Brian's Photo Blog — Article 57
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AVA Competition and Awards
Monday 19 March 2012   —   Category: Competitions
At the end of February, I entered some photos into the Fifth Annual Albany Photography and Video Contest, which is sponsored by the Albany Visitors Association (AVA). The contest was divided into six categories. The first four —
  1. Scenic: picturesque photos of Albany and Linn County.
  2. Landmarks: images of covered bridges, historic buildings, etc.
  3. Events: photos of events such as, Northwest Art & Air Festival, River Rhythms, Farmers Market, Veterans Day Parade, Strawberry Festival, Stand By Me Festival, Linn County Fair, and other events.
  4. Life In Our Community: photos of activities such as golf, bicycling, farming, etc.
— had the requirement that the photos be taken within Linn County, of which Albany is the county seat. The fifth category, “Open,” was for any photo taken in the state of Oregon. The final category, “Digitally Manipulated,” was for any photo that would fit in the first five categories, but has been digitally altered in an artistic manner.

This was the first photo competition I had ever entered other than the monthly competitions of the Valley Viewfinders Camera Club (VVCC), of which I am a member. Rather then taking a targeted, “rifle” approach, I decided to take a broad, “shotgun” approach — so I entered a total of 32 photos (at two dollars an entry!), thinking that out of all those pictures, hopefully one or two might win a ribbon!

There was a reception at the AVA office last Thurs­day to announce the win­ners, but I was not able to attend. Just today I went down to the AVA to see what the results were. I was so amazed and excited to discover that I had won FIVE awards! Two First Place, one Second Place, and two Third Place ribbons!

In the first photo to the right, you can see a wide-​shot, showing all of the photos entered into the “Scenic” category. Near­ly two-thirds of the pictures are mine! Can you believe that my photos won first AND second AND third places in this category! As someone once said, In­con­ceiv­a­ble! The second photo to the right is a close-up, showing the three winning pictures.

The third photo to the right shows my hot air bal­loon picture, which won first place in the “Events” category. I had high hopes that that photo would win something, be­cause it’s a pretty amaz­ing shot, as I was able to capture a hot air balloon floating across the face of the rising sun.

As I walked around the hallway where the competition photos were being displayed, I came across my fifth winning picture: the third-place Birdie and Racquets. As I looked at the other “Life In Our Community” entries, I felt like there were better photos than mine which should have won an award — but, hey, if they want to give my picture a Third Place ribbon, I guess I’ll take it! I just felt a bit bad for the others!

Apparently a fellow VVCC member also won five ribbons in this competition, including the coveted Champion Award. But from what I hear, he entered only eight photos, in contrast to my 32, so I think he as a much, much better batting average — four times better! Heart-felt con­grat­u­la­tions go to Gary Thurman.

Well, all this competition news is quite exciting! I did really well for my first non-club competition — much better than I thought I would! Hopefully this will motivate me to participate in upcoming competitions, like the Linn County Fair, the Oregon State Fair, and more!

But for now, I will leave you with a preview version of each of my five winning photos — you can click on each one to see a larger version.
These and all of my other
award-winning photos have
been gathered together into the
photo album
UPDATE: The AVA recently put up a Web page showing most of the winning photos.

JULY 2013 UPDATE: I just found out that my balloon sunrise photo has been used for the cover of the Albany Visitors Association’s Annual Visitor Guide for 2013. For more details, see my blog article My First Cover Photo! For details about how this photo was taken, see my blog article Up, Up and Away!

SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE: I just discovered that my photo of downtown Albany at dusk is the first main photo on the Downtown Albany Web site. Cool! Click on the above photo for more details.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 57
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