“AUTUMN” Alphabet Is Calling in New Phoozl Alphabetography Photo Challenge

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA – September 26, 2011 — Photo-games site Phoozl.com today launched the Autumn edition of the “Alphabetography Photo Challenge: the Four Seasons” contest on Facebook. This unique competition — which challenges photo enthusiasts worldwide to find or take and then submit (for free) photos based on a two-part theme of the season (“Autumn”) and the specific letters of the seasons (“A-U-T-U-M-N”) — started on September 26 and runs for six weeks to its conclusion on November 6, 2011. You can find the contest on Facebook at: http://apps.facebook.com/alphabetography

(requires a Facebook account and “allowing” the Request for Permission screen)

“We’re super-excited about the new AUTUMN Challenge,” says Alphabetography creator Harald Johnson. “Our first three seasons were great, but this promises to be the best season yet! We’re again awarding 11 Prize Winners with some cool prizes from gift cards to books of value to photo enthusiasts. We are all about offering a safe place for people to share their photos in a fun and unique way.”

A Unique Alphabet Photo Contest Concept

During each season’s contest (using “AUTUMN” as the example), photo enthusiasts submit photos that apply or relate to the current letter that’s in play. So during the “A” Letter Period, for instance, participants upload photos that are associated with (whose subject matter includes in the Title) a word starting with the letter “A” (examples: Autumn, Ambiance, Arachnid, Attractive). When the gameplay moves to “U”, “U” photos are submitted. And so on through the six letters of the word “A-U-T-U-M-N” with each letter active for one week only. Entrants are allowed up to 5 submissions per letter maximum, and all submissions are free. Photos can be submitted via Facebook or photo-sharing sites, or uploaded from local computers or mobile devices. Participants can even join the contest late as there are six Letter Periods in this season’s Challenge, so there are multiple chances to enter.

Contest participants need only a Facebook account to enter, and they must be at least 18 years old. Photo submissions are acceptable from anywhere in the world, and there are no restrictions on when photos are taken or if they have been manipulated.

Voting, Judging, Galleries, and Prizes

Alphabetography includes photo galleries and public voting, and the Top 10 vote-getting photos for each letter move to the Judging Phase where a panel of three professional photographers – Daniel J. Cox, Bruce Frazier, Andy Katz for this contest — judge and score the 60 Finalist Photos based on published criteria.

The AUTUMN 2011 Alphabetography Photo Challenge costs nothing to enter but is offering (to 11 different winners) prizes sponsored by such companies as: Blurb, Datacolor, Frame Destination, SanDisk, Course Technology PTR, and Phoozl. Winners are selected in four categories: (1) Total Overall Scores, (2) Best Letter, (3) Voters #1, and (4) Phoozl Awards (“Most Phun Photos”).

The full “SUMMER” Winners’ List (with photos) is available for viewing on Phoozl.com:

http://www.phoozl.com/article-34-Summer-Alphabetography-Photo-Challenge-Winners-Announced.html

“Critters & Creatures” Master Class from Nik Software and Laurie Shupp

Announcement from Nik Software Talking with award-winning photographer Laurie Rubin Shupp about her upcoming “Critters & Creatures” Master Class coming up next week on 2/22. If you shoot wildlife, be sure to join her to learn tips for bringing out the very best in your images.

http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php

Phoozl Launches Unique “Alphabetography Photo Challenge” on Facebook – Winter submissions close soon!

Time is running out on Winter submissions to this really COOL game app on Facebook!

Winter in Santa Fe - © D Saffir

A Unique Alphabet Photo Concept

During each season’s contest (using “Winter” as the example), photo enthusiasts submit photos that apply or relate to the current letter that’s in play. So during the “W Letter Period,” entrants upload photos whose subject starts with the letter “W” (examples: White, Winter, Wonderful). When the game-play moves to the letter “I”, entrants submit “I” photos. And so on through the six letters of the word “Winter.” Entrants are allowed up to 5 submissions per letter maximum. Photos can be submitted via Facebook or photo-sharing sites, or uploaded from local computers or mobile devices. Participants can even join the contest late as there are six Letter Periods in this (“Winter”) Challenge, so they have six chances to enter.

Voting, Judging, Gallery, and Prizes

The Winter 2010/11 Alphabetography Photo Challenge costs nothing to enter but is offering 11 different Prizes sponsored by such companies as: Blurb, Datacolor, Frame Destination, and Course Technology PTR. There are galleries and public voting, and the Top 5 vote-getting photos for each letter move to the Judging Phase where a panel of three professional photographers will judge and score the 30 Finalist Photos based on published criteria. Add any Extra Points, and the top scores win.

Contest participants need only a Facebook account to enter, and they must be at least 18 years old. Photo submissions are acceptable from anywhere in the world, and there are no restrictions on when photos are taken or if they have been manipulated.

Start Alphabetographing!

