Last year, I finally obliterated the “Syracurse” – a portmanteau of “curse” and “Syracuse,” a personal concept that my photos were good enough for every other competition EXCEPT for the New York State Fair. Last year, that Syracurse ended, as five of my six entries made the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center, with three of them claiming silks – the Milky Way shot Contact (which is now at the Iowa State Fair), my splitfilm Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night (which picked up silks at the Big E and Durham Fairs, as well as a nod at the Capital District Photo Regionals), and my lenticular Double Feature Family Friendly Jericho Drive-In sign (which has not yet been exhibited elsewhere).
Okay. Syracurse busted like Jim Boeheim in the quarterfinals.
Now comes 2022. Six more Chuck Miller photos for consideration. I can’t expect all six to get in, or even five, or even four. But if I at least make a showing at the Fair this year, I’ll be a happy man.
As far as I’m concerned, the New York State Fair is my Daytona 500. A ribbon from here means that I’ve pulled a big lift. It’s the kind of positive energy that gets me through the remainder of 2022.
Yesterday, I shared the images I felt were not worthy of consideration for the New York State Fair.
Today … I reveal my six entries for this year’s competition.
And they include…
WE SERVE WAYWARD STRANGERS
My strongest-ever success with a monochromatic image at Syracuse was seven years ago, when my black-and-white shot of the walkway along the Root Glen at Hamilton College took a second place silk. And I’ve NEVER had an infrared image make the walls of the Art Center. Never. Could this image be my first Syracuse infrared success?
THE SNOWFLAKE RIDE
This one is my entry into the “Taken at the NYS Fair” category. Of the pictures I took using Fuji Velvia 100 film in my various film cameras, this photo of a swing ride I took at last year’s Fair is the one that really stands out for me. The last time any of my “Taken at the NYS Fair” photos made the walls, it was my love story photo Romance on Gondola 23 way back in 2019.
EDOSOMWAN ADMIRES HIS DUNK
I haven’t submitted a basketball photo in the NYS Fair in over ten years. That’s ten years too long. Zena Edosomwan of the Sudbury (Ont.) Five performed an impromptu dunk at the NBLC-TBL All-Star Game in Syracuse, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Got it.
This is going into the experimental photo section, as collage images are permitted there. And since the postcard used is over 100 years old (I’ve got a postmark to prove it), this photo should be 100% legal for entry. Plus, this is only the second NYS Fair image captured from my home location – the Town and Village of Green Island. The first? 2019’s After the Rain, which was photographed from my porch steps and claimed an Honorable Mention that year.
AS SEEN FROM SCREVEN COUNTY
I have NOT had the greatest of success with nocturnal photography at the New York State Fair, so I’m hoping that my first-ever lunar eclipse entry will make the cut this year. The last time any of my nocturnal photos made the walls, it was my “Chuck poses with the Milky Way” photo Contact from 2021 – and that one claimed a third-place silk. You know, that photo is the same one I submitted to Iowa earlier this year.
KÁTSHA’ NU: WESO (WHERE ARE YOU ALL GOING?)
This was my “dark horse” pick for Syracuse this year. You don’t normally see tipis along the New York State Thruway. So with this photo … now you do. This is also a “designate photo,” in that any money earned from it will be forwarded to an Oneida-based charity. That’s how I roll.
Okay, the specs.
- All six images were photographed in New York State. Three images were shot in Onondaga County (As Seen from Screven County, The Snowflake Ride and Edosomwan Admires His Handiwork). Two images are from Albany County (We Serve Wayward Strangers and McGowan Hose), while the final image hails from Oneida County (Kátsha’ nu: weso).
- Two of the six entries are film photos – We Serve Wayward Strangers was shot with my Kodak Medalist II (“Kodak Red”) with Efke Infrared 820 film, while The Snowflake Ride came courtesy of my Rolleiflex Automat MX and a pack of Fuji Velvia film. The other four shots were taken with my Nikon Df digital camera and various lenses.
- Edosomwan Admires His Handiwork is my first chance for a basketball photo silk since 2010, when my shot Action Under the Basket picked up an Honorable Mention.
- The View from Screven County is my first chance for an astrophotography photo silk since 2021, when Contact scored a third place prize.
- The Snowflake Ride could be my first chance for a “Taken at the NYS Fair” ribbon, and only my second category-specific photo to make the walls since 2019’s Romance on Gondola 23.
- McGowan Hose may be my first combined image silk since last year’s Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night took a second-place silk in that category.
- We Serve Wayward Strangers could be my first infrared photo to claim a silk at the NYS Fair, and first B&W to claim a silk since 2015’s The Walkway.
- Kátsha’ nu: weso is designated as a charity photo, in that any money won by it in competition, or garnered from sale of the photo, is earmarked for an Oneida Indian Nation charity. Just in case it wins a priz of any sort.
I won’t know until next week if any of these photos made the cut. And I won’t know until I actually attend the Fair in person … will I find out if any of these images picked up a strand of silk.
Here we go.