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Shelter?

Today is the last day you can enter a photograph for the second round of the Photographer of the Year competition. This round has the theme ‘Rock and Roll’. The first round though has come and gone and the theme was ‘Shelter’.

I was slightly disappointed when I realised that round one was over and round two was upon us – I had planned to enter the competition and had a few good ideas for photographs I could send in. I completely overlooked the deadlines, forgetting that they were here already.

This seems to be happening a lot recently though: time passing fast without many things being achieved. Is this what life is like once you become settled into a full-time job? Do the working days just pass as a blur with no defined start and end? Weeks, sometimes months, going by completely inconspicuously aside from maybe a couple of memorable nights out seeing a band, going for a nice meal or just relaxing at home with someone when you’ve had a tough day. Apart from these events, the month is forgotten.

Away from my digression into whether or not I’m losing track of time, having a breakdown or maybe just completely “normal”, I was discussing the Photographer of the Year competition. So, the ‘Shelter’ round is over and the photos are up for the public’s vote here. I was slightly disappointed at the selection process – the theme is Shelter and it seems the judges have taken the most obscure definition of the word and applied this to the photos coming in to them.

There is a photo of the Aurora Borealis, a dog being held by a young boy and a landscape at sunset with a man sitting on a chair. Now, I know as an artist one is allowed to have some degree of ‘poetic license’ but I believe some of them are taking this right a bit too far. I can gladly accept that the dog is being sheltered from the harsh reality of life by the young boy (or some other pseudo-intellectual description trying to find meaning in a simple photograph taken as it looked good through the viewfinder)… but the Aurora Borealis? Shelter? I have to disagree on this one, and unfortunately it’s winning the votes by a very, very long way. Mainly, undoubtedly, due to the fact that it looks ‘nice’.

Take a look at the photographs and vote for your favourite, but keep the word ‘shelter’ in the back of your mind while choosing. It may not be easy to take a good photograph, but it’s harder still to take a good photograph relating to specific theme, so give those who took the extra time and effort some respect. Look at the colours depicted, the composition and the ingenuity. I voted for Michelle Nold’s photograph of a shack in Missouri after an ice storm. It’s beautiful.

So, Rock and Roll is upon us now and I would like to send in an entry. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to think about this and haven’t been out with the camera for a few days as I’ve been away. I think I’ll just send in a photo of Green Day from when I went to their 2005 American Idiot gig in Cardiff – maybe I’ll get lucky. I had thought of having a photo of someone throwing a television set out of a window or something similar: it’s synonymous with Rock and Roll and could have been made to look quite dynamic but would have required a fair bit of time to setup.

Well, enough moping about missed opportunities – I need to make this month count but doing something amazing: or at least memorable!