Here is another collection of images from the Stenslands 2020 family photo shoot:
There is one more collection of images from this photo shoot left to share!
The folders 2010-09-06, 2010-09-11, and 2010-09-13 were all fairly small, so I decided to combine them into one post. Two of the folders include images that were taken for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, which back then was known as the RANDOM WEEKLY PHOTO EXPERIMENT. The other pictures are of Dawn’s turtle that briefly lived in my backyard.
I’m not even sure what the next walk down memory lane will involve. I’d bet that will involve a block party and Iowa State football though.
This is the final collection of images of the trip I took to Audubon and Guthrie Counties with my Mom to harvest their town signs. All of these pictures are taken in either Audubon or Gray.
I know that this is the second straight day with a mention or a picture of testicles. I don’t think there will be 3 days in a row tomorrow.
There is a wide collection of images in the folder 2010-09-06. Some are of Jen and Derrick when she was pregnant with Evie. The others are from a Labor Day cookout I hosted at my house for the family. Also, some pictures of a toad I found in my backyard.
Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a turtle.
When we left off, I had just won 1st Place in Black and White and 3rd Place in Color at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but had been completely rejected by the Iowa State Fair for the 4th year in a row.
Whatever I was selling, the judges were not buying. I was despondent, but not discouraged because I knew I had entered some great photos, but they were not what the judges were looking for that year.
2011 comes around. I decided to retire from the Boone County Fair Photo Contest and to start a new way of picking pictures for the Pufferbilly Days. I also had what was probably the peak of my photo contest career at the Iowa State Fair. I got all 4 pictures exhibited. This is extremely hard to do. Thousands of people enter the contest every year. Only 5 of us got all 4 pictures exhibited. You can do the math. It is a big deal.
These are the pictures that were exhibited:
For the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest it was the second year of letting other people select my entrants. Dawn, Derrick, Jen, Scott, Russell, and Rebecca chose my entries. Dawn’s choice got 2nd Place in Black and White:
I was pretty excited for 2012. I thought I had cracked the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Code, but there is no code. Some years the judge like you. Some years they don’t. In 2012, they like one of my pictures:
That year, I decided to retire from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.
Then shortly after that, I decided to retire from Photo Contests altogether.
But in 2017, the itch came back. I decided to put on a Washington Wizards Jersey and come out of retirement. Hard. I decided to enter all 3 contests again. I got all Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:
I got one picture selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:
I had the following people select my entries for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest: Jim Robbins (yeah that is a long story), Micky, Michelle, Amber, Laura, and Dawn. However, none of the pictures earned a ribbon.
In 2018, my Boone County Fair entries were determined by popular vote:
I had two pictures selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:
My Pufferbilly Days entries were also selected by popular vote that year:
2019 would also be a successful year. I moved to having individuals select my Boone County Fair entrants. Shannon, Michelle, and Logan selected my entries.
I had one picture selected for exhibition at the Iowa State Fair and it earned a ribbon:
My Pufferbilly Day entries were once again selected by popular vote:
In 2020 the pandemic hit and all photo contests were cancelled. Which was sad and I think it was avoidable because in a digital age, I think they could have found a way. For example the Iowa State Fair still held its Fine Arts competition.
Which brings us to 2021. I’m currently working on my next embarrassing failure at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. However, I am not going to enter the Boone County Fair this year. There is a reason for this decision. A very good reason. However, I’m not going to share the reason until it becomes official or it falls through. Things seem to fall through quite often these days. No decision has been made on Pufferbilly Days yet, but Pufferbilly Days has been moved to early August this year. I’m not crazy about the decision, but I’ll give it a chance.
If you want to peruse all 153 Photo Contest entrants in this long weird journey, click on the link below:
You can see them all from the out of focus to the award winners. The good, the bad, and the moldy jam equivalent.
Recently I’ve been working on an organizational project as I prepare to get rid of a bunch of things in Boone’s annual Citywide Cleanup in a couple of weeks. Part of this has been organizing every (almost) picture that I have entered in a photo contest, both physically in a trunk and digitally in my website photo gallery.
