Spirit Of Triathlon Photo Contest Prize List!

Our 2nd Annual Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest (click for details) is in full swing and in addition to our photo related prizes, we have added a few prizes for your favorite triathlete.

ENTER HERE and after you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri

Grand Prize – The photographer of the winning image will have the opportunity to join me at one of my 2014 events. Although I cannot guaranty that you will be able to be credentialed for the event, I will work with you to plan your shots, angles and locations. In addition, I will do a pre-race review and critique of 20 of your images via email & Skype, so you can start working on optimizing your shots and practice prior to our event. I am shooting all across the US so hopefully, my schedule will be close to you so you can join in the fun.

First Prize – The first place photographer will receive a ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 30 camera bag – great stuff, trust me, you will love it.

ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 30

Second Prize is a ThinkTank Photo CityWalker 10

ThinkTank Photo  CItyWalker10

ThinkTank Photo CItyWalker10

Third Prize is a Retrospective Lap Top Bag.

ThinkTank Photo  Retrospective laptop Bag

ThinkTank Photo Retrospective laptop Bag

Tri Prizes – For the apparel and shoe prizes you will receive a coupon so you can get the proper size and color!

From Profile Design T4+ Carbon Aero Bars in their new matte finish. Check out what Aaron Hersh of Triathlete Magazine had to say about them.

Profile Design T4 Plus Carbon

Profile Design T4 Plus Carbon

From Castelli – Our good friends at Castelli providing lots of prizes! Including:

One Body Paint Tri Kit for Men and one for Women.

One Free Tri Kit for Men and one for Women.

One Cylcing Kit (Inferno Bib Shorts / Climber’s Jersey) for Men and one for Women (Scarabocchio Short / Scarabocchio Bavet Top).

Here is a quick look at one of everybody’s favorite Castelli sponsored triathlete. Two-time World Champion Mirinda Carfrae.  Well, we cannot promise that you will go as fast as Rinny, but you are going to look really good!

OS13 1428

Castelli sponsored Mirinda Carfrae at the 2013 Ironman Oceanside 70.3.

From K-Swiss  Your choice of shoes.

From TriTats Three of the top photos will each be awarded a TriTats Pro Pack. You will now be able to have great looking race numbers for your race photos. Take a look at how good this guy looks!

Craig Alexander cruising to a win at the 2013 Ironman Kansas 70.3

Craig Alexander cruising to a win at the 2013 Ironman Kansas 70.3

Here is a secret about the TriTats Pro Pack – I keep one with me for photo shoots. We put on the race numbers prior to the race and get shots that look like race shots.  The Crowie shot above actually was shot during the race!

Finally, at least for now, our friends at Training Peaks are providing three 3-month premium subscriptions!

I do expect a few additional prizes to come in. Our goal is that in addition to having the top 20 images in a Triathlete.com gallery, each will be awarded a prize as well!

Get your images ready and sent in. ENTER HERE and after you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri.

Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest – Image Review #1

Images are starting to be submitted for the 2nd Annual Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest and they look GREAT!

From my perspective, one of the benefits of submitting your images in addition to the chance to win some great prizes is the opportunity to have your images critiqued. I hope you will gain some insight as to what will differentiate a good photo from one that will make people stop and take a closer look.

Today I have selected three dramatically different images.

The first image is from Allan Torres who is a physician living in San Juan. I had the chance to meet Alan at the Ironman San Juan 70.3 in 2013. There is a lot to like about Allan’s photo which he titled Fair Competition. First I like the low angle of the shot which really prevents us from seeing an excessive amount of asphalt and treats us to blue skies! Finally and most importantly is the content, the amazing juxtaposition of the challenged athlete with the age group athlete.

As I always say, Every Shot is a Lucky Shot,  but the better you prepare the luckier you get. Here Allan had picked a great angle, great background and then had the patience to wait for a great shot to present itself!

fair competitionThis next image, entitled Focus was submitted by Chris Masilon from California. While Chris’s composition is good and the show of intensity, the problem is that in spite of the title, the focus is not quite sharp enough. With tight images such as this, it is critical that the focus be spot on with a sufficient depth of field that can clearly convey the intensity of the image to the viewer. In Chris’s shot, the logo on the helmet has the sharpest focus, but then it falls off as it gets to the athlete’s face. In all fairness to Chris – this is a really tough shot!

