Topsfield Fair – Harvesting Farm Photo Wins

During a tour of Chris’ Farm Stand, one of Haverhill’s many large tracts of agricultural space, for an article I was writing for a local paper, I noticed that despite the absolutely packed schedule of the day with tentacles of mayhem trying to drag me/pull me into stress and chaos, I felt calm, and what was that sensation…. happiness. Being outside with a farm dog to pat and the explosion of growth in the fields, provides me with a serenity and clarity that little else can. And this is in Haverhill, just a couple of miles from the urban center of our small city, a city more often thought of in terms of its bustling downtown than the agricultural expanses that actually make up more of the city than the downtown area does.

Haverhill is home to over a dozen farms that provide everything from Christmas trees, sunflowers, and raspberries, to eggs, meat, produce, and honey. So it is no wonder I had plenty of choices when it came time to enter the Topsfield Fair Farm photo competition.

And while the chance to share a side of Haverhill that is often overlooked was reward enough, I was pretty dang excited to harvest a crop of ribbons for my efforts. I entered four photos; won three ribbons, including one first place and two honorable mentions in a crowded field.

So I’d like to salute Haverhill’s farms, sustaining me not just through their food, but also through their beauty (I won $10!!! for my first place ribbon.)

The photos of me with my entries were taken by my supportive husband, Jonathan Campbell who knows how to show a girl a good time at the Fair – Learneds Blueberry cobbler, a quart of Leavitts darkest maple syrup, and a willingness to judge (in our own amateur way) the flower entries and dahlias. (c) Jonathan W Campbell

Here are my copyrighted photos of my entries:  Tattersall Farm – Farm Equipment (1st place), Chris’ Farm Stand – Farm people (Honorable mention), Kimball Farm – Farm Animals (Mark and Mike) Honorable mention. The photo of draft horses Mark and Mike at Kimball Farm was selected by the readers of my Facebook page,  The Heartbeat of Haverhill. Good choice readers. Thank you! I may not have won a ribbon with my fourth entry, but I was so impressed with the beauty of Turkey Hill Farm Christmas trees that I entered an image into the landscape category, and also included that picture in my The Heartbeat of Haverhill calendar last year. All photos (c) by Alison Colby-Campbell

DSC_1747 HAV by alison Colby-Campbell Tattersall Farm 8x10 (2)
Tattersall Farm — Antique farm equipment in snow. 1st place farm equipment category (c) Alison Colby-Campbell
DSC_3602 (6) HAV by Alison Colby-Campbell Topsfield Fair Chris Farm Stand Farm People brighter 8x10
Chris’ Farm Stand – negotiating for a pumpkin. Honorable mention
DSC_1388 HAV by Alison Colby-Campbell Topsfield Fair KImball Farm Horses (3) brighter
The Heartbeat of Haverhill’s readers’ favorite Mark and Mike at Kimball farm Haverhill reaped an honorable mention (c)Alison Colby-Campbell
DSC_2093 HAv by Alison Colby-Campbell Turkey Hill Farm 8x10
Turkey Hill Farm – Unique tree marking technique. (c)Alison Colby-Campbell

I also entered two framed photographs (beautifully and expeditiously framed by Ideal Frame of Haverhill) into the Fine Arts competition, no ribbons there, but was so pleased to see my friends who love photography, arts, quilting, and knitting did grab some top honors.  And not surprisingly some of my favorite farms took home ribbons for the wonders that they grow.

IMG_2485 (2)HAV PLUG POND LAST CAST TOPSFIELD FAIR 2018 ENTRY
Plug Pond Fishing – The Last Cast in memory of my father who made his last cast at Plugs Pond in 2018 (c)Alison Colby-Campbell
IMG_2488 (2) HAV BUG LIGHT RELAY FOR LIFE TOPSFIELD FAIR ENTRY 2018
Relay for Life at NECC Haverhill, my photo captured all these angels dancing wildly at the event. (c)Alison Colby-Campbell

.

The Farms of Haverhill, Massachusetts provide a balm to stressful lives. If you are looking for good food for the body, heart, and soul, check them out.  (I am definitely missing a few, add names in comments.)

