Art is Subjective – or – My Crook County Fair Photo Placings

August 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm (Bend, Leah McDaniel Photography, Oregon, Photography) (, , , , , )

For the first time, I entered my photos in more than one county fair at a time, which apparently you are allowed to do in Central Oregon.  If you are a resident of Deschutes, Crook, or Jefferson counties, you can enter in all three county fairs.  Who knew?

It was an interesting study to see how well the images did in different fairs with different judges.  Interestingly, some of my photographs that did extremely well in one venue did poorly or didn’t place at all at a different one, and vica-versa.  What lesson did I come away with?  Well, art is subjective, and you can’t please everyone.  Ultimately, if you are an artist, and aren’t doing contract or pay for hire work, you must please yourself first.  If the work is strong, there will be some that love it, and some that hate it. 

Though the rules and categories are slightly different from competition to competition, I was able to enter most of the same images in both fairs.  At Crook County, you are allowed to enter two images per category, though only one of the two images may ribbon.  At Deschutes County, you may only enter one image per category.  It is also interesting to note that not all of the categories are represented at both fairs, and that in Deschutes County, the divisions are defined by beginning and advanced/professional with the addition of a youth category, while at Crook County, the divisions are defined by age group alone. 

The Crook County photography department Superintendent told me that entries were also up considerably in the photo competition this year, with over 600 entries.  Not bad for a small fair.  The advent of digital photography has ignited an interest again in photography, and I think we will continue to see some wonderful photographic artists emerge from our Central Oregon communities.

Below are my Crook County Fair placings.  You may want to compare them to my Deschutes County placings to see how they compare.

First Place

First Place - This was not entered in Deschutes County, but I opted to bring it as my second Animals entry at Crook County

Second Place - The Deschutes County Fair judges didn't even glance at this

Second Place


Second Place - I thought this one was interesting because when I was selecting my photos, this one was an afterthought. I thought it fit a category and I didn't think enough of it to have it printed large. It was the only 5x7 I entered and it did very well in both fairs. It was one of the few 5x7 prints that placed well at Deschutes County, as the judges seemed to favor large prints.


Third Place - This one didn't place at all at Deschutes County

1 Comment

  1. 2014 Deschutes County Fair Photography | Eponaleah's Photoblography said,

    […] I have done pretty well this year in my fair photography placings. You can read about my Del Mar (San Diego) Fair photography here. If you would like to check out how I have fared in previous years’ competitions, check out THIS, THIS and THIS. […]

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