What’s a Salon, you ask?

Some background information/history:

From the Internet because it was way before my time:

In a broad sense, the term Salon was used over 350 years ago to reflect a gathering of people. In 1674, the royally sanctioned French institution of art patronage, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (a division of the Académie des beaux-arts), held its first semi-public art exhibit at the Salon Carré. The Salon’s original focus was the display of the work of recent graduates of the École des Beaux-Arts, which was created by Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, in 1648. Exhibition at the Salon de Paris was essential for any artist to achieve success in France for at least the next 200 years.

In 1725, the Salon was held in the Palace of the Louvre, when it became known as Salon or Salon de Paris. In 1737, the exhibitions became public and were held, at first, annually, and then biannually in odd number years. They would start on the feast day of St. Louis (25 August) and run for some weeks. Once made regular and public, the Salon’s status was “never seriously in doubt” (Crow, 1987). In 1748 a jury of awarded artists was introduced. From this time forward, the influence of the Salon was undisputed.

Earlier exhibition in a Salon marked a sign of royal favor.

Currently:

The Salon, within the photographic context, is most often linked to the “Paris Salon,” which was an art exhibition that began in 1725. Currently some people call it “International Salon of Photography”. More recent photography competitions often refer to themselves as competitions, or exhibitions, and sometimes contests.

The word salon also refers to art exhibitions and photos are sent from photographers hoping their photos are of an acceptable standard that they are accepted to be part of an exhibition. A camera or photography club is usually the host of such a salon/exhibition.

The aim of any photographer is (my opinion)to : (a) first to win the best photo for the salon (b) to win the category entered, (c) win one of the medals on offer for each category (d) to receive a certificate of merit (meaning you’ve just missed out on the medals) and (e) lastly just to have his/her photos accepted for inclusion in such photo exhibitions. Not all the clubs have public exhibitions of accepted work but catalogs (hard copies, CDs or DVDs) are sent the all people entered into the salon with all the price winners and acceptances.

There are usually different categories that a photographer can enter his/her photos for example portraits (photos of people/models can be entered), nature (photos taken in the wild with no manipulation allowed), monochrome (black and white photos), landscapes and so on. A photographer can usually enter a maximum of 4 entries (photos) per category and an entry fee is payable to the hosting club. Usually 3-5 judges are appointed and they score the photos using a specific scoring system.

The aim of a club hosting a salon is to accept around 10%-30% of all the entered photos for an exhibition. Therefore, the scores of the photos are used to determine the cut off for acceptance. Meaning, if your photo is within the top 10-30% score level, you can use the phrase “My photo was accepted in salon XXXX” as indicated by the outcome/results send out by the hosting club.

Practical example:

I’ve entered the Le Catalan 2012 International Salon in June 2012. One of the categories was “Nature” and I’ve enter the following 4 (maximum allowed) photos. The results are posted below the photos (I’ve just received the results this week):

“Baboon chase” (details provided in an earlier post)

Score from judges: 5.67 = Not accepted (meaning the judges considered the photo not up to their standard)

______________________________________

 

“Roller takeoff” (Nikon D3S, Nikon 6oommf4 fixed lens, ISO640, 1/4000, f4, exposure = +0.67, 11 meters from subject, taken in the Kgalagadi T. Park)

Score from judges: 6.00 = Accepted / Finalist (meaning the judges considered the photo up to their standard to be included in the exhibition)

____________________________________________

“Aggression 1” (details provided in an earlier post)

Score from judges: 6.00 = Accepted / Finalist (meaning the judges considered the photo up to their standard to be included in the exhibition)

____________________________________________

“Cheetah smile” (Nikon D3S, Nikon 6oommf4 fixed lens, ISO400, 1/800, f4, exposure = -0.67, 11 meters from subject, taken in the Kgalagadi T. Park)

Score from judges: 6.00 = Accepted / Finalist (meaning the judges considered the photo up to their standard to be included in the exhibition)

________________________________________

The result means that I can said/claim: “Three of my photos were accepted in the Le Catalan 2012 International Salon”.

Just some interesting stats from the “Nature” category of this salon:

Total number of photos received = 1667

Total number of photos accepted = 399

Score (from the judges) per photo needed for acceptance = more than 5.99

Maximum score that a photo can obtain = 7.67

And this is what a salon (it is really a competition with “an exhibition in a Salon marked a sign of royal favor” ) is all about. It is great fun to see how the judges view/score your photos nationally and internationally.

I’ll try and post the results of my salon entries as I received it.

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  1. #1 by hogsbackphotos on July 6, 2012 - 6:50 am

    Dankie vir die inligting Willem en geluk met die aanvaardingspersentasie. Dit s aansienlik beter as die gemiddels en iets om trots op te wees. Pragtige fotos.

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