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Our friendly photo competition

A friend of mine named Keith from the UK came up with the idea to do a monthly friendly photo competition to get us to experiment with our cameras. So each month the winner of last month's competition names a theme, we go out and take pictures and submit our best one on his web site. Then we we all vote on which one was best. It has been really fun and has forced me to not just take the usual shots, but try for something new and unusual.

The rules are pretty simple, you have to shoot the picture during the timeframe for the theme so you can't pull something out of your archives, and you can only do very light editing to the image like cropping and brightness/contrast.

On this page I'll track my entries as well as the winner for that theme. You can see a larger version of the picture by clicking on it.

My Photo Description Winner

Special Effects - The winner of Landscapes picked "special effects" for the October competition and suspended the "no heavy image editing" rule to give people an opportunity to work on their image manipulation skills. I took a picture of an antique camera I bought in China, then using Photoshop I inserted two images I shot in china into the lenses. Then I copied an image of the glass of the lens from a picture of the camera that I used a flash on and laid it over the images. Then I changed the opacity so the images showed through the glass of the lens but still gave the impression of glass in front of the image. It was tight, but I lost 6 to 7 to this cool negative view of a billy goat.

Photo by: Paul Barnwell

Landscapes - I picked "Landscapes" as a theme after winning "animals" but despite some serious efforts to find a good picture to take I was only able to come up with the one on the left. I was brutalized in this month's competition by pretty much all entries, but the one on the right won. And with good reason, as it's one of the coolest landscapes I've ever seen.

Photo by: Thomas Manson

Animals - I picked "animals" since I knew I'd be taking three weeks of vacation and would see lots of critters. It turned out my best shot was an accident caused by knocking my camera to the wrong setting (longer exposure) while trying to take shots of a hawk taking off from a field.


Motion - I picked "motion" as our next theme so I could get better at showing motion in my shots. It was much harder than I'd thought, but I lucked out and got this cool shot of a biker at the velodrome in Marymoor park.


Machinery - Rick picked "machinery" and it was a hard one. I took pictures of Gasworks park, old trains, tractors, and anything I could think of, but nothing was compelling. Finally I set up a tripod at night and did a long exposure using a flashlight to "paint" the subject with light. It came out really cool.


Water - since I won the Spring theme I got to pick the next one and went with "water". I had a lot of fun taking pictures at Green Lake for this theme but lost to my friend Rick who took the great reflection shot on the right.

Photo by: Rick Selby

Spring - was the first theme, and I won it with a cool shot from the tulip fields up in LaConner. If you haven't been up there for the tulip festival I highly recommend it.