This is the eleventh time I’ve entered images in the Altamont Fair’s photography competition. There wasn’t a show last year due to COVID-19, so I’m glad that the Fair is back and that I’m able to enter artwork again.
And it still harbors some memories and emotions in me. Every time.
Like the first time I entered, in 2009. Nothing received a ribbon.
I tried again in 2010. No dice.
In 2012, my photo of an Icelandic sheep did pick up a silk in the specific “Sheep Photography” category over in the sheep barn. For a while, I was able to claim some additional silks by shooting photos of sheep and goats, which worked out well for a time.
But it wasn’t until 2016 when I scored my first blue ribbon in the Art Barn itself, one of my “Dream Window” images which incorporated the Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry sign with neon accents.
In 2017, my first true blue ribbon for a specific photography construct, my infrared shot of a tree in St. Agnes Cemetery, Farrell, arrived. That started a streak of black-and-white blue ribbon photos, followed in 2018 by Washington County, 2:30 a.m. and in 2019 with After the Rain.
But this year, I only entered one black-and-white image at Altamont; my train shot Strasburg Number 90.
My other three images are in the color photography category – Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night, Double Feature Family Friendly and Pride of the Palace. All three are mixtures of various splitfilm photography techniques that I’ve perfected over the years.
And you know the rule by now. I can enter images into the Altamont Fair’s fine arts competition, but unlike other photo competitions that populate my blog, I can NOT post my images online until after I am sure that the judging is complete. See, to do so would be unfair to entrants who DON’T have blogs. And if a judge happens to see one of the images in the blog before judging the entirety of all artworks submitted, then that could be considered an unfair advantage to me (or, conversely, a disadvantage if the judge happens to be someone who dislikes my work and now knows which pieces were created by me).
Okay. Let’s show up at Altamont.
Found a good parking spot. This normally doesn’t happen. Could be a good omen.
Decided to skip the traditional “snack at Josie’s before going into the art building” tradition, and instead visited the Grange building. They had a display of working model steam engines that looked rather impressive. I purchased a handmade hot plate cushion and a handmade potato bag cooker. Could be a good omen. Or at least I’ll have tasty hot potatoes from the microwave, so there’s that.
Okay. Art barn. No more stalling.
And right off the bat, I see that my railroad photo of Strasburg Number 90…
Nope. No ribbon. Well, this photo still has two or three more competitions in it this year.
How about the Jericho photo? That should be a shoe-in. And…
Wait a second. No ribbon? Wow…
Okay, gotta go to the splitfilm image. Come on, it pulled a second place at Durham. It earned an honorable mention at the Photo Regionals. It was taken right on the Altamont Fairgrounds two years ago. It’s got…
Well, I have one photo left. My shot of the Palace Theater, essentially my OTHER splitfilm photo. And…
That’s a yellow silk for Honorable Mention. Which is good. I’ll take that. It just means that although I had faith in these four photos, in the end, my last-minute decision to slide this mix of Kodak Ektar and hand-tinted Kodak Instamatic was the photo that earned the mark.
And I’m good with that.
Because this little picture did garner some firsts. It’s my first silk-winner at Altamont that was created with my Kodak Medalist II camera (“Kodak Red”). And after Altamont finishes up, this photo is ear-marked for BUILT 2021, where I hope it finds a home in someone’s personal living room or office space.
Not to knock the other three images. The Jericho photo is going to at least hang at the New York State Fair, as will Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night and Strasburg Number 90. Strasburg and Five Tickets were both accepted to the Big E’s photo event, so they’ll hang on the walls as well.
And this just means that I have a whole year to come up with new ideas and concepts for Altamont 2022.
Psst … little secret.
I’m already working on those ideas.
You know I am. 😀