BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Janet Detota
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2004
 

Confused About A First Place Winner


I may have missed something somewhere along the line, but how can a photo that was submitted in 8/05 win in the 12/06 contest? I apologize if I'm being really dense here, but I would liket to know. Thanks....


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2/8/2007 4:48:47 AM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Hi Janet. It's possible that the photo was first uploaded in 2005 and the person just resubmitted it into the contest, or submitted it for the first time into the contest just recently, even though it has been in their gallery a while. The dates shown are the dates the photo is uploaded onto that person's gallery, not the date they entered it into the contest. Hope that helps.
Becky


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2/8/2007 5:10:12 AM

 
Susan M. Hembree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2006
Contact Susan
Susan's Gallery
  I've seen a number of photos getting resubmitted to the contest and often they seem to finalize and win the second or third time around. Which goes to show you that you can't give up if your image doesn't get noticed the first time around.


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2/12/2007 4:27:52 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  lol I stopped submitting to the contest so I wouldnt have to think about stuff like this... Im doing much better now, In fact, im able to use the kitchen knives and my shaving razor again (whew! its been a looong two years) lol


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2/14/2007 5:53:29 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LOL,LOL,LOL! Craig,
Sometimes you just crack me up!
But , I get to use the knives now too,lol.

Please do not take these contests to heart and Do re-submit images if they don't win and you really want this type of win.
There are so many entries it is impossable to remember them all- this contest is global.
I have submitted images that have been Nationally Published and won awards in other venues and nothing here.
I really do sugest that as you enter here, you also enter in other contests and submitt to Magazines ect. These can be a truer win.
And renenber it all in fun:-)


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2/14/2007 6:58:02 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Oh and Craig,
Your gallery is diffinately a award winner!


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2/14/2007 7:00:44 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Resubmitting is allowed -and I'd say encouraged... A couple of my finalists and one of the winners is a resub...
Maybe with a little tweaking or change - but still the same pic


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2/16/2007 5:34:07 PM

 
Kai Eiselein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/21/2003
  LOL, I understand completely, Craig. I've been a member since 2003 and have yet to have so much as a finalist, and I make my living as a photojournalist.
I'm either stubborn or stupid, but if none of mine get that medal for January, I'll resubmit through the end of February. If none of those make the cut, I'll stop submitting, too.


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2/18/2007 11:27:42 PM

 
Shawn M. Marymee
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/23/2006
  Kai,
don't give up, you have some great Photos. If you quite, then what hope do I have of getting that elussive finialist. LOL. I would miss see you in the count downs. Don't give up you have wonderful photos!! Your wrestling photo last month was a winner even if they forgot it.


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2/20/2007 2:12:57 PM

 
Dave Bell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/1/2005
  I have noticed that there are several groups of people that willall upload at the same time each week, and then they all say how wonderfull each other's pics are, and I think to myself these are ok but not what they are all raving about, but they get to be finalists and winners. So my conclusion is that the more responses you get on your " discuss this pic " section, the more chance you have of being picked out to become a finalist.
I think Craig and Kai have terrific photos and like Shawn says what chance do the rest of have unless we can make a lot of friends.


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2/22/2007 2:01:41 PM

 
Janet Detota
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2004
  Kinda like the squeaky wheel getting the grease? Could be some truth to it, but there have been some winners with hardly a comment before they get a finalist medal. I've been spending more time on usefilm and photo.net lately....


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2/22/2007 2:07:30 PM

 
Laurie Daily
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2006
Contact Laurie
Laurie's Gallery
lauriedailyphotography.com
  Dave, I have to disagree with you. I don't think it's true the more friends you have the better your chances of an award. I tend to upload an image in the early morning before work and if time allows, I comment on a few that are being uploaded at the same time. Yes, I do endd up commenting on some of the same because we must be on the same time schedule...Then I am gone all day. I do get a few comments, but I certainly wouldn't say that I am bombarded with comments and I have gotten a few finalists and one second since joining BP last summer. There are so many photos submitted each day it would make me nuts to think I am doing this for an award...that is the icing on the cake for me.


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2/22/2007 2:10:23 PM

 
Peter W. Marks
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/5/2006
  I like your conspiracy theory Dave but I doubt that it is valid! lol
What bugs me a little is that this is a site that purports to further folk's photographic skills but when responding to other's images the best they can manage is "Awesome capture" or "Great DOF" Sheesh! I recognise that just about every one on here makes better images than I do, so I desperately want to read comments that spell out to me what it is that is earning this adulation! What is it about that flower shot that makes it worthy of such excessive praise. I must be missing something!

