August 2023 Match Brief: Upon Closer Examination with Guest Judge Dara Ojo
August 2023 50/50 Challenge
Full Match Brief
Upon Closer Examination...
“Nothing is more humbling than to look with a strong magnifying glass at an insect so tiny that the naked eye sees only the barest speck and to discover that nevertheless it is sculpted and articulated and striped with the same care and imagination.”
― Craig Rudolf Arnheim, Art Philosopher
“The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, author (Fight Club)
“The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
If you're up for some storytelling as a preface, please read on...
You walk long enough you barely notice that the music feeding your earholes has stopped. You are temporarily blinded by one, two, five, eight, twenty flashes of brilliant white. You fumble for your cell phone to help you navigate the waning twilight but quickly realize your dead battery is no help.
You stop and wait for your eyes to adjust, your other senses heightened. There has been a sudden drop in the temperature. Your skin is clammy. You feel your own heartbeat thrumming against the silent ear buds still pressed into your ears as you instinctively remove them and begin sniffing the air.
You freeze. Listen. Wait for the low rumble of thunder from the encroaching storm. But the lawnmowers have stopped and all you can hear are your own laboured breathing, buzzing insects, and something large rustling in the foliage just inches from where you are frozen. Wishing you had remembered bug repellent you helplessly flail your arms around your head, swatting at bugs you can hear but cannot see, as you desperately squint at the faint fading light filtering through nearby branches.
You glimpse the silhouette of something large crawling on all fours. The shape rises to stand on two feet. Light glints off a pair of shiny black eyes set into dark brown skin, bright white teeth spread into an impish grin, and the tall figure emerges from the trees with its arms extended towards you. In the dim light you notice a large spider splayed across the palm of one hand, a shiny black beetle on the other.
A bright steady light flicks on, emanating from the figure’s head, and it reminds you of that one time the dentist started drilling without administering enough novocaine. Paralyzed with fear, moths flutter around the light and mosquitoes pierce your flesh as a deep male voice laced with a thick foreign accent gently beckons you to step into the woods, promising to show you a whole new world if you would only accept the invitation and take a closer look…
Pause for a moment and (without filtering your thoughts) ask yourself what you fear might happen next? What made you squeamish? What parts fetl the MOST dangerous or threatening (and why?) and what DID not feel dangerous or threatening (and why not?) How did your age, sex/gender/orientation, your physical health, your religious, cultural or spiritual beliefs, pop culture and media influences, and your own fears, phobias, and after-dark experiences impact what did or did not create a sense of danger?
a photo he snapped of a longhorn beetle during pandemic boredom went viral.
By now it should come as no surprise that this month’s Match Brief is a macro challenge. Knowing now that a chance encounter with Dara might read a bit like the opening scene of a horror movie, the extra challenge this month is to get curious about the unconscious unfamiliar, and spend some time learning something new about yourself, your subject, and your environment. Dara invites you to explore the world in a new way.
Learn more about Dara (and access some of his tips, tricks and not-so-secret secrets) by visiting his bio HERE.
ObjectivesTechnical: standard merits as applied to macro photography (composition, focus, stacking, etc.)
Creative: unique perspectives, looking closer to see a bigger picture, creative interpretation of the brief
EDI: unconscious bias, challenging fear-based perspectives
The Fine PrintEntry Fee: $25 per image.
Prizes: Winner receives 50% of all entry fees (exclusive of applicable taxes and fees) plus a personalised critique from the Guest Judge, your winning image featured on websites, blogs, and social media platforms, and in the corresponding month of the Rare Earth Outreach fundraising calendar for the following year. Two Runners Up will also receive personalised feedback from the Guest Judge.
Title and Artist Statement: The title of your image should reflect the spirit or theme of your submission; the accompanying Artist's Statement includes a brief explanation of both your inspiration and your process.
Entries Open: August 1, 2023 @ 9:00am MST
Entries Close: August 21, 2023 @ 11:59pm MST