Right around this time, I list the six images that I’ve captured and mounted and nursed and nurtured and hoped would reach the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center at the New York State Fairgrounds.
And right around this time, I wonder if these six images have earned their right to be among my submissions.
Well, this time I’m taking an extraordinary step.
Instead of listing the photos that ARE being entered…
Today I’m listing the pictures that I kicked out of the Syracuse “short pile.” These are the images that I thought could make the cut … but, in the end, they’re not going to Syracuse. They will not have a chance to puncture the #Syracurse.
My reasons for not including these shots are as follows.
Let’s start with …
THE BOREAS PONDS AND THE ADIRONDACK HIGH PEAKS
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? In the end, I just didn’t think it had enough style. Trust me, if you didn’t know those were the High Peaks in the distance, would you think it was a great photo? I have to consider what’s out there and what’s available. And whether I like it or not, not every picture of an Adirondack wilderness gem can make the cut.
THE REXLEIGH BRIDGE IN WINTER
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? Believe me, I had some early thoughts about entering this picture in Syracuse. One big problem. Well, one wide problem. Even if I shrank it down so that the length was the maximum 20″ allowed for the New York State Fair, it would make the image about 5″ tall. Okay, so maybe I split the picture into thirds or something. Then that means I submit three pictures, which count against my six-picture maximum. And what if one image makes the cut, but the other two don’t? A plan to assemble a triptych would be scuttled. Urgh. Can’t win for losing.
THE CUMULO-NIMBUS ECLIPSE
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? I have a feeling that there will be at least ten different eclipse photos submitted this year. And as much as I would love to include this among my entries, I’ve seen stronger eclipse photos from other photographers, and with that in mind, I’m not feeling comfortable that this will stand out from the rest.
THE LEICA TOURIST
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? Honestly, I really wanted to enter this picture in the competition. But there’s one problem. The Fair has a nasty habit of disqualifying photos that contain distinct trademarked products as the main subject. If this was a generic camera, sure I might get away with submitting it. But this isn’t a generic camera. It’s a freakin’ Leica. And I’ve tried contacting Leica all year, hoping to get a permission slip to allow me to bypass the waiver issue. But no dice. Besides, someone’s going to look at that camera and say, “Who the hell has a green Leica, there’s no such thing, toss the image.” And for that matter, I think the camera deserves to have its photos displayed, rather than be the subject of a display.
CP HOLIDAY TRAIN
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? Well, it’s a nice photo … but it doesn’t stand out. And it’s too confusing. Is it a light display? Is it a train? What is it? Honestly, it just means I have to try harder when the CP Holiday Train makes its journey through the States later this year.
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? You know … I really thought long and hard about entering it. Heck, it won a blue ribbon at Altamont, my first-ever photo to win a competitive blue in the Arts Building. And it could have a chance to claim a double-silk – only one picture of mine has ever picked up ribbons at both Altamont and Syracuse, and that was The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake. I’m just thinking it’s not Farrell’s time.
THE STEVEN CUNNINGHAM SLAM
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? At the last minute, I pulled it out of the pile. It’s a great picture … and it’s a strong picture … but I really want to make this effort as powerful as possible. I may save this picture for another competition, though … there’s some future use for this.
THE WATERWHEEL OF GREENFIELD CENTER
Why isn’t this picture going to Syracuse? You know what? It originally WAS entered for Syracuse. It was printed and ready to go with the other five. But at the last minute, another picture burst through … one that I thought was infinitely better … and although I do love this photograph … I’m calling an audible.
Let’s put it this way. These were the pictures I wanted to enter in the competition. So if these pictures aren’t in the mix…
Wait until you see what I DID put in the mix.
And you’ll see those very soon.