As you know, many of you have had trouble getting the photos you submitted to the past few contests - June's 'My Backyard', July's 'Need for Speed', August's 'Center It', and October's 'The Color Green'. It's a problem that has plagued every department here that uses the photo submit tool, from News to Sports to A&E.
One of our newsroom developers has given us a snippet of code to add in front of the code for the form you fill out to attach and submit your photos. Early reports are that it works. So I've added it to our August and October contest forms; if you have tried to submit a photo, but didn't get a confirmation or see your photo in those galleries, please try again.
Here are the links to those pages:
Sorry for the hassle you've had to endure ... meanwhile, we've signed a contract with a photo-upload company called Cell Journalist whose software we think you'll like. I'll let you know when we switch to that platform.
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With all we have learned about the Rule of Thirds -- and seen how effective it is -- why would you ever center your main subject in a photo? Here's what some of the pros say:
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I think I must have changed my mind at least a dozen times on both the Top 10 and the Top 3 ... so many in the Final 50 had wonderful and redeeming qualities, both in terms of technical characteristics and content.
And in the end, what it should come down to is an image taking the eye directly to the subject matter, not any of the technical issues. If the subject or content is strong enough, has enough meaning, and strikes a response in a viewer, then other things can be overlooked.
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Three rules for Rule of Thirds: Edit in the camera, edit in the camera, and edit in the camera. It is vitally important in photography to pre-visualize, i.e. how and what do you see in a shot or a moment. And, that includes everything from color to emotion to composition and more. And Rule of Thirds is all about composition: Where to position a subject and how to compose a shot are both critical elements to Rule of Thirds.
That being said, there were many extremely lovely images in this round, some that made the Final 50, and some that did not.
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First, August contest news:
Some of you wrote to me asking if the deadline for the August "Rule of Thirds" contest could be extended because so many people in New England were without power for several days after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene struck. And you can lose even more days just getting back to normal after a situation like that.
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The Rule of Thirds is an important rule to know and practice in your photography, one that often yields dynamic, interesting images. (Of course, rules are made to be broken, but you have to master them before you can break them!)
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FIRST PLACE - $100
Comment by judge David Ryan of the Globe staff: "The composition is great, there's wonderful lighting, and the pony looks like it is interacting with the photographer. It's really a nice moment."
(Ed. Note: alphanikonrex is 14-year-old Arman Bilge of Lexington, whose portfolio of photos underwent a Globe Critique by staff photographer Yoon Byun in July, and who captured 3rd place in our Spring Sports contest in June of 2009.)
SECOND PLACE - $50
David's comment: "This is an excellent grouping. Nice cropping as well, with no paws or ears cut off. I also like the near-square format. Very effective."
(Ed. Note: Chris placed 2nd in our May "Landscapes" contest.)
THIRD PLACE - $25
David's comment: "Another great moment that depicts the interaction between a dog and a human, but shown in shadow. Very creative. Not sure I like the vignetting around the edges, possibly from a lens hood, but that's not a big deal; it captured a really wonderful moment."
Here's a full-screen gallery of all Top 10 winners. Congratulations to all!
We have close to 70 photos of stormy weather for our September contest ... you still have 11 days to enter.
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A little curveball today, folks: Barry Chin was unable to judge the contest after all, but we were lucky to get another Globe photo veteran: David L. Ryan, well-known around here for his daredevil willingness to take photos from any heights, anywhere, anytime.
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The deadline to enter the August 'Pets at Play' contest has passed. We'll finish adding your entries to our full-screen galleries over the next few days. If you don't see your photo in our galleries, please read this.
And here's more information about this contest.
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Hey, folks -- several of you have written because you are unsure whether your photo has made it into the contest. Here's some guidance for you.
1.) Check your contest tags to make sure they are:
Boston.com contest August2010 pets
That 4th tag isn't "pets at play" -- it's simply "pets".
2.) Make sure that there are at least 5 photos in your Flickr account. That's the minimum number Flickr requires before it will add your account to its search index.
3.) Make sure your privacy settings allow Flickr to add your account to its search index. On this page, UNcheck all 3 boxes:
4.) Check this page, which is a search on the contest tags, to see if your photo is here. (You can see the tags in the search box.)
5.) If your photo is there, but it's not in one of our full-screen galleries yet, don't worry -- it will get there. We build those galleries manually.
6.) If you have followed Nos. 1, 2, and 3 above, and still don't see your photo on the Flickr search page in No. 4, then write to us at email@example.com, include a link to your photo on Flickr, and we'll check it out.
NOTE: Next month, we're going to try using an in-house photo upload tool built by one of our developers for the monthly contest. That means no Flickr! I'll be interested in hearing what you think about it.
Again, thanks for taking part.
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Okay, so this may seem a little self-serving, but honestly, I'm choosing this theme for you as well.
We've had a couple of challenging assignments in a row (Lines and Curves, Self-Portraits), so let's do one that's also should be challenging, but fun.
In addition, we launched a new Pets section on Boston.com -- that's what's been keeping me so busy -- and I thought a tie-in between RAW and that new section would be interesting.
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Judge Bruno Debas was very impressed by the work of everyone who entered.
The top three winners are:
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There are two Final 50 August contest photos missing from the Voting Machine.
We use Flickr's API to pull your photos into the VM, so please do not remove your contest tags, and please make sure that all of the boxes on this page are UNchecked: http://www.flickr.com/account/prefs/optout/
We'll give those photographers until noon today to fix their photos/accounts, but then we're going to open voting with or without their photos.
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Sorry, folks, but we can't post the Voting Machine yet because as happens every month, some of the finalists have incorrect settings on their Flickr accounts that are preventing us from using Flickr's API to pull their photos into the VM.
I've sent them emails via their Flickr accounts; as soon as they fix things we should be good to go.
Our judge for our August "Architecture" competition, Bruno Debas, has finished choosing the 50 photos from among all the submissions. His comments:
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Our judge for the August "Architecture" contest is Bruno Debas, a professional photographer who divides his time between his commercial photography and teaching.
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The August contest, with the theme "Architecture," closes at midnight Monday, so be sure to get your entries in by then. We already have dozens of spectacular photos. You can see them in these galleries:
Here's more information on the August theme and how to enter the contest.
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We're about to celebrate our one-year anniversary here at RAW, and we're thrilled with the success of the site -- and how so many of you have jumped in to participate, share your photos and tips, and make RAW what it is today.
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A cute yet forlorn doggie looking longingly at Revere Beach while sitting next to the sign banning her from joining the fun proved a winner for RAW readers, who voted this photo by photographer Rich Gurska First Place in our August photo contest, which had the theme, "At the beach". The award comes with $100 prize.
What's remarkable about this photo, other than the touching subject and nice composition, is that it was taken with a cell phone camera. Rich writes:
"I was walking my daughter's 12-week-old puppy, named Reina -- a beagle, Boston terrier, Chinese crested powder puff mix. When we approached this break in the wall, she turned and sat down on the cool sand in the shade of the wall. The only camera I had was my Samsung Alias camera phone, so I shot away hoping for the best."
RAW readers thought it was the best of all 238 entries, so congratulations. And now for the rest of the prizes:
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