Old Carolina Photography Show

· Reading Time: 7 minutes

A few weeks ago I heard about a gallery showing in Albemarle, NC with the theme of “Old Carolina.”  Of course, that caught my attention and made me look into the particulars of the show.  It was being hosted at the Falling Rivers Gallery in conjunction with the Stanly Arts Guild.  There were prizes to be awarded, and the photographs that were on display would have the opportunity to be sold to patrons of the gallery.

I thought about it, and pretty quickly decided that I would go ahead and participate.  I had several photographs that fit the theme of “Old Carolina” in my inventory already.  This was a good thing since I really didn’t have time to get anything new printed and framed in time for the showing.  I had to drop the photographs off either the 26th or 27th, and that was pushing the time frame.  I needed to decide what I was going to submit from my collection.

Down to Earth

I had three that I was considering hanging in my office at work.  Down to Earthwas a natural since it was already a prize winner from the 2016 Dixie Classic Fair.  Another winner was also in the running, and that was my most recent win with Mint.  Both of these featured derelict vehicles from 50’s, both shot in NC.  The third consideration was Rust and Splinters which was shot a few years ago in West Jefferson while on an anniversary trip.  This one was a barn photo at the base of the mountain.


The problem that I had with Mint was there was some graffiti on the window of the garage that I was worried might offend somebody not being familiar with the gallery.  It would have been a great candidate, especially since the tag on the front of the car was a NC tag.  It was just too risky for a new venue, and I opted to avoid the controversy.  Personally, I do think that the graffiti adds to the picture, and provides some great color balance when added to the yellow panels.  Speaking of color tones, this one has less visual pop than Down to Earth which might make it stand out less.  Not knowing how many entries were going to be made, I wanted as much visual impact as I could get from my entries.

Rust and Splinters

This shot of the barn turned out to be one that I had a lot of sentimental value attached to, and that was probably biasing my selection of it.  It is a great picture, but there isn’t really anything that screams NC with it.  It also suffers from lack of pop as I opted to capture a more serene image.  My main goal in selection was to capture the attention of the judges and have them see the two photographs from across the room, and then spend time to study them both when they finally got to them.  This barn would not do that, it is more of a decor piece in a home.

While I was going through my selection process, I was quickly realizing that I only had one real choice to enter into the gallery showing.  I was resigning myself to going with Mint as my second choice, but was still worried about the garage in the background.  As luck would have it though, I was in the process of getting one of my newer images framed for a client.  This one was not one of my favorite pieces by any stretch, but I did like it.  It was an intimate portrait of an old Ford truck sitting in front of a barn with an American Flag on the siding.  When I shot it, I was looking for different conditions, but did the best I could with what I had at the time.

Colfax Moonshine

When I went to pick the print up from After 5 Framing, I was floored at how well the picture turned out.  With the framing that we chose, it actually fit with the image that I had in mind when I shot it.  New life was injected into the photograph.  David, the framer, shared with me that after he had finished it and had it on display in the shop a customer came in and stopped to look at it.  She mentioned how much she liked it, and that it would do well in a gallery showing that she knew about in a small town that he couldn’t remember the name.  I asked if it was Albemarle, and he confirmed.  I told him that I was entering a gallery showing there at the Falling Rivers Gallery which prompted him to confirm that venue.

Hmmm, this was interesting, and a bit serendipitous if I do say so myself.  I told him that this picture wasn’t going there as it was for a client, but I had two others that he had framed going.  The wheels in my head were spinning though.  This would be a good entry in the show since it has the door art that matches the title of the work.  Colfax is a small community in Guilford County.  It also pays tribute to the bootlegging days of the state.  Not only was this piece a bit of Americana, it was a piece of NC history.  What a shame that I wasn’t going to get to enter this one.  I was really thinking that it would do quite well.

When I got back to the office, I set the picture up on my display chair by my door.  Of course I do this to get people to look at they pass by.  Everyone that came by made a comment about this picture (and didn’t look twice at the waterfall I had just gotten framed).  I even had one come in and take a picture of it to ask his wife if they could get a print done in the exact same manner.  Within about 30 minutes, I had received rave reviews from about a dozen folks, many of whom don’t normally even make comments on my photography.  I was really thinking that I was on to something with this picture.

I made the call…

I called my client and explained my predicament.  Even though the print was a week late getting framed, I was asking for another extension on getting the print to her.  I was wanting to have it displayed for the time between February 1st and the 16th at the Falling Rivers Gallery.  That was adding another three weeks to her lead time on getting the print.  She was fine with that as it added to the value of the print for it to have been at a gallery showing.  Then I sprung the other part of the news.  If it sells there, I would have to make her another one.  Fortunately, she was fine with that as well.  I had my second print ready to go a week ahead of the delivery day.

I had my two pictures ready and they were both delivered on Friday, January 26th.  I don’t know how they will do, but they seemed to be well received by the staff at the gallery.  I won’t know anything until February 16th when I go to the reception where the judges will make their decisions, and I will find out if either of the prints have sold.  I’m hopeful that they both do well, and I’m proud of both of my entries.  I’ll do an update here when I know the results.  Stay tuned…

Edit: 01-30-2018

I had thought that the results of the judging wouldn’t be made public until the reception on the 16th.  However, I just read on Facebook that the winners have been announced.  Sadly, I did not make the cut.  I know nothing about the winners, or their entries.  While I am not necessarily happy with the results of the competition portion of the showing, I am still very proud of my entries.  At the end of the day, one of the two pictures is already sold, and I personally like the other one in my office.  It was a great experience overall, and I am happy that I decided to do it.

Results are here