2019 Judges’ Comments

Solihull Photographic Society Open Exhibition 2019

Thank you for inviting us to select the 2019 Solihull Exhibition. The organising team made us very welcome, kept us well fed and watered on both judging days, and ensured that we maintained concentration as we appraised 4090 images in 7 sections. Some pictures immediately impressed, while others needed a little time to appreciate. When it came to the awards in some sections a quick agreement arose, whilst a little good humoured ‘give and take’ was required elsewhere. In all categories there were some excellent images, and our congratulations go to all those who have images accepted, and especially to the award recipients.

Whilst our aim was to include a wide range of work within each category, this could not be at the expense of quality. We were looking for personal interpretations that stood out across a wide range of styles and genres, but we were not able to achieve this in some sections. It was a concern that organised staged events and workshops are generating images depicting the same subjects, particularly in nature, where we assessed subjects in identical or very similar poses. This is not what we hoped for, and resulted in only the very best entries achieving an acceptance. We also saw a large number of images with good potential that were spoilt by poor technical quality, and excessive manipulation.

Sport stood out with great strength, depth and variety and this is reflected in the awards in the Open and Monochrome sections. More predictably but equally good to see was the very high standard in the Nature Section. Here we would recommend the subject is always identified in the title and the use of twee or humorous titles is to be avoided. The overall standard in the newly introduced Scapes section was good, although the variety could usefully have been improved with more cityscapes, or urban images.

The selection days are just the tip of the iceberg for the exhibition team who have a massive workload both before and after the selection. They deserve a big thank you from we three selectors, and all the entrants too.

Finally, we must extend our thanks to everyone who entered. Inevitably not all could be successful but we would hope that these comments are helpful and wish you good luck with an entry next year. We believe the final exhibition will be an excellent representation of current photography and we trust you will all enjoy viewing it.