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Wednesday, 11 September 2013


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Good Choices

All along I thought the judge and donor were the same person.

Congratulations to the winners!

Compliments to Mike for taking on a tough decision single-handed.

It's been fun and a learning experience for me as a participant and spectator.

Thank you, Mike. Likewise, to the learned Judge and Anonymous Donor. Till the next one... but not too soon!

Congrats to the winners and thanks to Anonymous for putting up the very generous prizes. Thanks to all who commented on my picture (a very interesting experience - I learnt a lot) and thanks to Mike for hosting and, in particular, for judging the finalists. FWIW, I favoured Turkey Man :-)

Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks for sharing such fine work.

Congratulations to the winners, and all of the other good sports who gave us lots of interesting pictures to look at!

Excellent work from all the finalists and perfect choices, Mike! Well done everyone.

I am also glad to see the ones I would've chosen win, it makes me think I might have an eye for this photography thing!

Although I was really expecting to see the Turkey Man (my favourite) in the podium, this contest was a rare case where I didn't find anything revolting in the choice of the winners. Actually when I saw the list of finalists I thought it was almost perfect lacking only the "Funeral Home Guys" (my second favourite) and... my own photo (joking).

This was a really nice contest, a sincere congratulation to the winners.

Nice!!! See, any of these I would put on my wall. Each of them really evokes emotion, but has its own visual style. P-p-p-p-print sale?


Congratulations to the winners and thanks to you Mike and to the donor to make the contest a reality. Although I didn't participate, not even with my opinion (I catch it late) It was fun to follow the event. Thanks again.

Excellent choices Judge Johnston. The winner is a cracker.

And not a caption to be seen...

Congratulations to the 3 prize winners, all 3 are interesting pictures.

Well done the prize donor and judge.

Thanks Mike,
It's been interesting seeing different interpretations of the theme, especially with captions.
I always prefer the photography and OT posts more than the equipment ones, as I don't change eqipment very often, but find viewpoints and opinions thought-provoking, so thanks for that.

best wishes

There is a unique aesthetic, philosophy and community to The Online Photographer that makes participation, whether just visiting for the articles and comments, or a more active participation, feel fulfilling. This competition enforces that feeling for me.

All the entries that made the shortlists were a cut above and fine photographs to hang on a wall (and I hope they are, even if only on that photographer's).

Personally, I think any of these three could have been the winner as I certainly can't make out a qualitative difference. For my preferences though Peter Schafer's edgy, slightly uncomfortable and thought provoking entry would have ranked first.

I made comment on Turkey Man, however from my own perspective was unable to elicitate in my own mind's eye anything good or bad about the images. Maybe it is the rapid coming of more chronological years in my case, most photographs/images don't spark any interest from me, but then neither does print or broadcast media. Perhaps time to move on
to other things???

Thanks be to the ever thinner Mike for hosting.

"Formally, the curve of the curb and paving stones, echoed by the curve of the hose, help focus the eye."

Not to mention the curve of the other chap's stomach!

Good choices. The design and gesture of Nigel's image really shines stylistically, almost like an Art Deco abstraction. If not for the pneumatic tool it could be an image taken 100 years ago.

Well done, Mike (and sponsor) and participants! What good photographic fun.

Thank you, Mike, to hosting this truly wonderful, thrilling and entertaining contest. Every detail, from contest set-up, choosen semi- and finalists, being able to read all the comments of fellow TOP readers made it an unique event. Having said this, I strongly hope there will be others rather sooner than later.

Thank you Anonymous Donor not only for putting up the prices but even more for your most eloquent, observing and ahhhh, so nice to read aloud comments on all the finalist photos. It added even on to the delight of the past two weeks. (Specially as I can frankly say that your interpretation of the winner´s photo hits exactly what the photographer told me how he sees that frame.)

Congrats to all semi-finalists, finalists and winners. You all have a great eye.

Wonderful choices. Congratulations to the winners. (I am also happy my favorite made the list!)

With this competition and the Father-son print sale, you are promoting photography again, Mike. Good for you, and your competition sponsor.

I didn't even get a mention in the competition, but I'm glad I entered. Congratulations to the winners.

