Macro & Landscape Semi Finalists!

Great work everyone! I am so impressed with all of the images. It is a nightmare to have to go through them and pick. So many images that were even nominees would have placed high in my first contest. This concludes the Semi – Finalists round, I have already started working on the Finalists for each category and should have them up in a few days.

Portrait & Animal- Semi Finalists

Went through 2 sets today. It took an extremely long time and it broke my heart to not advance so many, but I need to get to about 40-45 for semi finalists, and about 15 for finalists. It is getting harder and harder.

Some insight I want to give here:

With Portraits and Animals I am looking for the following things:

– Exceptional Technical Skill
– Emotional or otherwise engaging. If I can feel the energy the person is giving off, or feel like I know them- its a good pic. The little brunette girl with her arms folded is a great example.
– Something Different, something that tool creative energy.
– Sharpness in the eyes. (It isn’t always necessary, but if the portrait is the type that suggests the eyes should be sharp, they should be very sharp.

Many of the semi-finalists do at least one of these things very, very well.

Finalists will do 2 or more of these things very, very well. Contest winners typically do all of them very well.

Congratulations to everyone. Fantastic work, including the ones that didnt make it. There were nearly 1000 images in portraits so to make it to the top 40 or so is an accomplishment!

Abstract – Semi- Finalists

You can expect that the rest of the categories will have a “Semi-Finalist” Round. There were so many awesome images in here that I wanted to give recognition before getting to the finalists. I am hoping to maybe get through many of these in one day, but I don’t like feeling rushed about this. Im probably going to need some help from the other judges to narrow it down to 15 or so. Thank you for your patience!

Sports – FInalists!!

The Sports Category is a little special because we had so few entries. I spent a lot of time going through these today, and in my personal opinion, I am confident these are the strongest sports images, from a group of many, many very good images.

I imagine there will be Semi-Finalists for the other groups because I am having a really hard time narrowing those down. Blog readers will vote on each finalist set, and this will count as 1 cumulative judge vote (there are 5 main judges). I see the viewers choice as the “tie breaker” vote, it wont be enough to win the entire contest.

There were originally 20 in this group, but I had to disqualify 5 images (3 of which were flat out spectacular) because their metadata indicated they were taken several months, and sometimes years outside of the contest timeline. I realize it is possible that they may have not had their cameras date set correctly, but I feel considering the quality of the images themselves, that in most likelihood they were probably several years old. I alone am responsible for making this judgement call (and I will on the other categories as well). I really, really hated disqualifying them, but deep down I feel it was the right decision. Additionally, we have seen several images that have already been entered in other contests, and this was another rule I had set – This needs to be the first contest in which it has been displayed. I have a set of about 10 images in a pool of runner ups, so any of you recognize any images you may have seen elsewhere- please let me know. The whole idea of the contest is to get people out shooting, not to simply enter and re-enter one good image in many contests over several years. That is why I adopted these rules.

Life-Proof – Waterproof iPhone / iPad Cases

Straight up the very BEST gadget idea I’ve seen submitted on my facebook feed. My Dad and I have been wanting these for a while now but no one has come out with a sleek solution. (Ive seen other attempts, but they were bulky or not cool looking at all).

This will waterproof (down to 6 feet) and shock proof (also from 6 Feet) your favorite apple device (iPhone/iPad).

Want to listen to music or take pictures while surfing? No Problem.
Want to get killer underwater pics in your swimming pool? No Problem
Want to bring your iPad to the beach, a rainy back trail? No Problem

They are saying you can wash it with the dishes.

They also have a number of cool little accessories including waterproof headphones.

LIfe Proof – iPhone / iPad Water-Proof Covers