Monthly Archives November 2018

The above photo by the insanely talented Robby Klein

I never know how to begin, but it’s definitely an honor to be back here on Scott’s website doing a guest blog. The entire photo community is better because Scott is in it. He’s as good a communicator and educator as he is a human being and a friend, so thank you Scott (and Brad) for having me.

You may know me from previous posts, or perhaps you’ve seen me in the background helping some photographers much more talented than myself (like the awesome Robby Klein who took the photo of me), but people usually know me as a sports guy. And yes, most of my living comes from shooting sports. If you are disappointed to find that today I won’t be talking about sports, hit me up on Instagram and we can talk sports all day long.

Today I want to talk to you about a job I recently did for the international non-profit organization BGR. It has always been my desire to do this type of humanitarian work, and I am thrilled to share some images from my time in Guatemala earlier this month. As with any organization, visual content is needed to both document the current projects and increase awareness of the work being done. In addition to this, I was helping to create stills content for their gift catalog that I will talk about later. As you could imagine, I was thrilled when they chose me to help them with their mission and tell some of their stories. 

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Happy #TravelTuesday one and all, from freezing-cold Iceland! (Selfie attached as proof. ;) I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here, as always, to lay down a little light on something photographic! If you’d like to see what I’m up to in Iceland as well, take a look at the KelbyOne Instagram Story, while I take over this week.

 

 

Our photographs are sometimes like evidence of a place, or a time, or a situation. In fact, they’re more than that. Photos can speak to our heart and soul; that’s why we get that warm, fuzzy feeling when we see a photo we really love and can’t take our eyes away from it. There are so many photographers out there sharing their work for all the right reasons, and it’s often an overwhelmingly large arena, what with Instagram, 500PX, and Flickr, not to mention Facebook, Twitter, and blogs all hosting an enormous array of emotive, purposeful images that people want the world to see. It’s often true to say that we communicate through our images, and those images can be seen by a whole world of people not known to us.

It’s not only a way of sharing our passion, though. Another thing I’ve noticed a lot is how much it invokes creativity, and I often receive messages from people asking how to take similar photos—it’s because sharing creativity inspires further creativity, not only to others but also in ourselves. When we figure out how to take a certain type of photo, we feel a sense of achievement and pride and it makes us feel good. It makes us want to do it again. Our attention grabbed, our emotions prodded, these photos really can move us. Photography is a powerful language, and it shows the world how we see things.

Another thing that’s both important and powerful in photography is the memory and legacy involved. When I shot weddings, I always used to explain to clients that it is important to have a printed album because in years to come, when children and grandchildren are looking at the photos, there’s that moment when they’re taken from the attic, the dust is blown off, and the photos are felt. They’re tangible. It’s a physical memory, as well as a pictorial reference. It’s the old printed photos of our history and our family history that we look at now, and it’ll still be those printed photos that we look at for generations to come. Those frozen moments of our lives are significant and special and are another part of photography.

 

 

One final piece of this intricately simple explanation of why photography is so important is because—and this may blow your mind—they tell us what is important. The ones we value represent the things that are important to us, and are important in our lives. What we shoot means something to us; what we keep out of what we shoot means even more.

Much love

Dave

Last Friday I announced the Grand Prize Winner and then prize-winning finalists from this year’s Worldwide Photo Walk, but there are some other images that, while they didn’t wind up winning a prize, were still so good that I thought they needed some special recognition, so I wanted to share some of these images in an “Honorable Mentions” post here to celebrate these images which are so good they deserve to be recognized.

Note: You could make a case for any of these to have been chosen as a finalist (in fact, all of these images were in the running and on my short list at one point which gives you an idea of how hard it is making the final decisions. There are just so many wonderful images again this year).

Congratulations to all these photographers below who created such wonderful images; all within a short time span, in a location they didn’t choose, at a time they didn’t choose, on a route they didn’t choose, while navigating their way through a group of other photographers in the same location. That’s a tough thing a do, and another reason why these images taken during the walk are officially receiving an Honorable Mention:

Warrington, Whitesbog Village, USA
Photo By: Ashwin Chathuruthy
My Comment: This is so serene, but beyond that — the color is just spot on. The warm tones, with the red paddles, and the nice post processing — they all come together in this shot. 

Singapore
Photo By: Liew-Tong-Leng
My Comment: I love the expression (of course), but the fact that they’re on that floor creates a scene that would be home in the movies (even an animated one). Just lovely. 

Philippines
Photo By: Justin Ambrosio
My Comment: When your photo walk is very early in the morning, you get the opportunity for beautiful skies, and then you put a clear subject (very necessary for a silhouette) and you come away with a really nice shot. 

