enter your picture in a few contests.

I have no problem waking early in the morning, I always have and being too old to change I always will. Normally I am anxious to get out of the house to let my curiosity run wild. Unless there is weather out there, Skunk Puppy and I are resistant to occupy any space that is not 70ºf. Actually it’s rain, wind and freezing cold we avoid. Today was one of those days, it was the 12mph wind keeping us under the roof.

The wind affects the wild ones also but to what degree is debatable, the birds appear to actually have fun playing games in it. The Seagulls (sorry Gulls) form flocks dodging, pecking and bumping one another. When the waves form whitecaps the fishing is futile, I can’t imagine them being able to see fish under the surface. It does however make for good picture taking opportunities. All the same rules apply, at noon with the Sun straight up the shadows will still cover the eyes.

It takes planning for them to be taken; then successfully editing them easily. Easily may be the wrong word, the goal is to take images then with minimal editing they are ready to post. Like everything else in this world efforts must start near perfectly to end up perfect. All of the effort discovering your camera pays off the instant the shutter button is snapped.

There are times we merely take pictures, I can’t really explain this one an old boat sink that is really quite gross. But there may be a time for it to be of use, perhaps for entering into a low level contest. Contests are good to enter no matter a person’s skill level, at least it has been for me.

Entering them affords the photographer the opportunity to gauge his/her work compared to others. It presents the opportunity to study the new trends, what’s popular and techniques others are developing. A rank of being in the lower 10% tells me my game needs to be improved, but then again the top 10% says the same thing. The flower picture has not ranked high at all, which leaves one comparing to others to figure out why.

This is a new image taken just yesterday so it doesn’t have any mileage on it yet, I’m not too sure it ever will. There are dozens of Herons, Egret and Hummingbirds entered into each wildlife or nature contest I have been in. To say the competition is tough is a massive understatement, it is torturous. Even at that when comparing mine which may rank in the top 30% we can see the reasons they prevail and our offerings lag behind.

The interesting aspect about comparing images is it ends up being obvious what the differences are. Mostly it’s focusing, the card the pros trump us with is skill in focusing. Being able to capture every fine detail, every hair, feather or scale in it’s natural color. Then when combined with the composition of the entire snapshot a winner may emerge. But many contests, at least the ones I enter, are peer judged. Judgement by peers is the most rewarding type of contest, their comments are the gold standard as far as I’m concerned. When a peer comments my editing is a bit too much to handle then give the reasons why it is a constructive experience.

Contests are OK from my perspective, I’m not a real outgoing person so it was a bit hard for me to get started but once I did it became fun in short order. If you are a photographer at any level it may do you good to find a website to join and start competing. I belong to Viewbug, check it out, I have no affiliation to it at all; my interest is seeing you excel.

Jacque Lebec Flutter Shutter

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