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The Decisive Moment

Deadline for submissions: Jul 10, 2023
Prints due: Aug 17, 2023
Exhibition: September 7 - September 27, 2023

Prints of most of these images are available for purchase. Please inquire.
All photographs are the copyright of the individual artists and may not be reproduced without their permission.

Juror's Statement

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression. - Henri Cartier-Bresson,Foreword,” The Decisive Moment

Thank you so much to James Barker and the Vermont PhotoPlace for the privilege of jurying photographs for The Decisive Moment. This is an exhibition about hard looking that comes with a practice of photographing in a split second or seeing unique connections and reacting quickly. The Decisive Moment is just that—the moment where the photographer sees beyond the ordinary and makes the decision to record the event.

Not only have the artists selected for the exhibition done some hard looking, but as the juror, I am also doing the same. What makes one photograph stand out more than another? As a juror, I bring my own subjective way of seeing to the process, but most importantly I look for unique and elevated images that delight, excite, and make me want to see more; the work needs to reveal a quality of expression that is poetic, magical, humorous, meaningful, and/or creative. Most importantly, the work needs to be fully resolved and shows prowess. I appreciated those photographers who found humor in odd juxtapositions and beauty in light and shadow.

I am so grateful to have spent time with your photographs. No decision came lightly, and I do want to say congratulations to all who submitted.

                      Aline Smithson

Call for Entries

The decisive moment can be described as the singular moment when the elements of motion and composition come together to create a unified whole. It is a moment in which the photographer organizes the elements of the image — its structure, light, motion, a gesture, shifting light, a fleeting expression — and captures the moment in perfect balance.

For this exhibit, we seek images that give us a glimpse of this fleeting magic. All capture and processing methods are welcome.

We are delighted that Aline Smithson will jury and curate this exhibition. She will select approximately 35 images for exhibition in the gallery, and 40 for our Online Gallery. All 75 selected images will be promoted on social media, reproduced in the exhibition print catalog, and remain permanently on our website, with links to photographer’s URL. 

Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.

Thumbnail image:  John Kimmich
Banner image:  Rachel James

MAL75169 43087 web
Brian Malloy
AND97893 32685 web
Amy Anderson
SUT90382 51296 web
Sonia Suter

About the Juror

Aline Smithson is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and editor based in Los Angeles, California. Her practice examines the archetypal foundations of the creative impulse and she uses humor and pathos to explore the performative potential of photography. She received a BA in Art from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was accepted into the College of Creative Studies, studying under artists such as William Wegman, Allen Rupersburg, and Charles Garabedian. After a career as a New York Fashion Editor working alongside some the greats of fashion photography, Smithson returned to Los Angeles and her own artistic practice.

She has exhibited widely including over 40 solo shows at institutions such as the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shanghai, Lishui, and Pingyqo Festivals in China, The Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, the Center of Fine Art Photography in Colorado, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta. In addition, her work is held in a number of public collections and her photographs have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, PDN (cover), the PDN Photo Annual, Communication Arts Photo Annual, Harper’s, Eyemazing, Soura, Visura, Shots, Pozytyw, and Silvershotz magazines.

Smithson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lenscratch, a daily journal on photography. She has been an educator at the Los Angeles Center of Photography since 2001 and her teaching spans the globe. In 2012, Smithson received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community and also received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER. She has won numerous awards and commissions since 2014, and her books are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, among others.

With the exception of her cell phone, she only shoots film.

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