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  1. #1
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    B+W Magazine Portfolio Competition

    So, after reading much debate of late over B+W magazine's preference of digital images over conventional wet darkroom work, I received a subscription to this magazine for my Birthday recently. With my first issue, I saw that there was a photo portfolio competition with entries due in between September 1st and December 1st. Well when I received my magazine, it was November 29th! Anyway, I frantically scanned some images from a body of work I had been producing and burnt a CD following all the criteria that was laid out, and got the thing sent off in time to meet the December 1st post mark date. Has anyone else on APUG had any luck or additional exposure of their images as a result of competitions like these? How valuable was the experience?

    The cost of entry was minimal and certainly worth the risk to me, but I am just curious how many folks on this site actually participate in such competitions, and does any success in them truly help you get name recognition, and potential gallery representation?

    This approach is entirely new to me, and I know that with the brilliant talent out there, and no doubt many participants, that success is likely very slim. I have to expect disappointment, but would certainly be pleasantly suprised if any images of mine were selected for publication.

    Does anyone care to comment, or offer advice?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I decided not to enter this competition because of file size requirements. Even if I was lucky enough to be published they wanted scans to print that were larger than my finished contact prints (4x5). In the case of vertical images, considerably larger. That's just not how I envisioned the project to be presented. I enjoy the magazine though and would consider entering in the future with a body of work more suited to the requirements.

    I am also curious what type of sales or gallery interest was generated for anyone that has been a part of these competitions in the past. BTW, good luck, Andrew!

  3. #3
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    I entered it a couple years ago and made it to the second cut, but I need better scans than what my crummy scanner is capable of producing before I enter such a contest again. And that's way the flow is going these days, making all the judgments on scans rather than prints. Its a shame but really can't blame people for doing it that way. It gets even harder if you do ULF unless you have access to a high-end scanner that can scan the entire print. Anything larger than 8.5x11.5 has to be stitched together from multiple scans, so in essence, it winds up being digital.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  4. #4
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    I too am scanner challenged. I am using a 9 year old Microtek which is serial port connected only! I need to seriously look at options where this is concerned. Maybe an Epson 700 or 750 if I can get the scratch together. At any rate, I trie dot make it work. We'll see if anything comes of it!

    I am not concerned about using digital scans over actual prints, but I would like the option of being able to submit the real images after one or two rounds are successfully made with the initial scans. I too can see why they do it the way they do to minimize handling and damage to submitted work.

  5. #5
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Some images i entered last year for the portfolio contest made it in the 2007 Portfolio issue. I've received a few emails to date but nothing other than solicitation from Focus Mag or other image contests. It did help me to get a show next summer in Michigan after the gallery owners saw the issue.
    The printing was/is very poor by the way. While there is black on the pages with ads, there isn't any in the shadows of the images. I didn't realize how bad the mag was until they printed my own stuff.

    There were a few other apugers who made the last portfolio issue. Maybe they'll chime in. Here's a thread started by one of them: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum56/3...e-b-w-mag.html
    vinny

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, I had a few photographs printed in the August 2007 B&W Portfolio issue (honorable mention award, or something like that, no article). About 20 people told me that they had seen my pictures in the magazine, but they were mostly photographers from my local area. One print order. Was fun to participate.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #7
    jovo's Avatar
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    I was considering entering this year, but I've got a show of 'real' prints to get ready for March, and doing the scans well is a lot of work. I'm also of two minds about the PS work that I'd absolutely choose to do to make the images as strong as possible. The uncertainty is that such tweaking is so easy to accomplish that it becomes more difficult to make a 'wet' print that would be a match should someone choose to offer to buy something. Once going the photoshop route, I think one's photographs are more likely to stay in that domain rather than straddle the digi/traditional fence, and I don't want to do that at this point. (BTW, I don't mean to suggest that photoshop is 'easy'....it isn't. It's a deep program that takes a huge amount of skill to be competent in, but once you have some learned some procedures that work well, doing them repeatedly is 'easy'.)
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  8. #8

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    Hmmm, just because B&W asks for submissions on a CD doesn't necessarily mean they favor digital images, IMO, though I must admit I haven't seen the threads referenced by the OP. A lot of folks submit scans of their prints, or use a hybrid workflow (heaven forbid!)...

    I started another thread last week with a link to the photos I submitted, so I guess I'll post that again here. None of my photos were chosen, however I recv'd notification only a week or two before the final pick, so I assume they made it almost until the end...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/viapian...7603308612045/

  9. #9
    Leon's Avatar
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    a friend of mine, susan burnstine has egged me on to entering this year. She did well either last year or the year before and felt it gave her recognition and success a huge boost.

    Fingers x'd!

    L

  10. #10

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    I entered this competition two years running and I only ever submit silver prints, either 16x12 or 10x8.

    I was fortunate to get a runner-up in the portfolio section in 2006 with four images from my "Coastal Fragments" portfolio. B+W staff writer Tracey Hallet (sadly she's left as well) liked one of the images and purchased a copy (some people have strange tastes) and Andrew Sanderson liked the same image so we did a print swop, I think I got the better deal!

    I bombed out in the portfolio section this year, not surprised as it was a set from my "White Chairs" portfolio. Although Ailsa liked them (crazy girl!) she couldn't persuade the other judges likewise (for me a gem in itself). However I did enter one of the set subject categories, I think it was 'places' and again managed a runners-up position (always the 'bridesmaid').

    However being the mercenary that I am this all helps for even the runner-up prizes are well worth the cost of admission and I urge as many of you fellow APUG's to enter as possible.

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