To learn more about the Alphabetography Photo Challenge: the Four Seasons, or even better, to take the challenge and to participate, go to Phoozl’s Fan Page on Facebook and click the “Challenges” tab to enter the Application:

http://www.facebook.com/phoozl

OR… go directly to the Facebook Application:

http://apps.facebook.com/alphabetography

(you need to “Allow” the Request for Permission screen that appears)

There will be an APHABETOGRAPHY game for each season – so all photographers – send your image in now, or get ready!!

New Photo Critique Site: Gurushots.com

I’ve just begun contributing to a new photo web site that I think is pretty cool. Called Gurushots.com, it is a site where one can upload an image, have it reviewed in writing by a pro photographer, and get a written critique, tips and suggestions for improvements or additional work.

It’s pretty straightforward in concept and design. The real strength of the site is its lineup of pro photographers available for critiques – truly international, a wide range of professional interests – what’s not to like? Just about any category, landscape to product and beyond, can be critiqued.

Critiques are very systematic. Each critique category is given a written evaluation, and a score from 1-10:

Subject of photo

Composition & Perspective

Focus

Use of camera, exposure & speed

Color & Lighting

Depth of field

General impression

Suggestions for improvement:

I’ve been posting sample critiques on forums like Luminous Landscape, Fred Miranda, Flickr, Photocritiq.com, and others.

You can get your first critique free, after that it’s fee based. Go on, take a look at Gurushots Photo Critique.

Screen Shot of the GuruShots Home Page

Must-Have Skills for Photographers, New Post

I have a new post on the Pro Photo Blog (link) “Must Have Skills for Photographers: Enlarging Images and Large-Format Printing

New Photo Critique Site: Gurushots.com

I’ve just begun contributing to a new photo web site that I think is pretty cool. Called Gurushots.com, it is a site where one can upload an image, have it reviewed in writing by a pro photographer, and get a written critique, with tips and suggestions for improvements or additional work.

The critique outline looks like this:

  1. Subject of photo
  2. Composition & Perspective
  3. Focus
  4. Use of camera, exposure & speed
  5. Color & Lighting
  6. General impression
  7. Overall Rating

Each item is given a write-up, and a evaluation score from 1-10.

You can choose among the photographers on the site, and send your request for critique to that person. Available reviewers come from all over the world. Your first session is FREE.

I suggest you take a look at the site, and give it a try. Here’s the link to GuruShots Photo Critique

 

 

Latest Updates from Africa Photo Safari!

Alan Feldstein and his partners run an amazing series of photo Safaris to Africa. This post is a summary of all his communications to me starting around August 4, 2010 through August 18. You can learn more about these at http://www.infinitekayakadventures.com/ .

Please keep in mind that a solid internet connection that permits transmission of DSLR files is just a dream in most of wild Africa. The images in the post were taken on a cell phone. And Alan typed out all of these posts on his Blackberry.  (yep, it’s true!)

(In the beginning… )

“What an amazing day. There are so many highlights I do not know where to begin.

The place we are staying is luxurious and we heard lions off in the distance last night. Food is incredible with gourmet meals with all organic produce and meats with curry chicken. Fish cake with homemade tartar sauce pork loin with a wine reduction sauce coconut crepes for dessert with fresh fruit. All served with South African wines.

Today we had many elephant sitings and were delayed for lunch by 30 minutes as the matriarchs (mom and aunts) blocked the road as they were protecting two baby elelphants. They finally moved. Then a walking safari where learned a lot about the flora and fauna from our guide.

This eneded with wine and beer out in the bush while watched a beautiful photographers dream sunset. And if that was not enough we went on a rare night drive I arranged where we saw a leopard and her cub with a fresh kill and a pride of lions that walked within 3ft of our car! If you ever go on a trip this should be the one!”

Jambo
Alan Feldstein

Left Tarangire hugging staff goodby. They were great. Then it was on to Lake Manyara NP with its large lake and 10s of thousands of flamingos egrets storks and other birds. Saw hippos lounging with one coming out of the water – massive.

Everyone’s favorite today were the baboons especially the babies and they all posed for great shots. Then up to our lodge nestled in the hills on a coffee plantation were we had a delicious meal of tomato soup rice carrots greens and tenderloin of beef. Then around a fire for after dinner drinks tea and coffee. This is the way to travel!

Jambo

Alan Feldstein

http://www.infinitekayakadventures.com/

_____________

Every night I ask my clients what was your ooh ahh moment of the day. Today it was unanimous. Because of our connections we had the rare honor of visiting the local Massai chief who is responsible for over 2000 people and his son.

We had a tour of his Boma (compound) and his nyumba (house) where his 3rd wife lives with the youngest of his 10 children. This was as authentic as you can get and we got to know each other and exchange thoughts and learned about each other’s culture. It was an experience none of us will forget. We could talk about nothing else on the ride to Lake Ndutu.

On our afternoon game drive we got very close (see photo) of large male lions. They were lazy but eventually posed for us and gave us great photo opportunities. They are large with powerful massive feet and you can just imagine them coming after you. It was awesome!

It was fun discussing all of this over a delicious dinner and 2 wonderful bottles of wine. Now it is off to bed as tomorrow we go into the Serengeti for a great day of wildlife viewing and photo opportunities.

