Your Judge for the third round of the 53mm 12x53 photo of the month competition, the very brilliant palle schultz, not only Submits his Advice About Taking Successful landscape Photographs, but Successful photographs as a whole. it is an Inspired take on what a successful photography is and how it is much more than an aesthetic. this is a real treat to read and lets you into how a fujifilm x-photographer decides on what, on how and why to shoot a subject.
Try and take on board as much of the expert counsel as you can, because as far as this is guidance, it might well be what Palle will be looking for in his winning shot too. Or what he would like to perceive from your shot.
Hi fellow photographers
I’ve been challenged to be the judge of the Landscape / Urban / Cityscapes category in the October rendition of the 12x53 contest. I could and would call it an honour, which in many ways it is. But judging other people’s images is a thing that I’m a bit hesitant to do. Because what is a good and a great picture? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. I realise that the air soon could be filled with rhetorical bullets about rules, leading lines, rule of thirds, the golden ratio, contrast, foreground / background separation and so forth. But for me, appreciation of a photograph is very much emotional and individual.
Appreciation of pictures in my mind very often is: relevance + time. Take the most banal picture you can think of with two persons leaning against a contemporary vehicle and then add fifty years, and suddenly it is a testament of time, instead of being two dudes leaning up against a car.
Taking a photograph is omitting everything but a two dimensional color or black and white representation of what every sensorial tissue in your body experienced when it was shot.
Being conscious about the fact that you are distilling your emotional and sensorial experience into the before mentioned 2 dimensional representation, can actually be quite a useful tool, while capturing this carefully chosen visible frame of the reality you were in at the time.
Photographs are only a selection of reality or only part of the “truth”, so you might as well milk the framing to its maximum potential. It could be shooting the most beautiful corner of the world, right next to a bunch of garbage. Focus on one or the other and or the relation between the two, and choose to shoot what you feel is the most important story in that place. It could be humans destroying the otherwise beautiful world, finding an oasis in the midst of the big city jungle, or just showing that little spot of nature, as if it was in the middle of nowhere, completely neglecting the existence of what surrounds it.
It is your emotional response to it and what you make of it, that is important. Do try to bring that out in the final rendering. If your own emotional response to the final rendering matches your intention, then you have reached your goal with that picture and can move on to printing, selling or sharing.
I can’t say what will be my judging criteria other than my own emotional response and intuition. Of course composition is a given of sorts, unless the action in the picture is of such power that it overpowers the need for perfect framing and optimum placement of elements, lines, contrast and color.
The 35mm, 53mm kleinbild equivalent, is pretty narrow for Octobers challenge, especially if you are in the bigger city’s Gotham like environment. But that is why it is called a challenge.
Happy shooting and have fun :)