Tuesday, July 10, 2012

State Fair Photo Contest

I have less than a month to submit photos for the Oregon State Fair photography contest. You may remember that I first submitted a photo a few years ago, and scored high enough to exhibit (but only barely), which was exciting for me, especially on my first try.

The following year I submitted two photos, and neither of them scored high enough to exhibit. That was disappointing, though I don't take it too personally since the judges make strange decisions at times. (Not that it's strange for me not to get chosen, just that I don't really understand what they are looking for, and some of their award decisions baffle me.)

The third year (last year), I completely forgot to get any photos in before the deadline. That almost happened again, but something reminded me yesterday and I found the deadline isn't until August 7th.

The problem is, I have no idea what photo(s) to submit. It's hard to think of a photo that is strong enough on its own (as opposed to being mixed in with 20 other photos in a blog post about a particular event). I can't just submit some regular naturey photo. Even if the exposure and focus is right, it needs to have some sort of unique/artsy factor. That's something I feel so many of my photos lack.

Anyway, if you have any thoughts, please say so. I was perusing my blog gallery and got a few ideas...

Like maybe something with snow (like the one on the right?).

Maybe a detail shot of some sort.

 Maybe a portrait that's not too portraity.

Part nature, part portrait?

I can submit more than one, but of course each one comes with expenses. The entry fee is small, but printing and mounting adds up, so I probably won't do more than two.

Anyway, just thinking out loud here. I guess I need some advice. The above photos aren't finalists in any way, they're just brainstorming material.

I'll probably post some journal pages for you later.

PS Kind of unrelated: if you're ever searching for an old post of mine, I do have a search bar at the bottom of the blog. Scroll down and you'll see it. You can plug in words you remember to find something. This came up because my sister was looking for my old butterfly posts, so I thought I'd pass that along to you guys, too. And of course there are tags over on the right, if you want to see several of one type of post.


  1. It would be really hard to choose! I do love that leaf one near the bottom though. It makes me feel happy. But I do love autumn and it makes me think of that season.

    I'm looking forward to hearing what you decide...

    Also, sorry I'm a spazz about the search bar. I just don't think about that very much. Now that I know it's there, I'll try to remember to use it! Scrolling back and back and back through older posts definitely takes a long time. :)

  2. It's very odd for ME to give YOU photography advice of any size, shape, or form...I will say I really like the first snow pic (the one on the left) though!

    I think you're right about needing something "artsy" or whatever. If you come up with candidates I would certainly love to look at them! : )

  3. R - I really like that leaf one, too, and am actually seriously considering it. I think it might have enough balance of relate-able and yet not necessarily a photo the judges will see over and over. And it's fine if you didn't remember the search bar. It used to be up on the right side but I was trying to declutter a little and figured people didn't use it (except me sometimes). It's not like you'd think to check the bottom of the page! But I tend to look for search boxes on any site.

    Dan - I value your opinion! That's funny--Jimmy said he liked that same one. I like it, but didn't know if it was too common-looking. Thanks for volunteering to look at the finals. :) I'm hoping to decide by next week, so hopefully I can show you some finals this weekend or sooner!

  4. Of course I enjoy all of your photography. I love the leaf photo, too. I'm leaning toward the photos from Scotty's Castle like the ole car or the reading area. I, also, think the "lady in white" lying on the grass is great!

  5. I like the leaf and guitar dude is plenty artsy - in fact, I like the way you have his 3 together; can you submit them that way or will that not count as 'one'? Of course I personally enjoy your nature macro shots (like insect and small flower close-ups). Now it would be helpful to know whats rolling through those judges' minds but please don't let their preference it take away from the enjoyment.

  6. I would vote for the portrait that's not too portraity, because that was my favorite photo from the wedding dress photo shoot!

  7. Guitar dude or the leaf one! The "artsier" the better :)

  8. I really like the guitar guy sitting, and the leaf one. I think that human character and symbolic message or moral photos are popular. I really think that your Mom is an excellent subject for a character photo ... something like what was on your 6-23-11 or
    6-24-12 post. That's my 2 cents : )

  9. I love the portrait that isn't too portrait-y and the guitar guy sitting with the sun... They're all so good!!



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