Korea Bridge Summer Photo Contest

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Jeff Lebow of the Korea Bridge. Thus I am now helping out with the Korea Bridge Summer Photo Contest. Being a past winner myself (winter 2004… I think) I know how fun it is to participate in more of a local contest than those that I have featured recently. For me, winning the contest gave me a boost in confidence to further push my photography and I know that it will help you as well.

The contest is looking for photos from this Summer (2011) and there are two categories; Korea and outside of Korea. Why? well if you have travelled around and got some great summer of shots from Thailand for example but not much from Korea… well we’ve got you covered. The contest is open to anyone living in Korea, minus the judging panel and pro photographers. So that means pretty much anyone can enter.

The prizes? They have some great stuff lined up! Here is an excerpt from their page:

Prizes:W75,000 Grand PrizeW50,000 People’s Choice (each category) +assorted prizes from some of our fine sponsors including Wolfhound Pub,  NiceMarketAile, & HQ

That’s pretty good for some shots that you took over the summer between summer camp and school or just hanging around your neighbourhood, right?

The Deadline: September 21st 2011

Submission: Photos will be submitted to the korea Bridge keep them small (5mb) so make sure your jpg’s are cranked down to about 72 dpi or something “web sized” Follow this link and scroll down for more instructions on how to submit.

What makes a good submission?

Well first start with the title “summer” What photos do you have the really give a sense of that “summer feeling”? If I see a shot of a beach with people splashing in the water, I think “hot summer days” If I see a random shot of a market on a street corner with out any focus or story, I have no idea what to think. So try and convey some sort of feeling,story or sense of with your shots. This could be the rain that seemed to never end or the hordes of people hitting Haundae for the beach festival. The key is to choose a photo taken during this summer that conveys SOMETHING. I am all for those shots of random people sleeping on the subway, but make it pop! Tell a story or find a decisive moment.

The other basic thing is to make sure that your photos are sharp and that you didn’t go overboard with the retouching in photoshop. The other thing to keep in mind is the basic composition i.e. Rule of thirds, Golden rule, leading lines etc. Sometimes all it will take is a small crop to improve the general composition or isolating the subject more. Also look for any distracting items that might be getting in the way. Try to crop them out if you can as you want your image to have a main focus and not be distracted by an out-of-focus tree branch.

Photos that are not good choices are photos of you and your friends partying on the beach or something like that. Save those for facebook because in reality, if you look at a travel magazines you don’t really see a lot of the drunken party shots with the red eyes and the harsh flash, right? Also, keep the self portraits as well. Those shots of you standing in front of a sand castle in Haeundae are really only cool to people who know you. If I don’t know you, then all I see is a dude in front of a temple or something like that.

Other shots that you might want to leave out are those poor attempts at “street photography”We are looking for shots that have a clear and decisive subject, not just a black and white shot of people standing at a street corner. Also, I know its bikini season in Korea but leave the “Perv Shots” in your private folder too. Unless it is photographically significant to the subject, just posting up a sneaky shot of a girl in a bikini or a dancing girl in front of the GS 25 mart won’t score you any points.

Lastly, you are given a max of 15 shots that you can submit. Please make sure that they are your best work. Take some time and talk to your friends to find out what shots they like. Choose the ones that seem popular that you are proud to say that they are your best work. If that means you only submit 2 photos, great! because it only takes 1 photo to win!

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