I know the following open journal is about to give me much criticism and flak, but I feel the points I'm about to make are important and need to be said, surely I cannot be the lone dissenter.
Yesterday the finalists and winners of the London Street photography festival had been announced online. According to their website they received 1600 entries.
Jesse Marlow an excellent photographer was the overall winner. He's also a member of the in-public collective. One of the other finalists David Solomons is a member of the same group. Two of the judges David Gibson, and Nick Turpin are both members of the same collective. Sophie Howarth also a judge, prominently featured their work in the book street photography now.
The winning portfolio images [link]
have already been part of the same in-public.com gallery [link]
for years. Was this competion a way of promoting up and coming street photographers or just a way of promoting the in-public collective?
At best this is an unconscious bias, at worst a conscious one. Giving the other finalists a disadvantage. The other entrants did not have the advantage of the judges already being familiar with their work, and already being fans.
Now in most photographic competions when one of the judges recognise the images of one of their friends they step down from voting for that particular image, so not to bias the other judges in their favour, I know and have seen this happening in Judging at the IPPA (Irish Professional photographers association)and PPA (Photographers of America). I wonder did such fair voting take place, as three of the judges were already familiar with the winners work. If this took place excellent, but I would like to know if it did. In many art competitions in Ireland often rules stipulate, Friends and family members of competition judges are forbidden from entering.
Now speaking openly two of the finalists, I'm fans of their work and of coarse I would want them to win, so yes their is some bias on my part on how I feel the final results went.
I'm considering writing an email to the judges who are members of in-public to know how fair this process was.
Your opinions are valuable to me, and I welcome any of your comments. Or please email firstname.lastname@example.org