The Great Leica M9 Give-Away Contest Has Begun! ENTER NOW!



Wow, Almost 1500 shares of this page via facebook! Awesome!



The time has come! The Leica M9 Give-Away has begun! Read on for the details…the rules…and how YOU can win this Leica M9 signed by both Seal and myself on the inside bottom plate. Spread the word to all of your photo friends and send them here so they can also enter this amazing contest! ONE OF YOU READING THIS NOW WILL WIN THIS LEICA M9!

I will be adding photos of the actual camera VERY soon…stay tuned for that.


The Black M9 that we are giving away was donated by ~6 (Seal) which was his previous personal M9. He just recently received his gorgeous Titanium M9 ( see his post HERE) so he kindly donated his black M9 to this site so we could give it away in this contest.  Not only that…since NO ONE has ever given away a $7000 Leica M9, the inside bottom plate will be signed by both of us to mark this special occasion!

What most of you already know is that the man who posts here as “~6”  is the recording artist and photographer Seal. If you did not know that, now you do. This contest/giveaway was his idea and when he approached  me about it I was VERY excited. I mean, what other website has given away something like a Leica M9? Seal is not only intensely passionate about music, but also photography and I am proud to call him on of my dearest friends. How cool is it that he has donated his personal BLACK M9 to give away here? IT’s AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE!

Since he has been so generous with the M9 donation for the up coming contest I wanted to mention HIS new website.

Just recently Seal has launched a very cool photo website called and I urge you to go check it out and register to follow your favorite photographer. Basically you can follow any photographer on the site..Seal, his wife Heidi, or any of the other photographers on the site. Just by entering your e-mail address you will recieve a pic or two in your mailbox every day that they took during the day.

For example, if you are following Seal, every day you will get a pic or two in your email that he shot THAT DAY. It’s like you are following the daily life of the photographer you follow. So make sure you go check it out at Browse the photographers and follow whoever you like. It’s REALLY cool and REALLY fun.

What you have been waiting for! How you can enter and win this camera!

Anyone can enter and anyone can win. Well, anyone who is passionate about photography that is. We wanted to make sure that whoever wins it will cherish it and USE it for their photography. Hell, I would love to have it myself but I would rather give it away to a reader here who has that passion and love for photography. That is what this site is all about..the passion!

So here is how to enter, along with the rules:

It is a photo submission contest  but it is about telling a story with only 2 photos. This is called “sequential narrative photography” or creating a photo narrative. This can be challenging, fun, and also spark your creative juices. In case you need some pointers, Here is a description I found online of a photo narrative.

These photos can be of any subject but you must pic a topic for your story. Just make sure that the images form a narrative and tell a story. The only thing being judged here is the two photos and the topic/title.

Also, just for my information, along with the photos tell me something about yourself (just a short 2-3 sentences) and why a Leica M9 would help you in your photographic journey. That is it. This contest is NOT about what equipment you use to take the shots. As a matter of fact, you can use a cel phone to take the images and yes, a cel phone image may just win. Again, it is NOT about the equipment but more about the photos as a set.

How the winners will be chosen..

At the deadline, all submissions will be looked over and I will pick the top 10. After that, the top 10 will be sent directly to the two final judges who will pick the winners.

Who are the two final judges? Seals wife, Heidi Klum and professional photographer Rankin will do the honor of choosing the first and second place winners. Yep, this contest is big time now and yes, there is a 2nd place price which is being supplied by Leica Camera themselves! Exciting huh?

The Prizes:

The 1st place prize:

A black Leica M9 which is slightly used. This was Seal’s personal M9 and will be signed by the both of us on the inside bottom plate. This is a $7000 camera if buying new. NEW – If you “like” my facebook fan page for this site you will also be sent a Leica 50 Summitar lens!

The 2nd place prize:

The 2nd place prize will be a new in box Leica V-Lux 2 supplied by Leica Camera. $849 value. Pretty cool huh?


OK here is how you can officially enter this contest.

Step 1:

You must go over to and register and follow at least one photographer at the site. For example, you can follow Seal, Heidi or Rankin and you will get an e-mail with their pics when they submit a pic or two from their daily lives. This step is mandatory! If you are already registered then move to Step 2. If you have difficulty registering just go HERE, HERE or HERE (or all 3)  and enter your e-mail address and click FOLLOW.

Step 2:

You must also be registered at this site. When you register here this will allow you to not only enter all contests but will also allow you to post in the forums and take part in future activities here on the site. So after you register over at you must register here. To do so, click HERE. This step is also mandatory! If you are already registered here, move to Step 3.

Step 3:

Take your photos. To enter you must submit only 2 photos that form a story. We must be able to know what is going on by looking at the photos so because of this there will be no text explaining the photos, just your topic. For example your topic could be called “People in the Park”. Take 2 photos that form a narrative and number them in sequential order. Submit them to me at my e-mail along with your name, address, e-mail address, age, topic title and tell me about you and your photographic passion (but keep it short and essays). Photos must be shot between now and the deadline date of February 5th 2011.

Step 4:


I want as many photographers to know about this as possible. I want EVERYONE to be able to have a shot at this so help me spread the word by tweeting this, or by posting it to your facebook (you can use the handy buttons at the top of this page to do so), or mentioning it wherever you can – digg, forums, or wherever! Just linking back to this page will help tremendously and make this contest a success. If it is a success, more will come 🙂 This is not a mandatory step of course, but will help me out a bit.

Step 5:

Get excited and Wait. I will be accepting submissions starting today, January 5th 2011. Submissions will end on February 5th 2011. The contest duration is 30 days. On February 15th I will post the top 10 winners on this site along with their photos. The top 10 will then go to Heidi Klum and Rankin for final selection. The winner will be announced on March 1st 2011 and the Leica M9 will be shipped out to the winner by March 15th 2011.

