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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:33 AM

February Photo Contest Theme

Last edited Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:56 PM - Edit history (1)

"I See Music"

Music is all about us, it's everywhere we roam
We listen in our car, we play it loud at home

Golden glint of a horn and sunburst on a Fender
A bass drum looks beat and the oboe so slender

Music sleeps in a piano key waiting to be heard
It abounds in nature in the song of a bird

So pop off your lens cap and perk up your ear
Follow that tune and let us see what you hear


Rather than explain further than that, I'll leave interpretation entirely to the photographer. My hope is that the abstract of the theme finds a variety of images hatched from within the left side of the brain.

This is my first stab at hosting a contest and I hope it goes smoothly. I'm likely to plagiarize some of the rules and suggestions from the previous contest, not so much to be lazy, but for continuity. I also think the way Solly Mack hosted last month was a fair standard.

Having said that:

Submissions should be ready to post from Friday the 15th through Sunday the 17th, or until we have 30 entries. The Prelims will be posted in GD the following Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Finals will be held over the last weekend of the month beginning on Friday the 22nd

Entries can be in Color or Black & White. No Sepia. No Infrared. No HDR. It's been discussed that overly edited photos may throw an advantage to those with high-end programs, and that may not be a level playing field for a photographer who knows composition and balance but eschews the kind of FX employed by George Lucas.

I agree with some caveat: If the pic background is too white and blends into the webpage, a light vignette or very thin opaque border is fine (black only). Focal B&W, where a small bit of color is present to accent a feature in an image, would probably not be something beyond anyone's capabilities either and is acceptable as well. I'm going to advise that when it comes to your editing, I plan to be more the contest host than gatekeeper. I don't plan to dissuade anyone for taking reasonable artistic privilege.


There is one etched in stone requirement however:

Photos must be formatted so that the width or length is no more than 800 pixels. Since having a width more than that or longer than 800 pixels will cause people to scroll, out-sized pictures will affect the whole post. Microsoft Powertoys has a free picture resizer that will help meet size restrictions with one click. Irfanview picture Viewer will also perform the task for free. For the sake of those with weak internet connections, image size should be kept under 250K in size. (Right click, check properties). I can help if anyone has a problem fitting within these parameters. Just feel free to ask.


Finally, I want to thank the DUers who help keep this forum the best sanctuary in DU (you know who you are). There's never stress or debate here, and the people are always generous about hints and tips. I personally have evolved thanks to regular visits to this forum, and feel I'm a better photographer for it. I especially want to thank Solly Mack for delivering such a smooth January contest and all the DUers who voted for "Rinse & Recycle".

I accidentally tapped into the bottomless DU supply of love for flowers in my winning image, and was taken somewhat by surprise with my win. My humbleness on this is due to my interest in shooting the mechanical instead of nature. While others saw a photo of beautiful bouquets, I saw a fascinating old washing machine left out to die. I only used it because the subject I originally went after didn't pan out.

Partly because of that, I chose a theme this month that will focus on things or feelings that generally don't include cats, dogs, or plant life. Of course like everything in life, there are always paths around that, so if you see a loophole, go for it:



Good luck and happy shooting, we'll meet back here on the 15th.

JohnnyRingo

PS:
Please don't go on vacation Solly, I may need a frantic lifeline before this is over.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply February Photo Contest Theme (Original post)
JohnnyRingo Feb 2013 OP
CC Feb 2013 #1
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #2
JohnnyRingo Feb 2013 #6
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #7
JohnnyRingo Feb 2013 #8
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #9
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #11
JohnnyRingo Feb 2013 #12
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #13
rdking647 Feb 2013 #15
handmade34 Feb 2013 #3
Mira Feb 2013 #4
Celebration Feb 2013 #5
Richard D Feb 2013 #10
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #14
Laura PourMeADrink Feb 2013 #18
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #19
Laura PourMeADrink Feb 2013 #20
rdking647 Feb 2013 #16
Laura PourMeADrink Feb 2013 #17
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #21

Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:19 AM

1. Welcome to the world of hosting a contest.

You'll do just fine and feel free to scream for help to any of us if you need it. I love the way you did the rules. Congrats on your win, a very deserving one as much for that old machinery as for the flowers especially for us flea market gardeners. I gave you host powers so you can pin your threads (making it easier for everyone to find) and lock them when needed. Can't wait to see what people come up with.



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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:20 AM

2. That sounds like a fun theme!

Thank you for all of your kind words! I think you'll do a wonderful job hosting.

Love the poem! (and the photo)

Thanks, again.


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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:22 PM

6. Let me know if you think I should change something above.

I'm not sure the time parameters are practical or within the norm. I hope the three day prelim is long enough, but I could extend it and begin the finals on Monday.
I know I forgot to mention that the contest will be anonymous again, but entrees will figure that out.

Any advice you have will weigh heavily. Thanx.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:31 PM

7. Hey! By anonymous do you mean blind entries?

Where we send you our submissions via DUmail and you post them so no one knows who entered which photo?

I can't see anything to add unless you do mean blind entries; then you should add that now and then remind people again later. People will want to know if they can submit early if they have a scheduling conflict that will keep them away from a computer during the submission dates.

