Shoot more images = learn and develop new skills = achieve better results

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a keen amateur photographer and, as a result, a fair number of photography-related posts appear around here (generally timed to go live on weekends). In addition, I recently spent a fortnight in northern France and my Flickr photostream is full of new images including one I took of l’ÃŽle Louët, Château Taureau and the surrounding estuary in the morning mist (which I’m particularly pleased with, hence the reason it is currently the header image for this site):

La Phare de l'Île Louët et le Château Taureau dans la brume matinale (2)

I’ve also started to enter some competitions and, whilst I’ve yet to enter one that earns me any money (to pay for the Nikon D700 DSLR I bought a few weeks back when the card slot packed up on my D70), I’m pretty chuffed to have scored some points in my local camera club’s print competition of late. The results are pretty subjective (I think I’ve entered some better shots than these but the judges decision is final!) but, back in February I picked up a second place in the Open category with this image of London’s St Pancras International station:

St Pancras International (2)

I also picked up a 3rd place in April’s Food category for this shot of some artichokes which is part of a set taken courtesy of Matt at Much Ado Catering:

Artichokes

This shot of a steam locomotive cooling down in the evening scored me a second place in the Open category for May (and print of the evening):

80078 at 71B (2)

And this shot of a mother duck and her duckings, scored me a third place for New Life in June:

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Then, just to add the icing on the cake, one of the group admins for MK Flickrites saw this wild flower meadow shot, suggested I entered it in the June challenge for Natural Landscapes) and it won (by a very narrow margin – my vote would have gone to Negative Vibes’ Summer Grass entry has I been online to vote at the end of the month):

Wild flower meadow (3)

I’m not the world’s greatest photographer (you should see some of the shots I haven’t showcased here!) but entering competitions like this is making me get out there and shoot more images. And, guess what, the more you shoot, the more you learn (and the better you get). So, if you’re a keen photographer, I recommend entering a few competitions. I’m sure my run of luck will end soon (and it took me a while to get over my bruised ego when some images were sent back from a magazine competition a few years ago with a 5-tickbox comment card that said they “lacked impact”) but I get a real buzz when someone enjoys my work. It’s definitely worth a try!

(The images in this post are ©2009 Mark Wilson, all rights reserved and are therefore excluded from the Creative Commons license used for the rest of this site.)

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