I decided a couple weeks ago that I was going to enter my photography into one of our county fairs (we have many counties around here -ergo the name -4 county little league, or four county this or that). My favorite county fair is the Howard County Fair. It’s not too big and it’s not small. They have great rides but not too much. They have fun local bands and a neat petting barn. I love that fair.
Last year we walked through the Fine Arts building and I looked at all of the photography that had been entered. I loved all of the shots and wondered how they decided on the winners of each category. I left feeling like I might want to try to enter a few pictures the next year -but then I sort of forgot about it.
The fall brought me health challenges and photography wasn’t in my thoughts as much. I am always taking pictures but I wasn’t taking them with my new Nikon, I was mostly using my iphone. I would look at the shiny red Nikon and that’s all I would do- just look. I don’t know what the matter was. Well I have become ambivalent about many things and for some reason photography was one of them. I know that recovering from my cancer treatments has taken longer than expected but I think this is more mental than physical. I am overwhelmed and just the thought of taking shots and having to plug the camera into my computer was tiring for me. I know weird right? I’m a former software engineer! I love all things techie!
This problem of ambivalence still plagues me but I see it has lifted some relating to certain things. I’ve painted furniture, we are going to move my other teen boy downstairs into the basement to live with his brother and I’m all excited to get it done, and two weeks ago I got excited about photography.
Two weeks ago I was looking through some of my older photos taken with my older Canon and some taken with my oldest Canon – now long gone. I hadn’t looked at these shots for a while so I was looking at them as if for the first time. I realized they weren’t bad. As I looked at the images I realized that I am an ok photographer. So maybe I should enter some of my photos into the Howard County Fair. If it weren’t for the fact that I had been looking up local fairs coming up in our area that same week as I had been looking at my old photos i may have not had the thought. But when I saw Howard County Fair pop up on my google search I remembered the thought I had taken with me last summer when I left that Fine Arts building.
Thankfully I did pick up my Nikon over the last year a few times. ( all photos must have been taken since the fair last summer.) So I began to go through what I had. I didn’t have much time to crop and do much in photoshop elements but I found a number I liked. I ordered a bunch from Shutterfly and was expecting them last week. Guess what? -they were a no show. I found out that they were sent to my old address in my town and then returned to the forwarding center ( gotta love my town and the personal help you get when you call the post office inquiring about them-they even said they’d call if the came back through. ) The address issue was my fault and I needed a new plan and fast. So I sent some to our local CVS where they only do glossy prints. Then I ordered more from Shutterfly bc they do matte finishes and I had them sent two day. They have to be matted and taken to the fairgrounds by this Friday. I also ordered mats and backs and tape from Amazon and they just arrived as I have been writing this blog post. So I’m in this for a few bucks at this point.
I don’t know why but I am more excited than nervous. I am also so happy that I have some spirit coming back and my ambivalence is leaving even more. I feel a spark inside that I hadn’t felt very much in a while. When it flickered every now and then I just wanted it to stay on. It might be a while but I think it will.
I never wanted to lose the spark and I never thought I would become ambivalent and lethargic about so many things. I have always been a go go person. But I have been left with a less frantic version of myself- and as I wrote in my cancer blog this week- some of the changes that have occurred have been very good ones for me and my family. But the ambivalence bother me. Is it depression? Well maybe- but mild at best. Its more like having feet in quicksand. I have felt like maybe I am in a redefining point of my life. So maybe some of the ambivalence will be a catalyst for making some needed changes in my life. My nature isn’t to be wishy washy – it has always been to make a choice and get the job done. I could take on many things at once–now I find that overwhelming and often times pointless. Maybe this is the point – maybe we hit walls like this in our lives because it is time to make changes. Maybe as we make those changes some of the spark begins to return- maybe for old things and maybe for new things–(I have fallen in love with baseball- but that is for another post). All I can say is I am so glad that I got a spark again with photography. I feel alive when I think of this project of choosing and matting and entering them – and then hoping maybe a judge likes what he sees. It is fun – it is challenging….
Funny thing is that I expect to ribbon in a category (I am allowed to enter five). It’s not cockiness at all. Though I’m not sure what it is because I know I’m up against steep competition but I just feel good about it. And honestly if I don’t win a thing it won’t crush me either. I already won this one because my feet came out of the quicksand for a time and I felt alive – and that is what is most important.
Thanks for reading.
One thought on “On entering a photo contest….”
Good for you….and I see some awesome shots here! Best of luck!