Winner and 2nd and third Place for Best Wedding shot 2008 - Over Three Years Experience

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by think27, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. We have some winners!
  2. Congratulations Ian! That was actually one of my favourites, but for some reason I had not expected it to win. Glad I wasn't in the jury though, so many great images.
  3. Nicely done y'all, and thanks to the judges for the time on this project.
  4. I think the shoulder in the first picture is awful and really is not a shot a pro would be proud of. I believe the other two photos are definitely, of far better overall quality. Great job Marc and Botikario!
  5. Mary, since a large part of the "judging" is based upon technical excellence:

    Judging - We will consider exposure accuracy, composition, lighting, image quality, technical excellence and other factors such as the impact of the image which could be drama, emotion, beauty humor, etc.

    Can you please post the EXIF data so we have a better idea of how these "masterpieces" were created technically?
  6. Congratulations 1st 2nd 3rd!
    looking forward to the next contest :)
  7. Congratulations to everyone - beautiful work in this catagory... gives me something to strive for in my own work...
  8. Can you please post the EXIF data so we have a better idea of how these "masterpieces" were created technically?​
    That's really up to the photographer's themselves to post or not. You should ask them.
  9. I think the shoulder in the first picture is awful and really is not a shot a pro would be proud of.​
    Do keep in mind that many things are in the eye of the beholder. There is no way on god's green earth that any judged competition will make decisions that every single viewer will agree with. While YOU yourself might not care for this photo, many others will. That is just the varied world of human opinion.
  10. Congrats to the winners.
    Interesting how two of them are in B&W!
    Best to your Success in 2009.
  11. Congratulations to the winners; great photos. I must say that this whole event was pretty exciting. I know it kept me checking back every 10 minutes for the last 4 days!
  12. Surprised that 2 are B&W.
  13. Congratulations to the winners - and kudos to all who posted. Not everyone likes to be judged, especially by such veterans as those who were on the panel. Thanks to all for giving me something to strive for. Great work everyone. --Rich
  14. Christopher only one image had EXIF data and it is not hard to judge image quality and exposure as it relates to the final image. No blown highlights, good detail along with many other factors.... these are winners.
  15. Excellent work. Congratulations to the winners. And thanks to the judges for all their time with both comps!
  16. it


    Thanks, that was fun. Nice to see everyone's work.
    Good luck for 2009.
  17. Felicidades a todos por vuestros trabajos. Saludos
  18. Great work! Congratulations!!
    wish everyone a great 2009.
  19. First photo is a very good with lighting, should not have win if not perfect!
    Second photo comparing it to the other two should have been winner of first place.
    Third I have a dozen photos like that!
    Just my stupid opinion!
  20. Jose - That photo was chosen as the top 3 by all three of the judges. No other photo was chosen as the top three out of 240 something shots. All the other shots were picked as the top three by two of the judges. To give further weight to the winner - aside from the fact that all three of us had it in our top picks - Jeff Ascough, one of the top wedding photographers in the world picked it as his #1 favorite.
  21. One thing I was thinking when I first saw Marc's photo (I wrote him personally to tell him how much I liked it right then - it struck me that much) was that he must have really gotten into the spot to take it. I pride myself on getting into the action when shooting the dance floor at a reception. Not that my photos are great, just that I really try to get in there. I don't want shoulders and arms and what not in front of me (I still do, though, a lot of the time). I got stuck in a big circling line of dancing one time and got knocked around pretty hard.
    other than the feeling of the photo, what I saw right away in Marc's photo was that other than the young girl in the foreground he is clearly up close and personal when taking it. He's in the action, he moved to get the shot, and captured this moment with the arm extended on the groom, and everything kind of leads into the middle. The wide angle lens makes it feel farther away, but I can appreciate that getting a shot like that is not easy. Imagine if one of those balloons had fallen/floated right in front of the couple. Shot ruined. That's why I don't think it's like other photos I've taken, for the most part, at receptions. Right spot, right time, great pose, and technically and physically challenging. perfectly executed.
    The others are wonderful, as well - I'm just giving my feedback in response to Jose's comment. And we are all entitled to our opinions, of course.
    2nd place is ridiculous in how it captures the sense of the place and moment. Wow. It was submitted after I had last checked that thread (so many photos, takes a long time to load, I'm impatient :). I'm blown away by that one as well.
