First Place In Fine Art at State Fair

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.

My wife and daughter both entered this year. My daughter did well last year (including Best of Show), and that shamed my wife into entering this year. Spotted Tori’s first- she got a blue ribbon for Portrait. Her second one did not place. Then I found my wife’s picture- she won a Second. I turned around and saw my black & whites. I NEVER win at black & white. I don’;t understand black & white. I got an honorable mention.

first-place-in-fine-art-at-state-fairI competed in the Professional Photographer category this year. That’s fair, right? I got Second in “Action” and “Unusual”… and my Portrait did not place. But the big one to me is the Fine Art category. Looks like I did pretty good- my “The Last Picture Show” placed first! I had a second piece I thought had a better shot at Fine Art- especially because it was in color- but this piece had that feeling to me. I guess that feeling showed…

The day I shot Fly Geyser, I got up and midnight to drive to the geyser in time for sunrise. I left the geyser area around 8 AM, and headed south through Nevada. As I was driving, I spotted the old drive-in. But I missed the turn and kept driving. But the idea of an old drive-in kept gnawing at me… mile after mile… and so 5 miles on, I turned around and headed back.

I shot for about 15 minutes, in the projection booth, around. It was ok, but nothing was really happening. But I felt sure there was a picture here, I just had to find it. Alas, there were no speakers or even poles that those speakers hung on. But then I found the old front seat of a car… and I KNEW I had my image.

As with the other image I submitted to Fine Art (which did not place, BTW!), I knew the instant the shutter closed I was entering this image in Fine Art at the fair. I just felt that was where it was headed. I somehow can always tell the good ones right when I press the button. Turning this one black and white (which I knew I would do when I shot it) was about all the Photoshop this one needed.

A BIG Thank You to my framer Bonnie at The Little Frame Shop, who did an incredible job on this framing. At first we just matted it in black, which sounded good at the time. But when we saw it, the black just sucked all the lifer out of the image. It SUCKED! Since there is ever so slightly some bluish-purple in the image (intentionally!), we decided to go light and dark around the piece, with grey matts that went slightly purple. We found a perfect sample, only to discover that it was sun-bleached and all wrong. But we had that idea…. and to make it happen, Bonnie actually tinted existing matts with pastel chalk to get the perfect shades. It worked- and WE pulled out a first because of it! (Take a look at the inline image above and see how perfect the shades of those matts are!)

Oh. And my daughters last picture…. Best of Show. Again. Her second in two years. She is my new competition!

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