photo contest

Patience is a virtue - a long exposure photo competition

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.

Follow the points of light

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.

Nikon's Photo Contest 2012-2013 winners

In a year with a record number of entries—99,339, from 153 different countries and territories—Nikon has announced the winners of its Photo Contest 2012-2013. Understandably, the competition was very definitely Nikon-oriented, with one of its four categories dedicated to the motion snapshot function found in Nikon 1 series cameras (that's the Harry Potter-esque feature that combines stills and video) and a special award for the best photo taken with a NIKKOR lens.

There were three other categories: single photo, photo story comprising a series of two to five images, and a photographic video up to 45 seconds in length.

The judges selected their grand prize winner from a total of 48 first, second, and third placed entries made from the photo, photo story, and photographic video cateogies and three winners from the motion snapshot category. They were looking for the photographer's ability to tell a universal story, diversity, the strength of their message, creativity, and the techniques used.

Elegy of Autumn, by Dina Bova

The Grand Prize was awarded to Dina Bova for her Elegy of Autumn. Chris Rainer, one of the judges, said of it: 'Our Judges loved this image. It tells so many stories. It is at once traditional and respecting of the elders set in a classic living room, yet whimsical with the reference to space travel. It points to our future while honoring our past.'

The winning images will be exhibited in Tokyo from August to September and Osaka between September and October this year.

November's photo competition is here!

There's a lot of wood in Kew Gardens

We'll keep this simple. The theme for November's photo contest is wood, from trees coming into bud in the southern hemisphere, to bonfires piled high in the UK, or log cabins in mountainous retreats.

Yes, I might've been inspired by the terrible threat of ash dieback to UK woodlands, especially in East Anglia where my family home is.

You have from today (Friday 2 November) to Friday 30 November to submit your entries to the Small Aperture Flickr pool. It's one submission per person, and the picture that we like the most will win a 12" Fracture.

I've reproduced The Rules for you, and if you're in the UK, I'm adding a small reminder to be careful and avoid spreading the horrible fungus.

The Rules

  • If you decide to enter, you agree to The Rules.
  • You can’t be related to either me or Haje to enter.
  • One entry per person – so choose your best!
  • Entries need to be submitted to the right place, which is the Small Aperture Flickr group.
  • There’s a closing date for entries, so make sure you’ve submitted before then.
  • You have to own the copyright to your entry and be at liberty to submit it to a competition. Using other people’s photos is most uncool.
  • It probably goes without saying, but entries do need to be photographs. It’d be a bit of strange photo competition otherwise.
  • Don’t do anything icky – you know, be obscene or defame someone or sell your granny to get the photo.
  • We (that being me and Haje) get to choose the winner and we’ll do our best to do so within a week of the competition closing.
  • You get to keep all the rights to your images. We just want to be able to show off the winners (and maybe some honourable mentions) here on Pixiq.
  • Entry is at your own risk. I can’t see us eating you or anything, but we can’t be responsible for anything that happens to you because you submit a photo to our competition.
  • We are allowed to change The Rules, or even suspend or end the competition, if we want or need to. Obviously we’ll try not to, but just so that you know.

If you've any questions, please just ask!

Focussion, one year on

Screen shot 2011-06-20 at 17.03.30

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Well, I’ve certainly been having fun and I can’t quite believe that it has been very nearly a year since we took a peek at the community over at Focussion. It’s a photo-sharing site that actively encourages giving feedback to other members: you’re given an initial stash of tokens and every image that you upload costs you tokens. You can only replenish your token supply by dishing out feedback.

A year on, I was wondering how things were going for them, so I caught up with Aljan, one of the co-founders.

‘We’ve grown a whole heap in our first year,’ says Aljan ‘and we’ve added several new features to Focussion, too.’

A key feature that they’ve implemented is giving extra tokens to a member when her or his feedback is marked as helpful. Obviously that goes some way to ensuring that feedback is more than just ‘Great shot!’ (And I’ll admit that I’m rather pleased about this because it was something that I recommended when I jumped in last year.)

In a bit of a FaceBook-esque move, you no longer rate photos, but ‘like’ them instead.

The front page still shows the most recently uploaded images, but over on the sidebar you now get to see most liked images and most helpful members in addition to most recently commented-on images.

Realising that their members wanted to talk to eachother outside of photo critique, the team created some forums, too. So now there’s chatter about gear, techniques, and what’s happening on the site.

As for what’s happening on site, they’ve a few plans up their sleeves: ‘We’re going to launch a photo contest soon, as well as enable members of uplaod sets or series of images. And we’re working on allowing photos to be displayed across the width of the page, too.’

It’s great to see that people have embraced Focussion and it isn’t just another photo-sharing site that’s slipped by the wayside. If you’ve not checked it out yet, and you’re looking for some feedback on your work, wander over and have a look.