Finalists and winner of the competition are already known. In the following article we offer a backstage review of the jury’s rating with commentary and entire series that have been nominated to the final. At the same time we have also attached a point rating (0 – the worst, 9 – the best) of the individual members of the jury which have been assigned in anonymous and individual voting of the second round of DOFOTOS.
Ľuboš Dubovský – Stano
Member of the jury, Martin Čulík: “A series of “photos” about a rural man, who is engaged in the production of Slovak folk pipes in a purely natural way, has a great potential to become part of the history and gradually gain high artistic value. However, there is a prerequisite to continue with this creation to reach the topic fully recognizable. The author’s attempt to show the reality of being for most people of extraordinary person, is good from the point of documentary photography. Looking at individual images, we get a sense of their individual uniqueness and the author puts it in a faithful light-composition picture. There are also different moments captured in the photographs that characterize the life of a human being in harmony with animals, friends and the nature they love. The special chapter is the wife of the main object, in one shot we can see a symbolic blow of fresh air into their common life. For the time being, the missing element in the series is a closer contact portrait of the main object, from which much could be read. I wish Ľuboš perseverance and the constant perception that what he does, has a sense.“
Voting of the jury: Fatemeh Behboudi – 8; Libuše Jarcovjáková – 9; Matúš Zajac – 9; Juraj Marec – 6; Martin Čulík – 8; together- 40 points.
David Arribas González – Scars
Member of the jury, Juraj Marec: “Our jury evaluated 91 entries in DOFOTOS and this series has been definitely ranked among the top 5 finals. Although it did not win in the second round, it was one of my favorites. It interested me by its distinction and author’s approach. The author has a clear visual and for me a nice contrast of black and white, which gives the photographs an expressive character. This individual language also underlines the urgency of the theme itself. In a documentary photography, there are just a few authors who capture and do long-term mapping of the relationship between man and animal and point to the fact that also animals have their rights. Greyhounds are a very desirable business article for their hunting skills and many owners take them as a commodity, a good and a means to increase the prestige. The author has built up his essay with the sense for detail. Variation in the dark and light areas within the entire series or individual photos is not accidental. From the photos you can feel the opinion. It is the most important feature of a documentary photographer or a journalist. Let me congratulate the author and I wish him a successful continuation of his creative work.“
Voting of the jury: Fatemeh Behboudi – 9; Libuše Jarcovjáková – 6; Matúš Zajac – 5; Juraj Marec – 8; Martin Čulík – 4; together – 32 points.
Clary Estes – Those who remain
Member of the jury, Fatemeh Behboudi: “Clary’s project is a profound story of the lives of human beings who at some point in time, due to the politics and forces of the rulers, have undergone bitter events that have changed their lives. When I saw the Clary’s project, I felt deep wounds in the old photographs and the faces of today’s survivors. Photos were talking to me. They talk from the past, that it is not over, and Survivors are waiting for a dumb future. This story kept my mind busy with the history and story of those humans. I like clary’s project and I voted for it because the story is the narrator of the historical event that many of us did not know about, and at the same time, it was very influential in the lives of those who lived in that period and today. Finally, it’s not easy to talk about history. Many witnesses no longer exist. Many documents have disappeared. And the new generation is not capable of understanding its past. If there are no such projects, we can not know our past and move forward. Clary’s project was one of my five favorite stories.“
Voting of the jury: Fatemeh Behboudi – 7; Libuše Jarcovjáková – 7; Matúš Zajac – 4; Juraj Marec – 5; Martin Čulík – 3; together – 26 points.
Andras A. Csefalvay – Balazs
Member of the jury, Matúš Zajac: “First of all, I have to thank all the authors who had the courage and creative effort to send essays to the DOFOTOS contest as well as to the other members of the jury for really good cooperation. I have to say that about 12 essays had the level to get into the nomination and what`s really mattered was the detail which for the essay means so much. The story of Balazs, a boy with a handicap, is so sad from one side, but so amazingly positive from the other. Usually, the essay about people affected by Down syndrome is very straightforward, but in the story of a boy with a desire to become athlete with the results is, on the contrary, incredibly determined to fulfill his own dream. The author penetrates by creating a friendly relationship in the intimate world of Balazs and his loved ones. In the social subject, through his viewfinder he personalizes his feelings from the person and the environment. Photography does not become a message of help, but instead moves to a more artistic level of visualization and opens up to observers completely different possibilities of absorbing feelings from the first point of view of a unique story into the world of author’s ideas.“
Voting of the jury: Fatemeh Behboudi – 5; Libuše Jarcovjáková – 5; Matúš Zajac – 7; Juraj Marec – 9; Martin Čulík – 5; together- 31 points.
Michal Babinčák – Gypsies
Member of the jury, Libuše Jarcovjáková: “Anna Fárová in her memories of one of the greatest masters of documentary photography of the 20th century H.C. Bresson, emphasizes the Cartier`s importance of “capturing the dignity of man”. There were several series from Roma settlements in the competition. No wonder – the theme is strong, attractive, seems to be easily accessible and always up to date. The series of photographs by Michal Babinčák attracted me just for the “dignity” that people have in his photographs. Last of the last, but we see proud and beautiful people. Photos are compact, unsentimental, raw. This series of photographs is not totally finalized for me, at least two photographs seem to me as they have been photographed by someone with another author’s handwriting. However, I feel a great artist’s potential and a strong voice, which I hope will bring beautiful pictures and cycles in the future.“
Voting of the jury: Fatemeh Behboudi – 4; Libuše Jarcovjáková – 8; Matúš Zajac – 6; Juraj Marec – 7; Martin Čulík – 6; together- 31 points.
Photo on the right – © Clary Estes.