Pete


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2/22/2007 4:35:28 PM

 
Janet Detota
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2004
  Peter,

Try usefilm.com and photo.net if you want more than 'nice shot' comments...

Janet


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2/22/2007 5:02:52 PM

 
Susan M. Hembree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2006
Contact Susan
Susan's Gallery
  Dave,
I am pretty sure that what you are saying is not true. I've only been a member since July and I have 3 finalists. Those 3 barely had any comments on them at when they became finalists, either.
What I have tried to do since I joined is to enter a photo a day like is allowed. I like doing that because it keeps me constantly practicing my photography. I also study the winners alot and have tried some things I've never done before. It's actually been quite fun to see what I can do with a photo!
I enjoy spending time looking at other people's work and commenting, too. And I've never gone to anyone specifically, just selected at random what to look at or what may catch my eye. Then, I only comment on those I really like or think has some emotional value overall. I have found this site a great way to get to know people that share my love for photography, learn some new techniques and I've learned alot in the short time I've been on.
I've also had some conversations with e-mail with people and even discussed getting together with some to shoot together. So, I think as people get to know each other here, they probably do begin to look at each other's photographs and try to be encouraging by writing the comments. In the end, this site is just a great place to develop a support system!

So, all in all, I think the judges are trying to be fair and honest with their decision making. I know I saw a comment from the owner of the site, Jim Miotke, saying that there is an overwhelming amount of photos that come in every month and that they've thought about cutting down the number of entries allowed. From that, I assume that it's a very difficult job sorting through all the entries to come up with the list of finalist and winners. I know that they get about 24 - 28,000 entries a month and out of that only about 700 are picked for finalists and only about 100 are picked as winners. I'm not sure how many judges there are, but if they are from the group that is a part of the BP staff, then there's not that many.

So, that's my two cents worth. I'm just going to keep enjoying the site. And like Laurie says, if you do get a finalist, it's just icing on the cake.


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2/22/2007 5:38:36 PM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  Pete,

I can relate to what you are saying about with all the "great shot" comments. That is the safe comment because so many on here do not want to hear critical comments, or conversly, are afraid of offending. My advice it to either make the first comment on your own photo and put it in the Critical Comments thread, or better yet, find someone whose work you admire, and ask them what they did, or ask them to critique your work. But the most important thing to do is be very critical of your own work. Try to seperate yourself from an emotional attachment and ask yourself what you like about it and what you don't like about it. DF


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2/22/2007 9:41:40 PM

 
Dave Bell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/1/2005
  Laurie D, Susan R

You are probably right, as you both have been acredited.
I tell you what does bug me: is when you look at someones gallery and they have been awarded "finalist or Winner" , I would like to know which catagory they have succeeded in. It never tells you, or have I missed something.
I also agree with Pete, and I try to say what has impressed me about the shot I am praising someone for, I often find I can relate to an essence or a feeling or maybe a memory that is triggered by a picture. Likewise it would be nice to know what it is that I have "Captured " that the viewer liked.


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2/23/2007 11:28:54 AM

 
Revonda L. Gentry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2005
  Dave I have had a finalist with 0 comments lol!!


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2/23/2007 1:19:17 PM

 
Shawn M. Marymee
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/23/2006
  Pete,
I have to say that I agree with Dennis on this. I love it when he comments on my photos. It can be brutal but thats what I want. I came here to learn and this is what has helped my photography the most. I can say that I have been gulity of saying "great capture" on some photos but when I comment on them I realy think that was a great photo!!
When I first came here I figured out real quick that there is a steep learning curve and that there is a lot of competion. Humble Pie was a great learning experience. LOL!!!


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2/24/2007 1:03:20 PM

 
Kai Eiselein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/21/2003
  Well, I can't justify spending the time prepping photos for this contest. Over four years without a finalist is a long time.
It has become painfully obvious I don't shoot what the judges like.


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2/24/2007 7:14:05 PM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
  Me I think if you put your picture on the CC. Then you should expect to get the true about the photo. I wouldn't want people to say its great when its not. If it needs something then tell me and It will be up to the person to take there advice. If you don't want the truth about your photo's then you should put them on the CC at all. The only way to learn is to tell the true. I have learn so much since I was on here. I have been taken pictures with the new camera for a couple years. Well I guess it not new then LOL LOL But after being on here and putting some of my Favorites to get CC. I can see that my pictures aren't as great as I thought they were I can pick out things that I should have done better to make them crisper and more colour and contrast. If everyone wouldn't have told me my pictures were great I might have not seen that I can do much much better with my photo's in the future. I want to thank everyone that told me the truth and didn't just praise my pictures.


