Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A juror's criteria

John Paul Caponigro was a 'juror' for the  Elements of water exhibition held by the Center for Fine Art Photography from February 19th to March 13th, 2010.

A short biog on John Paul Caponigro as seen on this website is included here:
John Paul Caponigro is an artist, author, educator, and digital pioneer. John Paul is one of Canon’s Explorers of Light and an Epson’s Stylus Pro. He is a contributing editor for Digital Photo Pro and a columnist for PhotoshopUser and John Paul’s work has been published widely. Well respected as an authority on creativity and fine digital printing . . .In 2002, Zoom Magazine named John Paul one of the 15 best artists of the past 30 years. In 2006, John Paul was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame.
He suggests looking at work intensely raises many questions and I thought it was useful to list the questions here.

■Does a good idea make a good picture?
■Does the relevance social concerns make up for, compliment, or overtake a good picture?
■Does clearly describing a person, place, thing, or event make a good picture?
■Does a strong graphic structure make a good picture?
■Does a strong emotional appeal make a good picture?
■Are decisive moments magic moments?
■How much is enough?
■How much is too much?
■How much is too little?
■How much do small flaws reduce core strengths?
■What are the core strengths of an image?
■How are core strengths combined with and modified by other elements?
■When does abstraction become suggestive or storied?
■How do those vary from image to image and artist to artist?
■Are there consistent strategies that work?
■Are the notable exceptions?
■Does the challenge presented by outliers reinforce or weaken what’s been found?

Clearly not all questions are relevant to all art photography all of the time, however I thought it would be useful to return to the list from time to time when critiquing my own work and that of others.

I have also been reading Terry Barrett's 'Criticising Photographs' which gives an indepth guide as to how to view, evaluate and analyse photographs. I suppose I'm trying to 'hone' my skills in terms of what to look for in photography particularly with fine art photography where the impact is so much more subtle and easy to miss. And also how others view and critique images as well as the strategies used in developing a creative concept.

This quote below I also found to be true of my own photographic journey, particularly with regards viewing others photography and on selecting a subject to photograph myself.

'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change' Wayne Dyer

A photograph I viewed six months ago I now see in a very different light today.  Six months later what more will I see. My perception of what a good image is is evolving. And likewise, the creative process to develop a photograph has changed significantly for me compared to this time last year.  A year from now, no doubt that will have changed again.


  1. Dear Penny,

    I'm from BBC Radio Cumbria. I run a feature on the Ian Timms Show called Little Cumbria...

    Each week I ask three different people to keep a dairy for five consecutive days, to tell the story of their lives.

    Each diary entry needs to be 130 words, which is roughly 45 seconds in length.

    Once the diary is written, we then arrange a time to record it... And then I mix the three different diaries together with a narrator and theme music, and make a mini Cumbrian soap.

    It runs Monday to Friday at 1745, and is now entering it's 35th week.

    It's a bit of fun, and works really well, and for it to last I want to keep bringing new voices to the feature.

    I search local blogs because it is a great place to find people who enjoy being in the spotlight, and have talent for writing.

    Would you willing to have a bash?

    Here are my contact details... I look forward to hearing from you,


    Steven Greaves | BBC Radio Cumbria
    Annetwell Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8BB
    tel: 01228 592444

  2. Hi Steven

    Blimey, not sure how you found this blog... or the bit about the spotlight or talent for writing but I'm tempted, it sounds like fun!

    I shall tune in tomorrow night - sounds intriguing!!

    I shall drop you an email.



  3. Hey Penny, I just wanted to say that I think your blog is great. I am studying at the OCA too and like your work too.