"Winning" and photography

So Roger announced that I “won” the photo contest and while I enjoy gloating as much as the next person, I have spent the last few days contemplating what that really means.  To me, photography is a very personal way of sharing how I look at the world.  Since it’s invention, people have questioned whether or not it is art.  I think that it is most definitely can be and like to hope that some of what we produce is.  As such, I don’t know that there really is a “winner”.  It’s kind of like figure skating or diving or any thing that requires a judge instead of a score.  What people like or dislike depends not upon the performer, but upon how that judge feels, or what they see.    Roger and I are bluntly critical and complementary about each other’s work and our own as well.  Usually we start off with, “your pictures are terrible”, but then try to focus on what’s good and bad.  Take for example my second favorite picture from the 6, photo 3, the lines in the roof.  Now I knew that he had rotated the image 90 degrees and had adjusted the colors—all within the rules.  I also know that is the kind of image, which I usually shoot and had as well.  So Roger was actually paying me a great complement in his image selection and it worked, in fact his treatment was much better than mine.

I liked the soft green and the verticals in the scallions, but the randomness of the blue rubber bands, broke up the image into disjointedness for me. My version of scallions didn’t make the cut for me.  Lots and lots of voters really liked his scallions

A better scallion shot

 and that is cool.

We both also had variations of this shot

Rows of Raspberries

Some with blackberries, or other fruit and neither of us thought that the pictures were great photographs

The most popular photo was the chest. 

The "best" chest

 About 85% of voters selected it.   Here are all the other versions I shot of it.

 Alexandria Farmers Market-20Alexandria Farmers Market-22Alexandria Farmers Market-23

So what was it that made the  stand out?  For me, it was the instant where the warmth of the early light really made the old wood glow and the way I reframed it to get the lines on the pavement moving away at a right angle, thus extending the frame, while drawing your eye back towards the chest.  But that is just my opinion.   This was a great exercise and what photography is all about.  Get out there with some friends and shoot something in common.  You will be amazed at how each will find something unique to say.

We can all tell that we like a picture, what I don’t think we can do is say that one is better than another—except of course when it gets me a free lunch.