BPPA Assignments 2021

Fixation and Canon are proud to sponsor the the British Press Photographers Association annual exhibition Assignments. After a two-year break we are pleased to see Assignments return with an exhibition set for August at the Bargehouse gallery in London.

Stormzy performs at the 2019 BRIT Awards in London. 18 February 2020. © Samir Hussein
Stormzy performs at the 2019 BRIT Awards in London. 18 February 2020. © Samir Hussein

Assignments 2021 celebrates the best of British press photography from the BPPA members. Curated by five leading industry figures, this year’s exhibition covers stories from April 2019 and will include a mix of sport, celebrities, royals, protests and global events such as the pandemic as seen through the eyes of the association’s photographers.

The exhibition is an edit of 100 entries printed and framed, filling the Bargehouse London gallery across 4 levels.

Admission Free 11am-6pm daily. 27th August – 5th September

Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street
South Bank
London, SE1 9PH

Assignments 2021 Events Program

Activities and seminars running at the Assignments 2021 Exhibition. Booking is essential.

Hands on | Canon EOS mirrorless sessions

Canon EOS Mirroless digital cameras and lenses
Try the latest gear for yourself. Canon Tech Guru Justin will walk you through the features of the latest EOS R system cameras and lenses.

  • Friday 27th August
  • Tuesday 31st August
  • Wednesday 1st September
  • Thursday 2nd September


Assignments Seminar | Heathcliffe O’malley and Jack Hill

Tuesday 31st August, 13:00
Join two leading newspaper photographers as they deliver talks about their work over the last two decades.

Assignments Seminar | Marc Aspland

Wednesday 1st September, 13:00
The Times Chief Sports Photographer Marc Aspland talks about how he captures the most important moment of a sporting event creatively. He will also show you the Times Unseen project which often shows images that have never been published and which sometimes shows a different side to the sport.

Assignments Seminar | Dan Kennedy

Celebrity photographer Dan Kennedy shares valuable insights plus tips and tricks on how he creates magazine cover portraits.
Thursday 2nd September, 13:00

Assignments 2021 Curators

Each year different curators are selected from within the news and press industry. This year’s Curators are:

Police officers detain Patsy Stevenson as people gather and protest at a memorial site in Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, in London. 13 March 2021. © Hannah Mckay
Police officers detain Patsy Stevenson as people gather and protest at a memorial site in Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, in London. 13 March 2021.
© Hannah Mckay

Wimbledon display at Fixation

We are displaying some of our favourite BPPA images from past year’s Assignments exhibitions in the Fixation Showroom. It is Wimbledon Championships fortnight so we are displaying some superb Tennis images of Serena Williams, Rafal Nadal, Andy Murray and more.

For us the photographers are the stars of the show so come along to see Wimbledon from the unique perspectives of Lindsey Parnaby, David Levenson, Andy Rain, Heathcliff O’Malley and Facundo Arrizabalaga.
If rain stops play, pop up to see us: Find Us London

Find out more about the BPPA Assignments exhibition and about the BPPA on the BPPA website.

the BPPA logo


Tips & Tricks | Don’t live view a solar eclipse

A solar eclipse is definitely a photo-worthy event but, just like looking into the sun, pointing your camera at the sun can have damaging consequences.

After a partial eclipse we received a Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L II IS lens with an Error 01. On closer inspection the aperture blades were bent and twisted. We have treated sun-damaged cameras in the past but this time the lens was damaged. We called the photographer to find out what had happened.

To protect their eyes the photographer had decided to use Live-View to get the sun in frame and wait for the right moment for the exposure. To cut the amount of light reaching the CMOS imaging sensor the lens was stopped right down to f/22.

In live view shooting the aperture stops down as you change the setting, so when f/22 is set the aperture blades close and stay closed while you view the image on the rear monitor.

The lens was pointing at the sun for approximately 2 minutes with the aperture stopped down and absorbing most of the light. This was enough to heat and warp the thin aperture blades in a way that we had never seen before in our workshop.

Luckily it was the aperture mechanism alone that was damaged and our technicians were able to replace that with a new part from Canon for under £300. The lens is otherwise in full working order however this repair could have been avoided.

How to photograph the sun

First we must stress that you should never look directly at the sun through lenses, cameras or optics. Doing so could cause permanent damage to your eyes. Even the filters below are for photographing the sun and are designed to protect electronic equipment, not eyes.

Tip 1: Use a solar-filter

Lenses with filter threads: Use a Lee or screw-in solar filter. Unlike ND filters, specially made solar filters block UV and Infra-red light as well as the visible spectrum. This protects your lens and camera from a much wider range the radiation that could otherwise damage your lens and sensor.

Telephoto lenses: use Solar Foil. Large aperture telephoto lenses like the 400mm above do not have filter threads at the front of the lens. Solar foil comes in A4 sheets which can be fitted over the front element or lens-hood of a super-telephoto lens.

Tip 2: Keep your lens covered

Once your image is composed, use a lens cap to stop all light entering your lens until you are ready to shoot. This keeps your lens and camera cool and able to function better when it comes to making the exposure.

If you have any questions about shooting difficult subjects or in unusual environments we have decades of experience supporting photographers working around the world and are happy to help.

Hi, how can we help?