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2/24/2007 7:56:06 PM

 
Dave Bell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/1/2005
  what does LOL mean? everybody uses this what does it mean.

Somebody enlighten me please.


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2/25/2007 2:34:28 AM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
LOL = Laughing Out Loud

One LOL is all you need per sentence or expression. No need to repeat.

It's one of the chat acronyms.
Here's the list of chat acronyms.
http://www.real-knowledge.com/chatacro.htm


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2/25/2007 7:09:26 AM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
On the same line, you may

LMAO = Laught my A** Off

ROFL = Rolling On the Floor Laughing
(the above LINK I posted lists ROTFL but
ROFL is normally used.)


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2/25/2007 7:19:17 AM

 
Dave Bell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/1/2005
  Oh Thanks Nobi

I had thought it was "lots of love" and that it did seem a bit overfriendly.
Now I know!
Cheers Dave


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2/25/2007 7:22:57 AM

 
Revonda L. Gentry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2005
  lol..sorry:)


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2/25/2007 8:07:09 AM

 
Susan M. Hembree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2006
Contact Susan
Susan's Gallery
  Let me just comment on one of my finalists called "Teller Window". That photo was taken of one of the entrance teller windows at King's Dominion (an amusement park) here in Virginia. It was one of the first times I had ever tried an abstract photo like this. A friend I was with thought I was nuts and actually was laughing at me. I told her that I had seen photographs like this as winners on BP, so I'd give it a try. I actually had my own doubts, but what did I have to lose, it's a free contest. When I got home, I opened the photo and did adjustments in PSCS and was astounded at the results. I uploaded it into my gallery and sent a link to my friend so she could see how it turned out. She called me and asked how much I was going to ask for it because she thought it was terrific and she wanted a copy! She also couldn't believe that it had turned out the way it did because she had watched me take it and it didn't make sense at the time. Anyways, the point of the story is that I tried something new. Something I hadn't ever considered before. Something I thought was totally off the wall. All my finalists are like that. Something I had never saw before or really tried before. In fact, I am always surprised at what has actually finalized in what I've submitted. Now, so far I don't think I have that WOW factor that becomes a winner. I'm still new at seeing these things and looking at things artistically. And it is an artistic viewpoint that all the contest suggestions talk about. I do believe the judges are probably looking at these photos on an artistic level and, since it is an educational site, are also looking for all the rules of thumb that fit with the educational perspective. I.E. rules of thirds, patterns, perspective, lighting, contrasts, textures, sharpness (or blur effect), etc. And then, most important, creativity or is it something someone hasn't tried before. I also think color is a big factor because I've noticed that alot of the winners--except for maybe a few b/w's--are very colorful.
As far as overprocessing goes as I hear some people wanting to stay away from. Digital is a new medium and today's processing programs allows for even more creativity than even what could be done in a regular darkroom. Did you all know that Ansel Adams manipulated his photos in the darkroom to get the effects on his photos that he did? I guess you could call that overprocessing a photograph. But look at the impact it has had in the photography world and also to the general public! Where do you think we would be in the photography world if we didn't have people who experimented with "overprocessing" techniques? That's what makes this medium an art form. What I think really matters is the overall impact it will have on the viewer. So, I say, OVERPROCESS to the hilt and see what happens. You may just develop a new technique that has an impact, not only on the judges, but with the general public. Just like what I had with my friend with "Teller Window".
And one more thing...I'm a teacher by trade and it really breaks my heart when I hear people wanting to give up rather than just take the necessary steps to try something different or new. Does anyone know how long it took Walt Disney to become an accomplished cartoonist? He actually had years of problems and disappointments and then Mickey Mouse was born. Most accomplished people have had some aspect of failure in their lives before they've made it work. I've often found that failure in life can actually make for a better return if we take what we've learned from our failures and make use of them. This means continuously trying things another way instead of repeating the same thing over and over again. And most importantly, not giving up! So, to Kai E. and anybody out there who feels like there is no hope, remember it's a free contest. Try to take it as an opportunity to steer you in new directions instead of worrying if you are going to be a winner or not. That's what I do and I'm always surprised by the result. So, try something different and totally off the wall next time you are shooting and keep on submitting those photos!


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2/25/2007 10:33:05 AM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
  Susan very well said.


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2/25/2007 11:18:43 AM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  My only advice, is shoot for yourself. If you are shooting to win a contest, you are probably in it for the wrong reason. Shoot for yourself, be very self critical and refine your techniques.


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2/25/2007 11:26:42 AM

 
Peter W. Marks
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/5/2006
  First of all let me thank Janet for suggesting a couple of other photo websites I might visit. Haven't had a chance to do that yet but certainly will.
Thank you very much Dennis. The advice you offered will certainly be acted upon, particularly the self criticism.
Dave. I am glad we have cleared up the "LOL" for you! As a fellow Brit, albeit exiled in Illinois, I reserve a certain affection for a fellow countryman but I am not at the stage where I am sending you "lots of love" LOL!
Shawn. I shall try the humble pie. Thanks
And you Susan. I have very much appreciated your story of the creation of the Teller's Window and have just looked through your whole gallery. What an inspiration this will be for me. I am never quite sure how I feel about abstracts but your extremely tight and colorful ones do make me stop and think.
So thanks guys, this has been a very inspiring thread.
Pete


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2/25/2007 11:50:30 AM

 
Kai Eiselein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/21/2003
  I'll step in for second here. First of all I don't shoot for contests, I shoot for my newspaper first. If there's a photo that I think is different or interesting enough, I'll enter it. 99% of what I shoot wouldn't make it in any "public" contest.
I do enter photos in other contests, but they are job specific ie: photojournalism.
When I enter photos, I enter to win, plain and simple. I'm not going to enter crap photos. When I put photos in my paper, I want mine to be better than the photos in my competitors' publications, so again, I try to put in only the very best we have to offer.
As for over-processing, it's a dangerous thing for a photojournalist to do. So I try to stay away from it.
I am from the "film generation" but learned the craft backwards, since I started working in my grandparents' litho darkrooms as child and didn't pick up a camera until I was 15.
I'm extremely critical of my work, ask my boss, wife or daughter. It drives them nuts when I start picking apart my photos.
There is a shot in this month's finalists, "Digging in and Turning" I think is the name. Its a barrel racing photo. I, too, entered a barrel racing shot. The two shots are similar, but mine isn't as good. The other shooter has a better angle and better light. Fair enough, I can live with that.
On the other hand, I've seen other shots that are similar to mine that have been finalists, and I felt mine were better.
I'm not afraid to admit it when others have better shots, in fact I do it at work. I've pulled my shots in favor of someone else's several times. The last time was a couple of weeks ago when one of my high school interns gave me a photo that blew mine away. To say the least, he got a lot of praise from me!
Many of the photos on BP are absolutely amazing and inspiring. In fact I've learned much from this site. When I first "went digital" I was scanning from prints and the scans never looked as good as the original. Threads on BP gave me the answers, I also learned about unsharp mask and level equalization from this site.
But the bottom line comes down to the fact that I can no longer justify the time I spend prepping a shot for BP, when I could be prepping it for sale on my newspaper's website.
I do have hopes for for a couple of my February entries, especially the basketball shot, and I'll re-enter a few shots from last month, but I think that'll be about it for me.



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2/25/2007 1:08:47 PM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
Kai,
I love your work.
I love to be doing what you are doing much more than a win or two here at BP.

I saw your basketball shot. It is one of a kind. Great work. It's a winner regardless of a win here (I hope it does). I'm sure the players and the referee would treasure that photo,.. I would if I were one of them.


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2/25/2007 1:28:12 PM

 
Kai Eiselein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/21/2003
  LOL, Nobi, it's funny should say the players and ref would like the photo... they love it. I gave each one of them an 8x10 of it.


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2/25/2007 2:08:24 PM

 
Dave Bell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/1/2005
  Thanks Pete,
your sense of humour is good !
Susan, thanks for taking time to explain.
Dennis, yes you certainly have your own style, clean and clear and precise.
The funny thing is if I had to award the gongs it would have been for completely different pics than you received them for. So I suppose that just shows that it is down to individual taste, and the critical point in submitting something for the contests, is that it is something that whet's the judges photographic taste buds. Figure that out and it's home and dry, as easy as winning the lottery !


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2/25/2007 2:49:06 PM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
hehe :) ... Kai, actually I thought of their grand'ma and 'pops who would truly "love" the photo... but my original word is "treasure" as in they would treasure the photo.


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2/25/2007 3:11:29 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Sometimes is also depends on the category you enter your shot in. I have resubmitted some shots in a different category and that is where they got the finalist. However, I do agree with Dennis that the best way to go is to shoot for yourself. Photography is very subjective so as long as you love it that is all that matters.


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2/26/2007 4:39:26 PM

 
Adrienne I. Brand
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2004
  Hi! :) I'm feeling the need to throw my 2 cents in; though it may be all it's worth.

I'm not a pro and I didn't just begin working with photography, but I have to say... I'm sooooo tired of seeing the same types of photographs win all the time. The Orton Technique? So tired of it, even though the photos look fabulous! A little conundrum there...

In any case, I stopped checking out BetterPhoto.com completely because of it - it's been a few months and I just signed on again now...

And I'm sure the BP folks don't really do this, but sometimes I FEEL like they wait for certain members to upload before they slap the winner stickers on. (Once again acknowledging that my skill level wouldn't win me anything, but I'd like to see more of you win than a few of the same [very talented] folks that have been winning.

Do you know what I mean? :)


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2/27/2007 7:30:52 PM

 
Adrienne I. Brand
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2004
  Here are some other sites - though they're not as contest-driven as BP may be:

Long Island Photography Meetup (if you search through Meetup.com, you'll find a photography group in your area. Mine is
http://photo.meetup.com/410/

jpg.com

PBase.com

WinkFlash.com

SmugMug.com

KodakGallery.com

PhotoReflect.com

Photo.net

PhotoBlog.com

Ringo.com

Flickr.com

PhotoSite.com

Shutterfly.com

:)


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2/27/2007 7:52:09 PM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  I can understand your feelings on the subject, but if you limit how often someone can win, you are no longer awarding the best. If I ever get a first place finish, I wan't it to be the best overall, not the best available.


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2/28/2007 5:24:17 AM

 
Adrienne I. Brand
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2004
  ( I "hear" ya! )

:)


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2/28/2007 7:07:19 AM

 
Adrienne I. Brand
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2004
  This is cool; look what JPG.com sent me. It's probably a form letter, but even a form letter is comforting:


Greetings, Adrienne!

Thanks so much for submitting to JPG Magazine Issue 9. We received 7,337 photos submitted by 4,475 people for this issue - the most ever. The editors and the community have spent the last few weeks reviewing them. 610,265 votes were cast by 13,199 people in 117 countries. There was so much great work - it wasn't easy.

You submitted:

"Cleveland" to Street
http://jpgmag.com/photos/39397

We're sorry to inform you that your work was not chosen for publication in this issue. We know you put a lot of time and effort into it, and we appreciate it. Sometimes truly awesome photos don't get selected because they're not quite right for the theme, or don't quite fit in the magazine's limited pages.

Please don't be discouraged. There's always another theme to submit to, and we hope to see your work in the running again! We're currently accepting submissions and votes for Issue 10 on the themes: Entropy, Breakthrough, and Beauty Redefined. View, vote, and submit now!
http://jpgmag.com/themes/

You can now also read, write, and vote on stories in JPG. Check 'em out and write your own!
http://jpgmag.com/stories/

Thanks again,

-- Derek and Team JPG
http://jpgmag.com


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2/28/2007 12:50:59 PM

 
Janet Detota
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2004
  Hey Adrienne, I got one of those today, too, from jpg! I submitted a tulip photo into the elegance category. I thought it fit perfectly and feel rather bummed it didn't make it! But,it is nice they sent a notice. Will keep on trying!It would be great to get into the magazine!


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2/28/2007 2:17:25 PM

 
Adrienne I. Brand
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2004
  Let me know if you make it! :)

(Or if you come across any other similar websites, even.)

:)

~ a


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2/28/2007 2:23:16 PM

 
Janet Detota
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2004
  I entered my winter bench one into the zen category for a future issue still not scheduled. I don't know of any magazines like this one for photographers, but I'm also on usefilm.com. Didn't see that one on your list above. And photo.net....


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2/28/2007 2:44:04 PM

 
Adrienne I. Brand
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2004
  I haven't heard of usefilm.com until you mentioned it here - pretty cool, thanks! I'll let my photo group know too.

(Long Island Photography Meetup)
http://photo.meetup.com/410/

I wish I had more time to shoot...

;)


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2/28/2007 2:59:48 PM

 
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