Nicholas wins international photography competition

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RobertH
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Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by RobertH » October 21st, 2016, 2:43 pm

Nicholas finally did it - he won his first major international wildlife photography competition, the Animal Photography Competition held yearly by the London Zoological Society (ZSL). He had entered two other, similar competitions last year and was short-listed with several images in both (one of which, of a bird :cry:, even got published in a book about the competition), but this is the first time he actually won a prize (250 British Pounds).

Specifically, he competed in the junior division (up to age 18) taking top prize in the category "At Home in Their Habitat" and qualifying as runner-up (second place) in the category "Weird and Wonderful." Three other images he entered were short-listed, as well. Here are the winning images

At Home in Their Habitat

ImageNorthern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

Weird and Wonderful

ImageSan Bernardino Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus modestus) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

Here's the website for the ZSL competition, for those who are interested.

https://www.zsl.org/about-us/zsl-animal ... aphy-prize

Unfortunately, the website shows only 7 of the 28 winning images - and none of Nicholas's - which is a bit disappointing. But, hey, it is what it is. At least the images that are shown will give you an idea of the level of competition. They do include both images of adult winners and some of the other junior winners. You'll be pleased to see that the overall winning image is - of a HERP.

Enjoy!

Robert

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JAMAUGHN
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by JAMAUGHN » October 21st, 2016, 9:07 pm

Congratulations, Nicholas! Those are stellar photos, both. A well-deserved victory.

Here's to many more! :beer:

JimM

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Calfirecap
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Calfirecap » October 22nd, 2016, 4:48 pm

Well deserved indeed, I'd be stoked if any of my photos were half that good. That Crote shot with the poppys is absolutely stellar. Couldn't be any better.

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nightdriver
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by nightdriver » October 22nd, 2016, 7:11 pm

Congrats young man!

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 22nd, 2016, 10:50 pm

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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Porter
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Porter » October 25th, 2016, 3:21 am

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: Nice job :beer: That IS a beautiful habitat shot! I still like the other one from that sesh (the one I fav'ed) a little more though ;) :P 8-)

What was the bird shot? Let's see it...

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SurfinHerp
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by SurfinHerp » October 25th, 2016, 7:34 am

Way to go Nicholas!

Where are you gonna go herping with all that gas money? :lol:

Jeff

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Chad M. Lane » October 27th, 2016, 12:04 pm

Congratulations! You've come a long way, and I enjoy seeing your images on Flickr!




Cheers,
Chad

RobertH
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by RobertH » October 27th, 2016, 8:23 pm

Thanks everybody, I really appreciate it. I agree the poppy crote shot was an incredible photosession.
Porter, here's the bird shot.
ImageReddish egret (Egretta rufescens) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

Nicholas

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 27th, 2016, 9:19 pm

Just goes to show how lame some judges are. That Egret shot blows away the simple crote + habitat scene. That's a great bird pic.

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Porter
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Porter » October 27th, 2016, 11:14 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:Just goes to show how lame some judges are. That Egret shot blows away the simple crote + habitat scene. That's a great bird pic.
what he said :thumb: Beautiful shot. For the people out there who don't normally shoot in situ action shots, let me point out that the grain is what got the crisp detail here. Nick is shooting at full focal range, super far away, and if he didnt grain it up, result would have been blurry. Hes pushing the lens limits here and achieving what is thought to be impossible to achieve by camera shot so-called "professionals." I know, cause Ive talked to these guys in the shops and they just dont llook outside box. Simple as that. The only way Nick could of gotten a more detailed shot is with a better lens (IMO, i dont know the circumstances). And getting that reflection without ripples was only possible at that moment

Judges are photographers... photographers are people. There's a difference between having artistic talent and wanting to be viewed as an artist. Same thing goes with photographers. Theres gonna be judges out there that wont even understand a good photo because they just follow a rule book guideline line of what they read is the formula of a good photo (not to mention, jealousy or friendship can also be a determining factor). It doesn't matter if you win or lose...only that you did your best.

When I was in 6th grade all the schools were involved in an art state art contest to promote saving energy. I was in the 6-8th grade division. The colors we could use were explained by the teacher to think of a bee and American flag colors. I was the only kid in the whole state to draw a bumble bee flying in front of an American flag saying, "Yo turn out the lights." it was my dad's idea and it was exactly what the judges were looking for. I placed 3rd place for my division and got it added onto a bumper sticker. But, what I wanted to do was draw a realistic hand clicking off the switch on the wall, because it was more of a challenge for me at that age . the samples that our teachers showed us from previous years really appealed to me. if I would have drawn the hand I probably couldn't have drawn it better than an 8th grader but the bee in the flag thing worked because it played out to the judges of what they wanted and it also stuck out against all the other photographers. the way to win a contest is give the judges what they want ;)

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Porter
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Porter » October 27th, 2016, 11:25 pm

For me, if you get a compliment, its always %100 authentic. There has to be some aspect that either matched, impressed, or went beyond/outdid me and if I see a photo that is better than my work I think it's great! in fact I have complimented several photographers who are much better than me and produce way better photos. and Nick you are one of those photographers ;) keep it up kid :thumb:

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Porter
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Porter » October 27th, 2016, 11:34 pm

This right here... :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: nuff said perfect image. Flawless


ImageChuckwalla (Sauromalus ater) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Chad M. Lane » October 28th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Major congratulations!

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Chad M. Lane » October 28th, 2016, 1:35 pm

Major congratulations!

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Porter
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Porter » November 7th, 2016, 7:46 am

Hi... I feel like what I said in regards to this post may have not been clear. Being the person I am, I now feel obligated to clearly explain what I was trying to say before.

The message I am transcending to Nick with my childhood contest experience, is this... First, I should have mentioned that the Bee and flag were quickly drawn and in cartoon form. I put in a total of 5 minutes tops. Super quick, easy, no effort. Where as the hand sketch would have taken much more effort and pushed me farther as an artist, win or lose. I ended up becoming a great artist anyway. My dad didn't stop me from that. But like Brian mentioned, the shot of the bird is much more difficult of a shot to capture and far more a better visual image. I feel like grain may have been a determining factor to the judges, but being someone who often choses a grain detailed shot over a settings-by-book slightly less detail with little blur shot of the exact same photo, I understand what's going on there. (Also aware of the fact that we don't get to see what other photos Nicks bird was up against). What makes the rattler in habitat shot good, is the beautiful backdrop. Now, I am very familiar with Nicks skills as a photographer. He's one of my favorites. I've seen far better photos from him. That habitat shot seems to me to be a, "Bee-Flag" shot. Where as the picture from that same sesh that I have posted below, is a Sketch-hand shot. I'm not the only one who agrees... as of right now (time that I posted his pic), no one had fav'd his habitat shot. But the shot posted below has been fav'd 3 times. Its because of the counterbalance of the snakes body in relation to the rock it's sitting on and the horizon behind it, and the angle of the shot. Has nothing to do with the beauty in the eye of beholder.

My dad's inspiration taught me a life lesson and is something I will always remember. I couldnt help but be reminded of that after seeing this post. The beauty of the background was so visually beautiful, that the off-balance of the shot, was either purposely overlooked or not seen at all by the judges. Nick's shot of the Chuck is balanced perfectly in shape, flow (the line angles of the surrounding rocks in relation to the lizard), color, and detail. The granit color and texture on the dorsal of the lizard is the same as the boulder its on, displaying a deep concept. the wrinkles in the orange body skin match the mountain/hill in the background, tying the shot together like the dorsal color and texture. The amount of fade detail in the background.... The expression of the lizards emotion, basking...It is a perfect image in all aspects... period. No beholder of beauty thing at all. It is mathematically (geometrically) correct and emotionally transcending.


ImageNorthern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus) by NicholasHess, on Flickr



Chads last double comment got me thinking... and reminded of a similar review I made on one of his photos. The fact is, that Nick's habitat shot is not balanced correctly. It is off balance no matter how you look at it. That doesn't mean I'm saying he didn't deserve to win. He most certainly does or else he would not have won. I as a herper and someone who understands the situation, know that in order to get that backdrop, he had to position himself awkwardly so and away for the snake... however, the rattler should be positioned further down the rock from where he is sitting. he should be middle of the rock he is on, with equal space showing above and below the snake. Also, the pose of the snake looks posed and unnatural. Unlike the photo I posted of the same snake sesh above. We all know the snake probably moved and we understand the complication of the situation. However, that IS what is wrong with this image.

When Chad posted this pic, I made a comment that can be viewed from the flickr site. There is the exact same thing going on here. The snake is throwing a beautiful habitat shot off balance. The snake needs to be positioned differently in order to balance out the other aspects and shapes in the photo. The pose alone (shape and balance of the snakes body) is great. A loop of body needs to extend to the left in order to make this correct. The snake in relation to the two trees and creek, is in fact in the right place. Moving the entire snake to the left or right would throw it off balance. It's the shape of the snake that goes against the fundamental unchangeable principles of the universe. An intelligent mind can not view this photo without seeing the disturbance here. It's not an opinion...

ImageMountain Gartersnake (Thamnophis elegans elegans) by Chad Lane, on Flickr





In billiards, the worst thing you can do is go easy on someone. In any game of completion, throwing the game is the most disrespectful thing you can do. If you don't give your honest game, you are insulting your opponent on the highest level of disrespect. That is a concept I live my life by. "Don't tell me what I want to hear." When I used to skateboard, if you did a trick and then your friend stepped-it-up and outdid the trick you just did, right after you, it was GREAT! Not only because it's your friend but because it's an amazing thing to see. Not only that, but it pushes you to grow as a person weather it be in acceptance or persistence. My words are meant with nothing but the highest respect for both of these photographers. I want that to be clear.

-Porter

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Porter
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by Porter » November 7th, 2016, 9:59 am

I just realized there was an unintentional subliminal message in that link that I originally overlooked...
deleted now

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todd battey
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by todd battey » November 10th, 2016, 7:49 am

Way to go Nicholas. Another well-deserved tribute to just a few of your many fine images. I remember that day.

Todd

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LouB747
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Re: Nicholas wins international photography competition

Post by LouB747 » November 26th, 2016, 7:23 am

Congrats Nicolas. Well done! Keep it up!

Lou

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