Archive for photo contests

Photographer of the Month – Eric Kruszewski

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2011 by sabrina

© Eric Kruszewski

This month I’d like to introduce you to Eric Kruszewski, an up and coming photographer from the Pacific Northwest. His work was most recently recognized by PX3 (Prix de la Photographie Paris) where he was awarded a Gold Medal for “Cowboys’ Rodeo” and a Silver Medal for “Haitian Despair”.

Darwin: Eric, from your bio it appears that you just started photographing in 2008, yet your portfolio has a richness to it that suggests someone with much more experience. Why do you think you have made such progress in developing your craft and your art when others stuggle for much longer before seeing the returns you enjoy?

Eric: While living overseas in Former Soviet Union countries and traveling to other distant places, I wanted to capture what I was so fortunate to witness and share it with family and friends in my homeland.  So in late 2008, I decided that I wanted to learn how to capture profound imagery; to do so, I participated in a hands-on photography expedition through India with three amazing professional photographers.  After soaking up information and practicing photography for the 18-day journey, I became hooked with the camera.

After returning from India, photography became an integral part of my life.  Everyday I devoted as much time as I could to some aspect of the craft – shooting, editing, reading, attending exhibitions, surrounding myself with other photographers and people who respect what I did, studying others’ work, etc.  I literally left my camera hanging on the doorknob so I could grab it as I left home.  I certainly do not know what the “normal” or “average” timeframe is for developing, and no longer struggling in the field.  Seeing progress in photography, just like with anything, comes down to working hard, having a vision, having the passion for it, embracing the received “no” and striving for the desired “yes.”  As an artist, I will always challenge myself; that, combined with dedication and hard work, motivates me to develop and hone my vision as a photographer.

Darwin: How has your “New Talent “win in the prestigious TPOTY contest affected your audience and opportunities for new ventures in photography?

Eric: The Travel Photographer of the Year “New Talent” Award was an amazing surprise for me – not only winning the award, but also communicating with the contest’s creators / organizers, fellow winning photographers and experienced judges.  Fortunately, I was able to attend the ceremony and exhibition opening in London, where so many lovers of travel and photography came together.  The contest truly was about the imagery, the story behind the pictures and the artist behind the camera.  The organizers went to great lengths in creating a top-notch website, a wonderful exhibition experience with such a high profile and reputable gallery and showcasing the images for industry personnel, the public and the press to enjoy.

Since the Travel Photographer of the Year contest was open to all international photographers, it brought together imagery and followers from all over the world.  Therefore, after winning the “New Talent” Award, there was definitely more interest in my photography and how I have developed.

Darwin: How did you manage to get access to the street people depicted in your Blocks Apart, Worlds Apart portfolio?

Eric: A photographer or passerby could come across the imagery and street people seen in my Blocks Apart, Worlds Apart story by walking down the streets and alleyways of Downtown Eastside.  One of the amazing things about “Ground Zero” in Vancouver, BC is that drug use, drug deals, prostitution and sex are practiced so openly and commonly on the streets, and they are all concentrated within several square city blocks.  Access, and getting close to the people, was accomplished by asking their permission to observe them, learn what they do and respect their practices.  I let them do their thing and they let me do mine.  Of course, there are plenty of bystanders in the streets that warn a wandering photojournalist of potential trouble while in their territory.  Fortunately I did not encounter anything serious while developing the story.

Darwin: You seem to travel extensively, how do you finance your travel photography?

Eric: I am an engineer by degree and a photographer by heart.  Since graduating from university about 10 years ago, I have been working as a mechanical engineer for an international engineering-construction company.  It was this engineering work that took me overseas to the Former Soviet Union, allowed me to travel internationally at a relatively young age and eventually drove me to begin photographing the cultures and societies in which I was immersed.

Currently, I still perform the 40-hour-a-week engineering job and spend all my free time and vacation time photographing and developing stories that motivate me.  Most times it feels as if I have two full-time jobs, and all of my family and friends support my endeavors as I continue to strive in pursuit of making the transition to full-time professional photographer.

Darwin: You are in the ‘thick of things’ with your images, making it feel as if we, the viewer, are right there on the street with the subjects you photograph. How do you achieve this narrative point-of-view?

Eric: Being around people, capturing their stories and sharing those stories captivate and motivate me as a photographer and storyteller.  In order to do this effectively, I feel that being close and intimate with the subjects is necessary; it allows me to communicate openly with them, build a rapport, truly learn the subjects and then relay their story and voice in imagery.  However, it takes trust on the subjects’ part to allow a camera into their lives and it takes trust on my part that I will be received openly, thus being able to tell the story correctly and accurately.

For most of my work, I use a lens with a short focal length.  It forces me to approach people, to concentrate on and work with main subjects that are practically within arms reach and to not worry about what is happening a mile away; I can always move and get closer.  This “in the thick of things” approach allows the viewer to feel as if they are a part of the scene and immersed in the same story that I had the privilege of witnessing.

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski

© Eric Kruszewski


Winners of the Visual Wilderness Canadian Landscape Contest

Posted in Art of Photography, Good News, Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by Darwin

Drum roll please!

The winners of the Visual Wilderness Canadian Landscape Photo Contest have been announced! Head over to this post to read more about the winners, the prizes and the image as critiqued by Samantha and me. Thanks for all the great entries!

Reminder: Enter the Visual Wilderness Canadian Landscape Contest

Posted in Good News, Monthly Photo Contest, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2011 by Darwin

Hi all, this is a reminder that if you have any photos of Canada to enter the contest over at Visual Wilderness by the end of April, 2011 for a chance at some great prizes! Below are the rules:

  • All contest entries must be posted no later than 11:59 PM EST April 30, 2011. One entry per person
  • All photographs should meet the theme: The Canadian Landscape. Photographs must have been taken within the country of Canada. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to enter the contest but the photo must have been taken on Canadian soil.
  • The photographer should include a brief explanation of technique, the location and any relevant comments.
  • The winning photograph will be featured on the Visual Wilderness blog along with a few words from its maker. Three or four runners-up will also receive mention on the Visual Wilderness blog. Copyright belongs to the photographer but, by entering, the photographer consents to their image being posted on the VW blog if selected as one of the winning images.
  • The winner will receive the following prizes: Publication of the winning image in Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine. The winner will be published as a full page feature. A one-year subscription to Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine. Free enrollment in Samantha Chrysanthou’s Learning to “Speak” the Language of Visual Expression – a six week on-line photography course beginning September 1, 2011

Also be sure to enter Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine’s Spring Photo Contest as well – deadline May 31, 2011. You could win a new camera, lens and photo bag! Good luck.

©Darwin Wiggett - Digby Gut from Point Prim, Nova Scotia

Visual Wilderness Photo Contest – April 2011

Posted in Monthly Photo Contest, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by Darwin

The latest Visual Wilderness Photo Contest will begin April 1st, 2011. This month the theme is the Canadian Landscape. Photographs must have been taken within the country of Canada. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to enter the contest but the photo must have been taken on Canadian soil.

The winner will receive the following prizes:

To enter just head on over to Visual Wilderness and click “Enter the Contest”

Good luck!

©Darwin Wiggett - Cape d'Or Lighthouse Nova Scotia, Canada

Visual Wilderness – The American Landscape Photo Contest Winners

Posted in Art of Photography, eBooks, Good News, Inspirations, Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Darwin

Check out the winners of this month’s photo contest over at Visual Wilderness on the theme of the American Landscape. I love the winning image!

Stay tuned for the next Visual Wilderness contest to begin April 1st (no fooling!) on the Canadian Landscape. There will be great prizes as always. And once you’re over at Visual Wilderness check out the new eBook by Jay and Varina: The Workflow Series: Mountains.

For my Alberta friends, stay warm, the deep freeze should end soon!

©Darwin Wiggett

Visually Wild Photo Contest – Winners Announced!

Posted in Inspirations, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by Darwin

Head over to Visual Wilderness to see some really inspirational photos from the Visually Wild Photo Contest. The winner receives a Sigma 20mm f1.8 prime lens from Sigma Canada. Congratulations to all!

Sigma Canada’s Join and Win Contest

Posted in Good News, Monthly Photo Contest, Photography Gear, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by Darwin

Gentec International proudly announces its new Sigma Canada website showcasing the lenses, cameras, filters and accessories from Sigma, the world’s leading independent lens manufacturer. The new website will become a comprehensive resource for Sigma in Canada. The goal of the new website is to provide photographers with all the latest Sigma news and product information, plus a wealth of reference charts, photos, videos, and more. By joining the site, Sigma enthusiasts will receive product updates, promos and advance information as they are announced. In addition to joining the site, photographers can also upload their photos taken with Sigma lenses and cameras. The Sigma User Gallery is an ideal forum for photographers to share their best images with others in the Sigma Canada community, as well as with other photographers visiting the site.

To celebrate the launch of the new Sigma site, Gentec is offering a chance to win a fantastic photo prize package. Anyone who joins the Sigma website or posts photos to the Sigma User Gallery by December 15th, 2010 will be eligible to win (the winner will be randomly chosen and notified by January 15th, 2011 by Gentec International). The prize package, valued at $1000, includes a Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS lens, a Gary Fong Lightsphere® Collapsible flash diffuser, a Black Rapid RS-4 camera strap, and a Roots TRZ40 DSLR system backpack. Contest open only to Canadian residents.

Not Canadian?? Not to worry Gentec has given me a 20mm prime lens (in the lens mount of your choice) to give away to any winning photographer anywhere in the world (Martians need not apply!). Just head over to Visual Wilderness to enter. The contest theme is Visually Wild and we have some great entries already. Deadline Oct 31, 2010.

Miscellania for October

Posted in Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, Inspirations, Techniques with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by Darwin

Below are some links that might be of interest:

Culturazzi: Oasis of the Arts is a fun website about cinema, photography, art, music, literature and theatre that has a really cool design and interesting content (if you want a quick summary of what is happening out there in the world of popular art).

For users of Nik Silver Efex Pro, there is good news, finally the 64bit version of the software has been released so you can now power through the B+W plug-in with screaming 64 bit Photoshop!

If you have never visited ProNature Photographer, then now might be the time! Great stories and useful advice for those wanting to sell photos of their nature work.

Enter American Photo: Images of the Year Competition – deadline October 17.

Check out Scott Linstead’s new coffee table book – Decisive Moments – Creating Iconic Imagery which shows amazing results you can get with high speed flash and traditional action-stopping photography. Scott’s photos of nature in action are inspiring!

Speaking of new books Extreme Exposure by David Nightingale may be of interest for those who like to go beyond 1/8th to 1/125 of a second.

Samantha has a new article out called: Texture and Pattern in Nature

And finally I have an article online called If You Need More Than One Lens, You’re  Not a Photographer!


The Daily Snap – September 24

Posted in The Daily Snap with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett

Kootenay National Park along the lower Floe Lake trail, British Columbia

Travel Photo Contest – The Winners

Posted in Good News, Inspirations, Monthly Photo Contest, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Darwin

I have managed to get back from the wilds of the Yukon into Whitehorse for a night in a hotel and have access to the internet so I can finally post the results of the photo contest. So it is with great pleasure that I share with you the winners of the LLTL Travel Photo Contest for June – August 2010. Below are the comments from my guest judge David duChemin:

Wow, what a hard task. First, I need to tell you I am uncomfortable with the idea of judging art, or even competing as artists. I don’t think art is something you can – or should – win at. It’s about expression, not about comparison. That said, there’s merit in putting our work out there and seeing if it resonates. Still, I think our work stands or falls on its own and so this was particularily hard for me. The images I’ve chosen are:

Sudipto Das

First Place – Sudipto Das’ wonderful image of Holi celebrations in India. I love the colour, the gesture, the extreme point of view on this. The timing is perfect and the composition is different from other images I’ve seen of this celebration. Beautiful photograph, Sudipto!

Sam Gellman

Second Place – Sam Gellman’s image of villagers at dawn in Burma. I love the mood of this image, and the incredible tonal depth. I can almost smell the morning fires and hear the rustling noises of a village awakening. I feel like I’m there and that’s not an easy feeling to recreate in someone.

Ilya Genkin

Third Place – Ilya Genkin’s image of the Broken Hill Sculpture Park in Australia. Beautiful light, great composition, makes me want to pack my bags and head for Oz.

1st Place Prize:

Sigma 8-16mm f4,5-5.6 DC HSM LENS thanks to Gentec International for this great prize! A Complete Collection of Craft and Vision E-books (all the e-Books in the Craft and Vision catalog!). Thanks to David duChemin for this prize! A copy of my book How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies

Second Place Prize:

The winner of second place gets a $100 Canadian Blurb Gift Card from Blurb Books

Third Place Prize:

The winner of third place gets a copy of my book Dances With Light and my undying appreciation (this last thing is worth a lot!).