One third of the year has already passed us by, how are you living yours so far?
Ever since the start of lunar new year things has been going pretty great for myself, I’ve been living my life, doing things I love and meeting new great people along the way with common interests and really really just appreciating my alone time and freedom. My not so new found freedom.
These are nothing big but I felt proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and achieving something along the way.
Everyone has their own different set of comfort zone and I am a person who fear too much hence my ‘do not fear’ tattoo that doesn’t seem to do it’s work and remind me all that much.
I fear failure the most (and losing people I love).
Perhaps everyone fears failing, I do not know.
But throughout my almost 30 years of life I have never once gone for competition of any sort, not even lucky draws.
I might have participated in lucky draw but for as little as ten times or less because I have a feeling that I’ve never really been lucky all my life.
So why join competition when you know you’re gonna lose anyway?
Why put yourself in the position whereby you allow others to witness your failure in competing?
I see absolute no point in making myself feel so bad so the word competition doesn’t exist in my dictionary. I get very defeated when I fail and I need to learn how to cope with failing because part of life is about failing.
I’ve always been this girl who thinks that she is never good enough. Never good enough for anything basically. I was holding myself back, I was the one who put a limit to myself. I was the one who said no to myself and I was the one who failed myself before even trying.
Last month when I was hanging out with my mate at Fitzroy we went into Fitzroy library for some reason and upon exiting I saw a poster that caught my attention. A poster that says ‘Capture Yarra’, a photography competition so I grab the brochure just being all curious about the participation part.
My mate insisted that I go ahead and try and with a very hesitating look I asked, ‘Should I really?’
‘Just try, you have nothing to lose anyway. Never try never know’, he said.
With his words I brace myself and went on to try. I loaded my Canon SLR with a black and white film called Shirokuro made by Film Never Die and off I went to Fitzroy just walking around and capturing.
After my film was processed I felt like I made the wrong decision by picking the wrong film to shoot.
Photographers tend to say that black and white are more forgiving but I personally find that it has it’s difficulty because everything in my era is in colours unlike olden days.
I have difficulty watching black and white movie.
It is also because whatever I look through the view finder everything is in colours, I can’t quite picture how the photo will look like in black and white.
The hasty decision in using b&w film for this competition was from watching Vivian Maier and all these documentaries about street photographer but I think I could do a better job if I pick up Ilford instead. I picked a few photos from the roll which I found interesting and went around asking friends for opinion because I am an indecisive person and I needed opinions to pick my best two.
I wasn’t very sure of my film outcome so I went to Richmond during my day off to take more pictures but this time I used my digital Fuji instead. I just wanted to make sure that I have better chance in being a finalist but at the end of the day I followed my instinct and picked the photo that stood out to myself despite mixed favourites from friends’ decision.
25+yrs: CCP Weekend Photography Workshop + a One Year membership to CCP
An exhibition of the finalist entries and winning submissions will be launched at a special Yarra Youth Services’ National Youth Week Event, before beginning its tour of all five Yarra Libraries’ branches.
The prices definitely stood out to me, I really really want to go for CCP (centre for contemporary photography) photography workshop because I could only afford it if I sell off my kidney.
In all honesty I was just hoping to be a finalist because I know that there’s no way I will be good enough to win a photography competition when I’m not even a photographer myself.
I had been refreshing my email obsessively just waiting for that one important email that says ‘Congratulations you’re one of our finalist!’
I never would have thought in a million years that the photo I took will be exhibited, this is more than crazy. I was so thrilled to be one of the finalist and I pictured about 10 finalists from a group but when I went to the opening exhibition at Edinburgh Garden I realised from each group they actually only picked a winner and two finalists.
What!? I was that close to winning!?? You gotta be kidding me!!
This was my first time joining a competition and I took the difficult way to shoot film, in black and white with a camera that I was using the first time and got into top 3!
I still couldn’t believe it and the most amazing of it all is that my mom will be visiting me during June and I’ll be able to bring her to the exhibition and show her my work!!
One of the two pictures submitted and this was the picture that got picked into me being a finalist.
This is my favourite shot among all the pictures I took for the competition because this was a risky shot. I was standing at the opposite street from where he was sitting and I was trying to frame a shot but couldn’t find a good composition so I moved closer and hid myself behind a bus stop or tram stop stand. I took this picture of him through the glass, he noticed me and yelled at me asking me to delete the picture. It’s film, I couldn’t just delete it so I turned around and just walk really quickly to save my life. My first encounter being yelled at for taking a photo and now this photo means too much to me!
Second photo submitted which they marked into consideration as well.
This is Fitzroy public housing or sort of like housing for refugees (according to my mate) and when I went to this housing area, it is obvious that people who lives there aren’t Australian to begin with. So they’re building a home away from home which is why I used the title resettled.
They were 3 judges all together and I spoke to one of them at the opening which she proceeded to tell me that Michelle Mountain (funny name haha), the judge from CCP thinks that my ‘Resettled’ photo is fit to be place in contemporary magazine and all these while when she was talking I just kept mumbling ‘no way’ in my mind.
A HUGE THANK YOU to my mate for the push, really!
Besides this competition I also joined Slayer Latte Art competition two days ago without the intention of joining. I was just there to show support to two of my friends who were joining.
I saw them carrying goody bags and out of curiosity I asked what was inside.
They told me there’s a tamper that values at about $100 so me being the cheapskate me I asked how do they get the goody bag.
They answered, “Pay $20 to join the competition and you’ll get the goody bag.”
Okay I’ll pay and get the bag but I don’t want to join the competition, I think I must’ve repeated that for like 10 times.
They were all like you’ve paid for it, just go and try so alas I went and competed without having the intention to.
There were people like world latte art champion and another champion who designed her own jugs and shit and there I was with no preparation, with no personal jug whatsoever.
I was just borrowing jugs from other competitors haha, like serve me right for being such a cheapskate.
I was shaking terribly the first round but for some odd reason I beat my competitor and proceeded to next round. I was all ready to lose actually. There were a total of 128 competitors and probably about 200 people at the venue just looking at you pour your damn cup of latte art, what sort of stress have I gotten myself into. I have stage fright, I couldn’t even do presentation during my uni days in front of my own course mates and there I was doing my thing in front of so damn bloody many people.
I passed two rounds and I got into top 32 among 128 competitors which I am extremely proud of myself because being a person who actually have stage fright and have absolute no preparation (ie: training latte art for days) I think I really did pretty well. I guess it all comes down to really being comfortable with myself now. I feel like my stage fright weren’t an issue any more, sort of. Perhaps I’ve been way more open now to new people and experiences that I don’t see it as such a big issue any more.
At the end of the day I learned that sometimes it’s not so much about winning or failing but instead it is more about having that experience through walking the journey and knowing what’s your own worth and how far you’re standing right now.
If you have the same fear as me, I’d say go for it because you really really will never know.