Photography Contest

| 38 Comments

This post announces the (first annual? Who knows?) Panda’s Thumb photography contest. The winner will receive an autographed copy of

Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails), by Matt Young and Paul Strode.

The rules of the contest are simple:

  1. We will consider any photograph that displays scientific interest but will give preference to biological, paleontological, geological, or cosmological interest.
  2. Identify the subject of the photograph: common and biological name, mineral type, or geological formation, for example.
  3. Submit photographs in JPEG format.
  4. Reduce photographs to an information content of 600 pixels horizontally. If creationists require a definition of information, they may apply in writing to the management.
  5. Photographs may be enhanced but may not be montages.
  6. Submit a maximum of 3 photographs on or before August 8, 2009, to [Enable javascript to see this email address.].
  7. Depending on the number of photographs submitted, we may post the best submissions and ask our readers to vote for the best photograph.
  8. By submitting a photograph, you stipulate that you are the owner of the copyright and grant The Panda’s Thumb a nonexclusive license to publish the photograph on its blog.
  9. Contributors to The Panda’s Thumb are not eligible to enter the contest.
  10. The decision of the judges is irrevocable.
  11. The judges are irascible.
  12. Since we have never done this before, we reserve the right to change any of the rules, or add or subtract rules at any time at our discretion.

Reed Cartwright contributed to this post.

Update, July 22, 2009. Chris Mooney has generously agreed to offer a signed copy of his book

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum

to one of the winners (note plural). Mooney is a journalist and author of the bestselling book The Republican War on Science, and Kirshenbaum is a marine biologist at Duke University.

38 Comments

Damn! All my best photos are on film. I guess I’ll have to scan them in.

Progress marches on (although not necessarily for certain members of society who would prefer to stay 4000 years in the past!)

Will you have divisions? Grand Prize, Best Biology, Best Geology, Best Paleontologic, Best Cosmology (Dr. Hubble’s telescope would win hands-down, I think) etc.? (Since you’re making this up as you go, I thought I’d suggest it)

If creationists require a definition of information, they may apply in writing to the management.

Ha ha!

Um, is there any other sort of prompt besides “any photograph that displays scientific interest but will give preference to biological, paleontological, geological, or cosmological interest.” Should the science be the focus, or the artistic value?

Dan! said:

Um, is there any other sort of prompt besides “any photograph that displays scientific interest but will give preference to biological, paleontological, geological, or cosmological interest.” Should the science be the focus, or the artistic value?

I’m thinking it’s essentially either a) an aesthetic depiction of science, or b) any sort of photograph that’s framed in an appropriately scientific manner

Dan! said:

Should the science be the focus, or the artistic value?

Yes. :)

RBH said:

Dan! said:

Should the science be the focus, or the artistic value?

Yes. :)

You’d be surprised how easily people on the street will comply with surprise photo-shoots when you say either “please, it’s for science,” or “it’s for art.”

/Users/peter/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/2006/saddlebroole/IMG_3554.JPG This is a moth taken 8/11/2006

This is a moth taken 8/8/2006

/Users/peter/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/2004/Oct 30, 2004_2/IMG_0006.JPG This is a Gliga Monster

This is a gliga monster

This is a gliga monster

Hi Peter! Please send the pictures, each 600 pixels wide, to [Enable javascript to see this email address.], and look up the genus and species - they are probably in Wikipedia. It is the entrant’s responsibility to identify the subject of the photo.

I think the photo has to be on a website before one can link to it.

Is gliga a misspelling of gila, or is it something else?

“we reserve the right to change any of the rules, or add or subtract rules at any time at our discretion. “

Hmmm. Sounds suspiciously like Calvinball to me.

Second Place is two copies of Mooney’s book.

Uh…600 pixels? That’s about big enough for a low-quality web image. Not what you would use for a photo contest.

600 pixels is enough to judge whether a photograph is good. However it masks slight focussing issues and high noise.

Still, dpchallenge currently runs a maximum of 720px, and the results are quite beautiful to look at.

Is third place three copies of Meyer’s latest book?

We’re getting a lot of geology/landscape pictures.

I’m hoping that the flora and fauna ones come in as well.

I think we decided on 600 pixels because that is what we use for the Monday “1000 Words” feature. It is good enough, as Francois says, to judge the inherent worth of a picture, and it does not tax our bandwidth too much. If this were a fine-arts contest, then I agree that 600 pixels would not be nearly enough.

Finally, I’d like to echo what Reed said - where are the biologists, ornithologists, entomologists, …?

