So I just heard back from the Iowa State Fair …


Last year, for the first time in three tries, I had artwork accepted at the Iowa State Fair.  Two of my pieces, the infrared graveyard photo Farrell and my perspective piece What the Grasshopper Saw were accepted for display.  And What the Grasshopper Saw took third place in its category.

Yeah, I danced around like nobody’s looking.

So this year, I went through my photos from top to bottom, and made my decisions for 2018.

I was allowed four pictures for the Iowa State Fair, one photo per specific category.

Here are the four that I entered.


Infrared Horizon 787. Color infrared film, Rolleiflex Automat MX camera. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

This is my photo of that diseased tree near the stream off I-787.  You know, the one just before Exit 6 before you hit Albany proper.  I entered it in the “Infrared, Toned, Tinted and Solarized” fair category.

Our next entry is…


No School Today Brah… Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.5 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

This is what happens when you go urban exploring in the Adirondack Mountains, and when you least expect it … you find an old school bus.  And this school bus looks as if it was attacked by graffiti artists and a smidge of psychedelic vandalism.  Just a smidge, mind you.

I entered this in the “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” vehicle category.


Tine Final Turn. Nikon Df camera, 1100mm mirror lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Hey, remember when I took that super-heavy mirror lens up to Saratoga Harness and got that shot of Mugshots Bro (he’s the horse in the checkered hood) coming from dead last to win by a nose?  This was his race, and that’s him coming around the corner and fighting for the lead.

This was entered in the sports category.

My final entry was…


The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake. AGFA Chief camera, AGFA 200 color print film wrapped in Ansco 616 B&W film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

The only photo I’ve ever created that claimed silk at BOTH Altamont and the New York State Fair, and was “Best in Show” at the Durham Fair.

I submitted all four of them and hoped for the best.

Tonight, when I came home, I reached in the mailbox.  No bills, no junk mail – just a long, canary yellow mailer.

There it was.  The oblong canary yellow mailer with my name on it, a mailer sent all the way from Des Moines.

Oh man, I’m not prepared for this.

Okay.  Make sure you don’t look at the back of the card until you’re sitting down.

I sat down.

Turned the card over.


Scope this out.

One of my pictures made it through – AND IT HAS SOME SILK!!

Oh my God oh my God oh my GOD I did it!!  Another ribbon!!  First one of Competition Season 2018!!!!

I did it!!

Oh man oh man this is so exciting … I need to party right now!!  Crank it up, AASMA!!!

Yeah, there’s always a good time for Bollywood-inspired teen pop music.  Isn’t there?

But wait, wait, wait …

I’ve got one of my pictures in the show … and it won a ribbon …

But which one?  Which photo?  And for that matter, what level did I achieve?

Which was it?  The infrared shot?  The harness racing shot?  The dilapidated bus?  Or AGFA-Ansco?

I don’t know… and I’m sure I’ll find out soon …

But yeah, this is the way to start off Competition Season 2018!!

Bring on Altamont!

Bring on the Big E!

Bring on Durham!

And I’m even ready to stand up to the Syracurse!!