you had the opportunity to do a portrait of anyone in the world (living) who would you choose? 

Mark:  I have not yet identified this person. He or she will be from a fallen race of dark hued kings and queens, and now is a victim of reduced circumstances in an uncaring white society. This could be your cleaner or ironing lady. Do you know the person I’m describing?

FiPP:  Besides your cameras and lenses what's the most essential thing you always carry on a  shoot. 

Mark: Batteries

FiPP: If you could speak to your 17 year old self, what photographic or life advice would you give yourself? 

Mark: Don’t give up so bloody easily! Also, not unrelated, take the time to look deeper than people’s faces.


19 August 2015

Meet the 2015 FiPP Judges - Abigail Harman

Abigail (Abbe) Harman has a trifecta in training in three different countries.

Initially Abbe undertook traditional training in the UK at City and Guilds of London Institute in Photography (Distinction) in 1983. She followed this with an Art and Design Degree at Michigan State University. In Australia Abigail has put that training and development to good use by establishing herself as a successful Commercial photographer in Perth, Western Australia. You can see some of Abigail's work by clicking HERE.

The effervescent Abigail's approach to Commercial success is reflected in her personal approach - an amazing capacity for work, creative flexibility and winning ways with her clients. Just like with Clint Eastwood, Abigail always makes your day. Once you've met Abbe, you are not likely to forget her.

In a recent chat with Abbe I posed her these questions.

FiPP:  Abbe, you're a keen traveller, what's your favourite overseas destination?

Abigail: My fave overseas country is the USA, particularly the South West – Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. We lived in California for a time, so I love it there too. I think there is a link between these places and the music I listened to growing up and the movies I saw. 

FiPP: Do you have a favourite sport, hobby or past-time?

Abigail:  My favourite sport, hobby and pastime, all rolled into one, is observing my beloved ‘Mr Grumpy’ in action! He has me laughing in stitches all day long. My favourite occupation is photography (no surprise there) – whether doing it professionally or for my own pleasure.  Photography is like a love affair with life.
(FiPPnote: 'Mr Grumpy' is Abigail's husband John)

FiPP: If you could photograph anyone in the world who would you choose?

Photo by Sue McLeod
Abigail:  Clint Eastwood! He has the most interesting face. He seems to have been around all of my life and I have always enjoyed his movies, whether acting or directing. I think it would be an awesome challenge as I suspect he’s not that fussed with being photographed. 

FiPP: What is the one extra thing you always take with you on a shoot?

Abigail: Crunchy bars, chocolate and nuts: I have them in lots of pockets of my camera bag. I’m like a squirrel, but I get so hungry!! 

FiPP: What advice would you give to a 17 year old Abigail?

Abigail: There is so much I could tell myself now that I’m a wee bit older! I think it was Henri Cartier-Bresson who said ‘Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.’ It really is the case that the more you do something, the better you get at it and as you mature you will come to see that you have the potential to have a profound effect on others. The kinder and more empathetic you are to people, the more they’ll reveal of their true selves. In other words, be nice to people. You will then have a portrait of who they really are instead of just a picture of them.


 Entries to the 2015 Fremantle International Portrait Prize close on Friday 21 August. 

Click HERE for details.

18 August 2015

Meet the FiPP 2015 Judges - Garry Sarre

Entrants in a photography competition usually don't know the judges. Judges don't necessarily reside on a remote mountain top, eat mung beans, practise meditation or have long flowing beards. They are, for the most part, quite normal people. However they have a special interest and expertise in photography.
Garry Sarre

Garry Sarre is one of the trio of 2015 FiPP Judges. Garry is a Master of Photography with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. He's added three Gold Bars to that Award in recent years. In 2015 he became the Western Australian Commercial Photographer of the Year. 

Garry also runs one of Australia's most successful and enduring Glamour Photography Studios in Australia. His work is stylish, creative and personal with a clearly identifiable signature style. Click HERE for more details. 

On a personal level, you couldn't meet a friendlier, more genuine guy who sets the highest ethical standards. But Garry has a normal life as well and I posed a few questions to Garry last week.

FiPP Garry, what's your favourite country?

GS: Japan because the country is cold and beautiful and the people are so considerate of others.
Self-portrait of Garry Sarre flying in a Tiger Moth over Fremantle

FiPP: Do you have a favourite pastime or hobby?

GS: Driving in the country side where I have never been.

FIPP:  If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would it be?

GS: Glen Campbell – he has such a warm and wonderful face.

FiPP: What is the one essential thing you carry on a shoot?

GS: A fold up reflector

FiPP: If you could speak to your 17 year old self, what would you say to him?


Set the ground rules for work ethics and relationships early, and be true to your word.


Entries to the 2015 Fremantle International Portrait Prize close on 21 August 2014.

27 June 2015

Tip No 4 - Add Emotion

Although this is Tip No 4, it should probably be Tip No 1.

The single biggest factor that will elevate your image asa finalist is to add the element of EMOTION.

Too many photographers think that if they secure the services of an attractive/interesting subject, arrange quality lighting and produce a pin-sharp image with an expensive camera they will automatically guarantee a top ten finish. Its not true.

