Tag Archives: contest

eBook Winners: Portrait Tips and Techniques

We had a great response on the “freebook” raffle last week! 76 photographers entered to receive a free copy of Wayne Radford’s Portrait Tips and Techniques eBook (see my review here). I said I had 3 free copies to hand out, and here they are:

Numbers 59, 6, and 69 match up with Connie, Marc H, and Adrian. Congrats to the winners!

For the non-winners, you can still buy the book at a discount price of $19.95 until December 12.

I have a few more book reviews to do in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for another chance to win some reading material.

Filter Forge Contest Results

[tweetmeme]Last week, I posted a review of Filter Forge, an advanced Photoshop plugin. I also posted a way for three lucky winners to get a free license for the software — a photo contest using the trial version of Filter Forge.

We had some great work entered in the contest and I had a difficult time picking only 3 winners. A big thanks goes out to all the participants!

THE THREE WINNERS ARE…


Devin Hayes, Lomo Filter

This one took me a minute to figure out because I’ve never seen a photo of the building. This is a tilt-shift photo of the Milwaukee Art Museum and it sits at an angle as shown in the image (no tilt on the composition). The Lomo filter used maintains a relatively “clean” look while shifting the colors just a bit.


Roy Moore, Grunge Filter

The Grunge filter was a popular choice among participants, but this photo exhibited the best use of the filter. The simple subject and color set gains strength from the busy texture of the grunge filter and produces somewhat of a visual cross between painting and photo.


Robbie Ewing, Dreamy Filter and Film Frame

The dreamy filter applies well to portraits because of the softening effect. Highlights and colors are also pushed up a bit, producing a slightly high-key and high contrast/saturation image. The film frame adds a nice organic border to the image, keeping the viewer interest near the center of the photo.

OTHER PROJECT ENTRIES

These entries are shown in the order they were received. Great work from everyone — I had a hard time bringing my top 6 or 7 down to my top 3.


Gilberto Agostinho, Vibrance Filter and Film Frame


Paulus B. Weldy, Dreamy Filter and Photo Frame


Victoria Pickering, Colorize Filter


James Kammin, Old Photo Filter and Photo Film Frame


Mark Ledingham, Plastawrap and Bridge Lighting Filters


Susan Pollard, Grunge Filter


Malcolm Smith, Old Photo Filter


Justin Kuhlers, Real Contrast Filter and Film Frame


Rob Anderson, Grunge Filter


Heather Katsoulis, Watercolor Painting Filter and Watercolor Frame


Steven M., Sunburst Filter


Leszek Leszczyński, Watercolour Frame

Again, a big thanks to the folks who participated.

Filter Forge Photoshop Plugin Review (And Giveaway)

Filter Forge - an advanced Photoshop plugin

[tweetmeme]The folks at Filter Forge contacted me about reviewing their advanced Photoshop plugin software. I’m always interested in checking out new things, so they provided me with a review license of the software and I started exploring it. I must admit that it’s an impressive piece of software.

Read on for my review and be sure to check the details at the bottom about the contest and prize giveaway. This review contains affiliate links.

WHAT IS FILTER FORGE?

Filter Forge is a Photoshop plugin with a huge variety of filter and texture options for photographers and designers. The plugin contains over 7500 textures and filters, most of which are user generated. And that’s another key feature of the software — you can generate your own filters and make them available to other users.

The real strong point of the Filter Forge software is the extensive library of user generated filters and textures. There is a seemingly endless supply of options out there, and the library is constantly growing. The folks at filter forge also offer an incentive to create and promote new filters, handing out reward points for the more popular filters created. Those reward points can earn you discounts and free software.

There are two sides of Filter Forge — textures and effects. If you’re into applied textures, this software will keep you occupied for quite a while. At the time of writing this review, there are nearly 4000 textures available. Filters, or creative effects, are also in abundance with over 3600 options. You can search and browse through the filters at the Filter Forge website.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH IT?

Applying filters is relatively simple. You start up Photoshop, pull in your image, and start Filter Forge from the Filters menu. Once inside Filter Forge, you can select the textures or effects you want to apply, check out a few presets, or modify the settings for that particular filter. After you apply the filter or texture, you’re back in Photoshop. That’s pretty much it.

