Images Fall 2023 Jury Team and Gallery Speaker
Statement from the jurors:
Curating Images 2023
By Jacqueline Tobin, Michael Peres, & Sean Kernan
Photography simply described is writing with light. Whether shared as a print or digitally, the picture can be enjoyed and studied by both its maker and viewer. As jurors for Images 2023, we had the distinct honor to look at almost 600 entries submitted by a wide range of passionate, curious, and dedicated picture makers. It was evident how the photographers in this exhibition were attracted to interesting subjects found in interesting places. It was also obvious they saw and were “chasing the light”.
It was challenging to select only 20% of work that was submitted for Images 2023. We did not know the names of the photographers who now comprise this exhibition, but we could see in their pictures how their skills and curiosities influenced their work. As judges, we each brought a unique aesthetic to the review process, however interestingly, there were many other criteria that were common no matter what type of photograph we were considering. We looked at framing of the photograph, the subject in the work, the treatment of the subject, the image’s technical excellence, the uniqueness, and the degree of difficulty in making the photograph. Alone, each of us took our time and looked at each piece individually two times during the first two rounds of reviews. After the first review, if the picture received 2 yes votes it was moved into the second round where we judged again alone with the goal of identifying approximately 200. Photos that received 2 votes and a maybe were moved into the final round of judging, which was done as a group on ZOOM.
In the final round of judging, we discussed the images and which ones should be included in the final 100 but we experienced a great challenge in making final choices. It was really difficult because most photographs were deserving to be included. But because space was limited, we had to select the very best with a goal of creating an exceptional collection of photos that represented what was submitted. In the end, we believe you will find a beautiful and diverse collection of work that is both interesting and excellent examples of craft, passion, skills, luck, vision, and curiosity. Selecting the five award winners was the most challenging part of our responsibilities. Picking the most interesting 5 out of nearly 600 was done with respect and with the goal of being true to the images that were selected for inclusion in the exhibition. It seems now as we write this piece, it could have been any of the twenty-two that we identified as being the most deserving and our personal favorites. Congratulations to those in the exhibition. Your dedication to your art is most evident.
Sean Kernan is a photographer, writer, and teacher who came to photography from theater. He is the author of two monographs, The Secret Books (with Jorge Luis Borges) and Among Trees, with Anthony Doerr, a book on creativity called Looking Into the Light, and In Stone, on the sculptor Darrell Petit.
He has exhibited at galleries and museums in France, Egypt, Mexico, South Korea, and Italy, as well as in the US, and has created media for performance pieces with Alison Chase at MASS MoCA, Guggenheim Projects in New York, and Portland Performing Arts Festival, most recently a theater/dance/multimedia piece, Drowned.
He has produced and directed several award-winning documentaries: The Kampala Boxing Club, about boxing in Africa; Crow Stories, about the Crow Tribe of Montana; A Mind of Winter, about the feeling of cold; and The Visitor, filmed in his great-grandfather’s house in upstate New York.
Professor Michael Peres is an award-winning photo educator, author, and photographer. He joined the faculty of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences in the fall of 1986 after working as a medical photographer for 5 years. During his career at RIT, he has dedicated himself to inspiring generations of curious students, many who have become leaders in various fields. Michael has been featured for his science photography by CNN, Time, the Weather Channel, Mashable, and numerous other organizations including the Malaysia Air Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post. He has edited 11 books including the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography- fourth edition in 2007 and Natural Science Imaging and Photography Best Practices released in 2019. His current work explores contemporary media applications in science and communication.
Having worked in the photo industry for almost four decades, Jacqueline is thrilled to currently be the Managing Editor and Real Weddings Editor of World's Best Wedding Photos. Prior to that, she was the Editor-in-Chief of wedding and portrait magazine Rangefinder for 12 years, a position she will always cherish. Jacqueline's photo industry career began after she graduated from Cornell University in upstate New York in 1985, where she studied Communications and worked as a staff photographer on the Cornell Daily Sun. Her first job was in 1986 as assistant editor for Photo District News (PDN). There, she moved up the ranks as Photo Editor, then Managing Editor and finally, Deputy Editor. After 25 years at PDN, she was asked to take over its sister publication, Rangefinder. She has also written two books during her photo and publishing career—Wedding Photography Unveiled: Inspiration and Insight From 20 Top Photographers (Amphoto, 2009) and The Luminous Portrait: Capture The Beauty of Natural Light for Glowing, Flattering Photographs (with Elizabeth Messina, Amphoto, 2012). She is constantly on the lookout to discover new talent as well as add compelling imagery to her constantly evolving photo collection.