A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
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11 March 2017
Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?
So we're pleased to present the 178th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Photo Marathon 2016.
Photo Marathan 2016 was an actual event organized by Frame that took place last year in October in seven cities along the Mediterranean Sea: Beirut (Lebanon), Algiers (Algeria), Napoli (Italy), Palermo (Italy), Marseille (France), Amman (Jordan) and Ljubljana (Slovenia).
Frame describes itself as:
... a social media platform and on-the-ground photo action tool that brings people together to examine subjects simultaneously through visual documentation. Frame is set to use photography to visualize and analyze issues through the perspective of the diverse lenses of large groups -- allowing us to peer into the individual and collective perceptions of communities. Our mission is to inform, document and publish using the power of the collective eye.
The Marathon was a photographic challenge, one you might like to try with a few friends or even, with a modification or two, by yourself.
In each city on October 22, 2016, photographers hit the streets to document 12 secret themes in 12 hours, creating a collection of photos depicting one day in the life of each city.
Here are rules:
- Use a digital camera or high quality mobile phone.
- Capture 12 images on all 12 themes (one image per theme)
- Record information on each photo in the photographer notebook distributed by the organizers
- All images must be taken using the same device
- You may use flashes, filters, and tripods
- Submit JPEG files only. Raw files are not be accepted.
- Do not edit the images, use any image-processing programs or use images that are not taken during Photo Marathon. Do not amend the filename or any Exif data related to the images.
- Most Importantly: Stay safe and exercise good judgment in taking your photos. Remember that taking photos of security forces and military is prohibited in some cities. If you must, always ask before taking a photo of any sensitive site or neighborhoods.
Some 271 photographers took the challenge. And the video shows us what it was like to tag along with them, presenting both short interviews and some of the entries.
The video also reveals those secret themes, which were divulged by the organizers at three meetings during the day. The 10 a.m. morning session was on the themes of Morning, Work, Language and Intersection. The 2 p.m. afternoon themes were Saudade, Diaspora, Someone's Dream and Hero. The 6 p.m. night themes were Nationalism, Pattern, Foreign Flavors and Waiting.
You can see all the photos from Marathon 2016 on the Frame Web site. Scroll over each one to see who took it and where.
And yes there was a jury, which were guided by these award criteria:
- Documentary value and interpretation of theme: How well does the photo express the theme it documents?
- Overall Impression: Is the photo able to grab the viewer's attention and hold it?
- Creativity: Is the subject matter pictured in a unique way or is a common item shown from an interesting point-of-view? Does the photo demonstrate originality?
- Technical Quality: Are the items of interest placed well in the photo? Is the photo in focus? Is the light balanced? Is depth of field considered/used?
The award winner from Amman was Krix Berberian, from Beirut Wissam Andraos, from Ljubljana Teja Pahor, from Marseille Jean Michel Melat Couhet, from Naples Pasquale Marinelli, from Palermo Giulia Montoneri and from Algiers Wiame Lasri from Algiers.
Frame itself should get an award, too. Perhaps a Nobel prize. Because these days the news from the Mediterranean is usually not as positive as the sea claims lives desperate for a new start and some host countries become increasingly hostile to refugees.
Photo Marathan 2016 provides as different perspective on the region. As one participant put it, "The people of the Mediterranean are linked no matter their nationality."
And in Photo Marathon 2016 that link is a very warm embrace.