For the past few years I have helped judge the adult photo contest at the Goshen Fair. Every year there are a few really stand out images. Composition, exposure, subject, tonal range. Some stand out for the lack of these elements. The ones that have it really jump out.
There are always some surprises. The winner of the "My Friends & Family" was a silhouette of four people sitting on a rock ledge in the woods. Overall it was a bit dark. But dark in a good way. It was exposed well. There was tonal range. There was a shaft of sunlight on one of the people. And there was a little rippled pool of water behind them reflecting them. Not the traditional idea for the category. But it was the best image.
What I come away with is a reminder that what I do does not come easily to everyone. And even though photography is so much more accessible with the advent of digital an a camera in nearly every phone, it has not made everyone a photographer. (Yeah, job security?...)
It also makes me how aware subjective photography is. I am very picky about entering any photo contest. In fact I haven't entered one in years. I have come to realize how much of a disservice I have been doing to myself. If I don't put my name out there I have less of a chance of being noticed.
Perhaps this is the problem, I don't enjoy tooting my own horn. I have known many people who will tell you they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. And the majority have the attitude to go with that. I am so tired of bad behavior being rewarded. (This being said in the interest of full disclosure, my guilty pleasure is The Real Housewives of...)
So my resolution from now on is to make my work available for more eyes to see. Those from outside my regular circle. Rejection be damned!