Another UB Competition in the Books

It’s times like these I truly appreciate it when I get ambitious early in the month and crank out most of the quota before … well … today.  Par for course, I’ve been busy this month with some projects, training and even birding with my brother.  The good news is Project Auuurrnooold is coming along nicely.  The drop ceiling is going in much easier now that I’ve had one room to learn on.  Without a doubt, a third hand is clearly the next evolution stop.  To cap off this month we have the sweep in non-birding posts.  Thanks to Ron getting sidetracked on insects I have a little extra time before upping the bird list.  Besides, you want to hear about this year’s UB contest results don’tcha!?!

Sure you do.  Linda’s year of being the UB had come to a close.  From an assessment perspective she definitely gets kudos for driving me to birding locations both intra and inter state and even managed to get me some cool +1’s to add to the Bird List.  She did such a good job that I’ll even overlook a little incident in the Georgia Swamps.  There will be more on that trip in the future but as a teaser – Linda ..err, the 2014/2015 UB abandoned me out in the field.  Rather than stay with me and keep an eye on an alligator that was sizing me up for lunch, she ran.  She literally left me there as Gate Bait.  The UB guidelines are still being painstakingly reviewed, but I am pretty sure that might qualify as a violation resulting in defaulting another year of UB!

Fortunately, we do not need to wait around for the results of that review because this year’s contests came out favorable to yours truly.  This year we added a new venue to the competition – the Princeville IL. Fine Art Fair focused on artist in the area.  Each of us submitted entries into that event (my Cardinal and I think Linda entered a couple of her Jubilee pictures).

That event netted me a first place and Linda a got a second, third and a fourth.  A Doerfler sweep and 1 major point for me in the UB Competition.

2015 Photography Competition

Hit the jump to see how the rest of the results came out!

Continue reading Another UB Competition in the Books

2013 UB NOT ME

I know the anticipation had been building out there for this particular post.   Well, the wait is over!  I can finally say the results of this year’s Photography Contest Circuit are now in.  For those not familiar with the blog, this is a high stakes competition that puts a significant amount of stress around here at Life Intrigued.  Come judging time, the tension gets so thick you could cut it with a matte cutter.  That tension is a direct result of the consequences of “losing” the competition – not so much how our pictures do against the rest of the entries (although that is definitely nice), but rather how we do AGAINST each other.  Generally there is not a lot of true competitions in the house because we tend to enjoy different activities which prevents such marriage destruction.. I mean healthy competition.  However, when it comes to Photography, it’s a bloodthirsty endeavor drenched in treachery, deception. gamesmanship  and a hell of a lot of sarcasm.  Okay, okay, maybe it isn’t that hostile (except in the case of sarcasm), but losing does cause a lot of work until the next cycle of contests come around.  Nothing is more demeaning that having to hold the umbrella for the “winning” photographer for a whole year.  As a result, we bring our very best out to play.

The 2013 Photography Contest Circuit results are …. drum roll please .. Brian 3 and Linda 0  (streamers, confetti, fireworks maybe even a parade if I can convince the Mayor).

That’s right, this year I stepped up my game (Linda will probably argue rather that the printers caused her to step back) and all my hard work paid off.  The best part of this is there is no room for any controversy and ANY discussion on scoring.  Cut and dried – me big winna!  Based on all the grief and CONSTANT explaining I had to do in the previous contests, I decided make sure I removed all possible doubt and naysayers (and you know who you are) and simply conform to their “supposed” scoring system.  So, let’s wait no longer.  Here are my results from the Knox County Fair:

Let’s see what we have here boys and girls.  First off we have one of two black and white entries.  I decided to put a little more work into my Allerton Park statue (originally aired at link here) and had it reprinted.  Cut down the base a little and cropped it a little tighter – I personally really like how it looks like the statue bent to fit into the frame.  Judges gave it a very respectable 3rd place.  Moving to the right is one of the color animal entries.  The workers at the HOI fair commented this was a kid favorite at their fair.  Again, the judges felt Mr. Lizard (link here) was worthy of a 3rd place.  Shifting down we have the other black and white entry which should be familiar to all the blog faithful.    There was a lot of debate on which one of the wolf pictures to enter based on the results at the HOI fair and my choice of the other color animal I went with the wolf in the weeds shot (link here).  Apparently a good choice since the judges bestowed a 1st place ribbon.  Definitely warming up to this one and based on the fact the HOI fair picked a similar (and personal opinion inferior) B&W wolf shot for Honorable Mention (it was actually in a smaller print size category).  Lastly, moving to the right… what is that first place ribbon doing nestled among the large and flamboyant purple ribbon?  How nice of you to notice (hehehe) that would be the BEST IN SHOW ribbon that is given to the best picture among all the other category 1st place ribbons.  Now this particular shot hasn’t been featured on the blog yet (didn’t want to reveal to Linda my ace in the hole before the competition – ummm.. actually not the case, I am just waaaaay behind on processing but pulled this one out from the Florida trip because I thought it had a pretty good chance.  Luckily I was able to maintain my ownership of the bird category and the purple ribbon put an exclamation mark on it.  Not a bad haul eh?

Hit the jump to see the rest of the results!

