The photos I’m NOT entering this year in the New York State Fair’s photo contest (and why they’re not going to Syracuse)

Tomorrow, after judging has completed, I’ll share with you the six images I’ve chosen from my collection of 2021 and 2022 photos for submission to the 2022 New York State Fair Photography Competition. And trust me, if I’m culling these images from the list … you know I’m trusting my gut with the six I’m keeping.

So who’s not going to Syracuse this year?

Unfortunately, these images did NOT make the cut.


At the Edge of Quechee. Kodak Medalist II camera, Kodak Ektachrome film. Photo (c) 2021 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I really wanted to enter this photo at Syracuse. I really did. But the colors aren’t as bright as I want, those annoying power lines are in the frame, and the spillway under the bridge isn’t very defined.


Fishing at Silk Bridge. Rolleiflex Automat MX camera, Fuji Velvia 100 film. Photo (c) 2021 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

This would be a great photo for Syracuse. But because the photo contains a person with a recognizable face, and since I didn’t get his signed permission as a photo model … this photo is ineligible for the NYS Fair. Hey, stuff happens …


American Legion 927 Salute. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

That’s the same reason why, although I would love to showcase this image (I got muzzle flash on that final shooter), without signed model releases for all five Legionnaires, it would get bounced from competition in a heartbeat.


Snowflake on Red 2. Google Pixel 6 Pro camera. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Did I get a swank snowflake photo? Yes I did. Is that photo grainy and blocky and unworthy of competition? Yes, it is.


Empire State Plaza Fireworks 2021. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens, photo (c) 2021 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Did I have major success with a lenticular print last year? I certainly did. Do I think I’d be pushing my luck by submitting another lenticular print, when I can challenge myself to something more enticing for 2022? Yes, I could.


Saratoga Corinth and Hudson Crossing. Pentacon Six camera, AGFA Scala 200 film. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

If I could enter seven images in Syracuse, this would be one of the seven I’d choose. Unfortunately, I am limited to six entries. But maybe I can find a home elsewhere for this.


Chester Arthur’s Meteor. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.8 lens. (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Maybe if the tau Herculids meteor shower actually WAS a shower and not just one meteor here and there. Maybe if there wasn’t a ton of light pollution in the distance. Maybe if I photographed this in such a way that the Chester Arthur gravestone actually appeared more defined. There’s too many “maybes” for this image. Sadly, as much as I like it, it’s staying here and not going to Syracuse.


The Carissima Weave. Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, AGFA Scala 200x film tinted, three strips combined. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I’ve been playing around with this “weave” technique for years. And as much as I would like this image to stand out … it’s more of a “proof of concept” instead of a “holy shit that’s an awesome concept.” I can do better than this.


St. Mary’s Fireworks. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

This one … well, by the time I shot it and processed it … it was too late to enter it for Syracuse. I may, however, keep this one around for something else should the opportunity present itself.

So now you’ve seen the images that DIDN’T make the trip to the New York State Fair.

Tomorrow … I’ll show you what I DID choose as my six for Syracuse.

And hopefully at least one of those six will grace the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center. At least one.

Look, I had five out of six make the walls last year. Ain’t no way I’m going to get that lucky again. Trust me. I’m a decent photographer, but I’m in NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM bold enough to suggest I’d get five photos accepted this year.

But maybe with the six I reveal tomorrow … I’ll have a chance of at least representing my works.

Let’s see.