Capturing the image of the industry

7 April 2010

International recognition and a cash prize await the winner of a new photography competition set up by the CIOB.

The Art of Building is open to both professional and amateur photographers and is intended as a showcase for the world’s best digital photography of the built environment. Entrants are asked to post their three best images on a dedicated website. The top 12 images, selected by a panel of judges, will then be put to a public vote.

The winner will receive a prize of £500, but perhaps more significantly, the 12 finalists will see their photographs promoted and published across CIOB publications and in the national media, with their names credited alongside.

Saul Townsend, head of public relations at the CIOB, explains: “Entrants are encouraged to capture the built environment in a way not seen before, to inspire others and to challenge people’s perceptions. The imagery should be original and thought-provoking, but most of all we want people to have fun with it and get creative.”

The chosen theme of “art of building’ is open to entrants’ interpretation. You could capture a scene of the construction process, a group of construction workers on site or in the office, an unexpected view of a well-known building or even an animal building a den – the theme is wide enough to accommodate the most abstract and imaginative approaches.

Here’s how to enter:

After selecting up to three favourite digital photos, upload them at Entry is free and the website will be live from 12 April.

Images can be digitally enhanced or altered, but each file must be uploaded as a JPEG of not less than 1MB and not more than 5MB in size.

Entries will not be accepted if they are embedded with borders or locks, or if they are uploaded after the closing date of 31 May. You will also be asked to provide a 50-word description of why your photos fit the art of building theme.

A panel comprising the CIOB’s official photographer Matt Wain (whose work is shown above), deputy CEO Michael Brown and Elaine Knutt, editor of Construction Manager, will judge entries based on a number of criteria.

The 12 best photographs will go forward to an online poll to be held on 21 June, where CIOB members and the wider public can vote for an overall winner.

The winner will be announced on 19 July. Good luck and happy snapping!


Top 5 tips

One Lighting: Use natural light. cloudy, overcast days provide the best lighting for pictures of people. Bright sun makes people squint, and it throws harsh shadows on their faces.

Two Posing: Ignore the impulse to force your subjects to always pose. Catching them off guard will be far more natural.

Three Framing: Avoid having the horizon in the centre of the picture – 75% sky and 25% land will look more dramatic.

Four Practising: The digital revolution means expensive film is a thing of the past. So take lots of pictures... practice makes perfect.

Five Customising: Choose a camera that allows you to manually change the settings. This is a great way to experiment and personalise your photographs.

By Mark Bergin, art director, CM


This is indeed a good idea to share the best and appreciate the best of what people keep capturing and have not been able show or share with others.

Mukesh Kashyap, 12 April 2010

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