Photography is not a competition ! 7


(English version at the bottom of the page)

Je trouve beaucoup d’idées de Blog dans l’actualité ou encore dans les comportements des mes amis photographes. Très couvent, ce sont des écritures spontanées après un événement qui m’a marqué. C’est encore le cas pour celui là. J’ai appris récemment qu’un de mes amis avait été sélectionné pour une exposition dans un quartier d’Aix-en-Provence. Bien évidemment je suis hyper content pour lui, mais la déception prédomine car je trouve dommage qu’il ne m’ait pas averti qu’une exposition se tenait et qu’on pouvait adresser un dossier pour briguer une sélection. 

 

 

Je ne vois pas la photographie comme une compétition. J’avais déjà fustigé il y a quelques Blogs la recrudescence de compétitions dans la photographie et notamment la Street Photography. Un des fers de lance de cette pratique nauséeuse, c’est LensCulture. Tous les ans à la même période, nous avons droit à du spam en règle sur Facebook et même dans votre boîte mail. C’est en partie pour cette raison que j’ai arrêté de fréquenter Facebook. Ce que je ne comprends toujours pas, c’est que les gens semblent toujours intéressés par les compétitions organisées par LensCulture. Y a qu’à voir les gens se jeter comme des morts de faim sur la Free Entry que leur accorde LensCulture pour leur concours !

 

 

Quel est le but exactement ? Bien évidemment, je ne parle pas de LensCulture ($$$), mais des photographes ! Beaucoup vous diront que c’est pour avoir de la visibilité mais au final n’est ce pas un problème d’ego ? Recherche t’on la reconnaissance car elle donne de la valeur à ce qu’on fait ? Ou ne cherche t’on pas cette reconnaissance que pour satisfaire son ego ? Et je ne parle que des concours en ligne. Il y en a autant d’organisés lors des festivals de Street Photography qui fleurissent dans chaque grande ville de la planète : Miami, San-Francisco, Bruxelles, Milan, Rome, Paris … Une multitude de concours et au final toujours les mêmes photos et les mêmes photographes qui y participent. Si les photos pour certaines sont de qualité, on assiste néanmoins à une uniformisation de la représentation de la Street Photography. Des photos aux graphismes léchés, minimalistes, faits de forts contrastes, s’appuyant sur des juxtapositions, des superpositions rigolotes … 

 

 

En fait je ne me reconnais pas dans ce qui est présenté. Les photos sont souvent d’un esthétisme qui feraient pâlir certains photographes de studio. Je me questionne d’ailleurs sur le côté spontané de certaines d’entre elles … C’est en quelque sorte l’escalade dans ce qu’on doit montrer. On doit aller encore plus loin dans le sensationnalisme ! Je pense qu’à un moment, il faut peut être se poser un peu et arrêter cette surenchère. Comme je l’ai dit dans le titre, la photographie n’est pas une compétition et si il doit y en avoir une, c’est contre vous même que vous la menez. 

 

 

Vous allez me dire, “Et toi Jeff t’as jamais participé aux concours photos ou autre appels à candidature ?”. Eh bien si, J’ai déposé une candidature au Festival International de Courthézon (sic) où il n’y avait rien à gagner. Même pas de visibilité. Récemment j’ai aussi participé à l’appel à candidature de Compétence Photo pour une éventuelle exposition lors du Salon de la Photo à Paris. Je dois confesser là que ce qui m’a attiré, c’est la possibilité de gagner un XPro 2 ou un  Fuji X100F … Remarque vu le nombre de candidatures, les chances sont maigres. J’ai aussi participé aux TSPN (The Street Photographer Notebook) Awards qui est la réponse d’Alex Coghe aux LensCulture Awards. 

 

 

Le pire c’est qu’il n’y a rien à gagner dans la Street Photography. Pas d’argent, pas de reconnaissance (mis à part de ses pairs), mais faut croire que certains aiment ça la compétition et voir leur nom en haut de l’affiche. Dans des Blogs précédents, je parlais de trouver son “Intent” en photographie (la raison pour laquelle vous faîtes de la photo). Et au final, faire de la photo pour être connu, ça reste recevable comme “Intent” non ? Je laisse ça aux autres. Je ne vous dit pas que je fais de la photographie pour des raisons plus légitimes, mais je ne conçois pas la photographie comme une compétition. Si vous voulez savoir exactement pour quelles raisons je m’adonne à la pratique de la photographie et plus spécifiquement de la Street Photography, je vous invite à lire les Blogs que j’ai rédigé là dessus (Finding my Intent Part 1 & Part 2 )

 

 

 

~ o ~

 

 

Photography is not a competition !

 

 

 

 

I find many Blog ideas in the news or in the behavior of my photographic friends. Very convent, these are spontaneous writings after an event that marked me. This is still the case for this one. I recently learned that one of my friends had been selected for an exhibition in a neigborhood of Aix-en-Provence. Of course I am very happy for him, but the disappointment prevails because I find it a pity that he did not warn me that an exhibition was held and that we could address apply some photos for a selection.

