Review - Bristol International Salon Presentation, 12 Apr 2021

A review by Peter Yendell -The Bristol International Salon Presentation, 12 Apr 2021
On April 12, Dorchester Camera Club members gathered around their ‘Zoom’ Screens again for the annual presentation of the of the Award Winners and a Selection of Accepted Images from this year’s Bristol International Salon.

The presentation of the images, prepared by Andrew Marker, was given in two halves. The first half provided a selection of Accepted Images from each of the 5 sections of the Salon, namely The Open Section, Monochrome, Nature, Creative and, finally ‘Scapes'. Following a short break, the second half then proceeded with each of the Award winners and the ‘Honourable Mentions’ from the same 5 section categories.

Before the image presentation commenced, a statistical overview was provided to give initial context. This showed that there were 939 Salon entrants from 58 countries (50% being from the UK and 10% from China), with a total of 12,684 images entered, of which 3,036 were accepted (average of 3.2 images per entrant). This represented an overall Acceptance Rate of 23.94%, in keeping with FIAP guidelines.

In the 5 Salon Categories, the entry numbers and Acceptance Rates, respectively, were:-

Open Colour – 3,029/25.7%
Open Mono – 2,836/23.4%
Scapes – 2,058/24.0%
Nature – 1,953/22.9%
Action – 1,464/22.3%
Creative – 1,344/24.6%

There was some overlap between ‘Creative’ and Open’ categories and with no separate Travel section this year, perhaps befitting of the times, such images were spread across each of the Open Colour, Mono, Action and ‘Scapes' genres.

Out of interest, Dorchester had 15 entrants who collectively achieved a total of 61 acceptances, punching slightly above our weight using boxing parlance. Pleasingly there was a smattering of these acceptances throughout the first half of the evening and everyone could enjoy the game of ‘spot the Dorchester image’ as part of the presentation.

What was very clear from the start of the image gallery was, whatever the stats said, the Bristol Salon yet again exhibited an extremely high standard of photography and any Acceptances were very well earned.

Andrew and his colleagues had done a superb job of putting the AV together and there was long enough to enjoy and take in each image but also a real momentum that meant you couldn’t take your eyes away if you didn’t want to miss anything. Over the two halves of the presentation, we enjoyed approximately 700 of the images Accepted by the Salon – all achieved in a running time of 88 minutes, including the initial statistics section. Throughout the evening, any glance at the faces of the assembled Zoom gallery showed that everyone was captivated and didn’t want to miss anything, as tempting as it might be to stop and discuss individual images along the way.

Andrew mixed the different genres or categories up, grouping similar subjects together in a cluster, which sometimes meant the cluster took precedence over the genre. An example being images of Birds (the ‘cluster’) being grouped together, even though some might have been entered in the Action or Open sections, as well as the Nature section – representing the different genres/categories. This approach led to a consistency of viewing experience which might not have been achieved if the category sections dominated the order or viewing. It also allowed Andrew to move between categories in the first half, rather than just have big blocks from each – again adding to the viewing experience and allowing a better comparison of different photographic approaches to the same or similar subjects.

It is hard to comment on any one image from the 700 seen and easier to remember the overall quality on show. For those members of the club that might be interested in entering Salons, there were some consistent learning points around having absolute clarity on what your subject is and the removal of any peripheral distractions that might take away from the subject focus. For those interested, the Accepted Images and Award winners can all be viewed at one’s leisure via the following link - well worth another, more leisurely review.

~ Peter Yendell