Okay, it’s not an Oscar, nor an Emmy, but the LDP Monthly Giveaway is sufficiently popular that selecting winning images is very tough. Here’s what happens once the contest is closed:
- I’ve given my wife specific instructions on how to close the thread, and how to download all the images into a folder on my desktop. If an image is not downloadable – it’s disqualified.
- Once the images are downloaded, I look at the details view on my Windows computer. This avoids me looking at thumbnails and I only see the metadata – if the longest side of the image is UNDER 600 pixels, it’s disqualified.
- Next, I look at the remaining set, and look for dimensions OVER 800pixels. Any images that are over-sized – are disqualified.
- The next test is whether the photo adheres to the theme – so now I switch to thumbnail views. Any that are not somehow related to the theme are disqualified (although this has not happened yet…)
- Last but not least, I import the remaining photos into Lightroom and look at in slide show mode. I pick the ones that either show real artistic expression or spot on composition and color treatment. The others are removed from consideration.
- Finally, I pick the three images I think are the “Best in Show” (if more than 3 remain at this point). I’ll review these three more carefully, looking for things like distractions, depth of field, and other nuances that can either improve or enhance an image, and pick the winner on that basis. If I cannot decide – I usually will email them to a friend and have him or her look at them and ask for their input. From that, a winner is decided.
Here’s how the numbers crunched this month:
There were 22 images submitted in the contest thread:
- Round One eliminated5 photos that could not be downloaded
- Round Two eliminated one photo that was smaller than 600px on the longest side
- Round Three eliminated seven photos that were larger than 800px on the longest side
- Round Four eliminated no photos – all adhered to the theme
- Round Five eliminated no photos – all the compositions showed creativity and recognized at least one of the standard rules of composition (rule of thirds, golden mean, creative bokeh, contrasting colors, etc.)
- Round Six was the tough one.
It was tough because I basically had to pick my three favorites and judging here is never fun because you are (in essence) rendering a judgement which is never free of bias or subjectivity. Nevertheless, three had to be chosen, and the three finalists were decided. At this point I had to really look at the nuances of composition and the winner was:
The artistic bokeh and dof, combined with the compositional and lighting appeal makes this one the winner! Congratulations to Josh for a well deserved win! Thanks to everyone for participating, and good luck next month – the theme for April is: Balance And the prize? Ooooh – an awesome prize this go around, because it’s all about balancing things – it’s the Expo Imaging Expodisc! This beauty is kind of like a filter you place on the front of your lens and by shooting toward the light source, you can guarantee your white balance (get the theme now? 🙂 ) will be spot on in post production.
This is a fanstatic product which I have reviewed on the blog before and can save hours of time on the computer, and spend that much more out doing what really matters: taking pictures! Valued at up to $100 (based on the filter size you need for your gear), it can literally be the one that saves the day on your shoot because you nailed some white balance in tough fluorescent phosphorous conditions that could take hours to correct in post production! So, get shooting because the new thread is up on Flickr and now’s your chance to get out and win this from the generous folks over at Expo Imaging (and thanks to them for sponsoring the giveaway for April!)