Sunday, March 24, 2013

There’s nothing quite like the sting that comes from paying for a good ass whuppin…
If you are serious about photography, sooner or later, you will take the big leap and dip your lily white toe in the shark infested sea of competitions…..If your ego is unusually fragile, you best be leaving your shoes on and staying the !@#$ away from the shore line of competitive despair.  The competitions are insidious in their siren like calls, whistling out of the darkness of the internet,” hey big boy, come on, it’s not that much money, your stuff’s good, really good, you’ll do great, hell maybe you’ll win the whole enchilada and take home the new Buick full of money and camera gear AND don’t forget if you act now you could also win that trip to Mars.”
Works for me, where do I submit…….
Sometimes you even get a personalized invitation, here’s mine from what is arguably the most important international competition of them all:
 Dear Mr. Johnston   
  I remember your outstanding and successful photography from our contest 2011 very well!  This was excellent photography!
However we missed your images in our 2012 edition so much that I decided to write to you today.
I hope that I can convince you with this letter to enter your best images in the world's largest annual photo art contest:   


Trust me, if that shows up in your mail box, you start dreamin of glory……So you read the instructions in the call for submissions, look in your library or worse yet undertake a competition specific series of shoots, size ‘em, name the files just so, hit send, visit PayPal, cha ching, and wait.  Most times you forget the date they say they will let you know what you won (it’s good to have hope) and  when the mail shows up in your inbox, your little ego driven heart goes pitter patter and then …..
WHAMO you moe-ron, did you actually think you had a chance, fool. (Say it like Mr. T for full effect)
Well, I exaggerate, they are a little gentler when they bend you over and the bullwhip cracks. 
Usually a variation of this;
Hello, (Notice now they have forgotten your name, when they were trying to get into your pants you were on a first name bestest buddy basis)
I regret to tell you that your submission(s) was/were not selected to appear in our money spinning photographer of the century competition. The response to our call for submissions was great, and while Judge Darth Vader was impressed and challenged by the amount of excellent work submitted, he had the difficult task of considering many factors when making his final decisions. Unfortunately, your work was not one of those selected, but we can assure you it was seriously considered. (Yeah sure it was)
I have had a little success, just enough to keep me going back to seaside and sticking it in, paying my fees, waiting. Tap tap tap and then getting my ass wupped. In the last month or so I managed to not make the cut in the Namibian Land Matters in Art exhibition, FFS it wasn’t even a competition, I will resist the temptation to rant, lest it stink of sour grapes, (rest assured however that I am seriously bent over the judges decision) I submitted a series of images that were based on this simple theory, ownership of the land is irrelevant if it has been destroyed by pollution and neglect, neither of which is permitted under the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia.
This is one of them.

I also submitted this one to Open-2-Interpretation along with 4 others, one of the five made the top 40, but not the all-important top 30. Crack goes the whip……
And now I am waiting tap tap tap for my dear friends at the Super Circuit to let me know how I fared in this year’s competition.
I’m feeling lucky.
My work was well thought out, perfectly executed; this year will be my turn. (Hey Moe-ron…)
There will be some 80,000 entries, I am thus far the only photographer from Namibia to ever have stepped up to the plate and entered. I shall consider myself a winner if one of my submissions makes the 1000 images they reproduce in the extraordinary catalog that they send to every single photographer who enters, and if it really is my turn, then I’ll get word via a letter that begins with.
Dear Mr. Johnston, Congratulation’s, we are pleased to inform you……
PS. If you haven't had a look at my website in awhile, please have a look, I've been working hard on it.....

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