A few years after we moved here, we attended the County Fair with our very young Boyo. In those days, which seem so long ago but in reality were only about five years ago, I was making pepper jelly and pesto from my garden, taking pictures with my new Nikon D60, and all sorts of fun stuff like that.
Growing up I went to fairs with my folks. State fair mostly, and we looked at cattle and sheep and chickens. All sorts of things that us city type kids couldn't just walk outside into the front yard and see. There were also buildings with other neat stuff in them, but since we were a Hereford family, fair time was focused on animals. It didn't hurt that I've always been a critter fan, and that for a couple years my Opa was still showing cattle. One of my fondest memories was cuddling up next to a large orange bovine and listening to it chew cud and breathe as I leaned against her.
Anyway, when we first visited our county fair, I mentioned to the wife that it might be fun to do something that could be entered. A jelly or something. And every year since, as we walk through the buildings and see all of the neat things that people in our communities do, and see all of the animals, too, I keep thinking that one day I'll actually enter something in the fair.
Well, this year was the year to fish or cut bait, so to speak. So I entered a couple of pictures in the running.
The first was one of the first pictures I took with my Nikon after I first got it. A thunderstorm had cruised through, and I was outside in the morning sunlight and saw some rain leftover on one of the day lilies planted all around our house. I was playing with the camera and getting the feel of it when I snapped this shot...
It instantly became one of my favorites, and although admittedly it is not a 'guy's' kind of picture, I thought the sunlight on the rain was quite beautiful. So that one is in the running in the "flowers" category.
For the second picture I wanted to enter one of my dragonfly shots. The trouble was that I have taken a LOT of pictures of dragonflies, and I could only enter one in this category. So I spent a few days gathering together all of my personal favorites, then eliminating any that had focus problems or other blaring issues. I showed the remainder to the Wife, who pointed out that only a few of them looked like dragonflies as the general public thinks of them. To wit, obelisking or mating wheels may seem perfectly normal to us odonate enthusiasts, but some people might wonder just what the heck was wrong with them. So we narrowed it down to a few more traditional dragonfly shots. The one I chose ended up being this one...
Which I like because A) It's a decent shot, and B) It was the first dragonfly that the Boyo and I could remember the name of without even trying. So it's hanging in the exhibit too.
I went to a hobby shop and got pre cut matting for the pictures and spent an hour or so putting everything together. It was really fun. I have not printed out any of my pictures before, and I gotta brag a little, they look pretty cool in full 8x10 mode!
When I went to drop of the pictures, I was helped by a very friendly woman who seemed to be in charge. Not having done this before, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. But it wasn't rocket science. I had to affix a tag to my pictures and hang them in the proper category areas.
Unfortunately for one of the other exhibitors, it was a little too much like rocket science. She was in a tizzy taping hangers to her photo mounts, taping photos to mounts, in short, doing all of the things I though were supposed to be done before I submitted the pictures. She was also regaling anyone who would listen about how she had just completed a photography class at the local community college, which by her tone and general arrogance I inferred must be a Pretty Big Deal. Her photos were in focus at least, although I couldn't identify what they were photo's of for the most part. Very Artsy.
I made the unforgivable error of reaching for the scotch tape that was on the table to put my little tags on my pictures though. She and her assistant (son? boyfriend? I couldn't tell) gave me a haughty look and he grabbed the dispenser and handed me little pieces of tape. I was too amused to be angered by this. They took themselves So Seriously. It reminded me of all of the "poets" that were in my poetry class back in college. So much drama and self importance.
I had the Boyo with me, and he mentioned that he hoped that I won. I told him that win or lose, it was fun just putting it all together and entering it. He smiled at me and I reminded him that there were a whole lot of things in the world that needed to be taken seriously. But entering something in a fair was not one of them. He nodded and I knew he understood. I do love that kid.
Judging will be done tomorrow morning. We are going as a family on Tuesday to see the stuff at the fair. If we get to the building with the pictures in it, we'll see how I did. If not, no biggie. I just want to see the Herefords!
Here are the runner up dragonfly photos.
I did print out the Halloween Skimmer (the orange one) so I could have a practice picture to mount, and it looks pretty cool.
What do you think? Did I choose the right one?