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NCUPS Sea2004 contest results: It's official....

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I saw that there were only two winners on wide angle slides at NCUPS, mine being first place. But since it also got best of slides, I am assuming it was strong in the eyes of the judges. I had the barracuda under the stilt lodge shot. I also got first in macro slides, but don't know what pic won yet.

 

I will say that even the notes from LAUPS stated that most entries were in the macro categories, and opportunity existed if photographers would shoot and enter more wide angle. Let's face it, wide angle is harder to get an eye popping image, and many photographers are more promptly satisfied with the results of macro because generally it's easier to get something that looks nice.

 

Joe Belanger

 

Hi Joe,

 

If I remember correctly from your discussion about this cuda shot on uw-photo, you shot it with a D100 (perhaps with film as well?). While I've seen folks take slide scans and enter them in digital categories, I've not often heard of the reverse (have only heard this from someone who wanted to manipulate the photo, for example (EDIT - for clarification, he was editing a slide scan for a slide only competition)), especially for a competition that supports both digital and slide entries. Just wondering what the reasons would be for creating a slide rather than entering the image in the digital categories. One reason might be less competition in wide angle slides, as you mention?

 

As I remember the shot, it was very beautiful. I also enjoyed hearing your approach on taking the shot in the uw-photo discussion, especially about getting acquainted with the old barracuda.

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Interesting! Joe -- did you print that slide from digital?

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Hi Guys!

 

On all of my digital files (which ain't that many since I am new to digi) that I like, I output to slides because I speak at various functions and still have slide equipment. I can't afford the expensive LCD goodies yet, and since I generally don't get paid for speaking at clubs (and even shows don't pay well) it'll be awhile before switching show modes.

 

The barracuda shot was done with my D100. I usually get two slides output for my files (as a hard copy backup) and to show during my presentations with my slide projector (since I'm not showing digital). Entering with slides versus digital format had nothing to do with how I might place. I pulled out my usual 50-100 slides, put them on a light table and began editing for entry. It was simply easier for me to use slides.

 

Believe me, there was no covert thinking to go slide or digi, it was purely out of convenience for my lazy side.

 

Joe

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Well first off, congrats Joe on the win and BOS.

 

Reminds me a little of last year's conversations concerning a scanned film entry that won the Digital category at BTS. Is it a U/W photo contest or a capture method category contest?

 

Personally, I don't care and would prefer the soultion that BTS has come up with this year. They difined the categories and the format for capture is not divided. More of an all comers type contest. Which IMHO is the way it should be.

 

Rand

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Wow, that is sooo cool. I know the traditional slide shooters in my local club would FREAK if they "had to" compete with digital photographers. I can tell you, it wasn't that way 2 years ago.

 

We just decided our contest rules for 2005 and a few on the BOD suggested combining film and digital and having only two categories - novice and advanced. We didn't quite get there (I actually voted against that one) but maybe next year. I voted against more for technical reasons though - of how to display the images on screen.

 

Cheers

James

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Well first off, congrats Joe on the win and BOS.

 

Reminds me a little of last year's conversations concerning a scanned film entry that won the Digital category at BTS. Is it a U/W photo contest or a capture method category contest?

 

Personally, I don't care and would prefer the soultion that BTS has come up with this year. They difined the categories and the format for capture is not divided. More of an all comers type contest. Which IMHO is the way it should be.

 

Rand

 

I don't have a problem with mixing the sources either, though I know there are people who feel pretty strongly about not mixing, on both the digital and film sides. As long as the rules are clearly stated about what is allowed, then I don't see a difference. I've known folks who have been creating slides from digital files for years now, with good results (as well as contest wins).

 

My question was mainly because I didn't foresee the convenience point that Joe brought up. For me, using digital files is much more convenient than handling my slides or getting dupes. But I have an LCD projector, so once my slides are scanned, I only deal in digital. Except for contest entries, which I've still been having duped optically from my original slides. That may change once contests and other submission arenas start moving to all digital. It would certainly save me some trips to the lab!

 

I do wonder how well the BTS mixed method will work out for the judges, primarily because of the presentation differences, as James mentioned. I can see where it might be hard to go back and forth between presentation types to make selections. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

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Reminds me a little of last year's conversations concerning a scanned film entry that won the Digital category at BTS. Is it a U/W photo contest or a capture method category contest?

