Picture (almost) Perfect
Like Tree7Likes
  • 3 Post By Sherpat
  • 1 Post By Black5
  • 1 Post By Black5
  • 1 Post By Black5
  • 1 Post By berni29

Thread: Picture (almost) Perfect

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    231

    Picture (almost) Perfect

    A few weeks ago I discovered that a photography club meets once a month in our town, so I went and checked them out. They meet in a large conference room at the town senior center where they can set up a large screen and project everyone's submitted photos for the month. That first time I went they had a guest speaker talking about the finer points of street photography, and after that they scrolled through everyone's pictures.

    The guest speaker was ok, but the follow-up presentation of members' photos.....zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    I couldn't believe it. There must have been 40 photos put up, one after the other, and after each one....dead silence. No discussion of the picture's merits by the members, no explanation of what was happening by the photographer. Just 30 or so people sitting with their arms crossed staring dully at the screen until it was over when they all put on their coats and left.

    What the heck? I thought these were supposed to be enthusiasts. Where was the enthusiasm?

    I decided to join anyway.

    Every month (I found out) the club posts a Theme, and the members are supposed to bring pictures representing that theme to the next meeting. When I inquired about membership they handed me an application, and also a sheet detailing what each month's theme would be. For April, it was "Transportation". I also had to pick what level photographer I was, Beginner, Intermediate, or Expert. I'm probably really a beginner, since this is my very first DSLR. But you know how men are. I chose intermediate. They'd never know.

    For the April meeting, then, I knew I'd be in for 2 hours of people staring glumly at picture after picture of cars, bicycles, horses, trains, and all the other obvious choices. But I came up with a plan: I was gonna submit 5 pictures (the maximum allowed), none of which on the surface seemed to be about transportation at all. Then I, a professional wordsmith who's not embarrassed to show it, would stand up and spin a tale around each of my pictures explaining why it actually did conform to The Theme. That would get conversations going amongst the peanut gallery, then others would do the same with their pictures, and all would be right with the world! I couldn't wait.

    So yesterday was the April meeting, my first as a paid member and contributor. I had my script for each photo memorized, and I was raring to go. I was gonna save the Vernon Camera Club single handed!

    Or so I thought.

    To my surprise there were easily twice as many people seated around the tables in the meeting room as there were the previous month. And they were all chattering away, lively as could be. What was going on...?

    Then the president of the club stood up. "Please sit down everyone" she said, "and if anyone hasn't submitted their entries yet, please do so now it you have them on a thumb drive. The judge will be here in a few moments."

    Entries? Judge? What was going on?

    I went trotting up to the president to find out.

    "Oh yes" she said. "This month is a competition event. I believe we ran out of notices when you were here last time, so you probably didn't know. But don't worry, I included all 5 of your pictures in the Intermediate category."

    WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

    NO!!

    *sigh*

    So not only was I not gonna be able to deliver my well crafted remarks to wild applause and guffaws of appreciative laughter, but my pictures were about to be judged against 60-odd others in a category that I shouldn't be in. Judged, I soon found out, by the soon-to-arrive guest professional photographer who has also been a professional photography judge since 1975. On top of that, during the judging no one was allowed to talk. I couldn't explain why my pictures really were about transportation, even if on the surface they didn't appear to be.

    I braced for impact.

    The pictures were put up on screen in random order, with no attribution as to photographer. That, at least, was good. Nobody would know it was me who put up all those pictures which seemed to not fit the Theme.

    First up were all the pictures in the Beginner category. I groaned. They all looked better than mine. The judge studied at each one in turn, discussing what he liked and didn't like, and giving it a score. At the end he put his favorite five up on screen together and decided on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place from them. Everybody clapped.

    Then came the Intermediates.

    My first picture was #7 in the cue. It went as badly as I thought.

    "What the hell is this?" said the judge. "I thought the theme of the competition was 'Transportation'. Didn't this member get the memo?" He gave my picture the lowest possible score.

    It the same reaction when my next picture popped up. And the next. And the next. I could tell the judge was getting more and more peeved every time he had to ask if someone didn't get the memo. I just sunk further into my chair and tried not to make eye contact.

    Finally, near the end of the pile, my last picture went up. It was a shot I took this past Christmas Eve. I'd gone into town to take pictures of Christmas decorations, and just as the sun was going down a commuter train from NYC pulled into the station. There was only one guy on the entire train, some poor schlub who had to go in on the holiday and was now finally going home. As soon as I spotted him I sprinted down the tracks as the train was pulling away, then laid down between the rails to get an interesting perspective and took the photo as he crossed the street, all alone. I had to rush it, and I didn't think it came out very well with a somewhat skewed horizon and other technical difficulties. But I included it anyway because I wanted to spin the tale about it to the audience. I expected to get shot down again.

    "Now THAT is a great picture" said the judge. "The guy in the photo is a little too dark - it took me a moment to spot him. But otherwise the composition is terrific, and it really conveys a story." He gave it the top mark possible.

    A few more photos, and then he put his top 5 up on screen.

    Mine was one of them.

    "Ok, let's take these two out" he said, swiping away two that weren't mine.

    Now there were three. I was guaranteed at least to get a ribbon!


    "Ok, this one is third", and he picked...not mine again!