The 2nd place winner will win a Leica V-Lux 2 supplied by Leica Camera. Both cameras will be shipped by me via FedEx to the winners no later than March 15th 2011.

THE RULES – Follow them or be disqualified! READ READ READ! IMPORTANT!

  1. You must register or at least be following a photographer at and to be eligible to enter and win. Again, to be clear – you will only be eligible to win if your name and email address is registered at both websites. See steps 1 & 2 above to do this.
  2. When you submit your images make them no larger than 1300 pixels wide but also no smaller than 680 pixels wide.
  3. You must submit TWO images that form a narrative to enter and win.
  4. Include your name, address, email address, age, and topic title with the submission and a short note about you and your passion for photography.
  5. Photos can be taken with ANY camera – film, digital, or even a cel phone. This is not about the gear you are using to take the photos but more about the photos themselves.
  6. You can submit only ONE SET of images that tell a story – no text explaining what the story it, just a topic title. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON and ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD.
  7. Photos for this contest must be taken between the submission dates (1/05/11 – 02/05/11). In other words, they must be taken for this contest. No old photos allowed.
  8. EXIF Data must be present in the photos so I can verify dates. If you do not know what this means then you should be OK. Basically do not strip the EXIF data! If shooting film, just let me know the dates you shot the film.
  9. Contest begins on 1/05/11 and the deadline for your submission will be 2/05/11. Top 10 will be chosen by Steve Huff on 2/15/11 and they will be posted on the site for all to see. The final two winners will be chosen by Heidi Klum and Rankin and announced on March 1st 2011.
  10. The 1st prize is a black Leica M9 signed by Seal and Steve Huff. This was the personal M9 of Seal, so it is used but in great shape. The 2nd place prize will be a new Leica V-Lux 2.
  11. THIS IS A WORLDWIDE CONTEST! No matter where you live, you can enter!
  12. Steve Huff, Seal, and family members are not eligible to enter or win (Damn!)
  13. The decision of all judges is FINAL. No complaining, no whining and no bitching allowed in the comments. Keep it fun and let’s all have a good time.
  14. Finally, your submitted images may be shown on the site if you make the top 10 so you are giving rights for me to show your images here if you make it.



There are several ways to tell a story with sequential photos that reveal a moment, or a narrative. Get your creative juices flowing.

NARRATIVE: A good story has a beginning, middle, and an end. Lots of information can be told in as little as two photos but basically we want to be able to look at the photos and see the story. Get creative and be confident. ANYONE can win. Do not worry about what you use to shoot with as we are not looking for the best technical quality or highest resolution. If you have the ability to tell a great story with photographs then you deserve and have a great chance to win the M9.

SEQUENTIAL PHOTOS: Maybe you want to submit a set of photos that reveal a moment? For example, maybe you are shooting in the street and you see something funny that happens and can be caught within 2 frames. Does it reveal a moment or tell a story? If so, send them in. Have fun out there and get creative.


Again, this site has been able to stick around and grow over the past  two years thanks you YOU, the readers. Those who come here every day to see whats new, to see the passion of photography alive and well and to join in the discussions.

Thanks to you guys helping me out with buying your photo gear from my links to B&H Photo and Amazon and supporting my sponsors like Dale Photo and J-Tec. Let’s not forget Ken Hansen who has been a true friend AND a great Leica dealer. So without that support, this site would not be where it is today and this contest would not exist.

So here are those direct links again and if you ever need any photo related gear you can use the B&H Photo Link HERE (not able to bookmark the B&H link, must be clicked on from this site). If you like AMAZON, anything you buy there will help me out with pennies on the dollar (it adds up) and you can use that link HERE (and can bookmark the Amazon link!). You can also use the handy search boxes on the upper right side of any page.

Also, be sure to follow me on twitterfacebook and my RSS feed here. This all helps me out! Also, for more discussion you can visit my forums here on the site 🙂


Finally, thanks again to Seal. Be sure to visit SEAL.COM for his music and news, and the new to follow some pretty cool photographers. Without HIS support, this contest would not be happening! You can also follow him on twitter HERE and facebook HERE.

Some pics of the grand prize!

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  1. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through
    Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing.


  2. Anybody know what’s going on with the contest? I’ve just been receiving spam from that picortwo website and it is quite annoying not knowing any type of status about it.

    • The status has been posted about almost daily. The top 15 are posted and the winner will be announced on March 1st, as per the rules. You are not receiving “spam” from but the images you signed up for when you followed a photographer there. Thanks.

  3. Submitted mine last night a few hours before the deadline! Best contest rules I’ve ever seen- they really pushed creativity!!! Waiting for my confirmation now…

    Thank you Steve, Seal, Heidi, and Rankin!

    Best of luck to everyone and I have confidence that the best will be chosen!

  4. Time’s up! 0 Days – 0 Hours – 0 Minutes – 0 Seconds. Good luck to everyone that entered. I know it’s not feasible, but it would be great to see everyone’s entry.

    Quick question:

    Steve – Would it be possible to set up a Flickr group (or any other for that matter) where we can all submit our entries for other’s to see?

    As others have said, thanks to you, Seal and Leica!

    • +1! In the group rules we could say that the photo titles would have to be [“narrative title” #1] and [“Narrative title” #2] and the caption on both is the photographer’s first name, age, and short note about themselves and their interests. That would preserve the creativity demanded by this contest’s specific format.

  5. Hi Steve. I just submitted my entry with one hour and 25 mins to go in your countdown timer. Since the deadline is Feb 05th 2011 at 11:59 PM Phoenix AZ USA time then I’m assuming that the time difference with my country will not matter. Its already the 6th of Feb here but I was following the countdown timer you set so I hope Im within the rules. Thanks Steve. More power to this site!