Creating filters is a little more complicated, but the interface is still fairly simple. You can start from scratch or modify an existing filter by using the components available in the filter editor. These components include things you would find in Photoshop: brightness, gamma, hue, saturation, threshold, invert, levels, curves, gradients, blurs, blends, and a whole bunch of other tools you won’t find in Photoshop. The process is very similar to creating a Photoshop action, but more visual and self explanatory.

Enough talk, here are a few of my own photos with various applied filters. Click on the image to see the originals at Flickr.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

This is certainly a handy piece of software for the folks that apply textures and filters on a regular basis. The sheer quantity of options is staggering. If you’re a “naturalist” with your photography, maybe this isn’t for you. But other photographers, and even graphic designers, should check it out if it sounds remotely interesting.

Filter Forge can be downloaded as a 30 day free trial with no other limitations (and check out the free plugin packs on the same page that don’t require the Filter Forge software). If you want to buy the software and continue to have access to the full library, you have three price options: basic, standard, and professional editions. The basic edition only allows you to use the filters, the standard edition allow you to create your own, and the professional edition has a bunch of other bells and whistles. Check the website for prices because they may change in the future.

WHO WANTS A FREE COPY?

Now for the fun part — I have three licenses for the basic edition of Filter Forge to give out! We’ll run this as a photo contest using the Filter Forge plugin (and if you don’t have Photoshop, you can use it as a standalone software). Here’s what you need to do to enter:

STEP 1. Download a free copy of Filter Forge and install it.

STEP 2. Choose any photo of your own and apply your favorite filter.

STEP 3. Email your photo to blog@epicedits.com. Size it to 1000px on the long edge, make sure to include your name, and tell me which filter(s) you used.

DEADLINE: October 10 13, 2010

One entry per person and the photo used must be your own. By entering the contest you only give Epic Edits the right to display your image as a contest entry no larger than 500px. You retain all rights to your photo.

After the deadline, I’ll size the images to 500px and post them here on the blog along with your name and the name of the filter used. I’ll choose the three winners myself (or I’ll have a couple of guest judges help me out).

Link Roundup 05-28-2010

New Feature: Epic Edits Flickr Challenge

[tweetmeme]I’ve been meaning to do this sort of thing for a while, so let’s see if we can get it going. How does a periodic photo challenge sound? You know — I post a topic/subject, you post photos to the Flickr pool, I pick out some good ones to exhibit in a blog post, you become rich and famous (no promises though).

A few other sites and forums do this sort of thing, so why shouldn’t we? Our Flickr group is getting quite large and we have a ton of great photos coming through each day. In addition to the PhotoDumps, I’d like to highlight some specific topics of interest. Here’s what you need to do in order to participate in these “assignments”:

[UPDATE 5/24/2010] This challenge is over and the results have been posted. Check there for the next assignment, or visit the Flickr group page.

CHALLENGE #1: “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY”

FLICKR TAG: “EE-STREET”

Interpret that as you will, it just needs to be in the realm of “street” and “photography”.

  1. JOIN THE EPIC EDITS FLICKR GROUP
    The only way to post photos to the pool is to join the group, so get on there if you’re not already.
  2. POST PHOTOS ON THE CURRENT TOPIC
    Get out and take some new photos, or find some old ones in your archive that relate to the current topic. Put them in the pool, and remember that you’re limited to one per day. Feel free to interpret the topic as you see fit.
  3. TAG YOUR SUBMISSIONS: “EE-STREET”
    I need to have a good way of finding your submissions, so tag them correctly and make sure they’re in the pool.
  4. WAIT FOR THE SELECTIONS
    After a week or two, I’ll pull together some of the best submissions for a featured blog post.
  5. WINNER PICKS THE NEXT TOPIC
    Each round, I’ll pick out my absolute favorite from the bunch and that person will get to choose the next topic.

Submissions to any round can be new photos posted to the pool or old photos that you’ve already posted. Doesn’t matter — just make sure you tag your submissions appropriately. I’m also going to select photos for the post without notice, so don’t wait until the last minute.

Here’s what a selection might look like (these ones are just mine, the real post will come from you guys)…

Over the Can

Black and White

Battling Fuel Prices

Gangsta

Cigar Humor

Big White Boxes

3 Cops

I Poop Little People, Then Ride Away

Mexican Bus Stop

Baby & Me Boutique Winners!

First of all, a big thanks to Jill for offering up some great prizes from her shop! By the response we had with this contest, it was a big success.

Another big thanks goes out to all of you participants — I was so glad to see everybody posting photos and commenting about Jill’s products. If you haven’t seen the contest entries yet, go check out the comment section on the previous post.

I always have a hard time picking out winners for photo contests, but this one was considerably more difficult. All those cute babies and kids… so many deserving of a prize. But I could only choose one, and I chose this elegant little doll:

Flower Baby

Congrats to Sharon for this great photo! Downright adorable.

And for the second prize, the raffle goes to Jane for leaving comment #39:

The cocoon & hat combo would be my choice of photography props. I’m just getting started as a baby photographer & would USE it & LOVE it!

So there it is — the winners have been sent off to Jill and she’ll take care of them from here.

But wait… there’s more!

Jill was so thrilled about the response for the contest, she’s offering up a 10% discount just for the readers of Epic Edits. How cool is that? All you have to do is email Jill (via her Etsy shop or womenwhodoitall[at]gmail[dot]com) about the item(s) you want and mention Epic Edits sent you. Awesome — thanks Jill!

VISIT BABY & ME BOUTIQUE

Win Photography Props from Baby & Me Boutique

Hi Epic Edits readers. I’m excited to be here and have the chance to introduce myself and my shop. My name is Jill and my shop is called Baby & Me Boutique. I sell a variety of crocheted items, but what I would like to share with you today are my photography props. I make all sorts of fun props for baby photo shoots: cocoons, hammocks, beanies, booties, and more! Many of my products are available in sizes for young children as well.

Good props are an essential for every child photographer. I love photography, although I’ll be the first to admit I’m not that great at it. However, with props like these even I can take a good picture. My props add a creative and professional touch to photos. And in the hands of a true professional (such as the talanted Shanda Leigh who provided the pictures you see here, and many of you I’m sure) they make the most gorgeous photos! Cocoons in particular are a growing trend and I offer several types in my shop.


I truly enjoy making the things I sell, which lets me keep my prices low and feel good about it. I love to see my products go to good use and create beautiful pictures. I hope you’ll stop by and take a peek! http://womenwhodoitall.etsy.com

GIVEAWAY CONTEST DETAILS

[tweetmeme][Brian here] First of all, a big thanks to Jill for offering up some free product to the readers of Epic Edits! She’s offered to give two winners any single item from her shop, so we have two ways that you can enter the contest (you can enter both ways and we’ll pick one winner from each).

DEADLINE: May 13, 2010

  1. POST YOUR BEST BABY/CHILD PHOTO
    Place a photo (or link to a photo) in the comments below of your best baby/child photo. Post only one photo, and it must be your own. This is a judged competition, so post your very best.
  2. TELL US WHICH ITEM YOU LIKE BEST
    Hop over to Jill’s shop and browse through her products. Then leave a comment below telling us which item(s) you like best. The winner will be a random selection (and be sure to leave this as a separate comment if you’re entering a photo too).

So there you go — two ways to enter for a chance at some free props!

“The Contact Sheet” Book Winners

Book Review: The Contact Sheet

Last week, I did a book review of The Contact Sheet and we had a couple of extra copies to give out. A big thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and helped promote the contest — we had a good number of entries in just a few days.

The winners were chosen randomly, one from the reTweets and one from the comments over at FeelingNegative.com. I contacted both of them last week right after the contest and they both accepted the prize, so that’s that! Here are our winners:

Bill Wolff for the Twitter entry
Marc Hodges for the comment entry

If you didn’t win and you still want a copy of the book, you can buy one directly from AMMO Books or through Amazon.com (affiliate link). For how good the book is, the price is very low and totally worth it.

And stay tuned for more free stuff coming down the pipeline. We have another small contest coming up tomorrow (not for books though… something totally different).

Want Some Free Stuff? DIYPhotography.net Has It!

I try to give out freebies here when I can, but Udi has gone over the top with his latest contest/giveaway! Head over to DIYPhotography.net and check out the giant Bag O’ Goodies that he has up for grabs.

This is a judged photo contest split into three parts. Part 1 has been announced and the topic is “food”.

This will be a three-part assignment. In each part you will be asked to take a picture and submit it to the contest. Here is the thing, you must use one of the techniques portrayed in DIYP to take that picture.

Seriously… check out the prizes that are up for grabs. He’s got over $870 worth of stuff to give out — all very cool stuff.

On a side note, props to Udi for quitting the day job and going “problogger”. He’s doing an awesome job at ramping up the blog, and I’m quite envious.

Book Review: The Contact Sheet

[tweetmeme]If you don’t know by now, or if you’re new around here, I’m a HUGE fan of good photo books. I love looking at great photos and I can appreciate the effort that goes into making a book full of them.

I’m also into film photography and I like seeing photo books that exhibit some old-school stuff. And with any photo book, it’s unusual to see additional photos that weren’t selected for display or publication — so this book is pretty special since it breaks that boundary.

AMMO Books contacted me about a 2nd edition printing of a pretty awesome book, and I couldn’t pass it up! Contact sheets from famous photographers, full-page selections, and photographer backgrounds… this has greatness written all over it.

The Contact Sheet (ISBN 978-0978607692) can be purchased directly from AMMO Books or through Amazon.com. The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Contact Sheet is a hardcover book containing 192 pages of photographer bios, contact sheets, and photos from 44 well known photographers. The book is of average size measuring in at 10.4×8.4 inches and around 1 inch thick. Each photographer is given a minimum of a background/bio, a contact sheet, and a final selection from that contact sheet (some are given a bit more than this). In addition, the written portions are published in English, French, German, and Spanish.

The thing that hits you about this book is that there are some really iconic photos (and photographers) contained within. Some of my favorite and other well-known photographers appear, such as Elliott Erwitt, Jerry Uelsmann, Dorothea Lange, Pete Turner, Anton Corbijn, William Wegman, and many others.

As I mentioned, some of the photos are recognizable icons — photos of people such as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Allen Gainsberg, August Sander, Marilyn Monroe, Aretha Franklin, Richard Nixon, “Migrant Mother”, Jim Morrison, and… need I go on? You’ve probably seen a good handful of these legendary photos somewhere in your travels.

Aside from all the icons and legends, the REALLY neat thing about this book is the fact that you get to see the whole contact sheet that the image came from. So you get to see all the different poses, takes, and trials that went into it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Crist is the publisher of AMMO Books and has also personally edited and created outstanding titles such as GONZO, The Curse of Lono, Marilyn, Jazz Life, Steve McQueen, and The Polaroid Book.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

The Contact Sheet is a very worthwhile book for art and photography enthusiasts. After reading the photographer bios and viewing the contact sheets, you’ll view the selected photos in a whole different light. On one hand, you see that it took more than one shot to get the final photo and not every shot on the roll was a “keeper”. On the other hand, you gain a deeper respect for the selected photo when you see just how special it is.

The Contact Sheet (ISBN 978-0978607692) can be purchased directly from Ammo Books or through Amazon.com. The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

WANT A FREE COPY? WE HAVE TWO!

[UPDATE 5/7/10] The contest deadline is over. I’ll pick out the winners soon and post an update to the blog. Thanks to all the folks who entered!

[UPDATE 5/10/10] The winners have been announced.

This is going to be a quick one, so pay attention. You have two ways to enter for a free book, and you can enter both ways to increase your chances.

  1. [tweetmeme]DO THE RETWEET
    Just post this little gem to your Twitter status: “RT @epicedits Book Review: The Contact Sheet http://bit.ly/bcCTFj” or hit the green “retweet” button on this post. (one entry per person)
  2. COMMENT ON MY FILM BLOG
    Since the book is all about film photos and contact sheets, head over to my film photography blog and leave a (thoughtful) comment on any of the posts — include the phrase “THECONTACTSHEET” in your comment to be eligible for a free book. (one entry per person)

So get on it — I’ll cut off the entries at the end of May 6, 2010 and pick out the random winners. Each winner will receive a free copy of The Contact Sheet book, courtesy of AMMO Books.