Vote for the winner in the film contest! The Top 10 is here!

Wow, this was a TOUGH one. Over 200 entries and so many of them were soooooo good. It was VERY tough for my wife Mina to go through and choose the top 10. She is 1800 miles away in AZ while I am in IL but I emailed her every entry and she sent me back her top 10 picks as well as a few others she liked. I then narrowed that 15 or so down to ten and this is the result.

So here you go! Here are the top 10 and now it is time for YOU to vote for your favorite! These are all shot on film as that was the one rule of the contest.

Each photo below will have the name of the photographer above it with a number. Under the photos you will see a poll. Just place one vote, and one vote only for your favorite. On May 19th the poll will be closed and whoever had the highest number of votes will win the Epson V500 Scanner! I will ship the scanner to the winner on or before May 24th. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

The photos below are placed in a random order.


By Kolja Willimzik


By Jay Page


By Jordan Dickinson


By Allen Liu


By Matthew Freund


By Jeffrey Shimizu


By Jake Schoelkopf


By Dirk Ahlgrim


By Andrew Babington


By Joel Hohner

[polldaddy poll=3136509]


  1. @ Steve!

    Why are you so mean with David M.? What about his lawnmower? That moved me…The angle the lighting, the expression, I really wish I was a pro photographer, what a life! Sorry for my comment, just cannot believe such individuals exist. As for the selection well Some left me indiferent some made me laugh, some made me wonder: ”Is this a sailboard in the back? kewl! and the dog is sweet too”. Hey this is a fun site and I think it is very funny that you threw a contest to giveaway you used scanner. I recently gave my old Nikon N70 (film) to a local photo club. Imagine the sweepstake… A camera AND a scanner. Keep it going man… I am having fun.

  2. Agree Walt, tonality and colour ( in that order for me ).

    I contributed, so took part and so feel obliged to vote, which I shall do. But although Steve definitely has taste, no criticism here, it is his taste. And yes, too little explicit examples of the deep and transparent colour rendition film can give.

    Voting for Wolfgang is a proper rebellious act.
    But looking at his images it seems as if he is not desperate in need of a better scanner;-)

    My vote will not be on Wolfgang but on one of the 10 pre-chosen images.
    Other than many other posters I will not mention where my vote goes. It has a tendency to influence others and causes a trend by its own publicity. Again IMHO.

  3. To be fair here luminous landscapes is not a bad site and it is full of usefull articles. One bad person from a site or group in no way reflects on the whole.

  4. Thorkill, you are SPOT ON my man. Thanks for the comments. Oh, and the M9? More will indeed be coming REAL soon from the M9 as I am going to head back to shooting it in the next week or two. Thanks!


  5. Dear Steve, David and all others….
    Sorry for my bad english.
    First of all, let us all keep the language cool, nice and polite to each other. We are here for fun and enjoyment and not for offending each other.
    Let us admit one thing. Why are we here? Because Steve’s site represent something else. There are a lot of advanced sites and discussion sites where we cant get an highly academic discussion about equipment and photos. Look at a site like where nearby all the photos are extremely good, well done and advanced, but the fact is that it is allmost nearby too much, a mate called´it a allmost-sort-of picture-pornography, which off cause is unjustfully, but….
    Steve make a straight forward site for all op us “normal” human beings, and it is energetic, just out of the box, written to understand. And thats why I and perhaps all of you keep clickking more on this site than on the others advanced ones. I am sure Steves intention was not an contest with outstanding and one-of-the-year pictures.
    So let us all contribute to keep Steve in the good mood (and dont talk about what he could get out of a Imacon or Hasselblad-scanner instead of a flatbed-scanner :-), a pity Nikon only make expensive filmscanners nowadays, anyway…)
    Thorkil Brodersen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Ps, perhaps Steve, you will return a little to the M9 from time to time….(but your MP inspires my to look at my M6 once again and a Fujicolor Provia 400F, and perhaps unpacking my old used Flextight Precision scanner, ..thanks..)

  6. Wow, I’m really disappointed with David Meyers being Australian. Your giving us a bad name……. It’s funny how the uber technicians are always the most critical of artists. They lack the emotional depth to appreciate a great shot. Worst of all they believe they can do better. Go back to your tabletop catalogues and data wrangling David, I’m sure your canvas printer is a corker!

