AAAaaahhh! I was expecting ribbons and I got them. Although the Garrett County, MD county fair is a small, old-fashioned event that you can see in entirety in a couple hours, there are hundreds of photo entries, some very good photographers in this area, honest-to-goodness competition. Judges are professional photographers and entries are judged on composition and photographic technique. Still, of course, it's highly subjective.
I got BEST IN SHOW for this one, which I entered on a whim, not my usual style at all, kind of bizarre. In addition to Best in Show, it won in the Digital Still Life category.
It's not a digitally-created composite; I used a sheet of background paper from a roll, something like shelf paper, for the backdrop, draped on the kitchen counter and up the wall so there'd be no visible joining of horizontal and vertical even though the peppers rested on the paper. I entered it as Digital because I did so much retouching -- darkened and sharpened the shadows, smoothed out a decaying spot in one of the peppers. None of this was explained in the entry but I had manipulated it enough that I thought I should classify it as "Digital."
Here are the rest:
Blue ribbon, first in "Reflections" category.
Blue ribbon, first in "Flowers" category -- I'm surprised it won, since it's not a flower, but they didn't have a "Mushrooms" class or even a generic "Nature" class.
Blue ribbon, first in "Sun Effects" category. I shot this out a train window in Switzerland last spring. The window refracted the rays.
Blue ribbon, first place in "Miscellaneous." I had pictures of Abbie in just about every category and had nothing left except Misc. for this one. Guess it was the best "miscellaneous" shot.
Red ribbon, second in "Garrett County" class, supposed to capture the flavor, spirit, and general Gestalt of our area. This was taken at last year's County Fair. Look close -- she'd had her face painted like a kitty.
Red ribbon, second in "Children." Abbie was jumping on a trampoline and flopped onto her back. Check the static in her bangs.
White ribbon, third in "Water Scenes" (no "Lightning" or "Weather" or "Skies" category... there were plenty of good photos of water scenes, this was sort of off-topic.)
Yellow ribbon, fourth or honorable mention or something, "Garrett County." Maybe it would have scored better in "Water Scenes." It's my grandson Collin at the locally famous Swallow Falls.
So I guess I'll keep my camera. I get a little bit of prize money.... not much -- I don't think they've changed the cash premiums since the fair's first year in 1956. "Best in Show" carries no additional premium, only what it already got for its blue-ribbon first-in-class win, plus the champion rosette ribbon and the recognition. But I'll be about $50 richer for my ribbons.
Blogger will apparently only let me post 10 photos. I entered 11 in the fair and got 9 ribbons, 6 of them blue, including the Best in Show. The two that got no recognition at all are in a separate post -- and here I thought they were pretty stunning. You just never know.