Category: Site News

Fine Art Competition – Not Jury Accepted

After obsessively checking the California State Fair website for the list of jury accepted entries, the list was finally made available this past Thursday.  55 accepted photographs and I was not on the list.  Honestly, this was a bit of a shock.  I have seen the accepted entries from the past 3 years and truly believed I had the photographs to at least be jury accepted.  I even went as far as to check who the juror for photography would be in advance.  A photography professor who studied under Ansel Adams and is now heavily into experimental Polaroid photography.  I did see his bio as a hurdle since he’s seen the best of landscape photography from his past and is now into experimental photography, not my cup of tea.  The entries I had certainly are not experimental, but I even threw in a quirky dead bird entry to appeal to that side of his expertise.  Nothing.

On the other hand, of the accepted entries I have been able to find online, I do think that Sandy Follett is very deserving in having her works accepted.  Check out her website >>HERE<<.  I had seen her Tunnel View – Rainbow photograph previously and instantly recognized it once it popped up on my screen over the weekend.  It seems like she’ll be serving as a volunteer at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite this year so she’ll have ample opportunity to add to her impressive portfolio.

I have always said competition results are based on the strength of the competition and on the judge.  I’ve been rather good in the past in estimating which of my photographs would do well and which photographs I love, but may not get the same reaction from a photography judge.  And not having seen the entries accepted this year, I just have to take my lumps, learn even more about photography, travel to more locations, and ultimately learn to post process even better!

The 9 photographs I entered into competition:

Road from Bodie SHP, Bridgeport, CA
Bodie State Historical Park, Bridgeport, CA
Alcatraz, San Francisco, CA
Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden, San Francisco, CA
Fort Baker Pier
Mono Lake South Tufa
Taylor Creek, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Pardee Dam Overlook, Amador County, CA
Rancho Cordova, CA

(My) Fine Art Competition Entries

It is day 3 for me on awaiting word on the preliminary judging  results from a fine art competition I have entered.  It is nerve wracking. The results are to be posted within 5 business days, so technically, the results can be posted as late as this coming Friday.  Ugh.  James from JDTPhotography had asked on another post if I would share the photographs I selected to enter.  I have a good and a bad answer to that.  Yes, I will share them, but they are photographs I have previous posted on the blog.  I, for one, am not of the mindset to horde my work until they are “released” in a show or win something in competition.  I would like to put my work out there and get feedback on what’s good, bad, or just not quite right.

So for this competition, I parlayed the prize money from being selected as the winning entry in the Kennedy Tailing Wheel Park logo contest into the entry fees for this competition.  It is very much like taking your winnings and doubling down at the casino.  I may have been a bit over exuberant in entering 9, yes that’s right 9, entries.  I have been waiting over the past 2 years for the time when I felt as though my work is up to snuff with what’s been jury selected from previous years.  3 years ago I was inspired to finally pick up my camera that I had sitting around and begin making plans to start shooting.  About 18 months ago I started shooting.  Last year, I knew I was getting better and wasn’t that close to entering yet.  It was probably over the last 6 months that I was seeing enough improvement on my finished photographs to feel comfortable in entering this particular competition.

It all started from learning the basics of my camera to the composition, light, and even perspective.  One element people tend to forget is learning to post process.  If you shoot in RAW format, and you should, you quickly realize what you see and hope to capture in the field is not exactly how it appears on the computer screen and in print.  Post allows you to recreate the reality you captured, whether realistically or beyond.  You also learn how to view a scene that you, from the onset, know will become a B&W or monotone photograph.

I’ll start with the 9 that I dropped out of my 2nd selection round:

Bodie, CA
Carbondale / Ione, CA
Sutter Creek, CA
Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
North Lake, Eastern Sierras near Bishop, CA
South Fork Bishop Creek, near Parcher’s Resort, CA
Tenaya Lake, Yosemite, CA
Mokelumne Hill, CA

Then the 2 photographs that I dropped out of my 3rd selection round:

Martell, CA
Sacramento, CA

And finally the 9 photographs I entered into competition:

Road from Bodie SHP, Bridgeport, CA
Bodie State Historical Park, Bridgeport, CA
Alcatraz, San Francisco, CA
Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden, San Francisco, CA
Fort Baker Pier
Mono Lake South Tufa
Taylor Creek, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Pardee Dam Overlook, Amador County, CA
Rancho Cordova, CA

Well, that’s it for this post.  Yes, I cheated a bit here and sort of did a “best of” post for today.  Work is kicking my butt.  Bright sunny skies have reduced my time out shooting photographs.  And I’m obsessively and anxiously hitting the refresh button on my internet browser every 15-30 minutes hoping to see the jury acceptance results.  Here’s to me keeping my fingers crossed!

Self-imposed “break” over…posting again soon

I’ve been off the WordPress grid for the last couple of weeks tackling some horrific flu that was going around the office the past month or so.   I’m not one that gets sick often.  Usually the worst I get is the one bad spell that takes me out for a day or two once a year.

This was probably not the best time to come down with the flu either!  The intent was to take a week off to select and potentially reprocess photographs for an upcoming competition.  So while I had just enough time to submit my entries, they were left as is without any additional post processing.  Oh well.  We’ll see if any of the entries are jury selected/accepted in mid-May.  I’d be a little disappointed if at least one photograph does not make it in.  That might be my confidence and my ignorance speaking, but I feel I’ve come a long way.  Two years ago, I couldn’t see myself entering this competition.  Last year, I felt I was close but need a few more quality shots.  It turns out it was both the improvement of my shots and the improvement of my post processing skills (though I still have some ways to go since I still don’t use Photoshop).

From here on out, I’ll average 2-3 posts a week.  The 2-year backlog of photographs allowed me to put up new posts everyday for the past 6 months, but now I’m struggling to maintain the quality I expect.  So while many not post as much, I’ll try and maintain (and keep improving) my photography and post skills.

My next post will be a slight variation from the photography-only theme.  Stay tuned!

First blog post!

Welcome to the first post of this blog.

The hope is not just to share photography from my ever growing portfolio, but to also share the good and bad of how each picture comes about.  From the blogs I follow, I’ve been inspired by some of the best photographers, but little is ever discussed about the mistakes and failures of a shoot.

I am meticulous (which at times is a detriment) in planning my photography day trips, above average in compositions, fair in my digital workflow, and an amateur when it comes to post-processing.  It has taken me about 18 months to get this far in my photography journey.