Focus Finally from Aussie Dennis Tan, here is something you don’t see everyday.  I have never been down under, so I am not sure if a Unicorn holding an umbrella to stay out of the heat is normal there, but based on my US and European events, I haven’t seen it. What can I say, this one is just plain fun and the black and white looks great.

Triathlete Vs Unicorn

ENTER HERE and after you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri

We have some great prizes – I will be posting the updated prize list shortly.

Cheers and keep shooting.

Paul

Visual Literacy

Now that the 2014 Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest is officially launched I want to write a few blogs about some of the attributes of great photos.

My January 3 blog I talked about the incredible number of images posted each day and wondered if one picture is still worth a thousand words and how do we maintain the storytelling integrity of our images.

Visual Literacy is the ability to read a picture. Perhaps this is what the saying One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words was intended to mean. If we have the expectation that the viewer of our photo will read the picture, then we have the obligation to do the best we can at giving them something to read!

In Sports and Action photography there is the constant challenge to be sure that our images portray action and not merely random activity. There must be purpose and direction to your story.

Your story may be of the details of an event or the context of the venue, but it must at least get the attention of the reader and tell them something – something that will make them want to see more, learn more and be willing to invest their time.

Here are a couple examples of each:

The first shot, which I found in a folder that I hadn’t deleted anything that had shot, can be entitled Random Spectators Standing Around, Looking Different Directions and Bored! Not much here to really get anyone’s interest.

Bored Spectators!

Similarly for this next image, from the same folder of should have been deleted files. This time we have athletes standing around not with any particular direction or energy.

Age Group Athletes pre race.

In this next image we have two athletes running along the spectacular red rock background at the Ironman St. George 70.3.

Ironman 70.3 St. George on May 4, 2013 in St. George, UT

Luke McKenzie matching TJ Tollakson on the run in St. George, UT.

Finally we have Brent McMahon celebrating his victory at the 2013 Ironman St. George  70.3, enjoying his final few steps as the crowd shows their appreciation of his effort.

Ironman 70.3 St. George on May 4, 2013 in St. George, UT

Brent McMahon taking the win in St. George.

As you are selecting your images to submit represent the Spirit of Triathlon, keep in mind how you are telling the story. After all, we are all story tellers – make sure it is a story that will interest others.

Get your photos that tell the best triathlon stories and ENTER HERE.  After you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri

If you are lucky enough to move your photography to a professional level and are interacting with clients on a regular basis, your understanding of visual literacy will become increasingly important.

In an ideal world, all of our clients would also be at least moderately visually literate but as photographers it is in part our job to listen and try to best interpret what they are telling us.  At a planning meeting last fall, a client told me they wanted more Overhead Shots. I explained there were very limited places that an overhead shot could be obtained and five out of six of the possible locations were on the shot list. After a few more questions I understood what they really wanted – high angle, long lens shots showing lots of athletes.

In the end, it is our job to get it right!

2nd Annual Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest

In January 2013, we started to the Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest.  The goals were fairly simple with the thousands of triathletes racing every weekend and the hundreds of thousands of photos that have been shot; we hoped this would be an opportunity to show off the amazing efforts and spirit of the all of the athletes involved in our great sport, as well as the photo efforts of the athletes many supporters.

It’s time for the 2nd Annual Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest

As the submissions arrived and I started reviewing images in my blog, an additional goal presented itself. Using real world examples, I could offer comments and critique on how to enhance your race images with some relatively simple solutions and provide you added value to your photo and race experience. While the athletes you are supporting are out for hours at a time, you can work on your photo skills at the races. Not only telling their story, but doing a great job of preserving the memories of their amazing accomplishments.

ENTER HERE and after you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri

Athletes, supporters and bloggers, here is your chance to show off your favorite triathlon photos, have it published and win a great prize! Images may include Professional, Age Group, Youth and Challenged Triathletes, Action Photos, Venues, Human Interest and other images that exemplify the Spirit of Triathlon.

The numbers of triathletes and events continue to grow at an amazing rate with no let up in sight for 2014. In addition, we are approaching a billion photos posted each day on Social Media – it is time for some great shots and their photographers to get the attention they deserve.

Take a look at the top images from 2013 featured on Triathlete.com

Our top three images will again receive prizes provided by my friends at ThinkTank Photo.  This year I am adding a Grand Prize as well!