Almost every photo I’ve ever entered in in that trunk. Except for a few that I gave away. I thought I would share some of the highs and lows of my photo contest career. To start with, I have only entered 4 photo contests ever:
+ Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
+ Boone County Fair
+ Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest
+ Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest (this contest only existed one year – 2005)
I’ve entered 153 pictures in these 4 photo contests.
I’ve entered pictures of the following people in these photo contests:
+ Humble Narrator
+ Wedding Couple I don’t remember
+ Mike Toot
+ Freedom Flight Participants
Plus I have entered pictures of both Karma and Naima.
My very first photo contest was the 2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was before they had standardized that pictures had to be matted on 11×14 foamboard. It was long enough ago that one of the pictures I entered was printed from a slide. I entered it because it was somewhat of a legacy contest. My Dad won a category in 1984.
At the time I didn’t realize what a tough contest it was and how hard it was to get even a single picture in. It was dumb luck (which in many ways all photo contests are luck because who knows what the judge likes) that I got one picture accepted for exhibition:
In some ways, this is maybe the most important photo contest entry I ever made. It is possible that 2002 me would have been so distraught that I might not have even entered another photo contest, ever.
This is the picture I entered that was printed from a slide:
I still kinda dig this picture. My other 2 entries weren’t even really in focus.
Then I didn’t enter another contest until the 2004 Boone County Fair, where this picture of Karma got a blue ribbon:
I did enter the Iowa State Fair, but didn’t get any pictures exhibited. But in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, I got two Honorable Mentions in the Black and White Division:
Then 2005 came and I “cleaned up” at the Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest:
But my triumph was very short lived. Immediately afterwards, I had my biggest failures ever. I entered two pictures in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest and got no ribbons. This is hard to do. EVERYTHING at the Boone County Fair gets a ribbon. Well everything except me and a jar of moldy jam. My photography was the culinary equivalent of moldy jam.
I did rebound to get one picture in at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon and that picture did get an Honorable Mention:
But that was bittersweet. It was my first ribbon at the Iowa State Fair, but it was a picture that I had already won a photo contest with, so that was the seeds of my rule of never entering a picture in more than one photo contest.
Also, this picture is still one of my all-time favorites and it has never gotten any love from a photo contest:
I get why, but I don’t like it.
Then in 2006, I tried my luck at the Boone County Fair and this time, I got 2 Blue Ribbons, take that moldy jam!
I would also get 2 pictures exhibited at the Iowa State Fair:
I would also have a good run at Pufferbilly Days:
2007 wasn’t a great year for me and Photo Contests. I got shutout at the Iowa State Fair. I didn’t enter the Boone County Fair. I did enter Pufferbilly Days and believe a picture of a train wheel got a ribbon, but I’m struggling to find the documentation for that
2008 also wasn’t a great year. I did get a couple blue ribbons at the Boone County Fair:
But once again I got shut out at the Iowa State Fair. But I did rebound to get a ribbon at Pufferbilly Days:
2009 was also not a stellar year. I did get 2 ribbons at the Boone County Fair:
But got no other love at any other photo contest.
2010, I once again got two Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:
But once again, I was shut out at the Iowa State Fair. If you are counting, that is four straight years. The Iowa State Fair really hated me.
However, Pufferbilly Days started to show some love:
Then 2011 happened. But we’ll get into that story in the conclusion of My (Sad) Photo Contest History.
The pictures in the folder 2010-09-05 are of Shannon after she got a new haircut and of a turtle that was briefly in my custody in 2010. I don’t remember the exact details of the turtle, but it came from Dawn and then eventually was adopted by somebody else, but then I believe bullied by the turtles at its new home and after that, I don’t really know where it ended up.
Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Jen and Derrick.
Harvesting the town signs of Audubon and Guthrie County was one the last road trips I took with my Mom. I took lots of pictures that day, so I’m going to break it up into at least two posts. All of today’s pictures were taken in Guthrie County:
Most of the remaining pictures were shot in Audubon County, but not all of them.
This is the final collection of pictures I’m sharing from the photo shoot with Alexis shortly before she gave birth to Anela. However, she doesn’t appear in any of these pictures. These are all pictures of big brother Kanoa.
I still have a collection of Anela pictures and several collections from the Stensland Photo Shoot to share to wrap up my 2020 year of photography.