The 3 day time frame is the norm and allows sufficient enough time for people to vote. Usually it goes 3 days for submissions, 3 days for Prelims, 3 days for Finals and then posting the Winner's thread. Reminders and encouragement along the way never hurts.

Best advice it to relax and take your time. To enjoy the process. Don't worry about making mistakes because everyone does. Fortunately we have unlimited editing time. I'm a nervous mess when it comes to hosting. I drive myself crazy before the contest actually starts and then relax once the Prelims are up. Which tells you that I don't take my own advice.

We usually have the Winter theme contest in February as well. The winner for the Autumn contest (misschicken) was banned and she was supposed to host the next seasonal contest, so... I don't know. I mention this because usually the 2 hosts work together to figure out the timing for running the contests without any conflicts. You won't have that added worry this time around (trying to squeeze in 2 contests in a short month). Unless someone volunteers to host the Winter contest. Never mind all that. While typing this reply I remembered about the seasonal contest and the banning of misschicken. My mind...it does wander.


You're doing great and your theme announcement post is a sheer delight!

Thanks, again!













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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:50 PM

8. I want to do it the way you did last month

I guess by "anonymous" I meant that I don't want DU voters at large to know who's entry they're voting on, but maybe there's no screen name on the contest poll anyway. I don't think I want to deal with sorting through 30 PMs my first time hosting.

As I'm hosting this event, I'm in the slow process of installing all new hard drives in my computer, including the primary C Drive. I've got my pictures safely backed up on more remote devices than the Library of Congress though. Someone should post a reminder someday that everyone do that.

I didn't know Misschicken was banned. I guess I don't keep up on the news here, but that's probably an interesting story. I only vaguely remember her.

Thanx Solly Mack.
I'm somewhat sorry that I'm leaning on you like this, but you were the one holding the door when I walked in.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:47 PM

9. Oh, ok.

Some people do peek at the submission thread but many don't bother. They wait for the Prelims. I don't think a sneak peek by some influences the voting.

I don't blame you on not wanting to deal with the extra work of 30 PMs or more during submissions. Especially since you're getting your feet wet. (and all that computer work you're doing)

During the Prelims and Final the photos are presented with the title only. Saving the screen names for the winner's thread. Well, that's how I've always seen it done.

Thanks for the reminder! I've got photos I need to back up. I've been neglecting that lately. Now I'm feeling kinda guilty about my laziness. lol

I don't know the story behind the ban. She won the first contest she entered. I do remember that. So she hadn't been around long. I think she was rDigital's spouse. I could be wrong about that. He was banned also. There was a thread in the group about his ban.

Feel free to lean. Glad to help.

You're most welcome!

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:05 AM

11. My 3tb external hard drive was one of the best purchases I've made.

I was storing all my photos on DVDs but I was getting so many they were filling up my cupboards, plus it was getting really hard to track things. Now I've got all my pics from 2012 forward on the external drive, all indexed and organized so with a search of a word or two I can find whatever I'm looking for. I don't know why I didn't do it years ago.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:20 AM

12. My son takes it a step further.

He had a transformer explode in front of his house one night. The surge blew every electronic gadget in the house, including his computer drives. Fortunately he was younger then, but he lost every pic of my grandkids he'd taken up 'til then.

Now he backs them to an external and locks it in a fireproof gun safe. I've been thinking about getting one of those little $30 fireproof money boxes for the same purpose. Everything could be gone in one case of bad luck, and fire insurance wont get your pix back.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:32 AM

13. Good point.

My husband has been talking about a safe for a while for the gear. I hadn't thought about putting a hard drive in there, as well, but it's good insurance. I don't know if I could be compulsive enough to stay on top of that, but it's a great idea.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:14 PM

15. im anal about backups

i use a mac. i have my photo library backed up to a 4tb raid drive configured as 2 mirrored drives. i also have it backed up on 2nd hard drive clone kept in a firesafe. i also have a time machine backup.
I just started a crashplan subscription as a offsite backup too

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:46 AM

3. can't wait to see what I hear!

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:25 AM

4. A great start - I love the theme

and the spirit and care of the presentation. This will be a great contest, I can hear the distant trumpet already, or should I say "I see it".

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:20 PM

5. Love it! n/t

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:43 AM

10. Excellent topic

Can't wait to see the entries. Gonna be a good one.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:58 AM

14. Hmm...

I may have to sit this out. I am not that creative. I love the theme though!

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:12 PM

18. you can do it. if all else fails, take a pic of your stereo. :>)

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:48 AM

19. Thanks

I have some really pretty wind chime...and a huge forest nearby. You should hear the music that makes.

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:53 AM

20. omg...that's an absolutely perfect idea.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:14 PM

16. im torm about my submission

i have a few ideas as to what to use

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:10 PM

17. I know what you mean....wish we could turn in 3. But, I am not sure on this one

I know pictures of people merely just singing or playing instruments is probably not
what this means. But nothing more outside the box is coming to me right off. Better get myself in a more creative mood.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:57 PM

21. I'm down with no infrared

There are cheap ways to do infrared. I think film infrared B&W shots are still the best infrared out there. But not many still do film and the cheap options to practical infrared still need specialized equipment for the most part. Either way it's beyond the scope of what these contests should be about.

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