We're officially re-opening the August contest now. Our sincere apologies to the four photographers whose pictures didn't make it in for some confounded reason; please try again in the September contest. We'll keep voting open until 6 p.m. next Friday, the 19th, and we'll announce the winners -- the top three finishers and seven honorable mentions -- on Monday the 22nd. Please pay attention to these rules:
1. Don't cheat. Everybody wants his or her photo to win; we know that. But the photos that should win are the great pictures that deserve recognition -- not the photos that somebody spam-voted for a hundred times. Let your photo compete on the merits. It will hurt your reputation, and the credibility of this site, if photos that clearly are not among the best of the bunch get the most votes.
As we were posting the contest entries, there were a few photos that got a suspiciously high number of comments, far more than any other photos, in an obvious attempt to influence you voters. Because of that, we are monitoring this contest very, very closely, and if we catch even a whiff of attempted sabotage, that photo will be pulled. And there is no appeal.
The Voting Machine does allow you to vote more than once, but that's so that you can vote for more than just 3 different photos if you want. And yes, of course it's natural that friends and family are going to vote for you. Just tell them to curb their enthusiasm so they don't get your photo disqualified.
OK, that's actually the only rule. Go for it!How to use the Voting Machine
First, there are more than 200 photos, so the thumbnails will take a long time to load. Be patient. Go have a sandwich. Or a manicure. If the little light gray boxes don't start to turn dark gray in a reasonable amount of time, or if they get hung up and stop, just refresh the page.
Cursor over each thumbnail to get a medium-sized version, and click to get a big size. Click the X in the upper right corner to reduce it again. Make sure you use the small scrollbar on the right to see ALL of the photos -- remember, there are close to 250!
When you find a photo you like, click and drag it into one of the boxes for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. The choices are weighted, so placement matters. You must choose three photos, but you can't use the same photo in two boxes.
If you change your mind, you can remove your previous choice by clicking on the X in the upper right corner and then sliding in a new photo, or remove all three and start over by hitting the "Reset choices" button at the bottom.
Make sure you click the "Cast vote" button at the bottom for your vote to count.
Voting ends at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19. We'll announce the winners Monday, Sept. 22.