2013 Smarter Travel Photo Contest

January 18, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Some time ago I was invited to participate in this photo contest.  There are all kinds of contests on the Internet each year, most of them with an entry fee of $25. and up for each image submitted.  I usually ignore them because the chances of winning are nil and none.  This one, however, did not have an entry fee and was looking for travel photos.  Since I had just done such in San Diego and San Francisco this year I decided to have a go.  I submitted six images, the maximum allowed.

This morning I learned that the attached photo, "Fishing Boats at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, was chosen as one of the eleven best in the Waterscape category.  It wasn't the grand prize but given that there were over 7,200 photos submitted I felt that represented some confirmation of my work.  Smarter Travel seemed to select 11-15 images in five categories as candidates for the grand prize, so that puts my image in the top 55-75 of all submitted.  Nifty.

It's somewhat ironic that this image was selected because I nearly skipped Fisherman's Wharf entirely.  I love the image but it wasn't my favorite.  But I decided to do an early morning shoot at the Wharf as I had pre-visioned this image.  I had previously seen a similar image and wanted to see if I could find a "look alike" scene and create it with a mirrored surface on the water.  This required me to be on site at first light before boats began to move and wind came up to rile the water.  I needed everything perfectly still as I anticipated a long exposure and couldn't have my subject moving.  Still, I used a Vari-Neutral Density filter to ensure an extra long exposure (something like six seconds) to keep the water absolutely smooth.  My efforts paid off.  I can't claim credit for the initial inspiration that created this image, but I can claim credit for its execution.


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