Archive for the ‘contest’ Category

Waiting for Linus   4 comments

A small pumpkin sits below a blossom in our pumpkin patch

Waiting for Linus

Sitting on one of the hay bales and sneaking outside the fence, we found this little guy. As Linus would do, we’ll continue to take care of the pumpkin patch, hoping for the arrival of The Great Pumpkin later in the year on Halloween night. To that end, we’ll try to keep the patch as ‘sincere’ as possible.

“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” — Linus Van Pelt


Congratulations to Jim Nix, from Austin, Texas. Jim was the winner of the recent contest held on this blog, and for playing, Jim will receive a free copy of Topaz Lens Effects.

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Posted July 4, 2011 by Rob Hanson Photography in contest

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Masnavi   18 comments



Know that the world of created beings
is like pure and clear water, reflecting
the attributes of God.

Their knowledge, justice and kindness
reflects God’s like a heavenly star is
reflected in running water.

Earthly kings reflect God’s kingship.
Scholars mirror the wisdom of God.

People and nations may change as
one generation replaces another;
but the divine attributes are eternal.

The water flowing in the stream
changes many times, but the
reflection of the moon and stars
in the water remains the same.

— Rumi (Masnavi 6: 3172-8)


A Great Egret admires his reflection at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near the coast of Delaware. Perhaps this is a good followup to last week’s Narcissus.

As we were driving north to New England for our autumn vacation, one morning we decided to slow down and take a more coastal route. The small road brought us through farmlands, forgotten towns, and beautiful natural areas hosting thousands of birds. At one bend in the road, there were ponds on either side serving as brooding areas for various birds. (You can see another view of this pond at Assembly.)

My good friend from Wales, Anthony Woodhouse, has started a new Flickr group called Weekly Photo Challenge. This image is my entry for this week’s challenge: Reflections.

Single Exposure handheld from Nikon D90, Nikkor 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at f/9, 300mm, 1/640s. Processed in Photoshop CS5, Nik Color Efex Pro assisting.


For a short time, I’m running a contest to win a free copy of the recently-released Topaz Lens Effects. To win, all you have to do is drop a comment under this photo, answering the simple question: What was different or unusual about all of my photo-blog entries last week?   It should be obvious to those who have been with me for a while.  A winner will be picked at random from all correct responses, and notified by email, so be sure to include your address (I will send no SPAM.)

Another World   9 comments

Susan hikes out on a rock flake at the Cutler Coast Preserve, Cutler, Maine, on a beautiful autumn day

Another World


In working on some images for the Maine Office of Tourism, I came across this one, which I’ve always liked. In the midst of what seems like a long and eventful winter, I again wanted to remind myself of the more halcyon days of autumn.

On this hike in coastal Maine, you step out of the forest and are greeted by a scene from another world.

Having lived on the east coast all my life, I’ve gotten accustomed to flat beaches, sand dunes, and low, rocky shorelines. So to discover this hidden gem was a treat — there aren’t too many places from Maine to Florida where you can find such a dramatic shoreline. This may be nothing much for those along the Pacific coast, but here, it’s rather unusual to see tall cliffs diving straight into the sea. Perhaps that’s why they call this area “The Bold Coast.”

This spot, well off the beaten path, can only be reached by hiking about 1.5 miles in by trail. From here, you can traverse along the top of the cliffs for several miles, and can camp in a couple of wilderness campsites at the end of the trail, right near the water.

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And The Winners Are…   4 comments


For the past three weeks, I’ve been holding a contest to win a free copy of HDR Expose or 32 Float from Unified Color.

The entries are in, a number of eyes have seen them, and it’s time to announce the winners:

The first winner, grabbing his choice of Unified Color’s HDR Expose or 32 Float, is arkitekt878 :

In our view, the composition contributed a lot to this image, leading the eye from the chains and walkway, to the lights on the building, and then off in the distance to the city lights and sunset. Both the deep shadows of the foreground pebbles and the bright lights were well controlled. There are no artifacts or haloing to be seen.

Arkitekt878 used 4 Exposures (-2, -1, 0, +1) merged to HDR in Photoshop and processed with 32 Float.  He says, “Just a quick note for interest. The place where I’m standing to take this gets covered twice a day by the tide.”


The next winner is George Palov with his image from Devetaki Cave, Bulgaria:

George says,

“It was shot in 7 Exposures through 1-1/3 EV steps (1/50 – 5sec) + I took an extra one “1/250″ for the bright “eye” window. On tripod + Promote Remote Control. Merged and adjusted in HDR Expose only. Very hard shooting conditions – pitch dark holes + overly bright spots. What I liked about this photo is the unintended heart shape of the light spot on the ground from the sun beam.”


Honorable Mention‘ goes to Anthony Woodhouse’s fourth entry, “Boat Park, Llyn Brenig”, which can be seen in Anthony’s Flickr photostream.

Thanks to all for participating in the contest. I hope you had as much fun with it as I did.

Win a Free Copy of HDR Expose or 32 Float   27 comments

Scenic waterway near Bernard, Maine, on Mount Desert Island, on a beautifully clear day.

Win a Free Copy of HDR Expose or 32 Float

(The image above was processed from three exposures -2EV, 0EV, +2EV merged with HDR Expose and processed using 32 Float. Click on the image to see a larger version in a new window.)

Note: This contest is now closed to new entries. Thank you to all the entrants for participating. Winner(s) will be announced shortly, so please stay tuned.

Thanks to my affiliation with the folks at Unified Color, I’m able to offer a free copy of both HDR Expose and 32 Float to two lucky people. All you have to do is download trial versions of the programs, process your original brackets, and show me the final result. In two weeks, two winners will be chosen from all entries.

The guidelines are simple:

1) Download a free trial copy of HDR Expose ($149.99 value) and/or 32 Float ($99 value)  from Unified Color.  The fully-featured trial versions are good for 30 days, with no watermarks, and no restrictions.

2) Pick a set of your own exposure brackets and create your best work using HDR Expose and/or 32 Float. No single-exposure entries, please, as this is all about High Dynamic Range (HDR).

3) Post a link to the comment section of this blog entry, pointing to your final image, which can be saved as a 8- or 16-bit TIF or 8-bit JPG file. The image can be on Flickr, on another photo sharing site, on your own website, or it can be hosted on your server where I can download it for a look. As long as I can get to it, we’ll be fine. (Important Note: Facebook Album entries will not be eligible for consideration.) When you post the link, please indicate which product(s) you used, and how many exposures went into the final version. Your email address will not be visible to others, but the link will be. This will have the added benefit of driving traffic to your site.

4) Please keep a copy of your final BEF file (Unified Color’s format.)  If you’re the winner, I may ask you for that file for possible further use. You’ll retain all copyrights, of course.

5) To keep the playing field level, do not apply any other filters, effects, adjustment layers, or other tweaks on the image. Work with it it entirely in BEF 32-bit format, using only HDR Expose or 32 Float.

IMPORTANT AMMENDMENT: Since one of the key features of 32 Float is that you can use multiple Photoshop layers derived from the original BEF file, I am updating Rule 5 to allow the use of Masking Layers. In other words, when working with 32 Float in Photoshop, you can work on your original 32-bit BEF file, making a Photoshop layer that exploits, say, the highlights of a photo. You can then go back to the BEF file (first layer) and create another new layer to exploit the shadow areas. Using Photoshop Layer Masks, you can selectively mask in/out certain parts of the image. (There is a tutorial for this on the UCT website, called “32 Float Dual Process Feature” located here. Or, you can view it on YouTube )  But please, no Curves, Exposure, Saturation, Brightness, or other Photoshop adjustment layers, and no 3rd-party filters (NIK, Topaz, Lucis, etc.)

6) The deadline for submission of entries is midnight (Eastern U.S.) on Saturday, November 27th, 2010. (Three weeks from the beginning of the contest.) Entries submitted after that will not be considered.

7) You may submit up to seven (7) images for consideration. To keep things organized, please submit each image link as a new comment.

8) Above all, Have Fun!

If you have a moment, please tell your friends about this contest, Tweet about it, etc.  The more the merrier.

Eligibility to Enter

Entrants must NOT be an employee of Unified Color or Matter Communications (or any of its or their affiliates, parent companies, or subsidiary companies), or one of the contest judges, or an immediate family member of such an employee or such a contest judge, or a person living in the same household of such an employee or such a contest judge;

By submitting an entry in this contest, each Entrant represents and warrants:

  • The image is original, and the contest participant owns the copyright or any other associated intellectual-property rights in the image.
  • The image does not infringe the copyright, rights of publicity or privacy, or any other intellectual-property or proprietary rights of any other person or entity.
  • Any persons depicted in the image who are recognizable or identifiable from their image are 18 years of age or over and have given their signed, written consent to have their image used in this contest (and released any rights of publicity or privacy).
  • Any building or architecture depicted in the image is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place, or, for any such building or architecture that is not located in or ordinarily visible from a public place, if the building or architecture is protected by copyright, Entrant must have the appropriate rights to submit the image and grant the rights provided in these contest rules and terms and conditions; and Entrants must be prepared to provide a signed release from the person or entity owning the copyright.
  • For any sculptures, statues, paintings, or other works of art that are depicted in the image, Entrant must have the appropriate rights to submit the image and grant the rights provided in these contest rules and terms and conditions; and Entrants must be prepared to provide a signed release from the person or entity owning the copyright in any such sculptures, statues, paintings, or other works of art.
  • The image has not previously won an award in any photography contest or other type of media or public recognition.
  • The image does not contain obscene, profane, offensive, lewd, pornographic, or otherwise inappropriate content.
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