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January contest

January contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 8, 2012 02:17 PM

Hello my patient friends,

Our photo upload tool is finally working again, so I am extending the deadline for the January contest to midnight March 31 so that those who entered, but whose photos didn't show up, can re-submit, and those of you who didn't enter have a chance to.

I'm emailing everybody whose entries showed up with no photo so you can re-submit.

Here's the link to the original entry, with a link to the upload gallery at the bottom:

http://www.boston.com/community/photos/raw/2012/01/january_theme_whats_that_v3.html


I'll also post the theme for April.

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Contests update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 9, 2012 10:47 AM

Hi folks,

I wanted to let you know that the reason I haven't posted the February theme yet is that we are having technical difficulties with our photo upload tool. In fact, I'll have to extend the deadline for the January contest because several photos did not come through with some of the contest submissions you made.

The developer who built the tool for us is working on the issue along with our system administrators, and I hope things are back on line soon. Meanwhile, we'll get past contests judged -- including last year's Scavenger Hunt -- and announce a new theme as soon as the tool is working again.

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January theme: "What's That?" v.3

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 9, 2012 12:11 PM

It's our recurring January theme: Take a photo in which an object is difficult to identify. We then hold a follow-up contest asking people to guess what the item is ... and award prizes to those whose guess is correct or comes the closest.

These were the winners in 2010 and 2011:

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'What's That?' guessing game winners

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 9, 2011 03:54 PM

I've heard back from all but one of the Top 10 winners in the "What's That" contest - those who had the best, most intriguing, most mysterious photos.

We looked over all of your guesses and chose those that came the closest. I have added the winners names to the Comments section of each of the photo blog entries where you guessed.

Thanks a lot for taking part, and congratulations to all of the winners.

You can find all of the blog entries here.

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Guessing game update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 4, 2011 11:38 AM

We'll close guesses for the January 'What's That?' Top 10 photos at 2 p.m. today. Then I'll consult with the photographers to choose the winners, and I'll post the results Monday.

Thanks for joining in!

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It's time to start guessing!

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 27, 2011 02:56 PM

It's finally time to start guessing what the Top 10 images are. Please read the guidelines carefully:

* Please don't cheat by trying to find the photos on the photographers' Flickr accounts. That's not good sportsmanship.

* If you are one of the finalists, please don't tip off a relative, friend, or neighbor about your photo. I know these RAW insulated mugs are like gold, but please play fair.

* Finalists are welcome to post a guess on each other's photos.

* You can post a guess on as many of the 10 photos as you like, but only one guess per person per photo.

* Be as specific as possible. The difference between winning a valuable RAW mug or not may be how well you describe what you think the photo is.

Sorry to have to sound like a scold, but past experience makes it necessary, I'm afraid. With that out of the way, have at it!

You can find all 10 entries here.

Good luck!

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January 'What's That? contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 27, 2011 11:44 AM

We had a bit of a glitch in the January contest, folks, which is why I delayed posting the Top 10 winners for you to guess. I had to disqualify the 2nd place finisher because he didn't take his photo during the month of January 2011.

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January 'What's That?' contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 03:00 PM

FIRST PLACE - $100

01DeWitt.jpg

Photo by Timothy DeWitt of Chilmark

Judge John Blanding of the Globe Staff said: "This is a scary photo! It has a human element, yet I don't know what it is. The photographer got this shot at just the right angle to use the light really well."

SECOND PLACE - $50

02Brogini.jpg

Photo by Simone Brogini of Quincy

John Blanding said: "This photo has beautiful colors. Many of the photos were one color; this one conveys fun with the whole rainbow - the prismatic effect. It's captivating."

THIRD PLACE - $25

03Cianfarani.jpg

Photo by Lynn Cianfarani of Saratoga Springs, NY


Here's a gallery of all Top 10 winners. Congratulations!

AND NOW ... more fun begins. I'll post the Top 10 winners in separate entries at noon tomorrow, and as soon as those links are live on the RAW homepage, you can start guessing what the items are. The descriptions that come closest to what the object is, and is posted first, will be the winner. I'll have each photographer choose the winner. Please -- just one guess per person.

I'll send the 10 winners a cool RAW insulated mug. Woo-hoo!


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January 'What's That' contest Top 25

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 13, 2011 09:31 PM

Ah, another great contest with some amazing photos. And our judge, John Blanding of the Globe Photo Staff, had a good time making his choices. He told me, "As someone who has photographed rotting food in my kitchen sink, I love this kind of photography!"

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Last call for 'What's That?' entries

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 31, 2011 04:57 PM

The January 'What's That?' photo contest ends at midnight today ... we have 118 submissions so far. Remember, your photos is supposed to be unrecognizable. Once our judge chooses the Top 10, we'll hold another contest and ask you to guess the item in the photos -- and we'll award some nice trinkets to those winners.

