Competitions

One photographer I have the deepest respect for is Guy Tal. He creates stunning landscape pictures but he is also a very insightful writer, just check out his blog. He recently wrote about photography competitions and I can only echo his thoughts. I’ve been very suspicious about any competitions for the very reason that he mentions, that in the end the success or failure of your pictures depends on the eye of the judge(s). A competition does not measure how good your pictures are – it measures the opinion of the person who is reviewing your picture.

Now it might sound a little bit like sour grapes when I say it, but it’s not. Yes I’ve participated in some competitions in the past, but only some random small ones (I’m realistic enough to know that I’m not good enough for any of the big ones!). And no I haven’t had any success, and sometimes I’ve been downright discouraged when I’ve seen the winning pictures. Technically inferior to mine, but what difference does it make when the judge is technically not a photographer? And anyway, since when has technique mattered? The photograph has to say something to the viewer, and my photographs don’t talk much. I like them quiet. The way I see it, I don’t need a prize to validate my photography. All I need is the satisfaction I get from my own work, created on my own terms. If someone else likes it, great! But as for competitions, I’m done with them. Zero ambitions.

A bit like writing this blog. I do it because I like to write, not because I entertain any illusion that I’m good at it. Why do you think I keep rambling on about nothing? It’s just the joy of seeing the noise on the keyboard turn into words on the screen. An excuse to publish some of those pictures I have lying around on the hard drive!

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