… at least from me. You all are welcome to respond. First of all, thanks to everyone who expressed a positive response to the print competition. And since it appeared to help some people in their desire to learn more about photography, that’s the best part. On the other hand, I realize that my philosophy of photography and my tireless focus on detail annoys other people as well.
I think its great that photography borrows from principles of fine art to better understand the depth of composition and “seeing” gained through the broader perspective of art. However, I don’t accept that fine art should dictate the terms of how photography is judged. Photography is an entirely unique art form, and therefore should be judged as such. If sharpness and detail are not important, why have we spent roughly 178 years since the invention of photography continually improving the quality of cameras, lenses and printers to capture fine detail and reproduce it on paper?
I promise not to beat the issue to death. But if the club would like to have another competition in the future, conducted in the same manner as this one, give your opinions to the board. If you don’t like having a competition organized in this manner, tell them that too. If you think all kinds of competitions are a waste of time, well… you get the idea. It’s the board’s task to plan a course for the club. But it’s our responsibility to feed them with our suggestions for what we want as a club.
That said, I can only manage this type of event, at most, once a year. On the other hand, I’m willing to lead informal print meetings, as we’ve done periodically this year (without the context of a competition or written critiques), at about any time the board chooses to rent the room and put it on the calendar. Those are extremely effective educational opportunities because you’ll receive a wide variety of feedback and thoughts about your images from a diverse group of people. Express your interest in those type of events to the board as well.