I doubt it
I believe it takes a very special person to judge prints without bias. I doubt that many can be found.
Take me...I know I can be hard to take...If I were a judge at a dog show the winner every time would be the beagle.
Ask Les Mclean about judging photographs in photo clubs. I remember he once wrote in Practical Photography magazine next story: He photographed horse race, and bring slides in one photo club. So, judges put his slides in projector. Comment was like "Photographs are OK, but if he(Les) waited that red dressed jockey get before yellow dressed jockey, photographs would be better..." !!!!!!!. I mean, what those judges think. What Les should to do, to stop the race and to arrange jockeys to race in order how colours of theire outfits are suitable to be photographed...
This was written by my best memory. If I made mistake, I appologize to Les Mclean and to all of you. And, If I was wrong, please Les, correct me.
Last edited by haris; 04-07-2005 at 01:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.
At the Risk of sounding repeititous...
The line from the "Garden Party" by ricky Nelson ...
"You can't please everyone - so you've GOT to please yourself!"
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Camera club competitions can be very vexing. I would caution against giving too much weight to them.
Originally Posted by Soeren
This is my first post to this website. I was immediately attracted by this topic as I am the president of a camera club in Sydney, Australia and it is my responsibility to organize the judges for our monthly competitions. The concerns expressed in this thread have been expressed to me personally. I try to overcome them by asking accredited judges (accredited through our state federation of camera clubs), professional photographers and photographic teachers or other professionals involved in photography to judge. Yes, they will each have their biases and it is only one person's opinion but over the course of the year our members are subject to many different opinions about what good photography is. I would like to think that this increases the chances that someone will be inspired/challenged photographically by the experience.
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Well done Susan
Sounds like to picked the right person to run their club. Well done program of judging from the sound of it.
Here is the first ever photo critique I ever received back in 1976 when I took Photo 1 in college.
I became his teaching assistant the next semester.
Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.
No offence Susan, but when I hear of credits, titles and awards of a "distinguished" judge or critic I instinctively feel an uneasiness in my stomach. I am sure you have no other ways to help the club members get their required criques and I am glad that atleast you choose many different people than relying on the same "club officers". You seem to mean well.
I think the best way to choose a person to critique your work is to look at their work, listen to them speak, read a book or article they have written. Understand their philosophy, their likes and dislikes. For example I have great respect for a greek photography teacher after reading his books and looking at the photos of photographers that he has published and have also taken his workshops. But I also know what he likes and doesn't. He is focused in BW for example and doesn't care about Ansel Adams or Helmut Newton, LF negatives or overworked prints. He prefers Sudek, Bresson and Kudelka. So if I was an Ansel Adams fan with 8x10 prints of landscapes he couldn't tell me much.
Some people like easy cliches others complicated experiments. Some care about technicallities, some only about the image, and so on.
You got know the critic before (s)he critiques you.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
Originally Posted by Susan Buchanan
I appreciate what you are trying to do ... and the amount of effort you must be expending to try to keep things as unbiased as possible.
I would think that the most effective way to really obtain a learning experience form Critiques would be to submit the *same* photograph to each of many distinguished judges, and to consider their combined critical comments. Possibly, out of many, the differences as to - "preconditioning" would be a better term than "biased" ("bias " suggests some sort of volition - "preconditioning" would be involuntary), would be minimized. Probably, the most effective utilization of Critiques - but to tell the truth, I have never heard of that happening.
At any rate, I get more out of listening to a "Great" photographer describe his/her own work, their philosophies and motivations -- the way they approach photography - so much more - than I would where they make educated guesses about what is in my head and what I am trying to do.
One of the most useful sources of inspiration was in the form of a videotape of and by Ansel Adams. To get some insight into the personality of the man, and the way he related to photography, and to correlate and try to understand something of how all that affected the final images was fascinating and - to me, priceless. No, I have no idea of what he would have thought of my work. I do not intend to recreate his work, at any level .. i'm not even interested in that particular genre - but still, they are invaluable insights.
To me, "Competitions" are synonymous with incoherent gambling - where no one really knows the rules.
I LOVE to attend lectures, with photographic examples, and prominent? - significant? - photographers describing her/his work - and preconditioned "biases".
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Oh, boy. I was invited to judge a local "competition" in early May. I promise to be random, aloof, snobbish and post modern. I think that the fourth photograph shown will be the winner.
It will be a fun time.