I recently received word that this image was awarded 2nd place in the Photographer's Forum Magazine Spring Photography Contest. It was a great honor to be chosen from over 9,100 submissions from 48 countries. I usually don't submit my work to contests or magazines but this year I submitted my work to three different venues and I was fortunate enough to have my work accept by all three for publication. Years ago when I started in photography I would ask myself "what" I wanted to photograph, but never really "why" I wanted to photograph. At that time I jumped around with my efforts and focused my attention in many areas of photography, from professional sports, portraits, and commercial. I found that meeting the demands of other people took the joy away that I initially had with photography. Once I asked myself "why" I wanted to photograph the world changed for me. It was no longer based on other people expectations but more to how I felt about a subject and discovering the pull inside of me that attracted me to a certain objects. I had a new sense of mystery and intrigue with things in nature. I found myself traveling to remote places and enduring long days waiting for the proper light and many times walking away empty handed. But non of that mattered because I wasn't bound by what other people expected of me. I knew my purpose, and that was to answer the yearning I felt inside of me. Ansel Adams said it best, "I am interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without".
Winning awards and having your word recognized is important because it is an opportunity to inspire other people as well as complete the cycle of the creative expression that started with the release of the shutter.