I just got back from the Utah State Fair… I just couldn’t wait to see the results. I felt I had some good images in the competition, and I really was excited to see how they did. Like a kid the night before Christmas, my friend Ryan Smith said. Yep agreed my wife. So off I went, snaking across the floor and seeing how things played out.
Just after returning from the Oregon Coast shoots last week, I was notified that the winners of Best of State had been announced, and my personal and landscape work won Best of State for Nature Photography. Just being nominated is incredible, but to win Best of State has my head spinning. The Best of State Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses in Utah. They judge the body of work of an artist, not just a single image. They also looks at one’s contributions to the state of Utah, and whether your work adds to making Utah a better place. To me, this award is so much more than winning something for taking one good picture; this is about a continued high standard for quality and creativity, and for giving back to the community.
One of my favorite pictures from last year just won it’s first online award. Ice Floe- a shot I made just before Christmas at the end of 2016- was just chosen as the Grand Winner of the Beautiful Utah Photo Challenge on ViewBug. As I looked over the images in competition, I see a lot of really well-made images. Utah is swollen with great places to shoot, and overflowing with those willing to shoot them. So to be picked out of all these wonderful images is an honor for me.
Well I entered the BYU Monte Bean Nature Photography Competition and Exhibition again this year. I have a fondness for this one. Its close by, there is some serious competition, and it is the first real competition I have ever entered. Lisa pushed me into this photo contest two years ago. I got a call the morning the show opened telling me I had one first place that year, and I was astounded- I had never really won a competition before, much less won! So, yes, I find this photo contest real close to me.
Like many photographers, I am a member of many photo sharing sites. That has many advantages- like it gets your pictures out there- but it has disadvantages, too. Like all the time it takes to post and repost… and repost. So I try to keep my sharing to what I consider the most important ones: 500px, Flickr, Ello, and of course InstaGram. And I have a gallery featuring my fine art for sale at Pixel.com. I invite you to follow me on any of those sites. But there is one other site I post to that I think is a little more than just a photo site- ViewBug.
I remember the disappointment I felt last year when I went to the Utah State Fair. A lot of my pictures did well, one even placed first… but the picture I felt strongest about wasn’t even hanging in the Fine Art gallery. Just as I was leaving, I turned back. There was a small panel at the front of the room I had almost missed, and it had about 5 pictures on it including my piece. My Ballerinas at the Photo Shoot was not in Fine Art because it won Best of Show in Fine Art Photography.Read More