2004 Photography Annual
Entries were up 3.6% this year for a total of 8,594 submissions. With such a substantial quantity, it’s inevitable that emerging visual trends quickly become clichés in a matter of hours. “How many more photos could we see of Africa, Iraq, cowboys, amusement parks, motels, animals, even strippers, without thinking is this good, or just more of a retread,” said juror Craig Clark. For juror Nan Oshin, “It seems as though photography in general is somewhere between trends—images driven by the German architecturally-influenced idea of photography (à la Andreas Gursky) and the image as kitsch.” Several jurors offered constructive criticism. Doug Pedersen saw a number of great series brought down by the inclusion of weaker pieces. “I often found myself voting great work out because the entrants did not take the time to really consider what images they should be putting together,” he said. “It’s time for photographers to step back from Photoshop,” advised juror Craig Cutler. “Just because you can make a perfect image doesn’t mean you should. The heavy retouching created a lifeless illustrative quality in many of the entry images. I found this especially disturbing in location work.”
"People will remember an image that has a good concept and forget a beautiful image that lacks one.
— Craig Cutler