Friday, September 5, 2008

It's Only Fair

Thank you all so very, very much for your plentiful and extremely helpful feedback! You all are, quite simply, the best!
I ended up tallying the results of everyone's feedback, combined those results with my personal preferences and then stared at the photos right up until the very last minute - seriously, it was the last minute. The first printer i called said they couldn't have prints ready in time, the second said i absolutely needed to have the pictures in to them by close of business that Thursday. Of course, to complicate matters, i also had to work Thursday night. With five minutes left before i had to leave for work, i still hadn't decided; so i sent five or six of my favorites to the studio to be printed. i hoped that, when enlarged, i would possibly find some imperfection, etc. that would help me narrow down the three finalsists.
Yeah, it didn't help, they still looked good, even enlarged. i still couldn't choose. To maximize opportunities for recognition (ie. prizes), i opted to submit only one picture per lot (you can't win more than one prize per lot). This forced me to choose between some of my favorite pictures.
In the final tally, Mesa Arch ended up being the "audience" favorite with Havasu Falls close behind.
Mesa Arch

Havasu Falls

And while i really like the picture of Mesa Arch, i seemed to remember having seen at least one or two in last year's fair, thus i wasn't sure what kind of originality points it would score with the judges. So i went with the photo of Havasu Falls which really is one of my most favorite pictures.
I also really like the panoramic image of Navajo Falls, and submitted it as well.

And finally, since my only real "professional" photography experience comes from the wedding field, i felt it somewhat necessary to choose a wedding-related photograph, and the close-up of Kira in front of Multonmah Falls is one of my favorites. (I also really liked the vertical panaroma of Kira and the Falls, but felt the people on the bridge were too distracting).

Anyway, i hate to say it, but it looks like most of you were right; my favorite picture of Havasu Falls didn't win anything and there were no other pictures of Mesa Arch, so the Mesa Arch picture may have done better.

And the kind of disappointing thing was that the picture that won was from Antelope Canyon, and i kinda think my old Antelope Canyon pics were slightly better.

Since no one from the "audience" had really chosen this bridal picture of Kira as one of their favorites, i was somewhat surprised to see this...

That's fourth place, which isn't too shabby!
And we were very surprised to see this in the panoramic section...

That's first place, can you believe it?! There were definitely some great pictures over in the panoramic section, so i was both pleased and surprised my photo did so well.
Anyway, thank you all again for you help. While i may not have chosen the same photo you did, i definitely considered and appreciated everyone's feedback. Maybe next year i can get the pictures submitted before the last second.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fair Time? Already?!

So i've been dragging my feet choosing pictures for this year's Utah State Fair photography Exhibit thinking i still had plenty of time to decide. I'm really just not that good at picking favorite pictures, which is why i typically post way to many pictures here, i just can't narrow them down - i like them all. Anyway, the pictures are due by the end of the weekend, i probably need to turn them in to get printed on Thursday or Friday to submit on Saturday.
i'll try to break up the pictures by the lot i would submit them in. I'd prefer to only submit one picture per lot, and i can only submit three pictures.
Let me know which ones you like best in the comments.
Lot #12: Panorama

Lot #14: Portraiture: Children

Lot #15: Portraiture: Groups

Lot #16: Scenic (including hand of man)

Lot #17: Scenic (excluding hand of man)

Lot #19: Still Life

Lot #21: Wedding

Keep the following in mind when comparing photos:
  • Impact (appeal, emotion, statement, composition, rarity)
  • Quality (exposure, sharpness, etc.)
  • Appeal (universal appeal)
  • Purpose & Meaning
  • Craftmanship (composition, depth, contrast, saturation, balance, difficulty, etc.)
Thanks for your help!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Mountain Biking

Shortly before leaving for Williamsburg (i know, that was over two weeks ago), i decided i wanted to get a last mountain bike ride in before leaving. But by the time i got whatever done i needed to get done that day (actually, i probably didn't get anything done; it's more likely i just messed around all morning) it was already late into the afternoon and sweltering hot in the Salt Lake Valley. Something was going on that evening, and if i wanted to go riding i needed to go now, but where?

