If you want to attend the EyeEm Festival and Awards in New York on 18 September, we have 10 reduced-price tickets to give away!
It took some serious deliberation. There were a lot of emails between us. There was even the odd expletive. Finally, however, Haje, Tom, and I have selected our five favourite photos from the Photocritic Long Exposure Competition. In no particular order I present to you the winners of Patience is a Virtue:
Set Fire to the Rain by Cybjorg
Sunrise at Botany Bay, Edisto Island by Luke Robinson
Tower Bridge traffic by Nick Jackson
Blades of Light by Paul Shears
and Cairngorm Panorama by Ian Appleton
Many congratulations to the five of you! I shall be in contact presently to enable to you claim your Triggertrap gift card prizes!
We'd also like to say thank you to everyone who entered and made our lives a little bit tricky when it came to selecting a winner. As Haje said when we first sat down to draw up a shortlist of our favourites: 'There's some serious talent there!' Please do go look at the selection in the Flickr pool: there are some inspiring images.
British Summer Time ends this weekend&Mdash;at 02:00 on Sunday, to be exact—which means that time is running out for you to submit your long exposure photos to our competition. We won't be accepting any more entries after the clocks move back, so if you want to be in with a chance of winning a £40 gift card for the Triggertrap shop, you'd better get your skates on.
All of the competition's rules and regulations, not that there are many of them, can be found on the Flickr pool page, the same place to which you need to submit your entries. There've been some cracking shots submitted so far, but we'd really love to see more in the pool!
You've just under a week left to submit a maximum of five of your favourite long exposure photos to our competition, and be in with the chance of winning one of five £40 gift cards for the Triggertrap shop. We've already had some terrific entries over in our Flickr pool, but we'd love it if you made the judging even more difficult for us!
We can't wait to see your photos!
Good things come to those who wait, or at least good things come to those with the requisite degree of patience required to capture a scintillating long exposure shot. Not only do you land yourself with a fabulous photo, but for this competition, rewards also come in the form of five gift cards valued at £40 to spend in the Triggertrap shop! We're on the look-out for the five best long exposure shots produced by you lovely lot. That's not the royal or editorial 'we', by the way, but Haje, Tom, who's Triggertrap's Head of Photography, and me. We don't mind what kind of long exposure shot you try: from urban scenes to light painting to smoothed waterfalls. What we want to see is a longer-than-expected shutter speed being used to creative effect to tell a story. We want to see images that leave us giddy with admiration.
Flickr is providing the image-hosting power for the competition; all you need to do is share your photos—up to five per entrant—in the Patience is a virtue Flickr pool before British Summer Time ends. So that's 01:59 (BST) on 26 October 2014. Consider it preparation for longer nights if you're in the northern hemisphere. We'll do the rest, and hope to have the results by Guy Fawkes Night. (Or 5 November 2014.)
(Un)Usual rules apply: you need to own the copyright to the images you submit; you shouldn't have done anything icky to achieve them (like sell your granny); you keep the copyright but we (that being Photocritic and Triggertrap) will want to be able to display it in conjunction with the competition; the prizes are non-transferable and can't be redeemed for cash; you can't be associated with Photocritic or Triggertrap to enter; the judges' decision is final; entry is at your own risk (quite what might happen to you because you enter I'm not sure, it's not like we're cannibals threatening to eat you, but we can't be held responsible all the same); photos have to be submitted to the Flickr pool before the closing date of 01:59 (BST) on 26 October 2014; and it's our competition so if we need to change the way it operates or the rules or heaven forfend chuck you out, we can.
That's about that. But if you need any advice on long exposures, you might want to check out our articles on shutter speed, bulb mode, zoom bursting, and light painting. Good luck: we can't wait to see what you produce!
And the results are in! You can see them here.
Should you ever have thought 'What made the judges choose that photo?' or wondered just how tough it is to choose one stand-out image from a huge selection, now's your chance. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has created the People's Choice award. Fifty images have been posted online and you get to choose your favourite. The image that has accumulated the most votes will be announced at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards evening and be exhibited as part of the 2014 collection on display at the Natural History Museum. That exhibition opens on 24 October before embarking on an international tour. The top five People's Choice images will be displayed online, with the rest of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 collection.
It's a one-person-one-vote set-up; I've taken a look at the entries and am weighing up my vote. Some are just too obviously processed for me, but choosing a favourite isn't going to be easy. At the moment I'm torn between a photo with a fantastic story and another that I think is technically better but narratively weaker. Ah the quandary!
