I am grateful for my opportunity to be your guest editor for this Your Shot assignment. I enjoyed living inside these images, and corresponding with many of you. It helps open my mind and hone my critical eye towards my own photography. There’s nothing like having 10,000 pairs of eyes around the world, so thank you! I hope you all got as much out of it as I did.
There were so many inventive and expressive photographs that didn’t make it to my list of finals. That kind of hurts, but that’s life in the world of subjectivity. There were a lot of old versus new technology photographs: renaissance fairs, Civil War reenactments, tribal or religious people using cell phones. Many of them were fantastic photographs, but when there is a thematic concentration of a type of photo, the competition becomes steeper, and many did not make it to my semi-final cuts. When curating the images for this assignment I would sometimes imagine them as magazine covers or on my wall. In the end, the photograph just had to have the “It” quality as well as being technically sufficient for the message it attempted to convey.
A few photos with excessive post-production improvements nearly ruined them for me. For instance, there was one beautiful shot of a small old structure standing against a wall of a shiny new corporate building — a real David and Goliath image that was hurt by over correction of the perspective and over sharpening. But I was into the shot enough to just deal with it. Other times, the adjustments were made in the photograph – especially where the photography itself was the anachronism; the faux 1960s Life Magazine cover is an example of that.
I was blown away by the creativity I saw in bringing the something old/something new story to an image. I have a lot greater understanding of how I see anachronism now and what is indeed “against time.” Thanks for your input and hope to see you again sometime!
Tune in tomorrow for a Facebook Live video with the Editor of this story Ben Folds at 12:15 pm EST on the National Geographic Magazine Page. Ben will be discussing some of his favorite images from the assignment as well as some of his own photography.
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation. He’s spent over a decade sharing the stage with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras – from Sydney, Australia to the Kennedy Center, performing his pop hits and his critically acclaimed concerto for Piano ...