Royal Photographic Society's 160th International Photography Competition

Forums All About Photography Royal Photographic Society's 160th International Photography Competition

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of KEN LAST KEN LAST 2 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #15009
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster
    Here’s a link to the winning photographs in the 2017 Royal Photographic Society International Photography Competition. Portraiture predominates in this year’s winning pictures. Here’s one of the gold medal winner’s photographs:

     

     

    “Liam”  © Margaret Mitchell

     

    If you wish to see all 5390 entries, you can do so here!

     

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of Ian McNab Ian McNab.
    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of Ian McNab Ian McNab.
    #15022
    Profile photo of John Royle
    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    Thanks for putting that on Ian. I was struggling yesterday trying to put the link on the front page using my phone. Editing by phone is very much better than it was but copying and pasting is always very difficult on mine anyway.

    I did get a fair way into the 5390 and it is well worth a look. Jane lines has a couple of interesting ones and I see Phil Portus has entered one of his conductor shots – I’ve been seeing those in L&CPU comps for quite a while now? They did pick good ones but missed a few I would have chosen. Your pictures certainly stand a better chance if they feature people.

    Why don’t we post a few here and comment?

    Here is one of Jane’s that I particularly liked. As soon as she gets all the club awards going I think we might see more like this one.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of John Royle ajroyle.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of John Royle ajroyle.
    #15026
    Profile photo of John Royle
    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    ….and this one from David George I thought was really beautiful..

    Eagle Wharf

    The atmosphere, geometry, the poignant single room light and traffic cone pointing to it – great!

    The picture is from a series called Nine Square Kilometres.

    Of course the club judge would have us cloning out the cone and also all the tiny bits of litter.

    #15035
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    I’ve looked through about half of the 5390 pictures entered. The majority are ‘competition pictures’. (Well, it is a competition, isn’t it?) But you know what I mean: the sort of pictures you’ve seen over and over in competitions – some ‘pretty’, certainly, but often more because they have pretty subjects than that they are beautiful photographs of those subjects; or dramatic-looking, but more because they’ve been burned and dodged and contrast-enhanced into it, rather than because the pictures were ever themselves dramatic; or carefully got up, contrived to be ‘artistic’ or ‘impactful’ in ways that rarely engage you for more than 30 milliseconds.

    The abiding feeling is that you’ve seen most of these pictures somewhere before, or ones exactly like them. To me, the one by Jane Lines seems somewhat of that sort – one of a large-ish company of entries that look like take-offs (very good take-offs, I hasten to say) of illustrations you’ve often seen while skimming idly through old copies of Nat Geo in doctors’ waiting rooms. (These entries include lots of ‘Steve McCurry portraits’, Buddhist monks, people of various ages from exotic places in picturesquely exotic costumes, some doing exotic things. And valleys. And mountains. And lakes. And lakes in valleys with mountains surrounding them. And so on, and so on.)

    After working your way through a lot of this stuff, you urgently want to fix the photographers with a steely gaze and ask “Why? What could you possibly have meant me to get from that picture?” And one imagines the answer could only be ‘Nothing really; I just thought it was the sort of picture that would win a competition.’ Which, of course, is mostly why it didn’t.

    But the photograph by David George that John has posted above isn’t one of those. It’s from his series of night pictures made in out-of-the-way parts of South-East London in an area around Southwark and Lambeth that I assume gives the series its name: “nine square kilometers”. The pictures are of seemingly ordinary places. But they are empty of people; and that absence, together with the strange night-time light, helps the pictures convey that sense of ‘otherworldliness’ that you might actually experience when walking in these deserted streets at night.

    The reality of lives lived is what marks the quality of the gold award winning series by Margaret Mitchell, represented by “Liam”, the picture that introduces this thread. There are, of course, loads of portraits among the five thousand plus entries. But most look staged, posed, created for competition – pictures that seem designed largely to let you know you how good the photographer is. Very few seem to say much about the people pictured, what their lives might be like, what little, ordinary, every-day human triumphs keep them going. But the portraits from Margaret Mitchell’s series ‘In This Place’ do. (Play the slide show; read the captions.)

    The same can be said of the portraits by Silvana Trevale from her series ‘Nosotras’

     

    Dianas © Silvana Trevale

    (Click picture for large view)

    Trevale says that this series of portraits of the women of Venezuela celebrates the collective, modest but real-life heroes of her homeland.

     

    Something similar might be said about the portraits from Christina Kougiou’s series, ’Sunless Days’ about young people in Georgia, passed by and left behind by the changes that followed the break up of the Soviet Union.

     

    from ‘Sunless Days’ © Christina Kougiou

    (Click picture for large view)

     

     

    Winogrand said that the only thing a photograph can do is describe accurately. So finally, here’s a powerful, poignant picture that by means of simple, detailed description shows how much can be conveyed with a single frame.

     

    “Silent Waiting” © Jun Tan

    (Click picture for large view)

     

    You don’t get many of those in an RPS competition.

     

     

     

    #15036
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    I’ve now skimmed through all 5390 entries for the 2017 RPS International and found more of the same, so I have no reason to revise my remarks in the last post. But I did come across some fine portraits that I wanted to share here.

     

    “Veteran” © Ruobang Wang

    (Click picture for large view)

    This picture seems to me to say so much about this man. The tension in his pose, and the way he looks away at the moment the photographer chose to press the shutter release somehow suggest great modesty and reserve, despite the achievements hinted at by the honours pinned to his uniform shirt. You get the impression that he does not often show people this side of his life history – his uniform has clearly been brought out of long storage especially for this picture. A gentleman with stories to tell – if only he could be persuaded to tell them. And a fine portrait photograph, with a simple background whose colour complements the green shirt, and whose rough texture complements the old man’s craggy features.

     

    “Kira and Taya” © Peter Zelewski

    (Click picture for large view)

    Peter Zelewski, a photographer who works in London, entered portraits from several of his acclaimed series. These often investigate some wider aspect of society or community rather than merely being nice pictures of individual people. Originally a designer by profession, Peter started out by taking street portraits of interestingly dressed characters in Soho, often on his lunch breaks. He quickly developed a particular style of photographing with the subject centred in the frame against a background comprising the recession of a narrow quiet street behind them, whose converging parallels create an X-shaped compositional geometry. But what has always marked out Peter’s pictures is his wonderful use of colour in sublimely harmonious colour palettes, created by his carefully chosen locations to suit precisely the colouration and clothes of his subjects, whom he would ask to accompany him to some nearby street he had scouted earlier to provide the just right colours as well as suitable textures and patterns. All that, and then the intense direct, unsmiling gaze of his colourful and characterful subjects. And everything done in natural light, outside in the street.

    How’s that for attention to detail? (As a result, his work, published in book form, has gained an international reputation, and he has had many exhibitions and commercial assignments. He now works full time as a professional photographer.)

     

    #15038
    Profile photo of KEN LAST
    KEN LAST
    Participant

    Well thanks Ian for bringing this to us. Must say for RPS standard, those first few images do not inspire me to go on–but I will. Had to get down to Jessica for an image to grab me. How on earth the Gold medal winner ever got selected baffles me. Seeing Ian”s post  for  the chance to see these really grabbed me. But my initial glance at the first few amazes me with such basic images. Far more inspirational images are on Flicker every day. I have to go back and digest all of Ian”s comments –and–look further on to be fair. But thanks ian , as there is a lot here to dine on.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.