Choosing a Winner
It is the lunch break on day two of judging the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. I am one of five jury members gathered in Potsdam to select the winners in nine categories as well as others for the exhibition later this year. At this stage I can’t say much more, except that the overall standard from more than 16,000 entries is very good and the five of us are still on speaking terms!
There seems to be more photography competitions than ever these days, and in this issue of Wild Planet you will find the results of two: the Global Arctic Awards (page 18) and the Montier Photo Festival competition (page 132). Like the GDT contest, both of these are international wildlife and nature photography competitions and you can also add the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature’s Best, Asferico photo contest and the new Por el Planeta conservation photography competition to that list. There are more, of course, but the question is: are there too many international photo competitions?
In theory, photo competitions are a good thing but the danger is that in our attempts to broaden the audience, we in fact achieve the opposite, with the same names and photographic styles dominating the awards.
Authenticity & manipulation
Of course, a judging process is very subjective, yet scrupulously fair – I speak from experience after all. However, what surprises me still is how many photographers continue to over process and manipulate their images beyond recognition of the original file, altering the authenticity of what was actually seen. It is a subject that David Lloyd, himself a multiple award winner, discusses in this issue (When altered states deceive, page 92). I recommend you read it before submitting your next competition entry.
Keith Wilson, Editor