Today I happen to receive the 31st AOP Photography Awards 2014 book, each year all members are invited to submit their best work for it to be considered and get honoured for what they have done. Back in the day there were Gold/Silver/Bronze Awards, now you get Best In Category as an accolade.
In the ten years or so that I have been a member of the Association Of Photographers I submitted my work 3x, and it did not go much further than their bin, I just don’t fit in or my work is just shit, I think it is both, end of that debate. So spare yourself the thoughts that I think I am sooooo fucking great…..
The book this time, is not a hard cover but more a magazine style of work with a sleeve jacket, the paper inside is fab, I have to say it makes the pix look great, but that is hardly a plus compared to a hard cover book. The AOP has been plagued a few years back with mismanagement and loss of a lot of money which forced them to sell up their base in Drummond St. and now reside inside Holborn Studios. which in the end is not a bad thing, I am glad they got themselves sorted.
What I totally hate about the book is the fact that certain photographers have submitted 4 images and someone took the decision to only post 3 images of it, why?
I also find the Photoshop overkill on some of the images quite off putting as well, there ought to be a non-photoshop category, and why not a film (that’s photographic emulsion) category as well.
A lot of the work is so similar that I wonder where the distinction of that particular photograph lies, not as terrible as the usual Fashion Porn (no artistic merit, white backdrop, flat lighting, as much detail as possible, not that any brain cares to spend time to process all that data, anyone actually gave that a thought or two? ) but a very good second, and get the same feel every Awards year: ‘Could have been done by anyone…..springs to mind’
My fave pix:
Gary Salter in Non-Commissioned Life Single
Carol Sharp in Non-Commissioned Objects Single
Noel McLaughlin in Project
Adam Hinton in Project
Emma Townsend in Assistant Award Series
Also the missus and I went to Somerset House again, the Guy Bourdin exhibit took so much time that I could not view the Chris Stein exhibit of Blondie pictures, the majority from the 70’s. It was held in the same rooms as the Erwin Blumenfeld show earlier last year (which was fab btw). As a body of work I really liked it, sure it’s an advantage to be in the band and your missus happens to be the lead singer, still it takes a long time, and loads of perseverance to maintain it. Glad I saw it.
And while I was there I slipped into the Bryan Adams exhibit as well, Wounded The Legacy Of War.
Now I have a massive grudge against people that start a photography career after they have become famous for something else. If they were actually great then that would be fine by me, but in 99% that seems to be not the case and use the previous career as a stepping stone to get to a level some of us ‘real’ photographers could only dream off! It’s not cheating as a major US fashion photographer did over 20 years ago, but it’s a great second. Johnny Depp seems to think along that way as well.
This exhibit could have been so much better than just being set in a Fashion Porn environment, why not make it look that war is horrible and slap the viewer in the face with that awful reality than rather in that Ebay advert setting.
I am not only shit, but fucking jealous too………
Finally, let me try and end this rant on a positive note, the nominations for the Zilveren Camera have been selected, and the material is very impressive, there are some fantastic images to be looked at.
Glad I got all this off my chest, I feel so much better now.