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Annual Exhibition (2018) Themed Print and Themed PDI Section Themes

04 May 2017

The 2017–2018 season sees The Society move, away from themed sections in the Photographer of the Year heats, to entries of 6 images (1 representing each theme) in the Annual Exhibition. The same themes apply to both Themed Print and Themed PDI sections and each author may make up to 2 complete entries in each section.

While authors are free to explore any ideas these themes invoke for them, it is worth noting that the Annual Exhibition judge will take into account how well they believe the author has interpreted the brief. As such, subtle and fringe interpretations may not fare as well in judging as obvious ones – even where the less obvious image would have won in an open section. Having said that, more obvious interpretations may suggest themselves to multiple authors, so, try to be creative.

Themes for the 2018 Annual Exhibition are:
• Shadows and Silhouettes
• Domesticated Animals
• Letters, Numbers, and Signs
• Doors, Windows, and Arches
• Detail (close-ups of a part, not the whole)
• A Celebration of Summer

For those struggling to interpret these catchy theme titles, the following non-prescriptive and non-exhaustive definitions may help.

Shadows and Silhouettes
A classic subject for photography emphasising lines and shapes. As well as simple shadows and silhouettes, expect to see contre-jour (against the light) images where the light source is present and plays as important a part as the silhouette it creates.

Domesticated Animals
While Nature competitions allow captive animals (unlike Wildlife competitions), domestic animals are excluded and so this is your opportunity to test yourself against other members' animal photography – whether pets or livestock.

Letters, Numbers, and Signs
Another staple of photography lessons and many a first foray into photography. Don't just think literal letters, numbers, or signs – think about scenes representative of letters (perhaps using a play on words), multiples, and anything that signifies something.

Doors, Windows, and Arches
Yet another classic, architectural details have been photographed since Fox Talbot's first experiments. Don't ignore what nature has to offer though, with arches and openings that provide a window onto another scene being regularly formed by the action of water on stone or by the way trees and plants twist and contort to follow the light or under the pressure of the wind.

Detail (close-ups of a part, not the whole)
Micro photography (photography through a microscope), Macro photography (at least 1:1), and other Close Focus techniques/technologies, can all result in the capture of some small detail that would normally escape the naked eye and are commonly used in nature photography to capture small insects and fungi. For this heat we aren't however just looking for macro photography of the small, or of typical macro subjects, but rather for interesting imagery of some small detail. Even if you don't have the equipment to tackle micro/macro photography, you can still take (or isolate from your capture) some small detail of a larger whole. Please remember though that we are looking for a detail – so no complete items and, to further level the playing field, no nature allowed.

A Celebration of Summer
Whether celebrating the natural beauty of summer or recording people or animals enjoying summer, this is one theme you won't want to tackle over the winter months.

Each complete set of 6 images shall be judged against the others in the same media. The judge shall not know which sets are from the same author and splitting your best pictures between your 2 entries may, ultimately, weaken both.

These are portfolio sections and not panel based ones – the quality of the images and how well each matches its theme should be your primary concern, how well they sit together is of little importance except perhaps as a final deciding factor should the judge otherwise be unable to choose between entries of equal merit.

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