A few days ago, the annual announcement was made of the winners of the Black and White Spider Awards. This was the sixth year that I’ve entered, and in the past five years, I have not won a first, second or third place award, but I had been awarded with two Honorable Mentions – one two years ago and the first one two years before that.
This year, I made a step forward – not by being in the top three, but by receiving two Honorable Mentions. One of them, which is at the top of the list of Honorable Mentions on the contest’s website, is a photograph of Rebecca Tun in Iceland’s Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon on my trip there in 2014. The other one (at the bottom of the list, ironically) is of Sienna Hayes made at a local beach last year when she was visiting New York.
(Regarding the list of Honorable Mentions, as they are not listed on the contest’s website alphabetically by either image title or photographer name, perhaps they are ranked in order of votes or points given by the jurors, which would put my image in fourth place. Of course, they could just be in random order, too.)
I was able to make the photograph of Rebecca as she was kind enough to arrange her schedule so that she would be in Iceland when I was there so that we could work together, and I thank her again for doing so. I also thank her for volunteering to go in the freezing cold water, too. I had envisioned photographing her on the shore of the lagoon with the icebergs in the background, and this I did, but then she told me that she wanted to go in the water, so I said that she could, but up to a point. (She also told me that she wanted to swim out to one of the icebergs, but there was no way I was going to let that happen.)
The photograph of Sienna, by contrast, was made early one morning at a beach that’s not too far a drive from where I live. Unfortunately, the beach is not very large and when the weather is nice (as it was that day), people tend to come out relatively early to run, walk their dogs or go fishing, etc. This is what happened on that day, so although we were able to make some photos out in the open early on, eventually we had to retreat away from the water’s edge, where some people had gathered, to an area of tall grasses further back where we were hidden from view. I guess you never know what you might get if you don’t keep trying.
That same sentiment holds true for competitions, as well. This year, three of the photos that I entered in the Spider Awards were nominated for an award, with two of them being singled out for Honorable Mention. In looking over my entries from years past, I saw that one of the photos that was nominated was entered before but did not get a nomination, and the photo of Rebecca had been nominated previously, but had not won anything – so again, you’ll never know what might happen if you don’t try.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that of the four photos that have gotten Honorable Mentions, three have been made in Iceland. Is this a sign that I should go back for more???
You can see the winners and honorable mentions in my category (nude/amateur) by clicking here. All of the nominated photos can be seen here, too.