Maine Photographers Represent in B&W + Color Magazine’s 2012 Single Image Contest

"Pyrotechnic #12", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

The most recent B&W + Color Magazine has just come out with the results of their annual Color Single Image Contest. I was very pleased to see that one of my images (above) received a Merit Award in the Pattern/Texture category. (You can see other of my Pyrotechnic series images here and here).

"Lost Highways", Copyright Sharon Arnold. All Rights Reserved.

But I was just as pleased to see how many other Maine photographers were found in this issue, including many friends and clients. Sharon Arnold received a Gold Award in the Metaphor/Abstract category (see photo above). Felice Boucher joined her in that category with a Merit Award. Robert Moran ended up with 5(!) selected photographs, garnering a Silver Award, two Bronzes, and two Merits. Mary Woodman also had a Gold Award to go along with her two Merits. Jane Yudelman joined the fun with a Merit award of her own, as did Lynn Karlin. Carol MacLeod also had a Silver Award and a Merit Award and LeeAnne Mallonee nabbed a Bronze and a Merit. Congratulations to all of the photographers selected!

I know that all of these contests are subjective and you can only take their meaning so far, but I see this sort of result as further confirmation of the rich and vibrant photography community here in Maine. Those of us who live here already knew about that, but I’m happy to see others taking notice as well.

You can see a copy of the magazine cover below if you want to find it on the magazine racks:

Embracing Rejection: Thoughts on Juried Exhibitions & Contests

"Wolf Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson

I’ve been thinking about juried competitions quite a bit recently – I’ve been entering many (and getting in a few), and most of my photographic friends and clients are doing the same.

Before I go on, I’d like to clarify that I believe that juried events are valuable to artists, particularly emerging artists. The obvious potential benefit (and the reason most people submit) is that getting your work in front of jurors, receiving an award or selection, and having work included in an online or physical exhibition can all result in exposure of your work to people who may be able to help advance your career. Another benefit is that selections will help fill out your artistic resume or CV and may help establish credibility and/or seriousness as an artist.

I’ve also found that for me personally, the process of selecting work to submit is a valuable exercise in editing, and who among us doesn’t need more practice with editing our own work? (If you get in the habit of frequently entering exhibitions & contests, however, your costs in time, money, and mental energy will quickly add up, so it is worthwhile to consider whether each makes sense for you and your work.)

So now let’s talk about rejection. After dinner last night when I checked my e-mail, I was staring in the face of three brand new rejections that all came in within the previous few hours. No matter what you might have won in the past or your own evaluation of your own work, a string of rejections is not conducive to warm fuzzy feelings about yourself. Most of us will inevitably start questioning ourselves, even if just fleetingly: Maybe my work just isn’t that good?

Well, who can be objective about their own work? For the purposes of this discussion, however, let’s assume that your work is good. And yet we still get rejected, time and time again. There are many legitimate reasons why any selected work will be rejected by a particular juror. First, most of these competitions are incredibly competitive – many have 1o’s or 100’s vying for each spot. Second, art is subjective. Perhaps the juror just didn’t like your work — well, there are always people who don’t like any piece of work. Maybe your work is more traditional and they were looking for something edgier, maybe your work is edgy and they wanted traditional. Maybe the juror was selecting works to curate a unique vision and, while they loved your work, it just didn’t fit it. For all these reasons and more, as artists we need to learn (and, believe me, it is hard sometimes) to not take it personally.

My lesson from all of this for my work is to embrace the rejections and recognize that they are just part of the process. Instead of being annoyed at each one like I used to be, I have now slowly come to realize that they really are subjective. And while I certainly prefer to get an acceptance rather than a rejection, getting a rejection means that I’m out there in the ring and trying to present my work to the world. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but how great is the ability to present your work that way? Now when I get those inevitable rejections, I know that I’m putting my work out there, trying for more and more competitive shows, and if I don’t get in — well, there is always next year.

Calls for Entries February 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Two new big ones (CMCA and PRC) and two with entries in the next few days, so move fast if you’d like to enter those.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The now 7th Annual Maine Photography Show is accepting entries with all entries due by February 1st. This is always a fun one to enter and to see what gets in.

Eyephoneography #3 – Open call for entries (and no entry fees), entries due February 3rd. As you might guess, this is for the iPhone crowd. You know who you are.

Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery’s has entries due February 6th for a  show entitled “In Your Dreams”.

