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