Studio 1854

Does your photography explore the creative face of contemporary engineering?

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Reflections on a space craft. © Kathryn Graham

The IET Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year Competition 2019 calls for entries from image-makers investigating engineering-related subjects in new and compelling ways

A quick image search of ‘engineer’ brings up row upon row of men sporting hard hats and high-vis jackets – one of the many clichés associated with the subject. Search ‘engineering’ and a sequence of shots depicting complex diagrams and machinery materialise. These photographs are stereotypes, yet they are stereotypes that have coloured our perception of the subject. 

Photography, however, also possesses the power to reshape our understanding of the discipline. As an almost universal means of communication, the medium is capable of depicting the complexity and artistry of engineering and technology: from the skeleton of a bridge to the intricate interior of a spaceship.

The IET Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year Competition 2019, which is now open for entries, welcomes submissions that explore engineering-related subject matter in new and engaging ways. “We want to … banish the perception that engineers just fix or mend things,” says Dr. Imran Shafique Ansari, an electrical engineer and a member of this year’s judging panel. “By making this call for creative and stand out images, we hope that we can help to highlight the modern, exciting and creative nature of an engineer’s work.”

Engineering and technology are central to the improvement, and advancement, of contemporary life. The IET Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year Competition 2019 aims to highlight this, making audiences aware of the creativity and dynamism that underlie the discipline.

The competition was launched in 2017 to tackle the outdated perception of the profession and welcomes entries from anyone whose work will: “Help challenge public misconceptions of engineering and demonstrate the ingenuity, breadth, and vibrancy of the subject.” Submissions from image-makers who have presented engineering-related subject-matter in unusual and unconventional ways are encouraged. “There are so many creative and varied careers with the profession and yet traditional images of engineering and engineers tend to focus on hard hats and dirty overalls,” explains Georgie Barrat, Host of The Gadget Show and another member of the judging panel. “That is why this photography competition is vital in challenging public misconceptions and inspiring the next generation of engineers.”

The IET’s history spans nearly 140 years, with its foundation in 1871 as the Society of Telegraph Engineers. Today, with over 168,000 members across 150 countries and four global offices, the IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions and plays a fundamental role in reflecting the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. In line with this, the IET Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year Competition aims to encompass the extent of the discipline and spans five categories: Design and Production; Digital; Environment and Energy; Structure; and Transport. The different sections are non-prescriptive – each is open to the interpretation of its entrants.

The IET Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year Competition is free to enter and open to anyone, anywhere in the world. The competition is split into two categories – Junior (16 and under) and Adults (17 and over); entrants to either category may submit a maximum of five images across the five different themes. There is also a smartphone category, which also spans the five themes. Prizes range from £150 to £750; a selection of the winning photographs will be published in Amateur Photographer magazine and be exhibited at IET London: Savoy Place. 

Enter the IET Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year Competition 2019! The deadline for entries is 30 August 2019. Please click here for more information about collaborating with Studio 1854.