Peeves and winners

Peeves and winners

There are a couple of photographic pet peeves that I have. One is having the date imprinted on the photo. There are camera settings that allow the camera to do it, and I understand people’s desire to know when the photo was taken, but to me it just looks tacky. In the digital era, the date, as well as other information, is embedded in the metadata of every shot, so having the date on the picture itself is unnecessary.

The other peeve is when the photographer chooses to sign his or her name on the image area of the picture. I know it’s the way artists sign their paintings, but in a photograph, to me it seems a bit chintzy and can ruin the overall look of a picture. In both cases, in my opinion it takes away from the integrity of the photograph.

In judging the Youth and Adult divisions of the San Joaquin County Fair’s photography show, I ran across both annoyances which immediately put those entries at a disadvantage. But having said that, The Best of Show in the Youth division, Brianne C. Hayn’s photo of a horse and rainbow, had the date imprinted on the bottom edge of the image (albeit mostly hidden by the matte it was mounted on).

Michael Ryan signed his name on the lower right corner of his Best of Show black and white print in the Adult Open division. A signature is fine by me, I just prefer seeing it on a border or a matte rather on the image area. But again, like Hayn’s picture, Ryan’s photo was so beautifully compelling that it transcended the minor defects.

So a photo can overcome the judge’s own biases. It just has to be a really, really good one.

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