Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Prodigal Photograph

Squibnocket Farm, 2010

When you take a lot of pictures it’s inevitable that some will be forgotten. Squibnocket Farm is one such picture. It didn’t make it into my book of photographs from Martha’s Vineyard, and somewhere along the way it got shoved completely out of sight and mind.
About two weeks ago I came across Squibnocket Farm while looking for photos for an architectural photography competition. It was like love at first sight. I don’t know why it got put aside originally. But upon seeing it again it was as if I was back in the moment when I took the picture. I could feel the fresh, cool breeze of the sunny fall day when I took it. 
At about the same time I rediscovered Squibnocket Farm I got my new printer. So I decided to use this picture as my test for setting the black-and-white calibration of the printer. I liked the outcome so much that I decided to frame this picture and hang it in my office. 
Then my wife and I went off for a weekend trip. On Friday night I got an e-mail from a friend informing me of a juried photography competition at a local art gallery. I was interested in submitting something for the show, but was a little concerned that the deadline was just three days away.
Fortunately, when I bought the new printer I also bought a new mat cutter. So when we got home from our trip I set to work matting and framing three pieces of photography that fit the competition theme. Curiously, as someone who’s probably most often associated with color photography, all three pieces I submitted were in black-and-white.
I dropped my photographs off at the gallery on Tuesday afternoon and went on about my business. On Thursday I attended another art show that included two of my photographs.
The opening reception of the gallery show was on Friday night. When I met the gallery manager she noted that as a juried show not all of the work submitted was accepted. I’d found two of my pieces on the wall, but didn’t see the third one. So I jokingly asked where the reject pile was so that I could take my orphan picture home that night.
Then one of my friends noticed that the picture I hadn’t found, Squibnocket Farm, was actually hanging a little further along the hall. The gallery owner asked me to make sure I hung around because “the judge has something to say about your photographs.”
Long story short: Squibnocket Farm ended up winning First Place in the competition. The judge had nice things to say about it. I got a hug from the gallery owner, a prize check and a blue ribbon to hang on the picture.
All in all, not a bad night for a picture that went away and then came back into my life and a week later won First Place!


  1. Congratulations, Chris! Well earned recognition, indeed.

    Now to call Mom, the family downeaster, and get her to explain Squibnocket to me.

  2. I love this story! Congratulations! Wonderful photo. Aren't you glad you rediscovered this one? What a great name, incidentally.

  3. Love the story and love the photo. Congratulations again! You are going gangbusters and deserve it.