Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big night

Some of you know I joined a photography club this fall. There are about 75 members.  All the members of the club welcomed me with open arms since I brought the average age of the club down to 75.  We meet the first Tuesday night of every month.  There are sometimes photo trips planned during the month of which I find it difficult to attend since most are held on weekdays, during the day.  Remember, most of the club is retired.  And sometimes there is a classroom type of thing to learn some photo software stuff.  It's really all good and I'm amazed at the time and effort put into the organization.  And it doesn't cost a thing.
The format of the monthly meetings is one month a guest speaker/teacher is brought in to do just that, speak or teach.  The next month is a photo competition.  There are 4 categories:  Large Monochrome(B and W), Small Monochrome, Large Color, and Small Color.
Tonight was a photo competition.  All together there were about 125 entries between the 4 categories.  There are 3 guest judges brought in from other clubs in the Chicagoland area.  You are allowed to enter as many times as you like.  Each entry must be mounted on a mat board, whichever color you like(black is the usual), and the photos are set in a light box.  The three judges then give a point total and the highest point total is the winner of that category.  Depending on how many entries in a category there could be a 1st place, 2nd, and a 3rd place as well as a couple of honorable mentions.  It could be as low as a 1st place and one honorable mention, once again, depending on how many entries that month.
Tonight was the first competition I entered.  I submitted 1 large Monochrome, 1 large Color, and 2 small Color.  Well, low and behold, I got an honorable mention for my large Monochrome.  I felt good entering that picture from the response it got from people seeing it on my blog.  And evidently, the judges liked it, too. I was told by several people after the competition it is very seldom anyone wins anything in their first competition.  I tell ya, the competition was fierce.  Some of these "elder" photographers know their stuff.  It doesn't hurt that they travel alot and submit shots of Alaska mountainsides or wild lions on safari in Africa.  Me?  Alot of horses and herons and trees.  But, the good thing is its not about the subject matter as much as it is about strong photographic principles and I think the judges really tried to judge that way.
What happens now?  My picture goes to the regional chapter, CACCA(Chicago Area Camera Club Assoc.), to be judged in their competition.  Not all honorable mentions go to this judging.  They take all the honorable mentions and have a "runoff" to see which should go.  Once again, it depends on how many entries.  Tonight 2 honorable mentions were selected to go to the regional.  What happens then?  To tell you the truth, I don't really know.  I was just surprised and happy I was chosen.
I'm doing something I've never done before, but its necessary to show the winning shot.  A repost of an earlier pic.  Here it is.


  1. Congratulations, Mark. All of us on your blog could have told you that you take some pretty great shots...nice to have it confirmed.

  2. That is AWESOME!!! Congrats! You deserve to win, and I know this is just the beginning of your photography journey. Instead of Ansel Adams people will say "Oh, that has to be a Mark Zelazoski picture"...

  3. Good going. Sounds like a good club. I could fit right in with all those "Kids".