Fasa, Iran
Photo By: Mehdi Kazemi Boomeh
My Comment: I love the composition here, with the children way off to the side, but the ball in mid-air is the icing on the top of this wonderful shot. Nicely done (and a great eye for composition).

Shahid Zangeneh, Iran
Photo By: Reza Zangeneh
My Comment: I know — we’ve seen this type of shot each year in the Photo Walk, but there’s a reason we keep seeing these types of shots — they’re interesting. Nice black and white conversion here, too.

Worcester, USA
Photo By: Ben Woodbury
My Comment: This was one of my favorites and just narrowly missed making the finals. It’s tough to make a still life like this intriguing, but there’s just something about this one. The texture, the color, that still swatch of yellow on the bucket. The color just all works so well here. I love it!

Hyattsville, Maryland, USA
Photo By: Will Taylor
My Comment: I love the symmetry of this image and the post-processing helps pull it over the top. Nice.

Mashhad, Iran
Photo By: Mehran Kariman
My Comment: This is some nice timing, and if only for a moment, it still creates the illusion that those are real shadows. Good eye and I imagine it looks a bit of patience and timing, too. 

Columbus, Ohio, USA
Photo By: Andrew Kimmel
My Comment: Great perspective, nice light, and nice post. Just nice. 

Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo By: Lindsay Umrysh
My Comments: It is really, really, challenging to make a fresh shot of a landmark that’s been “shot to death” but this photographer did it.  

Angono, Rizal, Philippines
Photo By: Kyle Francisco
My Comments: What a joyful shot (and the black and white treatment looks very appropriate here, too). 

Qum, Iran
Photo By: Pedrammosavi
My Comments: This is one of the most intriguing shots of the day — look at the different looks on the faces of the men here. It’s a documentary shot taken during a photo walk. wow. 

Cairo, Egypt
Photo By: Ahmed Abdelkader
My Comments: This one just puts a smile on your face. :)

Cebu City, Philippines
Photo By: Neil Caipang
My Comments: Great light and a great point of view through the vehicle. The black and white works so well here.  

Skrzyszów, Poland
Photo By: Damian Szewczyk
My Comments: She looks so determined. So purposeful. The black and white works so well. It’s cute or creepy, not sure which, but I do know this –  it belongs in this group. 

Seattle, Washington, USA
Photo By: Janet Conrad
My Comments: Great color, texture, and post-processing. I’m not generally a fan of the “rust” craze, but I sure do like this shot. 

Depto, Chile
Photo By: Natalia Cea
My Comments: The light really makes this one. Cool shot. 

Muscat, Oman
Photo By: Rajesh Kumar
My Comments: I love the color, the scale with our subject way down the hallway, and the overall composition, showing so much of the top of the image. 

Innsbruck, Austria
Photo By: Fernando Santos
My Comments: This was taken during the photo walk I hosted in Innsbruck, and I can tell you, I sure didn’t see this shot. Well done. 

Shiraz, Iran
Photo By: Zahra Dashtbashi
My Comments: What a great subject, and what great timing. The gesture takes it over the top. Really nicely done. 

Panchkula, India
Photo By: Viraj Mehta
My Comments: Come on…this is awesome!

Orlando, Florida USA
Photo By: Russ Weiderhold
My Comments: Her pose is just so right for this background. I like the post, too. Just a cool shot.  

Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
Photo By: Alfons Trigas
My Comments: This one looks like it was taken on a movie set. I love shots where you want to know the rest of the story and this is certainly one of those. Very cinematic. 

London, United Kingdom
Photo By: Andrew Newman
My Comments: This is such a clean shot — I love the ultra-wide composition and simplicity of it all. It looks like a commercial shot. Well done.

Pickering, Canada
Photo By: Geoffrey Inniss
My Comments: This isn’t an easy shot to get during a photo walk, but he nailed it. 

Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA
Photo By: Cindy Gaab
My Comments: I really enjoy shots where the subject is color, and you could say this one qualifies, but the patterns and symmetry help make this an even more interesting shot. 

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Photo By: David Rizzico
My Comments: Blurry shots are tough to make look good because most of them look like an accident. This one doesn’t — it looks very intentional and very good. Nice job!

Well done!
My hearty congratulations to all these photographers on creating such wonderful images that they deserved special recognition here on the blog. We still have the winner of our Leaders Competition (lots of great shots — another tough one to judge)  to go. It’s such a treat getting to enjoy so many great images!

Hope you all have an awesome Monday!

All my best,

-Scott

The judging part keeps getting harder
Imagine trying to pick one winner…from nearly 1,000 walks all around the world, and every image you’re looking at has already won a contest just to be considered — each image is the winning image from a local photo walk. It’s so challenging and frustrating to narrow it down to just 10 finalists and one Grand Prize winner. There are so many images that deserve to be in this list, but narrowing things down is what I have to do today, and I’m delighted to present to you this year’s 10 finalists and our 2018 Grand Prize winner.

