Preparing for the overhaul...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Do YOU Have A Creatin' Contest Horror Story?

Yesterday, commenting about my Creatin' Contest nightmare, one of my readers commented that, unfortunately, I wasn't the first to have an unpleasant experience.  Reading that, I was intrigued--who else has had issues, with this or any other miniatures contest?  What sorts of issues did they experience?  

I think that, maybe, contest-related unhappiness is more widespread than any of us think, but we keep mum about it, because our experiences have been so unhappy-making.  But let's share!  I, for one, would feel much better.


Tabitha Corsica said...

CJ...I don't have a story to tell but I have a question. Did this individual from the contest actually say they were not allowing your entry into the competition? Or was her main complaint the quality of the photos (which aren't bad, IMO, but what do I know about such things.)

Have you considered taking other photos? Maybe using a blue sheet or something as a background and perhaps taking the outside shots at a straight on eye level?

Maybe she was, in an obviously clumsy and obnoxious way, trying to get you to submit other photos because the piece was so very good. Because it is an excellent example of miniature work.

Anyway, if you aren't too angry at them, maybe you should rethink this? In thinking about the situation, I am finding it odd that anyone even would bother to call an entrant with the option of better photos. Most of the time, as I said yesterday, it's all just submitted and the chips fall where they may. So maybe she did REALLY like your entry and wanted it to be presented in the best possible way?

Just trying to look at it in all lights...

Susan (aka Tabitha)

C.J. said...

Susan/Tabitha, I appreciate what you're saying. And, if she'd called asking for different pictures and been polite about it, maybe. Although it's worth pointing out that, judging from their website, their standards for pictures are fairly low (clearly, no one else was using professional photography tools). This is an amateur competition, and the purpose of the pictures is to highlight the work--which is miniatures, not photography. However, she began the call by explaining how she knew the "other judges" would hate my piece and that, based on what she'd seen, it wouldn't be judged.

I, on the other hand, actually have taken pictures for both print and online miniatures magazines, and do know something about photography. It's much harder than people think to take good pictures of such little things--and, with a project like this, that's 3' wide and 2' deep, it's virtually impossible--with any tools--to create a "perfect" 4 x 6 picture. I'm not saying there aren't better photographers than I am (of course there are) only that the task set to contestants--describe the entirety of the project, both on the macro and micro level, in no more than four 4 x 6 snapshots--is extraordinarily difficult. I'd like to see any amateur do better.

Tabitha Corsica said...

I understand your feelings about this because I'd feel the same. And I doubt I'd be sending them anymore pictures...except that my husband would, no doubt, say that I should. Other than the Grand Prize winner from 2004, I haven't been able to see any other photos of past contests, for some reason, so I've no basis for a comparison. And Christine's photos certainly don't look professionally done.

In any event, there is never an excuse for rudeness. I always did think that HBS had an over-inflated opinion of themselves.


Elga said...

I just found your blog through Giac and I must say your work is outstanding. I often think the word amateur is used wrongly, amateur can mean without skill but as far as I understand the difference between professional and amateur, the former does it for a living and the latter for pleasure, so what on earth does that have to do with skill levels, if you are good you are good regardless whether you get paid or not. looking forward to reading the rest of your blog and keep up the good work.