Call for Entries: Photography as Observation

Filed to: feature

Everything is changing, and sometimes it feels like we need a new set of eyes to get some perspective on even a small fraction of it. The last six months have forced so many meaningful and difficult conversations – with ourselves, with each other, and with our art. How do we see a world that’s hurtling towards uncertainty? How can we address centuries of oppression that so much of life as we know it was built on? How can we unlearn and untangle it all while staying receptive, inquisitive, and empathetic?

I’ve been thinking about all of this as I adjust to whatever life looks like now, too. And I’m still wondering, what does it look like through the camera lens? As photographers we observe, we compose, we capture. What role has photography played in the shaping of history, and what role can it play now when those visuals and the systems that helped produce them are called into question. How can we photograph a pandemic that has forced us into isolation. Ofter we turn inward, framing the small worlds that make up our immediate circles of influence – our families, friends, jobs, and hobbies – but that all looks and feels different now.

So I’m curating a show,  because I want to see what this world looks like to photographers. Because I think photography still has important things to show us, and because we have an opportunity to challenge the medium to do more. I’m also trying to find a new photo community, and put myself in a position to share new stories, show new work, and raise new questions. I’m excited to be working with the Narrowsburg Union, an incredible community space in a former school building that has turned hallways into galleries, lunchrooms into shared commercial kitchens, and classrooms into incubator spaces for local businesses.

If there were ever a time to think about what it means to see and be seen, this is the time. I took the photos in this post in April…maybe May. When it felt like everything around me was dying instead of blooming. When everything was frozen in time. When it felt like things would never be green and new again. The vastness and emptiness of everything was overwhelming. We went for walks in the woods. I took my camera. It felt like all I could do. Now I want to see how it looked and felt for everyone else.

See the official call for entries here.