Here's the description of the contest, and here's the form to enter.

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January contest theme: 'What's That?'

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 1, 2011 12:00 PM
01OllieGapperSmokeLaden.jpg
Air bubble in a tealight candle holder by Ollie Gapper
First-place winner in last year's "What's That" contest


One photographer shot an air bubble in a candle holder (above). Another shot his own reflection in a cheese grater. Others took pics of olive oil, ice crystals, a martini glass, a Mac screensaver, a paperweight, glass containers, and even theater seat shadows.

In other words, creativity was on full display a year ago when we ran this same contest. The challenge is to take a photo of an object that is difficult to identify. It can be an extreme close-up, part of an object, or just something odd.

Be as tricky as you'd like, but make sure it's still a good photo. Since the judge won't know what the object is, your photos will be judged on technical merits. So use lighting, shadows, composition, lines, and angles to create a visually arresting image.

BONUS CONTEST: After the judge has chosen her or his Top 10, we'll post each photo in a separate entry so everybody can post comments guessing what the object is. The first person to guess correctly for each of the 10 photos will win a nice RAW insulated mug and a thumb drive.

SIMPLE RULES

1. Your photo MUST be taken this month.

2. One photo per photographer.

3. The deadline is midnight Jan. 31.

Enter here: Photo gallery and contest form

And Happy New Year!

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The winning guesses for the January contest

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 18, 2010 08:00 AM

The photographers have looked over the guesses, we've had some discussions about those guesses, and now it's time to reveal the names of the 10 people who came the closest to correctly identifying the subject of the Top 10 winning photos in our January "What's That?" contest. It was quite challenging, and some of the guesses were very entertaining.

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The January 'What's That?' Top 10 winners

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 16, 2010 08:32 AM

Abstracts, colors, shapes, ambiguity, and mystery marked the Top 10 winners in our January "What's That?" competition. Our judge, Philip Greenspun, made his final choices over the weekend and added comments to each of the winning images.

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The January 'What's That?' Final 40

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 10, 2010 08:00 AM

Technically excellent, artistically abstract, impressively composed. That's what our judge, Philip Greenspun, saw in your January "What's That?" contest entries. After examining all four galleries, he decided to choose 40 as finalists. Those photographers can revel in that honor for a few days; we'll post the Top 10, including First, Second, and Third Place, on Monday.

His comments:

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Meet our January judge: Philip Greenspun

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 9, 2010 10:11 AM
 
Philip Greenspun and Alex
Philip Greenspun and Alex
(Photo by Elsa Dorfman)

He founded a community photography site that's one of the most successful such sites on the Web. He starts companies, nurtures them to success, and sells them. He flies helicopters. Oh, yeah -- he also teaches at MIT.

Meet the judge for our January "What's That?" contest -- Philip Greenspun.

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January contest entries finished

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 05:57 PM

We've downloaded all of the January contest entries from Flickr and put them in four full-screen galleries. Please look through the galleries to make sure your photo is there.

We're starting the judging later this week, so please check quickly.

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January 'What's That?' 10th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:10 AM

davefitz46Photo by davefitz46


And the winner is ...

Linda, who guessed "glass bottle with writing."

davefitz says: "It is an old glass bottle of Hood's Sarsaparilla with the name embossed on it."

He shot this with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with an exposure of 1/500 sec. at f/7.1, ISO 1600, and a focal length of 100mm.



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January 'What's That?' 9th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:09 AM

Paul BroderickPhoto by Paul Broderick

And the winner is ...

Jennifer Bennett, who guessed "a green decorative bowl."

Paul the photographer writes: "My ninth place entry is a photo of a decorative salad bowl/plate made with two sheets of regular window glass with a common doily between the two sheets. The white decoration is the doily.

"The plate was shaped into a design that allows deviled eggs to sit on the scalloped rim with potato salad or other salad in the bowl. My wife also puts cocktail shrimp in the scalloped rim and cocktail sauce in the bowl.

"The first person to mention 'a glass bowl' was KGibbs. But I feel the added description of 'decorative' puts Jennifer's entry into the winner's circle.

"I just want to add that this contest was a lot of fun not only for me, as a Top 10 finisher, but also for the many people who took time to view, inspect, and enter the contest."

(I love publishing compliments.)

Paul used a Nikon D90 with an exposure of 1/200 sec. at f/25, ISO 200, and focal length of 105mm.



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January 'What's That?' 8th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:08 AM

KayshinePhoto by Kayshine

And the winner is ...

Pat Glennon, whose incredibly detailed description of what this photo depicts elevated his guess over those whose guesses were correct, but not as detailed.

