Ahhh, contests. You gotta love ’em. Especially contests that are posted on blogs and forums. When I was approached by Seal who wanted to donate his Leica M9 to this site to give away to one lucky reader, I went through a few emotions. First, I was excited. Then, when we discussed having a photo contest I was a bit… “Uh Oh”….
Why? Well I knew that no matter what that it would be popular. I also knew that with a prize of this caliber that there would be those who strongly disagreed with the top 10 or 15 that I would choose for the finals, and I also knew there would be whiners and haters commenting and talking a bunch of BS (Bullshit). Even though I do not pick the final winner I knew this!
This is why I posted this on the finalists page before I posted ANY of the finalists:
“The decisions made here are final and as with every contest I have held or participated in,not everyone will agree with MY choices. BUT, I have gone over each and every one of these submissions to make sure I did not miss anything. I did this three times and every time I came back to the 15 that you will see on this page. These submissions are the creme of the crop and all of them completed the objective which was to create a photo narrative with TWO photos..basically, to tell a story. Yea, it was tough to do with only two shots but these finalists all did it! So please, no rude comments, none of the “my entry was better” comments and no bitterness! Besides, we may be planning a few more contests to keep everyone motivated and full of passion!”
The finalists were then posted and there were the usual complaints which I expected. Critiquing was there which is a good thing, but the whining and complaining by a few posters was completely unnecessary. FACT: The contest is on my web site and the rules stated that I would pick the finalists. Plain and simple. It is what it is. Accept it.
So just as I guessed by the third day the whiners and haters were in full force. I also noticed it was really only 2-3 rude individuals. One guy had a problem with Amy Medina’s “Saying Goodbye” saying it was in bad taste. He seemed offended that she took one of the shots in a graveyard. Then there was the complaining saying her shots were posed. Umm, of course they were. Who says telling a story via photos can’t be planned out shots? I sure didn’t. Others called it exploitive. Nonsense. It’s a series that is poignant and she did a great job telling her story with her two photos.
A few of you seemed to think that this was some sort of magnum caliber pro photography contest to be judged on perfect composition, light and image quality. WRONG! Anyone who read the contest details would know that it was a contest for ANYONE ,using ANY camera, and of ANY skill level. The only goal was to tell a story with TWO photos. ALL of the finalists did just that and if you can’t figure out the stories then you should probably study the photos a bit more. Everyone may interpret them differently but to leave comments talking smack saying they are garbage photos, that is just wrong. I found it funny that those talking the smack did not even enter, so that says it all right there. Typical.
I guess it is just not possible for some people to accept the decisions made for some odd reason. One guy (the same guy moaning about Amy’s shots I believe) seemed to want me to remove Megan Bakers submission because she used photoshop and used old photos of children in her own photo to tell her story. He commented “Be a man and do the right thing”. Hmmm, how about you be a man and accept she is a finalist? I am floored by the nerve of some people sometimes.
Megan created the story for her submission called “A Solitary Game”. I liked it, and everyone I showed it to REALLY enjoyed it and put it in their top picks out of 50 or so. She shot her images in the time frame and submitted them. She even asked me up front if she could take images of old photos and use them in her photo and I said YES. Done and Done.
Again, for the few who keep telling me I “broke the rules” by allowing Megans photo, no I did not.
Feel free to read the rules again on the contest page. Megan shot her images within the time frame. She even shot the images of the children from an old photo in the time frame by traveling to antique stores. She drove 200 miles for the location and put in hours of work. Megan sent me an email after all of this nonsense letting me know the details and she probably put more work in to her set than any of the finalists. No rules were broken. To those who say they were please point out the rule she broke. Her image tells a CLEAR story…do you see the red string in the girls hand? Anyway..moving on…
There was also a disqualification today and it was 100% due to an oversight of the guy who entered. He shot on film so there was no EXIF and he somehow didn’t see the rules that said the pictures had to be shot between Jan 05th and Feb 05th 2011. I hated to drop his as I loved his work but he shot them a year ago. Was an honest mistake and he already posted about it in the comments.
For some reason there are others who feel their submissions were way better than the ones posted but when I go back to look at them I scratch my head and wonder why they think that. Bottom line is this. The final choices are the final choices. The top 15 will be looked over carefully by Heidi and Rankin and THEY will pick the winner. Any rude comments about the final winner will be moderated and removed. Time for the childish BS to stop because on my site I usually do not put up with it and won’t.
On the other hand, 90% of the comments were civil and spot on. It really was only 2-3 people causing trouble, and no Elaine, I do not think you were one of them 🙂
So in just a few hours the remaining 10 sets will be posted and it will be up to YOU to select the top 3. They are 10 great submissions so vote away and please…no bitching and moaning about them as it will serve no purpose. All decisions are FINAL.
One lucky winner will walk away with the M9 and believe me, whoever that person is will have won it fair and square.