Summertime, Sun, and the annual Oregon State Fair. With hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, this event is not to be missed. Part of the fair is the Photography exhibit and competition. I enjoy printing and exhibiting my pictures at the Fair and have done so for 2018 and 2019. In 2018, I won a Judge's Choice award for my macro photographs of my daughter's beehive. Printed at 16 by 20 inches, each bee was bigger than your hand! This year for the 2019 Fair, I entered ten pictures. Three each in the color, B&W and panorama divisions and 1 in the special Oregon division. There were hundreds of photos entered this year, and the quality was outstanding. I was shocked that I won 4 awards this year!
People's ChoiceThe fair has a ballot system, and visitors can vote for their favorite photo at the exhibit. When the votes were tallied (1,000+ votes), my picture of my dog Bella was voted best!!! I took this shot with my Sony A7 r3 and the Sony 70-200 f2.8 lens at the Oregon coast. I was capturing images of my daughter and her dog, playing on the beach. One of the things that I did was call her to me at a full run. Bella can run at 25 to 30mph so she had to be far away, with my lens at 200mm. I was lucky to capture her in mid-flight, perfectly posed with the fantastic Sony continuous eye focus getting the eyes tack sharp. I don't think I could get this exact pose again if I tried.
First Place - Black and WhiteWe had significant flooding in Corvallis this spring. All the roads out of our house were blocked, and we were water-locked with no way out. I took the opportunity to take a picture of the flooded trees near our house with my drone. It turned into a lovely abstract photo. While I didn't consider it to be my strongest B&W entry, the judges did and awarded it first place in the B&W category!
Second Place - PanoramaI love shooting panoramas! They are technically challenging, but the final result is gratifying. This panorama is high enough resolution that it could be printed more than 10 ft wide and still be sharp a foot away from the image! I use this story to tell my daughter about perseverance. I took her on a three-day daddy/daughter vacation in Alaska, and we hiked near an old gold mine. I found this excellent vantage point for the panorama, but the light wasn't right on the face of the mountains. I kept asking her to wait, but she, like a typical teenager, was very impatient and complained profusely. We did wait at the top for an hour, and I finally got just a couple minutes to take the panorama. Good things come to those who wait.
Judge's Choice - PanoramaAnother Panorama of mine won a "Judge's Choice" award which is one of the judge's favorite photos. This photo was taken early in the morning at a beach in Oregon. I arrived at 4:30 in the morning for the low tide and set up a tripod and started taking pictures. It turns out that I didn't need to get up that early, as I captured my best shot at sunrise around 6:30 am. But it was a very peaceful morning, and I got another couple portfolio worthy pictures of wildlife as well. I used a ND filter and did long exposures to smooth out the water. The final image was 19,000 x 4,500 pixels in size. It was a huge file!
All of my Entries for 2019Here were all of my entries at the 2019 Oregon State Fair. Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below! I would also like to thank Focal Point Photography in Salem, Oregon for donating over $2,000 in prize money for the winners of the competition. Thank you! It is very appreciated. You can see the full 2019 Oregon State Fair Photography Results.
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Free Family/Pet Portraits!?? As I grow my photography business, I am trying to pay it forward, and I think I have a solution! Do you have a sick family member that you would like to forever capture in a family portrait session? A pet that has only a short time to live? Sometimes money is an issue during times like this, and I would like to help you out.
I saw these two trees on a distant hill from another shoot I was doing and made a note to check them out on a later date. That day finally came! Read more to see my winners and the duds of the shoot.
Scott Kemp, owner of Highway 20 Productions, entered ten photographs in the 2019 Oregon State Fair. He was thrilled to have won four awards, including a first place, second place, judge's choice, and the coveted People's Choice with his incredible picture of his dog flying through the air!