Tonight is the preview evening of the London Photo Festival and I am keen to visit especially as I have several friends exhibiting. There’s always some great photography to admire and also quite a few dreadful photos that we can be rather dismissive of. Tonight’s theme is travel and the quality of the images and the wine on offer seemed to have improved this time around. This is also the night you can discover who's won best in show and the two runners-up. The last two times the ’best in show’ seemed a curious choice somewhat. In October, there was no particular theme, the winner was an environmental portrait of a shopkeeper surrounded by his wares. The picture certainly had vibrancy and colour and the composition was appealing in but the picture was stretched horizontally so his face looked rather odd. Back to last May when the theme was “my London”, there were certainly plenty of images with an incredibly tenuous link or, frankly not even remotely connected, to the theme. The winner was a fairly generic shot of light trails of a quirkily angled Tower Bridge. It was okay, a nice shot but didn't seem so personal as some. Most exhibitors submit two, three or four images. The winner had two and his second was a supreme example of HDR at its absolute worse. When the photograph stops looking like a photo but a weird painting or even a cut scene from a computer game the line has very much been crossed! Even though the body of work isn't considered we did rather think that the fact his other image committed such crimes to photography should have exempted him from winning. Just saying!
Tonight's winner was a very worthy one however, the image of a women looking a little contemplative caught in the window of a New York train. It's an evocative image that does make you wonder what's she thinking.
On my way home after sustenance and much talk about photography I spotted a shot that was a ghost of a homage to tonight’s winner. It was the frame within a frame that caught my eye as the original. I also wanted to turn the image into black and white but had to tweak the contrast somewhat to have the red distinguishable from the navy blue in the final image.
I hope to finally display a few of my images in October, I'm sure I’ll come under criticism but it serves me right for what I’ve said about some of the other blah images.