Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photo Contest Winner!!

First, I would like to commend everyone who participated in my challenge. You ALL did a FANTASTIC job with my amorous swans. Your creativity inspired and awed me. I thank you all for your generosity of spirit, for your willingness to share your process, and for humoring this old amateur photographer. :) Before I announce the winner, I'll describe what I liked about each entry:

#2 hootnonny, my adorable Flickr friend and fellow blogger behind Artistic Expressions Photography. This was the first submission, and I was floored. I almost hoped that no one else would play because it would make my decision so much easier to just give the prize to Betty! The light, the soft bokeh, the warmth, and the cleanup of the swans--all superb! Nice touch with the black frame. It is just exquisite.

To my surprise, more awesome photographers took the challenge, and I soon realized that I was in trouble.

#3 Charlotte's edit is so creative. She really put the emphasis on swans in love with her beautiful framing. Love the blues and greens in the texture, and that starburst between their bills was a stroke of genius. Nicely done, my friend.

#4 Lisa Gordon really nailed the lighting here. Also, instead of sharpening the swans (which is what I tried to do unsuccessfully) she softened them instead. This lent such a beautiful, ethereal quality to the photo. This is a standout for sure. Lisa really put her stamp on this. Reminds me of a dream!

#5 My sweet Flickr friend, TinaM89, left me breathless with her edit. The swans are perfectly sharpened to bring out their features, yet the photo's airy quality is retained. The fact that she brightened the photo so well without losing detail of the swans is amazing. The texture she used is perfection. Impressive.

#6 GW, my special friend. He went the opposite direction by darkening the subjects. I love the orange glow of the right swan and the delicate light falling on the curve of their necks. Love the intimacy that his lighting choice revealed. Well done, friend.

#7 pfairman53, another sweet Flickr friend who put her skills to the test and produced wonderful results. I adore the bokeh, the tones, and that wonderful framing. Overall a beautiful edit. I appreciate all the hard work you must've put into this.

#8 Hula Girl! If y'all don't subscribe to Hula's blog, you're missing out. She's funny, sweet, and a great photographer! Her edit really impressed me. She cleaned up my filthy little lovers so well, and adjusted the light in a most pleasing manner. I also loved her quote by Mother Teresa. So special.

#9 Tina Bonner used warm tones for this that I wouldn't have thought to do and it works! Her subtle use of texture is so soothing. Very nice touch with the vignette. So very pretty and pleasing! Please visit Tina's blog to see her other amazing work.

#10 Joco Deane really outdid herself. I truly loved her "wedding invitation" idea because this is perfect for something like that. These swans look like they're at a marriage celebration themselves with that veil wafting in the wind. The offset black frame lends itself very well to this idea. Creative and unique!

#11 Rosemary Aubut also had a beautiful edit. She lightened the image perfectly, while also adding detail to the faces. That distressed texture she used is gorgeous. The rounded corners was also a great choice. Rosemary, I'm glad you found me because I love your blog and your photos!

#12 The Flirty Girl (Stacie). Apparently a blog follower for some time, she finally saw a post of mine that piqued her interest. Am I ever glad she did! I absolutely ADORE the colors on this edit. The bright blue of that water is divine. That color is something I always strive for either in shooting or editing, yet so rarely achieve. The swans are nice and clean, sharpened, but not overly so. This is

Man, this was difficult...
They're all so deserving...
But I'm not Bill Gates and I can only choose one...
#12! The Flirty Girl! Please email me for your $25 Amazon gift card!! Your edit is amazing. Congratulations.

Thank you everyone for playing. I hope you had fun. Again, ALL the submissions were awesome. If I had even a tiny fraction of Bill Gates' wealth, you ALL would receive something for your edit. They are truly all deserving.


lisa said...

And thank YOU Gail for hosting this. It truly was so much fun!

Stacie said...

Aw thank you Gail and Lisa! I'm really glad I checked my RSS reader that evening and didn't wait for the weekend or it would have been too late to enter :)

It was really a pleasure working with a raw image that had so much potential and now you have so many beautiful variations of it! I'm really happy for you Gail!

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Gail, I don't know how you picked the winner, because I think each and every one of them were winners!!

But the whole contest started with you when you caught that one in a million shot of the swans :)

jo©o said...

Gail, you are so good at this:
Judging but still keeping your friends :-) is an art.
Such nice comments for each of us and you have given us a great time with your project.
I hope the winner will let us know what book she chose with her winnings.

hootnonny said...

Gail, This was so much fun and you were so elegant in your critique of each submission. I hadn't seen Flirty Girl's edit until now. I love it...wish I'd thought to go's so refreshing!

Louisiana Belle said...

Thank you all so much. I really didn't expect to get any takers for this task. Thought I was going to have to pull the post the next day. Miraculously, when I began to see submissions trickle in, I realized I had put myself in a position to possibly cause hard feelings down the line, and I so did not want that to happen. Backed into a corner I thought about chickening out and letting choose for me. But that didn't seem right because I said I was going to choose. Oy! What had I done?! I don't think I will do another one because of the pressure I put on myself. I am glad I did it, however, and I praise each of you for participating, and thank you for being my friend.

mamatronic said...

This was such a cool idea! I've been waiting to see what your submissions would look like, and they really were-all of them- so inspiring. Especially to an editing newbie. Good job, Gail. And That cracks me up.

stacie said...

I agree, I would not want to have had to judge this contest. What a tough decision to have to make! Every time I've had a contest on my own blog I rely on to choose my winners for me. It's much easier that way. Thank you again Gail. It's the first time I've ever won anything for editing a photo so it was a really nice way to start the day :)

@ jo©o: Funnily enough, just the day before I spotted this contest I'd done a blog post about 4 new books I had my eye on. I think I'll be ordering the "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home' and the "Miette Bakery Cookbook."

I love to cook and bake. Recently I joined The Daring Kitchen where lots of people take on a challenge each month to bake or cook something new. It's not a competition, there are no prizes, just a way to challenge yourself :)

If you're curious about the books I did a synopsis of them here:

And for anyone who may be curious, more about The Daring Kitchen here:

Hula Girl at Heart said...

Congratulations to Flirty Girl for doing such a wonderful job. I loved seeing everyone's version. Thanks for the shout out and thanks for giving us the opporutunity to have some fun!