  7. I dislike how you don’t allow a lot of newer photographers:/

    However, I don’t respect people like David.

    So yes, he is out of line. And Yes, this kind of was an unfair competition…

    Steve, is it possible you can have categories next contest? Like a Pro+Enthusiast category and a New+ Amateur category? I think doing that would make the fight for us new people on the block to see how well we shine compared to other amateurs. hah, just a suggestion:)

  8. David Meyers please go back to the other site and stay there with all the other old crotchety retirees.

  9. They are all gorgeous and so difficult to choose! I want to live in #1, #7 captures everything about the event in that fraction of a second and #8 because I can’t stop smiling at them.

  10. @David Myers,

    A good photograph is not about absolute perfection in technique, it is about how it “speaks” to that person who is viewing it. If perfection is all we are looking for, then the best photographers are the people behind computer monitors the whole day pushing pixels in Photoshop. I hope you will one day understand what constitutes perfection in photography, even after your years of experience.

    One more thing, as a lead developer for a high traffic eCommerce website, I can actually write a report on each of your web pages as to why it fails to be a good website in today’s standard. Sure, you have images from 2010, but the site itself just looks outdated like it has not changed since the 90s, which probably is true. Therefore, instead of criticizing other people’s work, your time would be better spent updating your own site.


  11. 4,7,10 are all excellent…4 is cute, 7 is a great nostalgic feeling, but 10 is probably my choice as it’s just such an honest capture that could tell a hundred different stories.

  12. #7 is just PERFECT
    – composition is great (low on the ground with the rope near the lens)
    – Timing is perfect (the winner running left almost out of the frame …. the guy in the public also with the hands up)
    – so funny (the guy with the camera filming the dying boxer … the position of the lying boxer)

    super shot

  13. David,

    They weren’t all crap shots. People have different tastes and styles. I was underwhelmed. I guess that is more to do with style and potentially built up expectation that I myself did.

    If you want to proffer useful critique – then do so. Anyway can fire off a cheap shot. Giving critique is not easy. But when you see people take your advice and then use it to perform at another level – it is a very rewarding feeling.


  14. Hey David, didn’t you say you were not coming back here after your last rude remarks a few weeks back? Also after trying to avertise your business and having me delete your post?

    To be blunt, I have seen nothing from you that comes close to these entries so yes, please…cancel your subscription!

  15. I am really amazed at the low standard of the ‘chosen few’ images above. If these are the best images submitted I would hate to see the rejected images! Is this a sign of the times when the school system rewards everyone, regardless of talent, to avoid discrimination towards the talentless?

    As an imaging consultant to Kodak, Nikon, Fuji and Minolta since the days before PhotoShop and the owner of the world’s first photo imaging bureau set up in 1987 I could write a report on each image as to why it fails artistically and why it is a disaster technically but I won’t. I will just cancel my subscription to this blog and go back to professional standard websites like Luminous Landsape.

    David Henry-Myers
    Digital Masters Australasia
    Sydney Australia
    (Bookings required for common assault in person)

  16. Artist, always have something to say. This, that and whatever you meant to say. If things were just different, why not do this? or that, such is the nature of the beast….a thousand different views looking at the same thing, it moves me, i feel nothing, love it, hate it…….give me a break!

    A great contest for this site, Steve. As an avid reader of this site, I appreciate all the author does for me and us. Plenty to read and digest, ponder and wonder about. This site is not a hard core site, it is a site to come to, and enjoy with a hot cup of great coffee, at midnite when all is asleep 🙂

    If it goes a different way then you like, my God man!, shut your trap and breath some air. Accept it for what it is. Don’t try to make it better, different. Just sit back and enjoy……less is more.

  17. All are good given in different context one picture will be prefer to the other.
    My love for HCB and documentary style photography make me choose 7
    Just want to share why its beautiful to me
    look at the hands and feet all so different is form and expression.
    Upward fist VS loser’s downed fits.
    Raise palms in crowd VS palm on the mat
    Feet moving towards, away and still at the fallen.
    The drama in the hand and feet is really good.

    Not to forget about expression and all other aspect that made this picture good.

  18. There is no doubt in my mind that # 7 has it all…Action,insight,the moment ,told the whole story in one split second, wow what talent…


  19. @Steve..

    I didn’t mean to criticise your choice or any of the photographs but I actually was expecting something different/special…… and not a very classical selection(and of cause all of them are better then mine by a mile).


