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Martin Evening Excellence in Digital Retouching Award

Spanning both photographic stills and short-form film, recognising outstanding work in digital retouching and post-production.

© Todd Antony 

Photographer: © Aaron Brimhall; Retoucher: Mark Francis @ Midas Retouching; Client: DJI Global

Excellence in Digital Retouching - Open Award 2024

Sponsord by Skylum

the company behind Luminar Neo

Digital retouching and post-production image manipulation for commissioned or personal work, applied to still and moving imagery. Submissions must demonstrate levels of editing, grading, picture and audio finishing, deliverables and international versioning, as well as visual effects showing a high degree of proficiency in post-production techniques, producing images with the utmost visual impact within a contemporary creative framework.

Judges will be looking at essential aspects which includes photographic application of skills, the use of conceptual and aesthetic application, as well as visual effects, colour grading, audio post, screen graphics, shoot and edit and broadcast technology. Submissions may include the use of AI-assisting tools, but excludes any fully AI-generated works.

Entry Criteria

Retouchers are required to have worked in the industry for at least two years and have made a real impact on a piece of work either for commissioned or personal work requested by a client. The Award may recognise an individual, or team, who consistently goes above and beyond expectations and shows a genuine curiosity and passion for digital retouching and post-production.

Entry Fees per Single Project
(All prices include VAT @20%)


Early Bird – 20 March 2024 – 6 May 2024

Individual Stills or Moving – £30.00
Teams Stills or Moving – £60.00


Final Week – 7 May 2024 – 20 May 2024

Individual Stills or Moving– £50.00
Teams Stills or Moving – £100.00

Entries Open: 20 March 2024

Entries Close: 27 May 2024 (extended)

  • For 2024, we will be requesting Retouchers and Retouching Houses to submit their work to this year’s Award.
  • Submissions can be made by either an Individual or a Team, showing example(s) work ‘before & after’ any retouching effects. [The ‘before’ work will only be used for judging purposes and not for public viewing, unless their clients clearly consent to any public showing of the ‘before’ work.]
  • You MUST submit both a before and after file/example per entry. 
  • Each entry can be a still or moving work and submitted via the existing Submissions Portal. All images must have been created or published as new from January 1st 2023.
  • Entries will be judged by a dedicated panel.
  • Finalists will be announced in early July and the Winner announced live at the 39th AOP Photography Awards Showcase on 26 September 2024.
  • There will be up to three finalists and one Winner and they can be either an Individual or a Team.
  • Finalist’s and Winner’s work will be featured in the 39th AOP Awards Book, and the winner will be interviewed about their Retouching Service to be promoted to AOP members.
  • You may wish to illustrate the creative use of technologies for example AR, VR, CGI or other techniques created by a person.

Launched in 2023, this Award is for  an individual or team who excels at digital retouching in either still or moving image.

Meet the Judges

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Paul Waterworth

Director of Photography and Founder Cine Photo Pro

Mark Francis

Mark Francis

Creative Director Midas Retouching and inaugural Martin Evening Excellence in Digital Retouching Award Winner

I am the founder and Creative Head of Midas Retouching, a global, award winning, high-end retouching and CGI production studio that has successfully partnered with the world’s leading photographers, agencies and brands since its launch in 2007.

I have recently been awarded a Gold in the prestigious Martin Evening Excellence in Digital Retouching 2023 Award and my company, Midas Retouching, has been Shortlisted for the D&AD 2023 Awards, Lurzers 200 Best Digital Artist 2023 and shortlisted for the Production Paradise, Spotlight 2023 Awards.

I trained as a retoucher under the renowned and sadly now recently deceased, Dan Tierney at the Dairy Studio and at Saddington & Baynes where I led some of the earliest CGI projects for the global automotive industry.

Midas Retouching was soon born, and we have spent the last 15 years partnering a who’s who client base of photographers, advertising agencies and consumer brands, working on iconic campaigns and projects, such as the global launch of Tesla Model X and Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, and the creation of full asset libraries for multiple automotive brands.

Our clients include GM, Adidas. Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Heineken, Lexus, Ford, Tesla, BMW, Infiniti, Vodafone, Top Gear, McLaren, Toyota, Hyundai, Rolls-Royce, Acura and more.

Julia Fullerton-Batten

AOP Accredited Photographer

Julia Fullerton-Batten is a fine-art photographer renowned for her highly cinematic visual story-telling.  Her large-scale projects are based around specific themes. Each image in the project embellishes her subject matter in a series of thought-provoking narrative ‘stories’ using staged tableaux and sophisticated lighting techniques.

Julia’s use of unusual locations, highly creative settings, street-cast models, accented with cinematic lighting are hallmarks of her style. She insinuates visual tensions in her images and imbues them with a mystique that teases the viewer into continually re-examining the picture; something new coming to the fore each time. 

 Her fine-art work is globally renowned and exhibited. She has won countless awards worldwide, is frequently portrayed in photographic journals, has published three books, is a Hasselblad Ambassador and a frequent speaker at international workshops and a juror of international competitions. Her images are on the front covers of ‘A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography’. She has a permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne and the Parliamentary Art Collection, Houses of Parliament.

