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Click here to proceed to all first-round judging comments.

Click here to view first-round judging results.

Why are we publishing these comments?

We are publishing them not because we enjoy handing down judgment, but because we wish to offer insight into how the winners are chosen. Too often, the methodology of photography competitions is opaque at best and nepotistic at worst. We’d simply like to be honest.

By publishing our judges’ commentary and exposing their opinions for public debate, we hope that, instead of reifying our judges’ power, we actually are undermining it. We hope that their comments are not a final say but instead serve as an interesting conversation starter.

We hope you’ll keep all of this in perspective, realizing that “What is good art?” is an impossibly subjective question. Canteen couldn’t be happier that so many people spend so much time making art. The world is a far better and more interesting place for your efforts.

And please, let’s respect the boldness of our judges for their willingness to make all of this public!

Proceed to comments.



Add your comments:

  1. Amanda Dahlgren says:

    Thank you so much for your transparency throughout this whole contest.

    The feedback is incredibly valuable, so much so that I find myself disappointed that there was not more feedback published for the first round. Except for a few cases, the comments read like they are all from the same judge. While I found the published comments to be insightful, I was hoping/expecting to read feedback from all four of the first-round judges.

    With all that said, what you have done here is already a great leap forward from what is typically done in these types of contest; so bravo!

  2. Stan B. says:

    I’d just like to respond to a judge’s question regarding “crooked” horizon lines. Sometimes (sometimes) it is a necessary compositional tool, like any other- or the photograph would simply not hold together. I thought Mr. Winogrand demonstrated the legitimate value of its usage quite sometime ago.

    Again, thank you, for the service you provide- Good Luck to those who advanced, and continued success to all!

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