Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.
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.