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Water Photo Contest Results

We really must hand it to everyone who submitted to this contest. Submissions hit every aspect and pushed the boundaries of the many interpretations of ‘water’. Judging such a multitude of high quality images with a panel as diverse in photographic tastes as ours was no easy task — we can hardly agree on what to grab for lunch, so narrowing down such a plethora of images was a miracle in itself. Hundreds of submissions went through multiple rounds of blind revisions (Photos only, no attached names) until the group was ultimately filed down to the final seven. After many discussions, reasons, talks, debates — the judging came down to a final vote landing on one particular image:

DYNAMIC by Miles Morgan

DYNAMIC by Miles Morgan

DYNAMIC by Miles Morgan

Miles is an airline pilot by profession, showing you don’t have to be a photographer by trade to produce stellar imagery. Here’s what Miles Morgan had to say about taking the image:

“Located under the cliffs of Cape Kiwanda along the Oregon Coast, I happened upon this area by accident when I first started photography in 2009 while looking for a more frequently photographed area. This 200 foot long sea cave is accessible at low tide after a muddy descent, and during a few weeks of the year in winter, the setting sun will pour warm light through the cave opening. Getting a winter day with sunny skies and low tide is no small feat in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve had several aborted attempts at getting an image from this location over the past few years. Things aligned in mid-January, so I made the slog up and over the dunes with fellow photographer Steve Turner.

It was not uncommon for waves to come thundering through the cave at a height which blocked the light completely, and when they spilled into our little amphitheater, we were left scrambling for the highest rocks in a futile attempt to stay dry. As the light started to pour through the tunnel, the initial thrill of wave-dodging turned to mild panic as it was nearly impossible to get more than one frame off of the retreating water before the next wave would threaten to send us swimming. I became very thankful for the incredible dynamic range of my Nikon D800E, as I was able to get workable images with one frame, and even more impressed with the stability of my RRS BH-55 Ballhead and L-Bracket which allowed for sharp images despite the requirement to race forward, plant the camera, compose and fire a frame or two before the next wave arrived. Less admirable was the performance of my shall-not-be-named-but-starts-with-a-“G” tripod, which donated 2 of it’s three feet to the ocean in some sort of rubber sacrifice to the God of Water. Again.

All in all, it was the kind of thrilling day that can make Landscape Photography an adrenaline pumping adventure sport.”

Honorable Mentions

Not to be taken lightly, there was almost blood drawn on narrowing down the field. Although the images may not have won the grand prize, they won the hearts and votes of a few judges. All of our honorable mentions will receive an RRS TQB-80B tripod bag, and expect to see some detailed posts about how the artist captured their image over the next couple weeks. Listed in no particular order:

32 Hours & Counting by Dave Morrow

32 Hours & Counting by Dave Morrow

32 Hours & Counting by Dave Morrow

Angel Painting by Dave Valvo

Angel Painting by Dave Valvo

Angel Painting by Dave Valvo

Galaxy Number 9 by Dave Morrow

Galaxy Number 9 by Dave Morrow

Galaxy Number 9 by Dave Morrow

Godley View by Joshua Cripps

Godley View by Joshua Cripps

Godley View by Joshua Cripps

Winter Falls by Jarrod Castaing

Winter Falls by Jarrod Castaing

Winter Falls by Jarrod Castaing

Cerro Torre by John Barwood

Cerro Torre by John Barwood

Cerro Torre by John Barwood

Thank You

For everyone who chose to participate in our photo contest we wish to again thank you. Your hard work — whether it be by profession or hobby — fuels our desire to produce the best camera support equipment there is to offer. Knowing our passion helps others create their own is what makes the long hours and hard work worth it all. We hope to continue growing our relationships with our customers and will be introducing more contests to come — so if you haven’t, be sure to follow our social media, subscribe to our newsletter, or receive our mailed catalogs to stay up to date in all our products and offerings!

24 Comments

  1. Dan V. says:

    Great stuff from Really Right Stuff and their customers!
    See you on the next competition.

    From a new proud owner :)

    • Really Right Stuff says:

      Looking forward to having you participate Dan, hope you enjoy playing around with the new gear!

      Chris
      Really Right Stuff

  2. Rick Ponte says:

    Congratulations to Miles Morgan for a fine photo and to RRS for a colorful, instructive, and memorable blog. Thank you, Rick Ponte

    • Really Right Stuff says:

      Just made my day Rick ahahah — it’s always a joy to hear appreciation for ones work! Of course, we at RRS can’t overlook the contribution of inspiration and information from our gear users.
      Take care,

      Chris
      Really Right Stuff

  3. Chris Brown says:

    This is some really exceptional stuff! They are all winners and they should be proud.