You can cast your vote over on the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website.
If you're brave enough to pit yourself against fellow photographers, the following competitions have made calls for entries recently. We try to feature only competitions that don't appear to attempt nasty rights grabs from their entrants, but please do read the terms and conditions carefully prior to entry.
Sony World Photography Awards 2015
With categories for professionals, amateurs, students, and young people, the Sony World Photography Awards have somewhere for any type of photographer to submit their images. Prizes include kit and cash, as well as a glitzy awards ceremony held in London.
- Professional – 15 categories judged on a series of work
- Open – 10 categories judged on a single image
- Youth – three categories for photographers under 20. Judged on a single image
- Student Focus – for higher education photography students aged 18-30
The Open and Youth competitions will close for entries at 23:59 GMT on Monday 5 January 2015. The Professional competition will close at 23:59 GMT on Thursday 8 January 2015.
All details and entry instructions can be found on the World Photography Organisation website.
Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2015
We're not overly keen on paid-for competitions here at Photocritic, but the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition has an excellent young people's competition that's free to enter. And we love encouraging kids and teens to get out with their cameras. Under 18s can enter three photos free of charge into their age category, they just have to be of food. The competition closes on 8 February 2015 at midnight GMT.
All details and entry instructions can be found on the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year website.
FXB 'Framing Hope' competition
The NGO FXB is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a photography competition. It is asking entrants to capture the concept of hope in one image. All entries will be displayed in an online gallery, with the five most-voted for by the public, shortlisted for judging by our expert panel who will select the overall winner.
The prize for the winning entry will be an exclusive half-day photography masterclass with photographer Jillian Edelstein and the opportunity to have her or his photograph exhibited alongside Edelstein’s at London’s gallery@oxo in August.
Entries can be submitted until 25 July 2014 and submission details can be found on the competition website.
New kit. Maybe some cash. Global exhibition. Publication in a 'Best of 2014' photobook. A trip to Berlin. Sound good? They're all prizes that are up for grabs for winners of the EyeEm Global Photography Awards. Starting today, photo-sharing site EyeEm is looking for the best examples of mobile photography to showcase at the Berlin Holzmarkt as part of its photography festival in September this year. There are ten categories into each of which you can submit a maximum of three images.
Open now are the Portraitist, the Illusionist, and the Explorer categories. That round closes on 1 June, to be followed by the Architect, the Street Photographer, and the Illuminator categories, which are open to submissions from 2 June. The final round opens on 16 June and comprises categories the Speedster, the Landscapist, the Storyteller, and the Stylist.
All you have to do is upload your chosen images to EyeEm and tag them with the appropriate category in the Share screen. If you don't already have an EyeEm account, it's free to join.
The winners will be chosen by a jury of ten illuminaries from the photographic world, including Anna Dickson, the Huffington Post's Director of Photography, conflict photographer Benjamin Lowy, and Olivier Laurent, who edits TIME's Lightbox magazine. As well as being exhibited at Berlin's Holzmarkt as part of EyeEm's Photography Festival running 12-13 September, winning images will be showcased to the public in London, New York City, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, and Tokyo. And the talented entrant named as the EyeEm Photographer of the Year will win a round-trip to Berlin for two, to experience the Festival!
'We’re looking forward to celebrating this new generation of budding photographers, who are defining a new era, with the launch of our Global Photography Festival & Awards,' says Florian Meissner, co-founder and CEO of EyeEm. 'Photography has changed significantly in recent years and at EyeEm we see smartphone photography as a natural evolution of the art form. The creative excellence of our community is the center of EyeEm and the Global Photography Festival & Awards are our way of continuing to support and show the world this incredible talent.'
The EyeEm Photography Festival runs over the 12 and 13 September 2014. It aims to highlight the creative images being made with mobile phones, connect leaders from the photography, devices, and media industry with the next generation of photographers to discuss the state and future of photography, and lay on photowalks, masterclasses, and portfolio reviews for attendees.
All of the details on how to enter the competition and how to book your place at the Festival are available on the EyeEm website. See you there?