About Martin Evening

This special Award, initiated by the Association of Photographers, is dedicated to commemorating the late Martin Evening, a highly influential photographer who was an early pioneer of digital retouching, and to acknowledge his contribution to the excellence in digital retouching within our industry.

 A long-standing member of the AOP (Membership No. 20), Martin Evening was a noted photographer, expert digital retoucher, author and teacher. Martin had a successful 25-year career as a London based, award-winning portrait, beauty, and advertising photographer, working with some of the biggest names in hairdressing.

 In the 1990’s, Martin turned to digital imaging. He was an early pioneer in computer retouching and an early adopter of Photoshop, becoming a respected alpha and beta tester for Adobe for many years. His expertise in photo imaging led him to share his knowledge by writing over 30 books on digital imaging and photography, and became a noted speaker at major international conferences.  

 In 2008, Martin was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, in recognition as a respected leader in the industry and his contributions to the advancement and development of Photoshop.

 Martin was also a founding partner in a software company called Pixel Genius and was product manager lead creator for the product named PhotoKit Color, an award-winning Photoshop plug-in.

“Martin Evening has been a massive figure in terms of the impact of the technological changes that came to our industry with the advent of digital photography. Clearly a kindly man, he was always generous with his time and encouragement, particularly towards those entering our industry.
He will be greatly missed but his influence and legacy will live on for future generations of professional photographers.”
AOP President, Tim Flach

“Years back I was a studio assistant at a studio in Newington Green, near the Nobody’s Inn. I was straight out of art college and had hardly any experience of assisting.
One day Martin used the studio for a beauty shoot. He made me a part of the shoot, showed me the lighting set up, the before and after polaroids. I always remember how kind he was, not just knowledgeable but kind. Rest in peace Martin.”
Sarah Hogan

After retiring from commercial shooting, he and his family moved to the English countryside where he devoted more time to landscape photography and personal work and being a loving husband and father.

Martin had quietly battled cancer for several years and had no regrets. He was 63 years old when he sadly passed away in December 2022.

“I counted Martin as a colleague and friend. He was one of the founders of the Digital Imaging Group in the UK, of which we were both members. Martin helped me launch PRODIG and was a listmom in its early days.  His prolific writing, first on Photoshop and then on Lightroom, gradually took over from his photography. He was a world renowned expert and was inducted into the NAPP Hall of Fame in 2008. 
Through his work he helped thousands of people and advanced the abilities of professionals all over the world. May his memory be for a blessing.“
Ed Horwich

Winner & Finalists 2023

Congratulations to Mark Francis / Midas Retouching – Winner of the Inaugural Martin Evening Excellence in Digital Retouching Award 2023

Congratulations to Mark Francis of @midasretouching winner of the inaugural Martin Evening Excellence in Digital Retouching Award. This special Award, initiated by the Association of Photographers, is dedicated to commemorating the late Martin Evening, a highly influential photographer who was an early pioneer of digital retouching, and to acknowledge his contribution to the excellence in digital retouching within our industry.

DJI Global
To showcase the DJI Mavic Drone and its capabilities of shooting landscapes. To challenge the status quo and create impactful images. To make photographic shots look real and believable, that the car drove up there and reached the top, when in real life this is impossible with the terrain. The choice of location was chosen as it was protected, this would have been illegal.

Mark Francis passion for art has been the driving force behind his >20-year career, which commenced as an agent for top photographers, before he trained as a retoucher under the renowned Dan Tierney at the Dairy Studio and at Saddington Baynes, leading some of the earliest CGI projects for the global automotive industry.

Mark launched his company Midas Retouching and has spent the last 15 years directing global, multi-award-winning collaborations with a who’s who list of photographers, advertising agencies and consumer brands. Iconic campaigns include the global launches of Tesla X and Tesla S, with images remaining across Tesla showrooms to this day, as well as the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail and Lexus LF-Z, and the global rebrand of Nissan’s Infiniti range.

Projects include: Adidas, Land Rover, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Maclaren, Porsche, Bugatti and Genesis, as well as Heineken, Vodafone and Top Gear.

‘200 Best Worldwide Digital Artists, 2021 / 2022′ by Lürzer’s Archive
Shortlisted 2023 D&AD Awards Photography Sub-Category: Retouching

Mark is also the first Retouching Studio Globally to be ISO9001 Certified, which is another industry first.

Mark Francis / Midas Retouching with Martin Evening's daughter Angelica who presented the Award on his family's behalf.

Event Images: © Gurdev Singh

Meet the 2023 Finalists

Congratulations to our three Finalists:

Barry Craig

Mark Francis

Vahakn Vorperian

The Winner of the inaugural Martin Evening Excellence on Digital Retouching Award will be announced live at the AOP Awards Showcase event on 28 September 2023. 

“In recognition of Martin Evening - a digital photography pioneer and early member of the AOP - we’re thrilled to see the standout series of digital retouching entries our judges have chosen as finalists’ images for this inaugural Award, and look forward to announcing the overall winner at our 38th AOP Photography Awards event”.
Isabelle Doran

Not a member? If you would like to become an AOP member, please click here.  

AOP Photography Awards

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