I’ve decided to post about my latest adventure.  It’s not about a trip or hang gliding or my dog or birds.  It’s about the decision and process of submitting photos for a contest for the first time.

A few months ago, it would not have occurred to me to submit photos to a contest.  I thought you submit photos to a contest when you think your photos are perfect.  I don’t think my photos are perfect.  I don’t even think they’re contest worthy.  But a couple of things happened to make me reconsider.

First, I went to my first meeting of the Photographic Society of Chattanooga, which happened to also be the awards ceremony for the youth photographers contest.  I still haven’t figured out exactly what that’s all about, but it seems like they have a fantastic program to get young people excited about photography and they offer scholarships for awards.  I watched the photos submitted for that contest and realized that it was largely impossible to sit in the audience and judge what any photo looked like.  I see this as a plus.

Second, I had a conversation with a photographer about my desire to get better at it and he suggested that getting the feedback from a contest submission would be a great way to learn.  I had never considered the possibility that feedback would be provided.

Third, I had a conversation with the folks who run the contests at PSC and was told that the photos are sent out to another group for judging and that they often provide very detailed information about why the photos were scored the way they were.

Fourth, I went to a casual critique at the home of a PSC member and they encouraged me to submit one of my photos to the contest.  This encouragement in combination with the groups gentle suggestions made me seriously consider submitting for the first time.

Finally, the theme for this quarter’s contest was “Sky.”  If there is anyone who has more sky photos in their photo library than I do, I feel sorry for them.  It happens to be one of my favorite subjects.

Having decided to enter, the next problem was culling through thousands of photos to find which ones I would submit to the contest.  I got the list down to about 120 after the first pass through this year’s photos.

On the second pass, the number dropped to something around 70.  By the time I left for Vermont, I had culled this down to just over 30.  But, it wasn’t until after I returned that I found any time to really decide which ones were worthy of submission.

I spent a lot of time considering the merits of each shot.  I spent very little time picking at the flaws.  I re-processed several of them in the process of deciding what I really had.

I’ve included may photos in today’s post.  I’ll let you decide when ones (3) I submitted.