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The San Mateo County Fair starts today from 12 noon and runs all the way until June 19th.

The people in charge of the Fine Arts part of the fair are: Boris and Kayte. Both are really nice people. Kayte asked for volunteers to help set up when I was there on May 31st to drop off my work. I agreed to help out after my kids went to sleep. The day she wanted me to come was on June 8-10. As many of you know, my birthday was June 9th so I couldn’t make a commitment then. Thanks for the wishes by the way. I showed up around 8:45pm and stayed until the security guards kicked us out at 11:30pm. I was helping Boris and Kayte look for the works of art to label them 1st, 2nd, 3rd Places, and Honorable Mention.

When I arrived I did see that they did hang my work. It looked good. There was also a lot of good work done by other people. There were some truly amazing photographs and works of art.  Mine seemed to be the largest where most people printed out and framed smaller pieces of work.  I wanted to go big and to make a statement!

We didn’t manage to finish everything, but Boris and Kayte said that they wouldn’t have gotten this far without my help. She asked if I can come and help out one more night and I agreed to help out on the 10th.  Turns out when I called Kayte before coming down if they still needed my help, she said they were just about finished.  She had a calmness in her voice and a bit of relief.

While I was there and helping label the works of art that got 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honorable Mention, I noticed that my photographs didn’t have any labels. Rats. Well it turns out Boris and Kayte didn’t get to the photography side of the fine arts. We started going through the other categories and labeling them. It is funny how art is very subjective. Some I agreed whole heartedly that a particular piece deserved 1st place or 2nd place and so on, but there were some even Boris and Kayte said, “Really?”

We finally go to the part where we were labeling the Photography: Landscape Category, both in color and black and white. Boris called out the number of the work, the title, and the photographer. He called out my name for 1st place for my San Francisco Bay Bridge picture. Yipppeeee! I was all excited and ready to label it 1st place!!! Then he said jokingly, “Ooopss my mistake. I read the wrong line.” I then said, “Aaarrggg! Get that knife outta my back! I can’t reach it!” We all had a big laugh. We were all getting pretty tired as it was getting pretty late. We all worked all day, and into the night. My London Sunset picture only got Honorable Mention. A very wide panoramic of the SF skyline including the Golden Gate bridge also got an honorable mention. Again, art is very subjective. My sunset picture was right over this other person’s and even I said to myself, “Really?!” The SF Panoramic picture was taken in the evening, but the colors were just blah, in my opinion.  I really like a lot of color, but the day the picture was taken, the sky didn’t produce the colors I would have wished for.  The panoramic picture seemed to be over 5 feet wide and it was about 1 foot tall.  The width was impressive, but the skill level wasn’t.  Photoshop can simply stitch several pictures together very easily like my Hong Kong panoramic pictures.  Some of the skill involved in taking panoramics involves the right equipment to help eliminate some physics of camera lenses. 

My Antelope Canyon won 1st place in the Black and White category of Photography:Landscape. I was super excited about that. My Hong Kong Panoramic, didn’t get labeled because we didn’t get that far that night. I was planning on returning to help out and also see if there was something different!! Because they didn’t need my help, fingers crossed for at least Honorable Mention!The Hong Kong picture is this one:I’m on the map!!!  Thanks to everyone for their kind words, and encouragement.  It has been fun and will continue to be so!

~Greg Chong

There are 5 comments

  1. Ranica

    Saw your Bay Bridge photo at the fair, but it had a 1st place ribbon on it. That was by far my favorite photo – congrats! I may be interested in purchasing a print of this – can you please send me some details on this?

  2. John Doe

    > A very wide panoramic of the SF skyline including the Golden Gate bridge took 2nd.
    Saw your work today at the fair. Nice job. But the above statement isn’t true. That 5 ft wide pano only got an honorable mention. Your Bay Bridge shot took first in color landscape, a Yosemite chapel snow shot took second in color landscape, and a shot of the lighthouse at Acadia took third.

  3. sue

    I really enjoyed all of you pics at the fair this year.
    But especially the London Eye Sunset. I just got back from a trip there and the hotel I stayed at was only a block away.
    Your photo took me back in so many ways. Thank you for your beautiful work.


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