  22. Again, I already stated that is just my stupid opinion :)
  23. Thanks Jose - I get that...
    As Josh had mentioned, in any judged competition the judges will make decisions that every single viewer will agree with. You want to really have some fun, take a look at the huge variation of opinions of the Weekly POW (Photo of the Week) ;-)
  24. Thanks to the judges ... it's often a difficult task and often thankless. Excellent way to generate buz on the forum and provide inspiration to all.
    Hat's off to the winner ... while it was noted that the shoulder was less than desirable, it is the nature of journalistic work to put up with such imperfections to preserve such a sensitive moment.
    When I saw what is now the second place winner, I e-mailed my second shooter and said that this shot had a good chance of winning.
    Obviously, subjectivity is what makes the creative world go around ... but to discount the first place winner really is an unfortunate act of unkindness.
  25. This was a fun informal contest and the top three are truly exceptional! Congrats to all who participated.
    ~Idea for future contests on a more serious level: have independent judges from "the outside" come in and view image files that have no way of identifying who the photographer is and let the outside judges pick their top images; how about showing the top five or ten. Photos would not be posted on the discussion threads but submitted to without it being an active / current thread were there is open debate even before the judging is complete. Outside judges would take pressure off those closely affiliated with and the outside judges could be from a wide variety of backgrounds yet have familiarity with wedding photography in general.
    ~If a contest was initiated for each quarter of the year there would not be a great stress on managing the contest or getting a couple of judges, from the outiside, to spend a couple of hours juding the photos (time is money, lol). This might keep the process manageable yet add a nice element that would have all members looking forward to a quarterly contest or even a semi-annual contest.
  26. Some of the issue with that plan is that you have to give these "outside experts" a reason to spend their time for free to some and judge and deal with the ensuing second guessing and thinly veiled "you don't know what the hell you are talking about" comments/emails. I suppose we could pay them, but to justify that, we would end up making these contests a "pay to play" sort of thing and that would limit who could join in.
    I can't imagine a judged event on earth that would be run completely to everyone's satisfaction. That's just the nature of judging. So we'll just keep moving along here at and keep our contests as a small corner of the site and a reward to those who are members of the community here. There are plenty of sites on the net that are nothing but contest after contest after contest. And I'm sure anyone who is really that interested in photo contests is already aware of and active on them. I'd much rather keep contests "on the lighter side".
  27. I think the contest was great and got us talking about the relative merits of photographs rather than equipment, billing or other matters. I hope there are more contests and contests with themes and I look forward to entering.
  28. Thanks !!, it's a pleasure to be here.
    Judge the work of the others is always a hard job...
  29. Again, congratulations to the winners! I also think there should be a top 10 list. I hope this contest is contiued in the future.
  30. Superb work -- I had Marc's effort #1 in my book, so the judging was rather cogent.
  31. Congrats to the winners. After reading some of the responses...i have to disagree with some of the critiques.
    First i think that Marc's photo...the balloons are not really distracting. If you look at the shot...i like how the balloons act as a blurring effect that leads your eye right to the couple like a zoom out. Also I don't have to strain to see the other faces....because it's not about them's about the couple. But after the image 'captures' pleasantly find the other aspects of the image.
    The second shot just 'BLOWS ME AWAY'. To say that shot is "vary nice" is an under statement. If this shot doesn't speak to need a hearing aid.
    The first shot...even with the person in the lower right...the shot still grabs me.
    For me...the Second shot should be the first...the third should be the second and the first would be the third. If picking between the three.
    As Josh is in the eye. I'm also 'not' humble enough to say that i don't have a great eye...i do...and i know that because...when i started doing weddings in my area i grabbed up 63% of the market by my calculations and that's without advertising. The way i view it...if you have been in the biz for along have 'old' eyes. You have probably lost that edge that you need to compete. And as they say...a critic is a person that no longer has the ability to be the artist.
    But even with all that..." IT IS AN OPINION"...we need to enjoy the photos! Not compete. I find that everyone has to contribute so much and that what's makes this forum so inspiring. Do you really think that if the shot of Marc's wasn't attached to his name that it would have made it among all those images? There were a lot better...but Marc contributes so much to this forum that you have to give him that extra push....because other images of his... are that good.
    I have learned so much from Marc and others....but i have also learned from people just starting out. That's the beauty of it...they bring a fresh new look....because they are not constrained by the normal thinking. And if you take the time to really'll find that there's much we can get from a fresh way of thinking and isn't that the keep learning!
