For the Second Time, "Accidentally"

In my blog "Life according to Jim", one of the life lessons I mentioned was 'be accident prone'. I was thinking when would it happen to me, until I read "Not Once But Twice" did I realize that it already did. Photography always fascinates me ever since I can remember. I always look for ways of improving what little I know of this craft. Since I don't have any formal training on photography, I never entertained joining any photography contests.

I had my first "accident" in 2012. ATI was celebrating its 25th anniversary and there was a call for photo contest on "ATI at its best". I just ignored it not until the week of the anniversary when our division chief compelled all e-extension coordinators who were present to submit photo entries. I searched my files and submitted five (5) entries, "accidentally" one of which was adjudged grand prize winner.

The second "accident" happened this year during our training on blogging and photography. Week before the training Gigi asked me what would be a good prize for best in photography and blog. I suggested sign pen for the best blog and lens brush for the best photo. The latter was intentional because I wanted one for myself. I was with Gigi when she bought my suggested prizes. She asked me why I did not buy lens brush for myself, to which I jokingly replied "I will get the prize anyway."

During the training I learned a lot from our resource person, Sir Jim Paredes. He was an encouragement. He was enthusiastic and praise you whenever you've got a good shot. For the not-so-good shots, he will give more pointers until you can show him good and better (some best) shots. During our photo shoot I was getting more pointers, which means I have more of the "needs improvement" shots. I started saying good bye to the lens brush. I still submitted my five (5) best photos. To my surprise, "accidentally" one of them was Sir Jim's pick for the best photo.

How did these accidents happened? I surmised, it was because of the stories told by those photos. My first winning photo was taken during one of our trainings on computer literacy for agricultural extension workers. It shows an aged man patiently and eagerly working on the computer exercises I gave them using a dinosaur laptop (pentium 4 powered, not the norm at that time). The determination to learn on his face compelled me to take the shot.

Winning Photo No. 1
The second winning photo was taken in one island stop we had for our photo shoot. Gigi was taking photos of us and of the surroundings. She was so engrossed in taking pictures that her passion for photography became evident in her face. I then remember sir Jim's 'in your face' technique of taking portraits. I got my camera and did not miss that moment.

Winning Photo No. 2
The two photos taught me that for photo to be attractive it must convey a story. It's a challenge to us to compose our shot for it to tell story(ies). My "accidents" cum winnings have not yet given me the confidence to join photo contests but they have challenged me to continue taking photos hoping that maybe someday I will "accidentally" join one.

For those wondering how I fared in the best blog contest, my "It isn't Null but it's Boyd" blog title got Sir Jim's thumb's up.

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ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.