On August 21st, I announced the Blown Away Project asking you to submit your overexposed photos. The turnout for this project was decent (10 entries), but it was less than I had expected due to the reader website project pulling in 59 entries. But hey, I’m grateful to those who did participate this time around. We ended up with some pretty nice photos being pulled together.

I’m curious to know why there were so few entries into this project. Was it too hard of a subject? Not enough time? Not clear enough? No interest? No point? Lack of a prize? I’d really appreciate some feedback on this so we can make the next project even better.

It’s really interesting to see the variations in how to apply overexposure to a photo. Some are strongly overexposed, while others are overexposed on only a few key points. Some photos look amazing almost completely blown out, while others benefit from a small touch of overexposure to highlight certain areas of the photo. Some of the photos were completely high key, some were very high contrast with overexposure and underexposure, and others were correctly exposed with bits of overexposure. They all work, and they’re all unique in their application of the topic.

For those who participated (and anybody else) you can link out to the other participants, show off their photo (keep in under 150px AND provide a link to them), blog about their works, submit their articles or photos to social networks, etc. You can link to all of them, some of them, or none of them — it’s up to you.

So to start things off, here are my top 3 favorites for this project (according to my personal taste). These photos really piqued my interest, and they are stellar examples of effectively using overexposure for added impact. Nice work Gregor, Joe, and Jim.

subway moments
subway moments
Gregor Winter
45 Union Bus Stop
45 Union Bus Stop
Joseph Szymanski
Jim Goldstein
And here are the remaining entries for the project, ordered by their submission date. I had a hard time leaving a couple of these down here, because I was really torn between 5 or 6 for the top 3 spots — so if your photo didn’t make the top 3, don’t be too hard on yourself — I enjoyed looking at all of them.
Roy Heisler
Blown Away Highlights
Blown Away Highlights
Jenni Brehm
Heaven's Gate
Heaven’s Gate
Jason Conner
And here are my entries for the project. I know I said that everyone else had to limit it to one photo each, but it’s my blog so I can break the rules if I’d like. I had a good time with this project, and I used it as a means to create two new photos for my collection.
Brian Auer
Dark Flower
Dark Flower
Brian Auer

So there you have it — overexposed photos. And here’s looking forward to the next project. I’m open to suggestions for topics or themes, so if you have any ideas be sure to let me know in the comments or though the contact form. I’d really like to see a project that pulls in about 50 photo entries — I think it would look amazing having that many photos of one particular topic laid out next to each other.

This entry was posted in Inspirational, Projects on by .

About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

16 thoughts on “PROJECT RESULTS: Blown Away

  1. Neil Creek

    Thanks for running this project Brian. I too am disapointed with the response, and I’m at a loss to explain it. I was keen to contribute, so I’d like to share my reaons for doing so, so that perhaps others who were undecided or disorganised can be motivated to participate next time:

    - It can be hard to be inspired to find a special photograph. When there’s a specific goal or “target” in mind, such as this project’s theme, it can help focus the creative mind and inspire ideas that may not have otherwise come.
    - I appreciated Brian listing my blog ( in his previous reader-contributed project. The fact that the project was picked up and reposted on many other blogs helped me to get more traffic to my fledgling site. Not only did Brian’s and the others’ site bring traffic, but all the links helped my Google rank and Technorati “authority” score.
    - Participating in the online photo community helps me meet others with interesting ideas and be inspired by their work.

    I’m sure there’s even more to it, but that’s what comes to mind as I write this. Thank you Brian for running the project, and I look forward to the next one! I’ll participate for sure. The only suggestion I have is to do them more frequently! Perhaps monthly?

    Regards and gratitude,

  2. Brian Auer Post author

    Thanks for the comments, Neil. I feel much the same way about group projects (whether my own or somebody else’s). Like I said, I had a lot of fun with this and it led me to create two new photos for my portfolio that I may not have otherwise done.

    As far as running these more frequently, it’s certainly a possibility. Maybe we’ll try again after getting some feedback on this one. The frequency of these will probably be determined by the participating photographers. If a lot of people participate, we’ll do them more often.

  3. Jenni

    I definitely have to agree with Neil in all his points.

    What may have kept people from participating was the requirement of overexposure. I had a hard time deciding on a picture since overexposure is something I usually try to avoid in my pictures. But your project made me think about creative ways of using overexposure in pictures.

  4. Brian Auer Post author

    That’s a good note, Jenni. I now realize that the subject requirement may have been a little difficult, but I guess that was the point. I wanted to see things from other photographers that I normally wouldn’t see. I like doing things that are a bit out of the norm, so when I run the next project it will probably be just as difficult of a topic.

  5. Joseph Szymanski

    I think the lack of participation has less to do with the subject requirement, and more to do with the fact that readers were actually required to do something. For the reader sites project, all you had to do was plug your URL into the form. This project required a bit more thought and action. As we all know, getting anyone to do anything that they aren’t set on doing is often like herding cats.

    That said, I think the requirement of actually thinking about the subject and then executing it keeps out the riff-raff and makes for a more productive project overall.

  6. Brian Auer Post author

    Good point, the last project required almost no effort, while this one required a moderate amount. I think you’re right too, that it keeps only the serious players in the game. So maybe 10 entries isn’t so bad after all.

  7. Andrew Ferguson

    Joseph’s right; on the Internet we’re all guilty of being impatient and not wanting to do work that takes longer than fifteen seconds.

    In my case, there simply wasn’t enough time for me to enter. I was in Saskatchewan, sans Internet, when it started or at least before I’d seen it and got back with five days to spare. All five days had already been earmarked to spend with my parents, who were visiting form Halifax.

    If you run a similar project again, I’d love to participate. I felt bad for not trying harder to enter this one :/

  8. Brian Auer Post author


    Nah, I knew you were pretty tied up with things. So maybe two weeks wasn’t enough time for some other folks too. I’d like to hear more thoughts on the topic of time limits.

  9. gregor

    next topic from a technical standpoint could be shallow depth of field.
    or maybe something non technique for example “your best shot from 100m radius of you house…”


  10. Brian Auer Post author

    I think I like something along the lines of your 2nd idea, though a technical project may be worth doing too. Anybody else? Technical vs. non-technical?

  11. susheel

    Hey Brian,

    Looks like you’ve got a pretty decent set of shots. Personally, I thought you’d receive a bunch more, but I guess a lot of people could have been out of the loop for a while, like Andrew and I.

    I’ve been out of circulation for a good week and a half or more, with work, setting up a new office and a multitude of photoshoots. I’ve finally got a new 5D and things are going relatively well, I should have my new office going in 2-3 weeks.

    Keep the projects coming, I’m looking forward to it this time. However, I do think that others may find it a tad troublesome to import the entire code and spread the love…

  12. Brian Auer Post author

    Susheel! Good to see you around once again. I’m glad things are panning out with work (and the camera). I do have another idea for a project, and I’ll probably announce it in the next week or two. As for importing the code, I’ll have to think of something to help people out — maybe I can post a link to a text file with the html, or a zip file with the html and pictures. Either way, I’ll try something out on the next project.

  13. Pingback: PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT: Edit My Photo | Epic Edits Weblog

  14. kRiZ cPEc

    Just have the time to say thank you~~very late I know quite busy the few weeks^^. Thanks for including me in the shortlist, I feel most honored that my pics stood side by side with so many impressive blown-out shots. And I am very eager to see how diverse you photo would turn out in the Edit Your photo project.
    That’s all for now. :)

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