I’m still participating in the Saint Paul Camera Club. As in April, I was traveling when prints were due for May, so I didn’t have any printed submissions. However, I did submit three images for the month’s Night Photography digital competition.
Initially I was really excited about Night Photography as a theme, but as I began going through my images I became less enthralled. A lot of images I liked were too grainy or blury or had spots that were burned out. 🙁 I also wanted to submit a range of images so, while I had several nice images from the Chihuly show at the Desert Botanical Garden last year, I only wanted to enter one of those. In the end, I chose an image based on its simplicity and the fact that people were well-placed and clearly visible in the image. (To give it some scale and give a really abstract piece of art some context.) Fortunately, the judge really liked the one I picked and I was able to add another ten to my point total for the year!
I was in a similar quandary with some Minnesota State Fair pictures, where I had a handful to choose from. In the end I chose one that I thought was both technically good and had the most dramatic lines and color. In hindsight I probably should have picked one of the ones with people at a game booth or food stand, because it would have been very different from anything else submitted and the judge (probably) would have understood it. As it was, I didn’t score very well on this image of a midway ride with the end-of-the-night fireworks in the background both because the judge didn’t understand it (“why are there fireworks back there?”) and because the pure white lights on the ride were so bright (note to self to look for rides with minimal white lights because they really are distracting, even if accurately portrayed).
For my final entry I chose a view of the Roman forum area. While it wasn’t taken during the blue hour (a night photographer’s favorite time), I loved the way all the brown tones worked together. I have printed and sold this picture in the past, but I have become a better editor over the past year, so I re-edited the file to try to get exactly the balance I wanted. Thus I was both ecstatic and dismayed when it was the FIRST image presented – ecstatic because I thought it looked gorgeous on a big screen and dismayed because it got the lowest possible score. The judge hated it. He had no idea what it was (note to self on this and the previous image, judges do not read titles) and thought it was some sort of multiple exposure of the Minnesota State Capital. Oh well. I’m still really pleased with how it turned out. Maybe I’ll enter it in a travel photography contest sometime and see what the judge there thinks of it!
This is the last salon until a new season begins in the fall. Fortunately, I have a list of the topics for next year, so I can spend the summer getting images that will wow the judges next year. Or something like that.