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I was invited to be a juror at the annual Mill Street Loft Exposure competition last night which is open to all high-school students in the Poughkeepsie area of NY. This was my first time being a juror for a photo contest, and I must say it was challenging as well as being great fun. With over 300 entries, there were a very wide range of images as you might imagine, and it was really great to see the art of photography is alive and well in the younger generations.

What was most enlightening for me was the absence of formulaic ideas, whether composition, subject matter, or processing. These kids were experimenting in the truest sense, and the images that were chosen as winners were really exceptional. Amongst the top 7 winners there was black and white, color, HDR (high dynamic range), indoor with complex lighting, architecture, and a portrait. Congratulations to the winners, they deserved it.

For me, I came away inspired and energized to experiment more and try new and different ideas regardless of how uncomfortable I may feel. I read recently you should do something everyday that scares you – I love that idea. If you’re not pushing the envelope, then growth cannot occur, regardless of whether you’re an artist or CEO. I am starting some new multimedia projects this spring that do scare me, but I’m really excited about the possibilities and know I will grow so much faster because of them. (More details soon!)

Thanks to the Mill Street Loft for an enjoyable experience.

RR Jr

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