Exceeding One’s Goals


I totally spaced on this. Wednesday night was the Hisai chapter (久居支部) monthly meeting (月例会) of the All-Japan Photographic Federation (全日本写真連盟). At the end of our meetings members submit photos to an impromptu contest. Our teacher selects the top ten photos and we get 1 to 10 points depending on our position. At the end of the year, points are tallied up and the top three people get prizes.

Last year I had perfect attendance at the meetings; which was noted in the newsletter. However, I only submitted photos one time. This year I set two goals for myself: submit photos for every monthly meeting; and score at least 1 point during the year.

The year starts in April and runs through March. I scored 11th place in April for zero points, and in May I achieved the second goal by getting 10th place. (Although, I think the judge may have favored me a little.) Well, on Wednesday I came in 8th place and racked up another 3 points.

To downplay it a little, I will say that only about 15 people have been submitting photos; however, to toot my horn a bit: these people are quite experienced and successful. Seventh place this month was The Good Doctor, whose excellent skills have been the subject of many previous posts.

Venetian Back Alley (Canal)I just wrote this post at work. If you are lucky, I may upload the photo to Flickr when I get home, so you can see it here. Ah-hah! You lucked out; I got home with enough energy to upload the photo and I’ll give a little explanation as well.

Around 1991 I was working in near Siracusa on Sicily. I took a little weekend trip to Venice, hunting for Venetian glass to give to a special girl. Most of the weekend was spent wandering (or should I say sneaking?) around the labyrinthine city snapping photos. A narrow hallway cut through a building which backed on this canal. Stairs descended down into the water (evidence that the city is sinking?). I hunkered down to avoid the boring “human-eye-level” view, used a polarizer to increase the surface reflection in this dark setting, and probably used a 28mm lens (note the curvature).

Positive points mentioned by our teacher were: strong surface reflection, intentional; and sunlit background contrasting with the dark – yet detailed- foreground, random luck. I felt a little sheepish, scoring points with older photos. Now I have to get out, armed with the teachers comments, and take some worthy photos in Japan.

(I think my energy boost may have come from the refreshing Pepsi Ice Cucumber, which I drank… more on that in a later post.)

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