The Crestock Photo Contest: Round 1 Winner Announcement

Posted Wednesday, 23 May 2007 in Photography
We were overwhelmed by the amazing response to round 1 of our photo contest and would like to thank everyone who participated.
Just to remind everybody: the theme we wanted photographers to address in this round was 'The Meaning of Life'. Here are the winner and  the most notable entries, as singled out by our judges and the public:


The Winner of Round 1 and a Leica D-Lux 3 camera is:


friends by chandande
friends by chandande
The winner, with an unrivalled number of votes from the jury, is this enigmatic and very genuine-looking photo of Indian children. Perhaps the judges felt that it sums up some of the apparent coincidences and chance encounters that could be said to characterise life. Who are the kids on the other side of the wall? What are they doing there? What is the relationship between the kids?


Second place goes to:


LIFE & WATER by deba29
Life & Water by deba29
In 2nd place is this truly iconic image. The small human figures set again a stark, dramatic landscape makes it reminiscent of the work of the great Sebastião Salgado. Contained within is a wealth of possible interpretations and themes.


And in third place:


Nuns Joy by lindita
Nuns Joy by lindita
There's a slight feeling of absurdity in the photo that grabbed the 3rd place, nuns aren't exactly what first spring to mind in the context of "fun on the beach". It is almost impossible not to like this photo, it has such a genuinely cheerful, upbeat mood. The composition is fantastic too.



The runners-up are:


Life of Hope by chakoo
Life of Hope by chakoo

mitchell ollie by patrickd
mitchell ollie by patrickd

Aurora Borealis by Gunnlaugur
Aurora Borealis by Gunnlaugur

Carry On by Jilly_Kay
Carry On by Jilly_Kay

Flying into the Sea by char51455
Flying into the Sea by char51455

Life in a refrigerator by alexicaro
Life in a refrigerator by alexicaro
Sokolica by raven8219
Sokolica by raven8219

Birth by gdclark
Birth by gdclark

Norwegian Sunset by Mezmo
Norwegian Sunset by Mezmo

A Beautiful Journey by yanc
A Beautiful Journey by yanc

Three by visus
Three by visus

Pride by zolnierek
Pride by zolnierek


The public's favourites were:


Distance Between Lovers by Dozhdbog
Distance Between Lovers by Dozhdbog

Father and child by bebeko
Father and child by bebeko

Life & Water by deba29
Life & Water by deba29

My Journey in Life by mishale
My Journey in Life by mishale

Kick off your shoes and live by fobbette
Kick off your shoes and live by fobbette

Beautiful light in the eyes of a child by puentes
Beautiful light in the eyes of a child by puentes

A relation with God by anaelko
A relation with God by anaelko

Life is so short by asundiam25
Life is so short by asundiam25

Taking Care by DM29
Triangle of Love by PHOTOWALA

Triangle of Love by PHOTOWALA
Taking Care by DM29

Overflow by Babla
Overflow by Babla

Walks of Life by mdeba
Walks of Life by mdeba

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Comments:

By PetarMDima on Wednesday, 23 May 2007 4:11 PM
Best whishes to all photographers!
By shiladitya on Wednesday, 23 May 2007 6:00 PM
Best entry...loved it...couldnt hav no mor options
BULL-SHIT
By mcloyd on Wednesday, 23 May 2007 8:32 PM
I don't know how this 3rd graded photograph (Friends)become winner instead of so much good photographs. There is no story nothing. All balls.
By rajatdas on Wednesday, 23 May 2007 9:48 PM
Congratulations to chandan of India, wish all the participants recurring success in this visual art. Heartfelt thanks to all.
SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
By madana on Thursday, 24 May 2007 7:50 AM
I want to know that judges have found what meaning of life in the picture friends. I have doubts about judges ability to judging in a such big competition. We never expect such a poor judging in a high standard of competition
By photographer on Thursday, 24 May 2007 6:12 PM
The adjective mcloyd gave to the photo "friends", is appropriate as this photo depicts anything but LIFE, let alone expressing the Meaning of Life. There is no chance of 'apparent coincidences and chance encounters' as even a lay man can tell that the photograph has been arranged with a group of children, who are available in plenty in the villages of India ! Such a scene is extremely unreal and is the result of a wild imagination of the photographer. Giving it an award means that the judges are promoting bad taste, and in future anything can pass as a photograph.I am sorry to say this, but wasn't there judges at Crestock who understand and love photography ? Please do not kill our passion.
By anticz on Thursday, 24 May 2007 8:52 PM
"Please do not kill our passion"?

