And the Big E’s photo competition is open for 2021.

Well now, look what’s back.

After offering a COVID-limited online photo competition (for which I snagged a best in show, yeah baby), the Eastern States Exposition, also known as the Big E, is opening up their Call for Art for the 2021 season. And that means their photo competition is active again.

Graduation with a Bang. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Holy crap, there might actually BE a decent competition season this year.

Here’s the rules. The Big E takes a maximum of two images (three if you’re also entering a photo in their themed entry, with a theme of interpreting the number “20”). Images are digitally sent first, and then you receive a note as to whether your images are accepted or not. Then you print the images (11×14 maximum, no matting, foam boarded) and submit them to Springfield, Massachusetts.

I’m definitely good with this.

The Big E uses a Danish judging system, where you’re not actually competing against other photographers for the big ribbons. Each piece is individually judged against a standard, and there could be 100 blue ribbons in each specific category, depending on how good all the photographs turn out.

Example. A few years ago, someone sent me about five pictures that they thought had some merit to them, I picked out two of theirs – a shot of a blue jay, and a shot of a dog on a hammock – I gave them a little bit of contrast adjustment and light cropping, and told them to submit those two images. The images later came back with blue ribbons, and the person was completely over the moon with the result. In other words, you help out where you can.

But now it’s time to go through my stuff.

The image must have been acquired after August 1, 2019, so there’s at least two years of choice imagery from my archives that might make the cut. It’s just a matter of finding the images that are perfect for the contest, whether I go back to the ones I WANTED to submit from last year, or if I pulled something out of a pile of smoke and steam for this year.

Perhaps one of each, I don’t know. I’m kinda looking at either The Long, Strange Trip or Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night from last year’s batch, with Strasburg Number 90 or High and Tight for this year’s images.

I really won’t have time to create an image that fits the theme of “20” for the themed contest, so I’ll be limited to only two images. Here’s the specs, if you’re interested in submitting your own imagery.

Wow, Iowa’s got their photo contest up, and now the Big E is accepting calls for art.

That just leaves three other Competition Season shows on my docket – Altamont, Durham and Syracuse.

We shall certainly see.