Aarhus Gallery in Belfast has their now annual call for art for their “44N 69W: Radius Belfast” 2012 show, open to artists of all sorts living within 30 miles of Belfast. The way this works is that you bring 1-3 pieces, make a small donation that they then pass to local food kitchens, and proceeds of any sales are also passed to local food kitchens. It is always a fun and diverse show and for a great cause. Drop-off is between Feb. 23rd and Feb. 26, so please checkout their website for details.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockport has a call for entries for their 2012 Biennial with entries due March 1st. Please note also that entries are physical proof-type prints that must be delivered by that date – it is not an online entry. The Biennial will be co-curated by CMCA director Suzette McAvoy and independent curator Daphne Anderson Deeds. This is obviously one of the big shows this year in Maine and well worth entering.

The PRC in Boston is having their prestigious 17th Annual Juried Exhibition, entitled “Exposure 2012”, with entries due between February 1 and March 2nd. The juror is Alison Nordström, Curator of Photographs and Director of Exhibitions at the George Eastman House. This is one I definitely recommend that all New England photographers consider.

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th, but early entry discounts are available until February 14th.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries January 2012

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to try to get your work out there into the world? Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England (though yet again this one is somewhat national in scope). This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this!

Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery’s “Poetic Objects: Still Life as Objects” has entries due January 9th and “In Your Dreams” due February 6th.

1650 Gallery in LA has a call for entries due Jan. 10th for a show entitled Snow & Ice.

F-Stop Magazine is taking submissions for The Portrait, due date Jan. 15th.

Open to Interpretation has a new call for entries entitled “Fading Light” with entries due Jan. 19th.

The Center for Photography at Woodstock has their Photography Now competition with entries due Jan. 20th.

Gallery Photographica in San Francisco has a call for entries for the 2012 San Francisco International Photography Exhibition and Competition with entries due Jan. 20th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, Colorado has their Black & White call for entry with entries due Jan. 25th.

The presitgious PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris prize has a new contest entitled Altered Images for photographs taken using alternative processes or toy cameras – it looks like entries are due January 21st, 2012.

The 2012 CENTER Awards (based in Santa Fe) have an entry deadline of January 30, 2012 – these are both highly competitive and prestigious, which is how I suppose it should be…

The now 7th Annual Maine Photography Show is accepting entries with all entries due by February 1st. This is always a fun one to enter and to see what gets in.

Good luck!

Fine Art Notecards & Free Shipping

I’ve now set up free shipping to the US for everything on my photography website from now until the end of 2011. This includes all sizes of prints as well as notecards (about which see below). Everything is handled automagically whenever you add anything to the shopping cart.

Well, ’tis the season when everybody is thinking about notecards, and my printer has been humming away making new ones. I offer fine art notecards of all of my images for $5/card in packs of 5, perfect for gifts or thank you notes. All you do is select the image on my website, Add to Cart and select Products, and select fine art notecards. Or you can simply contact me directly and we’ll work it out.

And, if you subscribe to my email newsletter, you are eligible for discounts on both the fine art notecards and my smaller open edition prints. You can sign-up right here if you are so inclined.

I have a large supply of both rectangular and square blank notecards, so if you are an artist looking for an elegant notecard solution, you can find out more about my notecard printing services here.

Calls for Entries December 2011

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry that may be of interest to photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England (though this month is pretty national in scope). This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. There

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this!

Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery’s  “The Four Seasons” has entries due December 12th.

Maine Art Scene is having their Third Annual Call to Maine Artists for their 2012 Statewide Juried Virtual Art Exhibit, with submissions due December 15th. The end result of this is really pretty slick.

B&W Spider Award Competition 2012 – the due date is Dec. 16th.

Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR (the ‘other Portland’) has a call for entries for its Black & White themed exhibition with entries due Dec. 16th.

B&W/COLOR Magazine has their annual B&W Portfolio competition with entries due December 31, 2011. These are always worthwhile to enter as their circulation seems pretty widespread.

1650 Gallery in LA has a call for entries due Jan. 10th for a show entitled Snow & Ice.

The 2012 CENTER Awards (based in Santa Fe) have an entry deadline of January 30, 2012 – these are both highly competitive and prestigious, which is how I suppose it should be…

The presitgious PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris prize has a new contest entitled Altered Images for photographs taken using alternative processes or toy cameras – it looks like entries are due January 21st, 2012.

