Photo Magazine is one of the most known photo publication ever. Its success is easy to understand. Articles are interesting and mainly written by guys who really know what they are talking about. It covers the news, which means exhibitions, new cameras, it also reports about some photographers, etc…
The guys at PHOTO also run a photo-competition, the biggest worldwide as they say. I like the idea : you can send your pictures – personally I uploaded them – wether you are a pro or a JAGWAC. There are categories but you may send your pictures regardless to that. In fact, this is the first thing I don’t follow, but well, ok.
I participated twice. Oh no, I was not really running for the prize, but I wanted to get a feedback about my pictures. And, as expected, I did not go very far. Was I frustrated ? Yes, definitely, but not for the reason you may now think. My point is : I, my wife who has no interest in photography, my colleagues, my friends, etc… all of the guys I asked to throw an eye on the pic but 2 or 3 people did not like the shots who did the covers. One of them, and this is funny, is Marc Lamey. I have discovered him years later and and I am in love with his shots! : this is the funny thing isn’t it? And while surfing I have realized that one the mentioned covers was from him…. At this point I want to say that he is far better than me as a photographer and his cover-picture was indeed better than mine, but that being said, I did not like the chosen pic. Other competitors had sent better pictures in my opinion. But as I am a gentleman, I thought “OK Man, but there is another year with another competition, see you there!”.
So what is my point?
One year later, another cover, another winner, same frustration for the same reason. This year? I have not participated. I congratulate the winner even if I still do not understand the jury’s choice.
My point is that a competition is led by men and women who have their own expectation and definition of Art which does not necessarily match yours. And this goes also in reverse : those pictures did not reach me, this does not mean they were bad or un-interesting in themselves! So, what does it make for a sense to participate? Well I guess it gives you a goal and giving oneself assignment pushes you forward and that’s good. But I will never take my cam with the idea I go shooting a pic that could win (maybe) but I would not like.
I would be interesting to make the REAL biggest competition : we all have to send one pic. and WE give points and vote. But I have no idea how this could technically work ! 🙂
more to come…