    We need to be thankful that we live in America where people can do such exceptional work in a skilled area that is not their primary profession. Nice that our economy creates things like RRS to make such fine equipment. Their “stuff” is a joy to use!

  4. Rolf R Strickland says:

    Truly great photographs, all of them. I know this spot on the Oregon coast. Congrats on the sensational photograph and the courage to enter the cave.

  5. Steve Gandy says:

    These are terrific! Congratulations to the winners.

    Hey, why not post everyone’s image for all to see? Contests are subjective choices by the judge(s) after all…I’d like to see the other images. And I’d like others to see my entry too.

    • Really Right Stuff says:

      Good feedback Steve — the direct answer is there was far too many entries to put on the blog and narrowing the entrants down to the “finalists” was always our intention to show a variety of images that were submitted but still keep it manageable to display on the blog. The nature of how people were allowed to submit in this contest left too much variety to try and gather all the images from the various sources. We’re going over some options to try and make it a little more stream-lined, maybe something like a Flickr tag/group/pool or something — not really sure. Anyways, thanks for participating and we do like to hear some feedback on these things, it doesn’t go unheard (granted it’s civil like yours :] ). Keep an eye out for our next catalog and contest. Take care,

      Chris
      Really Right Stuff

  6. Terry Campbell says:

    Ditto Steve Gandy. Thank you RRS! Well done.

  7. Song Huang says:

    Yeah for Joshua Cripps, a local Santa Cruz photographer! Love his stuff. It was a nice surprise to see his work pop up here.

    • Really Right Stuff says:

      If you liked the shot, wait until you see his write up for the picture. We’ll be releasing write ups on the photos in the following weeks — they’re all great reads. Josh’s has some “Oh man!” moments hah!

      Chris
      Really Right Stuff

  8. don hamilton says:

    Just and Awesome image… and got to love when it all comes together… Big /Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. don hamilton says:

    Congrats. on an awesome image.. just got to love it when it all comes together!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Ed Okie says:

    Equally remarkable about the winning images selected – all are genuinely excellent, not chosen because of eye-catching weirdness. Generally recognizable subjects. No qualms about the cave shot designated Best of Show. Singular issue of critique is the aspect of “Photoshopping” rapidly creeping into imagery… becoming more and more prevalent, retouching and in particular exaggerated colorations. Where do we draw the line in the sand – is a question without an answer. Retouching, of course, goes back for more than a century, portraits especially. Excessive coloration and saturation is today’s phenomena, an attempt to dazzle the eye, a subject that possibly wasn’t that great to start with, or, not camera-captured properly…. “I’ll fix it in Photoshop.”

    • Really Right Stuff says:

      Love hearing the thoughts on the use of photoshop/touching/editing. It’s a common issue of debate with this generation given the wide use of software available. Of course, altering images has always been around since the darkroom ages with a variety of techniques, it’s just far easier to do it now given computers and the digital era. In our mix of judges there is a contrast of both sides of view (which leads to some interesting discussions in the office haha), and there really isn’t a ‘correct answer’ as you stated. All we can do, is give our honest opinions and reasons when we critique as to what is successful about the image. I recall one of National Geo’s latest contests had chosen a winner for one of their travel photography competitions, who in the same 24 hours of being told he won was told he was disqualified when discovered he had photoshoped (rather than cropped) out a piece of trash on the edge of the frame. The ethics and truth of photography versus the best quality image, piled in versus what ‘really was there’ or how the photographer ‘remembered the scene’ — I think this all will be debated for years to come, and possibly for as long as photography exists. If you got through this all I’m impressed, I tend to ramble and carry on hahaha. I hope you enjoyed the competition though and the more to come! Take care,

      Chris
      Really Right Stuff

  11. Robert / Dubai says:

    Congratulations to the winners. Can’t wait for the next competition. Happy shooting….

  12. Brenda Tharp says:

    Great job, everyone! Congrats to the winner and the HM’s. good work, all.

  13. Lois says:

    Very nice pictures – lots of different perspectives. Thanks

  14. Paul M says:

    Beautiful photos – it would also be interesting to see where each of these was taken!

  15. Rick Stamm says:

    Certainly an impressive collection of water related expressions captured and presented in ways to tantalize the eye and mind. Which leads me to wonder just how much each image was post processed by each finalist. Not to add further fuel to the debate Chris covered so well, merely a means of knowing if those presenting such imagery are accomplishing their outstanding results with mere timing, tools, and skill with said tools in the field or, a combination of these and a well honed skill of post processing techniques to further enhance one’s vision. Not a cause for debate as I understand and respect both perspectives. Just thought it would be interesting to know how much if any post processing was used by your contest finalists. Kudos again to RRS and each finalist for such worthy imagery.

  16. ligia munoz says:

    Gorgeous pictures, comngratulations !!!!

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