I move slowly–I know it. So, when people started telling me I should enter my photos in competitions, I was reluctant. I didn’t know how to prepare them, didn’t know where to enter, etc. To help push me along, I joined the Sierra Camera Club.

This is a big step for me because they have two monthly juried competitions. Last week I put two images in competition. Wow, that was intense. I was really looking for guidance and constructive criticism. Scoring was 8 points at the low end and 12 at the high end. I really did not have any expectations of what score my photos would bring, I just wanted to hear what the judge had to say.

He went through more than 100 images in the open category and half that in the artistic category. I learned a great deal that night from listening to him. Oh, my images scored an 11 and 12. Below is “Capitol Moon” the one that earned 12 points. Not bad for the first time. And the expertise of many members is tremendous. Their photos were outstanding. Some of them warned me from experience not to get upset when I score my first “8” since judging was subjective.


Next month, I need to print out some pictures for the competition. I’m still looking forward to it, knowing the judge will be different and may be more tough. For me it’s a big step towards learning more.

For this post, I’m taking you back to the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley. My Tuesday group went there recently. I was hoping that with all the rain, the flowers would be blooming. No such luck. So I tried to shoot close up and do a little HDR. We did take the Cottage tour, bringing us inside the cottage (not the small cottage you may be picturing). See it again, but differently, through my camera lens.


10 thoughts on “A big step: Empire Mine, Grass Valley, California

  1. Congratulations! The Capitol Mon is very striking. So proud of you for doing this and scoring so high your first time out. Love your photos, next a one woman show at one of the galleries in Sacramento. Keep up the momentum.

    Love your work,


  2. Very nice work, Anne. Also, congratulations on having the courage to try the unknown. Keep up the good work – I always enjoy your blog!


  3. That first shot is amazing, and I’m not surprised it did well Anne. Competitions can be scary things, and I have to admit I tend to stay away from them. Good luck with future ones.


    1. Thanks Leanne. Truth be told, I was invited to the shoot. I truly didn’t understand how fast the moon moves or the importance of shooting in the blue hour. I know now! I’m okay with competitions as long as I can learn. In Toastmasters we are taught to evaluate and to take an evaluation. Thanks again.


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