Note: If you want to learn more about the judging process, and how I came down to picking these images, scroll to the bottom of this post. 

Here are this year’s Top 10 Finalists (in no particular order):

By Janos Leo Andanar (Dapa, Philippines)
There is such joy in this image. Some of the children are aware of the photographer, but none of them are posing, and the backlighting is awesome, and the color is vibrant without being over the top — it just all came together for this shot. The photographer probably took dozens of shots of this scene, but the timing and position of the kids on top makes it a really special frame. Very well done.

By Marco Van Apeldoorn (Haarlem, The Netherlands)
It’s tough to make a really captivating shot of reflections on a car, but this photographer pulled it off big time! Great color and composition, and a really intriguing image. This would make a great desktop background image.

By Elousagun (Candon, Philippines)
This is just such a cool shot, and the outfit our subject is wearing just fits so perfectly into this scene. I loved it the moment I saw it. If I had taken this image, I already know what I would title it. “Top shelf!” Such a cool shot.

By Prapoport (São Paulo, Brazil)
This one should be used in college courses on composition. The placement of the subject in the frame, and the colors surrounding our subject, and the arrows on the ground and above our subject, and the way the buildings are leaning in from the fisheye lens — this is really a special image. Great, great eye!

By Alfie Narisma (Doha, Qatar – Pinoy Shooters Club)
This is just a really intriguing shot, and I’m not usually drawn to photos of people taking photos, but in this case, it just works. Also, I’m usually not of fan of the flat-looking post-processing that’s going on here, but it so perfectly suits the shot — it really helped take an interesting image and move it up a big notch.

By Jing Esteban (Downtown Boise, Idaho, USA)
How beautiful is this? The light, the colorful, the movement — it all comes together in this gorgeous shot. Very nicely done!

By Debora Suterko (Claremont, California, USA)
This is such a peaceful, beautiful, timeless image. So simple — yet it makes you want to not only see what’s inside, it makes you want to be inside, with its art on the easel and fresh flowers in your foreground. Beautiful light, very nicely post-processed. Great capture all around.

 

By Susan Chapel (Belcrum Breda, The Netherlands)
I know this “person standing there looking at art” has been done many times before, but I think this one is particularly intriguing for a number of reasons. I love how our subject shows the sheer scale of the image, and I love that it’s a woman looking at these images because it really makes you wonder what she’s thinking about them. Compositionally, not only is she in the perfect position, but the way her blond hair pops on that dark background immediately draws you to her. There’s more going on here than you see at first glace. Top job.

By Jer-Sandel (Bulacan, Philippines)
Of course, the color is amazing, and for a silhouette to really work, you have to immediately be able to identify what the shapes are, and you certainly do here, but the gesture of the little boy on the left — that takes it over the top. Such a great photo.

 

By ValeriaBD (Copenhagen, Denmark)
I kept looking at this image again and again, and I kept coming back to it. The reflections are just so amazing here — this photographer has a really great eye for composition, balance, and for taking something simple and making it really captivating.

And the GRAND PRIZE WINNER is…

Who wins all the stuff below, and more…

Is this image:

By Omar Shebl (Alexandria, Egypt)
There is just so much going on in this simple shot. A living legend of photography, Jay Maisel says it in his seminal book “Light, Gesture, and Color” and this shot has it all. The light is so appropriate without calling attention to itself. The color tones, from the color of their skin to the dominos to the board to the table to the floor — they’re almost too perfect, and both player’s gestures are so opposite of each other that it gives you a hint as to each players personality. Add a wonderful shooting perspective and you feel like you’re right there in the middle of all it. This was an instant stand-out to me, and I knew from the start the photographer had captured something very special. I love it.

How I do the judging
I look at every single winning image from all the walks around the world. I do find that the great shots jump right out at you, and I make those as picks to go back and look at again. I was able to get down to 106 shots after going through all of them. That’s a big cut, but a very long way from 10 finalists and one winner.

I try not to be swayed simply because an image was taken in an exotic location or somewhere I’ve never been or never seen — I wanted to pick a photo, simple composition or not, easy to capture or not, post-processed brilliantly or not — that is simply special. Maybe it’s the right light, expression or mood, or story or a combination — I search for whatever that certain something is that makes me come back to it again and again — and  I want to give every image fair and open-minded consideration.

What makes this process harder is that these are already curated. Each image was already judged and chosen as a “winner” by the local walk leaders, from nearly 1,000 walks. Narrowing it down — it’s just so hard, and you second and third-guess your choices along the way because you want to give every image a fair shake.

You could easily make a case for hundreds of images to be chosen as finalists, but you only get to choose 10, and one Grand Prize winner, and you finally just have to make a choice. It is literally one of the hardest things I do each year, but also one of the most rewarding because I get to see so many great images during the process. I hope that gives you a little insight into my judging process.

Even though this round of judging is over …
We still have our Leader’s Competition winner coming next week and I always list my ‘Honorable Mentions’ (images that are so good that even though they didn’t win a prize, still deserve recognition). So, while this is the official announcement of the Top-10 Finalists and the Grand Prize winner, the competition phase still has a few more components left.

Thanks to Canon USA and all our sponsors
Special thanks to our Premier Sponsor, Canon USA, (who gave us some amazing Canon prizes) and to Adobe Systems, Peachpit Press, Tamron, and B&H Photo — thanks for all your support this year and for offering such awesome prizes to our winners. We are very grateful.

Thanks to our Walk Leaders
It’s a lot of work, and a thankless job, so let me be the first to say “thanks.” We couldn’t do any of this without our volunteer walk leaders around the world, who do such a great job of creating the walk; working with the walkers, and making the whole thing happen on the local level, and that means a lot.

My personal thanks to our own Jeanne Jilleba, who did an amazing job again this year of keeping the communication flowing, working with the leaders and managing walks in nearly 1,000 locations all over the globe. It’s a very challenging job, but she does it like a boss and I’m very proud of the job she does (even better this year than next). Thank you, Jeanne — we are all indebted for all your hard work and dedication to making the photo walk a success.

Lastly, thanks to all the talented photographers from around the world
who created such inspiring, creative, and beautiful work, and special thanks to those of you who contributed to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya — it means more than you know.

More to come as we reveal more winners next week.

All my best,

-Scott

This is our third year with a “Video shot during the photo walk” category, and Canon USA (our awesome sponsor) has once again come up with an amazing package for the winner of this category. The Video Category winner receives:

The Canon Video Creator Kit (seen above). The kit includes a Canon EOS 80D Body; a Canon 18-135mm lens;Canon Power Zoom Adapter; RODE VideoMic Go; a 32G SD Card, and all the other goodies (battery, charger, strap, etc.).

High-five to our friend Rob Altman of Canon USA for his vision and support for our video category — Canon has been our main sponsor for a number of years now, and they are an absolutely AWESOME sponsor. Big thanks to everyone at Canon USA who helps make this annual event happen.

OK, let’s get right to it — we’ll start with the winner, and then I’m going to share a few other videos that, while they didn’t win any prizes, I thought they deserved an honorable mention.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Winner: Three Blind Men & an Elephant Productions
Photo Walk: New York City Highline

NOTE: I think they did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of a Photo Walk. Very well done! :)

And now for our Honorable Mentions
(other videos that while they aren’t prize winners, still deserve some recognition):

Honorable Mention (and best documentary): Hesham
Photo Walk: El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo, Egypt

Honorable Mention: Roberto Pisco
Photo Walk: Innsbruck, Austria

Honorable Mention (and best cinematography): @chknss
Photo Walk: San Antonio, Chile

Honorable Mention: Ronan Colin
Photo Walk: Miami, Florida USA

Honorable Mention: Jerus Oritz
Photo Walk: Bantayan, Philippines 

Honorable Mention: CJ Estrada
Photo Walk: Cebu City, Philippines 

Honorable Mention: Beth Meckly
Photo Walk: Jacksonville, Florida USA

Honorable Mention: Avishek Das
Photo Walk: Calcutta, India

Honorable Mention: Avishek Das
Photo Walk: Albay, Philippines

Thanks for letting me share all of these with you; congrats once again to our prize winner Stefan, and a big, big thanks to the 2017 Worldwide Photo Walk Official Sponsor, Canon USA, for making this video category a reality. :)

Check back Friday Morning for the big reveal of the Grand Prize Winner and Top 10 Finalist!

All my best,

-Scott

 

This is our first year having a mobile-photography category (images taken with a cell phone camera), as part of my Worldwide Photo Walk, and we have some beautiful shots to honor in this new category from some really talented photographers.

We have one winner in the category (below), and after that one, I chose five other images that, while they don’t win a prize, they still deserve an honorable mention:

AND THE WINNER IS…

Winner: Ramy Hikal
Photo Walk: Cairo, Egypt

OUR HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

Honorable Mention: Sana Namawala 
Photo Walk: Muscat, Oman

Honorable Mention: Portia Shao 

Photo Walk: Santa Cruz, California, USA

Honorable Mention: Surendra Patel
Photo Walk: Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Honorable Mention: Foad Gholamshahi
Photo Walk: Homozgan, Iran

Honorable Mention: Mhadse Semiei
Photo Walk: Isfahan, Iran

Congratulations to the wonderful photographers who entered this, our new Mobile Photography category! :)

More contest winners yet to be announced later today and tomorrow!

Best,

-Scott

 

 

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