My LensCulture Submission Review

There are various points I will respond to, what do you think of this review? Be honest please.

Published by Keith Goldstein

Photographer, husband, dad, and passionate cyclist. Lives and works in New York City.

9 thoughts on “My LensCulture Submission Review

  1. I don’t quite know what to make of this review, Keith. They compliment you on your use of natural light (which is lovely),they think the images speak to one another, but then they warn you to be careful with how you are selecting the images.
    What scares you about these images? Would it be better to capture your subjects looking directly at you? I know you take these photos on the fly, and that is something I so envy about your photography. Would that make these more relatable? Would their eyes tell a story? Show their fears? Show my fears?
    I was glad to see their compliment to you on composing your subjects in a busy environment, because I think you do a great job with that. If your photos supported each other in a cohesive way, would they become repetitious?
    I know I have a lot of questions, but this review made me wonder just what exactly it is they want you to do. I am biased because you do what I don’t–take human interest to new levels. I so admire that in your photographs, Keith. Don’t know if this helps, but I think you are a wonderful photographer.

  2. These guys again? I read the comments twice. The reviewer wrote him/herself in to circle. If it were me, I’d remove 7 which really interrupts the flow. As far as engagement goes, we all see things through our own history.

  3. I think what you’re hearing here is the thing I run into whenever I have to curate a selection of images for submission. Reviewers like something they can easily hang their hat on, a quick way to characterize your work, to recognize a style. The reviewer seems to have twisted them self into a pretzel appreciating the quality of your work while still craving an easier time putting a label on the images as a coherent set.

  4. “There seems to be a lot of the same thing here without a specific direction . . . I don’t feel a strong connection to them as a viewer and the details of their lives and who they are.”

    Huh? What do you think they mean by this? Especially the first sentence. Are they not looking at a body of your work? If you were to respond, what would you say about having a direction?

    The second sentence is a little clearer in that it tells me that they see your pictures as not much more than snapshots. I think another faction said something similar to you before. They basically said that your shots of people looking up were no big deal. They didn’t make people connect.

    So, what’s your own perspective? Do you feel connected to the people of NYC that you shoot, and what they do? From my observation of this specific ongoing project, I GET IT! Perhaps it’s because, as I’ve said in the past, that this SP project reminds me a lot of my own on the city of Hamilton.

    It’s impressive that they give you feedback, as it’s my experience with rejection letters for gallery exhibition submissions that most factions you submit too don’t give you any tips, but they still don’t clearly convey what they need in order to feel connected to your imagery, and the subjects in them. I am, nevertheless, going to mull their statements to you over for myself in hopes that I can make my own imagery impact others more.

    That fourth paragraph makes some sense. For my largest SP project, I actually wrote out a project outline which helps, at least me if not others, understand and stay true to my objectives of showing the guts of the featured community, its cultures and subcultures. Over a period of time, some realizations manifested organically, and I also wrote them out as recurring themes within the overall project. That helps me to recognize the coherency between certain pictures within the overall project.

    As I work my city over, categorizing mainly by neighbourhood, you’ve similarly grouped your shots by districts, streets and neighbourhoods. Maybe you need to write briefly on the coherency of images based on these regions within NYC. What differentiates or correlates the goings on of one street from another?

    I do understand the fifth paragraph. You probably already know this but generally, a series of visual art works (which I’m one to always argue that SP is art, not truly documentary, and definitely not photojournalism) consists of 8 to 12 pieces. Yes, a series can be less or much more but generally 8 to 12 is the way to go. My main SP project currently contains a few hundred images (many I have yet to publish) but from them I can create many different series based on themes, neighbourhoods or just subject matter.

    I agree with Lois in that they’re somewhat ambiguous in their explanation. I very much agree with Adam in that they want to be able to sift through a large number of submissions in the easiest and shortest time possible. That’s what you’re up against.

  5. I appreciate your view very Allen. I feel somewhat perplexed by their review. I am my own worst editor when it comes to these things. I can make a coherent selection, but maybe I am not doing my best for myself, considering that this is what I do for others to make a living! I don’t know why this reviewer doesn’t feel “connected”. It’s not the reaction I get from others that view my work. When I was in grad school, people always told me my work was too emotional. I thought a good thing, they did not. Then what is the function of making images if not to make one feel or think?

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