I’m honoured to have been asked to act as a judge in a photography competition being run by the Society for Psychical Research, details of which appear in the Winter issue of the Society’s magazine Paranormal Review, edited by Dr Leo Ruickbie, and on its website.
The idea is to submit a maximum of three digital images that ‘represent the idea of the paranormal’; the focus is on a strong depiction of the ‘spirit’ of the paranormal – however the entrant chooses to interpret it – rather than on evidentiality. The photograph need not be offered as evidence of an anomalous event, hence manipulation using photo-editing software is allowed. Entries can be in any genre and can address any aspect of the subject. First prize is a rather handsome Olympus Tough TG-Tracker, plus the winning photograph on the magazine’s cover. Two runners-up will be featured inside. The competition is open to members and non-members of the SPR. There is no entry fee and the winners retain copyright (unlike in some competitions). Entrants will not receive individual assessments.
Apart from me, the judges are Dr Andreas Fischer, one of the authors of The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult, the best book on spirit photography ever produced; Dr Michael Pritchard, photographic historian, Director General of the Royal Photographic Society, and owner of the British Photographic History website; Dr Ruickbie, who in addition to editing Paranormal Review and having a number of books to his name is a professional photographer; Shannon Taggart, New York-based photographer whose book Séance: Spiritualist Ritual And The Search For Ectoplasm will be published shortly; and Dr Melvyn Willin, SPR Council member and author of several books on photography and the paranormal.
The competition closes at midnight GMT, Wednesday 31 May. Anyone contemplating entering should read the terms and conditions carefully. I hope as many people as possible have a go, to which end please help to spread the word.