Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sour Grapes?

Halifax Transit by Iguanasan
Halifax Transit, a photo by Iguanasan on Flickr.
Tonight was the final meeting of the year for the Sackville Photography Club and the meeting where we get the results of the club's annual photography contest. There were some excellent images entered into the contest and I sincerely hope that no one takes offence to my comments.

Last year I came in third place but this year I didn't manage to make a mark. Intellectually, I know that it's a fair and honest contest.  A friendly contest for the club but I can't help but feeling a bit down about the results. It doesn't help that my family doesn't have a clue that I even entered a contest let alone that tonight I got the results and I'm a bit disappointed about them.

I wasn't going to write this post tonight because I'm not looking for pity but I felt that others might feel the same way about any contests they've tried and I wanted to share my feelings in the hopes that it may possibly help them get through their own self-doubt.

I worked hard for each and every photo. Those images mean a lot to me but, apparently, not as much to the judges. I know that doesn't mean my photos are crap, but it's still a very hard to swallow that I didn't manage to even place anywhere in the results.

The photos I entered into the contest were some of what I thought were my best images. The judges thought the other images were better. That makes me think that I'm missing something, that if I could just understand that little piece of what I'm missing I could win every time. I'm reasonably certain that it is ridiculous thinking but it doesn't stop me from thinking it.

In fact, I certainly understand after tonight why people don't enter contests. If you don't enter, you won't be disappointed. I wish I had something useful to say on why you should get back up on that horse and try again but I don't. I will, however, get back up on that horse and try again next year. I won't give up.

I still wonder what I'm missing...what elusive bit of "stuff" is preventing my images from making the right impression? Maybe I'll figure it out next year.

If you are having this issue, don't give up. Keep trying. Intellectually, I know you need to keep trying. I'm not sure why yet but I hope to find out some day and if I do, I will try to share it with you.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Google+ vs Flickr vs Facebook vs 500px vs ...  I've really be struggling with my online communities lately and I am wishing there was a solution.

The main problem is that the community software is being built by corporations who's goal is to make money.  They're goal is to create a captive audience from which they can gather marketing data and to which they can show ads in an effort to generate revenue.  I can't totally blame them, they're trying to pay the bills just like everyone else.

The problem is that I end up spreading myself around and it makes things very complicated when I want to share things with my photography friends.  I find a great video to share and I have to post it on for one group of friends, Flickr for another group of friends, Facebook for another group of friends, Google+ for yet more, and I have to remember to mention it at my next photography club meeting.  Whew!  Way too freakin' painful.

If you have a solution to this dilemma, I'm all ears.  I'd really like to know how to make better use of my time.  Maybe it makes sense for me to post everything here on my blog and then have automatic links sent out to all those services.... hmmm... I'm talking myself into this idea.  Would it annoy my Facebook, Flickr, Google+, 500px, etc. friends to get a link to my blog every time I want to share something?  Would they leave their little walled gardens to take the time to read my blog post?  Maybe I'd just be wasting my time and I already waste too much jumping from site to site to post and re-post.

The perfect example of this is my recent announcement of the combined Flickr Halifax and Google+ anniversary photo walk that I'm hosting on June 30th.  I created a Facebook event for people to rally around but I have Flickr friends and Google+ friends who refuse to sign into Facebook.  I posted it on Flickr too but my Google+ friends won't see it so I had to post it there as well.  And I know I've missed people.  Arrgggghhhh!  It just makes me so sad when I realize one of my friends has missed out on something just because I forgot to post to one of my communities.  :(