Step 3 of the Humboldt County Fair

My fair exhibits are due tomorrow & I feel uber-prepared! I got my prints made at Costco again- the only place in town to get prints made (EVERYONE else send them off). Last year I paid Michael's to custom mat my images & it was super pricey and they didn't even give me backings to the mats. So this time round I decided to do it myself & was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. 

Once I had my prints, most in 8x10 but I have two images in 8x12, I took them to Michael's pre-cut mat section. I had to lay them all out on their counter trying to pair up images with mats. It was so hard to decide what colors to go with!! Then I bought 3 sheets of 1/4" white foam board & permanent foam square stickies... 

Pre-cut Mats= $4 each (I got 6)
Foam Core= $2 each (got 3)
Stickies= $2 (got 2)
Prints= $2 each (got 6)

So my total cost for this project was $46! I spent that much last year on getting just half of my images mated!! YEAH! 
Once I got home I went to work, drawing the mat sizes on the foam core & cutting it out. It was difficult to get the foamcore the same size as the mat so I just made it a 1/4 inch smaller all the way around. I figured it's better to not see it than too see loose pieces sticking out the side... 

Then I opened up the pre-cut mats, and put the permanent stickies on the corners and on the long sides....
Disclaimer- Once this is all put together it will be permanent. If I later want to change anything like my image, I have to start over with a new backing and mats b/c the stickies will not come off without ripping. 

Then I put stickies on the back corners of my image and the corners of the backing, layered everything (from the top: lavender show mat, white inset mat, image, backing). So simple!! Here is what the first entry looked like when I was finished:


                                   View from the front                               View from the side

So my entries are now ready to head down to the fair!! I am super excited about this year's competition & keeping my fingers crossed for my first blue ribbon. This is my second competition so I only have 1 more competition before I can enter my images into the professional category- where the competition is fierce but the prizes are soo much better.

I will take some pics of everything finished and matted tonight before I take them off to the fair entry table tomorrow morning!! 

2010 Year End Goals

Ok, I know my timing is waaay off on this one but I had priorities in Jan. and bigger fish to fry than improving my photography. I was reminded by DPS that we are now halfway through the year, and I have STILL not set any photography goals for myself!
SEE Blog Post: How are you doing with your goals?
So I decided to take a min. to set some goals for myself, keeping in mind how busy I can be sometimes with the store and work....

One goal was set a few months back, and it was a small one but still a step in the right direction:

1) Participate in DPS weekly Assignments at least twice a month!!
          <<How am I doing? Well, I entered quite a few (Still Life & Fences in May; Dutch Angle & Low Angle in June; and MidDay Portraits so far in July), haven't won any yet but have noticed that my thought process is improving with each session. How to setup, things to try, lighting, subjects, and overall my level of comfort & confidence.>>

So I need to set a few more that I can meet by the end of the year:

2) Challenge myself with Flash Lighting (& purchase an exterior flash)

3) Learn about Long Exposure & Challenge it's usages

4) Plan a monthly calendar for next year & Give away monthly desktop calendar's

5) Follow a top Pro Photographers Blog
     <Scott Kelby's Blog but it is more geared toward post-processing with Photoshop, but I don't even have Photoshop so most of it isn't too helpful. I have also been following a semi-local pro landscape photographers blog, Jeff Sullivan. His blog is more what I am looking for however I would love to find someone with portraits, macro's, and landscapes which is what interests me the most.>>