Submitting artistic creations to be judged by someone else is anathema to some.
Landscape artist, Graham Sydney certainly seemed to think it was a strange practice, and one which he thought unique to the photography world. He would have none of it, according to his keynote address at the recent photographic conference. He had more to say, much of which I vehemently disagreed with, so perhaps I shouldn’t take that part of his speech too seriously either. On the other hand, I like (most of) his art.
Last night, at the judging of the “ladder competition” in the camera club, I got whacked around the ears, metaphorically speaking, and pictures that I quite liked, received that dreaded “not accepted” tag for reasons that I simply disagreed with.
How to cope with this? If I am willing to accept uncritically, the praise, when it comes, how then, can I object to the critique when it is less flattering? The short answer is that I need to develop a tougher hide. I invited the judgement by entering the competition. I can scarcely complain when I got it.
As my kids would say, “take a concrete pill, harden up!” And he did like some of my other shots, though not effusively so.
Earlier in the day, I went down to Petone foreshore, near the railway line, to practice the art of “panning”. This is swinging the camera so as to keep up with a fast-moving object, and making the exposure at a low shutter speed in order to blur the background, and thus convey a sense of speed. This is one of the resulting shots. While I am reasonably happy with the panning, the sharpness of the train could be improved by swinging more precisely in time with the motion of the train.
On the other hand, the people in the shot were the unexpected bonus. The train driver is wary of people near the track (as he should be, though I was outside the railway land). It is hard to tell whether he thought I was a potential threat, or merely a diversion from the usual trackside routine. And then, there are the commuters in the carriage (click to enlarge). They don’t look excited to be going home, do they? They have the look of puppets whose strings have been cut.
Between trains (it was rush hour), I looked around me, ever mindful of the advice to see what’s going on in the other direction. Though the day had started well enough, the weather was on the downward slope. However, I was lucky enough to catch what may be the last pale sunshine for the week ahead. And as is often the case, the sun was falling on Eastbourne and the Eastern bays, while the rest of us endured the overcast.
Coming back to submitting images for judgement, I suppose I do that every day in this very forum, though you as judges tend to remain mute for the most part. I would most sincerely welcome any and all suggestions as to how my images might have been improved. Help me to improve! Speak!
Those of you familiar with Wellington may be intrigued to know that a wind turbine is to be installed on Matiu/Somes Island (centre of the picture above), to reduce the dependence of the facilities there on the mains electricity system. It is to be “three stories high” and will be “camouflaged” .
I suspect this will be a very small farm-style windmill, but I expect cries of outrage.