I entered a few pictures into the 2011 Orange County Fair’s juried photography competition, and was ecstatic when I heard that two pictures I’d taken of a flowering octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana) had made it through the screening.
Greg, of Alpenglow Images, had alerted me to the presence of the agave on OCC’s campus, and the first picture came from a series I took with him back in March just after sunrise on a rainy morning (my Agave and Aloe Inflorescences gallery). At the time, the agave’s inflorescence was still growing, and the flowers were only buds protected by long spines:
The second picture was taken about a month later (my Flowering Agave gallery), when the inflorescence was fully in bloom:
I printed the pictures up, delivered them on the appropriate day, and heard nothing. My primary goal for this endeavor had been to just get my pictures through the pre-screening, which I’d heard wasn’t easy1, so my only remaining goal was just to see them hanging on the wall.
I’d been planning to head to the fair Wednesday (for their free admission with donation), but then just before I headed out the door I opened up my e-mail to find an invitation to the OC Fair awards ceremony! It was thus with much excitement and anticipation that I arrived at the photography exhibit, and navigated my way through the many beautiful images2 to the amateur plant category:
A quick look near my image resulted in pure happiness:
I won first place in the amateur plants color category!
It was a great start to the day, which I topped off with a deep fried Snickers, the absolute best way to eat a Snickers ever.
Many thanks to the judges!
Next up: Michelle entered a project into the recycled materials division, and I had an excuse (of the blue ribbon kind!) to take lots of pictures of that as well.
2 The overall quality of the images this year was amazingly high; I found many of the “amateur” prints to be equal to or better than many pro images I’ve seen. There were hundreds of images on display, and the vast majority of them were absolutely excellent. If you’re looking for a fun way to see a wide diversity of great photography, I highly recommend heading to the OC Fair this year.
To see more pictures from the two shoots, head to my Agave and Aloe Inflorescences gallery and my Flowering Agave gallery.
Orange County Fair: The Orange County Fair runs from July 15 to August 14 at the county fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA; they conveniently have a directions page here. Since I can just park on OCC’s campus and walk to the fair, I don’t know what the parking situation is like, sorry.
8 thoughts on “Orange County Fair 2011: A Winner is Me!”
Hey Marc, this is awesome! Congratulations. I wonder if you also win the award for image made geographically closest to the fairgrounds? 🙂
Congrats Marc. I’ll be going to the OC Fair in a few days and will probably see your photo.
Congrats Marc! I can’t wait to search it out at the fair.
Thanks Greg, Richard, and Nikki!
Greg: I don’t know, but I bet I’m in the running 🙂 Google Earth reports that the Agave was 595 yards west of the Merrimac entrance to the fairgrounds parking lot.
And if you get lost in the sea of beautiful imagery trying to search it out at the Fair, it’s about in the middle of the north wall of the exhibit area.
The photo reminds me of an electron microscope photo of pollen that I saw many years ago. It may have been marijuana flower pollen.
They give you a free ticket to the OC fair if you enter something in the garden & floral competition. It is very easy to enter and you can do it every week of the fair. You could probably pick some flowers on your way down to the fair and enter them when you get there.
Instructions are here: http://ocfair.com/competitions/docs/2014/Competition_Guides/18%20Fruit%20and%20Vegi.pdf