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The Competition Results Are In

 

This is a long one, but I think it is worth a cursory read. :)

 

My last post was no accident. I was hoping it would be a lead-in to this post, and that I would be posting some good news from the photo competition. I am happy to say that I am.

 

Sunday afternoon, Kendra and I drove back down to Monterey for the awards ceremony. Before I go any further, let me break down the contest.

 

First, there are two divisions, "Novice" and "Open". A novice cannot have made more than $200 from selling photography or have won more than three 1st or 2nd place awards in three separate photo competitions. Kendra is a novice. Everyone else is in the "Open". I was in this division.

 

You may enter no more than five total images, and no more than three in any one category. The categories are "Wide Angle", "Macro", and "Behavior".

 

After my disastrous first dive, I went with wide angle for my second dive. I had a much more enjoyable dive as I am generally more successful with shooting wide angle. The conditions and choice of reef were better, too. This did require a longer swim, which leads me to a funny story.

 

Two years ago, I competed in this very same contest. Kendra was just along for the ride. I wanted to maximize my chances of getting that winning shot, so I insisted on doing three dives. Now, I've done three dives in a day many times. Heck, I've done six dives in a day. From a boat. Ten years ago.

 

Needless to say, three dives in one day is just too many. The cumulative effect of three long swims out to the site, on the dive, and back to shore coupled with the trudging up and down steep beaches with 80 pounds of dive and camera gear resulted in my legs completely and utterly cramping on the swim in from the third and final dive. I have never had such pain and cramping in both my legs at the same time. We're talking complete cramping of quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

 

At one point, I was laying on the bottom, clutching my camera in one hand, both legs immobilized in pain, and clawing the sand with my free hand, pulling myself to shore, one arm length at a time. When I grew tired of this futile mode of transport, I inflated my BC jacket in order to rise to the surface and determine how far I was from shore. My legs would simply not work.

 

Meanwhile, Kendra is witnessing all this and laughing. Ultimately, she had to tow me in to shore, and I barely could walk up the beach.

 

Fast forward to this year's competition, and I knew three dives was out of the question. But I'm two years older, and still not much of a beach diver, preferring my kayak as the main mode of getting me to the dive site. So here we were, ending out second dive, and my left leg seizes up. Yep, complete and total upper leg cramp. As it loosens up, my right leg starts to seize. Memories of 2007 come flooding back, and I can only laugh...in between the flashes of pain.

 

Needless to say, I made it ashore, without assistance I might add.

 

Images were submitted back in Monterey. I submitted the maximum three in Wide Angle, one in Macro, and one in Behavior. Kendra submitted two in Wide Angle, none in Macro, and none in Behavior.

 

Back at the awards ceremony, Kendra and I wondered just how well we would fare. The Behavior category yielded nothing. Not unexpected considering Kendra didn't enter, and my shot was an afterthought. The Macro category was the same as Behavior.

 

Wide Angle is where the dynamic duo of Kendra Karr and Jim Patterson shined. Kendra won first and third in the Novice division. I won First, Second, and an Honorable Mention in the Open division. Wow! We were shocked and humbled to say the least. We also realized that we would both be competing for the "Best of Wide Angle" distinction wherein the judges choose their favorite of the two divisions' 1st place winners.

 

And Kendra did me One Better. She won "Best of Wide Angle".

 

Read Kendra's post to hear how the contest ended, it should be fun and entertaining.

 

And here are my three winning shots. Keeping with the theme of the contest, these are unedited, straight from the camera. All I did was add my signature and resize for Flickr. That's it.

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Taken on May 16, 2009