Brian Parillo has aimed his wide-angle lenses at tall buildings throughout L.A.. He titles his images after songs he listens to when shooting. Brian Parillo
April 2011 Photo Challenge
There are many ways to capture the beauty and power of urban landscape. Photographer Brian Parillo’s images of skyscrappers are proof of this. Send us your best skyscraper image by April 30th for a chance to win $100, have your photo printed in the magazine and secure a spot in our Winners’ Circle.
****Deadline:** March 31st. ****Winner’s will receive $100 and have their photo printed in the magazine. Get the rules and entry info below. **
Q: How many photographs can I enter each month?
A: You may submit up to 5 digital images each month.
Q: Are there any special file requirements?
A: Yes, if accepted for publication, a 3MP or higher (9MB file size, uncompressed) image will be required. The bigger the better.
Q: How exactly should I name my files?
A: Please use your name as your file name, and if you’re making submitting multiple files, number them consecutively. So if your name is Paul Jones and you’re sending three photos, name your files pauljones1.jpg, pauljones2.jpg, and pauljones3.jpg. Also, please include title of the specific Photo Challenge you are entering in the subject line of your email.
Q: Do you only accept “straight” photos, or can I manipulate my images?
A: Either is fine but be sure to tell us what you did. We expect you to make your photos look as good as you can through ordinary techniques such as cropping, color correction, and contrast adjustments. If you’re submitting a composite image, please inform us when you send it. But if you’re more into photo illustration, check out our annual Digital Wizard contest instead.
Q: What kinds of photos win?
A: Our editors love all kinds of photography, so take a look at our web galleries of Photo Challenge Contest winners and finalists. We want to see the best you have to offer. But we don’t publish nudes, so keep it clean.
Q: Can I send slides or prints?
A: No. You can only e-mail digital images.
Q: Will you acknowledge receipt of my entry?
A: Sorry, but with the large volume of entries, that is not possible.
Q: What can I win?
A: If your photo is selected you will win $100. And your photo will be published in Popular Photography magazine and may be showcased in a gallery on the Pop Photo website.
Q: What information should I send with the photos?
A: Your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Also, any technical information you can supply about the photo — camera, lens, settings, film, software, and printer. Submitting a composite? Tell us! If you win and we need more material, we will contact you.
The Photo Challenge Contest (the “Contest”) is sponsored by Popular Photography Magazine, a publication of Bonnier Corporation (“Sponsor”).
MONTHLY PRIZE: ONE (1) Winner will receive One Hundred Dollars ( $100)
All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply; void where prohibited. ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open only to individuals. Employees of Bonnier Corporation and its parent companies, subsidiaries or agents, their immediate families (defined as parents, children, siblings, spouse and grandparents), and those domiciled with any of the foregoing are not eligible. TO ENTER: Submit your digital photographs: 50-75KB recommended, 1000KB maximum, JPEG format only; if accepted for publication, an image file size of at least 9MB (uncompressed) will be required. Each file should be named with your full name. Multiple entries should be named with your full name followed by consecutive numbers. E-mail your submission to PhotoChallenge@bonniercorp.com. Include your address, phone number, and e-mail, plus any pertinent technical information (camera, lens, exposure, film, filters, software). All information provided by entrant must be complete, true and correct. All submitted entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned; Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, inaccurate, incomplete, damaged, illegible, or misdirected entries. All entries may be published on the Popular Photography web site. Nothing in these Contest rules obligate Sponsor to publish or otherwise use any photo submitted in connection with the Contest. Each entry must be submitted on an individual basis (i.e., no team, joint, or corporate entries) and all components of the entry must be the original creation of the submitting participant. Only non-commercial work may be submitted. Entries may not contain profanity, nudity, pornographic images, violent images, anti-competition messages, illegal material, or material that violates the rights of third parties. Entries may not include confidential information, trade secrets, trademarks or copyrighted material belonging to any person or entity other than the participant absent a suitable license or permission agreement (proof of which is required). Entries containing any forbidden matter or material otherwise deemed by Sponsor to be inappropriate will be disqualified. Online entries will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of entry. Sponsor will accept five (5) entries per person per month; entries in excess of that will be disqualified. JUDGING: A panel of judges consisting of Popular Photography editors will select the winning entry based equally upon the criteria of skill, originality, and relevance. By entering, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules, and that the decisions of the judges are final and binding in all respects. Judging will be completed by the 15th of each month, and potential winners will be notified by the 20th of each month. Sponsor reserves the right not to select any winning submissions based upon the quantity or content of submissions. Potential winners will be required to sign and return a sworn Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release. If required documentation is not returned within seven (7) business days of notification, or if notification is returned as undeliverable, any prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected. PRIZE AWARDS: Prizes will be awarded within sixty (60) days after winner verification. No prize substitution or transfer is permitted, except that Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value for any reason. All taxes and any other incidental expenses on Prizes are the sole responsibility of each winner. GENERAL RULES & LIMITATIONS: By entering, you represent that: (i) your entry is your own original work; and (ii) you own or have the rights to convey any and all right and title in any material submitted as part of your entry into the Contest. By entering, you grant to Sponsor a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use your submission, along with your name and likeness, in any and all media for any purpose, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law). By participating in the Contest, you agree to release Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, directors, officers, and agents from any and all liability, claims or actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, possession, use, or misuse of any prize. Sponsor is not responsible for technical, hardware or software failures, or other errors or problems which may occur in connection with the Contest, whether computer, network, technical, mechanical, typographical, printing, human or otherwise, including, without limitation, errors or problems which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of entries, the announcement of the prizes, in any Contest-related materials, or that may limit prize fulfillment or a participant’s ability to enter the Contest. Sponsor reserves the right to amend these official rules and to permanently disqualify from the Contest any person it believes has intentionally violated these official rules. PRIVACY: By entering, you agree that the information you provide may be sent to promotional partners of the Sponsor(s). You may be contacted by the Sponsor(s) and/or promotional partners with future promotional offers. Information provided by you to participate in this Contest is subject to the privacy policies of the Sponsor(s).
