Time to accept some Awards

Greetings,

I have a lot to get to. Today, I am going to share with you,what will be the most personal insight  into the life of one very conservative country boy, who happens to have a real love for practicing photography. Just to note, this post was very difficult for me to complete. Those who know me personally, know that I have been busting my hump for years. Because of this, my passions run very deep. Photography is one of those passions, and as you read more of this post, I hope you will be able to understand my commitment to the practice of it.

So let us dive right in. Two years ago, on the advice of a very close colleague, I applied for membership to the New York State Outdoor Writers Association . (The link is here if you are interested in learning more about this prestigious group.) I was accepted into this prestigious organization and I can state that it has been a very positive experience on all fronts. One of the many events that the NYSOWA  holds each year is an excellence in crafts contest. This year I had decided to enter the Janice Kessler memorial photography contest. Very surprised I received notification that I had won an award/awards for the photos I submitted. Considering the company I was in, I felt very honored to be receiving such acknowledgement.

Now this brings up a very tough choice. The awards banquet was being held on October 15th. This date happens to be the opening of another passion I hold dear to my heart. The opening of the Archery Season. I had in fact decided to attend the banquet, so I could receive the awards, in person, and meet some of the incredible people who I was competing against.

AH. the best laid plans of Mice and Men. The plan, Leave my home and travel 4 hours to Johnstown, New York, and return home later that night. As I went through the motions, of shaving, and making myself award worthy, My thoughts focused on a possible acceptance speech. Now this is where the walls come crashing down. Without going into too much detail, some comments were made in my home regarding the event. If you know me, you are aware of my ability to grind things out and do whatever I can do to be successful. You would also know that with out the support of your family, it makes your efforts pointless.This is what I was faced with. Although my perception, it was clear to me, that my accomplishment only meant something to me. So right away, my mindset had changed and I went from being very proud of what I had accomplished to being very dejected. So in summary, I did not attend the banquet and it was due to my state of mind. As I said earlier my passions run deep, and when those passions are criticized, I, like most take it to heart. Now that I have shared this with you, let me tell you how I did in the contest. The first photo was in the outdoor recreation category. This shot took second place ,

Outdoor Activity

and was taken on a snowy morning, in which my daughters enjoyed playing in the snow. I decided to take the photo because of all the laughter that was taking place, and felt that the shot captured the enjoyment they were experiencing.

This next photo was also a second place photo and was featured in the book, The Definitive Whitetail Deer Book. The title was by the author Dr. Randall Gilbert, and unlike most books on the whitetail, this one had my endorsement. Truly a unique book on the whitetail.

The photo, was taken as the sun was setting and offered me a unique background of blue sky with a mix of white clouds to add depth to the overall composition.

Full Draw

The next shot was represented in the wildlife category. Wildlife is a personal favorite for me, and as the previous two shots, this one was also a second place finisher.

Red tail Hawk

To capture this image, was no easy task. I had heard the hawk screeching from  a distance, and had taken my time in an attempt, to get close enough to his perch,so I could snap some decent photos. As I made my approach, this raptor, had spotted me almost immediately, but for some reason he chose to sit there on that power line tower, and scream to his heart’s content. Although he kept a watchful eye on me, I felt this raptor knew I was no threat to him as I moved in for the shot. A key element when photographing wildlife is the eye. I can’t stress how important it is, when snapping photos of wildlife, ensure that you are focused on the eye. Many photos have been rejected from print just because of this key point, a lesson learned several years ago.

Well folks sorry it took me two weeks to put this up. I am going to make a better effort to have a new post every Saturday. Hope you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoy writing it.

Michael.

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