Monday, June 28, 2010

Photo Contest,.....Judge?!

Yes I, a proclaimed canoeist was offered an opportunity to enter a
photo contest held by an instructional/guiding
kayak company!


As you can all pretty much guess, I don't leave for a canoe trip or any other outing for that matter without my camera gear. Rarely will you see any of my blog posts without photos. I believe they add so much more to the blog than just a ramble of words. Photos help to capture the wild unfettered imagination (which is not always a bad thing) and helps you to visualize either what exactly is taking place or what words cannot describe. Even though I take photos for myself to remember special moments of a trip, I also do so for my sponsors, publications, and the odd time photo contests.


I don't often end up in photos, but when I do, the camera is
usually with me or very close by.
Photo: Ben Albert

I don't really make it a priority to enter photo contests. I get the odd email from friends and family letting me know about them, but for the most part its last on my list of things to do. But occasionally I will depending on what the contest is about. Like when I was introduced to Dympna and James from learntokayak.ca at the Outdoor Adventure Show this spring. They are an amiable couple that were so easy to get along with. (Outdoor people usually are!) It was evident how they would be excellent instructors/guides for their kayaking company.



And of course when the camera is with me, I'm often found shooting.
But so do my paddling friends with cameras! Here they
decided to take a pic of my better side!!
(pay back time!!)
Photo: Dimitry Sapon

During the time we got to know each other, Dympna, who had already seen my photos and complimented me gave me one of their company's logo sticker and told me to enter their photo contest. (even though I don't have a kayak!) You simply have to have the sticker appear in the photo you take to enter. Simple enough. I already had ideas swirling in my head and was looking forward to it.

We kept in touch through email and I shared more photos with them from past canoe trips. It must have impressed them enough that one day they requested that I judge their photo contest. Wow! I was a bit shocked and flattered, but agreed to help them with the contest. (so much for my ideas for the contest!) In any case, I now get to judge a photo contest rather than being judged! How's that for a 180 degree turn!


Dympna and James from learntokayak.ca show how an effective
placement of the company's sticker can create an amazing
effective photo!! (to us devout canoeist!)
Photo: Al Hassabo

Well, do you want to enter?! First off, you need to get a hold of a logo sticker from them. Either email me or contact them directly. Then whenever you head into the big blue yonder, slap that sticker on wherever is most appropriate (like I said, APPROPRIATE!) and take that million dollar shot and submit it. You'll have until September before the contest closes which should be more than enough time to convince you to get out there, not just to take pictures, but to also enjoy time out paddling.

So the big question is, "What's the prize?!!" There needs to be some sort of "carrot" to get you out there taking pictures! The person with the ultimate winning photo will win a Werner kayak paddle. This is not just an ordinary paddle, it is one of Werner's top of the line paddle that is retailed for over $500!! (yes, holy crap!!) It is made entirely of carbon fiber and is not only super light weight but really tough as well. It has all the bells and whistles such as being ergonomically shaped and being totally adjustable. What more can you ask?! I know I know, it won't help the canoeist out there, but winning it might just be enough incentive to get you into a kayak. And who better to teach you than James and Dympna!


Sometimes luck and quick action can provide a moment for
a great photo op. Just have to be ready with a camera!

Here is some information that will help guide you as you take those amazing shots. Listed below is what I will be looking for and how I will judge in order of importance:

1) Relevance: The sticker plays a big part in the picture. It needs relevance. If you stick in on your arm and take a picture it is meaningless. But if it is on an arm and the muscles are bulging while taking a powerful stroke with a kayak paddle, that is relevance! Let me see how the sticker plays into the picture.

2) Creativity: Set your creative side loose and let your imagination take control. Have the picture paint a story, or have me wondering, guessing or questioning. And, a good sense of humour will not only be appreciated, but considered too!

3) Photography Skills: This is more the technical side of photography where I will look at things such as the subject being in focus, lighting, exposure and composition. As much as this area is important, I won't be too rigid here as long as the picture is decent. Remember, this is a fun photo contest. I expect the picture to be taken well, but not to perfection. (and if it is, all the better!)


Pictures can relay a lot, such as the above. Humour, creativity,
and questions all wrapped up together in a decent photo.
The only thing is to relate that with the sticker!


Well that's it folks! I look forward to seeing all those amazing photos from your various outings this summer. I usually try to inspire others through my photos, however I hope this time to be motivated and inspired by yours! Best of luck to you all! Happy paddling & shooting!

Cheers,
David and the crew from learntokayak.ca, Dympna and James

PS. Here the link to the photo contest page below:


Want to win these fancy Werner kayak paddles? Go ahead and enter
the learntokayak.ca photo contest and have fun shooting.
We certainly did, - or should I say, they did!!
Photo: Al Hassabo


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