Downtown Bethlehem – Bethlehem, PA

Taken 1/22/11

Something exciting and scary happened this week.  To begin, I must give a back story.  I currently work at a well-known candy company.  To avoid being unprofessional I will only say it is located in New Jersey and I have an overstock of “m”s on my desk.  I am still a newbie there and it was brought to my attention that every year they open the doors to associates to submit pictures for the company calendar.

As I said before, I am not a photographer, but some people say my photos are alright.  I also don’t believe in selling my art, if someone wants a copy of my photo, all they have to do is ask.  Art to me should be free; putting a price on it actually lowers the value.  I like sharing my photos to show people the way I see this world, and maybe someone will also make a connection.  Art and music should inspire one to grow and see this world in different ways.

Since this was a contest I have no problem submitting a photo.  The rules were simple, there are 4 seasons, submit a one picture for each season.  I only had two photos available.  One for fall and one for winter.  The fall photo is by far one of my favorite photos I have taken, more on that later.  The winter photo is a photo that I like, but not my best.

The photos were submitted, and then posted on a poster board in the cafeteria for associates to vote on.  It was just neat to see my photos everyday going in the café, let alone knowing others were seeing them.  Of course I told everyone I knew to vote for my photos, just friendly competition.

It wasn’t until Tuesday that a fellow associate I talk to OC’ed me, instant message, asking if my photos are in the second round of voting.  I replied I have no idea.  He sent me a link which had 4 seasons with miscellaneous photos.  Sadly my fall picture did not make the cut, but as “Winter9” there was my photo.  Made it through for the second round of voting, I was happy, but also pondering.

This photo has an actual history.  I once submitted for a Bethlehem calendar, but it wasn’t chosen.  Also a lot people have expressed their interest in this photo.  Everyone has gone on to say that it looks peaceful, calming, or beautiful.  Sadly I feel it isn’t my strongest photo!  This all goes back to my theory of whatever piece of art is your favorite, the general public is going to disagree.  It is nice to see new life being breathed back into this photo though.

After voting for my own picture, yeah I am that vain; I continued to ask everyone to vote for my picture.  This is where the scary parts come.  Not only is this the final voting stage, but I am also up against photos from associates all around the globe.  Did I not mention that the company I work for is a worldwide country?  I am up against some amazing photos; some are of snow covered mountains from who knows where, maybe some uncharted territory!

The second scary part is that everyone is seeing my photo and judging.  Granted you can put a photo on the internet and anyone can see it.  Just having this blog, I am seeing where and how many views I have and I am quite impressed, but this is different.  The people are sent reminders to vote, and this photo, the one I am not extremely proud of, is getting a lot of attention.  First impressions are always important they say.  Not to mention the higher ups viewing the photo.

Either way, whatever happens is no loss to me.  I submit my photos for fun; I am not trying to get recognized.  I know to some that this is just a little contest that means nothing, but to small people like me, it is pretty cool.  I didn’t even think I would’ve gotten this far.  I’m just showing how I see the beauty in this world.  Not to mention it also showed me I need more spring and summer photos.  I seem to like autumn and winter too much.

If my photo is chosen, it will be in the calendar, but also I get flown out with all the winners to be on a panel to discuss our photo.  Maybe they will also give us some sweet swag, like a new camera, wishful thinking.

As for the photo, there isn’t much to it.  It was taken in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania behind Hotel Bethlehem in the nice cold of winter.  I grew up in Bethlehem, even though I was born in New Jersey, and always considered Bethlehem my home town.  I didn’t grow up far from the location, maybe 4 blocks, but I know Bethlehem inside and out.  My friends and I would always just walk around and see what is new.  I will say, and I am not one of those bitter people that will complain about their home town not being how it used to be, but Bethlehem isn’t that small town anymore.  It is growing and still growing.  Unlike some people that can’t let go of their favorite places, sometimes you have to move on, but never forget your roots.  Bethlehem for me will always be my little town, but I covered as much as I could there and it is time for it to grow on its own.

MAP:http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=437+Main+Street,+Bethlehem,+PA&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x89c43e56d4fd369d:0x32305ea411958fe5,437+Main+St,+Bethlehem,+PA+18018&gl=us&sa=X&ei=r3kkUJyRHuif6wHb0IC4AQ&ved=0CAkQ8gEwAA

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