 

Personally, I don't care and would prefer the soultion that BTS has come up with this year. They difined the categories and the format for capture is not divided. More of an all comers type contest. Which IMHO is the way it should be.

 

Rand

 

I applaud BTS's decision to eliminate seperate slide and digital categories. A great U/W image is a great U/W image regardless of whether it was captured on film or sensor.

 

I don't think it will be too long before other competitions catch up with BTS and I wouldn't be suprised if in the not too distant future most contests require that all entries be submited in digital format. From a logistical standpoint, it just makes sense.

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Congrats to all winners!

 

fyi, the contest organizer is currently in Indonesia, so will not be able to quickly get back to any requests for information.

 

Andy

http://www.diamondw.net

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Hi All,

 

First, to Linda. The convenience factor was simply because I had slides in hand (I already mentioned why) and I travel a lot for work. In fact, I just got back from a 30-day road trip where computer play time was practically non-existant. Thus, in these cases, I tend to throw a sheet of slides in my briefcase and work from there. Sometimes I am in town and digital would indeed be easier for me. I agree with you that digital would be a lot easier to use, as long as you have computer access.

 

Some of you bring up very interesting points, like digi competing with film. However, that's would insinuate that the print category would be nearly as competitive, since both digital and film shooters would be able to enter their media types as prints. :wink: Albiet at a greater cost since you have to pay more doe to blow them up.

 

I do recall last year that BTS rules stated that no digi files could be converted back into slides, but haven't read the rules this year. I haven't read the rules yet, but I feel it is a good idea for me to find time to enter digitally. I would definately like to compete against those awesome shooters on this list...just to learn.

 

Hope to see all of your names on the BTS winner's list.

 

Joe Belanger

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Very cool. I like that they have combined film and digital.

 

I remember some of the first contests had all the traditional categories for film and then 1 category for digital. So I think it is a step in the right direction.

 

I have a different spin/question to pose. If you note in BTS prior contest winners cannot win in their contest.

 

That said, we all bracket and take multiple shots of a subject. Should the subject be static you potentially have 3-5 shots that are virtually identical to the eye. You enter different ones in different contests. They are not the same shot but, will look identical to the observer on first glance. :?

 

Do you think that is fine as they are different photos? (I think they would be fine)And no, I do not have these multiple versions of my shots anymore, I purged a whole bunch last month as my harddrive was filling up too fast. (My BOS shot I had three virtually identical versions of...maybe I shouldn't have deleted the multiples) :)

 

Or, could you get one done up as a slide and enter a different one in the digital category? They are different shots... :?

 

The other thing I do is once I edit I keep only the final editted shot now to conserve file room. (TIFF or PSD) Depends as I just learned more about saving in PSD, Still learning the darn PS program. Should I be doing this differently?

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I have a different spin/question to pose. If you note in BTS prior contest winners cannot win in their contest.

 

That said, we all bracket and take multiple shots of a subject. Should the subject be static you potentially have 3-5 shots that are virtually identical to the eye. You enter different ones in different contests. They are not the same shot but, will look identical to the observer on first glance. :?

 

This is just my opinion, but I think if the shot looks virtually identical to the previous winner, and they were shot in the same session, it goes against the spirit of the rule. I personally would choose not to enter it. If it is of the same subject, in the same shooting session, but a significantly different shot, I would consider entering that. A different composition/derivation of the same winning shot, of course, is normally prohibited.

 

The other thing I do is once I edit I keep only the final editted shot now to conserve file room. (TIFF or PSD) Depends as I just learned more about saving in PSD, Still learning the darn PS program. Should I be doing this differently?

 

I always archive two files: my RAW files, and the converted, edited PSD file as well. I have found reason to go back to the RAW to try a different converter for certain shots. E.g. I am experimenting with custom curves to improve the dynamic range in some shots, and I can change this with previous RAW files to see if they can be improved. With my slide scans, I do the same thing: archive the original scans, as well as the edited PSD file, even though I can always rescan the slide. The PSD becomes my master for printing and resizing, but since it's cheap to archive the originals to DVD, I do. I cull heavily as I create the PSD files, though, and only archive what's worth keeping. I've gotten better at culling with time!