"He specifically named each element of the photo, i.e. theater seats, arm rests, and cupholders," Kayshine wrote. "It was the armrests & cupholders that created the alien-like shadows. Unfortunately, previous guesses named only the theater seats.

"Thank you to the staff. And to the judge: a special thanks for the encouraging comments."

Kayshine used a Fujifilm FinePix F20 with an exposure of 1/4 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 2000, and focal length of 8mm.


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January 'What's That?' 7th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:07 AM

zen grannyPhoto by zen granny


And the winner is ...

Deirdre Wingell, who guessed that this image portrays the inside of a Murano glass-type paperweight.

"While it is not specifically a Murano glass paperweight, it is the inside of a glass paperweight," zen granny writes. "It is the same type of glass paperweight as a Murano, although a very cheap version!"

The photographer used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an exposure of 1/250 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 400, and a focal length of 100mm.



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January 'What's That?' 6th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:06 AM

Dancer72Photo by Dancer.72


And the winner is...

michpc, who correctly guessed that this is a photo of the "Flurry" screensaver on a Mac. Others knew it was a Mac screensaver, but michpc was the first to provide the essential detail of which screensaver it was.

"What a great theme!" Dancer wrote. "I had a great time trying to find something to use for a subject, as well as trying out some different angle shots and macro techniques."

Dancer used a Canon EOS 5D with an exposure of 1/250 at f/4, ISO 1600, and a focal length of 55mm.



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January 'What's That?' 5th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:05 AM

Michael BufisPhoto by Michael Bufis


And the winner is:

Steven, who guessed a martini glass with a blue base.

"This shot was taken looking into a glass lying on its side," writes Michael the photographer. "It's a clear parfait or dessert glass with a blue scalloped rim, clear stem, and blue disk-shaped base. The image is of the blue base seen through the clear glass with the center formed by the stem.

"Although it is not a martini glass, the closest and earliest guess was posted by Steven. Here's a link to the original shot before it was cropped. (Unfortunately, I broke the glass during the shoot).

"I chose that answer because it was the only one that specifically referenced glass with a blue base; many of the others that mentioned glass thought the glass was colored."

Michael used a Nikon D90 with an exposure of 1/250 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 200, and a focal length of 170mm.


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January 'What's That?' 4th Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:04 AM

cheryl.rose83Photo by cheryl.rose83

And the winner is:

ChelleR, whose simple answer of ice crystals ended up being the most accurate -- and first.

Cheryl the photographer writes: "The photo actually shows a thin layer of ice hovering over the edge of a stream. The sun hit the ice crystals, making them white, and the dark water shows through the clear parts of the ice.

"I think I have to go with the simplest answer -- #5 ice crystals. It did not show reeds, grass, gouges or cracks and it was not on glass."

Cheryl shot this with a Sony DSC-H7 with an exposure of 1/320 sec. at f/4, ISO 100, and a focal length of 19mm.


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January 'What's That?' 3rd Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:03 AM

03LBpicsWhatsThat.jpg

Photo by LBpics

And the winner is ...

Jill Henry,
who wins because Sara already won the Second Place photo guessing contest!

Sara's description was the most detailed and absolutely accurate: "This is a close up of a cheese grater. While the photographer is captured in the reflection of the metal grater, that isn't where the focus lies as the pierced holes are the most in focus ... it almost appears as though the holes that are in focus are the second layer in a 3-D grater (not a single sheet grater). So we are looking through/past the holes in the first layer to be able to see the exposed holes in the second layer."

Since we said that guessers couldn't win on two photos, we moved on to the next candidates.

Erica was the first one to guess cheese grater, but Jill's detail that "the photographer focused on his own reflection rather than the grater to good effect" was a specific detail that tipped the scale in her favor.

But given that "cheese grater" was a tough item to discern from the photo (tougher than say, the oil on water of the Second Place photo), our photographer asked that we send Erica a prize pack, too. Done.

LB the photographer writes, "The cheese grater does have multiple sides and I was focusing in on the holes in the back layer."

LB used a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT with an exposure of 1/13 sec. at f/4.5, ISO 1600, and a focal length of 34mm.


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January 'What's That?' 2nd Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:02 AM

02Carl_ReidMystery125.jpg

Photo by Carl_Reid


And the winner is ...

Sara, who wrote, "I think this is a layer of (olive? veggie?) oil on water ... probably in a holographic container that is relatively flat due to clarity. The oil has been stirred to call separate circles and different sizes."

That was the closest guess, Carl said: "It is olive oil on water and I've used some holographic wrapping paper to provide the background colours!"

Carl shot this photo with a Samsung GX10 using an exposure of 1/20 sec. at f/8, ISO 100, and a focal length of 105mm.



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January 'What's That?' 1st Place photo

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2010 08:01 AM

01OllieGapperSmokeLaden.jpgPhoto by OllieGapper


And the winner is ...

