Odd. While doing a Google search to see how my stuff is ranking (average on the 3rd page), I ran into the results of the City of Bellingham Essence of Bellingham Photo Contest.
Yes I am bragging.
No, it’s not the Pulitzer.
But, you don’t know if you’ll win if you don’t enter contests either.
Perusing through I noticed the link for the 2014 competition which just ended. Upon opening the page, I read that I won 3 awards:
- Honorable Mention for “Morning Fog.”
- Best of Subject: Sunrise/Sunset – “Watching the Ships Roll In”
- Best of Subject: Water – “String of Pearls”
Here are the photos!!
“Morning Fog” –
Photographed this scene while wandering around Bellingham during a particularly foggy autumn last year. As I walked around, I saw this tide pool a leaf had fallen into. So I spent some time working the composition to get something I liked.
I shot it wide, then medium. Started up close then stepped back. Used my Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 then tried my Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 on my Nikon D300s.
I liked the wide and up close the best.
“Watching The Ships Roll In” –
There was no time to shoot “Watching the Ships Roll In.” I went to the Boardwalk with my wife Heidi and as I got out of the car, I saw the sailboat, the man with the hat, and the setting Sun.
The man with the hat makes this photo I believe. He’s slightly turned so you see the Sun through his glasses, he’s in silhouette, and his posture is relaxed.
I knew the sailboat would have traverse the Sun. Because I didn’t want the empty bench of the man was sitting on, I found a position where the man was on the right side of the frame. As the sailboat became closer to the Sun, I moved so you could see the full of the sailboat.
Using my 80-200mm on my D300s, I zoomed in and then slowly zoomed out until I had good placement of the Sun and man. Then I waited for about 30 seconds as the sailboat went in front of the Sun.
My exposure was simple: Sunny 16 minus 2 stops. Pull into Photoshop using RAW, simple curves, then caption and save.
“String of Pearls” –
It was another foggy morning when I shot “String of Pearls.” A wet, heavy fog.
While taking my wife Heidi to work, I noticed all the spider webs in the fields along West Bakerview. So after dropping her off, I drove around for a bit looking for some intact webs that would make great photographs.
At Whidbey Island Bank at the intersection of Bakerview and Northwest, I saw a sapling in the parking lot. On that little tree was a huge spider web and it was dripping in fog.
I wanted to get close so I threw my Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 Macro onto my Nikon D300s. I worked the composition: straight on, to the side, midway, narrow depth of field, deep depth of field, etc.
My favorite is this: To the side as close as possible with narrow depth of field. The blue? Caused by shooting on the tungsten white balance in daylight. Post processing was my standard: shot on RAW, brought into Photoshop. Used layers for minor burning and dodging, a curves layer, and unsharp mask.
Last year I won Best of Show – Professional with this image:
“Blazing Runner” –
I would like to say a special thank you to the City of Bellingham for choosing 3 of my photos out of nearly a thousand as images that represent our community. I would also like to thank my wonderful wife Heidi for her patience as I continue to pursue my dream.
As with most contests, you have to take them with a grain of salt. By all means enter. You never know if you’ll win, place, or show. But you don’t know if you don’t try. So enter those contests. Just make sure you read the fine print that the contest isn’t a “rights-grab” for unlimited use of your images.
Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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