Monday, July 27, 2009

I Need Your Help

Notice I did not choose to go with the title, "I Need Help," which could be construed in oh so many ways and generally not in ways that would include helpful outcomes for me. Ahem. So, "I Need Your Help" seems to work better here.

So, here's how the Ate Up Amateur needs your help. I want to enter the Creative Arts photography competition at the State Fair of Texas. I have tried to remember to do this for the past two years. I have thought about it in August each year, after the deadline for entry. But this year - THIS YEAR! - this year I remembered a whole week before the deadline. Time is of the essence. Here are the general rules:

- you can only enter 2 photographs total, and they cannot be in the same class. (you cannot compete against yourself)
- prizes will be awarded in each class for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorable mention(s).
- all photos must be taken in the last 18 months and the theme of each photograph should reflect life scenes in the state of Texas and the State Fair of Texas.
- the competition is open to amateur photographers only. That's me!
- the photo has to be mounted on 11 x 14 foam board. You can mat the image, but it has to be at least 5 x 7, with mat making up the difference to 11 x 14. I'm thinking I'll just want to go with 11 x 14 images, but let me know what you think about that.
- you are also encouraged to reflect this year's State Fair theme, which happens to be, "All Aboard for the Great State Fair of Texas." I have nothing in this vein, I don't think.
- there are several categories (classes).

S and I went through my photos taken in Texas in the last 18 months this past weekend and found a few we thought might be OK for entering. More than two, that is. So, now, I am in a quandary - I don't know where to go from here. And, I've got to get them printed and mounted, paid and entered by Friday. And I'm packing to leave town for 9 days at the same time. So, I need a decision on this and I am unable to make it on my own. I need your help.

Which two photos should I enter?
Or, should I enter any at all?

I am going to list them below along with the classification I feel they would go in. And, if I think they could easily go into two different classifications, I am going to post them here twice, in each place. Please comment and let me know which two you'd enter - and remember, if they fit in the same class, it can't be those two - two different classes, please. You'll notice Greer Farm is over-represented here. It's still fresh in the memory, so I'm sure that's why. OK, here we go.

The first class - K100 - Texas Animals/Wildlife:

Greer Farm - although I didn't post this one.

Greer Farm - Bovine Baptism
K101 - Animals/Domestic:

Earnest Echo in one of my favorite shots of her ever.

K102 - Birds/Insects:

My favorite photo from Greer Farm.

Black Swallowtail butterfly on Texas thistle - near Greenville, TX

K103 - Fish/Reptiles/Marine Life - I've got nothin' here.

K104 - Flora/Close-Up:

I should say I've got tons of these, as you know. Of course, many were not taken in Texas. And, I chose these sunflower photos over some others because they looked more "Texan" to me than some other blooms. I don't know why. they are. Also, all three here are from Greer Farm, of course.

You'll see I've got this one in four locations...maybe that rules it out as a good entry.

K105 - Flora/Vista

This is the biggest stretch, I think...

So is this one...not many flora visible here.
I do have some of black-eyed susans from this shoot.
I just didn't include them here -
S thought this was the strongest one from that group for other reasons.

K106 - Child-Preschool - I decided to not concentrate on this category. But, I do have those photos of Miss Sydney that would be cute...

K107 - Child-School Age - I have none from within the state of Texas.

K108 - Children - 2 or more - again, none in Texas, except maybe these, which didn't turn out too great.

K109 - People - one or a group. Didn't come up with anything here either.

K110 - Texas Rural/Scenes (Any facet of Farm or Ranch life):

These first few you've seen earlier in the post in another category...

This one was taken at Greer Farm, but last February.

This one and the next two, also from the recent Greer Farm adventure.

K111 - Texas Action/Sports - I had a few of these, (Even these maybe? maybe not...) but I decided this is probably one category where there are some real enthusiasts who photograph almost exclusively in this category, and mine are not all that great. Not a good place for me to focus.

K112 - Texas City Scenes -

There is another category where this one and the next probably should go...

...but the State Fair IS in the city of Dallas.

Also probably a better place for this...

...and maybe even this one.

This one will also come later...

...OK, this one all my photos listed here you will see categorized somewhere else too.

K113 - Texas Scenery - Landscapes or Waterscapes - all repeats:

K114 - Texas Skies - Sunrise/Sunset/Weather

So, here's a new one...the moon over Texas Motor Speedway.

And, a couple of repeats...

And this one...only to play to their State Fair bent and because of the clouds.

K115 - Texas Architechtural Features/Buildings/Monuments - these three repeats could also go here, I think:

K116 - Still Life (Any assemblage of objects, either in an arranged or natural setting.)

I promise, last time for this one.

K117 - Abstract. I'm not very abstract.

K118 - State Fair/State Fair Themes/Texas Festivals/Holidays

We gotta have the ducks listed here...

S likes this one better, with the one duck staring up at the lens.

This one is of course on the State Fairgrounds.

And so is this one.

And, then because holidays are thrown in here - too bad for that.
I can't see how a holiday photo would ever win in this category.

K119 - Texas Humor. I'm not sure any of my photos are humorous enough to stand on their own in this category without my extensive explanation. Which, some would say, means there is no humor at all. So, nothing here. I guess the rubber ducks could maybe go here, but they aren't Texan, per se. They were at the Texas State Fair...I don't know. What do you think?

So, that's it. There are corresponding categories for black and white photos. So far, I'm listing all of mine in color.

Here's another fact about the contest - only photographs that win an award will be exhibited during the fair. So, this is probably all for naught if my only goal is to see my photo at the fair. But, that is not my only goal - I want to go through the experience of entering so that maybe one day I will be able to enter and have my photo displayed. I should say that I'm disappointed that they don't post all entries - I'd like to see all of them each year when I go to the fair. I've thought this every year - I wish I could see all the entries! But, I guess they don't have enough space for that.

So, dear friends, dear blog readers, help a girl out. Please comment today and tell me which photo(s) to enter - or tell me to not enter at all - or, I guess, if there is a photo you've seen here that would fit the bill and I've not included it and you think I should have - tell me that too. And I'll take your sage advice and move forward. And I'll tell you what the decision was, of course, right here, too, later this week. Thanks bunches for the help. I can't wait to read your remarks. See you tomorrow.


  1. Amy- so hard to choose! I was thinking, though- why not one of the ones from "Bovine Baptism" where the cows are actually in the water? Did I miss one of those? The way the sun reflects off the water is so beautiful in all of them. Just a thought.

  2. I love the closer up sunflower photo, the gate photo, the fallen building, and the Star of Texas photos the best. Not sure which category, but those are my fav pics.


  3. The butterfly on the thistle and the fall colors on the trees are the two best I see..I also agree this might be a starting point for you because I have seen much better photography from you.


  4. Based on the themes, I would do one of cows, either the one here or the one in the water. Although I like the butterfly/thistle one, I am not sure it is the best choice for the farm category. For the fair theme, I agree with Sam, the ducks looking at you... I think it maybe a more unusual photo than one of the ferris wheel which seems like a likely subject. Have fun with it and let us know how it turns out.


  5. For what it is worth I like the Sunflower with the bug!!


  6. I think the lone cow, the sunflower and the fallen building are great.

    Good luck!

  7. I like the pictures of the ducks (state fair) and the picture of blue sky and black gate. T

  8. Sunflower with bee at 6:00, Texas Star, and ducks at the fair...and I am going to look again a Bovine Bapt email, thinking there is something there I like better than the one you chose of the "girls" in a row. - Chuck


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