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Chris Howes FRPS & Judith Calford – The Giant Caves of Borneo
9th June 2016 at 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Chris Howes & Judith Calford are both past members of the Cardiff Camera Club.
In 1981 Chris gained a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society for his work in black and white cave photography. Later honours include the Peter M. Hauer Award from the National Speleological Society in the USA for significant speleological history research (1993), the Giles Barker Award for excellence in cave photography (1997), the Tratman Award for speleological publications (twice, in 1997 and, jointly with Judith Calford for Descent magazine, in 2008), and theSpelean Arts and Letters Award (1998).
The annual caving conference in the UK, Hidden Earth, includes a photo salon where he has won the Premier Trophy, the UK’s top cave photography award, 9 times in addition to taking first place in individual print categories 15 times (monochrome), 5 times (projected image), 7 times (cave life) and 1 time (colour print), as well as many 2nd and 3rd placements plus numerous merits and distinctions. He has taken first place in the Spanish International Speleological Salon three times and received twelve medals (first place awards) in the National Speleological Society Photo Salon, plus 39 ribbons.
In 1997 he won the Outdoor Writers’ Guild/Fuji Professional Award for Photographic Excellence with his bookImages Below, and in 2013 the renamed Outdoor Writers and Photographers’ Guild Award for Excellence in the Photography category, sponsored by the outdoor clothing company of Páramo. The judges’ comment on the set of cave photographs was: ‘This portfolio comprised excellent quality photography with compositional and technical technique and was professionally and thoughtfully presented. Every photograph stood out on its own.’ The following year, 2014, his portfolio of caving images was Highly Commended and in 2015, with the award still sponsored by Páramo, his set again took first place. The judge’s comment was that the portfolio: ‘Demonstrates powerful composition, excellent use of scale, the ability to work with people, styling and colour coordination of the model and excellent use of lighting – the use of space with either wide-angle lenses or stitching techniques also conveys a sense of scale which is often lost in these environments.’ In fact, in common with all the photos on this website, none of the images were stitched.
Chris is now a freelance author and photographer in a partnership with Judith (who unfailingly helps to produce all his pictures). The older black and white caving photos in the gallery were mostly taken using a Rollei 35 or Olympus OM1 or OM2 film camera (there is more about this in Images Below: link opens new window) though for more recent work he uses a Canon system (currently based around a 5D mkIII).