  6. All right! The deed is done! My entries are in Steve’s inbox right now…phew!

    As a newbie to this site as well as to the world of serious photography, I submitted my meager efforts to this contest with a great amount of trepidation. This is the first time that I am participating in any photography contest. I am hoping that by seeing the top 10 entries as well as the work that Steve displays on this site, I will get a chance to learn the art behind a successful photograph!

    Good Luck to you all and may the best photographs win!

  7. This may be a dumb question given that I’ve already submitted my entries, but should I have added in my name to the file names of the photos?

  8. Hey Jon….
    I submitted my entry on Thursday…the 3rd…and Steve sent me a one-line note thanking me and mentioned that he may be having another contest real soon. He did not confirm or deny my entry…(yes…I double-check all of the rules 10 times myself..LOL), I think you would hear something if you are disqualified…
    I am sure at this point in time, Steve is a little overwhelmed with all of the entries and trying to keep up with his daily posts etc. on the site… You are probably fine…and me too…I hope. LOL!
    I had a lot of fun making my entry…and I hope he posts some more of the entered images soon…
    I love seeing the photography that has been submitted. It is great just being part of a group creative outing……

    • Hi Bob,

      I suspect as well that he is swamped with verifying entries, and shortly after posting this I saw the comment above that he will send an email to all applicants either confirming or denying their entry. I posted here to see if other applicants had gotten any of these emails, as I didn’t want to bother Steve knowing that he is very busy.

      Best of luck to all!


      • Phew! Great relief – I just received my “Thanks!” email from Steve. For those of you who are as nervous as I was about your entry being verified, I submitted approximately 21 hours before I got the confirmation. So at ease everybody!

        Steve, if you are reading this, I would have loved to send you a thank you email in return, but I figured the last thing you would want would be another email in your inbox — so thank you once again!


        • Hi Jon. Works also for me. After waiting anxiously, I got my ‘Thanks’ from Steve just 8 hours before the close down while I sent mine approximately on Feb 4, 2011 (11:11 PM) local time GMT+8. Good luck everyone!

  9. I had the funniest dream the other night that I was helping Steve out, and he asked me to put a bunch of letters in envelopes. When I looked at the letters, they all said “Congratulations, you are a finalist…” and when I asked Steve how he could know who the finalists were when the deadline had not arrived yet, he said that anybody who submitted in the last week was a procrastinator and didn’t deserve to win… please don’t let that be true!

    I submitted yesterday at 5pm MST, but have not yet received a confirmation yet… has anybody who submitted after that received one? I’m nervous, that my submission didn’t make it, but I read the rules at least a dozen times! Any insight?

  10. I just wish this was earlier than now (contest I mean) In my dreams I use my nice newly won M9 to shoot back stage during Fashion week with my Voigtlander 50 Nokton. Oh well, just have to use my M4 instead

  11. Sit primum ludi.

    I’ve sent a submission, just for fun.
    Only a joke.
    Great idea, great contest, i know for sure that the big winner is Steve.
    No matter who takes the M9 home, he is the man.
    Tank you Steve, keep the good work.
    And also, thanks to Seal.
    Unusual generosity.

    (can´t wait to see all the submissions)

  12. Hi Steve, as for resolution of the picture, do you require hi-resolution (=300dpi)? or lo-resolution is sufficient (=70 dpi)

  13. Hi, Steve.
    I’m trying to enter the contest.
    I tried 3 times to register with – no luck, can´t get in. i don´t receive the email to activate registration. I was able to subscribe though. But I couldn’t get access to my account/password.

  14. Steve,

    Do you send some email confirmation if the submitted entry is ok?

    This would be great for the case that the entry isn’t complete or there is some mistake so we’d have a chance to submit it again and right.


  15. Great question! The description is lacking. I won’t be able to submit till the last day. The day of Feb. 5th. I’m just hoping it will still qualify.

    • Yeah, same here! I’m shooting film, so I’m really hoping he meant February 5th, 11:59 PM on the notice, up top.

  16. I know from some of the comments above that there are no restictions on the use of e.g. photoshop. I wonder, however, if it’s allowed to e.g. blend two images and count that as one. The two are of the same subject, serving only the purpose of “clarification”. The shutter was dragged so long that a little detail that I wanted in the shot, which I’ve got in the other, is perhaps difficult to discern, at least instantly. Btw, my entry is shot on film.

    • Hey,

      is it possible that Steve is a bit busy right now with the submissions that are coming in the last day before the end of the contest?
      How long did it take for you til you got a response?
      My mail has been out for one day now.


  17. Quick questions about submissions…are you only considering documentary type narrative entries? i have an idea i’d like to play out that involves shooting on seamless/strobes/etc.

  18. Hi Steve & Seal. Did step no.1 and 2. But only step 2 was successful. Step 1 failed although my email has been registered there. Tried several times to recover the password but I never received email notification(s) for step 1. Email notification for step 2 was very quick. Did I miss anything?

  19. I wish all 500+ entries would be posted somewhere at the end of the contest. It would be great fun to see what people submitted.

  20. I am unable to follow any photographer in picortwo, I click on the follow link, but when I go to my profile it says I am not following anyone.

  21. Hi Steve! This question might have an obvious answer but I just wanted to ask and make sure if technically, we can still submit our entries the DAY OF February 5th? Or does the contest end at February 4th, 11:59 PM?

  22. I feel ignorant……but……how do I upload the photos for the M9 contest?
    Any help really appreciate.

    • it’s all in step 3 above…

      Step 3:

      “Submit them to me at my e-mail along with your name, address, e-mail address, age, topic title and tell me about you and your photographic passion (but keep it short and essays). Photos must be shot between now and the deadline date of February 5th 2011.”

  23. Psyched. Thanks Steve and Seal for putting this contest together. I’m excited to see some of the shots submitted!

  24. WOWwow!! The contest is starting to heat up!!! =D so many participants! This will be one awesome contest! I can’t wait to see the results!

