In the wake of previous post about contests which also mentioned Lens Culture submission reviews (that one gets when entering to their contests in Series category) I thought why not publish the reviews I've gotten so far. This is a review of my work after all and there seem to be no rules prohibiting me from publishing it. So, here's the first one. As an introduction, this are about my series Blood Unquiet, but slightly different edit compared to what's shown here on my website (and another edit was exhibited at Photoville). Please be aware that this is not a review of their service, it's here for the sake of photographic discussion.
Karel, this is an interesting submission with some really special images. Your photographs show the innocence and freedom of childhood, while also touching upon the tenuousness of memory. The black and white format works well to impart a feeling of nostalgia and the vignettes that you have recreated definitely succeed in capturing the fragmented, almost dreamlike quality of a particular instant that for some reason lingers in your mind's eye.
I am most captivated by the images that are enigmatic because they spark my imagination and are the most universal and relatable. I have rearranged the order of the submission so that the first seven images are the ones that seem the most compelling and which I can imagine in a sequence that would suggest an unfixed narrative, the details of which could be filled in by the viewer. After sorting the images In this way I noticed that the images that were the most referential with a specific location or a recognizable face that wasn't obscured somewhat by the blur of movement, the darkness of night or splashing water were the least engaging to me. I recommend editing out the last three images because I think it will make the submission more intriguing and cohesive. A tightly edited submission will be more impressive to a juror in a competition and sometimes less is more.
I hope that you continue with this project because I like what you have done so far! Images 1 and 4 in the new sequence I am suggesting are real standouts to me. Image 1 suggests the fear and freedom of falling and therefore speaks to the precariousness of childhood, since it is so fleeting and a child is always heading toward the unknown. Image 4 speaks to a child's acquisition of knowledge by presenting an allegorical narrative that really pulls me in. For further inspiration, check out other photographers who have reflected on the mysteries of childhood including Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Emmet Gowan, Keith Carter and Sally Mann.