Last night I entered a single photograph in the NWHPC monthly competition and came home with a much unexpected ribbon in the assigned category Stormy Weather so I would like to talk a little about the photograph.
The review was very complimentary about capturing the moment. I greatly appreciate that. However, I had to remind the reviewer that this was a photograph from Woodard. Meaning that what you see is not always what was. For instance, this photograph was of a person posing, not someone actually checking for falling moisture. It was also shot on a bright sun shinny day in front of Houston's City Hall, not in a rain storm.
I do not remember exactly when the photograph was done but it was at a model shoot set up by Houston Photowalks under the title of Singing in the Rain. Darren, the young man in the photograph, came well prepared with his own props. He is hearing impaired so a lot of our communication was via written note.
I came with a Lensbaby that I actually won at a Photowalks meeting about a year earlier. There has been a rumor within NWHPC perpetuated by the late Terry Conners that you cannot win a ribbon in a competition with a photograph shot with a lens baby. Well, this is my second ribbon. The first I subscribed to having an outside judge without a prejudice toward the Lensbaby. This one, since it was judged by members came as quite a surprise.
My intent in shooting with the Lensbaby was to create a sensation of photographing in the rain. In processing I adjusted the white balance to very cool to enhance that feeling. Frankly, until last night I wasn’t sure that I had even come close to the original concept. Were I to give an ‘acceptance speech’ I would have to thank Joe Lippeatt for giving the Lensbaby as a door prize, to Darren for bringing great props and really getting into the mood of the shot, and to the judges at NWHPC for assuming that Woodard is more honest with his photography than is most likely warrented. I greatly appreciate having the recognition for the concept.
Concept to me is important; much more important than adhering to some ‘rules.’ That is very difficult to get past in a photo club competition where technique trumps almost everything else about a photograph.