  32. <p>I TOTALLY called those as the top three. I think its a three way tie, since they're all a different &quot;type&quot; of wedding photo. First one was an awesome tender moment type of shot. Second one was just ridiculously beautiful and would make a killer canvas. Marc's was my personal favorite the whole time, precisely BECAUSE of the balloon placement.... Marc, you're the man.<br>
    To the guy with the &quot;opinion&quot; ... if you wanted to really prove your point, a gutsy move would have been to post one of your awesome shots.
  33. Dave - I respectfully ask you to state your opinions without attacking the judges. As to being people who've been in the business have "old eyes"... You make me laugh. It is not even worth responding to. ;-)
    As to the pick of Marc's shot? Jeff Ascough has no clue what Marc contributes to this site nor any knowledge of his other work. And another judge picked Marc's without even realizing it was Marc's. So much for opinions/assumptions.
    You feel there were some shots that were "a lot better".. As you state it is an opinion. Furthermore, each judge had at least 1 or 2 other shots they would have liked to see in the top 3 in each thread but as judges you have to come to a consensus and that is when all the images come into very strict scrutiny. The second place in the experienced photographer thread is, as you say, stunning. The only reason it is not first place is because it is missing a srong emotional impact. But it is certainly an excellent shot.
    And Dave, please remember that this is an informal contest. We try and do this at least once a year and although you seem to feel this is not a place for competition - most members on that particpated or watched, had a great time and many learned something.
    I think it's pretty funny to state that a critic is a person who no longer has the ability to be an artist. So you are saying Jeff Ascough doesn't have ability? I'm choking. I don't need to defend my "eye" - believe me - I have very fresh eyes for an old broad ;-) And Josh does great work aside from what you may not realize which is that Josh and I both probably look at more images on this site than practically anyone. It's part of what we do here as admin and mods.
    So, calm down Dave - it's only a contest and as I've pointed out on this or another thread...the choices we made were "also" on the thread where people (some young and fresh -unlike me) picked the same shots we did. Yes, there were others but one by one just like in an editing process - certain ones were eliminated for one reason or another plus the consensus then whittled it down to the choices that were announced.
    You really need to realize that "your" "opinion" is not bible. Just take a look at each week's POW (photo of the week). You will see "opinions" varying from loving the image to hating the image and they are all backed up by details as to why. Does that make one person wrong and another right. One person better than another?
    I've learned much on the POW because there were times I hated an image and someone like Tony Dummit or another super talented photographer would chime in as to why it was a great image. Rather than think he's just not valid in his opinion... I learned something. I may still "not like" the image but I learned to understand why it was a great image. There is a difference between judging based on personal taste and judging for excellence.
  34. The second should've won over the other two; the third shouldn't even have placed by comparison. The first deserved consideration, 2nd or 3rd place.
  35. Mary,
    With all do respect. You were the one that brought up about his experience, as if that has anything to do with knowing what a good image is. You tried to justify the picks by stating the experience factor, when really what it comes down to as stated, ‘is in the eye of the beholder’, and you did mention that a number of times.
    What I meant about the remark “old eyes”, is that if you are trained a certain way or in a traditional way or a strict way. You may not want to break from the norm. Example: years ago if a photo wasn’t level you lost points, now it’s common, also if the head was clipped a little, or the lighting to dark you lost points. I can go on and on.
    That’s what I meant about the remark. I don’t know of, nor have I ever seen any of Jeff Ascough images. And to be honest with you, non of the others I know, know of him. So I can’t say anything about his work nor was I trying to.
    I think it's pretty funny to state that a critic is a person who no longer has the ability to be an artist. So you are saying Jeff Ascough doesn't have ability? I'm choking
    Mary I believe that statement was made by ‘Pablo Picasso’ so don’t choke too much. How could I say that Jeff Ascough doesn’t have ability, when I have never seen his work. Unless you think that I think he would pick something close to his style?
    So, calm down Dave - it's only a contest” “You really need to realize that "your" "opinion" is not bible
    Mary I am calm and I do know it’s only a contest. Also I do know that my opinion is “not the bible”. That’s what I tried to say. Neither are the opinions of the judges. And that’s what it comes down to simple opinion, not experience. That was my point i was making.
    And besides, I think you have Great Eyes, for an old broad ;)))))
    Your friend and bees nest kicker.
  36. I think the shoulder in the first picture is awful and really is not a shot a pro would be proud of.
    I'm sorry, how rude of me! A poor choice of words on my part & I should have kept to myself as I usually do. Ian, judges, I apologize. Nice work to all!
    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt...
    A. Lincoln
  37. The inability of people to state their opinion about a contest without implying that the judges are stupid or clueless or unable to actualy do the thing that they are judging is one of the reasons I have rarely put any effort into running photographic contests on It's one thing to disagree with someone, it's another to do it in a disrespectful fashion.
  38. Dave - just to help you out with who Jeff is
    American Photo listed the top 10 photographers of 2007 and they were:
    Joe Buissink, Jen and Steve Bebb, Jeff Ascough , David Beckstead, Alisha & Brook Todd, Bambi Cantrell, Jerry Ghionis, Kevin Kubota, Christian Oth, and Denis Reggie (the husband and wife teams were counted as one)
    This article is a good read:
    Also You say:
    "What I meant about the remark “old eyes”, is that if you are trained a certain way or in a traditional way or a strict way. You may not want to break from the norm. Example: years ago if a photo wasn’t level you lost points, now it’s common, also if the head was clipped a little, or the lighting to dark you lost points. I can go on and on."
    Interesting and you might want to know that none of us were trained in a "certain way". I was taught by a very talented ex-model who is anything but traditional ;-) I never subscribed to anything near "traditional" wedding photography and was doing "artistic" photo journalism before I knew it was a catch phrase. I only found that out 4 years into my career in a seminar by Denis Reggie. I know Josh and Jeff are also not "trained" in the sense of the word that you describe. Just a clarification. Best not to assume certain things.
    I am quite certain that if you took any three pros and asked them to judge the contest, there would be some that we picked in their pics and others that ended up being eliminated - in their picks. That's just the way it is with opinions. But, the judges were who they were and that's that. IF we do this again, we'll have different judges and I'm sure we'll still all argue about which shots were the best... ;-) I'm getting kind of bored with this discussion - Honestly, there's no point to it except that we're all entitled to our opinions.
  39. I can appreciate the judge's pics and don't want to appear disrespectful about the judging or the contest.....however, Appears to me that the quality level of all the entries has never been better. Many stellar images could have been recognized if we use categories instead of lumping all the submissions together. In the case of the 3 plus years experience group: Fashion/glam: Catherine Oostdyk for "fairy Tale Bride", Portraiture: C Jo Gough's "Flower Girl", Lighting: Art Pinney, Technique: Tie between Sam Ellis & Kenny C for "Silhouettes", and Journalistic Moment: Alison Rushworth. Perhaps have a category strictly for B&W. Or, perhaps we could have added a short list of "Honorable Mentions".
    I realize that alot of this does just boil down to opinions....Personally, I'd like to see more images within the forum and save the contests for WJPA, WPPI, and PPA.
  40. David, I'm not going to go into the judging criteria but I will say that a very strong emotional appeal was factored into the final decisions. When you have - say - 10 or so great images, you then have to find something that makes one image stand out over another. That's the nature of judging. And, IF there had been categories, perhpas the outcome would have been different. But there was not.
    Believe me, I thought of "Honorable Mentions" but can you imagine THAT discussion? Jeez.. We'd have all sorts of comments with 240+ entries about why this one or that one didn't make it.
    If you want more images, David, then you or anyone is free to start a specific inspiration thread. I've said that many times before. There are still Dial up people out there and we keep the information threads relatively free of photos unless they are very pertinant to the subject. The "image" oriented threads are clearly image threads and someone who is dial up can still get their information easily and quickly on the low image or no-image threads.
    For clarification, (again)... The image threads would be something like this:
    "I'm looking for inspiration on doing formals on the alter"
    "Can I see some different treatments for bridal portraits in black and white outdoors"
    "Here is my image of a low light ceremony, I'm not happy with the results, can I see some low light/no flash shots from some of you with info on settings etc."
    "I'm having trouble getting my couples to relax, can I see some fun/romantic - non-stiff couple shots and tell me what you did to loosen them up?"
    But NOT - Here is my last wedding - show me yours. OR, here is my last engagement shot, can I see others.
    Go for it.
    As to saving the contests for WJPA, WPPI etc.. There are more people that liked the contests than did not - but thank you for your opinion.
  41. I'm coming a little late on this, but I would like to congratulate to all three winners. I will also congratulate to all the "losers" as well (myself included!), for good work. It looks I might be a rare species, but another congrat and thanks goes to judges, they had a lot of hard work to do. In their free time, mind you.
    And to all the real losers, who think their work is "sooo much better, and it's oh so not fair"... who cares?! I had a great time, great buzz and guess what? I did not win and I have not lost paying customers!
    Let's have another one!
  42. Great work by all ---but > a little strong on negative comments....for IAN and the others ::: they are candid . You don't move a arm or wait .0003 seconds for that person to move their body from the frame > the image /thought is over by then. If you have the luxury of setting up your shots -- (we just don't do PJ ) then you can perfect the image preshot.
    IAN the image looks to be TRI -X film scanned --nice tones.
    Not sure how many light sources MARC has incorporated in his masterpiece but, wonderfully captured/ seen and his painted light executed to his pro-consistency , that graces our threads. I for one, could not work that hard > would have to raise our rates :)
  43. LOL! C Jo ... there was a gaggle of videographers with on-camera lights filming at the same time ... and a passel of Uncle Bob's firing away. ...lot's of different light sources besides my flash ... you just go with the flow and capture the moment.
  44. it


    Thanks CJ. (It's digital.)
    For the record, I had 'slicker' images this year. This or that for instance. Both got much bigger receptions when I posted them in these online forums.
    But I liked this image, even with its obvious technical imperfections. It's a nice quiet moment, with great light. I also reckoned it would be quite different than most stuff submitted.
  45. I don't want to feed the trolls, but after reading some of the bizarre, unhelpful and critical comments on this and other threads, I just wanted to say again to the judges - thanks so much. You guys put a lot of time and effort in, and all for OUR benefit (I can't see that there would have been much benefit for you - esp with some of the abuse you cop); and it is much appreciated by 99.9% of people on here including myself. I have a huge amount of respect for all of you as photographers and professionals (and derive huge inspiration from you all), and the fact that I even get to have you take the time to look at my work is a blessing to me. Thanks and please know that despite a few people who's posts are probably best skipped over, your time, effort and experience are very much valued.
    You are doing more than your fair share to build and contribute to a community, let's hope that everyone posting from now on can ask themselves the question: "Am I contributing to this community in a positive way? And if not, am I a at least not being destructive towards the community that these people work so hard to contribute to and build?" Respect is an important part of being a community participant.
    Sorry to go all deep. I am living in Victoria, Australia where we have just lost a few hundred lives, thousands and possibly up to a million animals, and thousands of homes to raging bushfires; and I have been so struck by how so many wonderful people have been pulling together to re-build communities; it just made me think that I want to make sure where-ever possible I can be a force for good like those people, and the people on this site who contribute so much of their efforts and spare time to help others and be part of a community. Let's try and only put good in where we can, and to appreciate the good that others do. The internet is a community too - even though we can't see each other. Let's take our responsibility as citizens of this community seriously, and contribute to the world being a better place.
    Peace out : )
  46. lot of time and effort in, and all for OUR benefit (I can't see that there would have been much benefit for you - esp with some of the abuse you cop);
    let's hope that everyone posting from now on can ask themselves the question: "Am I contributing to this community in a positive way? And if not, am I a at least not being destructive towards the community that these people work so hard to contribute to and build?" Respect is an important part of being a community participant.​
    Karina - Thanks so much for saying this. So true. And it is my wish as well. Thanks also for putting things in perspective and my prayers are with all in your country who are suffering losses of life and property.
  47. and from a beginner's viewpoint.. looks like there's some "sour grapes" out there.. and a few 'handbags at dawn' moments... ahem.
    I for one love the competitions, please do more! thanks to the judges and Mary.
    p.s. Marc's pic is my personal winner. That's one for large canvas framing if ever I saw one. If I were them I would be utterly thrilled. fantastic.
  48. Frankly, it boggles my mind that this long thread is so boringly packed with whining, bad manners, poor sportsmanship and negative attacks on some genuinely helpful people ... and almost nothing about photography.
    Proof once again, that no good deed goes unpunished.
    Basically nothing to learn or grow from ... except maybe how not to act.
  49. Thanks for your prayers Mary!
  50. Well I'm really angry that I didn't win and I shal stand hear and stamp my feet until I am declared the winner.
    I'm waiting
  51. Superb! I certainly don't envy the judges. There was a plethora of strong contenders from which to choose...:)
  52. Mary, on a more serious note, You have said the different judges liked different photos, would it be possible to get some "highly commended" selections up here too?
    This would greatly help all photographers who posted to see what direction the judges felt worked. I know I would appreciate this a lot.
  54. Well done ladies and gents. I wish in a few years time I could produce images of this quality! WELL DONE

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