  25. There seems to be some problems with – I registered and got no confirmation mail (not in spam folder either) then tried to login anyway and got an ‘unrecognised’ error, then tried to recover password which asked for my email which I duly typed in which then took me to the registration page to fill in my data again which after doing this gave me the error message that the email is already registered – and so it goes on, round and round, where it stops nobody knows….

    I suspect this is simply due to the scenario where my details are saved in the database but no mail is sent out fo whatever reason and which has not been thought of/covered by the developer of the site.

    What do I do?

  26. Great idea for a competition…… Amazing questions above….. How do some people work a camera as they obviously can’t read the rules of the competition so instruction books must be way beyond them

  27. Hello Steve,

    As a fan but a silent follower (until now) of your website, I have a dumb question about the M9 contest rules:
    Rule#2: Images should be between 680 and 1300 pixels.
    Say, I shot 2 photos in raw, converted them to jpeg (using Silkypix), and the size is approx 1.5mb each. How do I get pixel size of the jpegs? Dimension shows approx 4000 X 2300 for each. Is that pixel size?


      • And if you don’t have any of those try this: and I say this since rescaling an image in GIMP is a seperate item from uppixeling or downpixeling an image.

        Greetings, Ed

        BTW Seal. I love the insciption on the backplate.

  28. Kragom, Thanks for the info…the program I used to resize my photos doesn’t have the ability to retain the dates of the pictures when it was date at all. The size, dimensions, item type, was there except the date taken. I figured it out though. I am using different program now and will to submit my photos in few days..hopefully it works 🙂

  29. Hey Steve, Will you be telling the entrants if there is something wrong with their entry to disqualify them? I’m sure this has been mentioned somewhere but I can’t find it.

    • Ben – I believe Steve answered this already, reprinted below:

      Steve Huff says:
      January 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm
      EVERYONE who enters will get one of two emails back. Either a “Thank You” or an email explaining why the entry is not valid. Most all entries coming in now are valid. I think there was one in the past few days that was not. If you did not get an email then email me your name and I will check to make sure i have your entry.

      • Thanks sas! I was postive I had read something about it before, but I couldn’t find it again for the life of me. Appreciate the help.

  30. Well just submitted. Been enjoying ~6 over at his site (following him). Good luck to everyone, I just hope I win 🙂

  31. Its unfair that im a kid, I wish I was like my dad, getting 1.2 million dollars a year or 4, so I can buy lots of leica and canon gear, I only have the 7D with a 24-70mm L

  32. Date people…

    Steve does not care if the file date of the image file is changed. What matters is the EXIF. EXIF is metadata recorded to the photo where things such as time, date, shutter speed aperture etc can be read. Unless you deliberately strip the photo of this information in some way, it will be in the photo even after manipulation. You can check the EXIF in a program such as Irfan view by: opening photo, clicking on Image->Information-> EXIF info, and there it should be. Irfan view is a free program you can download from for example. It is obviously also possible to read exif in other programs, but I never use the pre-installed windows image programs, so i am not sure about them.

    See if this helps.


  33. I have the same issue too! I reduced the size of the photos and found out that the original date wasn’t there any more. Help us, Steve 🙂

  34. Steve and Seal, many thanks for such an exciting way to start the new year by getting our creative mojos going! Is there any limit to the size of each image, how many MB? Also, when I tried to change the image size, crop, etc. in Photoshop, the revised image no longer has the original date. How can we send you the proof of the date(s) the photos were taken?

  35. Great contest! I hope someone wins who really deserves an M9.

    I think it is interesting though that the contest says something about Seal as well… He’s actually going to use the “collectors” M9. 🙂 I find it heart warming to see that at least one of those will not be kept under lock and key to help it appreciate in value. Thumbs up to Seal, hope you enjoy your new camera!

  36. Can’t wait till the results come, I so much want to see the others’ point of view on that two pictures story… 🙂 Great idea Steve and Seal !!! You’re giving us a mini Oskar Barnack competition that is very much appreciated…

  37. This is ridiculously cool of both Steve and Seal. Am very excited about this opportunity. Thank you both!

    And just two images makes it really challenging. Love it!

    PS, when I told my wife that I was going to enter a contest judged by Heidi she was super psyched. 🙂

  38. Steve-

    Do you respond to those who have incorrectly submitted photos? I’m hoping what I sent in was correct but can’t be sure.

  39. hi Steve,
    I don;t have a camera yet so I guess I’ll have to pass up on this contest. I’m still pondering about the camera to buy (i know it’s not about the camera…) and just when I was about to take the plunge for the EPL1, I hear that there’s an EPL2 just round the corner.

    About the competition, would we be able to have a peek at the submissions or would we have to wait for the jury to decide first.?

    • Newbie, you can buy a single-use film camera at the drug store, take your photos and get it developed with the CD scan. The you’ll have pictures to submit and it won’t cost over $20.

  40. I can’t believe how inspiring this contest is! In addition, this is one of the most generous-pay-it-forward-actions I have ever seen! Special thanks to Steve, Seal, Leica, Heidi, Rankin, et al. for giving so much in the name of art! I am so happy to be a part of this contest and wish all my fellow forum members the best in your art making endeavors! What amazes me so much, it that one of us is sitting here reading these rules and comments – gosh who could it be? Regardless if I win or not, I will forever have these two photos to display on my wall – and for that I thank you for pushing me in ways I would have never! Creating a submission as photographic narrative using two images is utterly genius!

  41. Steve, how do you want us to number them sequentially? Do we have to embed the number on the photo (then again I don’t know how to do that without potentially changing the exif data [actually no idea about that either]) or just send two emails with two pics separately?

