Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Northern Short Course - Awards

"Brian Bichell of Rosedale, Md., drags a lifeless deer from the forest to his truck after he shot it with a bow and arrow, as he and other archers gather for the opening of the annual deer hunt season in Loch Raven Reservoir off of Paper Mill Road in Baltimore County, Tuesday morning. (2008 Archive)"

I have never really been much into entering contests for various reasons; mostly because I've always been a self taught photographer and never knew about what to enter. In contrast, I was pushed to enter some regional and national college oriented contests in school when the campus paper paid for my entries; and I did very well in those.

Since I wasn't big into contests, I never paid attention to them; until now. You can bet I've seen every winner from every contest as far back as they go.

So now that I know about all that exist, I look back and wished I would have entered CPOY and all of the other contests such as: POYi, BOP, PDN, WPP, etc., each year.

Sure, I may have never placed, but I find it healthy to go through your past years work and reflect on what was a success, a failure, what worked, and what didn't, and organize your images accordingly.

With that, following graduation I've vowed to spend the time and money and enter all the major contests, be it the large international ones, or the simple, smaller Internet-based ones such as on Sports Shooter and NPPA.

This year, I've entered my work into what I call the "big dog" competitions for the very first time. I didn't expect to win anything, didn't place in POYi, and nothing in BOP (yet), but I got a little bit of a surprise last weekend.

This past week was the annual NPPA Northern Short Course, which includes their own photo contest for those members in regions one, two and three. Although I didn't make it to the conference in Virginia, I did enter the contest.

As I checked the results last Saturday night on my Black Berry, my heart stopped when I read that I had won an award.

I won't lie, I was totally shocked that I placed. I was competing against some of the best photojournalists on the East coast, including those at: The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, Getty, AP, and more.

I am talking about exceptionally talented photographers who have entered piles and piles of contests for decades and know not only what wins, but what grabs a reader. In addition, have been shooting years before I was probably even born.

Not to mention those who are also breaking into the market, like me, entered as well. Simply put, I was up against really amazing folks in this industry that I often look up to for inspiration.

Well, after reading my name at midnight on my phone, there was no way I was getting to bed, so I wanted to double check that I actually placed. That's when I was shocked again.

I had won five awards, not just one.

I placed third in the feature picture category (the above image), third in the portrait and personality category, second and third in the sports action category, and received an honorable mention in the sports feature category.

Normally I am not one to toot my own horn, but it felt great seeing my name beside some of the industry's best for my first time entering a contest against like this.

While it may not be a national or even international contest, and there is no telling what happens behind closed doors with the purely subjective judging, it's still great to be recognized. Not to mention, helping The Baltimore Sun get a third place team overall, and beating out some of my friends and fellow shooters, who I think the world of, here in Baltimore, was cool.

What can I say. My excitement shows in this post. Simply put: it was a little nice boost to be recognized.

To see a full list of the winners, Click Here.


Blogger David Hobby said...

Way to go, dude. You deserve it -- you have been working very hard this past year.

Did Carol Guzy let you carry her bag? OMFG, did she clean up!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Phil Romans said...

Congratz Patrick!

Hope the economic conditions don't damper your career path!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Patrick... just stumbled on your blog and wanted to tell you that I'm completely blown away by your photos. They're amazing.

I write the Happy Hour column for The Towerlight, but I don't think we ever met. Anyways, really good stuff, man. That's all I really wanted to say. Keep up the great work.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 7:55:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buglewicz said...

Whoa, nice! Mad props to you Patrick...

Friday, March 27, 2009 3:44:00 PM  

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