Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

WINNERS OF THE BENEATH THE SEA 2007 WORLDWIDE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEO COMPETITION


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#21 Kelpfish

Kelpfish

    Giant Squid

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1598 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 15 March 2007 - 04:33 PM

It is an absolute crime that the whale shot under the general category got 3rd. Very dissapointing that the judges don't recognize an anytime shot versus an excellent once in a lifetime shot that may likely never be able to be replicated. Shame.
Joe Belanger
Author, Catalina Island - All you Need to Know
www.californiaunderwater.com
www.visitingcatalina.com

#22 lanwu

lanwu

    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 12 posts

Posted 19 March 2007 - 12:20 AM

I think i would agree that it seems to all depend on the judges...which is very bias...but at some point, judges are needed, be it public or private. Perhaps they should later open the judging to public opinion too? Is the opinion of the masses comparable to that of a few individuals with vast experience? Is photography for the few or for the public. What is the purpose exactly? And on what grounds is the competition?

Competitions should lay down the judging criteria very carefully so that entrants know exactly what to submit. Especially when each image costs often US$10 or more. Imagine that you sent in an absolutely fabulous image of clown fish, totally original image but the judges where looking for rarely found species & not so interested in composition?? If you'd known you'd have picked the so-so lit image of the once-thought-extinct thingy you happen to chance on. Contestants and perhaps judges too should at least know what they are competing for & against.

And should great photographers be handicapped just because they only dive in a lake & can't get to the other exciting destinations? DOesn't that limit the possibility of a winning image to those only privileged enough to be there, be there often, or afford to travel there? Doesn't that stint the opportunities of finding new talent?

More varying categories would open up the competition to everyone, as opposed to the standard WideAngle, Macro, Wreck, etc... I think that specific subjects make nicer categories...eg. Animal Behaviour, Togetherness, etc....but be specific! Also, the portfolio entries are creative & interesting to put together, like in BUIF.

Admittedly, I've seen images place in competitions that many people seem to disagree on its winning place.... & often worse, feel it's not even better than it's lower placed images.

I think most importantly, competitions should clearly announce the criteria photos are being judged on and perhaps even the judges comments on the photos afterwards. It is afterall their photography wisdom & approval contestants are seeking. That would make for a much fairer ground for all contestants.

Edited by lanwu, 19 March 2007 - 12:24 AM.


#23 gloria

gloria

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 49 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia
  • Interests:diving, photography, travel, animals, nature, hmmm why am I here?

Posted 07 April 2007 - 07:57 PM

This will probably cause trouble but how the heck does this image get a third place in the conservation cat??? the quality is just awful, were there so few entries??

Posted Image


I have been an occasional but enthusiastic browser here and the kind of commentary and in Kriptaps later post deters me from returning.

The image of the ray is one I submitted. The entry had NONE of the digital noise I see in the posted versions. I do not know and of course regret whatever over-manipulation people might have done to ruin its appearance. Maybe people at BTS were trying to turn what was a pre-dawn dark backround shot into a high-noon one. Obviously I would not have submitted an image that flawed to a contest.

Kriptap one day maybe one of your images might take a hit for not pleasing everyone or for having passed through too many hands... and I hope that people who don't find it to be their favorite are kinder to you about it on public forums.

#24 LChan

LChan

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 240 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:35 PM

First off - congratulations to all who placed.

Going to the discussion with diver versus the whale...
I think that one important thing to consider is your audience.

If you show either image to an UW photographer compared to the general public, there will always be a difference in opinion. An UW photographer will always take into consideration the rarity of the occurrence, the difficulty in getting the shot, - because that person has experienced it.

the general public looks at these images and it evokes a completely different response.

I don't know the judges, but certainly their criteria is truly up to them. However, if you give these two pictures to a hundred people (randomly selected - say at the shopping mall), you will certainly get completely different responses.

Reminds me of my favorite manta ray shot in Kona. I showed it to many people. But I get more ooh and aahs from my crappy 320x240 resolution video from my Canon SD550. Pisses me off, but like they say, beauty (and art) is in the eye of the beholder.

Now, I need to get back to my beer......
Nikon D200 - Subal housing - 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 17-35mm, 60mm, 105mmVR - Dual Ikelite DS-125 - ULCS arms.
Canon SD550 - Canon housing (pocket videocam)

Larry Chan -- My Webpage

#25 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10629 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 07 April 2007 - 10:36 PM

Gloria, first of all congratulations on that prize and sorry the competition decided to manipulate your image before showing it. That is weird they'd do that.
However, one of the unfortunate facts of life with competition entries is that it won't please everyone. Someone WILL find something wrong with it or think another shot is better. It is a fact of life with being in the public eye.
Public forum opinions will vary like finger print patterns and most times, they tend to be of the palpable variety, especially when one is the subject of discussion. Constructive criticism is part of the wetpixel creed, and that's why the community has grown so much. If the comments become unsavory, tunnel vision is the best way to deal with that. Afterall, it is a personal opinion in a public forum. And we all know opinions are like (please fill in the blank), everyone's got one.
So take pride in your placing and try not to take it personally.

I have been an occasional but enthusiastic browser here and the kind of commentary and in Kriptaps later post deters me from returning.


Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#26 MikeVeitch

MikeVeitch

    1.7kbps Manta Boy

  • Senior Moderator
  • 6176 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In Bali, Indonesia but from Vancouver, BC
  • Interests:Teaching Underwater Photography

Posted 07 April 2007 - 11:15 PM

Gloria, Drew summed it up pretty well.

It sounds like you do get a lot of enjoyment from the forums here and we are happy to have you.

Please don't let one person's negative comments paint the whole community for you. I think you will find most people are enthusiastic and more than willing to share information in a positive light.

Join us for an Underwater Photography Workshop in Ambon March 2015
Blog and Photo Archive/Portfolio Site www.mikeveitchblog.com
Learn underwater photography in Indonesia or Join me on a trip www.underwatertribe.com


#27 Kelpfish

Kelpfish

    Giant Squid

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1598 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 08 April 2007 - 05:53 AM

Lan Woo said: "I think most importantly, competitions should clearly announce the criteria photos are being judged on"


I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. I spoke with a contest organizer not too long ago and the judges of his competition decided that "textures" would be the basic theme of the competition. But this wasn't divuldged to the entrants, so if I sent in five non-texture related images at 10 bucks a pop I am, for the most part, wasting my money because I am essentially already eliminated once my postage is paid.
Joe Belanger
Author, Catalina Island - All you Need to Know
www.californiaunderwater.com
www.visitingcatalina.com

#28 gloria

gloria

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 49 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia
  • Interests:diving, photography, travel, animals, nature, hmmm why am I here?

Posted 08 April 2007 - 08:14 AM

Gloria, Drew summed it up pretty well.

It sounds like you do get a lot of enjoyment from the forums here and we are happy to have you.

Please don't let one person's negative comments paint the whole community for you. I think you will find most people are enthusiastic and more than willing to share information in a positive light.



Mike (and Drew)

Thanks for expressing the sentiment and I know you are right.

Some of us just don't get to be in the water much, getting there involves expensive airfare paid for with another job, along with a kit that doesn't get updated every year. Getting to practice isn't everything but it helps...as I result, I don't have the confidence to post much, and certainly don't pretend to attain the wetpixel standard. Even so, over a couple of years I accumulated a few images that I thought were interesting enough to throw into the ring in events that encourage amateurs. I was tickled that a couple of them got some recognition.

I take the point also, that my images (even when not over-manipulated) aren't going to appeal to everyone. Just as when I look at competition results and see winners that sometimes seem puzzling, such decisions are often subjective. Moreover it is fair and reasonable to query the criteria, tho that seems to change like the wind. Kriptap's way of making his point stung I guess because it would never occur to me to pull off and display someone else's image after the decision was made, not for any constructive critique but to show everyone how awful I thought it was. Well we are all different.

I have visited here enough to know that isn't the overall flavor of this site, and I will work on the thicker skin/ tunnel vision approach of not taking an individual's comments too personally or seriously.

Glo

#29 TheRealDrew

TheRealDrew

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 2854 posts

Posted 08 April 2007 - 08:50 AM

But this wasn't divuldged to the entrants, so if I sent in five non-texture related images at 10 bucks a pop I am, for the most part, wasting my money because I am essentially already eliminated once my postage is paid.


Some criteria would be good - it is difficult to believe that out of all the entries that in some catagories there were not enough entries that were good enough to have all places filled, perhaps this is the reason?

Seems unfair to Gloria, and others, who had their material changed so radically that it is not what they submitted and envisioned as an entry. It also (at least to me) seems a bit strange that the judges would do that to any entry. Making something that is entered into something else, then granting it an award seems wrong (at least to the extent that nothing was mentioned in the rules). It also is a bit disconncerting that the people working with the entries on the contest end rework an entry in such a manner that even the person entering the photo said they would not have entered the photo, but of course beauty and the winners are in the eye of the beholders and judges.

To get a shot like that with the hook to me really hits home. I look at it and cringe seeing the hook and the rip in the ray, which means it conveys its message. I would like to see Gloria's original photo without the artifacts the contest seemed to introduce and I am sure it is even more powerful.

Anyway, congrats to all the winners and do not let others take away from the win. Contests are what they are, and remember for the most part that you will always get flack if for nothing else that there are many disgruntled non-winners who entered :rolleyes:

#30 gloria

gloria

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 49 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia
  • Interests:diving, photography, travel, animals, nature, hmmm why am I here?

Posted 08 April 2007 - 09:52 AM

Some criteria would be good - it is difficult to believe that out of all the entries that in some catagories there were not enough entries that were good enough to have all places filled, perhaps this is the reason?

Seems unfair to Gloria, and others, who had their material changed so radically that it is not what they submitted and envisioned as an entry. It also (at least to me) seems a bit strange that the judges would do that to any entry. Making something that is entered into something else, then granting it an award seems wrong (at least to the extent that nothing was mentioned in the rules). It also is a bit disconncerting that the people working with the entries on the contest end rework an entry in such a manner that even the person entering the photo said they would not have entered the photo, but of course beauty and the winners are in the eye of the beholders and judges.

To get a shot like that with the hook to me really hits home. I look at it and cringe seeing the hook and the rip in the ray, which means it conveys its message. I would like to see Gloria's original photo without the artifacts the contest seemed to introduce and I am sure it is even more powerful.

Anyway, congrats to all the winners and do not let others take away from the win. Contests are what they are, and remember for the most part that you will always get flack if for nothing else that there are many disgruntled non-winners who entered :rolleyes:


Thank you, and to show you what I mean, I am trying to attach the pic. (At the event, at least they didn't use the version with all the artifacts, so maybe their decision was based on the correct and not manipulated version.

I know the image is far from perfect and as folks have pointed out doesn't work for everyone. I will say this much...the moment I snapped it I saw that hook. It mad me cry, this magnificant animal, a baby at that, with this cutting into its flesh. I don't know if it was doomed, but the only thing I could do at the time, was to document it.

Glo

Attached Images

  • Babyhookedrayorig.jpg


#31 TheRealDrew

TheRealDrew

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 2854 posts

Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:18 AM

...the moment I snapped it I saw that hook. It mad me cry, this magnificant animal, a baby at that, with this cutting into its flesh. I don't know if it was doomed, but the only thing I could do at the time, was to document it.

Glo



Thank you for posting that - it makes me feel uncomfortable and upset.

If it bothers you [but try not to let it do so], you may want to ask BTS to post the original back up on their site - they may not even realize something happened between your entry and the web. And since your entry was printed properly, it may have been that someone may have done something thinking it was "better" for the web.

#32 DeanB

DeanB

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3073 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:U.K

Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:26 AM

I think the shot is fine..But the bigger picture is it makes a dramatic point...

I'm in similar circumstances..I'm inland, have near-zero expenses and have to make do...But you won and that to me speaks volumes..

Dive safe

DeanB
Facebook me ;)
NOW ON SKYPE !!! ... deanb69
www.waterwolf-productions.co.uk

#33 tjgreen

tjgreen

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 165 posts
  • Location:North Carolina, US

Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:58 PM

Gloria,
Also an occasional browser/poster on this site. Great shot, congrats - I like the real version better. Took a pic of a barracuda with a big hook in its jaw once, but they're far less cuddly :D.

I think some folks may have lost sight of the category in which Gloria won. Presumably, these pics were not chosen simply for their technical or aesthetic merits; they were chosen because they convey a powerful message. Take a look at the 2006 Pulitzer-prize winning news photos. They're not all beautifully-lit works of art; they're searing, grotesque images from a flood-ravaged New Orleans. For me, Gloria's shot of an eagle ray, gills torn and puckered around a huge hook, tells a fairly compelling story.
Tim
tjgreen.smugmug.com/underwater

#34 gloria

gloria

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 49 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia
  • Interests:diving, photography, travel, animals, nature, hmmm why am I here?

Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:19 PM

Gloria,
Also an occasional browser/poster on this site. Great shot, congrats - I like the real version better. Took a pic of a barracuda with a big hook in its jaw once, but they're far less cuddly :D.

I think some folks may have lost sight of the category in which Gloria won. Presumably, these pics were not chosen simply for their technical or aesthetic merits; they were chosen because they convey a powerful message. Take a look at the 2006 Pulitzer-prize winning news photos. They're not all beautifully-lit works of art; they're searing, grotesque images from a flood-ravaged New Orleans. For me, Gloria's shot of an eagle ray, gills torn and puckered around a huge hook, tells a fairly compelling story.


Tj & Dean
Just as you say, it was such a one-two punch, elation at an approaching eagle ray, then a punch in the gut at seeing that hook. The consequences to innocent animals that our human activities are having. Indeed it wasn't so much about beauty or technical skill as much as that story. Thanks for expressing better than I why I submitted the pic, and perhaps as well the reason it got recognized.