'Dragonfly' Family Portrait - Nikon D700 1/60@f16 800ISO 50mm Nikkor lens. 
Portraits involve making images of human beings; living, breathing human beings.
Humans have thoughts, feelings and moods - all expressed as emotions.
Too many photographers either intentionally or unintentionally seek to hide emotions.

How do you express emotion in a portrait?
  1. Facial expressions - in particular the eyes and mouth
  2. Body language - gestures, body angle, reaction to a stimulus
  3. The surroundings can contribute
  4. Add a second person - interaction
  5. Add a dog or cat (or any animal!)  - interaction
Entries to the  2015 International Portrait Prize close on 21 August 2015. It costs just AU$20 to enter and there's AU$12,000 in cash and prizes. For full details click FiPP2015

If you want to learn more about Portrait Techniques and Photographing Faces click HERE for details of the UWA Extension photography workshop.

16 June 2015

Brrrrrr! Twirling for FiPP2015


Braving the breeze fresh from the Indian Ocean I met up with Community Newspapers journo Jess Nico and photographer Jon Hewson. 

French dancer Yamina from Beleza Entertainment braved the elements and stopped the traffic in South Terrace. Using the  East-West Trading Company in South Fremantle street murals as a backdrop, Yamina twirled for the cameras. 

Yamina from Beleza Entertainment twirling for Dale Neill. photo Jon Hewson
All for a worthy cause - the 2015 International Portrait Prize and the Arthritis Foundation of Western Australia.

 Community Newspapers are generous sponsors of the 2015 Fremantle International Portrait Prize. Read  Jess Nico's story in the Community Newspapers.

Photographers everywhere are invited to enter the 2015 Fremantle International Portrait Prize. Click HERE for details. AU$12,000 in cash and prizes.

15 June 2015

Portrait Tip No 3 - 2015

What is the difference between an Environmental Portrait and a Head and Shoulders (H & S) Portrait?

The H & S Portrait

Dale Neill © 2012 Margaret Halsmith
There's an old saying
'If you look like your passport photograph you are probably too ill to travel'

Photos used for identification on Driver's Licences and Passports are almost always H & S portraits, albeit very unflattering ones. Typically, they have plain backgrounds and if there is any surrounding material it plays little or no role in the portrait. The person's head and shoulders occupies 70%-90% of the frame.

One would hope that your H & S portraits are of higher technical quality and aesthetic value than a passport image!

Here are three tips if you are choosing to do a H & S portrait:

  1. Show human emotion - sadness, happiness, tears, laughter and so on
  2. Achieve superb technical quality - full highlight and shadow detail, quality lighting
  3. Special features - show the subject's freckles, sparkling eyes, weathered skin, bushy eyebrows

The Environmental Portrait

In an environmental portrait the person occupies a much smaller percentage of the frame (somewhere between 5% and 25%).  The rest of the frame is the narrative or the story-telling part of the portrait. It's a huge advantage to have the narrative parts of the image working in your favour. Every element should be helping to tell the story of your subject.  Here are three tips for completing an Environmental portrait.
Dale Neill © 2013 Potato farmer and his son Turkey

  1. make the narrative elements replace the title. eg place the farmer in a farm environment
  2. make sure your subject is still the 'hero' in your image
  3. use landscape format
For your chance to win AU$12,000 in cash and prizes for your best portrait visit the FiPP2015 website.

Learn more about photographing faces at a UWA Extension Photography Workshop.

06 May 2015

No small pond

No small pond.
In 2012/2013 the Fremantle International Portrait Prize received entries from 37 different countries.

11 March 2015

Portrait Tip No 2 2015 - 'Make Me Feel Special'

You can have the most expensive camera, the sharpest lenses, top of the range studio lighting and still end up with a boring image. How often have I heard the comment from a subject 'I always look awful in photographs'.

The problem with many photographers they are too interested in the equipment and don't pay enough attention to the needs of their subject.

Pam Pettit Jackson in UWA Extension Portrait Workshop © Dale Neill

Next time you take a portrait try to imagine a sign on the subject's forehead that reads

'Make Me Feel Special'

Master Photographer Dale Neill's Portrait Course  Photographing Faces is on Sunday 15 March - theory in the morning, practical shoot with models in the afternoon plus a review night mid-week.

If you think you've got the talent your best portrait shot could win the 2015 Fremantle International Portrait Prize  with $12,000 in prizes.

23 February 2015

Black and White Muscle

Portrait Tip No1 2015

Black and White Muscle

Photo by Sebastião Salgado
I've just seen 'The Salt of the Earth', a breathtaking documentary movie about Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. The vast majority of Salgado's images are monochromes - spellbinding black and whites. Remove the colour and the viewer looks at form, texture and emotion. 

Its argued that black and whites produce more powerful images. When you photograph someone in colour you are photographing their clothes. Photograph them in black and white and you photograph their soul.

Photo by Dale Neill
Consider viewing an image in black and white to improve your design. Then treating your image in black and white to increase your chances in competition.

Entries to the $12, 000 Fremantle International Portrait Prize open on 15 June  2015. Click HERE for details and to register.

Hone your skills in Portrait Photography with Master Photographer Dale Neill at the University of Western Australia Extensions 'Photographing Faces'. Click HERE for details.