A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to take your turn and show me your best photograph made close to home. I hoped that we could continue the discussion I started in Close to Home: Finding Great Photographs in Your Own Back Yard and see how you put it to use in your towns, neighborhoods, and back yards. We've had some great entries into the "Close to Home eBook" Flickr group and well, we've got some cool prizes to give away too, so let's get to it. Leaf in Ice

We've put the entries through the Official Light Without Random Number Generator™ (well, actually this one) and we've selected the winners! So, without further adieu…

  • The first winner is Tina Blum Photography and her entry, "Oh, what a beautiful morning!" Tina wins a Craft & Vision ebook of her choice, including the newest one, David duChemin's The Vision Driven Photographer, available soon from C&V.
  • The second winner is third-dimension (whose real name is currently a mystery :-) ) with her entry, "Sunset on my balcony." Third-dimension wins a 10" x 15" signed print of any image from the Close to Home ebook.
  • The third and final winner is Denise Worden and her entry "Sitting in Stillness." Denise wins a 16" x 24" APC Pro canvas of any image from the Close to Home ebook.

Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. There are some pretty cool images in the Flickr group, so if you haven't checked them out yet, you should. Also, starting today, I'm opening up the group so that you can post as many images as you want to (with a limit of three per day). I'd like to continue this group and start talking about your images and why you chose to make your photograph(s). I'm going to start it off by posting the story behind the first image in the Close to Home ebook that you see above.

So join us, would you? Let's see if we can talk a little about our craft (and vision :-) ) and maybe inspire others to do so too. Hope to see you there!

CategoriesContest, eBook
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I've gotta say, your response to Close to Home: Finding Great Photographs in Your Own Back Yard has been overwhelming. If it's possible to be proud and humbled at the same time, I am. Lots of great comments and reviews from a lot of people, and I'm very grateful for all of them. I'm very happy that many of you have found something in it to inspire you to explore your towns, neighborhoods, and back yards. Okay, now it's your turn.

Close to Home Contest

I want you to show the rest of us those places near you where you've found great photographs—where you've found the extraordinary. So here's the deal. I've set up a Flickr group called "Close to Home eBook" (sadly, "Close to Home" has been taken) and I want you to post the best image you've taken close to home. I'd like to see a recent image, preferably after you read the book, so we can see how you might have applied the principles described in it. One image per person, so be sure it's your favorite. (You'll be able to replace your image if you change your mind, but you'll be able to have only one image at a time in the group.) I've added the one above, just to get us started. (You'll need a Flickr membership, too. The free one will work.) You have until until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 21 to post your image in the Flickr group.

Each person who submits an image to the Flickr group and has purchased the Close to Home ebook will be registered to win one of three great prizes. Yes, you must do both of these to be eligible to win. On Monday, November 22, I'll randomly draw 3 winners from the Flickr pool entrants and the folks at Craft & Vision will verify that you have indeed purchased the ebook. If the stars align, here's what you can win:

  • The first randomly-selected winner will receive a free Craft & Vision ebook of your choice
  • The second randomly-selected winner will receive a signed 10" x 15" print (on 13" x 19" paper) of your choice of any photograph in the ebook, ready for matting and framing.
  • The final randomly-selected winner will receive an 16" x 24" APC Pro canvas of your choice of any photograph in the book.

So take a good, slow walk around your neighborhood or town. Find that extraordinary moment and show us how it felt to you. Remember, great photographs are about life, and life happens everywhere.

UPDATE: There's been a little confusion about when the photographs should have been/be taken. My original intent, which was communicated badly, was that you would upload images taken between October 28 and November 21. Unfortunately, that wasn't clear in my original post, so I'm going to waive that as a requirement. I'd still prefer that you do that, because the point of it was to apply what you might have learned from the book to your photography close to home. So feel free to upload any image you want to share, but I'd really like you to share your more recent work. Sorry for the confusion.

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So, after sifting through the hundreds of entries—well, nine, actually—we've decided upon the winners of the "Reflections" contest. <insert virtual drumroll here...>

The winner of Eli Reinholdtsen's book "Folk" and a signed print from me is Chris Ward, for his image "Space Needle Reflected."

Space Needle Reflected

Eli had this to say about Chris' image:

"This image makes me really curious. I am trying to figure out what is happening but I just can’t understand enough of it. Is it a train to the right perhaps? This is a great scene and I would have worked it a lot. Perhaps you could add a person to give it a stronger sense of scale. Or maybe a contrast colored balloon on the way up?"

Chris, I really like this. It crosses that line into the abstract well and, like Eli says, it makes me curious about what's really going on. Great job!

The second place winner of a copy of Eli's book, "Folk," is Barry Yanowitz, with his image "Reflecting on Coney Island."

Reflecting on Coney Island

Eli says:

"I like how you have captured the passing car twice – both in the rear window and on the street itself. This is often difficult to pull off with a good background but I think you have managed here. The orange works really well with the blue. Compositionally, I was thinking perhaps to crop a bit on the right since the sky takes up almost half of the frame, but in the end I decided against it, as the sky is really beautiful."

Finally, the third place winner of a signed print from me is Sabrina Henry (also known as the Chronicles of Learning Photography) for her image, "Main Street #1."

main street #1

Eli's comments:

"Ooooh! My kind of place! I like how the trees blend in with the tapestry. I would have cropped a bit tighter on the left to get rid of the frame so the light shines more on the mannequins. I would consider coming back a bit earlier in the day so that the sun would shine 90 degrees down the street and perhaps in the face of someone passing by. Maybe another woman in white? Even with a hat? Or a man complementing the ladies?"

Congratulations to all of the winners! Please send your postal mailing information to info@thelightwithout.com and I'll get your books and prints out shortly. If you won a print of mine, be sure to let me know which one you'd like from the Hip Sips set, which you can find HERE. Let me know the title you want, and I'll print and sign it, and send it your way.

My thanks also to everyone who took the time to enter the contest. I really appreciate your participation and I hope you've gotten some ideas about how you can use reflections in your photography. In the next few days, I'll be posting Eli's comments on each of your photos on Flickr, since she was kind enough to share them for everyone.

Of course my thanks to Eli Reinholdtsen as well, both for her participation as a judge and for her inspirational photography. Even if you didn't win it, consider buying her book on Blurb. It's filled with her work in reflections and I think they will inspire you.

Thanks again to everyone! Have a great holiday!

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