Well... It's almost upon us... The first Salon of the Fall 2018 season is this Thursday. I hope by now that you've entered some of your finest work and are looking forward, like I am, to seeing what everyone was able to capture during the break.
This blog's Philosophical Question is, Why is competition necessary for a photographer?
That's right, I said NECESSARY! I really think that becoming and excellent photographer takes:
1. Learning the techniques of photography. (Which is why we have education nights)
2. Learning what makes something artistic. (Get a book on the old masters of painting and other forms of art, go to museums, peruse the web...)
3. Learning how to capture the light... or create it if you don't have what you want.
4. Entering a competition to see how your photo's stack up.
5. Practicing your craft.
6. Repeating all these steps again and again.
Photography is a form of visual media that tells a story or sends a message. The competition aspect allows you to see how well you've sent that message, TO THAT JUDGE. Yes, there is a subjective opinion by the judge about how you've done, but you usually get feedback on what you could have done better as well. In that feedback comes the learning and the ability to get better at the craft of photography.
The first year that I entered my photo's in the salons, I think that I recieved 1 honorable mention. The second year, I did much better and now I do pretty well at it.
What I know, from personal experience, is that my photography has improved dramatically since I started entering competitions and that I really enjoy winning awards with my photographs. That's not to say that I've wasn't disappointed when my "Super Stupendous Photograph" didn't win that month, but you can re-enter it and see what someone else thinks and even though it didn't win at the club level, it may get chosen to go on to the N4C competition and win there.
If you have been following photography for any length of time, you know that PhotoKina, the every other year, photo extravaganza has just ended for 2018. This is the showcase where most of the photo companies release their new gear and show it off. There were some very interesting releases which are too numerous to mention, but the big news this year was Full Frame Mirrorless cameras from Panasonic, Canon, and Nikon as well as another 100mp medium format sensor that was released. Just Google PhotoKina 2018 and you can see all the info there and pick the products in which you are interested.
Get a rocket blower and keep it in your camera bag.
There have been many times where I thought that I would need to use liquid and a cloth to clean my lens, or have a professional sensor cleaning for my camera due to dust spots, when all I had to do was hit them with my rocket blower and it took care of the problem.
A rocket blower is just what it sounds like. A small bulb blower with fins that make it look like a rocket. The fins help it stand upright on a desk or dashboard.
Get a large enough one that you can deliver a fairly good blast of air, and make sure you don't touch the sensor or the lens with the tip when you are squeezing the blower. Then tip the body of your camera or lens down so the dust can exit and hit it with couple of good puffs and problem usually solved.
I also like to use it when switching lenses as a preventative measure.
Meet up Opportunities:
Lonnie Sager and I had a great time going out to Maplewood Park in Pelican Rapids Last weekend and shooting the Fall Colors. I imagine they will still be pretty good this weekend so if anyone is interested in going, please communicate with others from the club.
So, Hope to see you all at the Salon this Thursday and good luck.