I am getting ready for this months photography contest on Friday and I am working on keeping my perspective. Last month I entered what had been reviewed by others as a very solid shot in the monthly theme of reflections. The photo was taken in a light box so the background was completely black and it consisted of a twisted ribbon of glass sitting on a mirror. The glass virtually glowed. The image is located in the my favorites section of my website The Orb.
I am not saying this is an amazing photography, but I tried many different objects and approaches to get the reflection right.
The contest comes and the master photographer who was selected to judge my image stated I missed the concept of reflection because he felt this was a twisted piece of wire. I was so angry. I understand people not loving photos but to completely miss what the image was and wrongly announce that to a group of almost 100 people without my being allowed to correct the misconception was what made me mad.
I thought about speaking to him after, not to confront him, only to ask how I could have conveyed what this object was better. I decided not to.
This month I have printed up 4 images despite only entering 2. While I was processing some other images I recently took, I realized my style tends to be very heavy on the contrast and this does not seem to resonate with these judges. This gave me perspective. I will continue entering pieces because I hope to receive some constructive feedback, but I have also learned that my style just doesn't fit with what they like. This makes sense. I sit at these contests and see images they really like and many times I do not agree. I have had success winning several first place ribbons at these contests, but usually it is on images I do not think they will like. Pretty much the judges do the exact opposite of what I like. If I love the image they are very critical of it and the reverse as well. So should I use this to select my images for competition? I don't think so. I will continue to enter what I like and like this month I am entering in categories I don't normally enter to get feedback to improve. This is good for my growth, but if they mistake my butterfly for a moth this month I don't think I will be able to hold back with my comments. Just kidding.