Calling for entries: The inaugural Mingthein.com photography contest!

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I’m happy to announce a new and (hopefully long-term) feature for the site; something that’ll foster more active participation, buy me time to add more content, and of course, give back more to the readers: I’m going to run a photography contest.

The basic principles:
– It will be 100% merit based. I will be judging.
– There will be a cash award for the winner and runner up!
– The prizes will be supported by a small entry fee of US$5 – the more people who enter, the bigger the award pot becomes. So share it with your friends!
– You will learn something: the final 10 images will be given a detailed critique on the site.
– Unlike just about every other competition out there, I won’t keep the rights to your images; all you need to agree to is allow me to publish the image here if you win, or if you make the final 10.
– There are no restrictions on equipment or date the picture was shot.
– You do of course need to have shot the photo, and own the rights to the image.
– Images must be in the theme of the competition.

This is designed to be a competition by photographers, for photographers.

First theme: The Human Element

Judging criteria: The winning photo must be compositionally strong, have an obvious subject, be technically well executed in a manner that supports the subject, and above all, it must generate an emotional response in the viewer. There’s got to be a person in there somewhere. Color or black and white are both equally acceptable, as are posed and candid images. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or professional, I’m only looking at the quality of your image.

Closing date: Midnight GMT, 31 July, 2012.

How to enter:
– Each participant is allowed to enter one image.
– Images must be in jpeg format, 1500 pixels wide on the long side.
– Watermarks are fine but must not obscure the subject (obviously)!
– Send an email with “July 2012″ [space] plus your name in the subject line to mingthein2(at)gmail.com. The body of the email should contain your paypal address (payment is required for participation), name, your image and its title.
– Send your entry fee of US$5 via Paypal gift to mingthein2@gmail.com
– I will confirm receipt of both to the email address the image came from.
– Judging will take place in the first week of August, with results to come thereafter.
– Multiple entries are not allowed.

The fine print:
– First place takes 50% of the total entry fees received.
– The runner up takes 20% of the total entry fees received.
– The balance of 30% will go towards running and supporting this site.
– You must own the rights to the image submitted.
– Rights for all images submitted remain property of the photographer, but in order to be eligible to win, the photographer must grant mingthein.com the rights to publish the image either as part of the final 10 critique, or as the winner.
– The judges’ decision is final.
– Photoshop allowed, but digital editing is limited to adjustments to color/ contrast/ dodge & burn/ sharpening/ minor retouching including spot removal etc. Changes of substantial portions of the image in order to alter the overall impression of the photograph are not allowed, and if detected are subject to disqualification.
– Your email address and other personal data will remain confidential and not be shared with any third party.

- Entries are welcome from any country, it’s an international competition!

Remember: the prize grows directly proportional to number of entries, so share this with your other photography friends and on Facebook!

Good luck, and may the best image win! Looking forward to seeing all of your entries. MT

Comments

  1. Thank you for having this contest and most of all for your blog and giving to the photo community.
    Please write a post about your lighting technique and philosophy. I think it is what makes your photography great.

    • Thank you! I’m hoping to turn it into a monthly event if there’s enough support.

      As for lighting – a lot of my work is available light; there isn’t really much to talk about other than paying close attention to what you’ve got to work with. For my studio work, it’s all covered in the earlier posts on watch photography. I’ll probably do one on food at some point, too.

  2. Stephen Syrotiak says:

    You sent an eCheck payment for $5.00 USD to Onn Ming Thein. Is that you??
    Steve.

  3. Hi Ming!

    Photo sent. Money paid.
    That’ll be fun.

    Best regards.

  4. vesilvio says:

    Wonderful idea this contest !
    You’ve amazing pictures Ming.
    Thank you very much for your work, your tests and the interesting “D800 left AF issue” post !

  5. Glad to know you guys got it there. We will still keep our fingers crossed in looking forward to it :)

    By the way, I just found out your blog searching for that famous D800 AF issue and going through it, I am really liking it. You have covered a lot of interesting topics in a very simple manner, well laid-out, very helpful and elaborate. I will be visiting often.

    Keep up the good work !

    Faisal` .

  6. Then there are still a few countries where paypal doesn’t operate. Technically speaking, it’s a kind of discrimination.

    • If you would prefer to enter via a wire transfer, then go ahead, but your wire fees will be more than the entry fee. Having spent some time looking, this is the only practical and easy method of making the competition work. And since photography is art and art is subjective, the judging is also going to be a process of discriminating one image against another. Remember, entry is purely voluntary…

      • Thanks for your concern. As much as I miss paypal for a lot of international purchases, they don’t seem to land in Pakistan anytime soon. A wire transfer from here takes at least 30-40 US Dollars for processing so I am afraid that’s also not a good option. When I first read this post, I thought there might be a payment option using direct credit card. But anyways I will try to figure a way out for it.

        Thanks.
        Faisal`.

        • Hey, you never know. It’s a big market. I didn’t think we’d be getting a full Paypal service in Malaysia either, but we did earlier this year (and before that, I probably wouldn’t have run the competition either – impossible to get money out!).

  7. compared to your images, I don’t have a chance of winning but maybe I can get in the top 10 as I would love a critique from you. :) Plus I will gladly support you and your contest. Nice to have one actually judged by a competent photographer and not a popular vote of best friends. :)

  8. i’m from India, can i participate?

