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 

© Richard Seymour

Excellence in Digital Retouching – Nominated by AOP Members

Digital retouching and post-production image manipulation for commissioned or personal work, applied to still and moving image.

This NEW Award is for AOP members to nominate an individual or team who excels at digital retouching in either still or moving image.

Submitted names of those working as digital retouchers 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

Nominees 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.

Nominations opened – 20 March 2023
Nominations closed – EXTENDED  24 April 2023

Invited Submissions open – Wednesday 3 May 2023

  • AOP members will be asked to nominate candidates from across the industry. (These can be fellow AOP members or non-members).
  • Up to three nominations can be made, referencing examples of nominees’ work.
  • Those nominated will then be invited to enter via the existing Submissions Portal, submitting example(s) of their work. All submitted images must have been created or published as new from January 1st 2021.
  • Entries will be judged by a dedicated panel.
  • Finalists will be announced in mid-June and the Winner announced live at the 38th AOP Photography Awards Showcase on 28 September 2023.
  • There will be one Winner and they can be either an Individual or a Team.
  • Winners work will be featured in the 38th AOP Awards Book.


Nominees will be contacted directly and invited to enter.

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

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

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

Dalmatian, © Andy Glass. Retouched by James Digby Jones at Saddington Baynes



Tim Flach

President of the AOP, Member Director & Accredited Photographer

Tim Flach is a photographer best known for his stylised portraits of animals and for the originality that he brings to capturing animal behaviour and characteristics. His work is driven by a desire to better communicate stories of the natural world and to explore questions around art, communication and conservation science.

Tim is a long-standing member of the AOP, since 1986. From the late 90s to 2003 he sat on the council chairing the Awards Committee, along with forming a group of photographers to negotiate a new Getty Images contract during a critical transitional period. In his role as President, he intends to continue to represent and support the advocacy of the AOP.

His photographs are showcased in books, exhibitions and galleries around the world. He has seven internationally published books: Birds(2021), Who am I? (2019), Endangered (2017), Evolution (2013), More Than Human (2012), Dogs Gods (2010) & Equus (2008). He has also contributed to books and group projects, including Surveying the Anthropocene: Environment and Photography Now, which was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2021, and A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene, published by Chicago Press in 2018.

He has also contributed to academic research into how photographs of animals impact their audiences. In 2020, he published a study with two social scientists, Professors Cameron Thomas Whitley and Linda Kalof, which used empirical evidence to show that anthropomorphic animal portraits promote empathy. Tim has been invited to speak at conferences such as The Zoological Society of London and St Petersburg International Economic Forum, and has lectured at universities worldwide.

In recognition of his work, he has received a number of awards, including an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Arts London (Norwich) in 2013.

Joined the Board: 17 Feb 2022

© Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour

AOP Accredited Photographer & Director

Richard Seymour, AOP Accredited Photographer

After a brief flirtation with a military flying career, Richard moved in a radically different direction and instead attended University of Westminster in London to study professional photography. 

He claims a module on Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey changed his entire perspective.

Richard now specialises in capturing the forces of technology in our ever-changing world.

Shooting stills and motion worldwide for aerospace, automotive and tech clients.

Much of his work includes advanced composite techniques and he has used CGI rendering in his automotive and aerospace imagery for over a decade. 

He has worked closely with Leica Camera since 2010 and his short film on the manufacturing of the Leica M10 went viral with over 500,000 views.

Richard enjoys mentoring the next generation of image creators.

He has been a finalist in the AOP Awards in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021, winning Best in Category in 2012 and 2015. He was also a judge of the AOP Open Awards in 2013 and AOP Student Awards 2021.

Holly Palmer-Davison

After graduating from the University of Lincoln in 2011, Holly began her career in post-production as a Runner in London. Initially wanting to pursue moving image and VFX, entering the world of retouch was a happy accident. Tapping into her love of fine art, she was hooked from that moment.

Holly has since explored a broad variety of retouching subjects but none she is more passionate about than the image creation and storytelling for Automotive brands. She revels in the more technical side of retouching and the challenge it presents. A firm believer that the devil is in the detail, she strives to create beautiful imagery with a delicate touch.

In 2021 Holly started her own business, Talk Retouch and has since worked with a number of Automotive clients, Creative Agencies and Post Production houses internationally.

James Digby Jones

Head of Crayons, Cuttlefish Creative Studios

As a visual artist, I strive to reveal the soul of an image, so the world may be treated to its magic and wonder. I want to create imagery that ‘moves’ people – that grabs their attention, and holds it long enough to form an emotional response. ”

James has worked with many of the world’s leading advertising photographers and creatives, crafting iconic and impactful campaigns over a 24 year career at one of the world’s leading CGI & Post studios – Saddington Baynes.

Now, drawing on all his expertise in Shoot/Post Production, Creative Direction and Studio Operations, James has gone back to his roots, offering top-end Photographic Retouching and Emotive Colour Grading for Key Art and Photographic Stills campaigns, as Head of Crayons of his new shop, Cuttlefish Creative Studios in Brisbane.

Green Wing, © Jim Fiscus. Retouched by James Digby Jones at Saddington Baynes

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


Nominees will be contacted directly and invited to enter.

Ranexa, © Andy Glass. Retouched by James Digby Jones at Saddington Baynes
Ice Race, Audi Rally , © Richard Seymour

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