I think that taking the photos are easier than choosing ones to enter into competition.
In Photography competitions, there are usually themes, and categories, but in the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition, Photography is part of the Visual Arts, and the entries are judged not simply as Photographs, but as Art.
There are no sub-categories like landscapes, portraits, street, etc., there is simply Photography, so the choice of image is yours.
What is your best, your most impressive? And then, will it be likeable to the judges?
We can’t know what will be liked or not, but we can choose images geared in a certain direction. I shall try to touch on a few aspects of the photograph itself in the next few posts, but for this one, its about the choice itself. After two editions of the GVACE, a shot at VISIONS Exhibition, and six years of my own weekly project The Deck, I can tell you that choosing is hard, but I can also say it can be made easier.
Other than the other aspects which I will try to touch on in subsequent posts, the primary choice is very personal, the image has to be yours, as in, you have to be proud of the image; don’t try to choose things others “might” like, choose one that you like, when you are passionate about a subject it often shows in the resulting image.
Remember that the image represents you, it is an expression of your thoughts, emotions, your artistic sense.
Viewing them digitally is nice, but the true beauty of a photograph is often only revealed in print, one suggestion is to pick about two dozen of what you consider your best images in the last two years (or up to the date specified in the Rules) and print them out at one of those PhotoLabs around town, at standard 6” x 4”, lay them out on a table randomly and leave them there. Leave the room, go do something else, let time pass, then return to the room, and look at the table from the doorway, or some distance from the table, and the ones that jump out at you, let those be the ones that make it to your shortlist.
Just over a year ago, when I was considering my own choices for the GVACE, I wrote a bit about it on my own blog, its there if you feel like giving it a read, along with some images, it ain’t easy, but in the end, the images you choose are your Choices! You can read it here – Choices, Choices Choices.
Michael C. Lam works in Graphic layout for a living, one of his images gained the Bronze medal in the 2012 GVACE, he was shortlisted for the 2014 GVACE, was an exhibiting artist in the Un | Fixed Homeland curated exhibition at Aljira, New Jersey in 2016, and an exhibiting artist at the 2016 VISIONS Curated Exhibition.