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Raja Ampat park entrance tag contest - open for public voting!


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#1 segal3

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:28 PM

We received a number of excellent images for the 2008 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Contest - after narrowing down the finalists, we've opened up the competition to public voting!

Time is short - the voting period closes in just over a week, on October 19, 2007, so please be sure to pick your favorite photograph or graphic design.

Vote for the winning tag at the contest page, and congratulations to all the finalists!
Matt Segal - carbonos scuba

#2 n@utilus

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 07:15 AM

"after narrowing down the finalists"

what was the criteria for sorting out so many pictures from the final contest ??

TIA

#3 AllisonFinch

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:29 PM

I am not happy with the "narrowing down". There were many photos that would have been great that were "narrowed down". Maybe they should have let us, the voters do some of the "narrowing down". Especially since they were privy to the who and what of the photos. This leads to some unsavory questions on the criteria of the "narrowing down".
I wonder if this post will be "narrowed down" too.

#4 james

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:35 PM

Hi Allison,

I'm sorry you are disappointed that your entry didn't make it to the judging. It is common practice for most contests to narrow down the entries before they go to the judges, and this was stated in the rules (Section 3).

Sincerely,
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#5 AllisonFinch

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:47 PM

My entries are not the issue. There were many that may have been better than mine. There was a bullocki (other than the one kept in the judging) that was beautifully done that would have looked nice on a tag. There were quite a few others that would have graced a tag well also. It could be argued that a couple that were kept were not as nice as some not chosen.
Please do not make it sound like my dismay is self serving sour grapes. I just feel that the "narrowing down" was a bit too much.

Oh, and I did think it was a photo contest. Two entries were not even photo based. Your post advertising the contest clearly said "If you have the perfect Photo...as seen below.

"We previously announced the introduction of the Raja Ampat park entrance tag system. Now, the Raja Ampat park and Wetpixel present a special opportunity - the 2008 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Contest. If you have the perfect Raja Ampat photo, you have the chance to see your photo printed over 5,000 times and win a complimentary diving package in the Raja Ampat region, courtesy of local dive operators. At the same time, your photo helps support the protection of this diverse marine ecosystem."

Edited by AllisonFinch, 11 October 2007 - 01:55 PM.


#6 echeng

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 05:07 PM

Allison -- I'm sorry that you're not happy with the way the contest is going, but your "narrowing down" post is not constructive. Unfortunately, all photo contests require judging. This one is a combination of judge selection of finalists and public voting for the final winner.

The great thing about opportunities like this (free contests with great prizes) is that you are welcome to NOT participate in future contests if you don't like the way things are done.
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#7 Drew

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 08:28 PM

The unfortunate truth about any competition in general is that there will always be disagreement. The judging is naturally subjective. It's inevitable that the "best picture" will absolutely be impossible to be universally accepted as "best".
The process is a simple elimination process based on the judges criteria. Then it's up to the public voting system (which will also garner dissension). It's not perfect but it's how it is.
Allison, if I understand you correctly, you are asking for the organizers to be more detailed on the rules/criteria and how the judging is implemented.
Firstly, It is not the BBC Wildlife photographer awards (whose rules are long and even then there are questions about the winners). Please realize this simple tag design contest was organized to introduce the new Raja Empat park entrance fee and bring more awareness to the programs it supports. The new designed tag will be issued to everyone who dives in the Raja Empat area for 2008. This program will help the locals and promote conservation in the area, which needs A LOT of protection.

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#8 segal3

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:40 AM

Last chance to vote for the Raja Ampat entrance tag - the contest closes October 19, 2007.

Thanks to everyone who has participated so far!
Matt Segal - carbonos scuba

#9 Nicholas S.

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:40 AM

How can somebody compete a professional photographer which has gained tens of travels in competitions, he sells through site his photographs, he is critic in competitions, he is "sponsored" by Nissan, he writes articles in magazines, he organises photography workshop and mainest is moderator in the site that organise competition for raja ampat tags. I imagine the surprise those who they took part in this competition and suddenly saw that the first and second place has him Mr. Dr. Alex Mustard!!! Ouaaaaaou!!! :D :P Well done!!! Ok! Ok! You are excelend photographer the best in the world, now that has still a reward in your collection you feel better? you were completed?

so please Mr Mustard give us a break !!

p.s. please feel free if you wish to make a comment or to add something.

#10 yahsemtough

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:51 AM

How can somebody compete a professional photographer which has gained tens of travels in competitions, he sells through site his photographs, he is critic in competitions, he is "sponsored" by Nissan, he writes articles in magazines, he organises photography workshop and mainest is moderator in the site that organise competition for raja ampat tags. I imagine the surprise those who they took part in this competition and suddenly saw that the first and second place has him Mr. Dr. Alex Mustard!!! Ouaaaaaou!!! :D :P Well done!!! Ok! Ok! You are excelend photographer the best in the world, now that has still a reward in your collection you feel better? you were completed?

so please Mr Mustard give us a break !!

p.s. please feel free if you wish to make a comment or to add something.


I feel your attacks on Alex are far off base.

The rules were clearly stated and were open to all. He entered his images and they were selected by the public, all who know what and who he is. His photos clearly best met the needs of the tag and were selected appropriately. ANd I think being selected for a park tag is pretty cool. I have never had that happen to me. So I think it is a feather in his cap.

In terms of your personal attack on him...Alex has been an inspiration to me as a photographer. His style and approach keeps pushing me to try new things and step outside the box with my art. He has gladly and promptly answered any question I have ever had with regards to technique and I have benefited directly as a result. I look forward to a trip with Alex in the future. Not because of his photography but because of the good guy I know he is. Strickly platonic sense of comment. :) That said I know his contributions here have assisted many in their development also.

I really think that it is the organizers choice as to what types of images they want for their contest. It is theirs and they have a end goal they wish to attain as a result of organizing the contest. If they want the best Amatuer images then they can state that. They did not so the best image for their needs won.

Congrats to you Alex.

ps My image did not make the final pairing down for voting but, I also thought it may be a long shot in terms of a fit for the tag. Ce la vie
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#11 Giles

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:22 AM

I completely understand how Nicholas feels. It is mighty tough to enter a competition against a photographer that we all know is very talented.

However I think what we all are quick to forget is how a good photographer gets to being of such a great standard.

I am sure there was a day when Alex himself as an amature photographer decided to enter a competition and lost, maybe against photographers he admired back in the day such as the legendary David Doubilet.
It is taking the risk of entering these competitions against famous photographers that helps promote amature photographers.

Imagine this .. if you get third and a Pro gets first .. lots of people will probably see your photo as a famous photographer will attract attention if he wins.
However if you keep trying and one day get a great image that beats the Pro photographer in a competition then people will start saying .. hey who's this guy that just did so well and beat the Pro !

So Nicholas, don't be disheartened as MANY people just saw your great work, your designs are very creative and by entering competitions you will get attention and also learn more about what it takes to eventually place first !

and of course congratulations Alex, must be a nice feeling when a community of similar minded people vote for your image rather than a panel of judges.
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#12 lou

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 11:22 AM

I do not want to feed this discussion. Just would like to say that I was one of the finalists (Picture title: Mantis). I have to be honest : looking at the comments I had got , I hoped for a bit more. However , I accept the final verdict. I was one of those who voted for the winner .

I'm an amateur who has been taking uw photos for almost 30 years. Seemes , again , this was not my turn . It il wll be for the next one.
Congratulations Alex !

#13 bmyates

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 01:50 PM

I have two comments regarding the criticism of Alex Mustard getting both 1st and 2nd place in this contest:

1. It was an open CONTEST, not an "amateurs only" competition, so any amateur (like me) entering should have recognized that their chances of winning were slim, since they would likely be competing against numerous other folks--pros and amateurs alike--who are (at least at this point) frankly much better photographers than they are. I mean c'mon now, be realistic. You and I can aspire to become as skilled and talented as Eric, Alex and dozens of other Wetpixel members, but at this point we simply aren't in the same league. I am reminded of that fact on a weekly basis when I consider entering the POW contest. I sometimes enter photos, but when I look at them all to judge, I usually see a LOT of photos that seem like comparable quality to mine, some that are worse, and at least half a dozen that make me say, "Crap - I'll NEVER be that good!" (In fact, ironically, the only time I've won POW was last week, and it was with my Cheshire-cat Grin shark shot, which I captured largely by LUCK - sheesh!). But that's OK; I think one of the purposes/benefits of an open contest is so "us amateurs" can constantly hold our own "best" (thus far) work up against others and see what we COULD produce someday.

If I entered a footrace, I might WISH they would eliminate all the fastest runners from the competition, but I wouldn't really expect them to, and if they did and I won, the victory would be a bit hollow... There's certainly a place for "amateur only" competitions, but there aren't a lot for uw photography, and this certainly wasn't one of them.

2. Because of the above, I think it is TOTALLY off-base to criticize ANYONE for entering a contest like this, but ESPECIALLY Alex Mustard. I've had the honor of being on a dive boat with Alex, and -- unlike several other professional photographers I've been on trips with -- he was one of the most humble, genuine, generous-with-his-time (and advice) people I've ever met. There is NO sense of his (well deserved) accolades having gone to his head or making him feel "above the little people." You're also talking about someone who has over 4,500 posts here on Wetpixel! (In think the criticism came from someone with a few dozen(?) :D ) Alex has devoted countless hours contributing to and being part of this community, helping others (like you and me) improve their uw photography skills. Do a search and read some of Alex's posts--you'll find them thoughtful and informative. And spend a few minutes on his website, and you'll understand what a truly talented/gifted photographer he really is.

I didn't know which of the entries in this contest were his (or even if ANY were), but I voted for the "plucked chicken" pygmy (the one that's is going to be on the tag)--simply because I thought it would look best on the tag. IOW, I think he deserved to win...and obviously so did a lot of other folks!

Congrats, Alex! I hope you continue winning awards, and keep raising the bar for the rest of us!

Edited by bmyates, 25 October 2007 - 01:52 PM.

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#14 BoatMoney

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 04:28 PM

I have two comments regarding the criticism of Alex Mustard getting both 1st and 2nd place in this contest:

I think most photo competitions are silly :D And in as many cases as not they usually end up with some silly winning selections :P :) But in this case there was a purpose to the competition other than self-gratification or bounty, as well as one that made sense and provided the opportunity for fun. One might say people directly associated with the operational side of website should not be allowed to enter the contest, but to me that seems a bit stringent for something that I perceived as intended to be light-hearted. The fact that Alex makes money from photography is even less of a consideration. Why penalize, or in this cse criticize, people for being good at something?

I think the winning image is too simply too topical to not accept as a qualified success. Pygmies have become the standard bearer for the Raja Ampat region AND it is shot in a way that elicits an extremely friendly and playful response from the viewer. It is the whole package for the intent of the competition. No disrespect is intended, but of the pics I saw (the parsed gallery), Alex's shot was head and shoulders above the others for the specific purpose of representing the region in the form of a park tag. I think it's cool B) The winner is perfect for the Raja park tag and the winning shooter took a camera underwater just like the rest of us do.
Cheers,
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#15 echeng

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 06:17 PM

A quick note: none of the staff were involved in the running of this contest, other than Matt Segal and me. And I wouldn't have involved Matt if I had been in town during the entire contest.

We decided to allow the rest of the Wetpixel staff to enter the contest because the "prize" is so cool -- immortalization of one's photo on a park tag! I wish I could have competed, but you can't do everything. :D

Since the winners were voted in by the public, there wasn't any bias possible, aside from finalist selection.

You are always at the whim of someone, when finalist selection is concerned. Even the Shell/BBC contest's judges only get to see finalists by the time they arrive in London to judge the contest. Who weeds out the ones that didn't make the final selection? Who knows... but it's all part of how contests work.
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