The SHOOT International Tango Photography competition sets the challenge to amateur and professional photographers all over the world to find their personal interpretation of ‘The Spirit of Tango’. The judging panel are looking for one beautiful, technically excellent, truly original and creative image that portrays what we all know very well is an intangible, completely unnattainable ‘thing’ that can never be perfectly captured with words or by even watching the dance itself. Equally, is there just one ‘thing’…? So… where to begin? What images to enter?
Here are some tips:
ANSWER THE BRIEF
Remember that the winning image must achieve two things; it must portray the photographer’s interpretation of ‘The Spirit of Tango’ and it must be deemed by the judges as an excellent example of photographic imagery. A wonderful image of, for example, people riding bicycles to a milonga in Amsterdam, is NOT an image of ‘Tango’ unless it can definitely be perceived by looking at the image that the people are in fact tango dancers riding bicycles to a milonga.
FOLLOW THE RULES
Read the competititon » Terms of Entry to ensure your image fits the criteria and is not disqualified. The terms are important because they make certain the competition is fair to all participants. It would be such a shame to disqualify any image because the photographer neglected an important detail.
GET TO KNOW YOUR JUDGES
The SHOOT introduces the panel of judges with a series of interviews and examples of published work. All of the judges are professional photographers forging successful careers in their own genres. Some dance tango, some do not. Others are journalists, editors or similar with years of experience in linked industries. Consider the judging panel. How do you think they will view your images collectively?
Look back at the » Previous Finalists. The judging panel is different this year so it won’t help you to copy them but just browsing through the images that did well will give you an indication of the kind of benchmark that has been set and be inspired.
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
It is true, the judges are all 100% human so make your images ‘connect’ with them in some way. Imagine that they will spend hours considering, sorting, debating and filtering all the images to find ‘the one’. Stand out from the crowd! Choose images that are compelling and evoke an emotion. Use striking colors, unusual and strong compositions, play with light and shadow, movement or stillness. Aim to make the judges stop and look again. The judges kept coming back to look at » Philippe’s Winning Photo too many times to remember. They debated it for hours, pulled apart every pixel, compared it to every other image, left it alone and kept returning to look at it one more time.
SHARE YOUR PASSION
Join in and be proud of what you submit. You don’t need to be a professional photographer or have fancy equipment. Use your phone, an old manual camera or anything else. The SHOOT is about celebrating our passion for tango, sharing ideas, being inspired and above all recognising and appreciating the talent and skill it takes to shoot Tango well.
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Posted by Rita Horne
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