Barbara and I went to the Tulare County Fair Friday night. Went last year too so normally wouldn’t go two years in a row. (Allergies to hay, dust and crowds only tolerated every other year.)
This year was different. I finally broke down and decided at the last minute to submit some photos to the judges. A photographer friend emailed me Thursday morning saying the photos did very well including one as “Best of Show”. Did not tell much more than that. Now my curiosity was raised and couldn’t wait to see what the judges thought. But had to wait for Friday evening after work and then had to wait a little longer to eat a corn dog for that special high quality, Fair dinner before taking a look into the photo pavilion.
Quick Summary: 9 images entered. 5 Firsts (including Best of Show), 2 Seconds, a Third and an Honorable Mention.
OK, now I have conflicting emotions. The quiet side of me says “shush – you don’t like attention”. The competitive side of me says “Yahoo! – kicked some butt.” and “what was wrong with the honorable mention?” The Christian side of me says “shut up, be humble” and the weaker human side of me says “brag a little – at least enjoy it for a minute”. So the weaker side wins for now and this is my brag blog – then it will be past history.
We were allowed up to a maximum of 9 photos split between 25 categories in the Amateur Division. Now to be perfectly honest, I found out there were 4 “Best of Shows”. One each for Professional Color Division, Professional Black & White Division, Amateur Color Division (the one I got) and Amateur Black & White Division. I was truly very honored to have one of my photos be included with the other outstanding photos and great photographers.
The rest of this blog shows the photos and the awards given. Click on any of the photos and you can open a copy of the original image to see it in more detail.
This image is from Laguna Beach – Arch Cove – shot in early May 2009. Used a light touch of HDR to bring out the shadows. The story behind this photo can be found here: Arch Cove Blog Article. Many more similar and related images from same day here: Arch Cove
I honestly thought this photo print from Victoria’s Inner Harbor would be the one everyone liked best. Unfortunately it was mounted in an area where the light was poor. It was printed on a metallic paper and the colors really “popped” – better even than on the computer screen. I almost deleted the original image as a mere vacation snapshot. More about this photo here: From Snapshot to Wow!.
Barbara and I took a late day Saturday drive in April into the Tulare County Foothills along Dry Creek Drive East of Woodlake. I was afraid we waited too long in the day as a storm was beginning to pile up against the mountains and I was losing the great light. The clouds kept putting things into shadows but also created dramatic light when the sun broke through. Ultimately, I captured a bunch of “keepers” from this beautiful day and three of them went into the Fair competition. I like the quote from Ansel Adams; “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”
I could not decide which of the wildflower/landscape images I liked best so I entered two. On hind sight, putting two photos into the same class is dumb – competing against myself. At least I know which ones the judges liked better.
In additional to the beauty of God’s creation, we were surprised and pleased to see a whole line of classic cars out for a drive in that marvelous scenery. I shot a bunch passing by but a couple classics stopped in the turnout where we were shooting from. I snapped this shot and got the owners email. This beauty is owned by David Bockman and he says it is a 1931 Model A Roadster. David had submitted this photo to a national Model A magazine where I am told it became the centerfold. Can I claim to be a “centerfold” photographer?
A lot more images from this amazing day here: Spring in Tulare County Foothills.
This image came from another trade show trip to Pennsylvania. In this case, I added a day to my travels to shoot images from Lancaster County – Amish country (want to go back for more time there). In Strasburg there is an amazing museum of railroad history and a work yard where they refurbish engines. This is a working classic which you can pay to take rides into their beautiful countryside. More images here: Pennsylvania.
This image came from the same evening in Victoria as the Inner Harbor image mentioned above. HDR techniques worked very well on this great building. If you like this image, I think you would like the rest too here: Victoria.
One Class of photos in the competition are for images taken at the previous year’s Tulare County Fair. As usual, I had my camera at last year’s fair looking for interesting images. It got dark. Didn’t think to bring a tripod with me to lug around so I tried something different. This is a 3 second, hand held image shot at ISO 100, f16. Since I knew I’d have the shakes for a fuzzy photo, decided to zoom the lens while the shutter was open for some cool effects. Bunch more here: T. C. Fair Rides.
I love the maternity images in this gallery but alas it is locked to the public for privacy sake. I was disappointed in the result for this submitted print (told you I had a competitive nature). I think I know why – the print was darker than I imagined on the screen and I did not have time to submit another for a re-print. Never-the-less, it is one of my favorites. But I’m very biased here – it is my daughter, her husband and now robust grandson.
Needless to say, I was stoked about the rewards given. Now it is time to reign in the ego and go pull weeds in the yard.