As far as I know, I've never taken a really great picture. I say it like that, guardedly, because it was once my habit to stash undeveloped rolls of film in out-of-the-way places and then forget about them for years on end. Most of those rolls were eventually rediscovered and trotted down to the drugstore. ("Gee, look how young you were!" Smack.) But who's to say there isn't still a roll or two rattling around in a junk drawer somewhere? And, now that I've gone digital, who's to say there isn't a potential Pulitzer prize winner lying undiscovered on my hard drive, maybe in that digital equivalent of a junk drawer, the "miscellaneous" folder?
So perhaps I have taken a great picture and just don't know it. That's the good news. The bad news is that I can't enter it in the Chesapeake Bay Photography Contest, because I am an employee of Chesapeake Bay Magazine and/or its affiliated publications and I am therefore ineligible to participate in the contest, hereinafter referred to as "the Contest." You, on the other hand, the parties of the second part, are probably not employees of the magazine or relatives thereof and are therefore eminently eligible to enter "the Contest."
Perhaps you've already seen our call for entries, which first ran in the July issue and will likely run a few more times this boating season. If you missed it, take a peek at page 82 of this issue. Once you stop giggling (let's face it, there's something undeniably comical about a duck looking right at you), you may notice there are some rules, though they are few and reasonable. The contest is not open to professional photographers, for instance, and of course we'll only consider photos that have been taken on or along the Chesapeake or its tributaries. We'll be awarding prizes in four categories-boats, places, people (pets are people too) and wildlife. You may enter as many photos as you wish in each category, as long as we have them in our hands by November 15. That'll give us plenty of time to choose the winners and put together a nice montage for the July 2006 issue, as part of our annual "Best of the Bay" feature.
Interested? I thought you might be. Have another look at page 82 for the nitty-gritty-i.e., what to send, where to send it, whom to bribe, etc.-then grab your trusty old camera and start shooting. And don't forget about those old rolls of undeveloped film. Who knows? Maybe your photographic genius, like mine, has been tragically hidden in a junk drawer all these years.