“Be Creative” and Be Better

This week, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art announced the winners of Be Creative”, their annual themed photography awards competition and seeing the final selection is always a treat for anyone interested in creative railroad photography.

While I don’t always agree with the order of the top choices, I generally find that the judges have made some good selections in what must be a difficult process. Photography is subjective and what constitutes good creative photography is more so. The top award went to Matthew Malkiewicz, a choice that I agree with, as it’s a wonderfully creative image in vision and execution and is a real pleasure to look at.

Two of my five submitted images were picked as Judges Also Liked selections. Like anyone entering, I would have been thrilled to receive one of the top three awards, but I am honored to be selected in this esteemed group of fellow photographers. I have gotten to know many of these individuals over the years and I’m happy for every one of them. Getting an honor like this is encouraging to any creative person and feeds the fire to be better.

“If your any good at all, you know that you can be better….”   – Lindsey Buckingham

This quote from Lindsey while he was with the Fleetwood Mac band has always resonated with me. He expresses in this brief quip the knowing that you are good, with the insecurity that you are not yet at your best, but realizing that the potential is there for you to be. This is a common theme that I observe in many of the best creatives, whether they are photographers, writers, musicians, or chefs.

Since the theme of “Be Creative” is open to interpretation and quite broad, I basically submitted my five favorite images from the the past year. I’ve learned that trying to second-guess the likes of a competition’s jury is fruitless and that you should just submit what you like, assuming of course, that it fits into a broad interpretation of the theme.

On June 12, 2015, the sun is way over the horizon on a late spring day as NYSW train SU-99 awakens the quite farm at Bairds Lane in Warwick, New York with it's noisy approach.

Bairds Lane

Following the best course plotted by the line’s surveyors, this Union Pacific train is passing through Sloan, NV on its climb west out of the Las Vegas valley.

Cuts, Curves and Contours, Judges Also Liked

The Hudson River has served as an important transportation artery and railroads and shipping have used it to each of their advantages. On October 5, 2015, a CSX train follows the curves of the river while a river cruise boat heads up river past Storm King Mountain allowing customers to see the beauty of the valley. This image is a composite of two exposures to overlap each mode’s passage.

Storm King Passage, Judges Also Liked

Her journey nearly complete, a traveler from New York on October 30, 2014 enters the Short Hills, NJ under-track passage to home.

The Passage Home

On the cold winter evening of January 26, 2015, a solitary traveler prepares to leave the warmth of the Murray Hill Station waiting room and board the eastbound train.

Waiting Time is Over

So, while I was not a finalist in this competition, the results inspire and motivate me to push my creativity further. I know that I can be better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.