Straight from the Judge’s …. Desk!
Okay gang, thanks for some great participation in this year’s IRWIPI! This is certainly one for the books and we’re going to have a great calendar out of it. Remember our discussions on categories from last year? As a refresher, here are the basic categories IRWIPI submissions fall into:
- “Elemental Reversion”
- “Abandonment Aesthetica”
- “Farm Still Life”
- “Truck on a Stick”
- “Cold Storage”
For complete descriptions, please refer to last year’s contest page. But for this year, I’m adding a couple:
- “Parts is Parts” -- This category draws its name from one of our submissions this year (a good title is a good title and I’m not too proud to “borrow” from others!) These are shots of parts trucks, project trucks and other vehicles conveniently located within the submitter’s shop or just outside the back door. I must admit that I submitted in this category for IRWIPI ’99….
- “Junk Yard Dogs” – The category of last resort … When all else fails, head to your local wrecking yard.
A couple of comments before we introduce the finalists.
As you may be wondering “just what does it take to catch the judge’s eye and become a finalist or even a winner in IRWIPI?” That’s a really good question! And the answer is… Bribery. Cold cash or cold beer always helps. But as no one chose the low route this year, I was forced to pick using our classic, above-board criteria. And those include:
- Pure artistic merit always is a key to any photo contest. Simply put, the better the photo, the better the chances of winning. Simple things like composition (Rule of Thirds, Golden Mean, etc.), focus, good use of depth of field, lighting perspective, juxtaposition and other photography skills (including cropping) are always a plus. Is it a good, engaging photo? If so, it probably made the first cut.
- Remembering the original theme is pretty important, too. Remember why we started this contest – anyone can take pictures of old trucks. We wanted to explore the visuals of “the big lie,” the ad in the local paper that claimed big things but delivered a rusting pile of scrap metal. You’ve seen ‘em:
- “Drive it anywhere” – yeah right! Maybe on the back of a rollback!
- “Just needs some TLC” – If your definition of “TLC” is a complete ground-up restoration!
- “Just surface rust” -- Every surface is rusted all the way through, including the frame!
- “Easy restoration” -- Sure! If you have a battalion of bodymen, as well as $5 million.
- Avoiding the easy path gets a judge’s attention! Although tempting, taking pictures in junk yards just doesn’t elevate you to the elite status in this contest. Sure, there are some great shots to be had in old junkyards. And some past winners have even come from this genre. But I wasn’t judging then. And you can do better than that! Same with your parts truck out back. Photos from the two new categories for this year just didn’t quite have the moxie to stand up to submissions from the other categories.
- The Bottom Line – This year’s winners found the unusual, in a dramatic setting (or made one through creative composition), to illustrate the Big Lie.
Let’s go see who made the Finalist Round!
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