It turns out I had an even better weekend than I thought as one of my photos took second place in a photography contest held in my mom's town each year. I entered the photo contest last year, or rather my mother entered some of my photos which she had around the house, however nothing came of it and I told myself that this year I would be better prepared. I was wrong about that. I need to get on their mailing list so I can have more warning than when my mom decides to remind me the weekend before the contest. I did not want to enter the same pictures that were entered last year even though I am not certain what was actually entered last year, so I decided to select some pictures I have taken in the past year. Here, in no particular order, are the pictures I entered along with a brief description.
"Between Two Worlds"
This was taking at the Meiji Shrine during my visit to Tokyo last fall. If you can't tell, it is one of the torii gates. Torii mark the line between the mundane world and the divine, thus the title of this picture.
An unintentional continuation of the Japanese theme, this is a picture I took at the Lone Star Flight Museum's annual air show this past April. Sadly the plane pictured is not an actual Japanese Zero but rather an AT-6 Texan which was modified to resemble a Zero for the movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!" The plane belongs to the Tora Gang of the Commemorative Air Force, or rather is associated with them as I am not certain who actually owns the aircraft in the picture. The only airworthy Zero that I am aware of is based out of the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California. The plane can be viewed here. One of these years I need to make it out for their airshow.
This is also the first picture where I worked with manipulating the levels in the raw image file to make a better photograph. Here is the unprocessed picture which, upon reflection, prints MUCH darker than it appears here:
"The Road Home"
This was taken just outside of Comrie, Scotland during my visit for Hogmany. I took seven or eight different versions of this shot, trying to find the exact one I wanted to use. I want to go back some day and spend a lot of time photographing around the village as Comrie is almost exactly what you would expect a village on the edge of the Highlands.
Just some flowers form my mother's garden. I really like the contrast in this picture. I could not think of a good name so I went ahead and used Floriana 1. I enjoy taking pictures of flowers and figure if I ever put out a book of my flower photography I would title it Floriana thus getting a Queen Elizabeth I reference by piggy-backing on Spenser's The Fairie Queen.
This was some flowering tree I saw on my trip to Wimberly with Nikki last May, which I chronicled here. I have no idea what the name of the tree is or anything however I love the blue sky in this picture.
This is the picture which won second prize in the Floral category. I took this picture last November when I met Kyle, Sarah, and Nojo-jojo at the Texas Renaissance Festival. I like this picture so much that it is the desktop picture on my laptop.
Here are a few other pictures I wanted to enter but did not have enough time to properly edit.
The Heritage Flight performed at the Lone Star Flight Museum air show in April. I worked on this image to brighten the sky and make the colors pop a bit more than they did in the original. I also tried to cover up some dust which had gotten on my camera's sensor. You can see where I failed pretty miserably.
The shockwave from traveling at just the edge of the speed of sound causes the water vapor in the air to condense a bit, creating the cone of mist around this F/A-18 Super Hornet. Again I fiddled with the levels and contrast a little as well as trying to clean up the dust motes. Again I failed on the dust mote factor. Good thing a friend of mine is teaching a class on Photoshop this weekend.
I want to have these pictures finished for next year's show, provided I do not get anything better at the next airshow I attend. Until then I can live with James W. Wood, award-winning photographer. Yeah, I like the sound of that.