lens culture

Lens Culture Submission Review: Blood Unquiet (Edit 2)

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 second one. As an introduction, they 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. To be honest, one thing that bothers me is that they don't put a name below the review.

Hello Karel, thanks for sharing your work. Your project is unique and powerful. I love the idea of creating new images of your childhood.
I resequenced the images to create a storyline and to connect one image to the next. Image #1 and 2 establishes the main subject in their environment. The hands and arms in #1 are effective in showing that the protagonist is young.
All of the images are powerful but a few have technical challenges. The perspective in #4 is dynamic but the focus is off, the boy’s face is unsharp. I suggest to re-shoot this and perhaps employ panning the camera to freeze the main subject but also to show blur on the ground. Image #5 is amazing but would be even more incredible if the mirror edges were more prominent. You could play around with switching the focal point from the jeans to the shoes. Image #6 is odd which is its strength but the space is awkward. The foreground is empty, perhaps a horizontal orientation would have been more beneficial. If you do choose to re-shoot this scene, include the label on the bottle. I am curious to know what the young boy is drinking. If you prefer to keep it a mystery, then take the label completely off the bottle and make it a non issue.
The next step in your project is to explore a presentation form that will further push your ideas. You could create a print portfolio. In doing this, type of paper, surface and size will play a big role. Creating a book is another idea. The series gathers strength when the images are viewed sequentially. I can imagine a small artist book working very well. Which ever way you go, I encourage you to consider the presentation form as an important vehicle for your vision to be realized.

Lens Culture Submission Review: Blood Unquiet (Edit 1)

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.