3 new distinguished photos in International Competition!
I received yesterday the results of the 9th French Digital Tour 2014! This competition takes place every year in France under the patronage of the biggest Photographers Associations like FPF (Fédération Photographique de France), PSA (Photographic Society of America), FIAP (Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique), UPI (United Photographers International) and Images sans Frontière.
The reason I don’t participate in french photography competitions
I usually don’t participate at french photographic competitions because most of the time the award winning artworks are conceptual like all artworks from students of the French National Art Schools. Their works are the exact opposite of the photographs I like. They work with their brain but not with their sensitivity. I don’t know why, but this is really specific to France whereas other countries usually promote diversity in the work of artists.
I remember I’ve participated in at least 4 or 5 french photography competitions in the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 but none of my artworks have never been distinguished there while they were in other countries and continents. That’s why I quickly decided to stop to participate at any competition in my country.
To illustrate what I’m telling, last Monday, the same photographs with which I won the Moscow International Foto Awards that’s a major international artworks competition haven’t even been pre-selected for a small festival in France. That’s the magic of Artworks and this is how it works in France where only a specific category of Art is privileged.
Recurrent photographic themes in photos competitions that favor photography editings
But this time it’s different! I know it’s not a big deal but for once 3 of my photographs reached Acceptance level in this French Digital tour competition with 1 in the Nature category and 2 in “The World of Work” theme.
Most of the time, International photography competitions offer to compete with 3 or 4 themes which are often “Open (color)”, “Open (Black and White), “Nature” and sometime a more specific theme like “The world of work” here this year.
“Open (color)” means that you can send any photo from the moment it’s a color photo. That’s the same with “Open (B&W)” but in Black and White. I think I never had a single distinguished photograph in these 2 categories.
Most of the time the award winning artworks in these 2 categories are deeply edited photographs to enhance their rendering. They’re cropped to be focused on what is really important in the composition and many of them requested a long preparation before to optimize composition, subjects and lights.
These photographs are for sure beautiful because they’re designed to win! But this is definitely not the kind of photo I like because most of them lack of spontaneity and final result is quite far from the original shot.
Graphic work VS photography artworks!
This is very difficult to compete against these photographs and photographers while I choose on my side to stick to my slogan of “Pure photography“. I mean that I usually don’t crop my photos, I don’t edit my shot except in order to enhance contrasts and brightness or to add a film rendering effect. My photos are always spontaneous and never prepared before.
This is why I most of the time win distinctions in “Nature” theme or specific themes that oblige the photographers to be creative and to go out their comfort zone. But only few competitions offer such themes and it’s a pity because more and more photographers need to get transformed in graphic artist and spending long hours in front of a computer to edit their photo to get a chance to be distinguished.
And for me, if you spend more time to edit a photo on a computer than to take the photo, you’re not a photographer anymore. This is still art but not photography art anymore!