What! No new photos this morning!? Sorry. I'm feeling distracted and restless. I'm sure after a few hours of working in the garage, my selected torture du jour, I'll feel far more inspired to sit at the computer and upload photos. So check back later.
In the meantime, I picked up a copy of our county fair premium book the other day. Deadline for filing entry forms comes up in about a week and a half, but since I'll be back on the road again (damn, now I'm gonna be singing Willie Nelson all day), I have to decide what to enter before I leave. Mainly what I want to enter this year is lots of my travel photos.
I entered photos a long time go and then, because it's a lot of work to make them the proper size and frame them all, I didn't enter them again until last year. They did really well. I won lots of ribbons that is. The premium money however, was probably just enough to pay for all the expense of blowing up all the images to 8X10. So I have to be a bit selective. I'm hoping some of the images I create will serve a double duty as both fair entries and then holiday or birthday gifts. I did that with a few last year and it worked great.
I learned a lot entering last year's photos. For example, no matter how many great photos you have in one class (category for you non fair goers), it makes no sense to enter them all since you are then competing against yourself. You might want to enter several, but after that there's that point of diminishing return. Too, some categories are more popular then others, so try to find a way to make a photo work in a category with less competition and you have more of a chance of getting a ribbon. Now, I did well even in the popular categories, so that's not to say you shouldn't enter those too.
The one thing you can't plan for is subjectivity. I entered a lot of photos last year and some I thought were a sure thing didn't place while others I just entered with a "what the heck" attitude took first place! And it doesn't help to keep in mind what the judge's preferences seemed to be last year as it might not be the same judge this year.
I've helped with the hanging and judging of the textiles and quilts (and sometimes the 4-H or junior entries, the canned and baked goods, the school project entries, the florals...) for ten years now and every year or so they switch judges. I think it's actually a rule they must do that, although even if it wasn't, it only makes sense. Too, the judge has to be someone from outside the county. Another good idea because I know that by now I could probably guess with a high degree of accuracy who entered what. It's a small community and there's a lot of us "regulars" who participate in the fair.
Some judges are great, others are dumber then a rock. (No offense to rocks btw, some rocks are quite wise in my not so ordinary opinion) Anyhoo, one year I remember that the quilt and textiles judge preferred neutral tones. Everything that won a ribbon was done in either beige, brown, tan, gray, or taupe. It was NOT a good year for several fair participants who were unfairly overlooked.
Every year I tell myself maybe I shouldn't go to all the trouble to enter because it is so much work and effort and stress. But every year I do because I know I'll feel like I totally missed out if I let it pass. One year I did pass, accidentally. I missed the deadline. By one day. Head bang. The fair was still fun but there just wasn't that sense of excitement, the thrill of anticipation, of feeling like I was part of it. I am unabashedly a fair junkie.
I'm off to the garage. To toss, sort, organize, fume (why did my husband think that throwing the giant holiday candy canes on a stack of snow tires and bicycles was a GOOD idea!? And I distinctly remember using my most threatening voice when I asked him to HANG them in the rafters where they are properly stored), and if I'm lucky, sort through some ideas for the fair.