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SURREY, United Kingdom
Amateur and still learning!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Quantity vs Quality (again)

Reading Eileen Rafferty's latest post on her blog, Photosynthesis, see link at the bottom of the page, has prompted me to mount one of my favourite hobby horses and gallop headlong into the battle with mediocrity and lack of understanding amongst the hoards of digital exponents that have discovered they can snap away and fill card after card with images of anything that takes their eye.
I share Eileen's consternation at the amount of images that are posted by photographers either to Flickr or the Internet as a whole. Are there that many images that are worthy of all but the briefest of glances by those that enjoy looking at pictures?
How often do you read posts on forums that say, "I've been out today and managed to take 400+ pictures, all I've got to do now is upload them". Amazing!
Flickr also reveals to some extent the trouble taken by photographers to make sure their images are properly presented for viewing, in as much it shows the time taken between the pressing of the shutter and the posting of the image. How many do you see where the information reveals within the information panel "Photo taken today". That says to me that the minimal amount of time has been taken to look at the image and perhaps make some necessary improvements to enhance it. It's almost akin to the old days where the finished image was that supplied by Boots when you took the film in for processing and the pictures you got back were the ones you showed to everyone.
The editor of the B+W magazine, Elizabeth Roberts, gave a talk to our club last week on how the magazine works and gave some illuminating advice .

Apart from the usual marketing blurb such as circulation, readership and world wide coverage, a brief history of the publication and a list of contributors and interviews with photographers of note, as one would expect, we were treated to some inside information and tips on how a photographic magazine selects and edits readers' images submitted for publication.

Because most submissions are now made on disc, with prints taking less and less percentage of the total, she says it's not unusual for some 25+ images to be sent for consideration. It's here that most submissions fail. She says whilst there maybe two or three images of quality in amongst the 25+ it somewhat reflects on the photographer's ability to edit his/her work. Even notes saying that the person is not too sure about a number of images within the submission are included tends to emphasise the point she was making.

You may not agree with what she says, as one person in the audience remarked, but as she pointed out a small editorial team cannot spend their time editing the submissions of all that they receive each month, that's the job of the person submitting the images.

Moral of the story, learn to edit your work and if you submit images for possible inclusion in any magazine, publication or exhibition, make sure they constitute only those that you deem the best, not overwhelm the selector with your possibles. It's a good idea to stick to a theme not a mixture of genres.

It's the submissions that comprise 4-6 images that get noticed.

I would suggest that even if you do not intend submitting your work anywhere that same discipline should be applied when posting anywhere.


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