Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's a winner!

  A few posts ago, I mentioned having entered some photos in the Cowichan Exhibition. There were nine categories , and each contributor could enter a maximum of five photos in total, with no more than two in any one category.

I entered one in "Nature", one in "People", one in "Pictorial", and two in (what else??) "Domestic Pets". The domestic pets category was the one for which I had the most trouble choosing my entries, given that I have literally thousands of photos of dogs, pigs and other critters. I narrowed it down to three, decided definitely on one of them, and then wavered back and forth, back and forth, between the other two. I made the final decision just hours before the deadline for submission. Of course - the one I almost didn't enter was the only one of my five photos to win! Ha!

Here it is - the third place winner in the "Domestic Pets" category:

One Tired Dog

It is a photo of my friend's whippet, Kinley, which I took during their visit last June.

Here are my other entries, none of which placed:

Sadie on a misty morning

Spearfisher at Swallowfield

Dinner Time!

Crofton Seawalk at Sunrise

There were about 200 entries all told, so I was quite happy with my one wee success. I learned a lot in the process. Some of my favourite photos couldn't be used as they weren't suitable for 8x10 enlargement - I had zoomed too much or cropped them wrong or not saved a version with sufficient pixels. But I was happy with my final choices, and it was really cool to see my photos up there for display.

A few photos in the Pictorial category.
My Crofton Seawalk entry is top right.

Winning entries in Domestic Animals Category.
My entry is bottom left.

My Sadie photo on display

It was especially fun to eavesdrop on people's comments as they viewed the boards. In most of the categories, the winners were clearly outstanding photos, and while there were other outstanding ones in each category, there was little criticism of the judges' choices. The one category which drew a lot of discussion, however, was domestic pets. The first and second place went to photos of horses' noses, and neither photo seemed particularly outstanding. In fact, as several people pointed out, the first place winner was out of focus and the lighting/shadow distracted the viewer from the best parts of the photo, while one photo that didn't even place was unanimously considered the best on the board:

Outstanding photo which didn't place
Original photograph titled "Feline Doorstop" by photographer Yolanda Halley

The chair of the section (a photographer, but not one of the judges) offered critiques at the end of the exhibition. When someone raised the issue of the first place photo for domestic pets, he concured that sometimes it is hard to see why judges make the decisions they do. He specifically stated he thought the cat one was outstanding and also said he thought my photo of Sadie should have placed (this without knowing I was in the audience).  But all in all, I'm very happy with the experience, and very proud to have won a ribbon for one of my photos.

I'll post pictures of other parts of the Cowichan Exhibition tomorrow - it was a great, but very hot and exhausting, weekend.


Funder said...

Congrats on your great recognition! I especially loved the Crofton seawalk shot.

As a horse person... I wouldn't have voted either of those nose shots as winners. Well, maybe an honorable mention - it's technically quite difficult to get a nose shot like that without getting a lens full of slobber or snot. ;) I liked the drafts in harness - 6th place? but I have to say, yours was the only Domestic Pets picture that was at all interestingly cropped.

EvenSong said...

As far as horses noses go, I could have entered dozens! I suppose a horse's nose is better than the other end...
Your shot of Kinley is a much better nose.
I really like your seawalk photo as well--have often enjoyed that subject in your posts.
I do like the kitty doorstop, too.

Jean said...

Funder and Evensong, I quite like nose shots generally - I have many piggy nose shots and even a few horse and donkey ones myself. It did seem strange, though, that the only two horse nose shots entered in the competition won first and second prize despite being less than spectacular as photographs go. As for the drafts in harness, aside from the winning photos the rest were displayed in no particular order, so it wasn't necessarily sixth place. But certainly a fine photo.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blogs - I have some horse shots from the fair and a question for my horsey readers!

Funder said...

I think good nose shots have... something else as the secondary focus? A nose with a quizzical ear, or a nose and blinding blue sky, or a nose in a hand, that kind of thing. Looking forward to tomorrow's post! :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool that you won!

I also love the photo of Sadie, was it taken in Mission?


Jean said...

Hi Sharon - yes, that photo was taken at the top of the pasture where I lived in Mission.
BTW, that property is now up for sale. Under $500,000 for about five acres, but still too expensive for me unless I win a lottery in the next little while (and, let's face it, the house would need to be rebuilt too). How I loved that place!!!