Categories: Pictorial, Nature, Creative, Monochrome
Judge: Ouliana Panova
Biography: I have only been photographing with artistic intent for a bit over a year and a half, but in that time I have become utterly enamored with the process. I shoot film and digital both, with a general preference for landscape and abstract compositions, but I am very fluid with my choices of lenses and apertures and focal lengths – and my poor spine is truly making me pay for lugging all this gear up mountains and into woods. Currently, I am on a deep dive into infrared photography, as I am fascinated with the effects of blending various spectra and capturing light unseeable by the human eye. I am fully self-taught, but my graduate education and current work in electron microscopy have provided me with a strong technical and theoretical background on the optics and image processing aspects of the craft. I have joined and am now running a small but growing online community of photographers focused on discussion, mentorship, and critique. I have truly launched myself into this art with unbridled enthusiasm and curiosity! You can find my work on Instagram, @panovanator.
Philosophy: To me, the success of an image lies in the efficacy with which it relays the artist’s message. I first focus on the effect of the image as a whole, be it emotional or cognitive, and then proceed to distill the contributions of the visual elements – color, composition, tone, subject… – to the intended (or resultant) response to the piece. I believe that all creative efforts are valid and deserve consideration, and thus I endeavor to take the time to give each piece placed in front of me valuable critique – emphasizing the positive, and potentially providing careful suggestions on how, in my opinion, it could be improved. I have a very open mind when it comes to alternative processing, off-beat coloration techniques, unusual angles and other creative explorations – seeing as I partake so often in those myself – but appreciate and value the classical guiding principles of aesthetics as established by centuries of human art. I am a champion of varied and precise semantic expression, and solemnly swear to use my verbosity for good.