Beauty Contest - Move your cheese Dennis
2023, April 18
I already had my doubts whether I would participate this year in the annual department competition of Afdeling 10, which includes our photo club NAFVA. And it confirmed that I don't have to do this anymore. It annoys me more than it cheers me up.
Main reason is my personal issue with competitions in general.
Another reason this time is that the same jury member has been chosen for the third time in a row.
Everyone has his or her preference and cannot separate this when judging the photos. You can't blame anyone for this either.
If I had to do it I would also prefer b&w Daidō Moriyama street snapshot style.
You can compare it with music, if you are from the Beatles you will also put this above the songs of the Rolling Stones. Doesn't mean a Stones song is any worse. It's just a person's personal preference.
Also, although judges will learn to leave out personal preferences, and let's assume they can do that, they simply need to have a number of indicators against which to judge a photo. It doesn't mean your photo isn't good if you don't meet those requirements.
I will therefore not say too much about the judging in general because I do not want to criticize it either. But you also saw this on this evening, it was predictable what he would say with each photo. It's the third time in a short period of time that I hear him judge.
He therefore gave the best rating to some of the same winners as the previous times. Sometimes with the same entries from those participants in the two competition before. And some of these photographs were already shown in "Fotobond in Beeld".
This only confirms that everyone has their personal preference.
And it's actually pretty good too. It means that you are faithful to the style you like. Personally, many images do not appeal to me at all. So therefore I don't match with someone else who likes it. And is it logical that my images again are not considered good or fascinating by that other person.
Another common problem is that someone judges images that they have no interest in themselves. Especially with street photography in my case. Someone doesn't see certain things or finds certain things super interesting because they normally don't see that on the street. While we see that all day long. Most things are obvious and it really isn't exciting.
For other categories where these is less interest, it's a pitty that the members who submitted work get less feedback. I think we shouldn't forget that there is a reason that this person entered their best work here. It's an amature photoclub and they deserve something they can work on. This doesn't apply for this judge, he did a much better job here then some other judges I have seen before.
Another thing that really disappoints me about these kinds of competitions is that members say they don't participate to win but for the feedback they get, but why do they keep submitting the same thing? Sometimes exactly the same images, sometimes a selection or adjustment in color, format or cropping.
Well, everyone wants recognition for their work, it's nothing else then social media.
An old fashioned way of getting likes.
But you also have to ask yourself who are you really competing with?
In fact, there are really too few entries per category.
What does it mean that you come first out of three?
Both for the winner and for third place? I think you can cross that off.
Long story short...
It is now even more clear to me that I cannot and should not have it from these kinds of competitions. Time to move my cheese again.
About the competetion, I submitted my serie "Follow the leader".
You can clearly see that something is going on without showing it directly. There is probably a hardware store nearby.
Maybe the bike isn't quite the same and a bit out of the series, but it's still acceptable.
He didn't liked my prints, there were a bit too light.
To defend myself here:
As for the prints, I agree, it's a print competition and they could have been better. Too bad they are less dark than what I normally prefer as well.
Regarding the bike and the whole idea behind this serie - This is what I meant by not looking closely at it. With street photography you sometimes have to look a little more closely. Of course on the one hand it must be clear what you want to convey. But sometimes puzzling is also what is needed to make it more interesting.
The title of this series is called "Follow the leader" where these people follow the house broker on her bicycle.
But not mentioning my title in his feedback shows that he missed that.
During the competition he already indicated that he has just returned from a month's holiday and has first viewed the photos digitally. And only received the prints a couple of days before. That explains it, in the digital version, the title is not displayed. You can see the estate agent's sign better in large print then on the screen. Not looking at the prints more closely it's easy to miss.
Of course it would have been nicer if I had seen a real estate agent with a sold sign :-)
Perhaps it would have been stronger.
Conclusion, next steps: