Who Needs Skill When Dumb Luck Is On Your Side?

Prairie Gleanings

Photography school only reinforced how much I have to learn. However, ISA's Amy Roady represented the Land of Lincoln admirably.

Published on: August 6, 2012
You know when you think you’re finally getting good at something? Then an expert comes along and shows you just how little you actually know.

I was privy to just an experience this weekend at the Ag Media Summit photography workshop. Throughout the daylong experience, there was a lot of learning, shooting and, at the very end, critiquing. Yeah, the end wasn’t as much fun as the rest of the day.

Yamaha sponsored the event. They put on a terrific demonstration with their Grizzly line of ATVs. For about an hour, the editors/photographers got to pilot a Grizzly around a cool little obstacle course on an agritourism farm.

The others shot photos of everything from ATVs to mock work sessions with hay bales. It was a load of fun. Back at the hotel, we sifted through photos and each person submitted four. Below is one of my four.

I thought I had a winner. The expression on his face is definitely worth 1,000 words. The errant hay shows just how uncomfortable such a job is. And, his face is lit up, but the sky isn’t washed out. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Who Needs Skill When Dumb Luck Is On Your Side?

Then the professionals had a look. They said maybe one sentence about everything I found so positive. From there, they couldn’t stop talking about how distracting the background is. They were annoyed with the telephone pole and the tree branches in the left side of the frame.

Who Needs Skill When Dumb Luck Is On Your Side?

This is another shot I submitted. They actually liked this one. It took me about one minute to frame and shoot a couple angles. Surprisingly, they had nothing bad to say about it.

Again, I reiterate, it took about a minute. I worked on the hay shot for about 30 minutes. What’s that saying? It’s better to be lucky than good.

Lastly, congratulations to Illinois Soybean Association's Amy Roady. By taking home top honors with one of her hay hauling photos, she proved some Illinois photographers are actually talented.