2021 Photographic Competitions | Reflections

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This was my seventh year competing in photographic competitions. I usually think about what images I may enter throughout the year and then narrow down my favorites and try them out in Professional Photographers of South Carolina's annual print comp. Following PPA's rules, PPSC switched to a "thumbs up/thumbs down" system. Either it's a merit, or it's not - no more numbered scoring. Here are the images I entered at the state level:

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Results:

Waiting for a Wave - non-merit

Moment of Contemplation - merit

Falling - non-merit

Harvest Moon Rising - merit

She's Trouble - merit

Misty Morning on the Potomac - non-merit

Calm After the Storm - non-merit

Now I thought Misty Morning on the Potomac was a shoo-in for a merit, but only one judge out of five voted for it! Based on my scores I re-edited some of these and entered them at Districts. The feedback I got was: Moment of Contemplation - the hat is too bright. Calm After the Storm - Change the title, bring up the shadows, add some clarity. Waiting for a Wave - No one understood why a surfer would be at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool - No wave would ever come! They didn't get my "fish out of water" symbolism. Harvest Moon Rising - Nothing - entered as is. She's Trouble - a judge's favorite. No edits made Misty Morning on the Potomac - darker mat, get rid of "haze" (That's the mist!), watch dodging and burning marks on the trees, less sky.

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This was my final case for Districts. She's Trouble and Moment of Contemplation merited (sealed and moved on to IPC) and the other two did not merit. Having 2 sealed images at Districts meant I need to come up with 2 more for IPC. Oy! I re-edited the pink palm tree one and titled it "Lean on Me" - a suggestion by photographer friend, Paul Bryant. Then I went back in the archives and edited one from Perkins Cove in Maine and titled it "Misty Morning on the Cove".

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Neither one of these received a merit, but Moment of Contemplation did make it into the IPC Showcase Book! I've never had a Showcase image. Some years selection has been based on scoring and some years it's based on judge's favorites that did not get voted for Image Excellence. I still love "Lean on Me", which I took after a family beach session on Kiawah last summer. A crazy thunderstorm rolled in and I had to pull over in a parking lot to wait it out. After the rain stopped the whole sky turned orange and then pinkish-purple. I got out at one of the Kiawah Island golf courses and took several images of palm trees reflecting in a pond. I entered it in Charleston Magazine's annual photo contest "Images of Charleston" and retitled it "Pink Sky at Night". It was a top 12 finalist - thank you to everyone that voted!

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Northern Virginia Photographer  |  Sarah Goldman Photography

Arlington, VA