The now 7th Annual Maine Photography Show is accepting entries starting Dec. 1st with all entries due by February 1st. This is always a fun one to enter and to see what gets in.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries November 2011

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry that may be of interest to photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England (though this month is pretty national in scope). This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. A little early this month, but at least one of these is a new one and is due early in November.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this!

“Eat Me – The Tasty Art of Food Photography” from 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles, due very, very soon on November 2nd. The gallery has another call for entries of “Flower Power” that is due November 30th.

Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery’s “On the Road – Travel Photography” has entries due November 14th and “The Four Seasons” with entries due December 12th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has its “Home” competition, entries due November 16th.

Center for Photographic Art 2012 Juried Exhibition in Carmel, CA, entries due November 18th.

Project Basho’s international competition for emerging photographers, juried by Todd Hido, entitled ONWARD Compé, with a due date of November 28th.

B&W Spider Award Competition 2012 – the due date is a ways off (and I’m not sure when it is), but they run lots of specials that let you get discounts for submitting early.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries October 2011

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry that may be of interest to photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this!

“The Dark Side:  Night Photography” from 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles, due very soon on October 5th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has its “Portraits” competition, entries due October 11th, and the “Home” competition, entries due November 16th.

Two grants available to Maine artists from the Carlo Pittore Foundation are available, with a deadline of October 15th for entries.

Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery’s “Uncanny: Surreal Photography” has entries due October 17th.

The “Intimate Landscape” call for entry from Open to Interpretation (image/poetry book based on winners), deadline of October 18th.

The Print Center in Philadelphia has a Call for Entries for its 86th Annual International Competition: Photography, deadline of October 19th.

The National Portrait Gallery is having the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, entries due October 31st.

Center for Photographic Art 2012 Juried Exhibition in Carmel, CA, entries due November 18th.

B&W Spider Award Competition 2012 – the due date is a ways off (and I’m not sure when it is), but they run lots of specials that let you get discounts for submitting early.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries September 2011

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry that may be of interest to photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things are picking up now that summer is over and there are many contests with due dates in the coming months.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this!

Colour, Colour, Colour from The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, due September 11th.

The Nature Conservancy Photo Contest, due September 12th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, Colorado has their Portfolio Showcase contest with entries due September 14th.

The British Journal of Photography has their International Photography Award 2011 contest coming up with entries due September 15th.

Bates College has a call for entries entitled “Starstruck“, due date September 15th – note that they require physical prints for submission.

The Lens Culture International Exposure Awards (portfolios, single images) are due September 17th.

Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery has “Again: Reflections and Photography”, with entries due September 19th.

Summer” by the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, final deadline of a surprisingly non-summery September 21st.

Color Magazine Single Image contest, due September 30th. One of the best pieces of exposure you can get. (In print, at least, as the website is still archaic). You’ll have to find an actual copy of the magazine to get info on submitting as the info they have on the website is not up to date.

The National Portrait Gallery is having the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, entries due between September 1st and October 31st.

B&W Spider Award Competition 2012 – the due date is a ways off (and I’m not sure when it is), but they run lots of specials that let you get discounts for submitting early.

Calls for Entries August 2011

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry that may be of interest to photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this!

“Dreams” with the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, Colorado, curated by Aline Smithson, entries due August 9th. They have their Portfolio Showcase contest with entries due September 14th coming up as well.

The Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery has a Call for Portfolios (due August 8th) and another contest called The Nature of Trees (due August 22nd). The Call for Portfolios looks interesting but I wonder how many visitors actually look through the portfolio books.

The Nature Conservancy Photo Contest, due September 12th.

Summer” by the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, final deadline of a surprisingly non-summery September 21st.

Color Magazine Single Image contest, due September 30th. One of the best pieces of exposure you can get. (In print, at least, as the website is still archaic). You’ll have to find an actual copy of the magazine to get info on submitting as the info they have on the website is not up to date.

The British Journal of Photography has their International Photography Award 2011 contest coming up with entries due September 15th.

Bates College has a call for entries entitled “Starstruck“, due date September 15th – note that they require physical prints for submission.

The Lens Culture International Exposure Awards (portfolios, single images) are due September 17th.

The National Portrait Gallery is having the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, entries due between September 1st and October 31st.