holoholo photo

A Fair Shake

I am ashamed to admit this, but it has been four years since I last entered the Maui fair photo salon. Back in September of 2013, I entered six photos to be judged and walked away with a third place ribbon for my black and white entry, titled Mail Call. Ever since then, I have become more involved in the Maui Camera Club, but I have failed to make time to submit any photos in the fair. The past few years I was on vacation during the dates of the Maui fair was held, and I missed the opportunity.

This fall I was not going to be traveling when the fair was on Maui; therefore, I was able to submit photographs. Just like I did back in 2013, I entered six photographs in the open division, two in each category: black and white, color, and photo art. I definitely decided a little late to enter this year’s competition, so I feel that I rushed my selections a bit. If it weren’t for Emily’s help, I would still be deciding which ones to enter.

Being a member of the Maui Camera Club, I know how much hard work the volunteers put into running the photo salon at the fair. Since I was on island, I was available to help set up the wall of photographs before the opening night of the fair. This job entails using a staple gun, a step ladder, and having a team to help keep photos level and evenly spaced. The wall of entered photographs runs the entire length of the gym along the longest wall. While helping put up pictures, I was also able to get a sneak peak into which photographs won, as well as admiring all the submissions without the crowds.

Red Sand Sunrise. This was shot above a secluded red sand beach in Hana, Maui, just as the sun came above the horizon and from around the hillside. I had other, longer exposed shots of this same scene, but decided that the sun’s rays, as well and the lens flare added more to the picture than just mushy water.

Rainbow Falls. Fresh off of our trip to Hilo in June, the second entry for color was a toss up between this shot of the perfectly named Rainbow Falls, or a shot of lava flowing into the ocean. I liked the lava, but I felt this was just a better composed image. We had Rainbow Falls to ourselves one morning, before the tour busses arrived, and took a handful of shots from the viewing area. The rainbow only appeared in a few photos.

Sweet Donkey Friends. This picture was featured in a blog a few weeks ago, but I entered it in the fair for two reasons; one, I wanted to see our sweet donkey friends up on the wall of photographs at the fair, and two, I think it was a fun picture. Sometimes competitions can be so serious and entering this particular photo made me feel at ease with my other selections.

Aloha Cowboy. Another black and white photo taken in Makawao town. The silhouette of the paniolo, or cowboy, with the Makawao History Museum sign in the background was just too perfect not to shoot.

In Triumph Shall Wave. This was my first choice to enter into the “photo art” category. The original picture was just a fun perspective shot of a flag waving in the wind, but I used a filter in Photoshop to manipulate the picture to look like an oil painting. I thought it was a fun picture before I messed with it, but I really enjoyed the end result. It reminds me of a Norman Rockwell magazine cover somehow.

Honor Guard. Originally taken from the stern of the USS Bowfin, looking towards the battleship USS Missouri and USS Arizona memorial, this photograph already had a lot going for it. I decided to make it a panoramic picture to focus the action in the middle of the frame, but then I pulled out the color, and made it a black and white shot. In order to submit it as “photo art,” I then manipulated the photograph to add the blue and red back into the American flag. It was a fun experiment in Photoshop that works, in my humble opinion.

Now that you have seen all six entries, can you guess how I fared in the fair?

*pause for dramatic effect

Red Sand Sunrise: Did not place
Aloha Cowboy: Did not place
Honor Guard: Honorable Mention
Rainbow Falls: Honorable Mention
Sweet Donkey Friends: Third Place
In Triumph Shall Wave: First Place

So I had an amazing fair this year! Four of the six entries came home with ribbons (yes, they give honorable mention ribbons out) and two of my entries earned a prize. Even more exciting than the prizes is the fact that because I took first place in a category I will no longer be able to enter photos in the fair under the open division and will have to move up to the expert division. It is something that scares me, but it may help push me to try harder in the future.