This post covers the photographers who received RHS Medals for their Photography Portfolio.
The RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show comprises two parts.
All quotations are from the RHS Photographic Competition: Portfolio Category 2022 (PDF Guidance)
The RHS Portfolio Photography Category
Contrary to what the title of the show suggests this is NOT a Botanical Photography Exhibition. Its content and criteria for judging bears little relation to the Botanical Art Show.
I commented last year about aspects of the development of this particular show which I find unsatisfactory. It now seems to me that it has lost its original and unique purpose.
The Portfolio category is different because it offers entrants the ability to:
Note that this introduction to the awards excludes the words "plants" and/or "botanical and/or "horticultural". One would be forgiven for thinking that it's all about the creative endeavour.
I think the saddest aspect of the show this year is that the move to the Saatchi Gallery means that
I also have a MAJOR issue with the focus, experience and calibre of the Judges in relation to this exhibition. The question I pose repeatedly is that if ALL other RHS medals can be awarded by specialists in each of the very specialised and expert categories why can't photography? Frankly in other competitions I often say, knowing who the Judges are tells you a lot about whether it's worth entering.....
Who are the judges?
I have an even bigger issue with the fact that nowhere in the Guidelines for entrants to this show is there an EXPLICIT statement of ALL the criteria to be used in judging exhibits.
Instead we have some very generic and general sentences - one of which left me with a dropped jaw - because it contravenes competition law!!
Portfolio is judged against a variety of criteria including the technical execution of the photography, how the portfolio hangs together as a whole, how the portfolio is presented and the horticultural content of the images........
So absolutely no criteria relating to the "botanical" or "plant" content? Despite the name of the show?
Maybe the show needs to be retitled as the RHS Botanical Art and Horticultural Photography Show?
Or maybe just a creative photography show which happens to involve plants?
Even though plants do not get a mention in the guidance about "what is the Portfolio Category all about"!!
Below is the explanation of the exhibition hanging in Gallery 3 at the Saatchi Gallery. It contains a lot of content which is omitted from the Guidance Document and some which which it would have been very useful to include. See if you can spot the sentences which rankle,
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