I am so pleased that my favorite won!

This was really wonderful, Mike. A very interesting experiment, and I think very successful. In this era of a trillion photographs, it's very very hard to find new "gold" but I think you may have developed an approach. Well done!

Now let's see the book!

I’ll be honest and say I was troubled by the unsubtle subtext: men-work/women-whore. Not that they’re not great photos. But troubled.

[I didn't like that either. But contest entries are a hodgepodge, not an authored, balanced presentation. For instance, there is no requirement stated or enforced that all the semifinalists or finalists make a coherent set of pictures or even look good together; the winners actually have a bit of dissonance in that regard for me, as they don't make a good set of three pictures; each one has to be considered individually.

There are a whole lot of factors that I really don't think should come in to play in judging a contest. To name a few which the judge and I talked about: whether to make a conscious effort to represent male and female photographers (we didn't); whether to award the prizes to someone who we sensed might need the money (didn't factor in); whether older or newer pictures should be favored or disfavored (we discussed it, and we might have had a slight bias toward more recently created pictures). We also made no effort to balance B&W and color evenly or proportionately.

Neither were the implications of what all the pictures taken together said about work considered. We never said, for instance, "well, we already have one office worker (or whatever) already, we won't include another." All the pictures were evaluated on individual merits, separately from the any of the others. --Mike]

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks again to the sponsor, the judge, and those who participated by submitting the photographs and posting comments. I very much enjoyed going through all the photographs and reading people's reaction to them.

Very fine work all around. Congratulations to the winners!

@ Kenneth: "If not for the pneumatic tool it could be an image taken 100 years ago" I just had to look this up!

According to the big W, the pneumatic hammer (or with a 'T' handle, the labourer's motorbike) was patented on May 19th, 1892 by Charles Brady King, an American who could turn his hand to all sorts of things. This is what they say about him:


This contest has certainly been a wonderful experience for me. It has been very gratifying to see all the comments about my old photo that has been one of my favorites for nearly 40 years. For me just the reaction to “Turkey Man” and the comments it received are far more valuable than any monetary prize could have been.

It is an honor to have had my photo included with the other semi-finalists and finalists. These are a bunch of truly fine photographs. I decided not to comment during the contest, so I’d like to make a few comments now.

I love the winner. It’s an amazing photo on so many levels. It says “work” quite eloquently. Those guys are great, in every sense of the word. And the composition is lovely. The tones are beautiful...exactly what a black and white photo should be. I also feel that the tones and composition are so strong that, if you can remove the idea of the real subject matter from your mind, you can see this photo as a wonderful piece of abstract art. It works as a photo independently of the subject matter.

The second place photo is fantastic in its depth and complexity. It’s beautiful and not easy to read. You have to take time and look, and your attention is well rewarded. Photos like this seldom do well in contests. It speaks to the quality of the photographers who read TOP and to the quality of the judging in this contest that this photo made it all the way to being awarded a prize. It’s an example of fine seeing, both by the photographer and by the judges.

And, the third place photo comes from the finest traditions of photojournalism. That was my original photography career and I’m a life-long admirer of the work of the great concerned photographers such as W. Eugene Smith. This kind of work seems to me to not be so popular these days, at least with the general public. It’s still being done, though, and this photo represents well that tradition which reaches back to the beginnings of portable cameras. I can only wish the best for the photographer and his continued work. I’m very pleased that a photo from this tradition ended up with one of the prizes.

It speaks volumes about TOP, both the management and the community of readers, that this was such great contest. Great photos, great judging, great comments and a great outcome. I’m proud to have been a small part of it. Thank you to everyone who commented on my photo and thank you to Mike and the mystery judge and mystery donor who made this possible.

Congratulations to the winners and all who contributed. This was a great contest and learning experience Mike. Hope it becomes a regular feature.

Shame about the Turkey Man, but what a fine 1,2,3!! Well done Mike for organising this contest, and of course many thanks to the mystery benefactor.

Congratulations to the winners, well deserved. I think these are excellent choices. Kudos also to the Judge and the donor. Very generous in time and money.

In the winning photo you failed to mention the curve of the guys stomach.........

No way.

Can I buy a copy of "turkey man?"

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