Another first and boy am I happy

Last Friday my husband and I drove the 412 kilometres to Millicent for the Gala Opening of the Rotary Photographic Art Exhibition. A long way to go to view a photo exhibition but not so far when it is your first exhbition. I was keen to see the works from the other entrants and to learn as much as I could from the experience.

So there I was stood in the Millicent Civic & Arts Centre with a glass of lovely Coonawarra red in one hand and the exhibition catalogue in the other listening to the announcement of the winning entries. First it is the Portrait category with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place announced. The winning portrait image is simply stunning and can be seen by all as it hangs on the display behind the announcer. A number of Merit Awards are also given before they move onto the next category. The Landscape category. The process is repeated and an equally stunning image is announced as the winner. Then it is my category, Nature. I wait with bated breath despite not expecting to win a prize, especially not in my first exhibition and not against such marvellous talent. And I’m not disappointed. The prize goes to Paul Johnson for a stunning image of a Blue Wren that I’d admire the moment I had stepped into the room. His image deserved the prize. Not only was it well composed and impeccably sharp, it was also of a bird that can be notoriously hard to capture on camera. It flits from spot to spot pausing for less than a second before it is off again on its hyperactive journey. So I raise my hat for anyone who can take such a stunning image of a difficult subject.

But then we move on to 2nd and 3rd prizes and these too go to fantastic images. I still wasn’t disappointed. For me this exhibition was as much about the chance to show my work to a wider audience as it was to win an award. So imagine my surprise when they move on to the Merit Awards for the Nature category and mine is the first name they read out. I’d swear that my jaw really did drop as it was the last thing I’d expected after seeing the quality of the winners. I was in a daze the whole time – just totally unbelieving despite seeing my name printed on the certificate. How I didn’t trip on the steps onto the stage area I’ve no idea. To say I was chuffed or estatic was an understatement.

The only thing better that evening was seeing other people study the image that received the award and to watch their reactions. Now I just want to get back out there with my camera and work on improving my skills. Receiving the award from award winning photographers with 30-40 years of experience behind them is certainly encouragement enough that all of the frustration that can come with trying to get that perfect shot is indeed worth it.

And here is the entry responsible for my happiness.


Grevillea

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