The local newspaper here on the island held a photo contest last month. I was a bit nervous when I submitted my 5 photos to them. I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to get anything.
There was only a 1st and 2nd place with the rest being honorable mentions. 1st place received a trophy and 20,ooo yen (about $200), and 2nd place received a trophy and 10,000 yen.
It was on the 31st of last month that I woke up around 6:00 in the morning to check my e-mail and what not. I yawned and then started to sneeze a bunch. I probably sneezed around 5 or 6 times. It was the last sneeze that I sneezed so hard, I broke a rib on my lower left side. It hurt so bad. At first I thought I was having a severe cramp in my side so I stood up to try and stretch it out, but I could barely get my arm over my head to do it. I stood there for about 2 minutes, but the pain just wasn't going away. I sat back down in my chair to finish the e-mail I was on and had a hard time doing even that. I bit my lip and did my best when all of a sudden, I sneezed again. That was when I realized this was no cramped muscle. I was in so much pain I thought I may have to call an ambulance. I immediately went back to my bed and laid down. It hurt to breath. No matter what position I was laying in, it was always painful. I took some pain reliever and started to ice my side. It was about this time that my wife received a text message on her mobile phone. Just like that, she was all, "OH OH OH OH.." and ran downstairs. She came back with the newspaper trying to show me that my photo took second place. I would have been more excited about it, but I wasn't feeling very well.
Here is a scan of the newspaper. I only have an A4 scanner so I had to scan it in 4 sections. I put them together in Photoshop.
And here's the trophy I received. It's only a little over 20cm tall.
Here is the original photo. I saved it with an sRGB color profile and brought it to my friends print shop. He has a nice machine, but when he printed it out the first time, it looked like it had too much red. We dialed around the settings and came up with something close to this, but just a bit lighter.
Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200 -- EXIF
This photo wasn't my favorite. I was hoping for a different one to place. I heard that the judges were a bit bias and liked more of the human element in photos so I submitted one more like this, but the others were of just streams in nature settings. I really didn't think this one would place.
As I was looking at the other photos that got honorable mentions, I noticed that they were from not just Amami, but other nearby islands as well. I guess Nankainichinichi (the newspaper), distributes to the other nearby islands, too.
It was a good experience. Although I've only been taking photos for a short time, it made me happy I was able to place 2nd. I'll try to not let it go to my head. Now that the rainy season is at an end and I feel much better, I'll be out taking more photos.