It always surprises me when people (see comment by LYC below) think that only UF work gets into these Mandelbrot Contests. As you might know, I only have entered Apo flames in these contests and some how miraculously got into the show along with other flame fractals by other artists and many 3d works as well.
Being a flame fractal artist most of the time myself and also now having been asked to be on the selection panel for this years show I certainly will not be giving any consideration at all as to what program a work is done in. My choices will be just based on my gut feeling as well as how visually and emotionally I'm affect by what images there are to choose from. For what it is worth I think you have some real stunning and creative work and am sorry to hear you will not be entering any of them this year, although I am sure you have very good and sincere reasons for making that decision.
Travis, If you don't mind I should mention there are a couple more things that I usually respond to when looking at fractal art in case anybody is reading this who will want to enter the contest and that is----- (innovation and also the quality of the render)
As far as renders go, I know that sometimes I upload fractals here at DA with poor renders so one might wonder how I could judge such things but when it comes time for doing a serious print or submitting work for a show I do take the time to do it right.
Thank you kindly for your support, Cory. It's always wonderful to hear from someone I consider an inspiration and a mentor about, well, anything really.
While I'm not entering this year, it isn't because of a concern over programs or favoritisms or anything like that (heck, last time I submitted two apo pieces ), I just simply don't have the competitive feeling this time around. And I know you'll pick some fine pieces, someone as affluent in the community and with as great an eye as you've got, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they were all masterpieces
As I said, it's great to hear from you and I'm always excited to see something of your in my inbox.
Understood about the competitive issue. I think that one of the real upsides however to these shows is that it is helping get fractal art more accepted widely as a serious art form right along side with photography, painting and now some other digital types of art have become. Just my two cents on the fractal show.
Last year I was selected with a Xenodream fractal and there was some Apophysis flames too so I don't think UF is mandatory. On the opposite, the selection showed very different stuff so you should show your incredible work !