Edge of the Storm
PhotoQuest 2010 - Best of Show
Here's what the PhotoQuest judge, Joe Walsh, had to say about the show:
"Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed."
- Garry Winogrand
Here's a link to the Kerrville Daily Times article: Hill Country Camera Club hosts PhotoQuest reception
Dear HCCC members,
Last week it was my honor and privilege to judge your annual PhotoQuest show. If you have already seen it you know how difficult that task was... the standards were quite high and I enjoyed seeing your work.
Cynthia Hurayt's "Ill Wind" was the third place winner. In addition to the craftsmanship evident in the quality of this black and white print, it contains a rare and intriguing attribute: a photograph that asks questions rather than provides answers.
Like a still from a film noir, it draws us in.
Second place went to Vicki Gibson's "Last Night". Beautifully composed according to the Rule of Thirds with perfect subject placement it also benefits from highly directional and dramatic warm light. The shutter was released at precisely the right instant to capture the bird's gesture as well as the emphasis provided by the concentric circles in the water.
The first place winner was Mack Barham's "Egrets in Fog." Those of us who have photographed -or attempted to photograph- birds in flight know how difficult it is. The more there are the more can go wrong yet the placement left to right and the front to back overlap of birds' heads and bodies work quite nicely. Remarkable. The muted light and pastel color created by nature's diffuser create a soft, quiet atmosphere. This is a large print, a size usually deemed impractical for small cameras but one which works here, "grain" and all, because of those atmospherics. The background is wonderful. Don't notice the background?...that's what makes it wonderful.
Best of Show was Vicki Gibson's "Edge of The Storm." Landscape appears to be the perennial favorite among amateur photographers as this year's PhotoQuest demonstrates. What distinguishes one landscape photograph from another? How is John's cypress lined creek different from Jane's cypress lined creek?
Having taken a picture of snow capped mountains is there any point in taking another---ever?
To me, landscape is all about time...what year, what time of year, what day, what time of day, and, of course, weather. Always the weather.
Although we have no control over the weather we can continue shooting the same subjects in different conditions.
After that, the crucial decision is "Where should I put the camera?" Over here or over there? Higher or lower? And wedo have control of that.
The least important factor is what and where we photograph. IMO, the Grand Canyon holds no more inherent photographic promise than the road to Hunt.
Case in point: "The Edge of The Storm", a remarkable photograph of an unremarkable location. The title is revealing...edges of fronts are usually the most visually interesting. The photographer recognized these circumstances and acted. Camera placement is flawless...composing left to right and up and down is done well but also the more difficult front to back arrangement is well seen and organized. Colors are muted yet strong, textures and shapes abound. There is much to be seen in this little photographic rectangle!
There is much to be seen in the other 99 photographs hanging at KACC this month. Honestly, if there were more ribbons to distribute I'd have felt justified awarding them, also.
Special thanks to Cheryl Gochenour for her assistance with the tallying of scores et al. and to Lanza Teague of the Arts and Cultural Center for judging preparation.
Regards and congratulations to all,