Posts Tagged With: photography

Welcome to NaBloPoMo!

Several years ago someone invented the idea of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, which encourages writers to finish a novel during the month of November. From that idea sprung NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. Though NaBloPoMo has been expanded to any month, most bloggers participate in November in conjunction with NaNoWriMo. Seeing the opportunity to improve my writing skills, I’m taking the challenge this year.

Unfortunately it is overlapping with So Creative!, a photo-a-day challenge from a friend of mine, as well as my continued attempt to do P90X workouts 6 days a week through mid-January. So we’ll see how this goes. For day 1, I thought I’d share my first photo from So Creative: my self portrait.

I know, I know. A self portrait (I would use “selfie,” but even typing it makes me feel like I’m 13 years old) seems like a no-brainer – just snap a picture of myself! But the idea is to be creative, so instead I chose to showcase one of my most interesting physical features – the freckle on my left eye. My friends were talking about it just last night, so it’s on my mind. Also, I didn’t know it was there until my best friend pointed it out when I was 21. As a stalwart perfectionist, at first it drove. me. crazy. I would look in the mirror and couldn’t see anything else. Just that freckle, staring back at me with all its imperfection. But now I kind of like it because it makes me unique. And wouldn’t life be boring if everyone were the same?

Blue eye

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A Fair to Remember

Another bucket list item crossed off! This one? “Enter something into a state fair.”

About a year ago, I decided photography would be a good choice because (1) it doesn’t require a lot of time or fancy equipment, and (2) I was about to spend three months in Africa, which was a rare opportunity for some quality pics. During my time in Ghana, I took a lot of pretty good photos, and a few exceptional ones. I had beautiful subjects to work with 🙂 I was also using a cheap point-and-shoot type of camera: an 8.0 megapixel Nikon CoolPix. I think that makes the photo quality the same as an iPhone 5.

After returning to the States, I selected 25 of my favorite photos and polled my friends to see which they liked best. Then I narrowed it to 10 and polled them again – this time using fancy online survey software (a special thanks to everyone who voted, by the way. It was very helpful). Using their feedback, I selected three photos to enter, all in the Amateur category. I did some basic PhotoShop editing (totally legal), had them printed and mounted on foam core board, and then sent them with my friend Bridgette, who entered the contest with three photos of her own!

Here are the three photos I chose, with their titles in the photo captions.

Entered into Amateur photography in the Scenic – Including Hand of Man (meaning man-made items are in the photo) category:

Fisherman's Craft, Ghana

Fisherman’s Craft, Ghana

Entered into Amateur photography in the Action category:

Simple Play, Ghana Orphanage

Simple Play, Ghana Orphanage

Entered into Amateur photography in the Human Interest category:

Footsteps to Nzulezo

Footsteps to Nzulezo

Pretty cool, eh? The third one, “Footsteps to Nzulezo,” is one that I chose purely because my friends and family ranked it high among their favorites. I don’t think I ever would’ve put it in my own top three picks. Now, remember – the point of entering these photos into the State Fair was not to win; it was to have the experience of entering something.

Our tickets for the Utah State Fair!

Our tickets for the Utah State Fair!

So yesterday, a group of friends joined me to visit the Utah State Fair. We started, of course, with the photography exhibit. As we worked our way through the photos, we spotted the photos that Bridgette and I had entered. It was so fun to see my photos on the boards with my name! Having never been very involved in art or photography, I guess I underestimated the satisfaction of seeing my work on display. It was also really neat to see everybody else’s photos – lots of talent!

The results (drumroll, please)!

Fisherman's Craft, Ghana - on display at the fair!

Fisherman’s Craft, Ghana – on display at the fair!

Simply Play, Ghana Orphanage - with a Fourth Place ribbon! I was so excited!

Simply Play, Ghana Orphanage – with a Fourth Place ribbon! I was so excited!

Looky! Fourth place!

Looky! Fourth place!

And finally…

That's right, folks - a BLUE ribbon for Footsteps to Nzulezo!

That’s right, folks – a BLUE ribbon for Footsteps to Nzulezo!

SO SO SO excited!!!

SO SO SO excited!!!

Here it is! I think there is prize money with this, too, but I honestly didn't even look it up because I didn't think I had any chance of winning :)

Here it is! I think there is prize money with this, too, but I honestly didn’t even look it up because I didn’t think I had any chance of winning 🙂

And look! Bridgette won a ribbon too!

Bridgette with "Pool"

Bridgette with “Pool”

I seriously love this picture. And this friend - for jumping on my bandwagon and entering with me :)

I seriously love this picture. And this friend – for jumping on my bandwagon and entering with me 🙂

Of all my bucket list items, crossing this one off has been one of the most exciting, rewarding, positive experiences I’ve had. Who would’ve thought that I’d win two ribbons on my very first attempt at entering a photography contest? Or a state fair, for that matter? I seriously would’ve been satisfied and excited just to see my photos on display – for the experience of it. But I’m certainly not going to turn down a blue ribbon 🙂 Plus, we had an awesome evening at the state fair!

 

You can view my bucket list here. To see my blog posts about other bucket list items I’ve crossed off, click Bucket List in the menu in the top right corner.

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