Paul Hughes, who correctly guessed that this is a photo of an air bubble in a tealight candle holder. "The others were so close," Ollie wrote, "but as you said, specifics matter."



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Your January "What's That?" contest entries

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 25, 2010 09:39 AM

It's amazing how gorgeous ordinary objects can be when photographed just so.

All you have to do is look over the entries in this month's "What's That?" contest to see that in the hands of skilled photographers, even a speck of dust can be a thing of beauty.

The deadline draws near for the January contest, in which we asked you to take unusual shots of familiar items (or not so familiar) in such a way that most observers would scratch their heads.

This was a challenge; not only does your photo have to be taken this month, but the style of photography may be a first for many of you.

We have posted all eligible photos in four full-screen galleries here:

Gallery 1 | Gallery 2 | Gallery 3 | Gallery 4

We had to eliminate 7 photos because they weren't taken this month, and two others because they were from the same photographer (but as soon as he removes the contest tags from one we'll add the remaining photo to our full-screen galleries).

Meanwhile, if you haven't entered yet, get moving: As I said earlier, the photo must be shot this month. So your photo must be taken and uploaded to Flickr by midnight Sunday, Jan. 31.

If you want to jump in, all the details about the contest as well as instructions on how to enter are right here.

E-mail any questions you have to raw@boston.com

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January contest theme: What's That?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 4, 2010 10:19 AM

I was thinking of calling the theme "Mystery Meat", but then I figured I really would get a lot of shots of Spam-like substances. The idea is to take a photo of an object that is difficult to identify. It can be an extreme close-up, part of an object, or just something odd.

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Winners of the January "Cold" contest

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 17, 2009 06:00 AM
 
FIRST PLACE -- $100

Vermont Snow Storm

"It makes me want to sit in front of a fireplace!" was how Globe assistant chief photographer John Blanding summed up his feelings about the First Place winner in our January contest, which had the theme of "Cold."

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January contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 13, 2009 05:20 PM

OK, voting for the January contest has ended ... Globe photographer John Blanding will look over the Final 50 once again, see how you voted, and then choose the Top 10 winners. I'll post the winners Tuesday morning.

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The Final Fifty Gallery

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 8, 2009 12:43 PM

John Blanding, the Globe's assistant chief photographer who judged this month's contest, loved the range and variety of photos you submitted for the January theme of "Cold". He was impressed by the level of detail of some pictures, liked some that included a human or animal element, and marveled at the black-and-whites: "The contrast and strong tones really came across well," he said.

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Contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 6, 2009 02:55 PM

Look for the main gallery to be finished today, and over the weekend, look for a Final 50 gallery as well as several other entries on various items -- exhibits, etc.

We'll post the Voting Machine Monday morning and open voting for 5 days ... so when the Final 50 gallery is posted, look over the photos carefully so you're ready to make the best choices ... yours and two others, right?

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Your January contest entries - Part Deux

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 5, 2009 03:13 PM

The Flash gallery became too big for this blog software to handle, so I had to split it in two. This gallery contains some photos that were in the Part I gallery, along with more recent pictures I have posted. It's now complete. I'll post a gallery of the Final 50 photos over the weekend, then we'll open voting Monday morning.

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Your January contest entries - Part One

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 5, 2009 03:09 PM

This gallery was getting so large that I had to split it in two. Some of the photos that were in this gallery are now in Gallery Part Deux (in the entry above this one), along with new photos -- with more to come. This gallery now contains just the first 125 photos I posted. I won't add any more photos to this gallery, just to Part Deux.

I also moved the gallery into the extended entry field to get its weight off the RAW homepage, so from the homepage, click through to see it.

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January contest a record-breaker

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 30, 2009 03:30 PM

There are 249 entries sitting in Flickr for the January "Cold" contest -- the most ever, although I haven't de-duped multiple photos from the same person, if there are any. Our very first contest, "At the beach" last August, drew 238 entries, so let's see if we can't beat that mark.

A reminder: The deadline is midnight tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 31). We'll give Flickr a few days to find new accounts, then I'll ask photographer John Blanding to winnow the field to the best 50 for you to vote on.

I'll start posting the entries this afternoon and keep adding.

Meanwhile, Essdras Suarez of the Globe staff critiqued a portfolio yesterday; we'll post that early next week. And I have a tipsheet from Mark Wilson about taking photos in the cold -- how apt! I'll also get that posted ASAP.

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January contest theme: Cold

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 11, 2008 02:43 PM
 
Cold Bird
Even a red-winged blackbird could see its breath as it sang in Woolwich, Maine.
Associated Press File Photo by Robert F. Bukaty

Now that's cold! You chose Cold as the theme for the January contest, and we're opening entries now -- no need to wait until Jan. 1.

How can you illustrate cold?

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