Monday, July 28, 2008

CA Photo Annual -- Hurts so Good

Once again, the CA Photo Annual came, and one again, I wasn't in it.

Maybe because I didn't submit any work this year. Back in March, I sifted through all my work from 2007 and couldn't really find anything that I wanted to send in, other than one-off single images. I was super busy all year, but never took a substantial chunk of time to put work on the back burner and really focus on something interesting to me.

This discovery totally freaked me out -- I used to assist a guy that worked constantly on huge jobs and had briefcases full of money. He didn't shoot a single personal project in the two years I was with him. I don't want to become that guy, but after a busy year in '07 I can definitely see how it happens.

So I blew off the contest thing completely and booked a plane ticket to see my friend in Beijing, and spent two weeks shooting there. It was absolute heaven. China was just what I needed creatively, and I came back with a bunch of work I am really proud of. And I remembered what it's like to be totally present with my camera -- no distractions, nothing to sell. Unfortunately my trip caused me to miss the CA deadline, so I'll have to wait until next year.

That said, it was a little painful to see the cover of this year's Photo Annual (an image of a Chinese guard with his hand up to cover his face.) Pretty weak choice for a cover shot. I understand that they want it to be relevant, with the Games and all, but there is so much amazing work being shot in China right now -- work that says so much more about China by people that have been working on stuff there for years that most of us have never seen.

If you haven't seen work by Ian Teh, look at it now. It will blow your mind. Plenty of CA cover shots in there.

Some of my faves from this year:
Mark Zibert -- Adidas campaign. Where do these jobs come from? How do I get one?
Kenji Aoki -- I wish I could see still life images like this.
David Bowman -- Ice Culture.
Ed Kashi -- Niger Slaughter. Just a guy and a camera, and just plain beautiful.

Congrats to everyone that was more on it than me. It always hurts to not be in there, but it's always insprational, and gets me fired up to keep shooting.

Special congrats to Horacio Salinas, who was nowhere to be seen in this year's Annual. He was probably too busy doing kick ass work to bother.

1 comment:

Rob Prideaux said...

I didn't get in either...but I submitted stuff, bah. Eight years to go!

(I once expressed disappointment about not getting into the Annual to a more experienced photographer. He said: "Get used to that." He told me that he submitted for ten years until he got in.)