A few days ago, I posted a set of images that I’d entered in the CPA Member’s Juried Exhibition this year. I invited readers to pick their favorites (thanks to all who participated), and promised to report on what image the juror selected.
This is a synthetic slit scan over a period of about 45 minutes on a stormy morning, with dawn on the right, a few sunlit patches in the middle, and the clouds closing in on the left. I look at these images with two minds: an analytical one that observes the changes taking place over time, and an aesthetic one that appreciates the image as a landscape — albeit an odd, distorted one, which is aprt of the fascination for me.
It’s not clear that any of those nuances com across to a juror in one of these shows.
Here’s my own personal favorite of the group:
The thing I love about this image is that the winds aloft are blowing in two different directions, causing different kinds of distortions in different groups of clouds. It’s clearly not real, at least in the sense that we normally appreciate a photograph. Yet, if you just glance at it, it looks like a landscape. That duality is what I love about this series, and in this image most of all. It turns out that the wind shear shown here doesn’t happen very often, so I only have a few of these images.
One reader commented that I should expand my photographic horizons. I wish that were easier. Since my brain surgery a couple of years ago, I don’t have full use of my left leg, and getting to far — or even moderately — distant places is something I avoid. I am working of seeing how far I can go in the studio, which was part of the impetus behind the black and white images that I send to the JE.
Bruce Oudekerk says
Presenting work to a show can be a cosmic crapshoot. That’s just a truism, not a derogatory statement; but said somewhat sadly with a shrug.
In a hypothetical situation where you designated me to choose the one work that they would accept, I would have come close but likely blundered. I would not have submitted my favorite (the geometric designs) not only because I thought they should be presented differently, but mostly because I’m gun-shy regarding most (excellent) photographer’s judgment of how photography fits into art as a whole. Turns out that hesitation was valid, maybe or maybe not, for those reasons. My favorite ‘landscape’ was your overall favorite but one they didn’t choose. Most telling to me is in regards to my previous leadoff comment and the image I was most conflicted about. That was the one that I felt was particularly unique but that I felt compelled to crop differently even though I found it strong compositionally and compelling the way it was. I suppose that should have been perceived as a warning shot across my brow (pun intended) but I confess it wasn’t.
Turns out this is a learning experience for me too.
As an aside, I find what you wrote interesting to ponder, “It’s not clear that any of these nuances come across to a juror in one of these show.” With no insight into the procedural process it’s unlikely anyone would glean what was taking place in those slit scans, which is a shame. In some ways I think these are another example of the ‘missing link’ between photography and videography and as such, in my mind, hold both substantial intellectual and esthetic value. Tom Wolfe, in essence, discussed this decades ago in his essay “The Painted Word” and while my takeaway is 180 degrees from his, his basic premise of intellectual merit colliding with the world of art is valid.
Oskar Ojala says
I forgot to reply to the original post, but I like your favorite more than the public’s favorite. I’ve been lately thinking about potraying motion and change in photographs and I think that the shear wind picture does it very well. The shear isn’t immediately obvious when looking at the sky, yet the slit scan photograph clearly shows it.
In fact, I can’t tell if wind shear is present until I process the images.
Michael Demeyer says
Your favorite and mine were the same, #12. I don’t know what that means or what it’s worth, but it must be worth something. Perhaps I get a print of it? 😉
Keep up the good work, Jim!