Long-time blog readers will note that during my summer-long “Competition Season,” I will undoubtedly mention something called the “Drive of Shame.”
The “Drive of Shame” happens when, after the announcement of acceptances at the New York State Fair, I must make a trek to Syracuse and claim the rejected entries prior to the Fair’s Opening Day. In some cases, I’ve driven to Syracuse and picked up two or three photos – other cases have required me to retrieve all my entries (the “Syracurse” era).
On Saturday, I received six e-mails from Syracuse, an e-mail for each of my six entries.
In case you forgot … here are the six photos that I submitted to Syracuse this year.
Okay. Six e-mails. One for each entry.
Here’s how the e-mails started.
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?
Okay. Let’s cross-reference with the list of tickets.
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.
- Entry #250 – We Serve Wayward Strangers – ACCEPTED
Wow! My first true infrared photo to make the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center in ages! My first photo comprised of efke film to make the walls since 2015!
Okay. So I’m in. Let’s see the rest of the emails.
- Entry #251 – As Seen from Screven County – ACCEPTED
Ka-bang! My noctography eclipse photo made the walls! First-ever success for my Matusov super-telephoto 1000mm lens! First-ever eclipse photo, and first skyward image since my 2019 solarcan-long-exposure way back in 2019.
Okay. Two down, four to go.
- Entry #252 – The Snowflake Ride – ACCEPTED
Hello Fuji Velvia 100 capture! And I had thought about ditching this photo with something else, glad I talked myself out of that!
Halfway through. Three more images. Click on another email.
- Entry #253 – Edosomwan Admires His Dunk – ACCEPTED
That’s right! My first basketball-related image to make the walls in over 12 years! My first-ever NBL Canada image! Nothing but net!!
That’s four. One more acceptance and I’ve tied my personal best.
- Entry #254 – McGowan Hose – ACCEPTED
Holy Arch and James Streets, Batman! My first true image of an iconic building in Green Island, and my second consecutive splitfilm photo (after Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night snagged a second place in 2021)!
Five for five. So I suppose the Drive of Shame will have one returnee. Damn. And I really hoped that my photo of the Oneida Indian Nation COVID-19 memorial along the NYS Thruway might be a dark horse entry. Okay, let’s open the email.
- Entry #255 – Kátsha’ nu: weso (Where are you all going?) – ACCEPTED
Wait … wait … that one got accepted as well? Seriously? No, seriously???
So what you’re saying is …
I sent six images to the Fair … and all six got accepted?!?!?!?
All six of them???
As in … I don’t have to do a “Drive of Shame” this year?
That’s not possible. That can’t be possible. Someone pinch me.
Ow. Not so hard.
This means … hang on a second, blog readers, I’m still trying to wrap my noggin around this.
Several years ago, I had a stretch where nothing made the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center.
And now, after going 4-for-6 in 2019 … and 5-for-6 in 2021 …
I hit a sixer? As in England versus Australia Ashes Test Cricket sixer?
Just give me a second to compose myself.
OH MY GOD THEY ALL MADE IT IN!! NO REJECTIONS!! EVERY SHOT I ENTERED MADE THE CUT!!! THIS IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE!! I WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY IF SCREVEN COUNTY AND WAYWARD STRANGERS MADE THE CUT … BUT SNOWFLAKE RIDE AND WHERE ARE YOU GOING AND EDOSOMWAN AND McGOWAN HOSE ARE JOINING THEM???
I guess the next thing to find out is … go to Syracuse when the Fair opens … and of the six I entered this year …
Let’s find out which one of them claimed a silk ribbon.
Let’s find out.