“Flight” Nikon D700 f/5.6 1/40sec ISO 100 70mm

It was just a piece of paper! One of twelve given out at the Eighth Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit in Gainesville, Virginia. There were 396 entries from a worldwide entry pool and only 123 entries were accepted into the show. To be accepted was the first recognition; the second was an award. The final potential is one of those twelve will be chosen as “Best of Show.” (The show ends May 31, 2018.)

“I personally consider abstract photography to be modern art. …the camera can produce art if the photographer will take the time and make the effort to see beyond the obvious.” J Miller

Yes, as you can guess, I did receive one of those twelve pieces of paper for the image above. But, I began to think about the event on the two-hour drive home, “Why is a piece of paper so important?” Most of the time the paper is about accomplishment. Think about all the awards you received from schools – beginning in Elementary all the way through High School, Community College, Technical Schools, College, Graduate School, etc. Each time you received that piece of paper it proved an accomplishment of some kind. Classes passed. Once you have “That Particular Piece of Paper” it symbolizes advancement into another world. Why is it that some of us still pursue another piece of paper? I think we still want praise, recognition, and a seal of approval for what we accomplish in the rest of our life. We are still in “Accomplishment Mode.” My suggestion – Never leave it!

“Work and creativity should be its own reward.” is quoted by many. For work, we get a pay check; for creativity, we often get praise. However, when praise comes in the form of “Award” written on a piece of paper – Wow, we get all “twitterpated,” at least I do. We fall in love all over again with our favorite pursuit. There is an excitement when a Judge (brilliant or not) has chosen your image for an award. But, it’s still just a piece of paper.

About MSST

Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather,Teacher, Counselor, Photographer and married to Sylvia since 1963.
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