15 Dec 2009 Podcast 221 : Assignment Winners and Next Assignment Prizes!
Today it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners of the first MBP/WebSpy Photography Assignment accumulated vote winners for the last six month’s assignments. As you know, when our sponsors WebSpy came on board in July 2009, they kindly set by $1,000 for prizes for our assignment, and I arranged some great prizes for the three people with the most votes from your peers in the six assignments from July to November. So today, we not only hear who the November assignment winners are, we find out who takes the amazing prizes that we have lined up.
Also, WebSpy have kindly offered to continue to be our sponsors, and have put up another $1,000 for prizes for the next six months of assignments, so today I will also announce the prizes that will be given to the lucky winners in July 2010.
November Assignment Winners
First up, let’s take a quick look at the winners of the November assignment, which was a panning assignment. This was a tough one, as we can see by the number of images entered. I would have liked to have seen more images uploaded for this, as I know that many of you are up for a challenge, but I guess panning was pushing it a bit too far.
We’ll go through the winners in reverse order as usual, and so in third place, we have Zodiaci or Allen ONeal, with “Yellow & Fall(ing)”, which is image m14950 (right). This one really jumped out at me as I looked through the assignment gallery. I love the use of colours here, with the bright yellow contrasting against the red background. I would have guessed from the thumbnail that it was floating down a river with fallen red leaves on the river bed. Not so though. From the comment, we learn that Allen actually panned with this leave as it was falling, which is pretty amazing. The yellow leaf is very sharp, and the exposure long enough at a quarter of a second to render the background a total blur of colour. Excellent work Allen, and congratulations on third place.
Moving quickly along, in second place with image m14886 (below), from Marcus Bain we have “Racer”. Both Marcus and Allen have been placed a number of times in this last few assignments, and are really putting a lot of effort into this, and having fun at the same time it seems.
We can see from Marcus’ comments against the image that this was his first attempt at panning, which is great, especially when he comes up with shots like this. We can see that Marcus has desaturated the colours except the reds and blues, which adds a lot to the effect, and really makes us feel the slightly distorted view of the world that the man speeding past. Marcus got this effect with a 25th of a second exposure, so we can really get a sense of the speed here. The subject is not quite as sharp as it might be, but plenty sharp enough for this sort of shot, so congratulations on a great image again Marcus. A very deserving second place here.
In first place we have Edwin Collingridge’s image, m14938 (below), entitled “A Burn on the Bike”. This is a 1/50th of a second pan; so again, the subject is travelling some here. I love the composition with the young boy off center to the left, with plenty of space to ride into, and the yellow grasses amongst the green make for a very nice dappled background, sufficiently blurred by the panning action. The red fleece and gloves that the boy is wearing are also a nice contrast to the surrounding colours. I think what makes this shot is the sharpness of the boy. Technically it’s a very good pan, which I’m sure in addition to the artistic merits of the shot is another reason why so many people voted for this.
Congratulations on first place Edwin — a very good win with this amazing image!
Six Month MBP/WebSpy Photography Assignment Winners
Let’s move on now, to see who the lucky three are that will receive the prizes that our sponsors WebSpy have enabled us to offer for this batch of six monthly photography assignments to November 2009.
In third place, it gives me immense pleasure to announce that our good friend Landon Michaelson will be receiving every issue of Lenswork Extended to Dec 2009. That’s all 29 issues released to date. Congratulations Landon! In the end, you amassed 99 votes for the images that you entered in the last six months of assignments. If anyone is going to make the most of these CDs and DVDs from LensWork, I know you will. I would also like to once again thank the kind folks over at Lenswork for making this special offer available to us.
For the longest time, Mr Nikon or Dan seemed certain to take the first prize in these assignments, but I’m sorry to say, from Dan’s perspective at least, that he has been pipped at the post. I’m definitely not sorry to say though that Dan will be receiving an incredibly Lensbaby Composer as the second prize. Congratulations Dan! Once again, I know that with your vision and technical ability, you are certainly going to put this lens to the best possible use. Dan by the way amassed 133 votes from the last six months of assignments.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, it gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of the 1st MBP/WebSpy Photography Assignment, Zodiaci, whose real name is Allen ONeal. Allen was gradually gaining momentum in the first half of this six month batch of assignments, but then he really came through very strong in the last three. Congratulations Allen! You will be receiving a superb Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM lens! This is an amazing bit of glass Allen, so really well done. In total, Allen amassed 142 votes from his peers. You had an amazing batch of images over the last six months, including of course the one that we looked at earlier that came in third in the November assignment.
You guys all really deserve these prizes. You have each submitted some amazing images over the last six months. If you didn’t get placed, please don’t feel bad. You all submitted some great images, and hopefully became better photographers along the way, pushing yourself a little bit each month, both technically and artistically.
Prizes for the 2nd MBP/WebSpy Photography Assignment (Dec ’09 – June ’10)
I also have more good news for you. For the next six months of assignments, starting this month, December 2009, we are going to be giving away five, not three, but five amazing prizes to the five photographers with the most accumulated votes at the end of the June 2010 assignment.
I have posted information about the prizes in another post on my blog earlier today, so take a look at that for details and photographs. I’ll just summarize what these amazing prizes are here though, because I’m really excited that we are able to bring you these prizes, thanks to our sponsors WebSpy.
I’m going to just jump in and tell you that the first prize is a 320GB Sanho HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA portable storage unit! This new generation of HyperDrive UDMA portable storage units from Sanho really are the bees knees. They will download images from up to 14 types of memory cards to the hard disk inside the unit very quickly. They verify the data as it is being transferred, and have data recovery tools built into the hardware in case something happens to your images on the memory card. They read RAW files and show you the images on a beautiful 3.2″ LCD screen and will transfer up to 250GB of data with a single charge of the batteries. They also support incremental copy and backup to an external hard drive, which I think is a must if these are going to be your only backup in the field, which is what they are designed for of course.
These units are not only just about the best portable storage device on the market at the moment, they are not restricted by the size of the hard drive that comes with them. As hard drives get larger and cheaper, you can simply buy a new one, and stick it into the HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA device, and away you go. These things ROCK! Note too that as prices drop, if we can buy a larger hard drive model in six month for the same budget that we have now, we will do.
For the second prize, I could not resist going once again with the Lensbaby Composer. This time we will be throwing in a case, but really, after six months of using mine, I’m convinced that every photographer should own a Lensbaby Composer. They just enable you to capture images that would not be possible otherwise. Even if you try to emulate the look in Photoshop, you aren’t going to get it because you see the world differently when you are out in the field using these lenses. You wouldn’t come home with the same images to work from without the Lensbaby Compose fitted to your camera.
Finally, for third to fifth place, three people will receive an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. I have to admit that most of the time, I shoot with my camera set to a White Balance preset like Daylight or Cloudy, but sometimes, you simply have to take control of white balance, and when you need to do that, the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport is the way to go. The ColorChecker Passport contains a Creative Enhancement Target, a Classic Target and a White Balance target. What’s more, it comes with software to help you create custom camera profiles in a stand-alone desktop application and Adobe Lightroom. Not to mention that it comes in a sleek passport sized case for protection and portability. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport is in my opinion is going to be the new standard in White Balance.
I’m really stoked to be able to bring you these prizes, with the help of our fabulous sponsors. Thanks once again to WebSpy for supporting the Martin Bailey Photography Podcast and Blog!
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