Unfortunately, those of us who have been part of the photographic club scene have been there and believe me, it doesn't make it any easier. I really feel for you, as what I thought was my best image last year had the dignity of getting a score of a one. The judge even said that it was a waste of ink (it was a digital print, but that is not the point).
Originally Posted by w9cae
The worse thing you can possibly do is get hung up on it. I know, as I have realised that a bad comment that I received from a judge really made me question my own abilities and it took me a long time to get over it. In reality, I am happy with what I do. I have also come to the realisation that Photography is not a sport, its an art and for a judge to score anything low is a relfection on their own insecurities to accept things that are not normal to them.
Please send the print. Be proud of it!
Scott, I think you where at the night (TDPG) when the lady commenting on prints wouldn't even look at mine! It happens... move on... Your print will be fine, these exchanges are about seeing a variety of work and there's nothing in the 'entry requirements' that says it must meet a MCC judge approval. Probably best if it doesn't! might actually be interesting!!!
Scott, don't let it discourage you, I liked your print though as I said please don't tone it in Viradon a the club / indoors.
As for the comps most of the judges want to see over-sharpened over saturated junk, and the advent of photoshop and the ease at which images can be repaired has meant that they are much less forgiving about small technical faults, I don't see many B&W prints getting much of a look in and the ones that win tend to be the moody film-noir shots or the landscape with a dark & dramatic sky.
I suggest you get thick skin if you want to keep submitting as we've all had our fair share of criticism from the judges and unfortunately it's par for the course just take it in your stride. The judge wasn't singling you out or anything. Most judges these days don't recognize a darkroom print when they see one. I've had judges say stuff like "well this is obviously a film scan" or "this could do with levels/curves adjustment" or "you could have cloned out the people in the foreground" or "skin softening would have been a good choice here"
Next comp I'm going to put in some shots I took at a concert on Neopan 1600 (mega grainy) so that should confuse the judges a bit, I wonder if they will say "it's too noisy" or something.
Don't let it bother you Scott, I come to the conclusion that he only person that needs to be happy with my prints is me, if somebody else like them good for them. Anyway subject matter is all that counts and your subject matter is the best.....:)
Mike, sorry to hear about the job situation. Hope things work out up in ACT.
While we are still on the topic, I decided to write a Post about this on my not even week old blog. Like I said above, I really feel the pain and felt that I would like to share my thoughts:
I know how you feel. I hope you can get something from my words. (I hope you don't mind me quoting you. I will remove the quote if you do)
Anyhow, I am thinking of re-printing tonight. I have hidden my prints away for a week and will look at them again tonight and decide from there.
LOL I just wrote out this reply & in posting I was logged out now my words are gone. I am soo over this digital world give me a time machine to park myself in pre computer days.
Hopefully next week we will have some nice weather so I can tone my prints.
I've been sitting on the fence about this, but now I can't help making a comment.
I was in a couple of camera clubs for nearly 20 years - I joined when I was around 18 or 19. I thought I would learn heaps...At first I did well - I entered the work I was happy with, didn't listen to judges, and did ok in the competitions....Then I started to listen to the judges...and I may as well have written the next 5 years work. Technically my work may have improved, but it lost its soul....
Then I was then lucky to find that one of my customers when I was a camera technician was a lecturer in photography at RMIT..so I couldn't resist, and asked him to look at my folio, as I was thinking of enrolling part time in the Photography Course at RMIT.
The first thing he said was he hated to do this, as he knew that his comments could have an adverse effect. This is the thing many judges don't think about. They all have their own opinion, which is based on a formula they come up with which works for them. It's not that they are doing something unique - they are just doing something well. Same goes for most pro photographers - they like a certain style of work, and may don't know any better....
So what did my customer say? I asked him if he thought I would learn much doing the course....he said no, probably not.
This one small act taught me more than years in school would have. In one word he had told me I was on the right track, and to keep developing my own style and learn from my mistakes. Over the years I was lucky to see lots of his work, both his final prints, and his work prints. From these I learnt interpretation, and how to put on paper what I had in my mind...
One more thing..I was in the only camera club in Australia that was devoted to black and white photography. When I first joined I think there were 5 or 6 true pro or semi pro photographers, some who had been working in the medium for over 20 years. These are the guys I learnt printing from.
I went back a few years ago to hear Les Walking do a talk about color management. Much had changed. I only knew a couple of people who were members from when I was a member. And of the 26 or 28 members they had only 1 was still printing in a darkroom - and he had just bought his first d-slr.
I've printed in a darkroom for 30 years. I shoot digital and print black and white on a home printer. I print negatives in a home darkroom. To be honest I don't think one is a beter or easier to master medium than the other....
What you need to remember is that if you've done your best no matter what the medium, whether or not other people agree with your work (think of some peoples reactions to the work of some photographers like Bill Henson or Spencer Tunick) you have nothing the be ashamed off....
Never been in one, but camera clubs sound (by pretty much all accounts) like grim places... I reckon the best way to learn about what makes a good photo is to look at other people's work, and lots of it. I wouldn't expect the guys that hang around at camera clubs to be the best source of advice or constructive criticism regarding artistic merit. So I wouldn't let it get you down, Scott.
I've got nothing against camera clubs but I do have a bit of a problem with their "competitions". Being successful in those competitions invariably means measuring up to someone else's idea of what is good - and those ideas usually change according to the prevailing dictates of fashion.
By contrast, I've always seen my photography as an endeavour that let's me reflect something of how I see the world around me (and therefore who I am). Within that context, the idea of "competing" against others just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Of course I have nothing against those who do compete. I've seen some shows where I've been astounded by the high quality of work on display. Its just not for me.
So w9cae, I wouldn't read too much into your experience. Stick with what you want to do and what looks good to you. Yes, it might be nice to receive the recognition and/or adulation of one's peers, but ultimately, is that why we make photographs?
Gee I am completely amazed by the recent commentary here. Glad now that my original response got wiped when the system logged me out. I do have to say I have leaned more from APUG then any other photographic site. And when I needed some bits for my British made Gnome enlarger APUG members were there. I have put a message out to the MCC Traditional print makers group. It's more of a blending of recent ideas past about. To make another film user group having print & slide comp & outing's and some informal learning sessions. It would be nice to present a traditional print & folks knowing my gear & skills be able to point me in directions. That will improve & develop my own style. And other new comers would not feel so intimidated by analog photography.