In 2012 the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival held their 18th yearly photography competition. The contest required photographers to submit striking and well-composed images to tell a visual story, a photo essay, about wildlife or wilderness – important subjects on our climate-challenged Earth.
Three judges, all professional photographers and curators – announced that they couldn’t find a winner, and won’t be awarding a prize for the first time in 18 years. There wasn’t even a runner-up. They saw more than 500 entries. Not one of them did the job. The interesting question is why.
Human beings have taken an estimated 3.5 trillion photographs since the first snapshot, of a Paris street, appeared in 1838. As many as 20 per cent were uploaded in the past two years. Why are most of them so forgettable?
Conrad Habing, one of the co-judges, a former fine-art photographer, dubbed it “an incredible surge in mediocrity. The entrants were trying to make up for a lack of vision with a bag of tricks” – vision being “a point of view that says something about yourself.”
Another judge, Craig Richards – an internationally exhibited photographer, and the curator of photography at Banff’s Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies – was even blunter: “People take photographs because they can, not because they should.”
The abundance in digital photography these days is in not necessarily in direct proportion to the quality.
The abundance in images requires us to be different from the multitude of other images, to stand out from all the rest, it requires being CREATIVE.
In invite you to join me in this blog on my journey in my attempt to, define, understand and explain the wisdom of my teachers and peers with the addition to my interpretation and insight on the topic of creativity.
Sharon Tenenbaum, Vancouver, B.C.
Paint the City Dec. 29, 2014 http://sharontenenbaum.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/0020cdb8.mp3read more
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