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So, what’s the big deal? Anyone can snap a picture like this on a smartphone from the comfort of their car parked on a causeway with the heater on, right?
Er, actually, NO.
Thirty-six year old Eastbourne-based amateur photographer Edd Allen has won the coveted Fujifilm Print Prize in the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year (2018) competition with this striking, high-energy, picture of a storm wave. And he did it the hard way.
Said Edd: “My special attraction to waves is simply that each one is unique. The wave that helped me win this award is never going to happen again.
I often find myself just waiting for the worst weather possible before I venture out to the coast. On this particular day I was waiting for the wind to get stronger before I took a bus (Edd doesn’t drive) to Newhaven harbour. When I arrived with my DSLR the wind was so strong I could hardly stand. On one aside of the harbour you often see waves crash into the wall and then tilt back into a powerful, fascinating collision. I had no wet suit and my camera and I were absolutely drenched. At one point I almost gave up and went home but something kept me there hanging on for the shot I craved. I stayed an extra two hours and managed to capture the moment I wanted.” He added: “One of my mentors is Charlie Waite- the legendary world-class landscape photographer who actually launched this competition. This man is an inspiration to me. I read that once he stayed halfway up a ladder in a French field for days just waiting for the right light. That is a very special kind of commitment to the art!” When Edd got the email to say he had won he had to ask his wife to read it to him – he thought it might be a wind-up. But it wasn’t.
Fujifilm invited Edd to watch his winning image metamorphose into a large and stunning print on the highly-acclaimed new Fujicolor Crystal Archive Professional Paper- Maxima – at London-based Bayeux, one of the country’s leading prolabs. “That was a very special moment for me” noted Edd. “I am ashamed to confess I don’t know enough about the print process – and to have my image output by experts on to one of the best professional papers in the world is amazing.”
Nick Barnett, digital technician at Bayeux said: “Edd’s superb ‘COLLIDE’ image is a perfect fit with Fuji’s Maxima. This is for sure the paper of the future. I first saw it a few months ago at the company’s giant production plant in the Netherlands. It was impressive. I watched how they tested for longevity (a ‘must-have’ feature for all photographers who need archival quality for their work) in high intensity light-boxes. I noted Maxima’s rich blacks and improved shadow details. It’s a natural evolution of the company’s DP2 range and it should be a ‘no-brainer’ for photographers. Our customers are already giving it the thumbs-up.”
Edd’s image was printed on Bayeux’s Chromira 5 prolab - a perfect match for Fujifilm‘s Maxima paper. Added Nick: “We took his files and scrutinised them on screen to check everything was fine before we pulled a test print to study on our wall - embracing typical daylight effects- to check if any further adjustments were needed. Then we printed it up to full-size.”
Peter Wigington, marketing manager, Fujifilm Photo-Imaging Group said: “Many congratulations to Edd for winning this prestigious award. Maxima is designed especially for the fine art market and I can‘t think of anything more appropriate than using it to make the most of his exceptional image.” Now Edd, whose wave image formed part of a recent exhibition at Waterloo station, is looking forward to entering new images in the next Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. He concluded: “Ansell Adams described landscape photography as the supreme test of the photographer, and often the supreme disappointment – and he was right. You have special moments when it all falls into place, but often nothing happens as you would wish. You have to have patience and keep trying. Now I am obsessed with chasing those special moments.”
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