Postcards from Syracuse … NINE OF THEM

It’s Saturday afternoon and I just came back from a little trip.

Oh, looks like the mailman has arrived.

Time to reach in the mailbox and …

I can feel them.

Little cardstocks with postage.  My fingers flip through.  Six … seven … eight … nine of them.

The postcards from Syracuse have arrived.  Six cards from the New York State Fair Photography compeittion, and three from the New York State Fair Fine Arts competition.

Nine cards.  And on the backs of these nine cards are checkmarks that denote if the artwork for each card has been accepted or rejected.  Accepted artworks stay on display at the Harriet May Mills Art Center in Syracuse for the duration of the New York State Fair; rejected artworks must be picked up Monday, as I travel to Syracuse to claim the rejects in the wryly-branded “Drive of Shame.”

What, you think I would call this Monday trip anything else?

Silly you.

Okay.  Nine cards.  Which one do I flip over first?

I’ve marked each card with a three-letter identifier on the front, so I have at least a general idea of which cards are which.

Okay, let’s start with The Horned Dorset.

The Horned Dorset. Nimslo camera, Fuji 400 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Flip the card over … and …

NOT ACCEPTED

Well, I guess this means I’m doing the Drive of Shame for at least one entry.

Okay, let’s try Faith and Frost.

Faith and Frost. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Faith and Frost. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Flip the card over … and …

NOT ACCEPTED

Ugh.  Oh for two.  And I can feel the gurgling in my stomach.

Okay, let’s skip the photos and go to a wall hanging.  How about Honeywell Farms?

Flip the card over … and …

ACCEPTED

Bang!  Honeywell Farms is going to be exhibited at the Harriet May Mills Art Center!  Holy grazing cattle, Batman!

All right, let’s go back to the pictures.  I still have four more to go.

Let’s see how Stone, Saltwater, Surf and Seagulls did.

Stone, Saltwater, Surf and Seagulls. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Flip the card over … and …

NOT ACCEPTED

Damn it.  Three misses.  I know, I should be excited about the news that Honeywell Farms got in … but right now, my photography entries are swings and misses.

Let’s go back to the constructs.  How about Hi Norman’s Kill Dairy?

Flip the card over … and …

ACCEPTED

All right!  Holy dairy delivery, Batman!  Two for two from the crate projects!  Okay, that feels better …

But I still have three photos left.  What the Grasshopper Saw, Step and Pivot, and The Heavens Above The Forest Below.

Okay, let’s reveal the heavens.

The Heavens Above, The Forest Below. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Heavens Above, The Forest Below. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens. (c) Chuck Miller. All rights reserved.

Flip the card over … and …

NOT ACCEPTED

Oh crap.  Four strikeouts.  This is really beginning to suck.  I struck out in 2016 in the photography category, and I struck out in 2014.  I don’t want 2017 to be the same.  No.  No, please, no.

Let’s try something.  I’m two-for-two on the crate projects.  Let’s see if the audible I called – when I replaced the K-Chuck Cabinet entry with the Soda Crate Hope Chest got some love.

Flip the card over … and …

ACCEPTED

THREE FOR THREE ON THE CRATE ENTRIES!

Whew.

But I still have two entries left – Step and Pivot and What The Grasshopper Saw.  Come on, at least one of these has to get in the show.  At least one.  Come on, come on, come on… Come on, Step and Pivot, you’ve got to get through…

Step and Pivot. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Flip the card over … and …

NOT ACCEPTED

Damn it.  What the hell is going on?  Have I completely lost my photography touch?

Okay.  Final chance.  Final chance, give me some love with a grasshopper’s vision.  Please, I beg of you.  Pretty please with tulip petals on top.

What the Grasshopper Saw. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens with Kenko 180° lens attachment. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Flip the card over … and …

NOT ACCEPTED

Shit.

Shit shit shit shit shit shit.

Rejected AGAIN.  Two years in a row, and three in the last four years.  Rejected like Chuck Miller on prom night.

Son of a bitch.

And the only thing that saved my bacon this year were the crate projects.  They all got in, and maybe one or more of them garnered some silks.

And I should be happy about this.  This is a new deal for me – heck, last year’s construct The Cathedral of St. Philco got a blue white ribbon for first third place … and now I have three different entries looking at display.

And I should be happy about this.

But I keep coming back to the photographs.

I checked the cards again … all six have “NOT ACCEPTED” in big stinky pink highlighter.  Not even a why.  Not even a how.

And even though I should know better, in the back of my mind, I can hear a bunch of people laughing at my expense, cheering at my failure.

“Ha ha, Chuck Miller didn’t get his pictures accepted, nobody wants to see his stuff anyway, it’s so terrible.”

“Ha ha, I’m so glad Chuck Miller didn’t get his artworks accepted, he sucks anyway.  He’s pathetic and useless.”

“Hey Chuck, were you SEEN doing the Drive of Shame to pick up your terrible entries?  HA ha ha ha ha ha!!”

This sucks.  Totally sucks.  It’s like I’m on an unbalanced seesaw, I finally get rid of the Altamont Curse, and two of my pictures get through to Iowa after years of trying – and now my pictures get stonewalled in Syracuse.  Again.  Three times in the past four years.  Ugh.

Well … if nothing else, I’ve at least placed three crate projects in the Fair… I can take that, I suppose …

And at some point in time, I’ll feel great about this.  I know I will.

But right now, I feel like crap.  And I have another twelve months to continue to feel like crap, another twelve months to come up with a new concept or six that will totally wow the judges in 2018…

Except I thought that same thing twelve months ago, and look what didn’t happen.

Ugh.

This is not good.  Not good at all.

I guess Monday’s Drive of Shame is truly a drive of shame.  😦

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4 thoughts on “Postcards from Syracuse … NINE OF THEM”

  1. I always thought Grasshopper and Heavens were especially wonderful. Sorry.
    But fascinating that you’ve succeeded on the new thing you’re doing.The soda crate, in particular, I love.

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  2. “Special thanks to our State Fair judges panel, Mr. R. Charles, Mr. S. Wonder and Ms. H. Keller for judging our photography entries.”

    Seriously, those photos were brilliant and deserved to be accepted. But with digital photography making it so easy to take good photos, there has got to be a metric f***ton of competition in the photo category now. Who knows what criteria they are using to decide what is a good photo and what is exhibition-worthy? I know I couldn’t do that job.

    At least the crate entries were accepted. Good luck! I will be at the fair for work reasons and will definitely go take a look at them.

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