I was happily shocked to open the box with my copy of this book to find that my image had made the cover! This is the annual hard-cover coffee table book published by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) that showcases the images selected for their prestigious Loan Collection. While I knew that the image had been selected for the Loan Collection and would appear in the book, I had no idea that it would appear as the cover photo.
This image, titled "Blowin' In The Wind," was taken in St. Augustine, FL. The great egret was perched in a tree on a very windy morning, and when the wind caused its breeding plumage to go a bit crazy, I was in the right place at the right time to grab a few shots before the moment passed.
I thought long and hard before deciding to enter this image in the competition since it is certainly not a typical "beauty" shot of an egret, and not generally what judges look for in a successful image. But I loved the unique moment, and the the high-key white-on-white look. So I threw caution to the wind and took my chances.
I have been competing in the PPA annual photo competition for over 3 decades, and have been fortunate to have many of my images selected for the Loan Collection during that time and published in the annual book. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever think an image of mine would be selected for the cover.
The reason for that is that the majority of photographers in the PPA are portrait and wedding photographers, and most years it is a portrait or wedding image that makes the cover. There are a few of us wildlife and nature photographers who are members, and often it is an uphill battle to have a wildlife or nature image do well in the annual competition. Nevertheless, we persist in trying year after year!
So in the most recent 2019 competition, I was thrilled to have two of my bird images selected for the Loan Collection. The other bird image is an eagle in flight taken in Alaska (see it in the August 25, 2019 Blog post).
The lesson for all of us is that if you love an image, you should go ahead and enter it in completion. After all, the worst that will happen is that it will not be accepted. So go for it!
1/1250 sec. at f/11, ISO 1600. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens set at 400mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "All competitions are a crap shoot. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't. The trick is to keep going, keep striving, keep improving. And at the end of the day, believe in yourself." -- Mollie Isaacs