Thank you for stopping by! The first 2009 WIX Photo Contest results follow this brief message.
First, thank all of you for contributing and helping out with the maintenance of these aircraft. Second, let me say that it is/was a VERY hard task to actually decide which pictures to chose as winners. Some of the photos were far more artistic than others, while some of the less artistic photos really capture the maintenance environment very well with all of it's less glamorous but more down-to-earth atmosphere. Let me assure you that as a pilot I greatly value a good mechanic and appreciate the ones that service the aircraft I fly a great deal.
Please don't have any hurt feelings if your photos weren't chosen. There are some good photos (IMHO) that I wish I could award prizes for as well. Also, this is a bit more subjective than I intended it to be, as I really only got a significant offer for judging from one other WIXer
- who was among those relative few who turned in their votes. I've also bugged a few of you for opinions (you know who you are - THANKS!)
So - enough of that. Here are the results:
Judge's choice and overall contest winner: #34
Now this is kind of hard for me to explain, but I'm going to try. From an artistic point of view this is not necessarily the best picture- the light is a bit distracting, but it does speak of the conditions mechanics often work in, and it just "looks" real - the light is right where it needs to be for the mechanics to work.
I do like the overall composition, so that worked in this picture's favor. From a content point of view. There are not many distracting lines that lead your eyes away from the subject matter. Also the one fellow in the left lower third of the picture is looking in just such a manner that I am drawn in to the action - the work being done on the engine mounts. We also have a good caption that matches what is going on.
Prize: A-4 gunsight from Sabremech - contact him to coordinate, please.
People's choice award: #29
This one hands down won the people's choice award with ten total votes - and was in the top 5 of my list as well. Good photo, good angle, good subject. I guess my only obstacle was that I have a mental division between painting and maintenance - probably a problem with my way of thinking. This thinking however was seconded by some non-aviation folks I showed the picture to as well, when trying to get some un-biased (from a warbirds point of view) opinions.
On the plus side it has a fantastic human element (I really love that - seeing you working with your dad and helping out with the whole story of Gary and Ole' 927) and to me it has very compelling story value, so I am awarding it both the people's choice and second place awards.
Prize: Contact Jack Cook for photos.
People's runner up: #32
I've got to say that Django's photos were great from the artistic point of view. They were clearly among the overall favorites from a photo point of view.
(#30 was also a very close second runners-up)
Artistic runner up #1
I really liked Trey Carroll's back lit shot and wanted to give it special mention. From a photographic point of view I like it. I wish the screwdriver in Trey's picture was a little bit higher up and more noticeable in the photo, as that probably would've moved it to one of the top two spots in my book.
The intriguing shot of the fellow with the fast moving screwdriver (I'd love to find out more about how that picture was taken - settings, lighting, etc...) is also very interesting to me and I thought I should give it special mention. I'm not sure what prize I'd give it, but I wish I had one for it.
If you really want to know, I can (eventually) provide some critique on the photos from my judging perspective (not the top in the world by any means - so if any professional guys - you know you're out there - want to offer some more serious comments, fire away!). If you ask me, I'd be happy to post some comments on the Picasa album for you or encourage you to do so yourself!
Here are some general comments to explain my way of thinking:
In general, I consider maintenance and PEOPLE to be integrally involved - so, while some of the shots are good from a still life point of view, they didn't quite meet what I think of as far as an ideal maintenance or restoration photo.
Artistically, a lot of the photos could use some serious help - I know I'm spoiled because of working with a professional photographer, but it really does make a huge difference, and it really isn't that hard. Just think about the composition, and try to get your camera to give you some decent contrast and use settings to help you with the lighting.
One other thing I'd like to point out is that I feel several folks didn't really take the time to read the rules - I'm not going to say a lot more, but a really good photo from an artistic point of view IMHO was not qualified because of a detail overlooked, and there were a few other issues I had.
The museum shots - well, to me, that's real borderline.
Content - There were several shots of folks diving into cockpits, etc... but to me, I'd rather see what the person is doing, or something that gives me an idea what kind of maintenance is going on. Also, I'd much rather see some grit and emotion (hopefully real, not too posed) rather than a mugshot...
Also as mentioned above, if I ran a future maintenance photo contest, I'd personally like to see more people - actual work getting done.
There's always a possibility that this contest will get a re-run and will likely be for photos taken after the end of this contest, so here's a shoutout to everyone
: you really do have a shot for next time. Some of you guys may say now that you've got great shots from 2001 or so - that's fine - feel free to post them and tell us about them! Part of the point of the contest was to try and encourage you to be involved in your local warbirds scene - and document it. If you're a mechanic or work around one - give an occasional thought to what might make a good picture - and tell a story in the process. If you aren't around one, find your nearest local warbird group and hang around long enough to get permission to take some pictures (even if you don't help them out a ton, at least the pictures give them some visibility and publicity) - and hopefully figure out how to get your hands dirty yourself - or help in some other way!
IF YOU DON'T like the results - that's OK (especially if you didn't help me by voting
), I understand! I'm not completely happy with making the choices myself. I just ask that you please do not hold it against me. Next time we run a contest, consider being a judge, or helping me out in some way. Bring on your concerns, comments, etc... as I have fairly thick skin and really do appreciate
your input. I'll probably start some other contest soon (see the sticky in the Hangar), maybe in a few weeks or so, so feel free to get your 2 cents in before any new contest starts.
Keep 'em flying!