Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Remember that teaser a few days back?

The one with the photo with the blue ribbon?

Why, yes, thank you, that was one of my photos.
But that's not all.

I entered six photos in the Cowichan Exhibition this year - one in each of six categories.  I selected them in rather a hurry - those deadlines just seem to creep up, and each photo must be 8x12 and matted in black window mat, with the title, division, class, category, level, photographer's name, address, and phone number attached to the back.  (This is for judging purposes;  by the time of the exhibit, the information has been transferred to the front).

This year, one could only enter one photo per category, but there were eleven categories.  I didn't enter any in Black and White/Monochrome, Abstract, Sports and Action, Nature, or Macro/Close-up.  While it might seem strange that I didn't enter one in 'nature', the rules specify it must be 100% natural - no 'roads, hydro lines, fences, domesticate plants and animals, or cultivated objects' can be in the photo.  That eliminated a lot of my favourites like mama bird feeding baby at the door of the birdhouse.

These are the ones I entered:

In the "People" category:

(c) Jean Ballard, 2012

In the "Landscape/Seascape" category:

"Watercolour Morning"
(c) Jean Ballard, 2012

In the "Domestic Animals" category:

(c) Jean Ballard, 2012

In the "Domestic Plants" category:

"My First Hosta"
(c) Jean Ballard, 2012

In the "Sunrises/Sunsets/Skies/Moons" category:

"Sea Cowboy at Sunset"
(c) Jean Ballard, 2012

And in the "Assigned 2012 - Boats and Ships" category:

"Boat by a Foggy Pier"
(c) Jean Ballard, 2012

I think there were around 300 - 400 entries in total this year.  The chairperson told me they received over one hundred more than last year.

So, how did I do?

Well, you already know about this one:
First Place - "Assigned 2012 - Boats and Ships"

But then there was also this one:

Third Place - People

And this one:
Fourth Place - Landscapes/Seascapes

I'm pretty happy with that showing. I'm particularly thrilled with the first place finish in the 'Assigned' category, as this category is announced a full year in advance in order to draw greater competition.  I almost didn't bother entering this one, as island life provides so many great opportunities for amazing shots of boats and ships that I figured I didn't stand a chance. But the woman who works at the place where I get my stuff printed encouraged me to enter it, and I'm so glad she did!  (I owe you a drink, Renee!).

In most categories, I felt the judging was very fair.  The only one I disagreed with was the Domestic Pets category.  Just like last year, two mediocre pictures of horses won over technically much better pictures of dogs and cats (more in focus, better lighting, better composition), and the horse photo which took first place really didn't merit first place  - or even fourth - in my opinion.  But judging is not just about technical skill and composition;  there is a subjective element to it which is dependent upon the judge 'connecting' with the image.  And that's where the subject of the photo can influence the outcome as much as the skill of the photographer.

Still, winning in three categories, and especially in the 'assigned' one, is an accomplishment of which I'm very proud.  And I know my late sister, whose equipment I inherited and who taught me much of what I know, is smiling down on me.


georgia little pea said...

I love your photos. I don't know what #1 in People must have looked like to beat "George". That is such a good shot.

The guidelines for the Nature category are so strict! What if you'd shot a wild animal on a rotting stump that had been hammered into place by a human 100 years ago? Would that be disqualified?

Sheryl said...

I'm awed by your talent at photography! Congratulations!

CAPB said...

Congratulations! I love your photos. I really think the one of Allie deserved a prize too; it's a beautiful shot and such a great expression in her eyes.

ChrisJ said...

I came to you from Bikes Birds and Beasts. I love her photography and dear, spunky Black Jack. My father was a professional photographer and my siblings and I grew up with an appreciation for good photography. Since my sister and I are also do quite a bit of artwork, so composition and color are important to us. Your photos are superb. I like the boat one just because of the atmosphere. I'm so glad the man with the harmonica got some recognition, it has character to it. I'll be back. Congratulations for all the recognition.

Erika said...


Jean said...

Thanks, all.
ChrisJ, I think Carol exaggerates a bit when she calls me an 'award winning photographer and writer' ;), as I'm really just starting out. But I come from a family that seems to have a 'good eye' for photography - my late sister, my brother, and my daughter all create/created lovely images with their cameras. Hopefully, my technical skills with the equipment will improve this coming year, as well as the thought that goes into the composition - I tend to shoot before thinking.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Jean. Those photos were definitely prize winning.