Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chuck the Writer takes his chances with the New York State Fair

Yawn. Got in the Pontiac 6000 and headed off to Syracuse this morning, with two pictures in the back seat of the car.

While the Altamont Fair was a lot closer and at least displayed my artwork in their Fine Arts Building, I would be limited in the New York State Fair photography contest to two photographs - each one to be mounted on 16x20 foam board.

I arrived at the Harriet Mills Art Center on the State Fairgrounds campus, and as I unloaded the two foam-boarded photographs, I saw other people bringing in their own foam-boarded offerings - photos of bridges and kittens and sunsets.

I walked upstairs with my offerings, filled out the return postcards, added postage, attached the claim checks on each photo, and handed them to the fair volunteers who would catalog each entry.

"That's nice," she said as she received everyone's photo, most likely a noble sign of encouragement. "That's nice." "That's nice."

She took my photos. THe first one, my shot of Washington Park benches after dark, received the standard "That's nice."

Then she saw the second photo.

"That's n - oh my God, how did you get this photo?"

You mean this one??

Yes folks, it's the shot from last year's PBL playoff game between the Rochester Razorsharks and the Manchester Millrats. That's James "Mook" Reaves putting the ball in the hoop for Rochester, while his teammate Sammy Monroe (upper left), along with Sam Carey and Marlowe Currie from the Millrats, look on.

That's the one where I received permission from Blue Cross Arena in Rochester to photograph directly from the catwalk. I love catwalk action photographs, I've shot from the rafters at Centre Pierre-Charbonneau in Montreal, as well as from the upper balconies at Burlington Memorial Auditorium in Vermont.

On my way home from Syracuse, I thought about the response I received from the volunteer receiver. If she took a second look at the basketball photograph - maybe, just maybe, the judges will take a second look as well. And maybe, just maybe, I can pick up my first photography fair ribbon.

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