Chris’ Farm Stand  Known for: Poultry, eggs, veggies (especially corn and tomatoes), CSA and activities. Vendor at Haverhill’s Farmers Market

Crescent Farm Known for: Ice cream, cider donuts, Northeast Tractor Pull competition, supplying silage to feed the Richardson Dairy Cows

Fays Farm and Orchard Known for: pick your own and already picked apples and peaches, cider. Vendor at Haverhill’s Farmers Market

Hansen’s Tree Farm – Cut your own Christmas trees

Lovers Lane Tree Farm – Cut your own Christmas trees

Old Wild Farm – Wool, Hay, fruits and veggies. Vendor at Haverhill’s Farmers Market.

Rogers Spring Hill Known for Garden and farm supplies, pyo pumpkins and strawberries, activities. Vendor at Haverhill’s Farmers Market

Srybny Farms Known for: Silver queen corn, wide assortment of peppers and tomatoes, flowering plants

Tattersall Farm Known for: trails, history, antique farm equipment, community garden

Turkey Hill Farm  Known for: Christmas trees, pyo berries and flowers

Wallys Vegetables: Veggies of course. Vendor at Haverhill’s Farmers Market

Willow Spring Vineyards – grape and rhubarb wines, jellies, honey. Vendor at Haverhill’s Farmers Market

Haverhill’s Farmers Market – great for food, fish, produce, ice cream, coffee, fun and music

 

(c) by Alison Colby-Campbell (images and text)

except where noted that the photo belongs to and is copyrighted by Jonathan Campbell

 

 

Photo Year in Review

Wrapping up 2016, Perhaps my most exciting photo adventure this year was being sponsored by Rep Diana DiZoglio for a Massachusetts State House Exhibit in partnership with my husband who is also a photographer. We had a one week show featuring the Merrimack Valley and beyond, towns very near and dear to our hearts. And we are in discussions to restage that show elsewhere! You can see more of Jon’s work at Jonathan W Campbell Photography

img_4677
MA State House exhibit with Jonathan Campbell
img_0025-middleton-stream-team-2016-contest-8x10-w-watermark
Middleton Stream Team Honorable Mention

I was also thrilled to become part of history. Are you kidding me!!!  My 2016 The Heartbeat of Haverhill calendar was juried into a time capsule for a gorgeous new city building that is part of the downtown renaissance of Haverhill, MA. I expect to be in the crowd in 25 years when the capsule is re-opened.

img_1198-team-haverhill-time-capsule-thoh-calendar-2016
The Heartbeat of Haverhill calendar is snuggled in a time capsule in this new building called Harbor Place in Haverhill MA.

But don’t stop there – other memorable photo moments included a blue ribbon for the Topsfield Fair Agricultural Photo Competition and two honorable mentions at the Middleton Stream Team contest.

img_8868-haverhill-topsfield-fair-2016-alison-colby-campbell-by-jwc
Topsfield Fair Blue Ribbon of wine grape harvest

I had two cover photos for Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce publications, had two images picked up by a Boston architectural firm, incorporated photos into a new marketing piece for the City of Haverhill, and helped people re-entering the workforce by shooting their profile pictures.

I received no awards at the Mass Audubon competition or Essex National Heritage Competition (you can’t win them all), but I did kind of win for the fact that I got out and explored these wonderful places.

img_4648-alison-colby-campbell-getting-awards-at-middleton-stream-team-2016
Middleton Stream Team Awards Ceremony
img_1135-middleton-stream-team-2016-finalist-drought-8-5-x-11-002_soft-copy-copy-copy-copy-copy
Middleton Stream Team Honorable Mention

Personally I love competitions, for as random and perplexing as some results may seem (I cannot tell you how many times I felt someone else was more deserving of my award), but if the judges provide commentary, it encourages me to up my game and look for something others might miss. Plus there are some good prizes that help with this expanding hobby as well as The Heartbeat of Haverhill calendar. Added bonus –  there are always new and inspiring people to meet – other photographers and people in the street and on the trails.

img_8133-audubon-snakes-and-toad
Snakes fighting over toad was gruesome and so not likely to win a beauty award but it was such a random shot to happen upon that I did enter it into the Mass Audubon competition to no avail. Still feeling bad for the toad.
thoh-2017-calendar-image-collage
Images from The Heartbeat of Haverhill 2017 calendar available for purchase at Positive Images Gallery in Haverhill.

So check out competitions if you love taking photos. You may as well start sharing your work within a larger and mostly supportive circle. I know I’d like to see what you’re shooting! And in the meantime – may you all experience peace along with a sense of beauty, wonder, and joy to inspire you.

dsc01515-1-peace-trees-snow-christmas-card-5x7-2016

(c)Alison Colby-Campbell