Submissions of a single section of scarlets and shades

Many years ago, I tried to submit some of my artworks to a major art event, the annual Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region.  My images were not accepted.  And in that unacceptance, I received some comments about WHY my photos were rejected…

At the time, I had submitted a mixture of different film techniques – splitfilm, polar panorama, and straight-on traditional imagery.  The commenters noted that I was taking a chance doing this – in that “taking a chance” meant I wasn’t aiming in the best direction for what might be accepted in this show.  And that because I selected two different splitfilm techniques, they most likely would cancel each other out in the in the second round of voting.

A more cutting response came from someone I was dating at the time.  She said my pictures relied on gimmicks and tricks, and I wasn’t a real photographer because I needed crutches like those to take pictures, instead of taking simple shots like those of roses and sunsets.  I think that’s the photographic equivalent of “I’m dumping you, have a good life.”

Well, my five submissions never made it past the first round.  So I stopped submitting to that show and focused on other competitions.  That’s just me.

This year, I received an e-mail asking for submissions.   It was from this show.  The show I hadn’t submitted to in half a decade.

I dunno… I’m not sure what I have that will work for a show like that, considering my previous entries were so far away from what others have achieved… maybe I’m just bringing Popsicle sticks to a knife fight.

Or… perhaps …

Chuck, what have you been playing with lately?

Yep.  Infrared film.

What is the maximum number of images you could submit to this show?

Five.

And what if … just for putting this thought out there … you gathered up five of your best color infrared photos, and just see what happens?  Dude, you’re only risking the entry fee – if they’re not accepted, it’s not the end of the world.

Okay… that’s true …

And I started picking through my color infrared shots.  All the captures from last week, last month, heck the ones from two years ago.

Whittled it down to ten images.

Down to seven.

And finally, I picked the five that I thought had the best stamina.

Here’s what I chose.

Aerochrome Falls. Kodak Medalist II camera, Kodak Aerochrome film with orange filter. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
Drain the Swamp. Rolleiflex Automat MX camera, CIR 120 infrared print film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
Western Outfitters. Kodak Medalist II camera, Kodak Aerochrome 120 infrared slide film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
New Scotland Road. Rolleiflex Automat MX camera, CIR 120 infrared print film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
Infrared Horizon 787. Rolleiflex Automat MX camera, CIR 120 infrared film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Trust me, I could have swapped out all five images for five others – but, for me, this is a challenge.  I want to see what happens from here.  The last time I submitted artworks to this show, they were all rejected – maybe my original submissions were too scattershot, too undirectional.

Well, right now I’ve got five directionals.  Yes, they’re all trees and woods and streams and highways … but all with teals and magentas and scarlets and turquoises and the like.  There’s something here.

If this is what it takes to move forward in my photographic journey…

Then so be it.

As I said before … it won’t be life and death if I don’t get into this event.

But it will be an effort to move this photographic endeavor forward a few more steps.