Posts Tagged ‘contest’

Scoring Fame and Fortune

2011年 10月 13日

We had a photo society trip to Ise, Toba and Shima during the summer with another chapter from Nagoya. Both chapters were interested in having a little photo contest, so we submitted photos and let the judges figure it out. Last night at our monthly meeting we heard the results: I was very surprised when I heard that I had taken fourth place.

Both of these chapters are filled with people who have been practicing photography for a long time. Also a lot of them are retired, giving them free time to shoot away. I have never placed better than sixth in our monthly contest – which is just our chapter members – let alone in a bigger contest.

I was further surprised when our teacher came around with a prize envelope for me. I had no idea there were prizes. There was a certificate for 1000 yen inside. Doing a little math, you’ll figure out that a thousand yen is not a lot of money; particularly, if you back out the printing costs. We had a little dinner afterwards and some of our senior members were apologetic that my prize was so small; however, I assured them that I was just happy for the acknowledgement amongst such elite company.

Next month, the winning photos will come to our monthly meeting for a study session. I am looking forward to seeing the others. Contests after photo shoots are always tough because people are generally shooting the same subject. The fanciest lens and the best printing make a difference there; however, I think I got into the top ranks by looking at the world from a different angle: literally. Ironically, the photo is one which I totally overlooked in my first few passes through what I shot; sometimes you need to look again.

After the study session, I think I can upload an image for you. I’ll explain the shot a little at that time.

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Ask and Ye Shall Receive

2011年 9月 14日

Being thrown curve balls of all manner, including a police interview regarding the apparent murder at one of my schools, so can’t yet get back to proper (excessive) posting frequency. After the move on Saturday, and the lag in getting internet connected at the new house, I should have an extra 20 hours a week to fill. I plan to use half of that for sleep, and a significant portion for late paperwork, but perhaps a portion can be used to fill these pages with tastes of my life in Japan.

Readers have made considerable requests for more of my photography and I hope to oblige. Various standards and rules prevent me showing certain works under consideration for contests; however, there is plenty of material otherwise uninhibited. Dog on Board (original)Here is a photo I took in Ise-Shima while on a photo trip with my chapter and a chapter from Nagoya. There was a surfing contest at this beach, but the waves were small: and the surfers, bored; which is a recipe for amusing behavior. This French bulldog really had a fascination with the board.

I was initially drawn to the scene because a number of senior members were shooting furiously from the bow of the board. As I moved quickly down the beach, I was approaching from the side; which is generally considered less favorable, but the dog cooperated by facing my direction. To date I have seen no other works including the dog on the board, so I may have been lucky with the angle. Odd angles seem to be my way (which could be a future post).

My friend who has been encouraging me in my Ubuntu usage, also impresses upon me to make use of GIMP for editing my photos. Even though an artist friend has made other software recommendations, the generally utility and free price of the GIMP make it very attractive. Dog on BoardHere is an image from the same photo with some intense color enhancement, which is only possible due to learning about more of the powerful selection tools in GIMP. Early color enhancement efforts would leave the dog looking yellow, or both the dog and board a bit blue. Here, I was able to make the yellow on the board stand out and change the almost murky water into a bright blue without damaging the dog’s appearance. Yet another critical point is that I could also keep the breaking portions of the wave looking sharp crystalline or white.

Ultimately this photo can’t be used for the Tsu Exhibition this year: not sharp enough to enlarge to zenshi-size; no other subjects to tie this to reality; and doesn’t include the board tip among other points. I will be submitting a photo this year and it will be one with the dog, but you’ll have to wait for more on that. Perhaps it can be my Christmas present to you all.

Putting on the Ritz – for the French

2008年 11月 28日

Yesterday, while running around Nara and – as yet unmentioned – other destinations, I stumbled across something odd. Circle K is pretty popular here (which helps me when I am teaching the names of shapes) so, no surprise that we stopped to steal their bathroom; however, I was surprised to see two new products from Nabisco, and more surprised to see the reason.

Apparently Circle K feels compelled to promote the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations with France. They have about a dozen special products that play up the angle and there is a drawing for many prizes. So, what could come from Nabisco that screams France?

Well, you know how they sell Ritz crackers with artificial cheese-like spread between them? Oh, by the way, that compels a confession on my part. I think everyone has some horrible vice(s). One of mine is that I will buy and eat a whole package of these when I am drunk. Best to avoid convenience stores when drunk… or perhaps to avoid getting drunk.

Our new French-ish products are: Cheddar and Gorgonzola Ritz sandwiches; and Camembert Pepper Ritz sandwiches. Being an eater of the basic product, I had to try these out. My assessment: not worth the trouble. The flavors were not so distinct nor strong; you are better off with real camembert. (Odd that I can find no evidence of these products on the Nabisco website, but I guess that happened before with the Chip Star corn chips.)

I noticed the other day at the supermarket that they had a flavor like Corn Soup or something. I think they will go the way of other products like Kit Kat or Chip Star here, in that they will produce new flavors in quantities that boggle the mind. So we’ve got that to look forward to.