This last weekend I was one of the officials (being the "tech guy") for the international exhibition that my photo club hosts every year, this being the 14th edition of the exhibition.
It was time for the two juries to do their duties and pick the medalists, honorable mentions and personal favorites. On the Saturday they did the major part of the work by going through over 2,000 images in each section (!) and picking around 10 percent that got accepted into the exhibition.
On the Sunday morning the idea was for them to start going through the accepted images to find the best of the best to give out the big awards to. Since I was part of the "crew, being the tech guy I was supposed to go there as well and stepped onto the bus to go into Malmö. It wasn't until we turned off the ring road and turned into Malmö proper that the day turned from the ordinary to the rather surreal.
A lake? There shouldn't be a lake here!
I was preoccupied with listening to a podcast when I noticed that we had stopped in an unusual spot, and when I looked up to see why I saw a big new "lake" around the bus that doesn't usually exist there. Then I heard one of my fellow passengers say that water was pouring into the bus. Soon there were several inches of water forming a nice little reflecting pool where there absolutely should be no water!
A quick glance at the local newspaper's website later I knew this was quite the flood all over the place because of the month's worth of rain that had fallen in just a few hours, and that we couldn't count on rescue service or any tow truck to come by any time soon. And as we sat there waiting the rain picked up even more outside, dumping even more water into the temporary lake, and making the water rise even more in the bus.
We're walking out of here!
By the time us passengers decided to evacuate the bus on foot the water reached my thighs as we stepped out of the bus. I was still lucky though, given that there were several ladies on the bus who were quite shorter than I am! The water was cold, but at least we could traverse the lake and make it on to terra firma a few hundred yards further up the road. The bus driver had told us that a replacement bus would come and pick us up, but given how almost every underpass nearby was probably flooded I didn't count on that to happen...so I started walking into town instead. I didn't see any city bus either, which I would have on any normal day, so in the end it was probably a smart decision.
At the next underpass I saw several small cars try to traverse the water, and I can't for the life of me figure out why they dared to do that, since it wouldn't take much for the electronics to just go "poof" and then they'd be stuck there in water at least a foot deep! That is precisely what happened to several cars throughout the city in the end, making for quite some spectacular photos in the newspaper afterwards.
Actual photo judging
Once I made it to my destination (and one of the jury members lent me a pair of khaki shorts to wear) I was able to do what I had gone into town to do in the first place, be the tech guy at the judging of the international exhibition. I do not envy the juries the amount of decision making they have to do, just to pick their favorites and decide what image deserves "best in show". Sure we who are "staff" do a lot of work before and after the jury weekend, but I am sure the jurors are pretty much spent after the weekend.
Now comes the "clean-up" period, where lists of accepted and awarded images are collated, images are prepared for slideshows and electronic report cards are sent out. Once that is done it'll be a few weeks before it's time to rig stuff for the public viewing of the exhibition. But for now the work with the international exhibition is done...almost!