Give me a break. It was a great photo and disserved to win. Congrats to chandande on your winning photo. As for the negative posts here, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I can only guess you are either sore losers or you are bitter trolls looking for attention. In either case, get over it. There are a lot of great entries and everyone deserves congratulations and Respect for posting such inspiring images.
Aren't all of the pictures " arranged"?
By A.P on Friday, 25 May 2007 7:01 AM
Well I have to say I think most every picture in here was arranged except that one of the northern lights (so the photographer says "I was in the right place at the right time.") On the other hand I have to wonder what the deal with the judges were in picking not one but two pictures of starved children from foreign countries. Should I have taken a picture of starving American children hugging, or holding hands for that to have been considered. Please don't mis judge my attitude. I am just an amature photographer and I am still learning but I really don't know what that composition had to do with the meaning of life. Congratulations to the winners! But I still don't get it!
@ 'photographer':
By Gary on Friday, 25 May 2007 10:35 AM
If this was the World Press Photography competition/exhibition, there would indeed be serious consequences if a photo was found to be 'staged', but as far as I can judge, this is not a photo-journalism contest, so I don't quite see the problem with images being (shock, horror) 'arranged' in order to represent the meaning of life?
The winning entry is a bit low in contrast for my taste, perhaps the exposure could be half a stop more, but apart from that I think it is excellent. I would say all the top three deserve a prize! Perhaps the photographer could tell us a bit more about the circumstances of the winning photo?

@ A.P: I can't really see any obviously starving children in the shortlisted photos, so I don't think we're talking sympathy votes here, if that was what you were alluding to? Pale kids from America or Europe might not have stood out much against that clay wall, so on a purely aesthetic and compositional level, it probably did help that they are from 'foreign countries' :)
An Indian Photographer
By Joy on Friday, 25 May 2007 1:24 PM
Regarding the comments of 'photographer' and subsequent comments on that, I being an indian must say that in no way the 1st photograph depicts any 'meaning of life' . Thougth the 2nd photograph is also arranged, but definitely portrays "meaning of life'. The most interesting part of judging appears from the comments of the Judges regarding the 3rd photograph,...feeling of absurdity...!!! As a photographer,I feel this photograph is a candid one and portrays conclusively the 'meaning of life'.And this one would have been selected for the 1st place. Do the judges felt initially that 'nuns' are life-less?
By fotofriend on Sunday, 27 May 2007 6:52 PM
Thanks Crestock for the “Meaning of Life” contest which allowed us to view hundreds of beautiful pictures and the rich debate over the 1st award winning photograph. There seem to lots of comments in favour and against the picture. But the two most important sections who could have commented over the matter- the photographer and a representative of the jury, is missing. Though the photographer did make a comment(“playful India”), it seems to be very vague in reply to the questions raised by even those in favor of the award winning photograph (“Who are the kids on the other side of the wall? What are they doing there? What is the relationship between the kids?” “the circumstances of the winning photo?”). This sense of IMPOSED mystery does not seem to be felt by the photographer himself for whom, I doubt, the photograph is as simple as “ friends in a playful mood”. Can we, to quote Gary, know ‘a bit more about the circumstances of the winning photo?’ And can we have some comments from the judges to know what in the picture impressed them? And also- if it was known in prior, that the ‘kids on the other side of the wall’ are simply holding hands of the outside children (in an odd static mood for being ‘playful’) because they were asked by the photographer to do so (instead of some other kind of static ‘playful’ mood, which he might have asked); the judges would have selected it to be the best picture out of some 1500 to represent ‘ Meaning of Life”? We need to know the answers to improve our photography in the future. Thanks again to Crestock and congratulations to chandande. Comment of A.P (‘two pictures of starved children from foreign countries’) might hurt many in India because the children does not seem to be starving, and ‘foreign country’ is irrelevant in an international photo contest.
By clickman on Sunday, 27 May 2007 8:40 PM
Failed to understand how this could be judged as no.1.Stretching myself to the utmost of my imagination,i could not relate it with"The meaning of Life".Some points remain to ponder with:Are there really any mystic notes in this cent percent arranged image which have excited the jury,or have they they befooled themselves by living in a make belief world of mysticism and romanticism of the third world children?It reflects very sorry state of affair in the trend of photo judging.
Crestock Photo Contest Round One Winners Announced
By CameraPorn on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 6:24 PM
The Crestock Photo Contest we mentioned a while back has announced its Round one winners and they are excellent. Round one asked for photos that portrayed “the meaning of life.” Currently voting for round two, “feeling sexy” are...
By dj on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 5:30 PM
deservd d awrd...
By walsh on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 5:41 PM
i think their (this childrens' ) innocence which is proved by there jovial playful nature is there"meaning of life"....and offcourse there meaning of life and an adults' meaning of life is never the same...(referring to fotofriends comment)
By Todd on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 9:15 PM
Dear Friends,
I am an impartial voice as I did not enter this round of the
contest nor do I have an affiliation with the photographer. Though
I suppose this may be a fine photograph, I have to say in all
honesty I am disappointed by the judges choice for first place. I
am sad to say this image is sub par in comparison to the other
photos making the shortlist. Let's be honest, anyone of these
photos could be described as the meaning of life; so completely
subjective and nebulous is the idea of "the meaning of life" every
person on the planet could have a different version. To my mind,
topic, specifically this one should have been the last thing
considered during judging. Let me pose this question how many
photos did not make it into the contest because they were off
topic. I am a fairly reasoned person, I am sure I could concoct a
story for ANY photo which would qualify it as my version of the
meaning of life. So... given this line of thought, what should the
merits of the contest have been? In my opinion, any of the
following, overall quality, impact (a very important one),
technique, style, ability, or failing these just plain which of
the photographs is really really good. Let me pose another
question does this photo move any one? Okay, those of you who were moved... look at the photo in concert with the other photographs,
now how moved are you. I have looked very carefully at this image
apart from a couple questions, I am compelled in no way
by this photograph. There are several stunning and thought
provoking images here to choose from and I am left wondering....
why this one? I have looked at the judges websites, they all
appear to be very credentialed so I am actually all the more
quandarous as to how this image was selected. If I were one of the
judges, I might be worried about this negatively impacting my
reputation.

Warmest Regards,
tj.
By sunny13 on Sunday, 3 June 2007 9:17 AM
Message of life can't be said in one line or one photograph. The incident or picture which forces you think about life is the one. And it is your own country you know, see, visit, and feel the most. If someone from India has won the first prize, it is because he knows what real India is.
where is urban India?
By ramesh on Sunday, 3 June 2007 12:08 PM
can you please stop showcasing rural India...i think there is also a subject or two happening in the urban Indian world....
By STD on Monday, 4 June 2007 5:14 AM
You are right ramesh --- but I think sunny13 has said about the one of the many u can c in india.... but bottom line is THEY are the winners.
what is art?
By Satyajit Das on Friday, 15 June 2007 6:17 PM
No one probably ever can answer that comprehensively- so why do we still quibble over that issue- as to what is aesthetic and well balanced and blah blah blah- those are certain biases that do not hopefully work any more in the post modern world.
All that matters is immediacy- connectivity and artlessness.
The winner's pix may not be the "best" photograph of the lot by conventional standards, but it does linger in the mind as a vivid and sincere statement on our existence.what else could life mean. & how does it matter if it is staged or no..although I would doubt that very much..having worked with children in India and elsewhere.
good job yaaa...r
By shama on Saturday, 24 November 2007 12:48 PM
congragulations for the winners&i appreciate the judges.I don't know why most of the people don't realise "The Meaning of life'' and simply criticise the competition&the judges...

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