Archive for October, 2011

October 31, 2011

Photo contest – voting results!

Thanks to everyone who voted! Wow it’s still going to be a hard decision 😛

First, there were some votes for photos that I said I wouldn’t enter – the red chair (95) and the infirmary gate (33). I appreciate the votes for those, in fact I really love the gate one myself. But as the red chair is the most commonly photographed cell in the whole place, and the gate was also a photo in the slideshow by the instructor, I just don’t feel that they would win. Though I may have taken the gate photo exactly the same without seeing a similar image first, it’s just not unique enough because of that.

The other images that I sadly had to disqualify are the gargoyles. I loooove me some gargoyles 😀 and I may end up getting some cards with the most popular image on them (2), but as they were a halloween decoration and not a permanent part, I feel that they have less of a chance of winning this contest.

There was a clear first place winner after removing those images from consideration – I counted votes for the color and black and white versions to be the same and images 24/25 got 5 votes total! The color one wins out with 4 votes:

I will be entering this image! And later this week, I’ll use it to show you the power of RAW format and how it really can benefit your images.  For the second, we have a tie among several images…



47:  OK, so this didn’t get any votes but it has my vote, so I’m still considering it! I really like the image, AND this was in an area that we didn’t have full access too, my timing was great that I could sneak in during a tour and get this shot. So, because I feel it’s a strong image that no one else probably got, I’m including it in the tie.


88:  One of the two votes for this image came from a professional who I consider to be the best in the state (at a minimum), and his reasoning is that it includes a human element with the boot.

I’m pretty much torn evenly between 47 and 88 at the moment, but that may change. I may have to just flip a coin….  I have to decide today and submit them for the contest, so I’ll let you know what I decide!

Thanks again to all who entered, I may do a random drawing even if I don’t win the contest, so stay tuned!

October 26, 2011

Eastern State Penitentiary Photos (And a contest!)

Just in time for Halloween (my favorite holiday!), I’d like to share some photos from a workshop this past weekend that I attended. Tamron and one of my local shops, Photozone offered this great opportunity to take photos all day long at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia PA!

Saturday was a two hour classroom setting seminar which went over the schedule for the next day, what to bring, and a presentation by Ken Hubbard from Tamron on what to expect at the Penitentiary and how to get the most out of our cameras.  Sunday, we boarded a bus before the crack of dawn (ouch!) and headed down to Philadelphia.  The day started with a private tour before the site was open to the public, and then we were free to shoot.

As an added bonus, Tamron had tables set up with their lenses and we could borrow any of them to shoot! I borrowed the 10-24 mm wide angle in the morning (worked amazing in the tight cells!) and the 60mm f2.0 macro in the afternoon.

(Tamron is offering a similar workshop a few times in November that goes to the Lakota Wolf Preserve! It just may be worth getting up that early (or earlier) once again… See their full event schedule here.)

When we got back to Photozone, there was a raffle with many prizes – I won a lens cleaning pen, but the first prize was a new tripod (Oh I could have used that, as mine broke that day! Not so bad that I couldn’t use it the rest of the day, but I definitely need to replace it).

But the more exciting contest – which has my competitive spirit going full force – is a photo contest!  Each participant can submit 2 photos from the workshop, and the instructor is going to choose a winner. The prize is a Tamron 70-300mm VC USD Di Lens!  I have a 1 in 23 chance of winning it, and I am DETERMINED!

This is where YOU come in! And to sweeten the deal, if I win, YOU WIN!  I need help choosing my two best images to submit. If the image you vote for wins the contest, I’ll be sending you a prize too!

Note: While I will count all votes and try to submit the two highest ranking images, I have a few that I probably wouldn’t submit.  This is because a few images I took (and really like) are similar to the instructor’s images in the slideshow during his presentation. I don’t know how that would affect the chances of winning, but I don’t feel that submitting a “copy” image (even if it’s my own take on it) is a good idea… The two images below are examples of this – the gate at the infirmary and probably the most popular photo from the site, the barbershop chair. If you want to try to talk me into considering them, go ahead, but this is the only reason I’ll overrule the votes.

OK so let’s get down to the nitty gritty details!


Go to the album of images either on

Vote for your TWO favorite images by leaving a comment (any comment) on the images. If you can’t choose two, you can just vote for one, but it lowers your chances! Do not vote on both sites, just go to the one most convenient for you.  If there’s a color image you think should be black & white, you can state that in your comment/vote.

You have until Friday October 28 at 12 noon (EST) to vote. Friday, I will count and determine the two winning images, and over the weekend I will refine these images further before submitting them to the contest by October 31.

If an image you voted for wins a new lens for me, YOU WIN! You will have your choice of either

  • A gift print of any image from the Penitentiary series, 8″ x 10″ or smaller (your choice of size)
  • A set of 5 greeting cards with any image from the Penitentiary series (all 5 will be the same image, blank inside)

If you have any questions or comments that aren’t votes, please leave them below!  Thanks, and I look forward to us BOTH winning! 😀

(Yes, I still have photos from Burning Man, our road trip, and my amazing class with Neil Van Niekerk to finish up and post. I had to work on these in a hurry to make the contest deadline! They are coming I promise!)


Edit to add: If you vote for a color or B&W image, and I send the same image but opposite of the one you voted for, I’ll still count your vote when it wins! 😀