  42. soooo…
    registerd here and tried at picortwo, but there were no confirmation link. but i follow him – that machine did the job ;). i hope, thats enough i did for step one and two…

    my photos will come – actually i have two stories and i have got to decide… hrrrgh…

    thanks for the contest

  43. Will Heidi be allowed to view all the entries or only the chosen 10?

    Great site and great contest, BTW.

    Thanks! -Bill

    • Only the top 10. From the text abopve: “The top 10 will then go to Heidi Klum and Rankin for final selection. The winner will be announced on March 1st 2011 and the Leica M9 will be shipped out to the winner by March 15th 2011.”


  44. Steve, i tried to mail You several times, and never got an answer. A message, written here on this forum, also go lost.

    Is it too much to ask, if You configure Your Email account, that it generates a short answer, when it receives a message? I know, due to the amount of messages You get each day, its not possible (and not needed) to answer each mail personally. But it would be a great help for one to know that at least technically You received his/her mails. Specially now with this contest, where people put much work and effort into it.

    Thanks again for this great contest.

      • Wow – You are fast…

        One Mail was concerning the daily inspirations a while ago (no need to dig it out again), and the other was with a picture for the last contest (the holiday season contest) – also no need to dig out again. The problem was only, that i did not know if You received the mails at (all from a technical point of view) or if they got lost in cyberspace 😉

        a automatically generated message from Your mail account would be a great help.
        Thanks for Your understanding.

  45. Buongiorno, vi sarei grato se Molto se mi rispondete, a questa mia comunicazione, ho Inviato 5 foto, Cosa devo fare? ne Invio di Nuove o pensate Voi a cancellare o non considerare Le Tre in piu?
    Giuliano Corti

  46. Wonderful contest!

    If you thinking too much, then you gonna lose.
    The winning photographer will be someone who is guided by his instinct.


  47. Thanks for sharing her work with me. Stunning. If I could bring back Life Magazine in its full glory, I would be in heaven, because black & white “street” photography is my passion.

    My photography story started when we lived in NY across from the towers. The year prior I walked the streets with my camera and shot everything I could. Ever since my camera has brought me to amazing places and introduced me to amazing people.

    Off to search for Steve’s link… This site is adding a whole new path to my photography journey!

  48. Hi Ann-Marie,

    You’re welcome. Always inspiring talking to women who love photography. Steve gave a ‘shout out’ a while back on Viviene Maier. Did you see it?


  49. Thank you Steve and ~6 for making me eat, breath, and sleep two image picture stories.

    ~6 you are right, a two story narrative is a great challenge and is stretching my brain around in my already physically large head. As a photographer, I have taken years worth of amazing photographs which tell a story in just one shot. This two shot rule is an exercise which requires me to carry my camera around with my eyes wide open.

    As you can see from my avatar I take my camera everywhere. Should I win, this baby won’t leave my side. Thanks for the generosity, the inspiration, the dreams filled with red dots, and opening my eyes a little wider.

    Ann-Marie Hensley

  50. JR,

    Judging from your incessant negativity, One can only surmise one of two things. Either you must be really small (and not necessarily in the height department), or it could just plain suck to be you. You called me a ‘Coward’ in a post which I’m guessing Steve removed. I’m not quite sure how you arrived at that assumption but nothing surprises me these day.

    As I recall, no one is begging you to enter the competition so just don’t enter!!


    • Oh, goodness! ~6, your comeback really made me chuckle! I don’t understand folks who choose to be so negative. I think this is a lovely thing that you and Steve are doing, and I am equally impressed to see so many commenters say that they would donate their existing cameras to a similar contest if they won. Some of the readers here have a wonderful generosity of spirit!

  51. Hmmm-win a Leica M9?
    Nice idea but check out the registration requirements….CONTENT SUBMITTED OR MADE AVAILABLE FOR INCLUSION ON THE PICORTWO.COM WEBSITE: you hereby transfer any and all ownership in and to the content, including, without limitation, the copyrights thereto, throughout the universe in perpetuity.
    Another rights grabbing competition, badly thought out.

    • Wrong, totally wrong. WHen you register at pic or two you are not giving up any rights to any of your photos at all. Why? Because you can not submit pictures to That site is for following the registered photographers there, we can not submit photos to that site.

      The images you submit to this contest are not being submitted to picortwo, they are being shot and submitted just for this contest on this site. You own your work regardless but I am allowed to show it for the contest.

      Hope that helps.

  52. quite excited to find this site, picortwo and competition! 2011 is looking quite inspiratonal!!

  53. Stamani presto ho inviato le mie 5 foto, non vedo l’ora che trascorra questo tempo per la curiosità di sapere chi vince e come saranno belle le sue foto. Giuliano

    • If it’s alright with Steve, it’s fine with me. I think that one should be able to tell the narrative in two pics by any means necessary. There are great post-proccessing cell phone apps that most of us are aware of and I think they’re great! If I were entering, I would use my cell phone as it’s the tool that I have with me all the time and it has a way of forcing you to be creative within it’s seemingly (but not really) limited operation.

      Just my two cents worth.


  54. are you able to enter edited images, or does that remove the EXIF data? and no serious photo manipulation, only color enhancement etc.?

  55. I must have registered on the picortwo website a couple weeks back but misplaced my password. i’ve requested the site to email the password to me twice today but still have not received it. is there any way picortwo can reset me totally?

    • That is a NICE composition! Seal, being a fan of your music for a long time i learned through the Steves euro tour with you just what kind of down to earth person you are and makes me appreciate your music even more now… To give out a M9 even in your position is just incredible there are not to many even if any people on the world that would do this…

      Thanks is a word that would not be enough in this case…


    • Hey ~6 and Steve,

      would it be allowed to submit the 2 pictures as presented in the flickr-link above? Like “stacked” into a single jpeg? (is there a actual name for that technique?)

      No problem if not – just curious 🙂

      • Hey Feedingeyes,

        It’s called a ‘Diptych’ and I don’t see why not, as long as they’re two different images.

        Best of luck,


        • Thanks for your answer ~6!

          This allows for some more creativity in terms of composition. Quite exiting…

  56. Greetings…and thx Steve, Seal and Leica for hosting, supporting this contest.

    I see you do have problems with Seal’s website…right now, could not reach it with either Google Chrome nor MS Internet Explorer.

    Better using the time to think about what story I could tell around here in a village with just 4500 (no typo) inhabitants.


  57. Thanks for the mind is reeling with past photos but as one of the greats said,

    “I never, ever went out without my camera, even to buy bread.” ~Willie Ronis 1910 – 2009

    I have a month to capture something new, that should be more than enough time….

  58. Hi All,

    The emails from the ‘Register’ link on the home page are being blocked by some ISP’s, but the one’s from the ‘Follow’ pages (which are sent from a different service) aren’t. We’re working to move the register emails to our main system which will prevent this issue.

    If you are having trouble registering from the home page please just visit a user’s profile page (e.g. and use the ‘Follow’ link from there instead.

    We’re doing our best to resolve the issue as soon as possible,

    Admin @~6

  59. Steve, Registration on PicorTwo has been fixed, unfortunately there goes my conspiracy theory that y’all were keeping me out due to my narrative photography prowess.

    ~6 thanks for coming up with such a great challenge. Since storytelling usually involves three parts – beginning, middle and end, to restrict to two is definitely an M9 worthy challenge! I’m out to hit the streets… good luck all.

  60. Hi Steve,
    I am currently based in China, and am having trouble gaining a password to picortwo site. Site says I am registered (email recognised), but I never receive any password/activation email. Please help. Thanks in advance.

  61. Wow, almost 800 facebook shares! Incredible for the 1st day. Lets see if we can get it to 1000. Also, I have had around 550 new registrations at this site in the past 30 hours. AWESOME! This is going to be an amazing contest! Also, the 2nd place price, a NEW V-Lux 2 has arrived to my house from Leica. Sealed in the box for 2nd place. I am also working on a possible bonus to the grand prize so stay tuned to THIS PAGE for new details as they develop…

    • You may be missing the point of – It is not meant to be artistic photos but instead you are “following” a photographer and their daily life. Most pics on that site are shot with a cel phone and are snapshots of whatever the person is doing at that moment.

  62. what a great contest! can’t wait to get out and shoot some shots for this! good luck everyone and happy new year! and of course, thank you Seal!


    Apologizes for the frustration. We’ve recognised the issues which are for the most part..DNS related and will have them fixed shortly.

    Thanks for understanding,


  64. FYI Some email systems like MobileMe will not get confirmation email. Others will spit confirmation into jnk folder, I had to register 3 times before finalizing at

  65. Steve, first, thanks for hositng such an awesome contest. I, like a few others have tried to register three times, and never get the confirmation email. I’m running out of email addresses. Thanks

    • Are you referring to not getting the e-mail from this site or at picortwo? There have been over 500 new registrations here since yesterday morning. If you did not get the e-mail be sure to check your junk folder or use the “lost password” form. Thanks

      • sorry, from the PicorTwo site. No password in junk email, and reset password link provides the following error message:

        The password-reset link you clicked has expired. If you need to reset your PicOrTwo account password, please return to the PicOrTwo home page and click the appropriate Login link. Instructions for resetting your password are provided on the login page.

        Help! (and thanks for the quick response)

        • Same here. Nothing in junk/spam. Clicking the link mentioned by BillT above just leads to a closed loop of re-registering, with the subsequent message about already having a user with that name…but still no password delivered. Steve, your site delivered the password quickly upon registering.

      • Dear Steve, the same problem when register to picortwo, no confirmation email received.

  66. I agree 100% with Seal. 2 is both harder and easier, easier because there are less photos to compare, harder because the less photos the more skill is needed. There is a saying about text: “I don’t have enough time to write short”. I think this is true for photography too, especially digital!

  67. I totally agree with the fact that 2 pictures is enought. Perhaps one would be enough, too.
    When I was younger (well, …. I’m 23, not old, so I’d say WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER), I thought that I had to show thousands things to say something with photography. Now I realize it’s a big mistake ; it’s just a question of relevance (not sure of this word in english) ; you look at it and you feel something… or you just don’t. It’s hard to understand when you’re a crazy child who wants to show and show again what “you can do” … But then you got the essence of your passion emerging, you GOT it ! Don’t need much technic or brand new stuffs (sometimes it helps, though), just need your eyes and your heart on the same … sight ? Well. You see what I’m f*cking trying to mean 🙂
    It may sounds “naïve” but yes, I do think what I’m writting (I did not got the same state of mind 3 years ago), yeh yeh yeh.

    Xo xo to all !


  68. Yay! A contest anyone can enter and WIN from anywhere in the world! At long last! Almost as exciting as the actual prizes!
    Best of luck everyone!

  69. Hi there Steve,

    I have registered for PicOrTwo but still no confirmation email. I saw other people seemed to have the same problem. Just checking to see if this is a technical problem that is being looked at. A friend of mine is having the same problem. Would hate to be scuppered due to a technicality!

    • My confirmation message ended up in the Gmail spam folder.

      A more serious problem is that can’t be accessed at all from my location. Server not found. I worked around it using a proxy server, but most people will probably just give up..

  70. Pity that you reduced the number of pictures – makes it a lot harder. Thanks however for such a nice contest!

    • Feedingtheeyes,
      Thanks for entering. In response to your statement of two making it a lot harder…Precisely:-)
      The mind is the most powerful imager of all. Don’t say too much with the camera, let the two images make the suggestion and leave the final image…the narrative to the imagination.


  71. Fantastic competition, just a shame about clause 5 in the T&C for PicOrTwo:

    “5. CONTENT SUBMITTED OR MADE AVAILABLE FOR INCLUSION ON THE PICORTWO.COM WEBSITE: You acknowledge and agree that by submitting content to the website for inclusion in the website photo library, you hereby transfer any and all ownership in and to the content, including, without limitation, the copyrights thereto, throughout the universe in perpetuity.”

    Now I know that it goes on to say that they will only use your images with permission, but within context that is nowhere near good enough.

    Good luck to one and all, I shall be watching with interest.


  72. Great idea for a competition.

    And not only are Seal & Heidi involved… Rankin is too. Bloody Rankin!!!!

    With my Leica X1 being stolen maybe I should give this a shot!

    Good luck people.

  73. Oh God… Seal has been one of my favorite singers ever since I was a kid, essentially, and March 2nd is my birthday! Now if only I could think of something intelligent to shoot… 🙂

  74. Such a cool and refreshingly different contest verses the gazillion others just looking for entry fees. Thanks for something with genuine spirit and a creative challenge!

    • Everyone is welcome but I would rather see someone get the M9 that doesn’t have one. That doesn’t mean you can not enter or win. Everyone has a chance to win wether you shot your images with an Iphone or a Leica S2. It’s all about the photos and the story.

      • Does it mean you are giving away a S2 too? 😉

        I’ll refrain from entering. Hehe. I’d be awfully selfish to horde the M9 when I already have one. Not that I’d expect to win given the quality of photos we’ve seen in so many of the daily inspirations. Totally looking forward to seeing the top 10.

        This is awesome Steve! Kudos to ~6 as well. May the games begin!!!

        ps: Steve, will you be posting more than the top 10 (eventually) for all of us to look and appreciate? I’m sure there will be tons of photos beyond the top 10 that are amazing as well. Thanks bro!

  75. Thanks Steve and Seal. Wishing everyone the best of luck!

    Just a small note. Above you said that no one has given away an M9. Actually, raffled off an M9 twice to raise money for their website. The first time was for a body. The second time it was for a body and a 50f0.95 Noctilux. However, these were in the form of a raffle and not necessarily a give-away, so to speak. It is very generous of Seal to donate his personal M9. An excellent opportunity for a photography enthusiast or fan of Seal. Thanks again!

    • Plus, we aren’t doing it to raise money for a website or anything else for that matter. It is a true giveaway.


    • Don’t think they were raising money for the site. Also, a British photo magazine gave away a M9, celebrating their 50th anniversary, or something. Anyway – doesn’t matter who was first. Great challenge. Thanks!

  76. Anyone else having trouble registering at picortwo? No confirmation, no success at login, no password recovery … I want to enter!

    • I registered mine on the day Steve first mentioned about that site, so I can’t say but did received the email shortly after registration and had no problems, may be it’s due to traffic, I’d imagine there must be thousands of registrations going on with Steve’s promotion to it?
      May be wait a bit for the confirmation email.
      And check your spam folders.
      Good luck.

      • Same problem with PicOrTwo, I tried with 3 different email addresses, but registration doesn’t work: no confirmation email, no login, no password recovery. Also not in Junk folder.

        So it seems this is a contest blocker for now, unfortunately.

        On the other hand, subscription to Seal’s photo stream worked like a charm: confirmation email arrived within seconds and final confirmation also only took seconds.

  77. I’m assuming the photos can be photoshopped and can be alternated in all forms, correct?

    Thank you, Steve & family & Friends and Seal & Family & Friends!!! =D

  78. Same as someone above – can’t set up a Picortwo account. No email confirmation (tried two different addresses), not allowed in when I try to log in. hate to be shut out due to technical glitches…

  79. This is so awesome. My used M8 just arrived today! Perfect first assignment! Thanks Steve, Seal, Heidi, etc. so fun!



  80. I’m sure it will be anonymous, so the judges don’t know who they are picking. You should enter. If you win, you could “pay it forward” with a camera of your own. Just pick your personal favourite entry and send them a camera. Perhaps your used M8 or your M9?

    If I win (it would be a dream come true – but I’m not holding my breathe), I would use some of the money I’m saving to get a lens to start. I’d also like to pay it forward with what I have (a GF1). Or maybe a new D-Lux5 / give them a choice? Just give back in the spirit of the contest. Like a mini spin off contest, or perhaps run a new one. Food for though anyways. 🙂


  81. I am also wondering about the numbers mentioned. Is it two or between two and five pictures that you can send in.

    • The number is two. If you read the details it should say TWO. When I first posted this morning I made a mistake of saying between 2-5. So officially, it is TWO photos.

      • Thanks for the update. That explains the difference from when I read it the first and second time.

        Telling a impacting story in only two photos will be a challenge indeed. Cheers.

        • Hi DS,

          first of all, thanks for entering. On the contrary I think that two is a perfect number for a narrative. The mind is the most powerful imager of all. Don’t say too much with the camera, let the two images make the suggestion and leave the final image…the narrative to the imagination. 🙂


          • Or the first can be intro, the second can be the end, and let the viewer decide on the middle details 😀

          • ~6,

            Thanks for your answer.
            I agree with you, suggestion and imagination are so powerfull that 1, 2 … is not the main difficulty and we have to manage with that just like any other constraint (OULIPO says constraint cause creation).

            I only know you via this site.
            Just want to thank you for being a generous human being with your friends like Steve and with others you don’t know just like that with nothing back.
            I will listen to your work I’m sure it is great !

            Sorry for my so bad English;

        • Telling a short story well will always be harder than telling a good longer one. It’s easy to tell as story with 5 images, three is a little harder, but not much. Even one photo is easier, as it makes the choice simple.

