A few days ago the semi-finalists were announced for the 2021 AIPP Silver Lining Awards and I am very pleased to report that three of my photographs that I entered into the Natural World category have made the semi-final round of judging. Congratulations to all of the entrants and semi-finalists. All of the semi-finalist photographs can be seen online HERE. Finalists will be announced in the next week or so.
As a digital only photographic competition the AIPP Silver Linings are without question the most professional I have encountered and entered in my professional career. Although I really prefer to enter print competition wherever possible, I do think it worth noting that as a digital only competition that the calibre of judges and detailed feedback provided set a standard the rest of the industry would do well to note and follow. By contrast, the recently run Frank Hurley awards (in which I was also a multiple image finalist) were a serious disappointment in terms of awards communication and feedback. Correspondence and feedback were totally lacking without even the courtesy of finalist email notification. Many online digital competitions are proving nothing more than a ‘money grab’ these days and it would unfortunately appear on reflection that the Hurley awards fall squarely into this category. Cleverly named perhaps, but nothing more than a thin veneer for a money grab.
I have continually waxed and waned on entering digital only photographic competitions over the years and have taken a hiatus on several occasions in the past. In a marketplace that is currently overly saturated with digital photographic competition it feels as though the time is ripe to again take a bit of a backward step from this murky world of subjective digital competition. One thing that has really soured my current feeling on digital competition is the sheer number of photographs and photographers that are getting disqualified for what amounts to outright attempts at cheating. Examples are rampant across just about every online competition in the marketplace. It seems that for many, winning at all costs is acceptable if you can get away with it and I find that seriously disheartening. Photographic competition is supposed to be about pushing yourself, improving your own work, understanding where the bar is set in terms of image quality from colleagues and good friendly competitive spirit. Somehow this spirit has been lost in the race for the podium and the need for the organiser to cash in. Time to take a break from digital competition for while and get back to the print.