    That left just me and some loser who shot a picture of a row of golf carts. I held my breath.

    The judge studied both pictures for a solid 2 minutes or so. Finally he said, "If the guy in the train picture wasn't quite so dark, it would have one. But he was, so I'm giving it 2nd place. First goes to the golf carts." Everybody applauded, and the president handed me my red 2nd Place ribbon. (BTW, it really was a very good golf cart picture. There was no shame losing to it.)

    After that he judged the Expert category, and those were some REALLY spectacular photos. The winning shot was far and away the class of the entire competition, and handily won both the Expert division and th "Best in Show" award. The judge said it was good enough to be displayed in a professional gallery, and I wouldn't argue.

    But...

    I got second place in the Intermediate category! Against63 other people! In my very first photography competition! A competition I didn't even know I'd entered, and with pictures I never would have entered if I'd known!

    Can you tell I'm a bit excited? I've got a room full of motorcycle racing and fencing competition trophies, but this stupid little red ribbon now draped over my desk makes me giggle with delight more than anything I've won in quite some years. Life is funny, huh?

    All the other meetings scheduled for this year are just regular ol' Show-n-Tell stuff with a few guest speakers and an outing or two. Except one. Later in the fall it looks like they're gonna have one more competition. And when the do, that blue First Place ribbon will be mine! MINE, I say! BWAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!

    Not that I care, of course. I'm too suave and sophisticated for that.

    BWAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    :)

    Name:  Guy Crossing Tracks.jpg
Views: 71
Size:  84.8 KB
    Name:  2nd Place Ribbon.jpg
Views: 68
Size:  176.5 KB
    Slm643, ZM-73 and oso2276 like this.
    Fiat vox!

  2. #2
    Member Black5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,377

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    That's a great picture of a ribbon...





    Well done with the other one as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar_917 View Post
    ^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
    So many watches, So little time...
    Sherpat likes this.
    So many watches, so little time...


  3. #3
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    231

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Black5 View Post
    That's a great picture of a ribbon...
    Thanks very much! I'm actually quite thrilled to hear you say that. The primary reason I got that camera was (is) to take high quality shots of my wife's products for inclusion in catalogs, and on her packages. I've been working really hard on learning product photography. That ribbon shot is two soft boxes to the right, a halo light, and a reduced bounce flash to fill shadows. It's fun, but sometimes my brain hurts :)
    Fiat vox!

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Black5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,377

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpat View Post
    Thanks very much! I'm actually quite thrilled to hear you say that. The primary reason I got that camera was (is) to take high quality shots of my wife's products for inclusion in catalogs, and on her packages. I've been working really hard on learning product photography. That ribbon shot is two soft boxes to the right, a halo light, and a reduced bounce flash to fill shadows. It's fun, but sometimes my brain hurts :)
    As a total photography ignoramus, my opinion isn't really worth much.

    But I originally thought the ribbon was a stock photo taken by a pro...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar_917 View Post
    ^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
    So many watches, So little time...
    Sherpat likes this.
    So many watches, so little time...


  6. #5
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    231

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Black5 View Post
    As a total photography ignoramus, my opinion isn't really worth much.

    But I originally thought the ribbon was a stock photo taken by a pro...



    So many watches, So little time...
    I can't tell you how much that means to me. And I thought my head couldn't get any fatter, lol....

    Thank you :)
    Fiat vox!

  7. #6
    Member Black5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,377

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpat View Post
    I can't tell you how much that means to me. And I thought my head couldn't get any fatter, lol....

    Thank you :)
    Don’t get too excited...

    I did explain that I know diddly squat about photography.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar_917 View Post
    ^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
    So many watches, So little time...
    Sherpat likes this.
    So many watches, so little time...


  8. #7
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    231

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Black5 View Post
    Don’t get too excited...

    I did explain that I know diddly squat about photography.



    So many watches, So little time...
    HAHA! I'm married. ANY compliment I get these days gets instantly magnified, regardless. Beggers/choosers, and all that :)
    Fiat vox!

  9. #8
    Member berni29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,091

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Hello

    Great story, and well done. On both the original photo and the ribbon!

    Thanks for posting!

    Berni


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sherpat likes this.

  10. #9
    Member Sherpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    231

    Re: Picture (almost) Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by berni29 View Post
    Hello

    Great story, and well done. On both the original photo and the ribbon!

    Thanks for posting!

    Berni
    Thanks very much, Berni!
    Fiat vox!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Replies: 10
      Last Post: January 8th, 2011, 11:52
    2. almost perfect watch....
      By novedl in forum Public Forum
      Replies: 54
      Last Post: May 13th, 2010, 22:06
    3. FS: Nearly all of my Vintage Seiko (almost perfect NOS condition) collection...
      By reficul_x in forum Watches - Private sellers and Sponsors
      Replies: 3
      Last Post: November 8th, 2008, 18:05
    4. Got it today in the mail: Almost Perfect GW5600
      By Harryhausen in forum Casio G-Shock
      Replies: 3
      Last Post: July 29th, 2008, 00:23
    5. FS: Zenith El Primero Chrono (used in Rolex Daytonas!)Almost PERFECT condition
      By mfhark in forum Watches - Private sellers and Sponsors
      Replies: 2
      Last Post: July 13th, 2008, 03:35

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •