So the 2012 World Wide Photo Walk results are in and you can see the grand prize winner and 10 finalists over at Scott Kelby's blog along with many of his personal favorites that didn't make the cut.
The really cool thing is that at the World Wide Photo Walk web site in the people's choice section you can see all the local walk winners from around the world and get the opportunity to vote. They are presented in order alphabetically by location.
Entering contests means you put yourself out there for others to judge. In this case you were judged by your local walk leader, then by Scott. I don't envy having to go through all these images and pick just one winner. I've been a photo contest judge in the past and know that everyone will second guess you. Even in this case as I looked through all the local winners, I found images that I liked better than those ultimately selected. That doesn't mean anything really, because who am I to disagree, the ultimate winner is a very nice photograph.
I participated in the Washington DC (Capitol Hill and The Mall) photo walk and thought I would share a few thoughts about the day and the process I used for selecting my contest entry. First, it forced me to get up before dawn on a cold morning and photograph around the U.S. Capitol Building and for that I am grateful. And I was happy with the results after two hours of shooting.
When the time came to select which photo I would enter, I struggled a bit. Did I submit the night shot of the Capitol, a portrait, or the still life of the apple taken in front of the Department of Health and Human Services? The shot of the Capitol was technically very good, but I figured everyone would have a similar shot and there was nothing really special about it. The lighting in the portrait was very nice and I figured most other walkers would not have photographed people, concentrating instead on the buildings. And the apple, which I thought was something very different, a found object in an unusual location, might stand out among other submissions.
So I went with the apple and was happy with the decision. I don't mind being judged and even though that photo didn't receive as much praise as the others when shared on Facebook and Flickr, it was my decision and that is a freeing experience. I've spent much of my photographic career playing it safe and this was my small chance to just go with my feelings.
My photo was not selected by the local leader and in fact when all the local photos were posted, I picked the same photo that was ultimately selected.
Would I have won if I went a safer route and submitted my night Capitol shot? It was better than the other night shots submitted after all. But the fact that others had submitted those same shots just confirms that I was conforming again which only makes me happier that I submitted the photo I did.
I mentioned in a previous post on the topic what I hoped to get out of a group photo walk and things went pretty much as expected. Following other walkers and leaders, as well as posting photos on Google + was a great way to connect and expand on the experience. It also made me take a second look at using Google + more often. One thing that I hoped for was a little more interaction between walkers and some follow up afterwards. From what I saw on Google +, it appeared many of the other groups met and shared photos immediately following the event.
I have an idea for a great walk location next year and will apply to be a group leader. More to come on that.
See my selection of photos from the Washington DC (Capitol Hill and The Mall) World Wide Photo Walk on Flickr.