Well, when the dust settled I had 627 emails in the mailbox yesterday. A couple of dozen people submitted their photo twice, fearing it hadn't gone through the first time, so call it 600 entries, give or take a few.
Traffic on the site for the day set the high-water mark for 2011, by far.
I had zero stress keeping up; rather, it was simply a pleasure to see so much good work. As you might expect, the standard of quality and competence among the entries is high. I think the hard part will be whittling down the 600 to the 15 or so semi-finalists I intend to post for discussion—I'm sure if I pick a dozen there are another two or three dozen just as good.
In some cases we got very fine pictures that I don't think would make very good sale candidates (which is what we're looking for, after all). I might do a separate post of personal favorites, from among the shots not chosen for the print sale. Along those lines, I can't resist showing you, in this post, two of the best dog-and-cat pictures...from among many good shots that brightened my day yesterday. These aren't semifinalists, but they're wonderful all the same. The top one is by Paul Lalonde Stern and the one below by Chan H.
(That dog is either really happy or really unhappy, and I can't tell which.)
I was surprised to learn that some people had problems with the emailing instructions. I did not think that would be controversial. I think we can improve on that next time, though (this is the first time I've done this, remember, so I'm learning too). Also, to those who missed the tight schedule, yes, I'll vary the timing next time.
Photo by Chan H
Sincere thanks to everybody who submitted pictures yesterday. Edit to come soon.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Mike [not Mike J. —Mike J.]: "Sincere thanks to you. This was a really fun exercise, and was a great excuse to look again at my personal rather than paid work. The best part the 'contest' is how it changes how I look at my own photos. The process of selecting a photograph, to me, is akin to aesthetics calisthenics. My internal debate over which image to select helps me better articulate what I find beautiful, what makes a beautiful photograph, and whether beauty is enough to sustain my interest. I've also gotten to the point where some older work inspires me to explore ideas and techniques anew. That was unexpected, and I also have you to thank for that. Looking forward to seeing the edit. Good luck to all."
Mike J. replies: You're right, it's an important learning experience if you don't already do it regularly. It's also a good learning experience to have to judge a competition like this...it makes you realize that every generic shot has already been done a zillion times, and that new ones, to succeed, simply have to have been made with an awareness of all the others that already exist. New ones succeed by commenting on the genre, not just becoming a part of it.