Brian's Photo Blog — Article 56
<< PreviousNext >>Blog Index
Camera Club Competitions and Awards
Sunday 18 March 2012   —   Category: Competitions
One of the benefits of belonging to a local camera club is monthly competitions, and hopefully even some awards. While awards are not the primary reason to take photos, they are an encouraging and pleasurable reward for all the hard work put into it!

In October 2011 I joined the Valley Viewfinders Camera Club (VVCC) in Albany, Oregon. After my first meeting, I started entering my photos into their monthly competitions.

In just four months, I have had quite a bit of success — just as my grandfather, David Kaukonen, did when he was a member of the Santa Maria Camera Club in California. To the right, you can see two ribbons he won in monthly club photo competitions, in 1938 and 1939.

The VVCC print competition is held the first meeting of the month. Color print entries are accepted each month, and black and white entries three times a year. One can enter small prints (less than 96 square inches) and large prints. Each month there is a differnt theme, like reflections, shadows, animals, etc.

Prints can also be entered which aren’t part of the monthly theme. With the different combinations of size and theme, there are four categories for the color competition, and an additional four whenever there’s a black and white competition. Each member may enter two prints per category. The club members vote for the top three photos in each category.

On the second meeting of the month is the electronic image competition, which is not separated into different categories of theme, size or color — there’s just one category. The photos are judges by a different three-member team each month. All of the entries are shown on a large-screen HD TV, with the top photos winning first through fifth places.

From the middle of November 2011 until the middle of March 2012, I have won a total of 25 club competition awards! The breakdown goes like this:
  • First Place: 10
  • Second Place: 8
  • Third Place: 4
  • Fourth Place: 3
While I’m undeniably very pleased — and even overjoyed — to win so many awards in such a short period of time, I can’t afford to dwell on it too much, or let it go to my head. If I start comparing my work to other photographers who are taking better pictures than me, I end up getting depressed and discouraged. And when I go on photo outings, if I just focus on taking pictures that I hope will be award-winning shots, then it brings a lot of pressure that kills the joy of photography.

No, it’s much better to just enjoy the art and science of photography, have fun on each outing, take the best photos I can, focus on taking pictures that I like rather than on what I imagine other people will like, and then just see how I do in the competitions. Even if nobody else likes my photos, at least I like them! And from what I have seen so far, it seems like others do like them too!

For this Web site, I've created a “virtual” photo album — called *AWARD WINNERS* — which collects all of the award-winning photos from all of the other photos albums, and gathers them into one place. Also included in the album are photos which have won awards in any other competitions. Keep checking back here every once in a while, as I hope to continue having some success in the competitions.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 56
<< PreviousNext >>Blog Index