Lala Salama (good night)

Alan Feldstein

___________

Another great day. Today we drove to the vast plain that is the serengeti. We looked for cheetahs but instead found leopards eating gazelle in a tree lions hunting giraffes right by the side of the road hippos showing us there teeth all kinds of birds and an elephant family crossing the road in front of us with baby being nudged by mom.

If you can’t find great photos you have to be blind. Tonight dinner was lamp chops Caesar salad roasted potatoes and chocolate soufflé for desert. Tomorrow we make our way towards the coast so that we can be ready to paddle.

Jambo

Alan Feldstein

___________

Yesterday flew back to Arusha from the Serengeti a beautiful flight over vast areas and you could see Bomas and other places along the way. At Arusha it was nice to have a down day to relax answer emails and look at photos and oh yes an amazing view of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Today we got up early to drive to lake Nyumba y Mongu (lake of the gods) for our first day of paddling. Another first was it was the first group (my partner Steve and I had done it before) to paddle the lake. There have now been a grand total of 5 people to kayak here. We are unique.

We even had a first time paddler who did great. We also had quite the send off party from the local village who were very interested in what we were doing. The kids were all laughing. Then we paddled down the lake until it was time for lunch.

We had a beautiful lunch under a tree with tables and chairs we brought. Here too we were greeted by about 30 kids from the village who loved giving high 5s. After lunch we drove to Mkomazi NP the newest park in the system and are staying at a beautiful tented camp with gorgeous outdoor showers with lots of hot water.

The best thing I heard all day was over dinner from my clients who said they have had such a great time that they want to come back. Africa does do that to people and will do it to you. Now is the time to go.

Jambo

Alan Feldstein

___________

What a day. Started with a morning hike in Mkomazi where we stalked a herd of zebras with our cameras. Then to the Rhino Trust. We were not sure we could get in but my partner Steve owner of The Infinite Horizon safari company (www.infinite horizon.net) was, as always, on top of things and we got in.

This is a 25 sq mile preserve to protect save and breed endangered rhinos whose existence is threatened by poaching. We got to meet Yuboo when he charged out of the bush after us. He was given carrots with medicine in it to help him. We were as close as one could get to these beautiful creatures who look prehistoric. It is beyond comprehension that people would kill these animals for their horns.

Everyone in my group was so excited that we were able to give them this experience. We also got to see the wild African Hunting Dogs who are also being saved by this amazing place. They are an unusual looking species who are being saved from extinction by breeding them in captivity and then being released in the wild. We really got to see conservancy in action.

Tomorrow we head to the beach for 3 days of paddling and relaxing on the beach before we make our way home

Jambo

Alan Feldstein

___________

We are now out of the bush taking a few days before we return to rest relax dive and kayak in Pangani om the Induan Ocean. The water is 78 degrees and the beach is gorgeous. I love the light here. We have had delicious fish for dinner with chocolate brownies for desert. It is a great place to relax.

Jambo

Alan Feldstein

___________

It is beautiful at the beach. Water is 78 degrees and not a billboard or telephone pole in site (it is all satellite and wireless). Up early for a pre-breakfast paddle and when we landed 90 minutes later we were ready for bacon eggs granola with yogurt and tea and coffee.

After breakfast a couple of clients wanted to dive so I made arrangements and went with them. The dive shop is also helping with conservancy of turtles and have 30 nests in front of their shop with an average of 125 eggs in each nest! We are hoping to watch a nest hatch tomorrow and see the babies make their way to the ocean.

The diving was beautiful with incredible corals lion fish sweetlips rare leaf fish and some large colorful sea bass along with hundreds of other varieties. Steve and I are looking in adding some Zanzibar days to the itinerary for all you underwater photographers.

Alas tomorrow is our last day before we leave this photographers paradise and head for home. People are already discussing plans to return

Jambo

Alan Feldstein

___________

What a great last day of our trip. We started out with a morning paddle up the bay to a mangrove river where in 2008 I and my partner were the first to paddle. It is beautiful and deserted.

Then after breakfast we took a power boat to Maziwe Island which is a marine sanctuary where I had dove the day before. After a lunch of chicken shrimp rice and salad we went snorkling where people saw eel hundreds of fish and even an octopus!

Then it was back for a rare once in a lifetime treat. The owner of the dive shop has been rescuing and transplanting turtle nests to try and save them. A nest of 125 eggs had hatched and now they are ready to head the 25 yds to the sea where the females will return in 25 years to lay there eggs.

The baby turtles are only about 6 inches long and a small crowd lined the path and cheered them to the sea. It is something to see 98 turtles on there way (pics and video to follow). This is nature as you rarely get to see it. Then it was home for our final delicious dinner and to sadly realize our adventure with our new friends who have become like family is almost over

Jambo
Alan Feldstein

—————

Alan, his team, and I will be hosting another photo safari to Africa in February 2011. For more info, see http://www.infinitekayakadventures.com/ or go to our announcement on this blog