Last year, at the last minute, I asked you all for copious amounts of help to determine which photos to enter into the 2009 State Fair of Texas Photography Competition. And, you were a great help. I chose two photos to enter based on your suggestions and one of them yielded me a BLUE RIBBON which quite honestly was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me in my entire life. I know, I know. But it's true.
This year I decided to amalgamate the information received from you last year to choose two photos to enter for this year's competition on my own. And, to get them in before the final week for several reasons - one of which was I am having this thing called a baby right around the due date. Ahem.
Before we get to the two I chose, let me remind you of the rules. I can only enter two photographs. Those photographs must have been taken in the state of Texas in the last 18 months. The photographs must reflect life scenes in the state of Texas or at the State Fair of Texas. They must be mounted on 11 x 14 foam board that is no thicker than 3/8 inches. The photo must be at least 5x7 in size on that foam board. There are several categories to choose from, and one photograph can only be entered into one category. Judges reserve the right to change the category of submission. The deadline for entry this year is July 30th.
Last year's finalists.
First photo chosen - I decided to enter one of last year's finalists in this year's competition. It was one of the photos that received high marks from you last year and was in fact one that I had prepared for entry in case I decided to choose it. But, it was not chosen ultimately for last year's competition. However, after seeing the photos entered in the category at the fair last year (flora/close-up) I really think this photo will do well in the competition. Of course, time will tell!
Here it is! Entry #1
It's been sitting on my bookshelf for a year, but looks alright, I think.
The second entry is one of my most favorite captured shots of all of last year. I was hesitant to enter it because it will have to be entered into one of the most competitive categories - Birds/Insects. You should have seen the winners in this category last year. Because of the intense competition, I am not sure I will fare well by choosing this photo. But it is one of my absolute favorites, so I had to do it.
It is this one.
It is this one.
I took it at the Dallas Arboretum last fall, and I still love it. It was one of those amazingly happy surprises caught on film - I have about 20 "outtakes" and this one that I feel is the best one. I love to look at it, and it is the kind of photo that makes me want to keep taking pictures. So, I chose it for a State Fair entry.
The thing is, 11x14 is an "old size" - digital photos are wider and not as tall. So, to print a photo at the 11x14 size, you have to make decisions about cropping it. I could not find a way to crop this particular photo without compromising its integrity. So, I decided to print it the digital size of 8x12 and have it matted to 11x14. This is, as you read, well within the confines of acceptability via the rules. I chose a black matte because I thought it made the vibrant colors shoot out even more. Last year, there were lots of matted photos that won ribbons - I'd say it was probably about half and half. So, I think this will not diminish its chances and it makes the best presentation for this particular photo.