Nick Galvin, archive manager of Magnum London and one of the judges of the BJP's International Photography Awards, answers the critics of this year's choice in the single image category.
I have to say I've simply been amazed at the sheer number of contest announcements I get. I pass almost none of them along, but a week doesn't go by that I don't get at least one PR announcement for a contest of some sort, somewhere. Some weeks, more than one.
If you like contests, I might suggest subscribing to Red Dog News. My impression is that Tim Anderson covers some of the better ones—both calls for entry and announcements of winners.
In Australia, the AU$80,000 Moran Prize, said to be the richest photographic prize in the world, has gone to the same photographer two years in a row. The prize is awarded by a single judge, and allegedly there have been "some murmurings about the winner and the judge knowing each other pretty well," according to Joseph Feil on his Snapshots blog. You can see the contest finalists here.
(I think this is the reason why many contest rules disqualify past winners. I just read somewhere recently that Saul Bellow felt vaguely sad every year when the Nobel Prize for Literature was about to be announced, because he had already won it once and thus wasn't eligible to win it again.)
From the Archives, Dept.: See also a cautionary column I wrote in B&WP magazine a while back concerning contests. (Ironically, the column happened to be written concurrently with a contest the magazine itself was running for its readers, so the editor found it necessary to include a sidebar defending the magazine's own practices. Coincidence, I assure you....)
(Thanks to David Nicol and Joseph Feil)
Send this post to a friend
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.