“The competition was run extremely well,” juror Robert Krivicich said. “The fact that we could review over 11,000 images in two days still astounds me.”
“I expected the work wouldn’t be as strong this year due to the economy, but the quality was quite good,” said juror Steve Mitchell. “As always the best work rose to the top.”
“Much of the editorial work felt the most substantive, meaningful and powerful,” juror Jerry Takigawa said.
“The range of conceptual ideas and out-of-the-box thinking was a relief to see,” observed juror Leslie dela Vega. “You’d be surprised how much mediocrity I see on a daily basis.”
Several judges commented on the quality of the video entries, the strongest since we introduced the category several years ago.
“I really liked the still-image, motor-drive technique included in several of the video entries,” Krivicich said. “It created a Muybridge-like rendering that I thought was energetic and spontaneous.”
The biggest disappointment for juror Mimi Haddon was poor editing by photographers on their series submissions. “Many of us were cringing when we were in love with one or more images in a series, but couldn’t vote it in because of one bad image,” she explained. “It’s a great lesson for me as a photographer to ask for help editing my own work.”
“I see a backlash starting against extreme Photoshopping. Some of the most exciting entries were very simple and honest.” —Steve Mitchell
When asked about other revenue sources photographers might pursue, dela Vega mentioned fine art galleries, exhibits, stock and Photo-Shelter. “Photo-Shelter is a great place to sell already published work or outtakes,” she said. “I go there often and a lot of times there are images there that I can’t find on Getty or Corbis.”
“As more and more magazines and other companies are adding multimedia to their wish lists, photographers are going to have to be well versed in video, or at least be a part of a multimedia team, in order to be relevant in a commercial market,” Haddon said. “It’s exciting because it creates more opportunities for image makers.”
To remain relevant, Takigawa feels that photographers need to create images that are useful and meaningful to humanity. “We are in the communication arts—what is worth communicating?,” he asked. “If you wish to affect behavior or decision-making, you need first to connect with the heart before the mind. Follow your passions.”
This year’s jurying began the morning of Sunday, April 17. We worked in two large conference halls, each equipped with projectors for digital entries and six rows of tables for tear sheets and proofs.
“It was fun to see how photographers are breathing even more life into their still images by adding sound and motion.” —Mimi Haddon
The jurors worked in two groups of three; I was the sixth judge during the screening process. All categories had been divided so each team screened half of the entries submitted. The judges alternated between viewing a session of projected digital files and then a set-up of print entries. Any juror could place a photograph in the finals by handing a printed piece to a member of the CA crew. Digital files were screened by checking the “in” or “out” column on prepared scoring sheets.
The final voting took place on Monday with all five jurors working together. Print entries were again spread out on the tables. Two paper cups, one white for “in,” the other red for “out,” with slots cut in the bottom, were placed upside down to the right of the pieces. The jurors voted by putting a different colored tile into the bottom of the appropriate cup. The different colored tiles allowed us to make sure that every entry was voted on by every judge. Finalists submitted as digital files were again voted on by each juror checking “in” or “out” on scoring sheets. Four out of five votes was required for acceptance.
Judges were not permitted to vote on projects they were directly involved in creating. When a judge’s piece was in the finals, either Jean Coyne or I would cast the fifth vote.
I would like to thank each of the judges for their conscientious efforts in selecting our 52nd Annual Exhibition. —Patrick Coyne ca
director of photography
Leslie dela Vega is director of photography at Fast Company in New York. She knew that photography was her calling when she picked up her first camera at age six. She graduated with a BA in photography from San Francisco State University and life as a professional photographer began at the San Francisco Business Times. In 1998 she moved to New York for an internship at the award-winning VIBE magazine where she worked with photo director George Pitts. She then realized that being behind the scenes and putting everything together to create amazing photography was what she really wanted to do. She considers herself very lucky to have worked with the best and brightest at Self, Premiere, Teen People, VIBE, Fortune, Time and Essence.
Mimi Haddon's photographic journey began as a child, poring over her grandfather's pristinely packaged family photo albums. She loved the authenticity, elegance and humor the images conveyed of her family in times past. Haddon further cultivated her passion for photography while earning her BFA in visual communication design from California State University, Long Beach. Upon graduating, she spent a year in Paris, France, where she visually devoured the work of photographers past and present in the city's museums and galleries. She now makes her home in Venice, California, where she is inspired daily by the clash of nostalgic influences on modern realities. Her whimsical work has graced the pages of Elle, The New Yorker and Details magazines, and has won her campaigns with Taryn Rose, Disney, Marshall's and Mattel.
Robert Krivicich, partner and creative director of Boston-based Weymouth Design, has 24 years of experience in communications design. Prior to joining Weymouth in 1997, Krivicich ran his own design and advertising business. He holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston, and studied with Paul Rand and Armin Hofmann in Yale University's summer design program in Brissago, Switzerland. His work has been recognized by Applied Arts, AR 100, Communications Arts, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, The Mead Show and The Potlatch Annual Report Show. Two years ago, Krivicich borrowed a digital camera to take pictures for a friend's restaurant and, now hooked, takes photos whenever he can.
Steve Mitchell is a partner/creative director/art director/designer at Hunt Adkins in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he has been since 1994. While at Hunt Adkins he has worked with clients such as ABC Sports, Target, the Minnesota Twins, IBM, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Northwest Airlines, Pentax, Sargento, Miller Lite, VH-1, CBS, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and_Fujitsu. His work has been recognized in award competitions including the ADC, Communication Arts, The One Show and The Show (Minneapolis). Prior to working at Hunt Adkins, he was an art director at Bozell Worldwide, Inc. Before getting into advertising, Mitchell held many jobs including waiter, delivery truck driver, caterer, nurse's assistant, dishwasher, lounge singer, illustrator and heavy metal guitarist.
Jerry Takigawa received a degree in art and learned photography as a tool to produce photo-real paintings. He has worked as a fine art photographer and creative director of Takigawa Design for 38 years. From his studio in Monterey, California, he creates brand and design projects ranging from packaging, identity and advertising to book design, print collateral and interactive design. In 1982 he was the first photographer to be given the Imogen Cunningham Award for color photography. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Monterey Museum of Art and the University of Louisville.