After editing the 12,441 photos submitted to this assignment, I am hopeful. This was the first time we asked you to submit a group of photos that would be judged together. As a photo community you’ve shown me that you can take out of this world single photos. Daily Dozen is a perfect example. I wasn’t sure what would happen when I asked you to create a portfolio of five photos. Many of you struggled and while I knew you were technically good photographers, the groupings fell flat. There were several occasions when the first few photos were stunning and made sense together, but the others were either poor quality or seemed like careless additions. However, many of you rose to the challenge and made it very difficult for me to edit. In terms of choosing the story finalists, this was a drastically different experience for me as the editor. This took twice as long to edit then a regular assignment because I’m looking not only for the high quality photographic elements of an image, but the merit of the collection as a whole.
The 14 story photographers best aligned with the requirements and spirit of the Ask a Local theme. Going beyond the tourist destinations and surface culture they showed me intimate moments and a deep curiosity.
Your fellow photographers Dotan Saguy, A. Ershov and Danilo Dungo’s portfolios communicated an undeniable story. I heard their voices and saw a clear vision. Their complete portfolios are published in the story. We wish them luck as they travel to Seoul in September. For those of you who are not part of the final story, do not be discouraged. By taking part in this community, we’re all able to learn together and see some incredible photography along the way. From the over 1300 comments on the discussion board, I was energized by all of the questions and engagement.
Creating a portfolio takes time; time to plan, time to shoot, time to edit, and time to share. Based on what I’ve seen from this assignment, you’re on track. Storytelling is an essential skill to learn in order to elevate your photography. It’s in storytelling that you can harness the power of photography and change hearts and minds.