Even though I received a few extra days for any last-minute additions or subtractions to my maximum of six entries to this year’s New York State Fair Photography Competition, I had my six images ready to go on Monday. CD was burned, order form was filled out, $24 money order purchased, everything all packed up and ready to go.
And then I started analyzing each picture. Second-guessing myself. Third-guessing myself. Yes to this picture. Maybe to another. And eventually, one of the pictures – as much as I thought it would be a great idea, a “hammer” photograph – I regretfully cut it from my submissions lineup.
The thing was, I had ten images I could have submitted, and only six available slots. Some of the photos that I eliminated from submission, I chose instead to re-designate those images for other competitions. So they won’t get wasted.
And at the last minute, the picture I worked on all weekend – 4th of July, Albany (Ripscale) – I took out of the rotation. Don’t get me wrong, it was a valiant first effort. But the more I looked at the picture, the more I realized that I rushed to complete it. I rushed it simply for the sake of rushing it. And if that was the only reason to submit the photo, well I couldn’t submit the picture just for the sake of introducing ripscale to the competition.
Next year. I promise. I’ll make the ripscale work. For sure.
So this morning, a day before the deadline for CD submissions, I dropped off a CD of six images to the post office, for delivery to Syracuse in time for consideration for the Great New York State Fair.
So after all of this tossing and turning, twisting and tempting, these are the six entries that are being submitted for the 2012 competition. These are the six images that I think have the best chance of getting displayed, and maybe even earning some silk and money.
Here we go.
Who needs a star trail when one can create a heckuva “sun trail”?
Equipment: Nikon D700 camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens, 9 shots stacked. Location of photo: Watervliet, N.Y.
Decision for inclusion: When the Times Union, of its own volition, actually added this picture on their homepage, that’s a sign that it’s a good photo and has a shot.
|BUTTERFLY AND CITRUS
A chance photograph in Boston at the Butterfly Exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Science.
Equipment: Nikon D700 camera, Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens. Location of photograph: Boston, Mass.
Decision for inclusion: When I get comments from blog commenters, who say things like, “Pretty different than what you usually do. I like.” – that’s a sign that this picture has some magic to it.
|THE BEAT OF OFFICER HARRIS
Shot on one roll of film through two cameras. Named after the parking enforcement officer who ticketed my car after I came back from shooting this film.
Equipment: Agfa Clipper Special f/6.3 camera AND Agfa Chief camera; Kodak Verichrome Pan 616 film shot in both cameras.
Decision for inclusion: This is my best opportunity for the “Single Shot: Half Shot” discipline to work. It’s gotta work. And if it does, I’ll make sure that Officer Harris at Albany Parking Enforcement gets a framed copy of the picture.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 camera, Hoya ND400 filter.
Reason for inclusion: first time I ever used an ND filter, and I’m pretty psyched about how it turned out.
|HER STOLEN HEART
Equipment used: Nikon D700 camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens, super-hot model, super-powered X-ray heart frame.
Reason for inclusion: I wanted a picture that had a little “photo magic,” in that there’s a bit of an optical illusion to it. I’ve shown this picture to several people, and they invariably do a double-take, in that they see the water in the heart frame and don’t initially equate it as part of the fabric on Lauren’s dress.
|STAR TRAILS AND METEOR, GREAT SACANDAGA LAKE, CHRISTMAS EVE 2011
Yep, the star trails shot that I took – and actually snagged a meteor in the photo. That’s the one streak of light that’s running from southwest to northeast in the picture.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 camera, Nikkor E-series 28mm f/2.8 lens, dozens of shots stitched together with startrails.de program.
Reason for inclusion: probably the best star trail picture I’ve taken in a long time. And the first time I’ve ever photographed a meteor.
In addition to leaving out the ripscale picture, I postponed using pictures like Night Train to Heaven, Atlantic Sunrise, my Jamar Abrams slam dunk photo from the NBL-Canada All-Star Game, my Black Bridge photo series, and any of my Prokudin-Gorskii combination photos. They were good pictures, good enough for me to show them on the blog. I just think that the six I’m sending to Syracuse are better.
Now does it mean that all six images got in? No. It just means that these are the six that I’m submitting. They have to be judged and then I’ll know which ones I should foam-board and deliver.
So let me ask you, my dear readers. If you had to pick any of these pictures as ones that might earn some silk and/or money, which ones would you choose? (pick up to a maximum of three)
And if you feel that I made a mistake – that I added or subtracted the wrong photograph – let me know as well. Competition season’s not over, and I can still swap in an image or two as necessary.