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

Crap, Go Ahead and Pass that Back

Hey, does everyone remember my latest accomplishment on the photography front?  You know, the one where I am no longer bogged down by gopher duties.  Why don’t we let that accomplish settle in for a little bit… tick tick tick.  Oh hell, let’s relish it for a few more moments.. tick tick tick.  No that is a wonderful feeling and looking forward to basking in that glow for 5 long, long SECONDS.  My lovely wife was unable to let me have  a small and infrequent moment all to myself and felt compelled to let the air out of my ego with comments on my previous umbrella post.  Truth is, I was late getting to that post and in the meantime we had submitted a number of entries in the Knox County Fair Photography Contest.  Since our last entries in the fair, she also pulled a miracle shot out of her a.. I mean leveraged all her photography “skilz” to produce a pretty impressive picture.  As a result, we were once again head to head in competition with me holding on to bragging rights based on my strong showing (yea, I’m living it up as much as I can) at the Peoria County Fair.  We eventually made our way out to the fair to see how our efforts compared to the local offerings.  Any guesses on what the results were?

Well, the good news is the photo that won an Honorary Mention at the Peoria County Fair took a first place!  Of course, I also have to openly admit that Linda’s new photo also took a first place in her category.  Now for the kicker.  Her shot not only took a first place, it took Best in Show (as in top photo from all the entries) meaning technically she slightly out did me.  In case you are making your own quality judgments, keep in mind that on the right side of her sunflower picture at about the horizon is an approaching bee perfectly stilled with a Macro lens on full aperture.  Did she compose that shot and purposely plan to have that particular effect when she took the snap?  Was it planned with great scrutiny as to required timing and composition elements?  All elements, of course, with the outstanding photograph on the right.  Rather than drag this discussion out any longer than it already has between us, I’ll just man up and simply congratulate her on this achievement.  Oh, you might also like to know how the rest of our entries did.

In somewhat of a pleasant shocker, we made quite a ribbon haul.  I took a first with the awesome Tree picture and two thirds with my Twin Eagle picture and the B/W Raven.  Linda took a first with the Sunflower and Bridge (middle) shots along with seconds for her Waterfall image, the Watered Leaves and the B/W Rapids shot in the upper right.  The pink ribbon keeps staring back at me for the overall Best in Show.  Linda has been continually jabbing me with that accomplishment, which I could probably get over if she was not doing the poking with the end of her umbrella.  So, my triumph was short lived, but I have a bunch of new shots taken last Saturday along the Illinois River.  Shots that were planned, composed, required zoom  “skilz” and ISO wrestling… not that I am pointing that out for any reason.

Now to go find where the next Photo Contest is going to be at – and take note, this is probably the first time in a looooong time I finished my monthly quota so early.