I have not wrote much about the Iowa State Fair this year. I have send out my submission, and had three images in the show. None of them won any awards nor mentions, which I was a bit disappointed. It also makes it far less interesting to talk about. As usual, not my winner-candidates (like this portrait of Torie) went on display while images I liked but was not crazy about where found show-worthy (like the pea in the pod or B29).
This is not, however, what this post is going to be about.
I submit images to State Fair since I started photographing seriously, 5 years now. I do not submit to many contests, this one, however, somehow draws me in. Each year, I get the summary photo book, and browse through images other people submitted. It is fascinating to see so much creativity in one place, and realize that some of those are professional working photographers, while some are just lucky snaps by occasional shotters, catching just a perfect moment. And you sometimes might not know which one is which!
During that time, I also observe how times are changing. Even couple of years ago, the place for extended-dynamic range images was in special HDR section. Now, almost every image is an HDR. Most are done subtly, just opened shadows and increased clarity. Yet if you have any idea about dynamic range of cameras, you just have a feel for it.
Is it wrong? I don’t know, probably not. But it is noticeable, nevertheless. Time to up your skills, it might become a new aesthetics anytime.