Back in the autumn of last year, The British Black & White Photography magazine (GMC Publications) announced their "What's Your Book?" contest. It was an open call to all amateurs and professionals, with the entry requirements being (1) an idea for a book ;-), (2) title, (3) strapline, and (4) a 75 word summary of what the book will be about. The winner receives an all-expenses-paid 200-copy limited edition run of a book of photographs.
Since (by coincidence) I was at that time already heavily immersed in studying my Borgesian-labyrinth-like hard-drive's-worth of photographs (while working on a portfolio, "Spirit & Light", that I only recently learned will be published in next month's Lenswork Extended CD issue #71), I decided it was an opportune time to mail in a submission to the book contest as well. Having done so in early September, and knowing the contest deadline was a long time away at the end of the year, I also knew I wouldn't hear back from the judges for quite a while; so I soon put the contest out of mind (and honestly didn't expect to hear back anything at all!).
Until, that is, I got a wonderfully unexpected email in early April informing me that I made the shortlist of seven finalists. I was of course delighted, and soon turned my attention to stage two of the contest: providing the judges with 20 additional fine-art prints (essentially to show that there's a bit of "meat" behind the basic idea). Not really expecting to go any farther in the contest, I nonetheless, and somewhat reluctantly (though with some much needed warm encouragement from my wonderful wife), put aside a planned "photo safari" in a local park to focus my attention on preparing new prints.
Shoot forward a few more months, and I'm rather shocked to find my name on a shortlist of three finalists! Only this time, the final round of "decisions" belongs not to the judges, but to the readers/viewers of B&W Photography.
There is a voting site set up that describes the contest, shows previews of the finalists' submissions (including a slide show), and provides a link to an Adobe pdf version of the six page spread summarizing the contests and finalists' entries in the July issue of the B&W Photography magazine. There is also a separate (and clearly marked) voting page.
In truth, I am thrilled beyond measure at just seeing my name on this shortlist of three finalists. Indeed, the other two finalists are both quite obviously fine artists, and each has a gifted photographers' "eye" (and poetic soul). Their images (and book ideas) are both beautiful and eloquent, and it is easy to see why the judges voted for their work. It is a sincere honor to share the temporary spotlight with them. And, also in truth (since whether I win or lose this particular contest, my images are my own and I see them every day;-) I would look forward to purchasing the book of either of my "competitors".
So, what's my book idea? All I can do from my humble perch, on this Blog, is to suggest that, if interested, you click ***here*** to find out, and (even if you choose not to vote) enjoy an interesting write-up about the contest, read the editors' impressions of all three entries, and enjoy some fine images (by all three finalists).