Tag Archives: Open To Interpretation

Things to Submit to!

The next LENSCRATCH exhibition is on your HOME TOWN.  Please send one image of your home town (72dpi, 1000px on the long side, in jpg format) and include:


Name, title, location, link  (Aline Smithson, Lego Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, http://www.alinesmithson.com)


Send to: [email protected]

Aline Smithson, Lego Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
I have the great pleasure of juroring two upcoming calls…

Announcing Love + Lust

Lust is an intense appetite, craving, or untamed desire. We lust for an array of things—money, power, objects, sex, or just living life. Love is a powerful
affection or personal attachment and comes in a variety of forms, which
can encompass romantic, sexual, platonic, narcissistic, or 
even religious feelings or attitudes. And sometimes love and lust overlap. Show us your interpretations. Who or what do you love or lust for? 
What images capture these emotions for you?


Portraits,
fashion, editorial, landscape, documentary, conceptual, or any other
genre is open for consideration. Color, b&w, iPhone, or 
alternative processes are all eligible.




Book Title: Open to interpretation

Theme: Love + Lust
Judge: Aline Smithson, LENSCRATCH
Submission Fee: $40 for 5 images, $10 additional

Deadline for submission: January 10, 2013
Results Announced: January 23, 2013
Results Posted Online: February 6, 2013
Awards: $1,000 Cover Image + $500 Judge’s Selection Award

2012 FotoWeek DC International Awards Competition

Challenge the Way We Look at the World
FotoWeekDC’s 5th Annual International Awards Competition is looking for extraordinary images – we’re looking for yours! The 2012 competition will honor professional and emerging photographers from our region and from around the world.

  • Cash prizes totaling $20,000
  • Winning images will be exhibited and/or projected during FotoWeekDC, November 9-18 as well as online.
  • Winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of world-renowned judges
  • Winners will be notified on or about October 5, 2012.

Back by popular demand—People’s Choice Award! 
Your entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts, who will select the top 3 winners in each category. Now, by voting in the People’s Choice category, your friends and fans will have a say too. The top 20 images with the most number of votes across all of the categories will win extra recognition, and will be seen by an even broader audience.
The People’s Choice Award Prizes:
One free FotoPage Annual Subscription for each winning photographer and online exposure through a top 20 feature on FotoDC.org’s People’s Choice Gallery.

Open to Interpretation

One day this beautiful book, Water’s Edge,  arrived in my mailbox.  Of course, I was intrigued and discovered not only a stunning collection of photographs, but wonderful writing that accompanies the images.  And I had to know more….

Created by photographer and publisher Clare O’Neill, she discovered that her work generated wildly different interpretations, so titled her first solo exhibition, Open to Interpretation.  She had a dozen images and collaborated with an array of writers to include 24 different stories and poems inspired by her work.  She discovered she really enjoyed the process of bringing more to that table than just  photographs.

Since that experience, Clare has become an art entrepreneur, creating a unique (and truly fabulous) approach to presenting work.  She has always wanted to be part of a creative publishing outlet, and so, she created her own, and titled it, Open to Interpretation.  She decided that a juried book competition that called upon photographers, and later writers, would be an incredible opportunity, not only for herself, but for an array of artists, to produce something bigger than they could do in isolation, and the result of that collaboration would continue long after most exhibitions are off the walls.

The inaugural Open to Interpretation book

Submissions to the Open to Interpretation’s next book, Fading Light, are due by June 26th. George Slade is the juror for the next book. Photographs are selected first, and then there is a call for writing. To submit, go here.

I thought you’d enjoy some samples from Water’s Edge.  The book can be purchased here.

Image by Gia Canali
Text by Justin Maxwell and Lisa Poje Angelos

Image by Susan Kae Grant
Text by Natalie Vestin and Charles Taliaferro

Image by Kirsten Hoving
Text by Wendy Amundson and Joel Kaj Jensen

Image by Anna Hurtig
Text by Jacqueline Kolsov and Milissa Link

Image by Yoichi Kawamura
Text by Barrie Jean Borich and Kristen Radtke

Image by Kat Moser
Text by Beebe Barksdale-Bruner and Pablo Medina

Elliott Erwitt: Sequentially Yours

Elliott Erwitt generally likes to let his pictures do the talking. “I’m very bad about talking about things,” he tells me with a smile, during a recent sit-down to look through his latest book, Sequentially Yours, published this month by teNeues.

The book playfully presents a series of unscripted vignettes that bear the personal hallmark and humor of his classic images and movies, but with an original twist— rather than single shots, the photos are shown as sequences. The result is somewhere between single exposures and films, and the stories play out like silent movies—touching, funny, sad, irreverent and full of surprise.

Erwitt uses his film sparingly; he’s the first to acknowledge that he does not take as many frames as most photographers when he shoots. “The process is sometimes more interesting than the finished picture,” he says. And it’s that thought that served as the impetus for Sequentially Yours. Looking through his archive, Erwitt decided it made more sense to show sequenced images— as opposed to a single shot a la Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment.”

