With the wonderful theme The Poetry of the Ordinary I knew I was in for a treat in seeing what submissions came in, and I was not disappointed. This selection by no means represents all of the excellent images submitted. There just wasn't room to include so many wonderful choices and it really hurt to lose some from the final edit!
In my Juror’s Award selection the photographer is showing me a whole new way of looking at an ordinary household object, turning it into a still-life that became for me a mandala-like offering for spiritual contemplation. My Director’s Award choice shows the most mundane subject matter in such a dramatic way. Even the bold structure of the photo intentionally breaks traditional compositional rules in a manner that demands attention.
In jurying exhibits, I look for photos that speak to me, that have something to say beyond technical excellence or a good facsimile of a classic theme. I want to see images that move beyond the trite and familiar into the region of self-expression, if not self-exploration. This, of course, is completely subjective and it’s important to realize that my choices are only my opinion and not fact. It does not mean one photo is better than another, it means that these are the images that I reacted most strongly and positively to. I do try and recognize excellence in styles that are not my own or even in styles I am not fond of. My personal prejudice is that I look for a strong personal point of view rather than a lucky shot or great timing. I want to feel the photographer had a personal connection on some level to their chosen subject rather than finding a random pretty subject or interesting scene. To me the best photographs show not only what the photographer saw but how they interpreted what they saw. And that is highly subjective and open to interpretation…
- Douglas Beasley