  20. The boxing pic (#7) is a great shot, as is the woman with the baby (#6) but I just could not stop looking at the cows! I might be loosing my marbles but they are almost speaking to me…….

  21. Joakim says:
    May 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm
    Lots of great photos! Voted for #7, but I really liked #1 as well.

    I voted for #1 but liked #7 as well. lol! I also liked the cows a lot. kind of wanted to jump into the picture of #2 also. really great stuff all around. as a sports shooter I think I’m maybe less inclined to vote for a sports shot because so much is going on and as a journalist you’re there among the assembled masses waiting for something dramatic and visually memorable. That first shot, however, occurs in the solitude of some frozen morning, or sunset. It’s the most exotic and rare visual in the list. And a fabulous photograph to have taken with film. What I think is AMAZING is how most everyone saw where the quality was in these shots. My faves, I, 7, 8, are three of the top four finishers. Hello. That says something about the universal eye. Hmmm. Universal eye. Never heard that before.

  22. @ Frank

    I think what you are getting at is what PJ’s (and their editors) often deal with. There are images that stand alone and tell a story and then other images that need a ‘spread’ so to speak. To give context and different angles.

    I am dealing with that issue now for a project I have begun. I am looking at maybe doing triptych or diptych or like I did in the below link – scan over the boarders of two frames.

    It is indeed a tricky and challenging part of the creative process. And while an image should be able to stand on it’s own. For sure Frank – a “story” often can be in need of more angles and facets. I can totally agree with that.


    “mid frame scans”

  23. @Steve @ Alkuan et al

    Guys no need to be touchy. You have not read my English correctly. I didn’t say I was surprised or that the process was flawed or that the method wasn’t clear. I am involved in FAR more screening on a daily basis than most people here are over at and I am used to the concept of rejection, critique and acceptance probably far more than most other readers. So please don’t suggest that this is where this is coming from.

    What I said was, “I” (as in me) was “Underwhelmed” with the final selection. Of course people all have different styles and tastes. The wonder of life.

    I noted that while normal PC rules suggest that I should have nothing but praise. I didn’t. I didn’t criticise. I just said “I was underwhelmed”.

    And there are probably many reasons for that. Again – it was just “my” feedback about how “I” felt when “I” looked at the final images.

    Please don’t misrepresent me.


  24. Richard, I am sure your photo is the greatest, but you do realize this a Steve’s site and the prize is Steve’s own scanner. So wouldn’t it make the most sense that he and his wife picked the 10 photos they liked the most? Think about it.

  25. You do not need a complete story to have a great image. I love the third because it has captured one moment, one expression and feeling. It is a shot where you can look into her eyes and make your own story based on your own life. The same applies to many others. Every image here is great, not a bad one in the bunch. Im sure if a art critic had picked the top ten there would be a vastly different group, but same could be said if I did so or any one here.

  26. @Richard & Borbarad – What is there to be surprised about? I picked 10 of my faves, emailed my wife all 216 images and said “pick your favorite”. She picked 7 of the same images that I did and she had no idea what my picks were. The remaining three were picked by both of us. They are ALL excellent images and to be honest, my fave is not #7.

    These were the best of the bunch to US which is how the contest was laid out from the get go. Picking the winner was up to you guys.

    This was not a “storytelling” contest, it was a basic “submit your fave photo on film” contest. Out of 213 images, the 10 that stood out to US was the 10 above. Not sure why you think I would be sent 200+ masterpieces.

    Anyway, I have no plans to post all 213 images as there is no reason to. These are the top 10 and the winner is being selected by the readers. This was all meant for fun and to get everyone involved. Let’s keep it that way.

    Thanks guys,


  27. Hmmm.. I’m surpriced by the slection as well. No7 is the clear winner for me by a mile at least.


  28. Richard, you evidently have great knowledge, taste– and as far as i can judge from the photos on your site– great photographic expertise. But a photo “that offers a clear story and guides the eye around the frame nicely” is not the only photo that can aspire to high artistic value. There are stories and there are situations. A situation, whether mysterious or clear, or highly structured or not, can be just as interesting as any clear, highly structured story. Your stated esthetic criteria are too narrow. They certainly don’t take into account all your great shots on your own web site.