“You always look for the best picture, but sometimes the pictures are not that great alone. But in a group, they become interesting,” Erwitt says, citing the series of people trying to close an umbrella on a windy day. “None of these are a picture on their own, but as a sequence of 32, it’s hilarious—not being able to close the umbrella and going home with it open.”

The book’s layout mimics Erwitt’s photographs in style—classic and effortless—and each of the vignettes has different constructs and different outcomes—often open to interpretation—that surprise and entertain. There are iconic images of Erwitt’s that you would expect to be the final statement in a particular sequence that actually appear in the middle of a story, proving that the iconic image can come at different points in the process and that Erwitt continues to shoot with a natural curiosity beyond the point where other photographers might stop after they’ve gotten the picture.

In a photo series of an old man and his dog, Erwitt says “the picture is of course the man talking to the dog—having had his discussion, he goes on his way.” In another series, which takes place at a graveyard, he says, “You really don’t know what is going to happen—it starts with a woman going to a cemetery to deposit some flowers and a dog follows her.” The last picture shows the dog rolling on the ground—and could stand on its own as the picture—but it is made more interesting by those that precede it. But even as the punch line, this image is still open ended. Is the dog playing dead or simply being playful?

These sequences reveal how Erwitt shoots, and he clearly has a relaxed approach and patience. “It’s like fishing. Sometimes you catch one. You lay in wait for something to happen— sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t,” the photographer says of his process.

Along with the stories, there are Erwitt’s iconic photographs of public figures. The familiar images give further context by the frames which were taken immediately before or after. A group portrait taken on the set of the The Misfits movie reveals the chemistry of the cast in the build up to the final image. Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev are shown as a dyptich, and a series of Che Guevara portraits are simply four pictures taken from a single photo shoot. In a Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier fight sequence, the subtlety is almost lost in the magnitude of the moment. Erwitt’s explanation of this unique series is almost as surprising as Ali being knocked to the canvas. While the accredited photographers shot handheld directly at ringside, Erwitt shot from the audience a distance away, with the camera on a tripod, so you can see that all three pictures are taken from the identical position.

And while most of the image sets are taken in a concentrated time frame, there are a couple of notable exceptions. Two photos of Erwitt’s first daughter—one in which she is pregnant and the other three months later with her baby—and a series which ends the book, showing Erwitt’s personal agenda covers adorned with photographs of his two daughters taken over a thirty year period.

Erwitt has published nearly 40 books, but Sequentially Yours provides a perfect, original and refreshing context for his intuitive and instinctive images. His playful humor and wit are as sharp as ever. Here, Erwitt gives you a sense of what happens next, the end point being sometimes comic, sometimes poignant and often with a wink.

Sequentially Yours was published this month by teNeues. Erwitt will participate in a book signing at the International Center of Photography in New York on Nov. 4.

Sunday Submissions

There are many submission opportunities available to photographers–these are some that I highly endorse as they are organizations working to help photographers gain exposure and advance their careers.

WONDERLAND: Photographic Fantasies
DEADLINE: Tomorrow, May 30th, 2011
Photo Place Gallery
Juror: Blue Mitchell, Diffusion Magazine
Photographs can record the detail of the world as we see it. But they can also enable us to present the world as we imagine it. The juried exhibition Wonderland: Photographic Fantasies will feature photos that envision the realms of dreams, the fantasies, and surreal world of the imagination.

16th Annual Photo Competition Exhibition
Extended DEADLINE: June 11, 2011
Photo Center NW
Juror: Karen Irvine, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography
This year the exhibition theme is focused on ANYTHING related to Land or Water– open to interpretation. Selected entries will be exhibited in Seattle, WA at the Photo Center August – Mid October 2011. All photo processes are welcome. Maximum frame size is 32 inches on the longest side. Artists will be responsible for shipping their framed work to and from the gallery.

Klompching Gallery’s First Annual Open Photography Exhibition
DEADLINE: June 6th, 2011
Curated by W.M. Hunt and Darren Ching
The objective of FRESH, is to showcase—in exhibit and online—new talents in contemporary photography that is fresh in approach and vision. The curators are looking for photographs that fully employ the medium of photography within the context of contemporary photographic practice. There is no theme, but submissions with a consistent vision, originality and a strong viewpoint are essential.

I Love L.A. Photography Contest
DEADLINE: June 15th
Jurors TBD
$15,000 in prizes
Our theme is “I Love LA”. Submit any photograph you feel that would best represent this theme. Can be literal images, or your own interpretation. Have fun with it, be serious, quirky, dramatic, sexy, edgy, sarcastic, whatever you choose. It could be an image you took years ago, or one you’ll take tomorrow. Doesn’t even have to be taken in LA. Just pick great photographic-based images that represents the I Love LA theme.