Rules of Engagement


While I have endeavored to make the monthly giveaway series an open, amiable and friendly dynamic between myself and the reading and listening audience, the growth in popularity of the contest is opening doors that may insinuate the ability to interpret the guidelines for each giveaway.  So, in order to provide a clear and concise structure that everyone can reference and use in image preparation, an official “Rules of Engagement” has been prepared as a resource for any questions that arise.  First off, some have asked about degree of edits, so I’ll tackle that here:

Image Editing This is a huge can of worms, and one I would rather avoid, but nevertheless, in the interests of full disclosure, basic image editing is permitted (dodging, burning, cropping, white balance adjustments, and filters that enhance your image).  When you start adding multiple images together though, or if something appears overly “Photoshopped”, I will likely disqualify it as this series is about learning photography primarily, and while basic image editing is an important part of development, if it’s more graphic manipulation than capture, then the contests need to change to a different venue.




01.  All images must be submitted through a Flickr account – Flickr accounts are available for free!

02.  Images must be between 600 and 800 pixels on the longest side.  If you look at your images on Flickr (in the “All Sizes” portion),  and do not see an image with the longest side in that range as an available option, it will be disqualified – no exceptions! The Contest Overview page has instructions on how to check this.

03.  I need to be able to download your image.  The Contest Overview page gives some pretty detailed instructions on how to do this.  If those are not clear, ask the folks at Flickr.

04.  Unless otherwise specified in the contest thread, no more than one entry per person – multiple entries will disqualify all entries for that participant.

05.  All images must be family-friendly, and work-safe…no partial nudes, nothing offensive, anything.  If I find something offensive, the post will be removed and the participant will be excluded from participation for one month following the contest period.

06.  Unless specified in the contest thread, the deadline for entries is always midnight on the last day of the month Mountain Time.  (GMT -7)  While I usually try to close the thread right at midnight, this is not always the case, and it may be closed the following morning when I wake up.  Please respect the cutoff time even if the thread is not closed yet – you should know your own time zone and be able to do simple math to determine if it’s still open for submissions.

07.  Many have asked if I can check to ensure their images have not been disqualified.  While initially I have done so in the interests of helping everyone learn, it is becoming too time consuming and I can no longer accommodate these requests.  The giveaways are designed to help people learn about what is involved in shows.  If you think this is tough – submit to a juried show of professionals – they are brutal and if you don’t meet the criteria, they will simply discard the images (and prints can be expensive).

08.  Additional requests have been asked to see if an image made it to “the finals” in the past.  Such requests will no longer be fulfilled, and thus, are not permitted.  Same thing goes here – it just opens up too many issues to interpretation and I can no longer accommodate these requests.  If you want some encouragement, ask me to look at your entire photo stream and I can let you know in general what is working and where I think you may want to improve, but I cannot comment on entries specifically either during or after contest decisions have been made.

09.  All disqualifications are determined by myself or an assistant (i.e. spouse, moderator, etc.) .   Entries that violate the letter or spirit of these rules will be disqualified.

10.  Once a winner has been determined and announced, the contest period is officially over.  Do not ask me to reconsider or try to engage in discussions.  You are wasting your time as I will not respond.

11.  While persistence can be a good thing in negotiation, here it is not a good idea to keep commenting on participant eligibility.  Once judging is completed,  (and absent any flagrant or blatant violation of the rules), decisions are final and are not subject to participant review. Attempts to do so will be ignored and/or deleted as necessary.

12.  Most prizes are awarded by vendors directly, however in the event that I have the product (for review) and must send the product myself, I would ask that winners split the cost of shipping with me, in the event that shipping exceeds $20 via USPS.  I cannot ship outside the U.S. unless the winner is willing to cover all taxes, fees, and shipping costs.

13.  I reserve the right to adapt and amend these “Rules of Engagement” as needed.  Any changes to these will be announced prior to enforcement in the next contest thread on Flickr.

Last, but not least:

No arguing with other participants (or me)! If discussions turn toward a negative end, or if anyone posts to an existing thread or starts threads that are not instructive or helpful toward the larger community, I will close or delete the thread or post as needed.  It’s supposed to be fun, so respect your fellow participants.    Also, please refrain from raising questions about a contest once the month has been completed including closing times, image eligibility, or other matters related to administration of the contest.

Here I should say that I entrust my wife to assist in assembling of contest images for review.  I trust her ability to act responsibly in downloading images for consideration.  Please do not question her integrity (or mine for that matter).  If you don’t like it, then don’t participate.  This is supposed to be fun and any misgivings or animosity either here, on the blog or other social media outlets will simply be ignored and/or deleted at my discretion.

Phew!  Now that the nitty gritty details have been covered, let’s get back to having fun by either going to Flickr and posting an entry or returning to the Contest Overview page and see the more fun stuff about the giveaways!

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