Behind the Scenes - Winchester Photographic Society Annual Print Exhibition

Hampshire Cultural Trust is pleased to present Winchester Photographic Society's 2022 exhibition at the new location of City Space at The Arc. In this post, Gavin Bowyer, Winchester Photographic Society’s Print Exhibition coordinator, tells us more about the behind the scenes making of this exhibition, now at City Space until 15 May 2022.

Judging this year took place remotely and over a long meeting the judges were able to establish the winners, certificate of merit and selected photographs to be featured in this year’s exhibition.

Since its foundation in 1923, Winchester Photographic Society (WPS) has held an exhibition almost every year. In the 'Covid years' of 2020 and 2021, we moved our exhibition online. We are now delighted to be back with printed images in a superb gallery setting, and are grateful for the support of Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT).

This is, to many of us in WPS, a highlight of the society’s year, putting on a high-quality exhibition of our members’ work, showcasing our photography to the wider community. I am delighted to have taken on the task of organising this exhibition and it has been a pleasure to work with such a friendly and thoroughly professional team at HCT and in The Arc.

We have tried to encourage participation across all members of WPS, whatever their level of experience. The society arranged a talk, offering tips and tricks for members who were considering entering. We organised a mentoring scheme to support participation. We restricted the entries per photographer to 12 (down from 16 last year – and 30 when I first joined WPS!) – the intention was to allow broader participation.

Photography has been important to me since my teens, back in the days of developing your own black and white images! I have been a member of WPS for almost seven years, and I’ve grown as a photographer throughout that period. I am grateful for all the help and support I’ve been given by the Society and many of the photographers in it, and it’s been a privilege to help with the Society by serving as its Programme Secretary, President and latterly the Exhibition organiser. (Image courtesy of Gavin Bowyer.)

Three external judges spend a day selecting the images. It is something of a cliché to say that the standard was high – but it really was. We are, of course, constrained by hanging space in The Arc – unlike the previous two years’ online offerings. Comments from the judges were:

“A fascinating set of images. Great to see that club photography is going strong in these strange days.”

“Thank you for inviting me to judge and for the opportunity to see the wonderful images.”

“All those that participated must be congratulated for submitting such varied and high-quality images.”

Much work goes on in the background for the photographers, WPS and HCT in putting on this exhibition. Volunteers from WPS worked to collate and frame the prints, leaving it to the HCT professional team to do the actual hanging, as I advised on the curation and positioning of the works. I am delighted that we have 137 successful entries. This is just within the maximum that HCT felt could be accommodated. This represents the work of 53 of our members, and it was particularly gratifying to see that some members who compete in our beginner or intermediate classes in our internal competitions have done particularly well in the exhibition.

My winning image in this year’s exhibition – in the Action Class – Cheetah versus Wildebeest. Taken in the Masai Mara on a photographic safari with renowned wildlife photographers Jonathan and Angie Scott. My own photographic preferences have been for wildlife and travel photography; I’ve pivoted to portrait photography in the 'Covid Years'.

The photographers are delighted that their work is exhibited and the team who have worked behind the scenes are proud of what has been achieved We all hope that those coming to view the exhibition enjoy it too!

-Gavin Bowyer

Winchester Photographic Society’s exhibition is now at City Space. Prints are available for sale and you can vote for your favourite photograph for the People’s Choice Award, which will be published at the end of the exhibition. Visit City Space at The Arc to purchase your prints, available for collection when the exhibition closes.

Visit to learn more about the society, see examples of members’ work and view the programme of events.

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Hampshire Cultural Trust

From museums to galleries to arts centres, we manage and support attractions across the county, welcoming over 740,000 people each year. Our charitable purpose is changing lives through culture.
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