“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