As with many people who have camera-related pursuits, one of our personal dares is to put ourselves "out there" and try to tell our story.
One type of outlet is the gamut of photography and videography competitions offered worldwide. I've dabbled with these off and on over the years and it is very humbling to see the work of numerous amazing image makers around the globe. Saying that the competition "out there" is stiff would be a gross understatement. So during those creative phases when I'm feeling punchy or bold, I enter a film or some photos. A few times, I have received tidbits of recognition which is encouraging when I win but equally as discouraging after putting heart and soul into what I think of as a meaningful and artful project only to achieve honorable mention or miss the short list entirely.
When this happens, after the sulking subsides and pouty lip relaxes, I remind myself, while sucking on as few sour grapes as possible, of the subjective nature of these forums and that the most important motivation for expression is education; if our creations can release a moment of empathy, joy or discovery into the cosmos, the energy we put into our work has been worthwhile.
Beneath the Sea (America's Largest Consumer Scuba and Dive Travel Trade Show)
2009: 2nd Place - Video Open Category - "It Takes Two" (https://youtu.be/FEZfNL6qoTg)
2010: Best in Show - Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography - "Beauty in the Beast" (https://youtu.be/6EYm5EcW8Iw)
2014: Honorable Mention - Video Open Category - "Falaya - Protecting Manta Rays in Misool and Beyond" (https://youtu.be/u1BnLUth_gM)
Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society
2007: Honorable Mention - Video Raw Category - "Cuttlefish"
2009: Honorable Mention - Video Raw Category - "Squid"
2009: Honorable Mention - Video Edited Category - "In the Palm of Your Hand" (https://youtu.be/3CRdXw6UpAk)
2010: 2nd Place - Video Edited Category - "Trilogy" (https://youtu.be/chMkV9fi4FQ)
Many years ago before there were digital cameras: Honorable Mention - Annual Photo Contest - E6 film image from St. Martin, French West Indies