I never should have let Myrna talk me into this.

“Oh come on, Fred.  We need some more pieces for the annual Art Center photo show. You don’t have to do anything special.  Just help us fill the wall space.  You can just dust off some old thing…pretty puhleeze.”

So I did.

And I got beat out of a prize by a photo of a dead goat straddling the running board of an old truck.  Talk about embarrassment.

I went through the same routine that I’ve repeated, without learning anything, for the last decade.  I shlepped to the Art Center on  Friday morning and spent three hours helping hang the fifty or so pieces submitted by people who were, for the most part, younger than my grandchildren.

Standing back with my objectivity brimming over, I was satisfied that I had honestly scanned my competition.  I then silently mused to myself “my photo is the odds-on favorite to take it all.“  The increased number of awards this year only served to bolster my chances.  I was a shoo-in.

I went to bed that night with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.  I could actually see the crowd elbowing each other for a closer look at my show stopper.  A photo that was perfectly composed, in focus, leading the viewer’s eye to the spot I had designated.  Telling a compelling story about the subjects in the photo as well as providing insight into the mind of the photographer.  God, it was good.

On Saturday, I watched the time pass oh so slowly, anxiously awaiting the start of the Art Center reception.  At the appointed time, Sweetie and I drove to the Center, parked a mile from the door and began a long trek that I can now liken to the Bataan Death March.

We walked through the door and I was instantly drawn to my award-winning photo.  Ok, maybe not first but certainly second.  All right, ok, I’ll settle for an honorable mention.  So where was the award?  Usually it’s pasted to the wall right next to the photo.  Uh, maybe this year it’s real teeny tiny, tucked away unobtrusively, maybe even behind the photo.  Nope.  Not there.  Maybe it fell off.

Like the air being let out of a balloon, my expectations dissipated into the ether.  I was incredulous.  And then I was nauseated.  Then both at the same time.

I thought, ok, so you didn’t make the big time.  The judges must have seen something very special in the dozen photos that beat me out.   Something that I would, as a professional and a right-minded guy, see and understand.  And then I saw the dead goat.

I know you’re saying to yourself “Fred does this every year.  He goes in to the show with great expectations and then whines when he goes home empty-handed.  What a loser.”

Ok, I leave it to you.  Go to the Art Center before July 9.  And tell me if you really like the dead goat.  I’m at your mercy.

13 Responses to “Loser…”

  1. 1 Nancy June 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    You’re a winner in my book – and in the “Fine Art of Photography” by Morey Spellman. If anyone would like to see more of your pictures and learn more about you as a photographer, they should go to http://www.ptolemysphotography.com and click on the My Book page.

    You’ll get em next year!


  2. 2 Myrna June 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    ah yes, please return next year with another wonderful photo … hummm, and your hammer and nails


  3. 3 Grandpa George June 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Fred you should have sneaked in one of Morey Pictures, Morey has enough pictures for everybody. George


  4. 4 Molly June 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    So Nancy, was that a thinly disguised plug for Morey’s book? I didn’t see anything about Fred on that page.


  5. 5 Mikey June 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Next year hang the Sulphur Mtn Road pix that hangs proudly in my office. It’s a winner for sure even without a dead goat! And leave the hanging to the younger folks. Maybe you’ll get better placement.


  6. 7 noonum June 11, 2015 at 12:02 am

    I know just how you feel Fred, but after years of entering I finally made it.


  7. 8 inancy June 11, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Hi Fred – the goat was sleeping – does that help?

    I am as surprised as you that my Goat images won an award. I was ‘goated’ into entering it by my husband. It is a funny picture, but not an image I have in my top 50 portfolio. It is kind of like when people say about Woody Allen, he should only make his funny movies. The image I entered that I am most proud of is the woman sitting at the grave site in candle light.

    See you next year.


  8. 9 David Baker June 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Fred, Always a winner in the way you help the exhibit. I will prepare a special Honorable Mention award just for you!


  9. 10 scohn83881@aol.com June 11, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Sorry, I didn’t go to the exhibit, but your recounting of your attempt was worth the loss. (for me at least) SID


  10. 11 Leila June 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hope I get to town before the 9th. I always wonder “who” the judges are? Their personal work? Maybe they were not able to appreciate your entry.??
    Love you and I promise to love your photos.


  11. 12 Barbara June 12, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    You do this to yourself every year!!!! Next year go to the 99 cent store and buy all the judges cheap readers and a cheap hammer and nails..


  12. 13 Sheila June 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Everything you do deserves a prize. Even though you may not have received a ribbon please note that in my book you are a winner-and I know many people who would agree.


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