  9. Sounds like fun.
    Just sent my photo and entry fee.

  10. What’s the size of the pool so far? :)

  11. Thanks, Ming Thein, for organising this contest. I echo the commenters above — what a brilliant initiative! (I submitted my entry earlier.)

    I rarely comment online, but just wish to say I have enjoyed and am enjoying your essays, opinion pieces and photos. About the only section I don’t read much of on the site are the ‘gadget’ reviews and lighting set-ups. (Partially because I’m contented with my set-up and cos I’m supremely lazy; natural light is all I can bother to ‘set up’!)

    Photography for me is, at heart, a hobby, though I’ve shot semi-professionally, mainly as an ‘extra’ part of my job. Even though I don’t do much product, marco and architectural photography (which seem to be your mainstay), a lot of what you say about the art and the craft of photography resonates with me.

    Thank you for sharing so much. It’s a delight to read well-written photography blogs containing superb photos, and yours is a bonus as you seem to cover every genre.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks for your support! I started off with the essays and opinion pieces, but it seems like we are in the minority – to get people here to read them, I need to do reviews. But rest assured, the philosophical musings will continue – they’re my personal favorite part of the site, too.

      Please share the contest with your friends, the more entries we get, the larger the prize pool…

  12. I had a lot of fun with this, it gave me a chance to reprocess a 5 year old photo taken with a mediocre point and shoot using some techniques learned since then. Can’t wait to see the winners next month!

  13. robert e says:

    Dear Ming,

    I’m not a regular reader of your blog, but I had to take a moment to applaud this rare and welcome attempt to hold a photo contest that is not also a grab for rights, money, or facebook friends. I’m also a big fan of judges explaining their choices. The one thing that would make this contest better is assurance that entrants’ email and other personal info will not be shared, sold or used for any other purpose.

    I have no chance of winning, but I plan to enter just to support your effort.

    Best of luck!
    robert e

    • Thanks for your support!

      Yes, of course, the email info won’t be shared. I’ll add that into the fine print. Didn’t think about it because I didn’t think to use them :) I just need to be able to get hold of the winners afterwards!

    • Ming, Maybe you can charge a little more to ensure feedback and comment from you.
      Also, how about setting up a Flickr group and post all the contest photos for all of us to see and also comment on it….

      • That’s an interesting idea. I wasn’t sure if people would want to pay more for critiques…we could try it with the second one. I don’t think I can do detailed critiques for everybody at say $10 though, that just doesn’t work looking at the time required. (On a per hour basis, I might as well work at McDonalds haha).

        Flickr group will come with the next contest. I can’t do it now because the T&C didn’t put a provision in for that (and I wouldn’t want to violate the terms of my own image use licenses…)

  14. Would you give your comments and critic to those who do not win any prizes? I know there may be a lot of entries and it would be quite time consuming for you. But it good to provide a few pointers if time allows.

    • Let’s see how many entries there are – if it goes into the hundreds, there’s no way I can physically do it. I’ll see what I can do…

  15. Azahan Azad says:

    I say man must send $5 via Paypal… any other means of send $5 to yah? No Paypal account.

  16. Sent! Shared with all my serious photog friends too. This is a lovely idea. Hope it gives you a happy problem of a TON of entries! Hahaha.

  17. Digital Adrian says:

    Sounds like a great deal of fun indeed… now to get that perfect picture worthy of sending.

  18. Hi Ming.

    What exactly is “the human element?”
    Google is not giving me an answer @. @

    • People! A person! Interaction! Emotion! It can be a struggle, a triumph, sadness, or a joy. Something along those lines – but I leave it open to interpretation. Photography is about imagination and seeing differently. I want to make the theme as open as possible to prevent it turning into an execution contest rather than one that tests all the skills of a photographer…

  19. The more people that enter, the bigger the pot but the smaller the chances of winning! aiyo

  20. This should be fun. Quick question: one image per person per first bullet under How To Enter or “your chosen two images” under the fourth bullet?

  21. Oh baby baby, now this sounds like fun :D What better way to learn than to have feedback from you and other photographers both professional and hobbyist. I’m in!

Trackbacks

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  6. [...] Details on how to enter here. Knowledge is for sharing:EmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed Under: Competitions Tagged With: competition, final call, july 2012, ming, mingthein.com, thein « Final call for entries – the inaugural Mingthein.com photo contest closes tomorrow at midnight! [...]

  7. [...] Full details here. Thanks for playing! MT Knowledge is for sharing:EmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed Under: Competitions Tagged With: competition, final call, july 2012, ming, ming thein, mingthein.com, thein « Inspirations from older cameras: The Ricoh GR Digital III [...]

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  23. [...] Quick update – the competition is coming along nicely; we’ve got 20+ great entries so far, but come on folks, I see plenty of great images in the newly-minted Flickr pool that would qualify and do well – but no corresponding entries! Remember, the more people entering, the larger the cash prize. Entry details can be found here. [...]

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  29. [...] Full details here. Knowledge is for sharing.Digg Pin ItEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed Under: Competitions Tagged With: competition, july 2012, ming, ming thein, mingthein.com, thein « Photoessay: Some Hublots (and, how to shoot watches on location with available light…) [...]

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