Earlier today I went along to Ipswich Town Hall to view the 6th annual Beyond Group photographic exhibition, Beyond Group', in case you don't know, are a small creative photographic society based in Suffolk, one of several clubs across the country who organise exhibitions like this as part of the British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE). I have to admit that before joining a camera club nearly two years ago I had no idea that these exhibitions existed, but they're kind of like a competition, photographers around the country send in prints or digital images and the best are selected for inclusion in the exhibition.
Why am I telling you all this? well, a slideshow of the exhibition gets shown at clubs around the region, which is how I became aware of them and the lack of any photos from our club spurred me and one or two others on to give it a go this time.
This year there were around 3500 photos entered, these were ruthlessly whittled down by a panel of judges who score each image out of 15, with just a few hundred achieving the minimum score of 12 required to make it into the exhibition. Three of the photos accepted were mine one of which to my surprise won the gold medal award for best mono digital.
As you can see, it is an actual medal (I thought I'd just get a certificate or something) and rather nice it is too, although disappointingly it didn't come with a ribbon, which rather spoils my plan to wear it round my neck every time I go out with my camera. I believe that if you get a certain amount of photos accepted into BPE exhibitions you earn letters after your name, I'm not sure if my beginner's luck will spur me on to enter more exhibitions or not but I'm feeling pretty proud to have won my first one... maybe I'll just quit while I'm ahead and bask in the glow of my gold medal for a little longer while I figure out how to attach that ribbon to it!
If you missed it, images from the exhibition can be viewed online here, some interesting photography on show so it's well worth a look.