I have been on a nice winning streak the last couple of months and one of my personal growth action items is to share more (good and bad!). I had been in the worst photography rut I’ve ever experienced since getting my first DSLR in 2008. It started in March when I went out to shoot the wildflowers and hated all of my images. I picked up my camera less and less, stopped posting everywhere, and basically just retreated. That all coincided with Anna going through the worst behavioral regression she’d ever experienced. Once she got on the right medication and got turned around (mid-summer is when things really got better for her), I wanted to start shooting again. But you know, photography is like any other hobby; it takes practice to grow your skills and that means shooting frequently. I was rusty and needed practice. So I’ve been shooting quite a bit more lately and it’s time to share!
The New Braunfels Photographic Society (NBPS) holds monthly assignment competitions (I haven’t shared any of those this year, have I?). For the month of July, the assignment theme was macro. I got an incredible shot of my mom’s cat, Kitty McGee, sitting at the window, wistfully looking outside. You can see the whole outside world reflected in Kitty’s eye. This photo won Photo of the Month for July and I got a 16×20 print from Digital Pro Lab.
Don’t Mind Me
Then in August I had two images accepted into Naturescapes, a juried exhibit in San Marcos that celebrates our Central Texas natural areas. At the Artist’s Reception, I was delighted to receive an Award of Excellence from the juror, Jason Weingart, for this image, Don’t Mind Me. This award also came with a $50 check! If you are in the Central Texas area, stop by the San Marcos Activity Center to see my images hanging until the end of October (sorry I didn’t get this post published until the last day of this exhibit…oops!).
The New Braunfels Photographic Society (of which I was elected Social Media Director earlier this year… something else that I failed to share!) participated in the statewide FOTOSeptiembre exhibition sponsored by Digital Pro Lab. We were invited to submit four images to hang at the New Braunfels Convention Center for the month of September. Judges from the Photographic Society of America critiqued each image and gave it a rank of 1-9. Three of my images (Pause, Serenity, Hairstreak on its Side) scored an 8 and one scored a 9. The image that scored a 9 also won First Place for the exhibit and got me a $100 gift card to FinerWorks. That image was… Don’t Mind Me, shown above!
The biggest win I’ve had was a couple of weeks ago. I participated in the 7th Annual San Antonio Photo Tournament on Sunday, October 13th, 2019 sponsored by Landers Photography School. There were about 125 photographers competing live… shooting jpg mode in 15 different categories at A&M San Antonio. We arrived at 8 am, got instructions, then had about three hours to wander and shoot. Then we chose which image we wanted to submit for which category and waited for judges to cull the nearly 1500 photos down to 5 winners for each category (3 honorable mentions, 2nd place, and 1st place). I was thrilled to learn that I won 1st place for the category of Abstract!
But wait…. there’s more! At the end of the Photo Tournament, led by a very dynamic Jim Landers (pictured to the left of me above), last year’s winner looks at all of the 1st and 2nd place winners of each category and chooses the top three images for the whole competition. During the announcement of the final winners at the tournament, there was a bit of confusion and it was announced that I finished in 3rd place overall but… in fact, I finished in 2nd place!!! (Totes not a big deal, I think the prize packages were quite similar.) Here is a link to all the winning photos: 7th Annual San Antonio Photo Tournament Winners.
I’ll do a full blog post later about the Tournament, sharing all of my images and what the experience was like… it was a lot more fun than I anticipated. I enjoyed the challenge and winning was a bonus. I think some of my photos were really damn good too! Jim and his team provided an awesome goody bag with tons of coupons to local businesses. For winning 1st place in Abstract, prizes included: a 16×20 fine art print from Digital Pro Lab, $15 to FinerWorks, $25 to MPix, $100 to Landers Photography School, and a copy of AutoFX software. For winning 3rd place (not sure what 2nd place should’ve gotten me), prizes included: a 16×20 floating framed gallery wrapped canvas from Digital Pro Lab, a camera bag from ThinkTank, day passes for 2 to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, and a season’s pass (one year of access to workshops, classes, and seminars) to Landers Photography School. Since that makes my $100 gift card redundant, I’m going to gift that our NBPS photo of the year winner in January.
The last couple of months have done wonders for my artistic soul. I feel reenergized and ready to shoot and share regularly again. I’ve taken a more active role at New Braunfels Photographic Society and I’m enjoying this respite of happiness for myself and my children. There is always life stress (Curtis is going through it at the moment), but overall, things are very good and I am very grateful. Thanks for sharing these moments of celebration with me!!! I’ve missed you all. <3