For 2016, I promised myself I would try entering some international photography competitions. And this one will take plenty of skill.
And for this, I need twelve of my best black-and-white images. Twelve images that can stand up to a printing process known as collotype.
Collotype printing – which involves coating a glass plate with gelatin – was one of the earliest mass printing photography techniques. It was used throughout the 19th century until linotype printing – which was more durable and less expensive – took over. Now, only a pair of collotype printers exist in the world, and one of them – in Kyoto, Japan – is offering a contest in which the winning entry will be printed in the collotype process.
Presented by the Benrido Collotype Atelier, the Hariban Award, now in its third year, combines a 150-year-old analog technique with the new vision of digital-age photography. Professionals and amateurs alike are invited to submit monochromatic photographs for a chance to win this remarkable award. The winner will receive an expenses-paid trip to the ancient city of Kyoto to participate in the production of a collotype portfolio, which will be exhibited as an associated program of Kyotographie 2017.
For the Hariban Award, I must submit twelve monochromatic (black and white) images. It is from these images that the judges will select the winning collotype entry.
This is tougher than I thought. I have to go through thousands of photos in my archive. Thousands. And I need to find twelve excellent B&W images. Only twelve. Some of these have been exhibited and have won awards in the past. Others … this is their first time in the submission queue.
Here we go.
After searching through my archives… I selected these twelve as my entries.
I paid the entry fee – ¥5000 (okay, that’s about $43 US), submitted my images, and …
Now I wait.
Do any of these images have a chance? Maybe.
Could any of these images get me a trip to Kyoto to see the winning photo recreated in a collotype print? Who knows?
All I do know is that if I don’t try… if I don’t at least give this a chance…
Then I’ve already lost.
What’s that old saying from that great philosopher, Saint Wayne of Gretzky? “100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in the net.” So I must take these shots.
And to all my photographer friends who read this blog… I want you to consider entering your black and white photos in this competition as well. I’ve seen your photos on your Facebook walls and on your personal websites. You should enter this competition.
In fact… I really hope you consider entering this compeition.
And with this submission of my twelve images this morning… my Competition Season 2016 has officially commenced.
Ring the bell.