to print or not to print

For the most part, my personal photos are just for me because I enjoy taking them, seeing and trying new things.  Small version are shared online but I hardly ever print.

Once a year the camera club has a print contest or photo competition. I finally took the time to go through my huge library trying to narrow down my favs. Maybe now that they’re correctly tagged I’ll get to adding them on here this year.

It started with days staring at the almost 54,000 pics on my computer. I narrowed down to 82, then I broke down spent too much ordering 17 from Adoramapix. I find their ability to crop and choose the paper easy to do from home, and they have always packaged well and shipped quickly. In hindsight, I should’ve let them mount them too.

I cleaned off the kitchen island and started trying to choose 3 before watching videos about how in the world you are supposed to mount photos. Unlike most of the rules, the print competition has no restriction on the date the photo was taken. It does have a self-classification of enthusiast or advanced. I was squarely in between the two of the list so I asked a club board member and went with his advice of enthusiast.

Enthusiast. An Enthusiast may have some or all of the attributes listed below:
Strong interest in photography
Background in film photography, but just entered the world of digital
Basic knowledge of camera operation with a keen interest in learning
Uses point and shoot cameras set on Automatic
Basic understanding of post processing
Limited participation in Forums, Critiques, Field Trips and Presentations,
but little or no experience in photo competition

Advanced . An Advanced photographer would have moved further up the
learning/experience/equipment curve and would have demonstrated skills in the some or all of the items listed below:
Participation in numerous Forums, Show & Tells and Speaker
Proficiency in using camera, various lenses, flash, etc
Understands depth of field, composition guidelines and other techniques
No longer depends on Automatic settings and has moved up to
advanced settings such as Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program
and/or Manual modes
Competence with post processing software
Quality of images submitted in Forums, Critiques and Exhibits
Experience in photo competition

Me. I participate in stuff, but not sure that changes someone’s skill level.
I can use my bridge camera okay but not various lenses, flash etc. I’ve never fired a DSLR. I’ve been truly interested apx 7-8 years. Use PSA more than auto but less than M. I use processing software. I don’t print anything – like hardly ever.




Separating my feelings behind a shot and trying to look at it objectively was harder than I thought! One of my truly favorite shots is of a dandelion because of the memory of my husband helping after working hard all day without being asked – but that was entered in the club before and they would’ve known who’s it was. I love the photo of my hubby too because even though he doesn’t like having photos taken of him he went for a day without shaving for me and stood, and stood some more while I tried my hand at portrait photography. Love that subject matter! A few members may have known that photo was of my hubby.

When I shot the staircase with lemons on a stand I was just sure I’d be entering it. My snowflake was the best snowflake I’d ever shot but a small drop of ice on my lens made a soft spot I hadn’t noticed until it was printed. Frederick, the black horse was awesome to see but he was so far off and moving it wasn’t the sharpest. My salt and pepper photo has been a fav but I should’ve ordered it in the pano it was shot instead of cropping it.

So down to my final 3.


White Plumage, Praying and Beeing mellow yellow.

I had the brown mat, I bought the black and white mat shown on the praying mantis and I attempted to mount Plumage to a foam board.

Cutting the foam board was difficult. No matter how hard I pressed the edge wasn’t smooth. Then after watching videos, I decided to use glue dots. That was a mistake but I don’t have time to order another print to try something else.  It would crease my photo trying to take it off even though they said removable.


Hubby helped me cut the foam board to use on the back of the praying mantis. I wish I’d asked for help earlier… I mean, he even offered. Live and learn. Hope I don’t forget all this by next year.

Wish me luck ~

6/28/17 update: I won I won (in my class) – so happy!

I won a blue ribbon for first place with Beeing Mellow Yellow and a red ribbon for 2nd place with White Plumage. Praying was in a tie with 3 others for third but it didn’t win. There were almost 80 terrific images. 14 or so in enthusiast and the rest in professional. I didn’t envy the judges (Don McGowan, David Simchock, and Jeff Miller) job. The club went high-tech this year with gadgets for keeping score while displaying images in a lightbox and on a screen. The tech and white glove guys worked hard as I’m sure many people behind the scenes did.

So many members came up and said nice encouraging things. I guess it’s proof it’s not all about the camera. Maybe I’ll treat myself to that quality variable ND filter or a new bag soon. I was asked what camera I used. Here’s my answer.

I was asked what camera I used. Here’s my answer. None of the three  I entered were from the 2 Pany Lumix cameras (Fz300 & Fz1000 I have now, but all were from a past Lumix.  The bee was from Aug 2013 w. Fz100. Peacock Jan 2014 w. Fz200. Praying mantis July 2015 w. Fz200

Congrats to all the other winners!

In addition to the print competition judging, we watched another video by John A, from the Little Switzerland trip and the best shots for liquid. There were lots of very cool ones in that too.

Here’s on to Mood for July and at least 2 field trips Mike already has scheduled.


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