by Charlotte Moss Published 01/04/2015
An occasional feature by Charlotte Moss to introduce The Societies' Judges for Monthly Competitions, Photographer of the Year, Qualifications and the 16x20 Print Competition
Going back to art college was the change that Marko Dutka needed to pursue a career as a photographer. His first summer vacation from college was spent in the USSR, armed with a couple of Pentax K100s withdrawn from college stock. 'I fell in love with photographing in such an incredible country' Marko told me. 'I worked in all sorts of places that I shouldn't have and, looking back, was probably really lucky not to have been arrested!' Marko was fortunate to have been in the country during Perestroika, a time of great political reformation, and after that experience carrying on with photography really was a no-brainer.
Working through the qualifications system, and especially the Fellowship process was extremely rewarding for Marko: 'It taught me a great deal about photography and it also reinforced the need for real attention to detail.' During the process Marko also worked with a number of photographers who mentored him and also gave him valuable advice, but that's not the end of the journey. 'I've never felt that I have stopped learning just because I have achieved my Fellowship. I feel that it's simply a platform to use to build upon and keep improving.'
After receiving his Fellowship, Marko began judging for the SWPP, as well as the BIPP and the MPA. 'What I love about judging is seeing new ideas. I also feel it's really important for me to help in a small way those brave individuals who enter their work for scrutiny. I'm sure that many would disagree that the judges contribution to competitions and qualifications is small, our judges really are the bedrock of the system and are essential to help new photographers (and not so new photographers) along on their journey of learning and understanding.'
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