Pinhole entries to the RPS Print Exhibition

February 8, 2009

I was caught on the hop by the deadline on this year’s RPS Print exhibition which I missed by a couple of days. This is the only group photographic show I regularly enter and felt quite sore at my lack of foresight and organisation. However, on checking the RPS website I was overjoyed on Friday to see the announcement of an extension until Monday to allow the arrival of entries delayed by the bad weather we have had here in the UK.

I spent Friday evening into the early hours of Saturday revisiting and reprinting my best images from the last twelve months or so. Then I rose early the next morning to finish off the last two prints and get down to the post office to catch the final guaranteed delivery for Monday. This exhibition rarely fails to excite me in the range of work displayed and above all the technical competence show by the exhibitors. Time will tell if this sentiment remains when my submission is considered. In the last few years, as far as I am aware, only one pinhole photograph has reached the final selection of 125 prints out of the many thousands submitted from around the world. Although I submitted pinholes last year, none were accepted and one of my lens photos made it through. This year I am fascinated to see what happens as I send in four prints, all pinhole images.

It raises questions in my mind, which I have mulled over many times in the past, regarding whether it is important to know about the hardware behind an image. I always feel that my my home-made cameras should be given some advantage over the ranks of photographs issuing from mass-produced, shop-bought technology. How deluded! But still part of me feels that the difficulty and experimentation involved in low-tech photography deserves some kind of recognition. I suppose that ultimately this kind of feeling should not colour a dispassionate review of what one presents to the world. Photographs will always stand or fall by their content and not the method of their creation.

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