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.
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.