the league of extraordinary gentlemen …

the league of extraordinary gentlemen …

Lensculture hatte zum jährlichen Portraitwettbewerb aufgerufen und ich fühlte mich herausgefordert und nahm mit einer Serie von 10 Bildern teil. Nach Einreichen der Serie bekommt man von den Juroren eine konstruktive Kritik und die möchte ich Euch nicht vorenthalten ;0) …

Greetings Mandy, and thank you for your submission to LensCulture’s Portrait Awards! On behalf of the LensCulture community, it’s a pleasure to spend time with your work.

This is a really interesting selection of portraits here, and it seems like a really charming project.

On a technical level, I do see some room for development in these. The tonal qualities in these are a little uneven, especially in ones where the background seems to be too bright like the second to last one (title your images!)  I can tell that you were very formulaic in your approach and for the most part these are very consistent, but there are some rough areas where the lighting and exposure just doesn’t quite nail it. Some of them are perfect, nos 2-5 ( das sind die 5 Bilder oben im Banner) are nicely crafted.

I think your framing and compositions are good, as each of your subjects is clearly demonstrated and centered with the frames. I really like the idea of placing these subjects into a common and old fashion sort of outfit, it’s interesting to me. I like the title of the project, but I wish you had offered more information about this project and what you were trying to get out of it.

So the one thing that’s missing here is a strong submission statement, which could go a long way in talking about your ideas, processes, and goals for your work. It’s something that most editors, curators and publishers want to see, so that they may better understand your motivations, inspirations and purposes for creating the work that you do. What are you trying to communicate with your work? What kind of audiences are you trying to engage and how do you hope they respond? What are your influences and inspirations for making the work that you do? Answers to these questions will all lead to a more depthful and engaging presentation.

So overall I think this is a start to a really interesting project. There is room to grow in how you handle the lighting and tones to create more consistency. And with a series, editing is everything. If there are images that don’t quite fit in terms of the cohesion of the whole, like the ones here that aren’t quite executed as well as others, your best bet for a good presentation is simply to cut them out and show only the best.

At any rate, it was a pleasure to spend time with your work and I hope you find some value in my brief feedback and criticisms here. I’ll list some resources for you to check out below. Very best of luck and keep up the interesting work!

Additional Recommendations
Recommended Books & Photographers:

The Photograph as Contemporary Art, by Charlotte Cotton

How to write an Artist’s Statement

Crusade For Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers, by Jennifer Schwartz

Photo Editing and Presentation

Photo Competitions:

Sony World Photography Awards

International Photography Awards

Recommendations for Gaining Exposure:

Flak Photo

Fraction Magazine

GUP Magazine

Plates to Pixels

Other Resources:

The Practical Art World: Suggestions for Writing your Artist’s Statement

Relevant Quotes from Past Jurors:

„Every great picture tells a story and should be able to stand on its own, but viewers are often eager to know a little bit more about what the photo is about. So a simple title or caption, or a few words, can make a great photo really come to life in someone’s imagination.“ — Jim Casper, Editor & Publisher of LensCulture

„Editing is essential and good sequencing certainly helps with my selection. My mantra is less is more. Include only your best pictures — anything else will weaken the submission.“ — Elisabeth Biondi, Visuals Editor, Indepedent Curator, New York City, USA

„Photography is first and foremost a visual medium. So, one must communicate primarily through pictures. However, additional info – background info per image in case of photojournalism and documentary projects, an artist statement in the case of art or personal work – is often essential to understand the ambitions of the photographer. Even if the image comes first, accompanying words can still provide crucial information that simply cannot come across in an image.“ — Erik Vroons , Chief Editor, GUP Magazine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Filled Under : Portrait