Aaron Hobson: The Cinemascapist
This week Lenscratch is on vacation and thought it would be interesting to ask a variety of photographers to fill in for me, providing some cross pollinating of ideas. I’ve been a long time fan of Aaron Hobson (The Cinemascapist), his work, and his fresh perspective in the photo world and thought he’d make a wonderful contributor. Aaron was about to attend the Canteen Awards, an event hosted by a magazine we are both fans of, and he wanted to share his exprience.
CANTEEN COMP + AWARDS
by le cinémasagiste
Last Thursday evening I left the fresh air and safety of my home in the Adirondacks to make a 24 hour visit to the City. I needed to talk to my gallery owner/dealer/curator ladyfriend about what the hell I would be doing for my exhibit this February. This task was simple, involving a sweaty walk and talk session after visiting the NYC Icy stand in the East Village (I recommend the cherry pistachio nut or the thai iced tea) in a 90° humid stench. Things went well with desert so we decided to eat dinner following that. I said goodbye and finished the first task of my brief visit. It was on to Brooklyn for part II.
2 or more months ago I decided to enter the first ever Canteen Magazine Photography Competition. I typically have two approaches to competitions. One major decision is the Jurors. I look at what they’ve curated, published, reviewed, exhibited, etc…to see if I even stand a chance of getting their attention to take more than a glance at my work. Same thing all artists should consider before attempting to contact a gallery, making sure your work suits the tastes of the director and it’s current lineup. Second thing I consider is the award/reward. Cash is always the best award I can hope to find. Things I stay away from are solo exhibits to the winner if it conflicts with any of the cities I am already represented in. That’s a no-no.
Canteen’s competition had several motivating factors for me to consider… an interesting group of judges… a party (with open bar and group show)… and the “Naked Judging” concept. Many of the judges were from the staff at Canteen, a magazine I personally enjoy with many components I am fond of…clean design, exquisitely printed, and narratives matched with imagery. The party was a no-brainer and the group show was not a conflict. The Naked Judging was also enticing. To see the juror’s comments would be a bonus (win or lose). I love reading bad press as much as reading good press. I ended up reading mostly bad comments (you can read a blurb on my blog here), but my ego got stroked by being awarded the entrants choice winner.
All in all, I was satisfied Canteen’s first Photo competition. The timing of the results was quick and didn’t last months. The comments were a great read. The party was a delight. And if I remember correctly, the price of entry to it was modest. If I were to make a suggestion for Canteen (if they repeat this again next year), it would be to include category winners or an overall theme. It seems as though it would be harder to judge or to get a cohesive tally of an overall winner if it’s simply judging on personal preference. Even the comment on my work suggested that the jurors “…treated staged photography pejoratively” (meaning to disparage or belittle for those that needed to look that up like I did).
When I accepted Aline’s request to contribute to the blog, I immediately decided to cover this event and even take photos at the awards party. Something I never ever do. I don’t even take a camera on family trips. I don’t like cameras if it involves documenting things that a real and/or live. So the entire night I was photographing discretely from my hip with the camera going completely auto, sans flash. I didn’t want to bring attention to myself (I do that enough as it is) and also so that I could keep drinking (thanks to Bulldog Gin) with my other hand at all times. Luckily at the end of the night (rather next morning), I had enough blurry images to put this post together.
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