This summer, for the first time I submitted images to the Ontario image competition with the goal of having at least some of them selected to be included in the Ontario Salon. Images are judged by a panel of experienced judges, and it is possible that they be classed as unaccepted, accepted, merit or excellence. It is also possible to be judged as best in classes as a  judges selection. The combination of four images submitted also could lead to being named as the Ontario Photographer of the year in a number of different categories.

Being my first time around, I didn’t have any great expectations, and did it as much as a learning experience as anything, so I would understand what I could do better next time around.

I was surprised and pleased when I received an email advising that of the four images I submitted, one was judged as merit, and three as accepted. Digital ribbons were presented, and a press release prepared for me to submit as I see fit.

I have always held the belief that feedback and critique is necessary if you are to improve, regardless of the pursuit, but I’d be lying if I said it isn’t nice to get a “You done good,” from your peers. It helps you to believe that you can build on this accomplishment and maybe, with more preparation, you can do even better next time. The thing to remember though, is that while recognition is nice, it shouldn’t be the main reason for practicing photography. If you enjoy the sound of the shutter, the feel of the camera in your hand and that amazing feeling you get after downloading your images when you see that what you captured is what you actually saw, then everything else is a bonus.

The destination may be what motivates us, but it is the journey that fulfils us.

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