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Im kinda new to this but why would you want to keep entering the same winning photo(s) year to year in different competitions? Are the prizes that lucrative?

 

M.

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Starbuck, how does a 14 day trip to raja ampat grab you? That's what Todd got... Other prizes - week on Bilikiki, diving in Bali, PNG, etc etc...

 

The other thing I do is once I edit I keep only the final editted shot now to conserve file room. (TIFF or PSD) Depends as I just learned more about saving in PSD, Still learning the darn PS program. Should I be doing this differently?

 

todd, todd, todd........... ALWAYS save your original, that's your negative. That would be like a photog tossing the negs after the slide done.

 

What if a better software program comes out? I've taken some old pics and run through highlights and shadows in CS. what once were sucky are now not bad, even good.

 

I keep the original as shot RAW and the edited tiff/psd. If I need to post to the net, I simply change the image size, sharpen add copyright, etc to the saved tiff/psd.

 

For SEA, I had to go back to the original in one shot. I had removed backscatter in the shot, and I interpreted the rules as that being a no no, so I went back to the original and used the one with the backscatter. Had I gotten rid of the original, I could not have done that (in good conscience)

 

CDs/DVDs are cheap. All my originals and backups go on a hard drive and two cds. When I get a new computer I'l ltransfer those to DVDs

 

Chris

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Im kinda new to this but why would you want to keep entering the same winning photo(s) year to year in different competitions? Are the prizes that lucrative?

 

Yes, most of them are very nice prizes. Coincidentally enough, a shot I'd taken of a Grouper at a cleaning station placed in two contest. Same exact shot. My only defense is, both contests had deadlines fairly close together and although I like to think all my shots are winners, there's no guarantee. So I entered the photo in both comps.

 

To further the dilemma, I've got several different, what I'd call quite different compostions from tht one session. You can see another one of them in the Wetpixle bi-monthly that's in judging. Wonder if this meets Linda's definition of a different compositon? I've entered yet another version in BTS.

 

Perhaps if I dove more, I'd have a better variety of shots to enter. Think I'll work on the problem from that angle.

 

Rand

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See I don't bother with backscatter removal as generally I figure the shot was a mess and try to do better next time.

 

Happened with Tiger sharks, bad vis day so very little good shots so, didn't bother, didn't enter any of those shots. (although I entered a shot that had bubbles in the background). I didn't think the bubbles took away from the shot so entered it.

 

Would dodge and burn, which is accepted for contests, work on backscatter? I have never bothered with backscatter so don't know if it would really work for that either. (any one know) Does not remove items but, de-emphasizes the element. I didn't even realize it was done for film till last year.

 

I have also found that I really don't do a whole lot with the so so shots so why am I keeping them in the end. Maybe I should reconsider based on the changing program thing. Especially since I am pretty new to PS techniques. Good point.

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Well, shoot, I better start looking at the prizes more carefully! I'd take a 14 day trip for a winning photo but you may have to twist my arm a little.. :))

 

Does wetpixel usually post the big contests or is there a list of big events on the web someplace?

 

M.

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Well, shoot, I better start looking at the prizes more carefully! I'd take a 14 day trip for a winning photo but you may have to twist my arm a little.. :o)

 

Does wetpixel usually post the big contests or is there a list of big events on the web someplace?

 

M.

 

Sounds good until the wife wants to come along and you price out your airfare which is not included. I just won the opportunity to spend $9,000. :)

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Coincidentally enough, a shot I'd taken of a Grouper at a cleaning station placed in two contest. Same exact shot. My only defense is, both contests had deadlines fairly close together and although I like to think all my shots are winners, there's no guarantee. So I entered the photo in both comps.

 

As far as I know, there's no problem with that. You just have to make sure your entry for one contest is postmarked before the results are announced for the previous. BTW, I'm no expert of course; I've just examined the rules from a number of contests, and sometimes sent questions to the organizers.

 

To further the dilemma, I've got several different, what I'd call quite different compostions from tht one session. You can see another one of them in the Wetpixle bi-monthly that's in judging. Wonder if this meets Linda's definition of a different compositon? I've entered yet another version in BTS.

 

I would think that different compositions in different frames from the same session would be fine, by my interpretation. But perhaps not from the same shot/frame. I think what they are trying to prevent is someone taking one shot, and cropping it different ways (e.g. vertically and horizontally) or doing things like flipping it to get a different composition. Usually it's stated something like "derivations from the same photo" in previous winners are prohibited.

But not all contests state this. The rules are certainly not all the same for all contests. For example, LAUPS does state that dodging and burning (as Todd mentioned) are acceptable, but NCUPS does not. While I know how to dodge and burn with prints, I'm not even sure how I would do that with slide film, unless I did it digitally and then output to film. Certainly my lab doesn't support this in making slide dupes. So, I personally have decided I won't worry about what details are kosher for various contests; I just send my unmanipulated stuff in and hope that the playing field is somewhat level. Otherwise, it'd be too nightmarish for me to keep track of which versions had which things done to them.. On the other hand, maybe if I did, I'd place better than runner-up sometime! :? Nah, it's less work to just keep striving to take better photos... :wink:

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But not all contests state this. The rules are certainly not all the same for all contests. For example, LAUPS does state that dodging and burning (as Todd mentioned) are acceptable, but NCUPS does not. While I know how to dodge and burn with prints, I'm not even sure how I would do that with slide film, unless I did it digitally and then output to film. :

 

Actually, it is listed as acceptable on NCUPS. If you see under prints it is there, and same for BTS. So they all allow it. The editting allowed always seems to be pretty much the same. But, I am like you and just generally crop, balance, and sharpen. Maybe dodge and burn now that I understand it better.

 

Where they do seem to vary is on prior wins acceptability.

 

I think a good shot probably needs very little anyway so you don't have to worry Linda you will win out in the end. Your shots are great by the way!

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Actually, it is listed as acceptable on NCUPS. If you see under prints it is there, and same for BTS. So they all allow it. But, I am like you and just generally crop, balance, and sharpen. Maybe dodge and burn now that I understand it better. I think a good shot probably needs very little anyway so you don't have to worry Linda you will win out in the end. Your shots are great by the way!

 

Ah, makes alot of sense for prints. Hadn't seen that since I've never sent prints in. I had just seen the disqualification rules that say optical or digital manipulation other than cropping and duplication is basis for disqualification. The dodging and burning for prints seems to be an exception; I personally might not assume that means it's acceptable for digital entries until I clarified it with the organizers first, but that's me. LAUPS seems to allow dodging and burning in any category, or they at least don't specify. BTS specifically allows it, though it is only mentioned for digital images. As I mentioned, I'm not sure how it would be accomplished with slides anyway, unless it was done digitally first.

 

I think we'll see these rules changing and evolving every year for a while. Folks are still coming to grips with what is the "right" thing to do for new rules, or what's even possible to enforce.

 

I'm with you; a good image needs little, no matter what the media! I'll keep striving, even with all this tough company out there... :)

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I was with a film photographer whom I greatly admire in Palau, and his philosophy was to get it right out of the camera. That is my current goal. Doesn't always happen :) OK, rarely happens.

 

Nothing wrong with a little photoshop, but I have taken a little heat for this philosophy on some boards.

 

Chris

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I think that the use of post processing, be it RAW adjustment or Photochopping, can become really powerful when you are aware of what it can do for you when you are in the water and adjust your techniques accordingly.

 

For example my work with Telephoto this year. Out of the camera telephoto shots look a bit flat, lacking in contrast and too blue - because they are taken through too much water. Indeed, on film they would go straight in the bin. But I shoot them because I know I am shooting in RAW - which will allow me to adjust both the white balance of the image - to correct the blue tinge - and increase the contrast of "my film stock" to a level that is suitable.

 

I think that it is great that BTS have combined digital and slide. We have just made a similiar step at BSoUP http://www.bsoup.org. Afterall, most publishers - judge digital and slide images side by side when deciding which to publish. I am glad to see that this artificial barrier is starting to come down.

 

Alex

 

I say good luck to people who win several times with the same shots. I think that there is far too much praising of mediocrity in underwater photography these days - particularly on internet forums - and anything that raises the standard is a good thing.

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I love it! Joe's digitally captured barracuda shot made best of slides! Way to go Joe.

 

And Kasey, looks like you got the Bob Commer award with a digital print. Woohoo! Who did you print it with, or did you do it yourself?

 

Cheers

James

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