Its nice to get a bit of recognition methinks. This time it came by way of having one of my pictures chosen as the best documentary photograph in 2010 by Australia’s top professional photography magazine, Capture ( I also got second place in the Travel Category). The picture made the cover (above) of its 2010 Annual. Both pictures featured inside the publication. It’s the second time I’ve entered a photographic competition. The first time, several pictures I entered didn’t even get a mention; this time, I’m not sure that I should have. Technically, if you study the photograph, you can see its actually out of focus. I remember at the time being grateful for my camera’s auto focus as I couldn’t see a thing. It was dark and my reading glasses fogged up in the steamy jungle. Then a cloud of mosquitos descended on me so all I could focus on was getting out of there. Excuses aside, the image obviously appealed to me and whoever chose it and – out of focus or not – I like the idea it made the cover a national publication I hold in high regard. That said, I’m not altogether convinced about the benefits of entering these competitions or, more importantly, the process to choose the winning pictures. Having studied the winners of photographic competitions for several years to improve my own photography and now been recognised in one competition (which, I figure, gives me license to add my 10c worth), I’d have to say they seem like a bit of a chook raffle. I don’t see a lot of consistency in the selections being made and I struggle to see the merit in many images that make the cut. At very least, I’d like to see more transparency in the process and understand the reasoning behind an image being chosen. I’d like the top images to be accompanied with at least a brief explanation of why they won and I’d like to know about the person who chose them – particularly that he/she/they had some expertise in the particular category in which they were judging ie landscape photography, portrait photography, travel photography etc. Such an insight would be helpful to future entrants. At very least, it’s likely to give those who didn’t get a mention a better understanding of the process and, hopefully, encourage them to enter the competition again. Anyway, enough of this, allow me to bask in the glory while it lasts. Heading off to Brunei in the morning.