Monday, January 7, 2008

2007 Reviewed

Last night, while trying to get to sleep, I was thinking about 2007 and what occurred photographically during the year. Using my less than stellar memory here is what I came up with.

  • Arts in Harmony 2007 - The year started with a huge surprise. Two of my images were selected to be displayed in the Arts in Harmony art show here in Elk River. As described in a previous post this is the largest juried national art show in Minnesota. The previous year I had not won a reward so this year I was hoping for an honorable mention, gotta start somewhere. Lynn and I went to the reception in February and as I approached one of my photographs I saw a ribbon hanging from it. I was smiling as I saw it was a members award, given to Arts Allience memeber. Then on the tag next to it on the wall it also said: Great River Energy Purchase Award winner, Great River Energy is a local power company. I looked in the program only to discover that this was a $1000 purchase award, one of two $1000 awards in the show the other being the Best of Show. I showed Lynn and we just couldn't believe it. Great River Eneregy was purchasing one of my images for $1000. Amazing.
  • New Camera - In preparation for out trip to Europe I bought a new Canon 5D camera. This is Canons 'other full sensor' 35mm DSLR.
  • France and Italy - Not only was this a wonderful vacation for Lynn and I it gave me the opportunity to take some very memorable photographs. During the course of 3 weeks I shot 5479 images. Good thing it's the digital age since i wouldn't have been able to carry that many frames of film, nor afford to get it all processed.
  • Minnesota State Fair Art Show - This was my third year participating in THE largest Art show in Minnesota. There were over 600 photographs submitted and only 120 selected for the show (this was just the photography class). Well I didn't make it again so I am 0 for 3. I really thought I had a good chance using an urban landscape from Paris. But there is always next year. Here is the image.

  • One Man Show - At the Arts in Harmony reception I signed up to do a one person show at the Sherburne County Government Center, the location of the Arts in Harmony Art Show. To have a show I needed 30 images which I figured I should be able to handle. The show was set to run the month of August. I was rather hesitant as to the contents of the show but I figured that our upcoming trip to Europe would give me enough photographs to make up the show. In the end I had photographs from Italy, France and Minnesota. In retrospect I could have left out the Minnesota images but as it turned out the way the Govt Center is laid out the two bodies of work, Europe and Minnesota, were separated. I ended up with 46 images, 36 from Europe and 10 from Minnesota. Boy was that a job and I sure learned a lot. First off I had to select the images then buy materials, print, mat, frame, make labels, make business cards, prepare signs, determine my selling price. Seemed like the list would never end but I got everything ready just in time. I even had a feature article written in the local paper about me and the show, another shocker. The story was on the front page of the second section and one of my images took up half a page. You can see all of the show images here,

  • First Art Show - In October I participated in my first art (and craft) show. Cost me all of $20 for the weekend. I had a 10’ section of plywood wall, the show was in an unoccupied and unfinished retail space, from which to hang my photographs. I got a couple of print racks and it actually turned out to be a pretty nice display, wish I had taken a picture of it. I wasn’t expecting to sell anything but I ended up selling 4 prints so all in all it was a real success. I also met a lady whose sister is the buyer for Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. I will be meeting with her in the spring to see if they would be interested in stocking some of my Split Rock images.

  • First Workshop - I finally took a workshop. This one was easy since it was at the beginning of October and Grand Marais. Grand Marais is along the Minnesota North Shore and is where we have our 5th wheel from August thru the first part of October. The workshop was run by Layne Kennedy who is a Minneapolis professional magazine photographer. The goal of the workshop was to product a photo story. I must say I got the most feedback of all the participants and it was not because my photo story was so good. It was a lot of very constructive feedback. I really enjoyed following a pro around and seeing what he was seeing. It was a great learning experience something I plan to do more of in the future.

  • New Web Site - After the art show it became obvious I needed to do two things if I am going to be successful selling my work. First I need to add greeting cards to my lineup and secondly I need my own web site. So I signed up for a Pro level account with Smugmug. Smugmug allows one to heavily customize their site. I knew I wanted a simple site and I was able to achieve that look. I had to learn a bit of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) lingo and with the help of their very helpful support group get my site up and running. I’m very happy with the site. I don’t get many visitors and haven’t sold a print from the site, I did sell some greeting cards though, but that’s ok since I haven’t started heavily promoting myself. But I do have the site, and greeting cards, ready for the future.

  • Another New Camera - Sometimes it would be nice to have a camera with me without my DSLR camera and lenses. The DSLR is big and bulky. Finally Canon came out with a point and shoot and has the feature I want and allows files to be stored in the native RAW format. This is the P&S I had been waiting for the Canon G9. I keep it in my car and can pop it out any time I like. I haven't printed any images from it but will get to that soon.

It’s been a fun year with a lot of firsts. I don’t know what will happen in 2008 since I only have thoughts now with no firm plans.


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