          But two… two forces you to make hard choices. What will I show in each image? What message or feeling do I want to impart? How will they interact with each other? Will I tell a story of contrasting perspectives, or progression? How will I use two images to tell a bigger story? How can I make 1 + 1 = 3?

          It makes the contest about the photographer, and the mind behind them. That’s why the contest is great. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.

      • Buongiorno, vi sarei molto grato se mi rispondete, a questa mia comunicazione, ho inviato 5 foto, cosa devo fare? ne invio di nuovo due o pensate voi a cancellare o non considerare le tre in più?
        Giuliano Corti

  82. Outstanding! Great idea. I feel like submitting just for the challenge, but I don’t think I will (despite being registered here at at Picortwo already)….I want someone else to win the m9, and make great use of it.

    I look forward to lovely photographs from the top 10. Game time, and “Kudos!!!” to Seal and Steve for setting this up, for Seal to donate something this grand, and for whomever Heidi and Rankin choose to be winners!!!

  83. Question on the number of photos.
    In the top paragraph you mention “2-5 frames” and in the rules you state “must submit TWO images”.
    Does that mean only two, or a minimum of two, but no more than 5 as described above.


    BTW: Picortwo isn’t sending out the email confirmation. I also doubled check it’s not in my spam box. I’m on gmail.

  84. Love the idea of a series. Great way to keep it fair, and really put oneself to the test.
    I love telling stories. It’s what it’s all about.

    Good luck everyone. And thanks again!

  85. Good stuff Steve, Seal and Leica!

    I have a request… Will it be possible to see all the entries once it is all set and done? No rush, but a website or somewhere to see all the anonymous entries will be fantastic and something I would love to experience (maybe even a Blurb book :)).

    I know you are going to be busy but as someone always looking for inspiration, it is a great learning experience observing how others see the world (regardless of experience and gear nonsense).

    To those complaining about not being able to use previously shot work or about not having “good enough” locations for this assignment, I would encourage to embrace the challenge with open arms as, IMHO, this is exactly what makes it a really neat contest and what in the end will make you a better observer and help you grow as an artist.



  86. How exciting! I can’t wait to see what others and myself come up with for this contest. It’s gonna be epic!

    Also if I win the whole thing (the M9), I will no longer need my M8. I will follow ~6’s footsteps and donate it to Steve’s site. And Steve can decide what to do with the M8, perhaps another contest in a smaller scale.

    Anyhow, good luck to everyone (and me)!

  87. ahh i cant wait to get started with my photo narrative! i have a lot of brainstorming to do though
    good luck to all!

  88. Can’t wait to sit down with a beer, brainstorm over this and get going 🙂
    Fantastic contest, most unselfish prize ever and a wonderful jury.
    There’s little chance i’ll make the finals, but i’m excited to enter the contest anyway.
    Thanks Steve, Seal, the jury and ofcourse Leica for rewarding a second prize.
    I’m so excited now, i can’t think of anything else really 🙂

  89. GREAT contest. Of course, phenomenal generosity of ~6 that has made this happen; the second prize by Leica is INCREDIBLE as well. Wow!

  90. Nice! If I win I will try to find a Leica to Sony E adapter and mount my SLR Magic 35 f1.7… 😉

  91. Good idea for a bit of free advertising but most people who can’t afford a Leica M9 won’t be able to afford a lens either….

      • That’s cool but it’s kind of lame that it’s only the body. It is only a camera after all, allbeit a damn fine one but what use is a camera without a lens?

        • @ Paulo: Hopefully you are just having a second bad day. I ignored the first comment but posting twice about looking a gift horse in the mouth? I’m poor but if I win the M9 (big IF) I can scrounge up a couple hundred for a used Leica, Zeiss, or Voigtlander lens for sure! Have fun with this amazing generosity coming from Seal and Steve for all the right reasons. It’s a free M9, signed by Steve and Seal! I mean it doesn’t get any better than this! Plenty of good things to be stoked about here. Use that critical thinking to come up with an awesome narrative, or if you can’t only focus on the positive here, leave it for those who can! Cheers!

          • I take your point, just voicing my own opinion man. Good luck with your entry, I am actually looking forward to seeing some great photos.

  92. Nice challenge. What a pity I shot a beautiful story just between New Year and now. Some moments can t be reproduced. Good luck guys. And thanks to ~6.

  93. ok…ok…I am going to check in with Duane Michals and see if he has any thoughts on the subject…that should give me an edge! LOL… (he tells incredible pic stories if anyone wants some inspiration).
    Great idea, Steve.
    Rev up the passion everyone…..who cares about the camera…I am excited to see what kind of entries this inspires!!!!!

  94. It’s ON! Thank you Steve, Seal, Heidi, and Leica! And thank you all not just for doing it- but for doing it with your hearts in the right place with the winner.

    This contest will be LEGENDARY!

  95. Brilliant prizes, nice one Steve!
    Just one question: is this competition open to those of us resident in the UK? (or anywhere outside the USA).

    Ta! 😉

  96. So excited! What a great idea. This will definitely get the grey matter working!!!! So, let’s begin… Good luck everyone 🙂

  97. Yay…step 1 and step 2 completed. Next is step 3. I am going outside with my 3 year-old daughter to take some photos!

  98. Fantastic!!! Let the games begin! Just a question Steve, not that I have to shoot film but how will you guys see the exif data if I enter pictures shot on film? Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity!

  99. I see you want EXIF data kept on the files. What if we plan to shoot in film? Should we just enter the data once the image is scanned?


  100. actually. Do the pictures have to be “street” style or can they be set up? Think that would be important to know, huh?

    • They can be of whatever you want. It’s all up to you, the photographer. They do NOT have to be street or anything specific. Thanks


  101. I can’t wait to “see’ the stories but i’m not participating as i wish to be anonymous 🙂

    Good luck to all the contestants and *fist pump* to ~6 and Steve.

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