David Byrd's picture

The Angel of Justice

This piece is called "The Angel of Justice" and scored my highest score of 81 in the recent image competition, through Professional Photographers of America.

This is the only piece that I purposefully created (from starting image, to final art) with the competition in mind. And it is a wonderful reflection of the challenges of image competition and my strong feelings about them.

Some may take joy in every aspect of creating an entry into a competition. I did not. I found myself with the anxiety of second-guessing every step. "Should the light be this dramatic?" "Should I go more simplistic with the design?" "They say to have details in the shadows, but don't have too many shadows, make sure the highlights aren't blown out, but don't have too many highlights..."

It's maddening.

A powerful voice in this industry once said, "don't give the judges anything to think about" in regard to the complexity of design. Implying that the more simple, the more impactful of the artwork, the better your chances are of scoring higher.

I retorted, "then why make art at all and compete with it?"

Another powerful voice in the industry told me recently, "they are judging from a place of tech first and art second in most cases. An artist like you creates from the heart, not with rules." They gave me the wisdom of creating the art first, then altering it to fit the unknown variables a judge would put on top of it.

Art is subjective; it can not be judged. The value we place in it, is solely our own. Competing is folly, but there are benefits to it. What benefits and what truths are real or not?

That opinion I will share tomorrow with my last piece from the competition.

Models: Liza Davis and Mary L. Poll
MUA: Luna Wise
Location: Parkwood Photography Studios
Photography and Photoshop art: Reality Reimagined

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