Finally, after years of trying, I have tasted success at the hands of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year!
My image, "Spiders dew home" is a finalist in the Animal Habitat category. Being a finalist means that mine is one of 100 other images which together will make up the exhibition and subsequent book. Winners will be announced on the 10th of August, at an event at the South Australian Museum.
This is the 4th (or perhaps 5th?) time I have entered the ANZANG competition, but up until this year, all of my images have been overlooked. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't very disappointed every time I received the mail to say that we have received many thousands of images and that the quality has been very high this year and that, unfortunately, your images have not been successful. Each time I had to confirm to myself that photography competitions are not judges of the worth of my photos. Each year, as I thought my photos got better and I was still unsuccessful, I had to work harder to convince myself that not being successful did not devalue my photos.
So, now that one of my photos is a finalist, does this suddenly validate my work? Not really. In fact, several of the other images I submitted this year were better, in my eyes. I guess it means that we all have our own reasons for creating photographs, and some will mean more to us than others, regardless of what independent judges might think.
Who know what the judges think, or rather what the judges see. If you have seen any of the previous finalists, you will know that the quality of photography is very high. Perhaps its a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance.