After ten years … do I dare enter it again?


About ten years ago, I tried my luck at entering my photos at the Mohawk Hudson Regionals, one of the top art exhibitions in the area. The photos were rejected faster than a Trump supporter on a Bumble date. And when I posted a blog about the rejection, several other members of the art community contacted me, essentially letting me know that although I can enter my pictures in county fairs and the like, my art wasn’t quality enough for a curated art show.


That was ten years ago, and ever since then, whenever I’ve heard that the Mohawk Hudson Regionals were calling for art, I felt like my photos wouldn’t be welcome.

Of course, that was ten years ago.

Now, the word is that for the first time in the Regionals’ history, the show will take place at three separate locations – Opalka Gallery, Albany Center Gallery, and the art space at Albany International Airport. Artists are allowed to submit up to three items, with submissions due by May 31.

And I thought to myself … I’ve acquired ten years of experience since those halcyon days of 2011.

But then that nagging rejection feeling snuck in again. Do I really deserve to even consider entering my photos in this project? If I did … what would I even consider entering?

The Long, Strange Trip. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.4 lens with several filters. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I could enter one of my lenticular prints, maybe The Long, Strange Trip, if I don’t submit it elsewhere. Or maybe I need something that’s more subtle, more emotive.

After the Rain. Nikon Df camera, HELIOS-81 50mm f/2 lens on extension tubes. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Or perhaps I need a photo that simply makes someone stop and stare. Stopping and staring is a good thing.

Washington County, 2:30 a.m. Nikon Df camera with ultrawide lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I mean, I could go back a few years and pull out a stunner. I know I have a stunner someplace that could make for some great imagery. Somewhere in the mix.

Vivaldi’s Pond. Kodak Medalist II camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film, four images. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Maybe something that shows my experimental side. A little something that has the ability to make people dance. Or at least say, “How the hell did he do that?”

Step and Pivot. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

This is tough. I mean, I’ve done well in terms of competition seasons and all, and I’ve recently had success at the Capital District Photo Regionals. I just need to know if I’m going to do this, I have to pull what I consider are my three strongest, most powerful images. This is tough. Tougher than tough.

Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 camera, Kodak Instamatic Gold 200 film (two rolls) and Kodak Verichrome Pan B&W film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

But then, there’s that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach. Is my work good enough for a competition like this? I mean, heck, I’ve pulled off some tough photo concepts over the years, no doubt about it. But this is a new world. And what if I pick the wrong photo to submit? What if I remove the pitcher and the bullpen blows the four-run lead?

The Three-Two Pitch. Nikon EM camera that was modified for slitscan photography, Nikkor 50-300 f/4.5 lens, Kodak Gold 400 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

As you can see … I have options. Several options. And in the end, I’ve already whittled it down to seven images from my archive. Seven that I could consider, one way or the other, for this art show.

I could go full artistic and abstract, I could go with a lenticular flow, heck, I could pump in the night sky and let things bounce from there.

But, yeah. If I do enter the Mohawk Hudson Regionals, there will be submissions from the images you see in this blog.

And hopefully, in the end, you’ll see images from this blog that get accepted for this art show.

And if that happens … that weight on my shoulders will get just a wee bit lighter.

And I’m kinda good with that.