It's not as easy as it looks......

May 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Lady Liberty salutes "Adirondack" in New York harbor.Lady Liberty Salutes "Adirondack" in New York harborAn image of mine that I selected for a show. It got an honorable mention ribbon.    

 

Picking images for a photo competition is not easy, not for me at least. There is, in fact, a lot more work involved that people think (just like photography in general is not as easy as it looks, but that's another story...). 

    According to the experts, an artist should present a coherent body of work, with pieces that are similar in style and feel, though not all of the same subject.  This may be easy for some, but for me it is a struggle because I am a very eclectic, opportunistic photographer.  I rarely go out with a particular shot in mind;  I usually grab what catches my eye.

    Selecting three images for a show that you love best out of all the ones you have can be like picking your favorite child--difficult at best, with a potential for lasting damage and disaster! To help them, photographers I know ask others for their opinions--sometimes fellow artists, or their family, or if the image has been posted on Facebook, deciding on the number of "likes" it has received.

    Once an images has been picked, the next challenge is preparing it for submission.  The printing and framing are relatively easy.  The hard and fun part, in my opinion, is tweaking an image to make it the best it can possibly be.  But what is "the best" ?  If an image is converted to black and white, are the whites white and the blacks black, or do you want shades of gray?  Do you want the image sharp or with a bit of blur?  If you cropped it, did you capture the essence of the image, or did you just miss it?  And after all that, is the image stylistically consistent with the other works you are presenting? Answering these questions and countless others are among the judgement calls the photographer must make--and then pray that it looks right to his or her own inner eye--and to the person who makes the selections for the show!

Regattas on the Toms River and Barnegat Bay.Waiting to begin the regatta.Optimist Dinghies in Island Heights for the 2014 Junior Olympics.

   I hope you keep these factors in mind the next time you see a work online or in a gallery. Someone struggled, at least a bit, to get your attention and approval.  Like I said, it's not as easy as it looks.

 

 


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