Inaugural Challenge Winner!

Last week I posted the very first 50mm Experiment Photo Challenge.

Eight people entered the challenge (more than I expected actually since the blog hasn’t been live for that long!), and submitted photos from around the world.  I saw plants that were snow covered, one from the tropics, some that had been coloured by autumn weather, others touched by dew and a few flowers as well. I saw a variety of capture, editing and cropping techniques – it was awesome to see so much creativity!

I appreciate the effort everyone took to get outside to take some pictures with only a week to complete the challenge. There were some really amazing photos, and I strongly encourage those who entered to write their own post about entering the challenge with their submissions included (like Rachel Jane already has) and post the link in the comment section below.

Before we get to the winner of this inaugural challenge, I would also like to ask those who participated to provide some feedback so that I can improve future challenges. You don’t have to answer all of the questions below, they are just to get you thinking.

  • Was one week enough time?
  • Was the subject of “plants” too vague?
  • Was two submissions a reasonable number?
  • What did you experience during the challenge?
  • Did you find it difficult?
  • Did you enjoy it?
  • Should I have provided more guidance/support?
  • Will you encourage your photographer friends to enter the challenges?
  • Any other comments/suggestions/feedback?

I already know that I need to be more clear on the fact that the two submission do not need to be of the same subject (although they can be). I hope to get feedback from all the participants in the comment section below. I look forward to reading your comments!

Now to what everyone has been waiting for – drumroll please!

The winning submission of the Inaugural 50mm Experiment Photo Challenge is…


Winner - Photo Challenge #1

Matt James
1/80 at f5.6, ISO 100

It was a very difficult decision, as there were a number of entries in the running to be chosen. What I like about Matt James’ entry is the following:

  • Love the cropping choice, really goes well with the subject. Many people would have kept the regular 2:3 aspect ratio, but I like the balance of the in focus and out of focus areas in this more panoramic crop.
  • The way the light is hitting the flowers on the very right edge of the photo is beautiful. It draws my attention.
  • The flowers themselves remind me of some kind of underwater anemone or coral polyps. I’m guessing that Matt added some clarity/structure to really make these pop (Matt?).
  • Theflower buds that are only slightly out of focus give the photo some depth and the colours that allows the eye to bounce between the main subject (the open flowers) and the rest of the frame.

You can see more of his work on his Flickr Photostream. Check it out!

I realize that someone else may have picked a different winner, as the choosing process is very subjective. My own take on the challenge was posted two days ago. I think that’s the great thing about photography! Even if we were all taking a photo of the exact same subject, no two photos would turn out exactly the same. Thanks to everyone for sharing your vision with me. I hope that you got something out of it as well! 🙂

And no, I didn’t just pick his photo because his name is also Matt… 😉

I’m already starting to brainstorm ideas for the next Photo Challenge. I hope you all participate!



6 Comments on “Inaugural Challenge Winner!”

  1. Look forward to the next challenge!

  2. rachel jane says:

    Some things to think about in future challenges! – Just my thoughts.. 🙂
    I would like to have seen some of the other entries on your post. Maybe a runner up as well?
    I thought that a week was too little time. Not to take the photos themselves, but to find time to undertake the whole task!
    I didn’t think it was too vague. I think it gave people freedom. Maybe specific would challenge people a lot more, so a mixture of both!
    I think two submissions is reasonable.

    I had fun doing it. I was quite proud of myself for what I achieved, even if it didn’t win.

    Check it out :

  3. vk says:

    I am not really a photographer, so this was a very different mind set for me. I usually use a camera to “document” an event, not to take a picture that would stand on its own…

    So I will answer the question about liking it first – I did like it, since it gave me an opportunity to do something that I would not have done otherwise. And I was actually quite pleased with the pictures I did take.

    I thought one week was enough. Given the short time frame just meant that it had to be done “now” and could not be put off.

    I liked the vagueness of the subject, I am quite sure you received a variety of subjects.

    2 submissions is enough, even though I actually had 3 pictures that I “liked”… but having to make a choice is a good thing – and it is nothing compared to the choice you have to make while selecting the winner! 🙂

    As for guidance and support, I think you are doing a lot of it as part of your blog and don’t really know how you could offer more of it specifically during a challenge.

    I would also like to see a few more of the submitted photos.

    Thank you for letting me walk a path I would not have walked without your challenge!

  4. MattStokes says:

    Thanks Matt for choosing my photo. So stoked!!

    In regards to the comp
    – I think the time limit is perfect. Any longer and I think I would start second guessing my entries after I’ve looked at them for a couple of hours. Its good to look at them when still fresh.

    – Like Rach said, the subject was general enough to let everyone have a different view on what the subject means to them.

    – 2 submissions is good. It would be difficult to pick just one.

    – I also like Rach’s idea of having some runners up. Even if its just to see the photos that other people submitted.

    – I definitely enjoyed the comp because it gave me a subject to focus on.

    – I would recommend it to friends.

    I think that is about it.

    Keep up the amazing posts. Would like to see some posts on night photography and maybe another one eventually on cars. I liked the Fordomatic photos. It would be interesting to see what you would do with a modern car.


  5. miltonjohns says:

    Hi Matt

    Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciated it.

    This was my first ever competition entered & really enjoyed it. The length of time was perfect for me. Enough time to think & search for a subject & take the shots. As Matt says you would spend too much thinking about it with any longer.

    The subject was fairly open to interpretation which I think is a good thing as it allows people to use their imagination, more specific would reduce the variety of pictures taken but would possibly be more challenging.

    Two submissions is ideal, possibly specify they can be two completely different pictures. I did take it as two of the same theme.

    Definitely want to see the other entries as runners up.

    In terms of experience, I enjoyed the challenge of learning a new technique. I’ve never used off camera flash even though I had the kit & I learnt a lot through this test. Brilliant fun.

    The level of guidance & support was ideal, enough to get the brain thinking & some humour thrown in as well. Perfect.

    I am definitely going to encourage friends to enter next time & I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


    John 🙂

  6. Matt Korinek says:

    Thanks for the feedback so far everyone! There was a lot of good ones there. I will definitely take it under consideration for next time!! 🙂

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