Enter Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Although you have to drive up the canyon a ways, the cooler temperatures are definitely worth the extra 15 minutes you have to drive. And not only was i rewarded with much more pleasant temperatures, but a blanket of wildflowers as well!

While the resort does offer lift-served hiking and biking, i didn't see enough trails to justify the cost of the lift pass. Besides, i got more exercise biking up anyway. But it was a great ride that i'll definitely revisit to escape hot afternoons in the valley. Plus, they had frisbee golf up there too! I need to go check that out as well.

Overall, a great 6 mile bike ride!

Fast forward to this past weekend (i know, i know, you still want me to rewind to the Grand Canyon and even Williamsburg, and i will, but these are short easy posts)... On Friday Jared, my bro-in-law, Bill, my biking buddy, and i went out to Deer Valley in Park City. Deer Valley is one of Utah's premier ski resorts in the winter, and it definitely lives up to its rep in the summer as well. Bill and i typically try to get out here at least once every summer for our birthday presents to eachother. But i definitely need to get out there again before the end of the summer, what a blast!
Here i am cruising down from the top of the Sterling Express Lift to the trail hub in the Meadow. If you watch closely you might see me catch a little air. Well, actually you won't, Jared was standing in the wrong place, but i did get some air i tell ya!

Here's Bill rocketing through some Aspens on Deer Camp.

Here's Jared on Deer Camp. Although this was Jared's first lift-served downhilling experience he wasn't near as entertaining as Topher, another bro-in-law, last year. Granted, Topher may have been so "entertaining" last year that he opted out this year. BTW, if you don't know, the real entertainment from these rides comes from spectacular wipe-outs. But you can see all the Aspens, they get pretty close to the trail and Jared did show me one wound that came from getting a little too close to one of those trees. And don't get me wrong, he was still real entertaining, he was the only one gutsy enough to try a lot of the freestyle features. more on that later.

Here i am cutting a turn one of my favorite trails, Deer Crest. Man that trail is FUN!

Although Bill and I have been moutain biking for MUCH longer than Jared (over 15 years vs. maybe 5 for Jared), Jared, as usuall, put us to shame. I'm ashamed to admit in all my years of riding at Deer Valley i've never bothered trying any of their freestyle features. i just figured they'd be too hard-core or something. But Jared got us all excited to try a few of them out, and they were actually pretty fun!
Here's Jared's first attempt on the Teeter-Totter.

Although he does end up making it on his first attempt, as you can see, it almost got REALLY entertaining at the end - almost.
Here's Jared's second attempt (his third attempt was basically the same as the second)...

Jared's fourth and fifth attempts were succesful (although he almost got bounced off on the fourth), but i think you get the point. And besides, don't you want to see me try? No? Well too bad, it's my blog.

I think i would've made the first attempt if my bike hadn't decided all by itself to shift gears at the last second - go figure i had perfectly tuned it the night before, but nooo, get it on the trail and it all goes to pot!
Here's my second attempt:

Right after the Teeter-Totter was a little raised platform with a narrow entrance. I, uh, have really fat tires, and couldn't get up the narrow entrance, but i told Jared i'd tape him doing it. Of course, he hadn't actually seen it yet...

Naturally, he made his second attempt, although he did almost endo coming off the drop at the end (he hadn't seen that either...).

And here's Jared catching some air off another freestyle feature on on Homeward Bound. Bill got some air here too, but my camera didn't quite catch him in the air, doh!

But here i am getting some air off the jump too...

I know it doesn't look very big, but it was really HUGE! ... or something.

Overall, we biked over 26 miles - granted, most of it was downhill (and by most, i mean 99%). But what a blast! And downhill or not, by the end of the day, we were all beat! We were at Deer valley from about 11am when we got on the first left until about 6:30pm when we got back to the car (after two flats, three if you count the one Bill had when we first got there), but go figure our actual riding time was under three hours. Don't ask me how that works out.