The Cowtown Marathon and Smiles at Mile 17

My daughter had been telling me how much fun it was to have The Cowtown Marathon pass right in front of their house the last Sunday of February. We decided to take some vacation time that coincided with that event in 2019. It really was a blast! I returned in 2020 just before the pandemic shut down the world. We returned for the resumption of the full marathon in 2022 after they went virtual in 2021.

The neighborhood in the Texas Christian University area uses the event as an excuse for a block party. Neighbors gather up and down the street to cheer on the runners as well as give out water, pickles, bananas, bandaids and vaseline (runners know why). One neighbor blasts music complete with professional sound system and d.j. Kids play and parents party. However, I’m on my recumbent trike taking pictures!

Of course! I have to take pictures, and it’s hard to know when to stop. From the first speedsters to the last strollers, I usually get everyone’s pic. However, I was having a camera malfunction last year and shot several frames with my backup when I realized the shots were extremely overexposed. A runner saw my pics on Instagram and asked if I got his pic. As I searched the time at which he passed by, I could only deduce that he was in the overexposed section. We’ve become Instagram friends and I hope to redeem myself this year.

Since I’m not doing this professionally, it’s hard to know if any of the runners see their pics. Because of the overwhelming number of shots, I made a video montage last year, I titled it “Smiles at Mile 17.” I decided that will be my hashtag for photos on Facebook and Instagram this year. We’ll see if that strategy works.

Here is last year’s video.

The 2022 Cowtown Marathon – Smiles at Mile 17

If you’re running The Cowtown Marathons on February 26, 2023, I hope to capture your Smiles at Mile 17!

2022 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon

I haven’t made a post for quite a while (June of 2022 to be specific). I realize that my last post asked for your pick of my pano submission. In reality the grain bin pano was already submitted, and I’m happy to say it was chosen for display.

Edge of Night

While not winning an award, it is an honor to be selected for display. It was among 23 (37% of submissions) in the panoramic category that were displayed, with only seven receiving an award.

In addition to this photo, I entered three additional photos, rounding out the maximum allowed submissions of four. I typically enter the Themed category. “The Open Road” was the 2022 focus. It was my only submission that was not selected for display. Only 12 of 32 entries in the Black and White class were displayed.

Road to Glory

I submitted another black and white in the People class. I took this picture of four of my grands a few years back at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. It was partially chosen for entry because I won the People – Color class in 2021 with my “Bubble Girl” photo, featuring my oldest granddaughter. That precipitated requests from her siblings to have a submission as well. While it was not a winner, it was displayed, and they proudly posed with it when they came up for the State Fair. 38% or the 81 entries were exhibited. A small feature that I loved about this capture is the small rivulet of water that connects in middle foot to the foot in the reflection.

Four on a Bench
Four on a Bench

My last submission was in the Animal (Color) class. I felt it was the least likely to go through to exhibition, but it made it! A farm family in my church let me know of a Great Horned Owl nest on their acreage. I went out on a few occasions and caught this photo in the late nestling stage. It was among 74 or 251 entries that were exhibited.

The Better to See You

So with three out of four submissions making it to exhibition, I was very pleased. Only 10% of photographers had three entries progress through the judging process. There is a merit award for those who have all four entries exhibited. Curiously, no one received that honor in 2022.

There is a Youth Division in which the top age is 17. My grandson captured a picture of his dog that I thought would be a worthy entry. He was six at the time he took the picture with an iPhone. His photo was also exhibited, making him the youngest photographer exhibited at the Photography Salon!

Whit with “My Great Dog”

A total of 2,191 photos were entered by 394 photographers with 29% of entries exhibited. The numbers of submissions have been down post-pandemic. It will be interesting to see if numbers rebound this year. So that’s the update of 2022 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. Entry information for 2023 will be released in April on the Iowa State Fair website. Out of state and international entries are welcomed. The special Theme Class for 2023 is Sunrise/Sunset. It should be a highly competitive class. I’ll drop a few of my potential 2023 entries as the June deadline approaches.