The New York State Fair postcards o’ doom are here…

I knew they would be in the mailbox.

The postcards o’ doom.

All with postmarks from Syracuse.

Nine entries – six photographs, three artworks.  Nine little postcards, each one representing nine acceptances or nine rejections, or any combination of the same.

Over the past few years, the postcards o’ doom have been a veritable albatross around my neck, bringing me sad news that my pictures were not accepted.  This happened in 2014.  And it happened in 2016.  And again in 2017.  It almost happened again in 2018, in fact the one picture that was accepted – my ten-month solar exposure American Dreamtime: Solarcan 368 – well, that postcard of acceptance didn’t arrive until a few days AFTER I had to make the “drive of shame” and pick up my rejected entries.  That’s enough to mess with your psyche.

American Dreamtime: Solarcan 368. Photographic paper inside pinhole-modified beer can, 10-month exposure. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Believe me, it’s been a bad scene.  And with each yearly rejection, I feel more and more that my talent is slipping.  Yeah, I can get awards everywhere else, but for some reason the same pictures that claim blue ribbons in other fairs aren’t even getting accepted in Syracuse.  I’m not kidding.  Photos like What the Grasshopper Saw and Washington County 2:30 a.m. and Jesus Saves are unwelcome in Onondaga County.

Still, I’ve found some solace in that my arts and crafts projects have at least earned some love in the Margaret Baker Eddy arts and crafts wing.  But even then, there have been some controversies – like in 2016, when my radio-turned-dollhouse The Cathedral of St. Philco received a blue ribbon for first place – only to discover, afterward, that the artwork SHOULD have received third place.  And it was the only entry in that category – so I came in third in a one-horse race.

Granted, I’ve done better in my artwork creations, claiming a red second place in 2017 for my soda crate hope chest, and a third place for my light-up Saratoga Vichy bottle project in 2018.

So my goals are simple for 2019.  Try to hit second place or better in the arts and crafts section … and get on the damn walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center.  It’s been too long.

The cards are in the mailbox.  With each card, I’ll find out what my Monday morning “drive of shame” will look like this year.

It took the cards their usual “forever” to get here.  Many of my photography friends in the Syracuse / Auburn area already received their cards on Thursday, including many with acceptances.  I also convinced my blog buddy David Kalish to enter some of his pictures in the competition this year, and he did so.  He received his postcards on Friday.  Did any of his photos make the cut?  He’s got a blog, he can tell that story.

I thought the cards would arrive much earlier this year.  Heck, I even put regular postage – instead of “postcard” postage – on these postcards.  Yeah, I put too much postage on the cards.  They probably overshot Albany and landed in Chicopee or some other godforsaken place.

But they’re here.  Finally.

Okay.  Let’s start with the Arts and Crafts entries.  I slowly check the Eastern States Exposition burlap sack entry.


Eastern States Farmers’ Exchange. Burlap sack with yarn threading. Photo and creation (c) 2018 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.


Now let’s find out if the hooked rugs made it through.  First – the Mail Pouch Barn rug.


Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco. Latch hook rug made from acrylic yarn and wool yarn. (c) 2018 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Awesome.  Now for the Bob & Ron’s Fish Fry sign … and it was …


Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry. Latch hook construction. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Three for three.

Okay.  Deep deep breath.  I have six postcards.  The question is … did anything break through in the photography wing?  Three entries in the Martha Baker Eddy wing are fantastic … but what about the Harriet May Mills art gallery where the photographs are stored?

Let’s start with Mittsu No Yuki, my macro photo of three snowflakes.


Nertz.  This picture is not working for me.  Resolved – next year I need more detail and more shine in these macro snowflake snaps.

Okay, how about my color infrared recreation of my black and white infrared Farrell in Aerochrome?


Crap.  For some reason, color Aerochrome film just … ain’t … working.  Not in Syracuse, anyway.

Okay, let’s see if my first-ever attempt at a State Fair photo makes the “State Fair” listings.  Romance on Gondola 23 … what say you?


Man oh man, I can’t get anything to go – wait, did that card say ACCEPTED?

Romance on Gondola 23. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I’m in!  There will be a Chuck Miller artwork hanging on the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center this year!!

Okay … now for Senses Working Overtime, my adventure in splitfilm.  Come on, give me some good news …


Senses Working Overtime. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 camera, Revolog Tesla 2 film (two rolls, one flipped in redscale), Revolog Kolor film, Revolog Volvox film. Photo (c) 2019 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Holy Mayor of Simpleton, Batman!  My mixture of Revolog splitfilm will get on the walls this year!  First time in Syracuse for using Revolog film – and first time that any picture with hired models (as opposed to sports action) will make the walls!

Okay … two cards remain.  My mystically crafted picture 88 Minutes in Chinatown … and my macro picture After the Rain.

I’m going to flip the Chinatown card over.


88 Minutes in Chinatown. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3, with Kodak Verichrome Pan AND Kodak Gold Instamatic 200 film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Oh my lord I’ve got three pictures on the walls!  That ties a personal best!!!  The last time I had three pictures on the walls was in 2015, and only then that was because the superintendent saw one of my rejected pictures, made a “judge’s save” and kept it for the show!

Okay … all that’s left is After the Rain.  My macro shot of a dandelion and water droplets.

No way are they going to let me have four images in the show.  No way.  It’s not happening.

Flip the card.


So are you telling me … that after missing out for 2017 … and for 2016 … and for 2014 … and only sneaking one picture in for 2018 …



For a total of seven different entries???


Seven, you say?

There’s a Seven I can claim right now …

Hit it, Prince!

So I’ve got a magnificent seven here.

No, not that Magnificent Seven.  More like THIS Magnificent Seven, amirite?

Yeah, that’s better.

So … I have this good feeling that the New York State Fair will be a very special Fair this year.  At least when it comes to Chuck’s pictures and artworks.

And if there are silks to be earned … will they be?  And if so, what colors are available?

All I can say now is … although Monday is my traditional “drive of shame” to claim my rejected entries …

At least this time I’ll only take back two of my nine submissions.

And maybe … just maybe … the #Syracurse is finally over.

Wouldn’t that be fantastic?