The Lenticular Horned Dorset

As I gather my photos for Competition Season 2017, I know that there are several images that I’ve placed in the “short pile” for this year’s shows.  And in doing so, I hope that my photography skills have improved with time.  It’s a challenge each year to come up with the best images – ideas and concepts that are locked in my mind, and to somehow find a way to free them and turn them into real physical imagery.

Yeah, I know that’s a lot of psychobabble, but work with me on this.

Last year, I captured this photo of a horned dorset ram at the Altamont Fair.

The Horned Dorset. Nimslo camera, Fuji 400 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

He’s a nice one, ain’t he?

And after going through all my three-dimensional film photos – the ones I’ve taken with my Kodak Stereo and my Nimslo cameras – I thought that this little sheep should get its chance in Competition Season 2017.

I sent the four-image strip to my friends at, who can make one-off lenticular prints for a reasonable price, and in a few weeks they’ll send me the finished print.  Once I get that, I’ll make the decision as to where I can enter this picture.

See, here’s the thing.  There are places I could enter the Horned Dorset photo … but I won’t.

I could enter this picture in the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival’s photo contest, but the size I chose for this print – 16×20 – would be too large for their competition’s rules (they prefer photos no larger than 8×10).  The large sized print would also prohibit me from entering it at the Big E, where they also have a rule about the picture being a single exposure (and yeah, technically it’s one shutter button on fo0ur lenses, but I’m not feeling like splitting hairs on this one).

Realistically, though, no matter where I enter this photo, this is going to be my “aw isn’t he cute” entry.  You know … the one where someone submits a picture of a kitten with a ball of yarn.  Or kids running through a sprinkler.  Or a dog shaking off water.  Or cows in a pasture.  Or Grandma’s old wrinkled hands.  Or two cans of paint.

Okay, none of those will have a three-dimensional look to them, but still…

There’s three places I could enter the Horned Dorset in competition – he could go to the New York State Fair and then to the Durham Fair (those competitions run consecutively), or I could frame up the Dorset and submit him to Altamont – but not in the “sheep photo” category, mind you … I’d enter this big ram in the Art Center barn.

These are the decisions I go through.  It’s like trying to pick the horses to enter in the Kentucky Derby while they’re still learning to stand in their stables.

But you know what?  After all the stuff I’ve gone through in the past twelve months …

The fact that I can think about Competition Season 2017 with an idea toward my entries …

Doing so is actually calming and refreshing and peaceful and exciting.

And I need some calm and refresh and peace and excite in my life right now.

Yes indeed I do.