The one thing that was very clear was that photography is a very personal thing. Many of the big winning photos left me standing saying "really?" While others that had won nothing, no ribbons; were to me amazing works of art. So the beauty of photography is very much in the eye of the beholder. One of my photos won a second prize; a lizard beat us for first place. This is one of my favorite photos; it is one of those shots that let you see something you never have seen had time not been stopped.
This is probably my most favorite type of photography, action. Although a close second is "connection" the connection between canine and human. Within this category is the connection that is candid not posed, that rises to the top for me.
Even with just a human hand in the image there is such an unspoken connection.
Often these wonderful connection shots are taken "off the clock," between shoots of the dog. And for me they are some of the most endearing. Typically it is all said with body language; many times no physical contact, no "this is my dog," although it is very clear that the connection is strong.
This shot was taken while the owner tried to get some distance between herself and the dog. It clearly was not what the dog had in mind as she shadowed her owners every move. And this too is a favorite of mine.
The above shot was taken at a local dog walk. I walked up and a connection was underway; the draw between the two is so strong you can practically feel it. Amazing. For this shot I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Photos that spark emotion are great photos; but like all things artistic that spark may be a very personal one. As I walked through the isles and isles of amazing photos at the fair I felt that it was unfair that so many had been left, overlooked I thought. While the boring shots that didn't even create a flicker of a spark for me had won a prize, funny. Just like I always say; every dog is different, as is every human.