Patterns in Nature Call for Entry Juror Results
A Note from Juror Jim Brandenburg:
Something happened while spending much time with the photographs that were submitted to this Patterns of Nature call. I became attached and emotional to the images, all of them – the good frames and otherwise. I’m not afraid to share that feeling with you. Having spent most of my life on the business end of the camera I empathize with each photographer’s lonely journey from the quest for that image through the moment they submit. I know the feeling well.
It’s never been easy for me, both to submit my photographs to competitions and to jury them. I can’t remember the last time I entered an image to be judged. I’ve been fortunate when I did, rewarded indeed. But it still was not enough of a reason for me to do it again. It may be 20 years or more since I sent off a transparency duplicate. So I admire and honor that delicate process of putting a portion of ones soul out there to be judged. I have juried many international competitions in many countries this past five years. I always seem to put myself in the place of the photographer, almost seems like channeling at times. I live and love the process to that degree.
It makes it difficult to decide when there are several fine images that finally rise to the top. There is a certain detachment that is necessary or I would not be able to decide on the last pass of the last day. Then the inevitable second-guessing that trails on after it’s too late to reconsider. It happens every time. That is the nature of putting ones creative energy and emotion into the process. It’s imbedded both in the making of the photograph and goes right through to the last second during the selection of the winners. I hate it, I love it. It can become near impossible to decide and I then need to draw down deeply into that zone that nobody has ever been able to truly define. Years of study, a lifetime of looking and responding has implanted a certain visual “language” that speaks. Everyone has a different accent. This is mine.
This total grouping of entries has a higher level of photographic excellence than I have seen in a while. The quality of the 1,000 or so images submitted here on whole impressed me on my first pass. The last jury assignment I had in Europe included 50,000 entries. This call as a group was at a significantly higher level. That is a compliment to the MPLS PHOTO CENTER.
But finally there are decisions to be made. It surprises me at times to see what gets chosen when I let my “inner voice” take over. I discovered long ago from a wise and gifted mentor that it’s better in the end to not use too much of one’s conscious or cerebral thinking. I find it works best to do this during both the shooting and the judging. Those that are able to tap into their quiet and hidden inner voice are often those that excel in this elusive endeavor. I am quite pleased with the final selections. I encourage those that did not make the final group to continue to pursue their joy in making images and submit again and not dwell too much on the competitive side – that can be destructive and can appear contrary to why we do this. It’s not a competitive sport. Those that are included here will feel a rush and hopefully will use that reward to have more confidence and rise to a higher level in their work. So here you find the results of our partnership in this otherwise solitary journey. I am proud and happy and I congratulate the winners. I thank you for the opportunity for me to peek into your world.
Juror - Jim Brandenburg - May 22, 2015
Juror: Jim Brandenburg
Jim Brandenburg traveled the globe as a photographer with National Geographic magazine for over three decades. He has done assignment work and has been published in numerous national and international publications including the New York Times, Life, Time, Audubon, Smithsonian, Natural History, GEO, Modern Maturity, BBC Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife, and Outside.
Over the course of his long career, Jim Brandenburg has received a multitude of prestigious national and international honors for his work. The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) twice named him Magazine Photographer of the Year for his National Geographic magazine work. He was named Kodak Wildlife Photographer of the Year by BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum–London, and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA). Brandenburg was a Hasselblad Master in 2002, a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens in 2001, and Canon Explorer of Light 2005-08.
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