As every triathlete knows a great coach can make a huge difference in your performance, it is true of sports photography as well. The Grand Prize winner will have the opportunity to join me at one of my 2014 events. Although I cannot guaranty that you will be able to be credentialed for the event, I will work with you to plan your shots, angles and locations. In addition, I will do a pre-race review and critique of 20 of your images via email & Skype, so you can start working on optimizing your shots and practice prior to our event. I am shooting all across the US so hopefully, my schedule will be close to you so you can join in the fun!

The contest will begin today, January 9, 2014 and conclude on March 9, 2014.

In addition, each week I will review three photos in a blog offering comments that I hope will benefit all triathlon photographers.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @CompImagePhoto and check out the Competitive Image Website.

Just to get you started here are a couple of my 2013 Kona shots that show the Spirit of Triathlon.

Age Group Athletes enter the water at Dig Me Beach - Kona 2013

Age Group Athletes enter the water at Dig Me Beach – Kona 2013

Frekerik Van Lierde and his father at the finish  Kona 2013

Frekerik Van Lierde and his father at the finish Kona 2013

Minda Dentler becomes the first female Wheel Chair finisher - Kona 2013

Minda Dentler becomes the first female Wheel Chair finisher – Kona 2013

ENTER HERE and after you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri

In the spirit of triathlon, a portion of the proceeds from each entry will be contributed to the Blazeman Foundation for ALS and to World Bicycle Relief. In 2013  30% of the proceeds from entry fees was contributed!

Every event that I shoot I rely on my ThinkTank gear to have my critical equipment close at hand.  In addition to having your image published in an online Triathlete.com gallery, the first place photographer will receive a Retrospective 30 camera bag – great stuff, trust me, you will love it.

Retro3

ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 30

Second Prize is a CityWalker 10 and third prize is a Retrospective Lap Top Bag.

Just a personal note about the ThinkTank Retrospective series. No matter what event I travel to and how much gear I take with me, I always, ALWAYS bring my Retrospective bag with me. It is the PERFECT bag for walking around shooting. Easy access and unobtrusive! You will love it.

We are currently gathering up a list of other Tri related prizes to be included hoping that each of the top 20 images will receive something.  More details will be available on a future blog post, but we currently have commitments from Training Peaks, Profile Designs, K-Swiss, TriTats and Castelli.

A Couple Common Questions

Last year there were a number of questions about the contest that popped up on social media and I am sure there will be more this year. In the meantime, I will try to respond to a few of the questions.

Who owns the images after they are submitted? You do! Although the top 20 images will be presented in a gallery on Triathlete.com and perhaps in a print issue, you will still own the images and all of the rights to the use of the images beyond the single use presentation on the web and in print will be controlled by you.

Why is there an entry fee? There are two primary reasons for having an entry fee. The first is simple, I use outside software to administer the contest and process the entries, and there is a real cost for each entry submitted. Second and more importantly, reviewing, evaluating and blogging about the entries takes a substantial amount of my time. Although I enjoy this process, this contest is not about having thousands of cell phone images or post race selfies to look at. I am serious about the contest, and I hope you will be too.

Here is the fine print so to speak! The Contest Rules!

SPONSOR

The sole contest sponsor is Competitive Image, Inc.  PO Box 19174, Minneapolis, MN 55419 (“Sponsor” or “CI”).

Duration of Contest

The 2014 Competitive Image Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest begins January 9, 2014 at 9:00:00 a.m. US Central Time and ends March 9, 2014, 11:59:00 p.m. US Central Time (the “Contest”). Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these official rules (“Official Rules”). By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the Official Rules and warrants that his or her entry complies with all requirements set out in the Official Rules. This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of winners.

WHO MAY ENTER

Contest is open only to all amateur sports photographers who are 18 or older at the time of entry and is void where prohibited. For these purposes we will define Amateur as those individual who do not make a significant portion of their income from photography. This will allow individuals who maintain blogs and have periodic sales to participate.

HOW TO ENTER

Each Entry consists of an entry form, a single image, and an entry fee. The entry fee is US $12 for the first image entered and US $7 for each image thereafter. To enter, complete an ENTRY FORM with the required information, including your name, address, telephone number, email address, and photo caption; and submit along with your photograph and fee in accordance with the instructions that follow.

Submitted images may include Professional, Age Group, Youth and Challenged Triathletes, Action Photos, Venues, Human Interest and other images that exemplify the Spirit of Triathlon.

Photographs must be in digital format. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this Contest. The photograph need not be taken with a digital camera; scans of negatives, transparencies, or photographic prints are acceptable. All digital files must be 2 megabytes or smaller, must be in JPG, TIF, PNG or BMP format, and must be sized to 1,280 pixels on the longest side.

Photographs must have been taken within three (3) years before the date of entry and may not previously published.

The photograph, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the Contest entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges, and warrants that the submitted photograph is an original work created solely by the entrant, that the photograph does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim, or interest in the photograph.

The photograph must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsor, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

The caption must be complete and accurate, sufficient to convey the circumstances in which the photograph was taken. Disguising or misrepresenting the origin of your content is cause for disqualification.

Watermarks are not acceptable. If Sponsor does not receive a non-watermarked version of the entry within ten (10) days following its request, the entry will be disqualified.

RELEASES

If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Official Rules without additional compensation.

The top 20 images will be published in an online gallery on Triathlete.com.  The entrant provides Competitive Image, Inc and Triathlete Magazine / Competitor Group the royalty-free right to publish the images on line and in print for a single use of each.

CONTEST PRIZES

Grand Prize –  On location shooting and coaching with Paul Phillips, award winning triathlon photographer and Olympic Photographer, London 2012, Sochi 2014.

The First Place winner will receive a ThinkTank Retrospective 30. Second Place winner will receive a ThinkTank CityWalker 10. Third Place winner will receive a ThinkTank Photo will receive a Think Tank Retrospective Laptop Bag. All prized are provided courtesy of ThinkTank Photo.

A Billion Photos a Day and Counting

Early in 2013 I heard the mind-boggling statistic that 300 million photos were posted to Facebook every day. As hard as that is to comprehend, a few weeks ago NPR had a feature about Snapchat that said 400 million photos were posted every day! Not even counting Instagram or Twitter, my guess is that if we are not already approaching the creation of 1 billion photos a day, we have to be close.

My first thought when hearing these mind numbing statistic was to wonder how long it took since the first Camera Obscura was created almost 200 years ago for the first billion photos to be shot. Now we have that every day.

My guess is that I shot about 100,000 images about in 2013, which in today’s social media terms represents about 8.6 seconds. Sometimes that really makes me wonder where this whole photography thing is going. Is one picture still worth a thousand words? Is photography still considered an art form or has it now become achieved the same status as a post-it note?

Photography has become possibly the world’s most democratic art form. Anyone can take a photo at anytime and any place! Unfortunately some people do; but just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.

Have we devalued the photo from a thousand words, to being only one word? Sometimes I think the word is Lunch, and other times the word is Why?

We truly have amazing technology available to us, ranging from our smart phones to the state-of-the-art SLRs like my Canon 1Dx. It is so incredibly easy to pull out my iPhone and get a shot. But that doesn’t mean that all photos are created equal.

Although I philosophically struggle with this, I believe there is a place for it all, the photos of your lunch, the selfie, your pet and the weather; all along side of the image that can stand alone and tell a story. The new world of photography has created a visual diary for all of us.

Hoping that you will agree with me, I have included a few images from my 2013 travels. I hope that you will find that each can tell you a story, provide you a context and if I am lucky, make you smile.

The start of the 2013 ITU Hamburg Mixed Relay in historic Hamburg

The start of the 2013 ITU Hamburg Mixed Relay in historic Hamburg

Solaraberg Hill at Hilpoltstein at the 2013 Challenge Roth

Solaraberg Hill at Hilpoltstein at the 2013 Challenge Roth

Marino Vanhoenacker leading through the cobblestones at 2013 Ironman Frankfurt

Marino Vanhoenacker leading through the cobblestones at 2013 Ironman Frankfurt

ITU World Triathlon Series San Diego

USA’s Tommy Zafares taking the turn in the shadow of the Belmont Park Roller Coaster, Mission Bay San Diego CA. ITU World Triathlon Series

Heather Jackson floats in for the win at the 2013 Oceanside Ironman 70.3

Heather Jackson floats in for the win at the 2013 Oceanside Ironman 70.3

Saving the best for last, this final photo was taken by my daughter Liz Radtke using her iPhone 4.

Norah & Horsey

Norah & her horsey on Christmas morning.