well, i finally went to the county fair this weekend to see how 5 photographs I entered placed. I got 3 first-place & 2 second-place. In between wondering how mine could've scored lower in some areas and how the hell one photo got "best in show", I don't think I did too terribly bad for not entering photos for about 4 years.
Manzanar Japanese Interment Camp (b&w) - 1st place
Close up of a horny toad (horned lizard - 1st place
Man feeding a peacock - 1st place
Abstract plant photo - 2nd place
Cherry blossom picture - 2nd place (plus the idiot volunteers mounted it leaf-side up which was sideways for the picture)
I do know I got points deducted for not having it "mount-ready". But one question I do have, do any of you think ultra-glossy photo paper could have an edge over everyday glossy photo paper in the quality of a photograph and how it might score in a open juried competition? My boyfriend and I don't think the "best in show" photo was all that spectacular subject-wise (a simple waterfall that wasn't that striking) compared to some of the others we thought might've been more deserving of the title, but he did notice some of the higher-scoring photos seemed to have more of a gloss or sheen to them, compared to mine (which just used everyday glossy photo paper with epson photo inks).