 

 

I do not see photography as a competition. I had already blasted a few Blogs the upsurge of competitions in photography and especially Street Photography. One of the spearheads of this nauseating practice is LensCulture. Every year at the same time, we are entitled to spam in good standing on Facebook and even in your mailbox. That’s partly why I stopped using Facebook. What I still do not understand is that people always seem interested in the competitions organized by LensCulture. Just see people throw themselves as starving on the Free Entry LensCulture grants them for their competition !

 

 

What is the purpose exactly ? Of course, I’m not talking about LensCulture ($$$), but photographers ! Many will tell you that it is to have visibility but in the end is it not an ego problem ? Do you seek recognition because it gives value to what you do ? Or do you not seek this recognition only to satisfy your ego ? And I’m only talking about online contests. There are many organized at Street Photography festivals that flourish in every major city on the planet : Miami, San Francisco, Brussels, Milan, Rome, Paris … A multitude of competitions and ultimately always the same photos and the same photographers who participate. While the photos for some are of quality, there is nevertheless a standardization of the representation of Street Photography. Photos with lean, minimalist graphics, made of strong contrasts, based on juxtapositions, funny visual jokes …

 

 

In fact I do not recognize myself in what is presented. Photos are often aesthetically pleasing to some studio photographers. I wonder about the spontaneous side of some of them … It’s kind of the escalation in what we have to show. We must go even further in sensationalism ! I think that at some point, it may be necessary to ask a little and stop this outbidding. As I said in the title, photography is not a competition and if there is to be one, it is against you that you lead it.

 

 

You’ll tell me, “And you Jeff, you have never participated in photo competitions or other calls for ? “. Oh yes, I applied for the International Courthézon Festival (sic) where there was nothing to win. Even no visibility. Recently I also took part in the Competence Photo call for a possible exhibition at the Salon de la Photo in Paris. I must confess that what attracted me is the possibility of winning an XPro 2 or Fuji X100F … Note given the number of people who responded to the call, the chances are close to zero. I also participated in the TSPN (The Street Photographer Notebook) Awards which is Alex Coghe’s answer to the LensCulture Awards.

 

 

The worst thing is that there is nothing to gain in Street Photography. No money, no recognition (apart from his peers), but believe that some like it the competition and see their name at the top of the chart. In previous Blogs, I talked about finding his “Intent” in photography (the reason you’re taking photos). And in the end, to make photos to be known, it remains admissible as “Intent” no ? I leave that to others. I’m not telling you that I’m doing photography for more legitimate reasons, but I do not see photography as a competition. If you want to know exactly why I like so much the photography and more specifically the Street Photography, I invite you to read the Blogs that I wrote on it (Finding my Intent Part 1 & Part 2)

 

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7 thoughts on “Photography is not a competition !

  • John Harper

    Perhaps it’s a certain type of “ego” that enters a competition for photography. An ego so pumped up with misplaced self confidence or maybe an ego that needs massaging. They’re usually the ones who run around afterwards saying “that competition was fixed”. Personally I think they’re pointless unless the prize is so great entering can’t be resisted. The ones I have looked at seem to have always the same “judges” and the the same participants uploading photos. Why anyone would pay hard earned cash to enter one is absolutely beyond my comprehension. That said the whole of Social media is set up like a competition, with “Likes” dictating how good a photograph is or isn’t. It’s subjective, who cares what a judge might think, I’ve looked at the work of a well known judge and I can tell you I think it’s crap and therefore disqualifies him as passing any judgement on my work or that of others.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      All theses competitions are biased. We have already seen the photos on SM. We know who made them and unless the jury is living in a cave with no access to internet, they already have seen the pictures. I have seen the pictures selected in several competitions and the same pictures are submitted. They should set up a rule as “You have to enter a photo which had never been entered in any other competition”. They won’t get my money neither they won’t get any picture of me.
      I’ve read your very interesting Blog and you summed up pretty well the crazyness and the shallowness of the Social Media. The Diktat of the Likes. People crave for them. It looks as if they could sell their soul for more praising.

      • John Harper

        It increasingly becomes more and more meaningless. That conversation with Sam and Amélie summed the “like” nonsense up I thought.

        There’s a free to entry competition ran for many years by Leica; The Oskar Barnack Award. Has to be a series of 10 photos. Not necessarily taken using a Leica. This years winner received a Leica M10 and lens with an additional €25,000 in cash, also an exhibition in 11 galleries around the world. His series was taken in North Korea. Anyway, I thought I might enter next year with a series of ten images taken in the field of those trees :-))

        • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

          I’m not against competitions, but we see too many of them and most of them are just here to make money on photographer’s back. And what is also missing is some legitimacy. It’s not because you ask some famous Street Photographers to be in the jury that you give some legitimacy to the competition. You should consider entering the Leica Award

          • John Harper

            What? With those trees 😉 Seriously, I’m going to give it some consideration. Maybe expand on that Happy Land series and try to get 10 shots out of it.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      C’est rigolo car quand j’entends parler de quelque chose, perso j’ai plutôt envie de partager avec les autres. C’est surtout le cas pour les appels à candidature, les lectures de portfolio. Il n’y a rien à gagner à notre niveau dans la photographie et je fais confiance à mon travail qui parle pour moi. Je ne me dis pas qu’un tel ou au autre risque de diminuer mes chances d’être choisi. Mais bon c’est comme ça 😉