Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Photo Exhibit

The 2008 Michael H. Kellicutt International Photo Show - Through a Lens: Patterns of People or Patterns in Nature was my reason to go to California. I had two photos - one hanging on the wall and one in the Display Book.

"Geometric" was priviledged to hang on the wall:

"Deadvlei" was in the display book:

I wanted to go to the exhibition and reception for a couple of reasons. I learned at the Hubbard Museum that it is a good idea to see the venue and the exhibition because you learn more about what kind of photos are chosen and how they are presented. Going to the reception allows you to meet the juror, the people who run the contest, and other photographers. It allows me to be better prepared for my next submission.

The Reception at the Coastal Arts League and Museum was wonderful. As they announced the awards, the juror explained why he chose each image. It was fascinating to view each of the winning images through his eyes. The photographers also got to talk about their image. The juror also made some general statements about judging that I think are worth repeating. He reiterated how special each image in the show was - that it was a winner to just to be on display. Judging is very subjective. On any given day, his choice for the images that won honorable mention, first, second,and third places would be different. If photography and art were just judged on technical merits, then the choices might be easier and more consistent from one day to the next. But photography is also art, and photos are judged not only by the skill level and "perfection" but also on how the subject matter and its presentation touches our emotions, inspires us, and makes us think or see the world differently.

You can see each of the images on the website, but it is different when you see how each photographer presented the image for hanging. Two of the winning images were presented on stretched canvas. They were gorgeous. Sometimes seeing the image full sized and with vivid print colors brought out beauty that you don't see the same way on the web. I think I learned some things about how I can make stronger presentations of future photographs.

The Coastal Arts League website is set up very well. If you click on the first image, it takes you to a slide show so you can see each image in a larger format on screen. The Award Winning Images are also set up to be viewed either as a group or as a slide show. It would be well worth your time to take time and enjoy some of the wonderful images.

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