When Earl English of Powell became interested in photography more than 35 years ago, someone had to show him how to load film into a camera, and none of the first 36 photos he took came out as intended when the film was developed.

Despite that rough start, he persisted and learned the craft, becoming a professional photographer.

Now recognized for his fine-art photographs of flowers, he will be among the exhibitors at the 46th annual Delaware Arts Festival on May 18 and 19 on Sandusky and Winter streets in downtown Delaware. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

After learning more about using a camera, English was "so excited about photography, I wanted to work in a studio."

At the time, the Lazarus department store in downtown Columbus offered wedding photography among its many services.

After accompanying several photographers to learn the process, English volunteered to shoot 10 weddings for free for Lazarus.

"I wanted to get experience," he said. "I didn't know much about Canons and Nikons (cameras). I went with what my pocketbook could get me."

Even after he became a professional photographer, English took photos for pure enjoyment, mostly of flowers.

"I have a passion for flowers," he said.

When he noticed that few photographers were concentrating on pictures of flowers, he decided to devote more time to the pursuit.

Mark Hardymon, the festival's liaison with the city, said this year's event will have more than 180 booths, most displaying arts and crafts by exhibitors from Ohio and a number of other states. All available booth space has been reserved, he said.

Hardymon said 11 corporate sponsors also will have booths, including the city of Delaware, which helps organizers stage the festival.

"They do so much for us," he said.

This year, the entertainment stage will be in a different spot, Hardymon said, at the entrance to the City Hall parking lot on Sandusky Street, just south of William Street.

Near the stage will be a food court with nine food trucks, he said.

The area will have tables and chairs, with two tables under tents.

Each year, the festival sponsors scholarships totaling $20,000 to further the art education of three high school seniors from county schools.

This year's scholarship presentation will be at noon May 18 on the stage at City Hall, said Dagmar Cianelli, festival spokesperson.

This year, two students tied for first place -- Lauren Cox of Buckeye Valley High School and Sophia Reza from Olentangy Orange High School. Each will receive $7,250 over four years.

In third place was Alison Alsup from Delaware Hayes High School. Alsup will receive $5,500 over four years.

Each applicant submitted a high school transcript and a personal essay about his or her artwork, ambitions and goals, Cianelli said.

Cox's interest is illustration, with aspirations to become a movie-concept artist.

Reza enjoys drawing people because "they tell a story," she said in her essay.

Reza has designed play posters and T-shirts for Orange since 2016.

Alsup is editorial cartoonist for her school's student newspaper, The Talisman.

Her ultimate goal, if not editorial cartooning, is to become a gallery artist focusing on global issues.

Scholarship chairman Justin Schaefer said stipulations for student applicants also included two letters of recommendation and a resume.

An interview with the scholarship committee and 10 examples of the applicant's artwork were additional conditions.

During June, the winners' artwork will be on display at the Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St.

Hardymon said the festival would have "a really nice slate of entertainment this year. We're trying to raise our game a little."

For more information, visit www.delawareartsfestival.org. For more on English's photography, visit www.ehenglishphotos.com.

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