After my slightly disappointing press view of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition, when I didn't have the opportunity to take in the photos, I made a return trip to Somerset House yesterday to rectify this situation. I had much more time to wander through both the East and West Wings, admiring the images and pontificating on the judges' choices. Visiting an exhibition that has cherry-picked from vast numbers of photos submitted from across the globe by both amateur and professional photographers gives you the chance to look for trends and fashions, garner some inspiration, and importantly, look through a window into other people's worlds. I enjoyed my saunter through the rooms and Sara Naomi Lewkowicz's l'Irs d'Or winning series Shane and Maggie stands out a mile. I loved Sophie Gamand's wet dogs, which won the portrait prize, Guy Martin's photos from the Gezi Square protests told a defiant story, and I was drawn to the deep and dark photos in Salvatore Di Gregorio's series An Old Fight, which won the sport prize.
What, though, were my overwhelming thoughts and questions as I left the exhibition?
The professional category was dominated by black and white images. That is a comment made as neither praise nor criticism, merely as an observation. It is worth noting, however, that l'Iris d'Or winning series comprised colour images and that the photos that have stuck with me are those shot in colour. Maybe it is because they were my preferred shots, or perhaps it is because their colour makes them stand out amongst the monochrome, but it does pay to be different.
Writing of daring to be different, I think I might've reached Indonesian cow-racing photo saturation point. It's a stunning spectacle that produces stunning images, but there have been examples in the professional or open categories for at least the last three years. It's almost as if their inclusion has become obligatory. I'd appreciate being able to gaze upon something new in future years.
Finally, I was surprised by the profusion of manipulated images in the open category. From HDR, to composites, to painterly-type blending, it had it all, and this extended beyond the 'Enhanced' division, which is devoted to manipulated images. As the author of a book on surreal photography, this might be regarded as an unusual comment, but it does present some important questions. First, how much manipulation is too much manipulation? Second, to what degree is photo-manipulation now regarded as an acceptable element of photography? And consequently, at which point does a comeptition become one of photo-manipulation rather than photography? All of these are questions for another day, but ones to ponder.
The exhibition runs until Sunday (18 May), and if you have to be in London or its environs, it's worth an hour or so to take it in. I'd love to know what you think.
Sony World Photography Awards exhibition, Somerset House, London, until 18 May 2014.
This isn't a new drum that we're beating here today, but we think it's a significantly important issue to warrant another parade: competition rights grabs. Or the attempt by competition organisers to inveigle themselves of the right to use any of the images entered into their photographic competitions, for any purposes, with no compensation to the photographer. This reminder comes as I received a call for entries to a competition run in conjunction with an organisation that I respect and trust, and hoped would be above cheap tactics to help magazines or other companies amass a photo library for free. Apparently not. To quote from the terms and conditions:
By entering your photos in the competition you agree to grant REDACTED and REDACTED a non-exclusive licence to reproduce, publish and feature the photos in association with this competition, or for any other purpose, at any time, in any publication, website or other associated media outlets, without compensation. By entering you agree to grant REDACTED and REDACTED an exclusive royalty-free licence to use the full set of images taken on your photography trip [which comprises the prize] for 12 months.
To use images submitted to contests as promotional material for the competition or its future iterations is a reasonable condition of entry; but to demand they be made available for use in any publication associated with the organisers, for any purposes, across all media, and without compensation is, in my opinion, exploitative.
I have written extensively about the damage that these terms and conditions do to both photographers and the photographic industry before now, so I shan't reprise it here. But do bear in mind that if you're seeking your big break from a competition that employs these sorts of terms, you are doing yourself and fellow photographers—amateur and professional—a disservice in the long run. Furthermore, don't assume that just because the competition is being organised by or run in conjunction with a big name that it won't be out to take advantage of you.
The finale to this performance is then: always check the terms and conditions of a competition and if you consider anything to be unsavoury, please don't enter.
Seeing as I've been asked: no, I shan't be naming the competition in question. I'd rather not bring any more publicity to it. Just read the T&Cs!
The winners of the Sony World Photography Awards were announced at a rather swanky awards dinner on Wednesday evening. There were lots of speechless speeches, some very dapper men in black tie, a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon, and a ludicrously chocolately chocolate dessert. I did try to live tweet the winners, I promise. My attempts were rather frustratingly thwarted by a complete lack of signal at the venue. And you can't vouch for the fact that I picked out the winner of l'Iris d'Or, either. Ah well. I've put together a selection of winning images. Tell me what you think.
The press view of the awards exhibition was something of a whirlwind (I think the words I used in my feedback were 'I feel as if I've been put through a blender.') but Lewkowicz's series stood out by a mile. The images are extremely powerful, in some cases you can feel the fear seeping out of them, but she's accomplished something wonderful in being able to capture them.
I don't think that I've any desire to attempt to cross a pillared bridge in the pouring rain, but this photo does make me want to try it, all the same.
The three finalists in the Youth category all submitted very strong images. If they're the future, I think the medium's safe.
The winners of the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2014 were unveiled earlier this week, with the over all prize of £5,000 going to Tessa Bunney for her photo Noodle Making, drawn from the Food in Action category. According to Andy Macdonald, who sat on the judging panel: 'The competition was intensely fierce, there were 6000 images entered internationally and the standard was phenomenal. Tessa’s image stood out from the rest, however, for its beautiful composition, the expression of utter absorption on its subject’s face, and the capture of a perfect moment in time as the noodle dough flies through the air.'
What do you think? Is this is a competition-winning entry? Do you agree with the judges about the shot perfectly capturing a moment in time? We've put some of the other category-winning images here so that you can compare, along with two of the Young People's entries, too.
If you're looking for something to do over the Easter break, how about combining a trip to the home of photography with a browse of some of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition's winning images? It was at Lacock Abbey where William Henry Fox Talbot invented and completed the first photographic negative procedure. Now, Lacock Abbey is owned by the National Trust and between 5 April and 22 May 2014, it will be hosting a selection of the International Garden Photographer of the Year winning entries, outdoors, in its Botanic Garden.
Although the competition is run in conjunction with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the main exhibition is held there each year, there's a rolling programme of touring exhibitions with Lacock Abbey being first on the list.
'Our wonderful fragrant flower borders are coming into bloom, so the exhibition will be a delight for all the senses really,' says Kristine Heuser, Marketing and Communications Officer at Lacock. 'Photography is very close to our heart, so we are delighted to have the exhibition back again this year.'
The exhibition is open between 10:30 and 17:30 everyday, 5 April to 22 May 2014. Normal National Trust admission charges apply, so please consult its website for details.
From 14 September to 5 October this year, Oxford will be awash with photographers of all stripes and experience as Photography Oxford brings them together for its inaugural international photography festival to enjoy a wealth of exhibitions, talks, films, workshops, and general picture-taking fun. It's doubtful that you'll be able to move in Oxford without finding something photographic going on, including:
- exhibitions in colleges, libraries, galleries, museums, and maybe even a giant safe (honestly, I have no idea, but it sounds intriguing)
- talks on a wide range of photography-related issues
- five nights of movie classics at the festival’s pop-up drive-in cinema (pray for decent weather)
- a series of critically acclaimed features and documentaries at the Phoenix Picturehouse
- workshops for photographers at all levels
- an education programme run in conjunction with local schools
- competitions where you can pit your own photography skills against the ‘pros’
- and much, much more
You can keep up to date with what'll be going on by keeping an eye on Photography Oxford's website, which'll be updated with the latest festival news.
But rather than an ordinary guide to the festival, the team behind Photography Oxford will be publishing a festival newspaper to get people to the right places at the right times, provide booking information, and spread some knowledge with articles relating to photography and Oxford. This is where you come in. They want a snappy name for the newspaper. It doesn't necessarily have to be photography-related, but it does need to be memorable.
If it's your suggestion that the judging team settles on, you and a guest will be invited to attend the festival's launch party on Friday 12 September 2014 at the Bodeian's Divity School, from 18:00 to 20:00.
To enter, tweet your clever, punny, and witty suggestions to @PhotographyOx or post them on the festival's Facebook page. The closing date is Wednesday 30 April and the team will announce the winning suggestion on Twitter and Facebook by Friday 30 May.
Best of luck!
In October last year Olympus and Exhibitr.com launched a competition for students, looking for the best images representative of 'People and Portraits'. After 2,000 entries and a great deal of deliberation by the four judges—professional photographers R.Cleveland Aaron and Jay McLaughlin, Jon Bentley of Channel 5’s Gadget Show, and Jack Harries of the extremely popular JacksGap website and YouTube channel—one winner and two runners up have been selected. Winning an Olympus Stylus 1 each for their images in the runners-up slots are Elliott Gunn, studying at the University of Gloucestershire, and Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi of Portsmouth University.
Speaking of Elliott's image, Jessa, R.Cleveland Aaron said: 'Elliott Gunn’s slightly abstract image gives the impression it was painted by brush as opposed to light. The perfect balance between creativity and technique is what makes this image a winner.'
Alecsandra's image, Freckled Boy, elicited the following comments: 'Alecsandra Raluca demonstrates great technical ability here in this image of a young boy. The clarity, the use of light and aperture control brings the boys features to the fore front of the image and our minds.'
And the winner? Water is Life, by Jasper Wilkins of the University for the Creative Arts, which topped the list because of its '... clever and powerful use of light in his composition communicates, with great eloquence, the title of this image. The viewer's attentions are kept solely on what’s important, the children and the water they crave. This image epitomises the power of photography,' according to Cleveland. Jasper has won an Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Throughout 2014, online contact lens retailer GetLenses.co.uk is running a series of quarterly photography competitions that celebrate the wonder of vision and the eye. Winners are being rewarded with £500 of vouchers to spend on photography equipment at Amazon UK. Not bad! This quarter, the judges are looking for images that resemble an eye, from water swirling down a plughole to whirls of cloud in the sky. Submissions must be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 May 2014.
Full terms and conditions can be seen on the GetLenses website.
From over 6,000 entries, 400 potential winners have been selected for the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition and among them there's a welter of images from photographers aged under 17. Youngsters were able to enter their photos into three age categories—under 10, 11 to 14, and 15 to 17—and provided that they featured food, they were fair game for the competition. Now that the entries have been shortlisted, the judges, who include Yotam Ottolenghi and Jay Rayner, will whittle down their lists further. Overall winners can be selected to receive their awards on 23 April and be exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London between Thursday 24 and Sunday 27 April 2014.
Winners from the young people's categories will be presented with vouchers to put towards new camera kit!
You can take a look at all of the shortlisted young people's photos, together with the adult short-listed images, on the special Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Shortlisted Gallery.
Here's a life lesson: if you think that you can get away with submitting an image to an age-restricted photography competition, a competition in which you're subsequently named as a winner, when you're actually older than you're supposed to be, you should probably think again. The chances are that you'll be found out. Then you'll be stripped of your prize and you'll be plastered across the Intergoogles for all the wrong reasons. This is precisely what happened to Borhan Mardani, who was named as the winner of the Culture category of the Youth Sony World Photography Awards on Tuesday.
Mardani, it turns out, wasn't 19 when he took his 'winning' image, as he stated in his written declaration. Now that he's been found out, his prize has been removed from him and instead awarded to 19 year old Anastasia Zhetvina, from Russia, for her image Young talents.
Anastasia will now join Paulina Metzscher and Turjoy Chowdhury, the two other Youth finalists, in winning a Sony A5000 and the chance to be named Youth Photographer of the Year and flown to London to celebrate at the Sony World Photography Awards' party at the end of April.
Anyone who uses camera-traps to create images of wild animals, or uses camera-traps as part of their research into wild animals, the BBC, its Wildlife Magazine, and sponsors Lowepro, have a competition for you. It's the 2014 BBC Wildlife Magazine Camera-trap Photo of the Year competition.
The competition has been designed with both field researchers and amateurs in mind. It's split into two divisions: Camera-trap Research Project of the Year and Camera-trap Photo of the Year, each with three categories. It's rather pleasing to see photography as a tool, as well as the gorgeous images that it's capable of creating, being honoured simultaneously.
Camera-trap Research Project of the Year
This division is open exclusively to research projects that make use of camera-traps. Images can be submitted to one of three categories:
- New behaviour: Images taken during the course of research that show behaviour never before recorded
- New reach: Images taken during research that show a species never photographed before outside its known range
- Rare species: Images taken during research that show a species that is rarely seen or never photographed in the wild
The winners of each of these categories will go forward to be judged for the title of Camera-trap Research Project of the Year and a £3,000 prize.
The judges will be selecting their winner based on the quality of the research and the importance of the images to the piece of research.
Camera-trap Photo of the Year
If you're not trying to track rare species of frog in South America or look for socialisation traits in South East Asian primates, but just like photographing the badgers in your garden, you've still a chance to put your images up for judging into one of these three categories:
- Animal portraits: like any good portrait, images should capture the character or spirit of their subject
- Animal Behaviour: A compelling image that shows interesting or unusual behaviour
- British Wildlife: Amazing images that capture the spirit and behaviour of British wildlife
The winners of these categories will see their images published in the December 2014 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine and on the BBC Wildlife Magazine website, www.discoverwildlife.com and will receive a Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L camera pack, worth £122. Then they'll go on to compete for the title Camera-trap Photographer of the Year.
The closing date for entries is 30 June 2014, and all photos must be submitted online. As always, please do read the rules and terms and conditions before submitting any photos. You can find those, together with entry details, on the Discover Wildlife website.