• Troy Baker

As a Competition Goes

The North Shore Salon of Photography is a national photographic competition which could be viewed as the second biggest in the country. My first few attempts were successful with medals but as yet winning the competition outright has eluded me. Considering the number and quality of entries its like scoring the winning lotto numbers so to take that top spot would be a great achievement indeed.

The thing is, as I grow more and mature as a photographer, the drive to enter such competitions is falling away. I began using competitions as a tool for comparison, evaluating where my work actually stood nationally. I now know myself, my work and where I stand so the need for comparison is no longer there.

This leaves me in a slight bind as I feel I have unfinished business here which will be a regret if I stop but my desire to achieve it is fading.

This year I entered three pictures. One image (below) I made earlier this year which gained a highly commended. A scare I'm certainly happy with.

Hyacinth. They are Children First. Highly Commended

The other two pictures were made especially for the salon. Each taken a week apart but one which had been nothing but an idea for at least 15mnths.

The first I wanted to be topical, to deliver a conservational message concerning plastic. The setup was complicated due to height restrictions, a looming deadline and unpredictable weather but I am extremely happy with the result.

Not a Drop of Water

The third was a reference to a Pieta (meaning "pity", "compassion") is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. This also has an environmental twist with Jesus being substituted for a swan. Swans are often used as a symbol of love or fidelity.


The above image was along time in the making which may be hard to understand when looking at the finished product. Needless to say the Pieta along with the my plastic creation didn't even place which highlights the amount of luck needed as well as a great image to even gain an acceptance. Another comp, another judge and who knows.

I may have to plug away at this for another year or two in the hope I reach my goal but if I fail to do so, does it really matter?

I would like to thank those who help make these possible by providing valuable advice, sourcing props, hair and makeup, modeling and even the two individuals being brave enough to feature a creative shoot for the first time. These projects don't happen without you.

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