I don’t enter many juried exhibitions but I make it a practice to enter one of the Center for Photographic Art exhibitions every year. I support the organization in many ways, and I do this to stay connected with them. I’ve been on the inside, and I’ve seen how arbitrary judging these things can be. Nothing against the judges — I think it’s the nature of the beast — but when faced with a slew of images, the overlap between those that juror A and juror B love can be distressingly small. There is usually a fair amount of commonality between the ones that two jurors hate, but the overlap is not extreme even there.
Here are the images that I submitted this year:
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If you hover over the images, you can see the — boring — titles. If you click on one, you’ll be taken to a slide show gallery. There are 8 from a series I’m just starting using the GFX 50S slow electronic shutter, and six synthetic slit scans from a period starting last fall and ending this spring. I don’t like to submit older images to these things. I’m not sure why. I hardly ever submit brand new work like the GFX pictures, though, because what I like when i start a series is usually what I like by the time I get to the end of it. That’s the case with these images; I’m already doing things I like a lot better, and it’s only been a few weeks since I sent the images in.
The CPA’s rules for these exhibitions is one image per photographer. Feel free to pick which one you would have chosen had you been the judge. Saying they all suck is also an option, but if you think that, please have something constructive to say, or I’ll throw your comment in the bit bucket.
I’ll post the image they chose in a few days.
Mike Nelson Pedde says
Counting down from the top, #7. The slit scans of the clouds don’t do much for me, I’m afraid, but I like the simple patterns of light and dark. The fifth in that series has a pattern that reminds me of a bright cross against a dark background, and the rhythmic shape reminds me of a swastika. Now, I know the Nazis tried to co-opt the design and turn it into something else but it’s an ancient design. To the Hopi people it’s the symbol of the four winds, the symbol of change. In ancient Sanskrit the swastika represented good fortune and long life. It’s found everywhere from Egypt to Iran to Ukraine.
Or maybe what I’m seeing is just apophenia.
Bruce Oudekerk says
Just remember, you asked
I have this uncontrolled compulsion to want to crop the top 25% off of Mountain Timescapes #5…that combined with the equally strong feeling that left the way it is, it might be the strongest landscape composition because of its unique arrangement of shapes and textures that draw the eye from the top center down into the photo.
On the other hand, the mountain Timescapes #2 with the de Kooning sky juxtaposed with the luminous hills is brilliant and exceptionally powerful. … followed closely by its sibling Mountain Timescapes #4 with its equally bold Franz Kline ‘brush strokes’ of a sky. Don’t construe this negatively because I’ve referenced some abstract expressionist painters and that I feel these images are in any way derivative. You’ve managed to cleverly capture this essence right from the source (and I don’t mean the painters).
My favorite is the geometric patterns…not are…rather ‘is’. Ideally I see these 8 better as a single installation or perhaps a single large composited piece. I obviously got this initial impression from the way they viewed on your web page but thought the last one wasn’t oriented properly… LOL… but of course they weren’t one image at all. I don’t see one as especially different, because individually, I like them all pretty much equally well. Bottom line, I really, really like any of these images especially if they would be presented fairly large. I think scale is especially important with this type of imagery. FWIW Tangled web 1,2 &3 are really very similar (they make a great triptych) while #5 and #7 vary most compositionally. #8 probably has the most elegant rhythm…maybe.
A disclaimer: ‘Know thy opponent’. The general public tends to like the almost violent nature of things like a rusted or weathered objects, gnarled driftwood or crazy skies, for instance. Take away the object recognition and that same non-objective piece becomes just as series of nonsense shapes to many. If you don’t know the judges specifically or the proclivities of the judges at this show to be more…hmmmm… esthetically sensitive, these might be a long-shot and could be readily dismissed. Unlikely, in my mind, but possible. You are familiar with them…I’m not. 50 years ago I suspect those images would have only been of interest to a very, very select few …a sobering concept for both of us. That I think them wonderful is irrelevant.
FWIW, my least favorite is the puff ball sky. I don’t know why it irritates me but given that I’ve never seen a sky like that, you should ignore my comment.
So I’ve qualified everything I’ve said, which pretty much makes my statements worthless. I end with another .
You’ll probably have to leave the backyard one day to get an interesting composition.
Michael Demeyer says
#12 is hauntingly lovely to me.
For me #1 because its the only one that has some colour unfortunately I think the dark clouds look too messy for lack of a better word. The other colour shots are too orange and teal and remind me of that disturbing hollywood trend that saw us go back to the days of early technicolor. If that doesn’t phase you then the last one is most pleasing to the eye.