We received 8,461 entries this year, a 10% drop from the previous year. Despite fewer entries, we have a strong show—dominated by scenes of devastation from Hurricane Katrina. We also added a cinematography category to the Annual and registered a couple of winners the first time out.
“Most work was much better than I thought it would be,” said juror Lars Topelmann. “Being a photographer myself, I know what goes into making a photograph and how difficult it can be technically. It inspired me to make better photographs.”
“There was a great deal to see. My first impression was people are working and working hard,” said juror JP Williams. “The breadth of work and richness was all there.”
“I was surprised by how much fashion photography was entered,” said juror Jennifer Poggi. “I was also surprised by just how bad some of the worst entries were.”
Several jurors commented on the lack of subtlety in the retouching of images. “I was taken aback by the digital enhancing of most of the portraits,” juror Zana Woods said. “It appears that the post-production and manipulation of images is overpowering what’s seen in camera.” “Photo-retouching played too heavy-handed a role,” said JP Williams. “Maybe I’m old fashioned, but a photograph with the hand of illustration did not cut it with me.”
“I’d like to see more photo essays and personal projects that can be sold to different markets.” —Zana Woods
When asked about the future, Poggi suggested that photography is nowhere near being fully realized on the Web. “I’m excited to see new independent e-zines popping up that have a more sophisticated design and that display photography appropriately,” she said. “Of course, I answer this coming from an editorial background, but I do think it’s true for all areas of the photography industry. Right now I feel we’re in a negative cycle, mostly for financial reasons. The atmosphere is ripe for something new and exciting to emerge.”
What other profit centers could photographers explore besides commissioned work? “The independent stock house,” suggested Williams. “It would be a good idea to form an independent Web site where stock images could be shared and help the little guy have a place for his/her images.”
This year’s jurying began on Sunday morning, April 24th at our offices in Menlo Park, California. We worked in two large conference halls specially built for our competitions, each equipped with projectors for digital and slide entries and six rows of tables for tearsheets and proofs.
“Many photographers I know, make a good percentage of their income from shooting stock.” —Lars Topelmann
The jurors worked in two groups of three; I was the sixth judge during the screening process. All but the smallest categories had been divided so each team screened half of the entries submitted. The jurors alternated between viewing a round of slides or digital files and then a set-up of print entries.
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 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 juror. Finalists on slides and digital files were voted on by each juror checking “in” or “out” on scoring sheets.
Judges were not permitted to vote on projects they were directly involved in. When a judge’s piece was in the finals, either Jean Coyne or I would cast the fifth vote.
One hundred fifty-four entries were chosen, representing the work of 140 photographers. Decisions on size and placement were based on reproduction evaluations, pacing and the need to control press channels and ink usage for web printing.
I would like to thank our jurors’ conscientious efforts in selecting the 47th Photography Annual. —Patrick Coyne ca
founding partner, and co-creative director
Cultivator Advertising and Design
Chris Beatty is a founding partner, and co-creative director, of Cultivator Advertising and Design in Denver, Colorado. His agency experience over two decades has encompassed everything from consumer advertising to dimensional sculpture, and he is as capable with a MIG welder as he is with an Adobe-filled G5. He attended Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana, and, after ten plus years as an art director with Young & Laramore, Beatty headed West, coming to an abrupt halt at the foot of the Rockies due to a fear of heights, where he helped found Cultivator in 2000.
deputy director of photography
U.S. News & World Report
Jennifer Poggi is the deputy director of photography at U.S. News & World Report in Washington, DC. She began her career as a photo assistant with the Associated Press in New York. From 1994 to 1998 she worked as a picture editor for the Associated Press covering national, international and sports news. In 1998 she joined U.S. News as an assistant picture editor working in the magazine’s Nation section. In 2005, Poggi was a visiting pro-fessor at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications where she worked with a picture editing class. Her work has been recognized by Communication Arts, National Press Photographers Association and White House News Photographers Association.
Lars Topelmann is a Portland, Oregon-based photographer. Born into an artistic family in Chicago, Illinois, his painter parents moved the family to Northern Wisconsin where they opened an art gallery. Lars earned spending money framing paintings when he was twelve (a buck a painting). He got a camera for his birthday and began spending his free time taking photos of his friends jumping bicycles and faking wipeout scenes. Lars’s three favorite things are his family, photography and windsurfing—not necessarily in that order. His two boys have inherited his sense of goofy humor and the art of high jinx. This zest for life is the basis of his photographic style. He tries to include some of the energy and fun that he learned when he was a kid into every photograph.
J. Phillips Williams
J. Phillips Williams, known as JP, was born in Alabama and educated at Rhode Island School of Design and Yale School of Art. Prior to forming design:mw in New York City in 1993, he was the senior art director of Bergdorf Goodman. As partner with his wife Allison, a classmate at RISD, JP works with clients ranging from Target to Büttenpapierfabrik Gmund. The design firm specializes in establishing the identities of retail brands. Its work has been recog-nized by Communication Arts and Graphis. He has taught at Parsons School of Design and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and on occasion has written for CA in the Design Issues column. He loves all things designed and is an avid book collector.
Zana Woods is the photo editor of Wired magazine in San Francisco, California, where she started in 1999. Her focus at Wired is on environmental portraiture, photojournalism and pro-duct photography. She was previously an art buyer at Foote, Cone & Belding and her accounts included AT&T, MTV and Dockers. Formerly studio/account manager for Thomas Heinser, a San Francisco commercial photographer, her work has been recognized by the Society of Publication Designers and Photo District News. An amateur photographer, avid photo book collector and a very active softball player, Zana frequently talks with students at the Academy of Art University and California College of the Arts about photography, developing portfolios and creating new work. Originally from Arkansas, she attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.