I came, I saw, it conquered. Out of the "historical" reviews this is my last, I have 2 personal visits that I undertook, a Robert Capa and just last week Only in England, still to do but my target for the week was to complete the OCA study days. YES, this one is IT!
Really, really briefly, for the past 3/4 years I have been to this exhibition, I always ask myself why, I don't like portraits, I don't want to take portraits, I can never understand how some get nominated and why the winners win. I always answer myself with, it's a day out, it's photographs, you can learn to appreciate portraits, discover why some leave you cold, why some are more interesting that others so that on the odd occasion when you need to take them you have a point of reference (sounds good in theory doesn't it!)
So in my opinion what makes a good portrait... something that is different from the norm, is insightful to the subjects character or occupation, possibly amusing, is possibly part of a body of work that is telling a narrative but can stand on it's own merit.
Looking at the online reviews to jog my memory I thought ahhhhhhhhhh yes I remember that one, with added thoughts of I still don't know why it won/didn't win. Bored of portraits already ( I find I spend hours making attractive people look ugly) and bored of writing reviews I am not going to comment individually on any of them, I guess only the photographers and judges know why they chose to include the usual mix of children, pets, famous people, nudes (was it last year the woman was dressed in her dead horses gear?!?!?!) so for your delectation and delight I close with the following links:
I note that the 2013 exhibition starts in November, maybe I need to get Robert to take me round and enthuse so I realise what I am missing.....