Posted on October 16, 2018
Well I failed to win yet another Lens Culture competition. The level of skill in these competitions is incredibly high so I am not too distraught. In the words of Chumbawamba, ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again’. As with everything, we live and we learn.
Here are the photos I entered. I will post the review below…
thank you for submitting your images to LensCulture, I have enjoyed looking at your pictures.
I find you series Burial Grounds of Bangalore a very interesting project and I am glad to read your dedication to the place, the people and the work that it takes to continue it.
Your first image is a good intro picture. Even from not reading the text I think the viewer can understand where they are going. The leading into this cemetery, here the story starts. i Iike the 3 men walking into the image and the scene and also the dark traffic coming towards them. The light in the background, leading the eye through the gates on to the path is also very nice. I have cropped the image, just ever so slightly, I was being distracted by the lines in the street. They do not add anything to the information and feeling of the image but my eye was drifting there so I think it works better this way.
The motion in the second image is really nice. You have worked well with the technique. The colours also bend very well together. The light is well done and I like that we can only ever so slightly make out the text and the picture on the gravestones. I am a bit confused by the caption though. i think if you wanted to speak about ghosts, the woman needs not to be in focus as she is, and maybe I would choose an image without someone there. I found it interesting the placement of her and the headstones and her rush through them. Maybe that is what you were thinking when mentioning the ghosts. But I think this image speaks of what you mentioned in the text of the people who have their everyday there.
The third image is works very well. I like the framing and the light. His face is slightly dark but what he is doing is well in focus and it tells the story well. The colours are subtle and beautiful. My eye is drawn to the bucket on the left hand side. And again I wish the mans face was a bit more lit up and then that could work as a nice balance. The posters in the background are also good, and here we have many good juxtapositions.
The picture of the two children is nice and the balance is well done. I like that they are both looking into your camera, they seem to trust you. I like that. The interaction becomes something different then. The light is nice and the tight framing works well.
In the 5th image you really caught what you spoke about in your text. And the caption says it all. Life goes on. Its well done and I like the look and action of the girl. She is just doing her thing, in her everyday. She is sweet. The clothing line is also nice and the way that the washing is hung fits the images well. The colours blend nicely and in a way it is comical the man that is dead but staring back at us. I know it should not be but somehow there is a lightness to the image that gives me this feeling.
The portrait of the grave digger is very intense. And beautiful. And also before I read the caption I had this feeling. The fact that he is a gravedigger does not add to it. Or rather it does but the picture is strong and powerful wether we know that or not. The look in his eyes is strong and intense as well. He sees us looking at him and it is almost so strong that we want to look away. The details in his face are beautiful and is it smoke that is ever so slightly coming out of his nose? Its great. The image is really strong and even though it is hard to look at it, due to him looking at us, I feel like I could look at this image for a long time.
The chicken is a great image. The look in its eyes is sad and from the blood on the mans hands we can guess what is about to happen. And also the flowers around its neck. I feel bad for the chicken. I feel connected in this image, thats a good thing. The framing works very well and the light too. The hand is great and so is the background. This is my favourite image of your submission. A very strong picture.
The last image is also very strong. The light from the fire on the mans face is great, so well done. And also on his walking stick. And his bare feet. We get curious what is going on and what he is holding in his hand. The framing is great and without the caption we don’t really understand what is going on but still drawn in. And then we read the caption and it just makes it all stronger. I like also that you stepped out of your comfort zone. And you did very well!
Have a look at the work by Tilby Vattard, I think you will like it.
You ask where to go next with your photography and I would suggest that you put together a strong portfolio and start showing your work at portfolio reviews to get more contact. Also since you wrote that you would like to get published and sell prints.
Thank you again for sharing your images with us. I wish you all the best with your work!
Maybe I will win the next one. However, some encouraging words and some valuable advice. Off to Varanasi tomorrow, so hopefully there will be some more photos on the way.
Take care and keep clicking,
Posted on July 17, 2018
Today I am sharing the feedback I received from my Lens Culture Competition entry. I did not win, but that’s life. Many competitions are a complete waste of time, and I suspect more of a money making exercise than anything else. Lens Culture appears to punch above this and is curated by some of the world’s greatest photographers, and you can choose to receive feedback on each image you submit. Regular readers of this blog will know how much a value such feedback.
Without further ado, here are the images. These photos form part of the project I undertook while in China, where I focused on many of the ‘Longtans’, or alleyways that still exist. However, most of these locations are now demolished in the name of progress. I have posted thumbs to the individual images at the end of this article if you would like a closer look.