March 14, 2008

Plain Dealer Photo Contest.

So today was the deadline for the Plain Dealer Travel Photography Contest. Choosing photographs to enter was such a drawn out process – you only get 5 per person. It resulted in a lot of procrastination and a last second run to the post office. So instead of being bummed that we couldn’t enter all of the photographs that we wanted to I thought I’d share some of the rejects with you guys.

Although before I do that does anyone else find it completely amusing that my two best entries both had to do with fiber arts?
Woman selling natural dyes at the market in Pisac, Peru.

Taquille Island, Peru
Woven belts for sale on Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca, Peru.


Matt’s best entry was one that we both originally overlooked. We just didn’t have any perspective b/c while he was taking this picture I was behind him crying b/c I just broke my nose on that rail:
Lake in the Amazon

Funny how what you felt in a place influences your thoughts on the photographs of it. Case in point this picture is too dark when printed to really be all that great (it looks better on a computer than it does printed):
Refugio Amazonas
But we seriously thought about entering it just because that lodge was so frickin’ cool.

There were two shots that didn’t make the cut that made me really wish we were each allowed 6 entries:
Inca Trail, Day One
View of the Urubamba River, Inca Trail Hike, Day 1, Peru.

I love that photograph. But as Matt said – It’s just a beautiful landscape shot. Yes it’s nice but there will be 50 million other nice landscape shots entered into the contest. In a herd there’s nothing that’s going to make it stand out that much.
Train from Cusco to Puno, Peru
View from the train between Cusco and Puno, Peru.

This is a photograph that would probably be perfect for the competition since it’s very clearly about travel. However the entry form states that only basic photo editing is allowed. In the original shot there is a guys backside in the window. His light pants screwed up the otherwise perfect reflection. So I photoshopped it out. Really the retouching work was barely anything - maybe 2 clicks on the rubber stamp tool. But with the butt in the picture it’s not nearly as nice of a shot. I debated sending it in but what exactly is “basic” editing? Would this count? Or would it be disqualified? I decided it wasn’t worth it to even come close to “cheating”.

It wasn’t just our Peru photos that we considered. We seriously thought about entering in one of these two from the Chihuly Nights Exhibit:
Chihuly Nights at Phipps Conservatory
Chihuly Nights at Phipps Conservatory
But decided that they were shots of objects and not of places. I think they will be looking for shots that more reflect the essence of a place.

With that in mind we considered these two of the abandoned Carrie Blast Furnace in Pittsburgh:
Ruin of a Blast Furnace
Ruin of a Blast Furnace

We both love these photographs. But we also realize that we sortof have a thing for industrial ruins. To most people rundown steel mill does not equal vacation. So they didn’t make the cut.

Only one non Peru picture did and it’s just because no matter how many times we looked at the pile this one stuck out:
Toledo Museum of Art - Glass Paviliion
Toledo Museum of Art, Glass Pavilion

Something about the way Matt shot this really describes what that space felt like. Plus it's pretty.

Anyways I doubt either of us will win. The competition is pretty stiff – just from what I’ve seen so far. My dad submitted a couple of completely spectacular shots (his are in their online galleries - gallery #7 photographs 35-39) and at least 2 of my coworkers were entering. But you can’t win if you don’t try so what the hell.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!


  1. What fantastic pictures! They're all spectacular, but I really love that Art of Glass shot. And if these are the rejects, I can only imagine what the entries look like!

    Here's hoping you win!

    P.S. Aw, no train ass?

  2. Wow. FANTASTIC photos!! I will definitely keep my fingers crossed for you.

    If I took pictures that well, they'd be hanging all over my apartment :)

  3. all very beautiful...

    what i want to know is when you came to toledo and why you didn't call me!! ;)

  4. Great photos! Good luck to you, Matt and your Dad!

  5. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Terrific picks. My favs: the first 2, the boat pic, and the glass. Best "shots" to you both.

  6. Anonymous9:46 PM

    p.s (forgot). Glad to hear you've connected with Gnat (Bark n Knit) she's terrific. Her Special K (hubby to be) is from our area, can't recall where exactly.

  7. (small voice)

    I like to go on vacation and look at industrial ruins, too!

    The photos are wonderful, it was a treat to look at them!

  8. Great! And Yay! for the Toledo shot! The Glass Pavilion is gorgeous - Matt's shot is so good.

  9. You both take such great photos that I hope you win.

    I am partial to the two of market scenes. Those dyes just seem to jump off the page (well, screen).

  10. Fantastic, all of them, but I love the ones you picked. Good luck!

  11. Beautiful photos!

  12. good luck, girlie - you know i'm in love w/ all the pics u post, so i think you have a shot!


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