Clarification of Rule 3. Please send the photographs as attachments to your e-mails; do not send links. Also, please do not send photographs directly to me, but to [Enable javascript to see this email address.]. Since you asked, I think this is merely a clarification, not an invocation of Rule 12.

Another minor change to the rules. To help us with our bookkeeping, please put

YourLastName - Photography Contest

in the subject line of your e-mail. In addition, please use terse, descriptive filenames in this form:

YourLastName.Filename

as, for example,

Young.European_Paper_Wasp_Nest

If you have already submitted your pictures, do nothing.

Thanks! Matt

The idea is fine, but the prize an anti-climax! And then signed too, so it has no merits whatsoever?

If only it had been Frank B. Gill’s Ornithology! THAT would have been an incentive!!

Talk about a “No-prize”!!!! I’ve gone through a fair part of Mooney’s book - w/o purchase - and would rather read a baseball column in the New York Post or an editorial in the WSJ. Why couldn’t you get Dr. Dino to autograph a pair of his prison squirrel-covers with a personal plea for the “winner’s” salvation. It would have at least camp value.

Dude, it’s just a photography contest, not Win McMilions. Don’t like the prize? Don’t enter.

“displays scientific interest” – what does that mean?

fnxtr said:

Dude.…

Not that you were in expecting (or in need of) it, but you lost the slightest chance of winning my respect right there. To tweak your nose a last time, I take the liberty of noting that, since you can’t polish a turd, why would you want one autographed?

Tupelo said:

fnxtr said:

Dude.…

Not that you were in expecting (or in need of) it, but you lost the slightest chance of winning my respect right there.

If Tupelo’s respect is won or lost not by a body of work, not by an argument, not by fact, but by the use of a single word, then Tupelo’s respect is not worth having.

Dan said:

If Tupelo’s respect is won or lost not by a body of work, not by an argument, not by fact, but by the use of a single word, then Tupelo’s respect is not worth having.

When did Tupelo have any respect to give to begin with?

tupelo flung…

I take the liberty of noting that, since you can’t polish a turd, why would you want one autographed?

Actually, if you had a turd autographed by Andres Serrano, polished or otherwise, it might be worth very much indeed.

Once again, truth, is far stranger than fiction.

I admit that the Serrano quip was a good one, but could we please get off this topic and stick to photography?

Last Thursday I treed the cutest little bear cub. It couldn’t have weighed more than 20 pounds. If I’d dared I would have gotten pics and sent one entitled:

“Piloerection as an evolutionary advantage in juvenile Ursus americanus”.

I did snap a pic of Mommy glaring at me before I slank away. It’s not a very good photo-taken from ~80 feet, but maybe I’ll enter it anyway. I’m proud of it anyway.

How about a copy of Mooney’s book signed by Mooney AND Meyers, and a copy of Meyer’s (something or other) signed by Meyers and Mooney.

With beer drunk in between.

Let’s see if we can make a little peace with this thing.

Stanton said:

Dan! said:

[…] Should the science be the focus, or the artistic value?

I’m thinking it’s essentially either a) an aesthetic depiction of science, or b) any sort of photograph that’s framed in an appropriately scientific manner

I think we’ve all had quite enough of putting science in the right “frame” :-p

dNorrisM said:

Last Thursday I treed the cutest little bear cub. It couldn’t have weighed more than 20 pounds. If I’d dared I would have gotten pics and sent one entitled:

“Piloerection as an evolutionary advantage in juvenile Ursus americanus”.

I did snap a pic of Mommy glaring at me before I slank away. It’s not a very good photo-taken from ~80 feet, but maybe I’ll enter it anyway. I’m proud of it anyway.

What? You treed a cub with mommy nearby? Not writing from the hospital bed, I hope. That was a monumentally bad idea, dNorrisM.

fnxtr:

I should have stated the treeing was unintentional. I see Mommy and Baby and they see me. I freeze and Baby runs up a tree. I take a pic and back away. The encounter lasted 2 seconds. I did not approach them once I realized they were there. Scary yet exilirating.

RE. piloerection: Baby looked like it had been struck with lightning- not the groomed bear cubs you see in movies.

oh. ok.

Hmmm - an information content of 600 pixels horizontally? That means 600 x 32 = 19200 bits after lossless compression and colour depth optimization - my picture could actually be more than 2400 pixels wide in its uncompressed state and still meet that requirement

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on July 22, 2009 3:31 PM.

Mr. Mystery was the previous entry in this blog.

Freshwater Update: A last-minute postponement is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter