Magnum Photography Awards 2016 – Soul & Scenery – Single Category, Open
In May 2016, I decided to enter the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. This gave me the opportunity to ask for a LensCulture Submission Review and get professional, critical feedback on my photography.
First of all, it was an interesting experience for me as it meant exposing myself to a very critical opinion of professionals on the judging panel. Not to mention having my work evaluated against that of some extremely talented worldwide photographers.
Finally, after a few months anticipation, I received, in my consideration, some excellent and encouraging feedback.
The full review, along with some very interesting recommended reading for photography enthusiasts, is below. The photographs can be found in the album LensCulture Submission Review 2016.
Magnum Photography Awards
Thank you for submitting your single images ‘Soul & Scenery’ for review. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to review your images. This work immediately caught my eye.
This work shows great potential. You have clear command over light, as well as an understanding of composition. All of your images are well edited in post-processing as well. I believe your strongest single image The Only Way Is Up. I enjoy your use of leading lines. This is also one of the most unique images in the group overall.
The First Dawn is a stunning image. Although I find it to be your weakest in that it is a bit cliché and overdone, and I have seen countless images like it reviewing submissions over the years and working with students. To be clear, you have an incredible talent and command over photography. I would ask yourself, what do you want these photographs to do? What is your unique voice? If making a go of it as a Fine Art photographer interests you, then look at photography projects on a daily basis. You will find concepts and meaning in addition to strong images. Try to write out a statement or that expresses your unique point of view for the images. Your portraits are strong, and it is clear you could have a future doing this type of commercial work.
Again, I truly enjoyed getting to review your work. I commend you on your talent, and I suggest that you continue to pursue photo. I have recommended some suggestions work below.
Magnum Photography Awards – Additional Recommendations
Recommended Books & Photographers
- The Photograph as Contemporary Art, by Charlotte Cotton
- The Artist Statement: How and Why to Write Yours by Jennifer Schwartz
- How to write an Artist’s Statement
- The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression, by Bruce Barnbaum
- The Decisive Moment, by Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Ways of Seeing, by John Berger
- The Family of Man, curated by Edward Steichen
- Why People Photograph, by Robert Adams
- What is a Photograph?, By Carol Squires
Recommendations for Gaining Exposure
Relevant Quotes from Past Jurors
- « When judging a photo prize, I am looking for something that I might not have seen before. This can be a subtle nuance or a spectacular revelation. Mainly I want to see something that is genuine and original. » — Louise Clements, Artistic Director, QUAD & FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby, UK
- « Photographers should avoid cliché images when submitting to a photo contest — submit images that show their your vision, what is true to you. » — Patricia Lanza, Director of Talent & Content, The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA, USA