Continue reading 2013 UB NOT ME

The 2012 UB Results Are In

UPDATED 8/18/12 – see jump for further details based on biased comments

Well, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag, quell the suspense and end the betting.  That’s right, the results of the 2012 U.B. Competition are now compiled and ready for the reveal.  Sadly, I must admit that once again Linda and I were shut out of the ribbons in the local Heart of Illinois Fair Photography Contest.  The good news for me is that my Honorable Mention earned previously at this prestigious competition still reigns as the big pond champ and therefore is the overriding decider for any close results between us in little pond events.  And let’s just say that previous win did come into play in what turned out to be a close race.  As is customary, we picked up what remained of our confidence from the HOI fair and headed on up to the Knox County Fair.  Historically, we have done quite well at this smaller venue and we were optimistic with this year’s batch.  Well, I was until Linda revealed she actually stayed behind on picture drop off day to help “arrange” the pictures for them.  As she was telling me this she had a sly smile and evil glint in her eye.  This was clearly tampering putting the whole competition under formal protest.

After work we headed up to see how the judging went.  Note, a ruling on the protest had not been made yet but it would not matter if I came out ahead.  Turns out, it was really close this year!  Here are my entries.

Not bad eh?  Not one, not two, but three first places, only one 2nd place and what turned out to be a tipping point – one third.  One of my pictures (and only one for me) did get blanked.  I am not sure what the deal is, but these photography judges have no love for B&W Raven pictures.  It isn’t pictured above, but I personally think it is a great shot with a nice gray range.  The moth was in the Insects category, the two birds were obviously in the Birds category and the squirrel and bear shots were in the Wildlife category.  The latter took us awhile to figure out since there was another category called Animals which we eventually decided (correctly) was for pets and domesticated animals.  This is probably a good time to point out that I let Linda basically pick the shots I entered into the HOI Fair.  It occurred to me (after the fact) that there was waaaaay to much at stake to let my opponent choose my entries – we all know how devious she is!  Learning from my mistake, I went back picked my own entries and re-worked some of the post processing.   The Stilt, Moth, Squirrel and Bear were all new entries for this fair.  The Ravens in love shot was a carryover (but Linda was doing her best to get me to replace it with an inferior shot).  All turned out to be good decisions.  Another important point I’ll make is Linda decided to encroach in my domain and enter the Wildlife category with her Tiger pictures.  Let’s just say my little squirrel ate it for lunch.

Like I mentioned earlier it was a close competition but the deciding factor came on pick up day.  While we were gathering up our pictures one of the expert photography critics was hanging out in the building (obviously waiting to see who we were) heard our name and unprompted turned and said “I really liked that shot of the moth!”  I politely thanked the expert and gave a great big smile towards Linda.  Thank you for the kind comments but more importantly thank you for handing Linda the umbrella for another year.

She is definitely stepping up her game and keeping me on my toes.  I might have to pull out the big guns next year to stay on top.  By the way, we were a little worried when we went to pick up our pictures.  Another individual noticed us stacking up our pictures and recognized which ones we were picking up – he proceeded to tell everyone we were the Doerflers – our eyes started darting around anticipating a pitchfork carrying crowd to come and run us out their county.  It turned out all good, they even thanked us for participating in the categories that actually grew this year.  We loaded up the car, went over and picked up our winnings and called it another successful contest season — well, one of us was feeling more successful than the other hehehehe.

Continue reading The 2012 UB Results Are In

Time to Print Another U.B. Shirt

Does anyone recall that wonderful day last year when yours truly was gloating about success at the local photography contest.  This major award (ummm, okay, it was just an honorable mention, but can you say F*R*A*G*EE*L*EE ).   This of course was followed soon by a devastating moment in my photographic history when my wife entered her GRluEAckT shot of a bee approaching a sunflower into another (smaller venue) local fair.  The outcome of that was a Best in Show for her efforts.  Although I did pretty well there as well, I had to accept my fate and put on the Umbrella B*tch shirt for the year.  Well, that was one long year folks and it was time to put it all on the line again.  First off was the HOI Fair (the larger venue I scored on the year before).  Sadly, we were both shut out at that event (everybody say “AHHHHHH”).  All was not lost for the Knox County Fair was soon to follow, but I was considered the underdog based on last year’s results.

Last week we headed out to the fair to see how our pictures did.  The fate of Umbrella B*tch was hinging on this event so we were both a little nervous.  Unfortunately for us, an awesome picture of a fox took the Best in Show.  Our hats off to that photographer for a fantastic job.   We definitely do not mind losing to quality (now that out of focus B&W at the HOI… well, that’s a different story).    So now the HOI event was taken out of the decision process and the Best in Show was nixed.  The good news is we ended up doing quite well in a number of categories.  In fact, Linda and I each took two first places.

Linda scored with her Zion (I think that is where it was taken) water silk and her portrait she took at her niece’s wedding reception.  Ironically, she really didn’t think that shot was that great, but I really like the composition and you can’t tell it in this shot, but there is some grain to it that goes well with the period shot.  Apparently the judges agreed with me.  I took first for my winter cardinal shot and a macro shot I took of a praying mantis.  That cardinal shot finally gets some appreciation ( it is probably one of my favorite shots with the red of the bird contrasting nicely with the snow around it).  Linda paid back the favor on the praying mantis.  I was unsure about entering that macro, but Linda really liked it and forced me to enter it – I owe her a thanks.  With each of us getting two first places finishes, that U.B. decision criteria was thrown out too.

Hit the link to read to see how the 2011 U.B. decision process plays out

Continue reading Time to Print Another U.B. Shirt