I have been thinking of submitting an entry into a photo contest. Most of the time it’s fairly simple fetch one of my best pictures, do a bit of prep than submit. The theme of this one is “Orange”, the secret of creative competition is to be well, Creative. I figured most of the entries would be sunsets and flowers, indeed I did submit two of flowers. One is pretty good, it may rank close to the top 50%. The other in my opinion doesn’t stand a chance above the bottom 25%; my goal is to rank above 50%. The highest I have achieved was 64 out of 15,000 entries, I was more than happy with that.
I experimented with a few different presentations, the photo above is one of the Orange on Black ideas. I wanted to add a twist so I went and picked a green Orange from one of the many Orange trees here. At first I didn’t think it would work, I tried Orange on Orange first.
I ended up with the image above, actually I captured over 150 images choosing these three. The green sets off the Orange nicely, centering the components was a challenge. From the top everything looks centered, from the side it appears out of center. It’s completely due to the angle the camera was at, nearly flat on the table.
This is the picture I chose to enter, it appears nearly 3-D. The right side of the plate has the appearance it is floating in air. The texture along with the green color of the Orange sets the entire composition’s uniqueness. The design of the black clothe is seen on the left, it is as I intended. Just a hint of the pattern I think is a nice touch. I’m happy with this choice, I aim to place in the top 50%. As an amateur in photography I feel that is a realistic goal; this entry may be close. I also entered this photograph of an Orange California poppy.
This will most likely rank fairly far down the ladder due to being an abundance of flower entries. I use the competition as a gauge pertaining to how my skills are developing. To be judged by very talented people is uplifting merely to get a positive vote. I entered another flower set;
It will rank real low, there are too many issues with it; the main one is the background is too busy. The kiss of death for a picture is when someone says “I wonder what that stuff in the background is.”
There will be over 20,000 entries, this is a fun competition so it may attract more. I’m a voter and curator, I do a bit of voting each night. I vote a minimum of 100 times for each open category, judging our own submissions is rare. The only way would be a problem with the algorithm. It’s fun to enter and compete I highly reccomend it for any photographer. There are competitors using every camera imaginable from the old Brownie cameras from the 1960s to $10,000.00 highly technical beasts. I’m of the opinion that success in these types of competitions is determined by the composition first; photography skills are a close second.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter