Photography Master’s Cup 2nd Place, Americana Category “Desolate Road”

Earlier this month, I was notified that one of my photos had taken 2nd place in an international color competition and 2 more of my shots made the final cut as a nominee selection. Its taken a while for them to jury all of the selections. This was supposed to have been done back in July, but I guess there were several delays. This was for the 5th Annual Photography Master’s Cup. I placed in the Americana category with my “Desolate Road” shot and had one other shot to nominee in that category. My other nominee shot was in the Nude category. I gotta admit, I can’t say that I feel like my shot was the best one. I think there were other nominee shots that were better than my 2nd place win. I’d even say the 3rd place winner could have beaten out mine, but for DAMN sure, I can’t agree with the shot that took 1st place with the plastic flamingos!

Photography Master’s Cup Nominee, Americana Category “Dragons”

Contests are very subjective which is one reason, I don’t really participate in them so much. As far as I’m concerned, if my model likes what I’ve done, then I’m happy. If someone wants to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for one of my shots, I’m happy and this is what keeps me going. Having a panel of judges gather around to jury a pool of images of which mine is hoping to be noticed, is not that appealing to me. However, I do realize that to be recognized by a group of your peers can be quite satisfying. I felt really good to see one of my shots place. I know it can mean more exposure and help get my work out there, but I also don’t know of anyone who’s career took off like a rocket because they won a photo contest.

“So even if you don’t win, they can still use your photos without any sort of compensation whatsoever. THAT is the real reason most companies run photo contests. They get a large portfolio of decent images for basically nothing. If you read the contest closely, they only say the the winner will end up on a cover. They don’t say the non-winners will not end up on a cover. (that’s a triple negative)” – Gary Arndt

Photography Master’s Cup Nominee, Nude Category “Katherine’s Hawk”

And aside from maybe local competitions, there are only a select few I think I would even consider. Some of these things are just too expensive to submit an entry. I remember reading a segment “Why I Don’t Enter Photography Contests” by Gary Arndt mainly because of usage rights. This particular online competition easily netted a couple mil and they are not awarding out near that in prize money. I get nothing. The 1st place ticket got $500 for the category and the grand prize winner got maybe a grand. So why did I do it? I just thought I’d give it a shot. Plus its a good stocking filler to say you’ve won an award as a professional. A client can see that and be impressed, I guess. Maybe they’ll offer you more money than you charge or something. I do get some exposure in the new magazine coming out soon, “The PHOTO Paper“. Not sure when the 1st issue comes out, but its supposed to be nice. So basically, I’m going to give a few of these things a shot, but the only time you’ll hear of it is if I win!

What’s upcoming? A few interviews. Waiting on several interview questions to get back to me from both models and photogs, a writer and even an artist who does some remarkable paint work. Gotta give mad props to TopazLabs for donating the Topaz Bundle to me. I didn’t realize they did so much other stuff than HDR. I’ve been using a few other plug-ins for most of my work, and can now add the whole Topaz bundle to my repertoire. I mainly use Topaz Adjust, Clean, and Simplify for most of my stuff, but I’m getting to the other 7 different photoshop plugins. Topaz B&W is new and I’m eager to see how it stacks up against Nik Silver Efx.