Value of Competitions

The reason I joined the camera club is: I know that to be better at something you have to surround yourself with like minded people. You have to be willing to work out of your comfort zone and listen to suggestions.

I would like to define “like minded People”. People that like photography and are passionate about what they do.   After the like of photography, diverse opinions are appreciated and expected.  Personally I would rather hear about how to improve what I’ve done than have someone say, “Wow that’s great” and walk away shaking their head.  Even when the comment stings the ego.  Those are the ones I try and listen to closest because they usually point out a weakness I am aware of and missed.  Don’t worry about a comment, if I think you are wrong, I will let you know in a respectful way, I promise!

I would say that I’m a very competitive person.  I’ve never been much for the, “Here’s your ribbon, thanks for participating school of thought”. I like the fact there are winners in the competition, even if I don’t agree with the result.  Not agreeing makes me think more about the photo and justify my thoughts against what I understand about photography.  Many times I realize I just need to learn more!

I appreciate the work judges do in our competitions.  It is not easy putting your opinion out there and defining it and allowing others to judge.  I appreciate the judges as much as I appreciate the effort everyone puts into the submitted photo’s.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that has good intentions and find life has other expectations of me.  It amazes me how many things can come up around the competition deadline.

So for this months competition I’m choosing a different option.  Instead of picking what I think is the best photo that requires more work than I have time for, I have chosen (yes, as already picked out and finished) something I like and I am be happy with.  Is it the greatest photo ever? No Elvis was standing sideways showing his pot belly, and holding the unicorn with it’s head not facing the camera. The most important thing is I picked something out that I could get ready in the time I had available.

I chose to share a moment of my life that represented a day of exploration, wonder & amazement, sadness, joy, madness, danger, fear, exhilaration, triumph, and pain.

It’s all there in that photo. If you don’t see it than you will have to ask, because every photo is seen differently through the lens of the persons own mind.  Maybe you will see something else. I might be wrong? it happens.

This month, share a moment of a day of your life with all of us, and submit a photo for the this months photo contest. It’s an open subject. Share with us what you like.  Submit a brief moment of life as you saw it for 1/250th of a second + or -.  Mine will be there!

If you need help sizing it please email to me before submitting to I would be happy to help.

I most would like to thank the people that host the competitions!

One last thought. A long time ago I was taught the difference between participation and commitment. At Breakfast the chicken participates by providing you eggs. The pig is committed!

Please commit!

2 responses on “Value of Competitions

  1. Edward Kunzelman

    Competitions seem to be a lightning rod for controversy. People outside the club often say TMCC is too competitive for their tastes. Granted some people can’t stand a single critical comment about their pictures. Other people seem to do okay with competitions… for awhile. Until the drumbeat of negativity drives them to quit. And when people quit participating in competitions, quitting the club generally goes along with it. I suspect everyone who joins a camera club is looking to learn more about photography at some level. However, that means different things to different people. Probably would make for a good meeting discussion sometime.

  2. Edward Kunzelman

    Finishing that thought… I believe competitions eventually become counter-productive for many people. They may start out enthusiastically, looking forward to scores and judge’s comments. But it seems to me that most people who stick with competitions for the long haul are those who participate mostly for the awards… and generally, to some degree, become desensitized to critical comments. That doesn’t cover too many people. My personal experience is that I began entering competitions to find out how my images were perceived (by supposedly qualified photography experts) compared to other peoples’ work. After all, I thought to myself, how could I compete in the bigger stage of the business of photography if I couldn’t cut it in a local camera club? Needless to say, that issue is a whole other story. But my point is that it’s a lot easier getting people to enter competitions than it is to have them continue participating in them. Again, I think it’s worth having a discussion at one of the club meetings about competitions, since they’re such an integral part of the club.

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