June 2010 Winner
George Cady has always been fond of travel posters from the ’20s. “There were some great Art Deco posters that featured cruise ships,” says the retired computer scientist, 68. And they inspired him to shoot this winner of our June 2010 Photo Challenge. Cady and his wife, who live in Brookings, OR, had been touring Greece and Turkey. “After visiting the Roman ruins at Ephesus, we returned to the harbor in Kusadasi to reboard our boat,” he says. With a bit of time before boarding, the couple wandered the dock. “We passed this cruise ship and noticed how much, at sunset, it looked like an old travel poster.” He mounted his Konica Minolta Dimage A200 on his mini tripod to shoot from below. With the sun setting out on the water, he exposed twice—once for detail in the ship, and once for the sky. Later, Cady combined the two exposures in Adobe Photoshop Elements, then edited out a distracting rope that threw off the symmetry. The result: a winning take on a classic picture.—Lori Fredrickson
May 2010 Winner
Lu Zhang, 44, saw our May 2010 Photo Challenge to use a flash outdoors in daylight, he’d already been using a Phoenix Smart Flash for about eight months. A photographer of three years, he thought, “I can do this.” Zhang, a software engineer based in Kanata, Ontario, walks to work each day on a trail alongside Beaver Pond. “I carry my camera with me,” he says, “and look for interesting things to shoot.” One morning this May, he spotted this dandelion. “I wanted to shoot it very close up, using the smallest aperture possible for maximum depth of field,” he explains. “Natural light wouldn’t have been enough.” Behind it he placed a piece of black tissue that he keeps in his camera bag to isolate small subjects. He spotmetered and set ISO to 320 for the required 1/200-sec flash sync speed and to control motion blur.—Lori Fredrickson
April 2010 Winner
When Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld, 42, of Portland, ME, first started doing food photography in 2008, she quickly learned how to improvise with thrifty gear. Her home studio, where she shoots both for Portland Monthly and for the agency Stock Food, was until recently her kitchen table and a few cheap backgrounds and accessories—including 16×24-inch foamcore boards she bought from an art supply store for about $1.50 each. When she saw our April 2010 Photo Challenge to shoot a still life using only indirect light and a reflector, Farr-Weinfeld says, “I started coming up with all kinds of ideas.” Searching for subjects in her kitchen, she found this margarita glass. “I thought an orange drink would make it an interesting color combination.” After chopping up fruit, she brought out her white foamcore. “I placed one board on the kitchen table and one against the wall to make the white seamless background,” she explains. She set up another piece of foamcore at an angle to bounce the morning sunlight streaming through her kitchen door onto the glass. With the lighting right, she rearranged the fruit for
better visibility. Using her tripod-mounted Pentax K20D up close with a 50mm f/1.4 Pentax lens, she set a long shutter speed. This winner was exposed for 3 seconds at f/11, ISO 200. “It may be really basic equipment,” Farr-Weinfeld says, “but it does the trick.” See more of her work at www.cwfphotography.smugmug.com—Lori Fredrickson
March 2010 Winner
Lightning strikes the Bay Area but rarely. So when Frank Fennema, 56, awoke to a thunderstorm outside his San Francisco window, “I knew it was a one-in-a-million event,” he says. It was also a reason to use his remote trigger—which was our Photo Challenge of March 2010. The freelance photographer grabbed his gear and drove to the Golden Gate Bridge. He’d scouted the landmark before: “I knew this spot above Horseshoe Bay would be a great angle,” he recalls. With his poncho-protected Nikon D300 and 18–200mm f/3.5–5.6 Nikkor lens on a tripod, he shot a few tests. Then he retreated to his car and, using a RPS Studio remote, started firing. Over the next hour, Fennema shot 116 frames using 30-sec exposures to capture as much lightning as possible. Among them, this month’s winning shot.—Lori Fredrickson
February 2010 Winner
“I love winter photography,” says (twforbear.zenfolio.com). “But after reading the [February 2010] Photo Challenge, I pushed myself to make my images more focused.” The 33-year-old photographer from Hart, MI, had shot snowflakes before, but our request to capture something frozen, he says, persuaded him to “get closer and more detailed.” He found that overcast mornings provided the best light and car windows great backdrops. A +10 close-up filter on his 60mm f/2.8 Canon Macro EF-S lens helped bring out the intricacy. Practice taught him other tricks: “I learned to set the lens to the closest focusing distance using manual focus, and move in or out for more sharpness,” Forbear says. “I spent many hours in the cold to get the right look.” Judging by this photo, the effort was worth it.—Lori Fredrickson
January 2010 Winner
Dustin Stoll, 18, shoots sports events for Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where he’s a student. And, he says, “My favorite photography is macro, especially bugs.” But he had only really photographed in color— until he saw our January 2010 black-and-white Photo Challenge. Stoll originally shot this image in color at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure in Salina, KS, using his Canon EOS 5D. Passing by a gorilla pen, he noticed the ape’s hands. “They have a human resemblance,” he says, “but also a really cool texture.” So he zoomed in for a tight close-up. Looking at the image later, he was struck again by the texture, and realized that it would make a great candidate for b&w. So he converted it in Adobe Photoshop. The result? This picture, much better than most first tries. You can see more of Stoll’s photos at stollpics.com.—Lori Fredrickson
December 2009 Winner
Jasen Petersen, a 38-year-old realtor, has been photographing competitions at Dance in Motion, his wife’s Battle Creek, MI, dance studio, for two years. But shortly after reading our December 2009 photo challenge to capture the emotion of motion, “I started to dream up something with more of a modern-art feel,” he says. A photo of a model covered in flour that he saw in another magazine inspired the shoot that produced our Challenge winner. Petersen set up a black backdrop outdoors against one of dance studio’s walls, placing one AlienBees AB800 strobe facing the backdrop and another slightly behind it and to the left. At nightfall, in 35-degree cold, he and his sister-in-law led three brave dancers to this outdoor studio. His assistants (including the dancers, who took turns modeling) would throw flour on each model, who held fistfuls of flour to pitch in the air as she jumped. “For most of their poses they would take one or two steps and then leap, so I locked focus and tracked them until they hit the peak,” he explains. In just 30 minutes Petersen had some great images, including this one of his niece. And despite the cold, everyone agreed they’d had a great time.—Lori Fredrickson
November 2009 Winner
When Stephan Kolb read our November 2009 Photo Challenge on light-painting, he decided to learn a new technique. The 55-year-old carpenter (www.stephankolbstudio.com) from Edgewood, NM, came up with this clever winner—and a few other images we liked nearly as much. On a clear night, he invited a friend over and strung a rope light between two metal fence posts in his yard. He set his Nikon D200 on a tripod and composed to frame the rope light. With the camera set to Bulb, and his friend in a pose, Kolb opened the shutter via wireless remote, then switched on a flashlight and traced his friend’s outline. He turned off the light until his model was in a new position, then traced him again. Total exposure: 139 seconds. It took a few tries (and some cropping) to get it right—but his work paid off.—Lori Fredrickson
October 2009 Winner
When 34-year-old Jesse Estes (www.jesse-estes.com; featured in our December 2009 Software Workshop) learned that trees in Portland’s Japanese Gardens had reached peak fall color, he didn’t let the misty weather deter him. The Troutdale, OR-based systems administrator knew, as Stan Trzoniec explained in October’s Nature column, gray days can be a foliage shooter’s best friend. Estes says, “Wind stirring the leaves can be an issue. But it was perfectly calm, still wet from a storm.” This allowed a 3-sec exposure (at f/14, ISO 200) while keeping sharpness in the leaves. He also got a fresh take on a favorite subject of local photographers. “Most images I’ve seen don’t include much of the upper part of the tree, with its branches snaking around,” Estes says. A Sigma 10–20mm f/4–5.6 lens on his Nikon D300 helped pack all the color in. —Lori Fredrickson
September 2009 Winner
Christopher Wells of Detroit has long been inspired by Popular Photography. In fact, he even had his Canon PowerShot S3 IS superzoom converted to shoot infrared images because of one of our articles. After reading “Through Fresh Eyes” (October 2009), he put his 65mm f/2.8 Canon MP-E macro lens to new use. “I’d bought it to capture detail on the small items I sell in online auctions,” he says. “But you made me think about the possible uses it could be put to in the smaller world of nature.” The result was this “wee jumper in an abandoned wasp nest,” shot with a Canon EOS Rebel XT and macro ring flash—not the easiest shot, since the spiders kept jumping on his camera. But it paid off. “Nature at its most beautiful and creepy,” he says. See more of his photos at www.flickr.com/photos/7896037@N07.—Lori Fredrickson
August 2009 Winner
For five months, Rick Wetterau (www.rwetterauinfrared.com)tried to photograph a tomatillo husk. He’d positioned it a million different ways on his tabletop studio, under fluorescent lights and in available sunlight. Then came an inspiration: A penlight. “Using a long exposure with a narrow beam allowed me to preserve the spider web detail and create a thicker shadow,” Wetterau explains. We were pretty impressed with this image. It also reminded us of a tip on using pinpoint light sources to add intrigue to photos, which we ran in our September 2009 Picture Doctor.—Lori Fredrickson