    Maybe that’s part of why I expressed a desire to see, if possible, each shot within a small series of shots, so I could either verify, correct, or extend my own imagination of a story suggested, whether clearly or not. Sometimes the best stories are the ones we imagine when under the casting of an unclear spell. Or sometimes there is no story to imagine but just an interesting formalistic twist, and that’s enough.

  29. Hmmm… not because my shot was not selected. However I am a little underwhelmed in the above.

    There is only one shot there that offers a clear story and guides the eye around the frame nicely. That would be the boxing the one.

    That’s not to say that the others are bad shots. Not even close. And in society political correct rules often call for muted critique in lieu of unabashed praise. So I mean no disrespect by my frankness. But the best of the best that was submitted? The quality should be a lot higher.

    Could we maybe have all the shots submitted be displayed somewhere for a discussion, I’d be very curious to see what others submitted and how they perceive things, as opposed to just the taste/style of two people….

  30. You know what would be nice ? After completion of the contest,to contextualize each shot with a couple of the accompanying shots if such there were.

  31. Congratulations to all photographers! I thought each of the photographs were very well done! The ones I liked instantly were #2, #7 and #10. Each one in itself, an superb image. Of the three photo’s, I looked for the shot that captured a “raw” moment that could only be captured by pure chance. It was difficult to choose from there as all three were so close, but #10 stood out to me as the photo that caught that “raw” moment in time the best.

  32. Ohhh. I´m with most of you: Seven times #7. But also #1 leads me so sweet with a blue note. Congratulations!!

  33. I loved all of the shots. The cows were funny, the woman lying in the water was ethereal, the portraits were all stunning and had wonderful lighting, the 1st shot was very old school, and kind of reminded me of something shot in the 1960s. I loved the dog photo. Hilarious. The street shots were beautiful too, especially #2, but again, I think #7 had all the best elements in it. Boy, that was hard.

  34. I think #7 has the best of all elements. It’s got the right angle, the perfectly timed shot, the winner with his hands raised, the loser lying defeated, a guy in the audience cheering. It’s just the perfect shot. One in a million.

  35. When judging art I always go with the first instinct rule and I try not to cut things apart to much, number 3 caught my eye , skin tones are lovely. Not a single bad image in the lot though just that one in my opinion is the best. number 2 is a very close second.

  36. The cows are funny and I really like the feeling of #6 but voted for #7 because there is so much storytelling in that photo. I think it’s a fraction of a second after what in my mind I imagine to be the peak moment where the celebrating boxer faces the fan standing up, both with their arms raised, but of course I wasn’t there and it’s easy to be an armchair quarterback when it comes to sports photography. In any case, it’s an EXCELLENT image!!

  37. All very interesting shots! A selection work was necessary to vote:
    Rank 1 2 3 4 5
    Pic# 7 2 5;1;9 8;4 3;6;10

    And, at comparing it with the other votes, it was also interesting to see the convergence on the Pic#7 and the divergence on the Pic#2…How come that Salgado kind of perfect B&W painting has not conquered the votes? 🙂 Anyway, this is not finished yet…so let’s buzz to have more participants!
    Congratulations again to all photographers!

    Some other considerations which drived my vote:
    -Jake’s Pic#2 gets close to the subject and there’re many actions to see in the story he shot;
    -Animal shots (#8 cows and #4 dog) gave really strong image but i tend to prefer people shots;
    -Lady’s Portrait#5 has a great light and the Lady’s face a unique mystery strengh but i’ve priviledged more life scenes;
    -Lake Pic#1 has a natural light and flare that accentuate the move on the hedge of this lady. And the stong shades contrast perfectly with the diffuse color of the light.
    -Portait#3. I was not too keen on the brick background and the move of the hand

  38. WOW. Great captures. I feel that Jake’s shot is STUNNING…amazing work, decisive moment stuff, really captures the essence of victory and defeat at once, and well composed, framed, and captured….

    Perfection! All of the others shine with inner beauty as well. So strong is the work, and what a wonderful way to share in each others’ strengths as photographers….

    Kudos to all!

  39. I sooooo appreciate the civility and constructive opinions expressed in this website by both Steve and most folks that frequent this website. This is such a breath of fresh air compared to some of the angst in some other places.

  40. Great shots, I believe you that it was a tough decision selecting these! 🙂 Also, best of luck to the final ten!

  41. Those were some nice photos. It was very difficult to choose my favorite. Well done. I tip my cap the ten finalists.

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