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NightScape Virtual Photo Exchange

This is our Annual Night Photography - Virtual Photo Exchange and Competition where we can upload up to 3 night photos and exchange comments. You can start uploading photos on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th. The photos can be any style of night photography, as long as they are your own. There is no time period restriction (for the date the photo was taken), and they do NOT have to have been taken on a NightScape workshop or a photo walk.

Meet-up in cyberspace: This event is only on your computer, at this webpage (and the photo exchange pages linked from this page), starting Feb. 14th. Note: You must RSVP before Valentine's Day in order to share and comment on photos.

Our purpose is share photos, exchange comments, ideas, and have fun!

How to Exchange Photos

• RSVP for this event BEFORE Feb. 14, 2014
• Come back to this page on Valentine's Day or after
• You can upload* up to 3 "night" photos, thru Mar. 13 
• Please comment on the photos of others, thru 3/13 
• I will try to comment on EVERY photo that is posted

*The "upload" word and button will be linked and active on February 14th. "Night" photos happen after the sun has gone down and before it comes up. Avoid sunset and sunrise photos, unless they were taken during the "blue hour" (about 20-50 minutes after the sun sets, or about 20-50 minutes before it rises).

Commenting: Please keep your comments on a positive level. Only indicate what you like  about an image, not what you don't like. If you wish to receive a private critique of your image(s), indicate so, with the words, "Please give critique comments via my email"  in your photo description. 

Competition and PRIZES: The images with the most comments will be featured on my blog, with a bio about the person. Shortly after March 13, I will pick three people to feature on my blog, based on the highest number of comments for their individual image(s). My blog typically receives about 25,000 page views each month, and features some of the world's top night photographers.

The person with the highest number of comments for an individual image will also receive one hour of private photography consultation from me.  NOTE: Meetup.com only allows members of our NightScape group, who have registered for this event (prior to Feb. 14), to upload images and to comment about those image. I will only count one comment per person for each photo uploaded to this event.

Your best chances for winning in this competition are to upload the maximum number of photos (3), and to do it as early as possible, so more people have time to comment.

Please continue to come back anytime on or after Valentine's Day to upload your three photos and to comment (however, the competition ends on midnight, March 13, 2014).

What makes a good night photo? Great question! What resonates with one person, doesn't always excite another. However, the rules of good composition, creativity, drama, impact, good lighting, and staying on-theme still apply. I took this photo in Goblin Valley State Park last autumn, on a very overcast day, with the help of Steve Bunderson. Our daytime photos were lifeless and boring, and it was too cloudy to get the Milky Way stars we had planned to shoot. By using our own lights (3), and timing the shot during the blue hour, we were able to save the day, or in this case, the "night" :-)

Inspiration: Here are some great resources for "night photography" inspiration and ideas:

My NightScape blog

My favorites on 500px (of other photographers)

Into-the-Night-Photography Group on Flickr

Night Photography Community on Google+

TWAN (The World At Night)

Join or login to comment.

  • Royce B.

    BTW, Here are the "Honorable Mentions" (all tied for 4th position, receiving 8 comments each):

    Praijit
    George Manlove
    Terry Butler
    Steve Waterman
    Diana Peterson
    Phill Monson
    Jurgen M Lobert
    Sergio Garcia
    H Crain

    And, BIG thanks to all those who took the time to comment —especially Terry Butler, who gave meaningful thoughts on almost every photo!

    March 17, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Next time I want to win - so everybody look at my photos (:>)

    March 16, 2014

  • Terry B.

    I agree, it was a great idea. I got so much inspiration out of it.

    March 16, 2014

  • Joyce H.

    Royce, this was lots of fun, thanks for organizing it. i really enjoyed being inspired by everyone's photos!

    March 16, 2014

  • Allan D.

    Royce, the exchange was a great idea and I was so glad to see all these wonderful nightscape photos. I am more excited than ever to be joining you for the Bryce Workshop in August.

    March 16, 2014

  • Greg S.

    Neat. Thanks to Royce for this forum for all of us aspiring photographers to show some of our work. Enjoyed looking at all the photos.

    March 16, 2014

  • Marion N.

    Congratulations to the winners. Wonderful and inspiring photography by all.

    March 16, 2014

  • Royce B.

    Second Place Winners (3-way tie, with 10 comments each):

    Joyce Harman - "Old Rag Night Sky"
    Denise Waterman - "Milky Way over Moulton Barn"
    Mark Slater - "Milky Way Cascade"
    All three will be featured individually in my blog (POTD).

    Third Place Winners (5-way tie, with 9 comments each):

    Vissal - "Salt Lake City Winter Inversion"
    Denise Waterman - "Bristlecone Pine with Milky Way"
    Mark Slater - "Bridge to the Heavens"
    L.A. Settlemeyer - "Aurora Borealis, Chena Hotsprings, Alaska"
    Prajit - "Tree by Campfire, with Star Trails"
    All five will be featured individually in my blog (POTD).

    Winners will be featured over the next few months in my blog. Each person will be contacted for additional information about themselves and their winning photo.

    March 15, 2014

    • Prajit

      Thanks for organizing this Royce!!! Thanks to all who commented and congratulations to the other winners.

      March 16, 2014

  • Royce B.

    The TOP 10 COMMENTERS in this Virtual Photo Exchange were:

    Terry Butler - 90 comments
    Rita Nielsen - 43 comments
    Marsha Kirschbaum - 33 comments
    Joyce Harman - 31 comments
    Diana Petersen - 21 comments
    Steven Sharp - 20 comments
    Craig Shelley - 18 comments
    Marion N - 18 comments
    Nancy Hing - 18 comments
    Dotty Molt - 17 comments

    These 10 people will have their names entered into the drawings (five) for door prizes at the April 8 "NightScape Technical Workshop - hosted by WCC" They do not have to be present to win. If they are already registered for this event, they will have their names entered twice (with more chances to win)! http://www.meetup.com/NightScape-Photography/events/164438642/

    1 · March 15, 2014

  • Royce B.

    A quick recap of the announcement that went out yesterday via Meetup email:

    62 photographers participated and they entered 106 photos. 584 comments were given (not counting personal comments). And the winners are....

    First Place Winner (with 11 comments):

    Steven Waterman - "Moon Setting over Delicate Arch"

    Steve will receive one hour of private photography consultation from me and his image will be featured in my blog as a Photo of the Day (POTD).

    1 · March 15, 2014

  • marsha k.

    Royce - thanks for hosting. Congratulations to Steve and all the other photographers. There was some really nice and inspirational work shown.

    1 · March 15, 2014

  • marsha k.

    Echoing Terry's comments, this was fun and makes me wish that I had more nights off!

    February 19, 2014

  • Terry B.

    Fun! And a chance to see a lot of inspiring images from some pretty talented photographers

    1 · February 18, 2014

  • Kenneth W Z.

    What are some of the specific lighting units/equipment you use in Utah's parks.

    1 · February 10, 2014

  • Royce B.

    Photo-Manipulation Question: One of you members asked this question about the contest: "... I was looking through the past photos people took and was wondering if there was any work done on them in photoshop or lightroom... Is that allowed in this contest or do the pics have to be untweeked?"

    Most of the images that people have posted have had some Photoshop or Lightroom post processing done on them to increase the contrast, as most starry night skies tend to be a little flat. Here's an example of what I do:
    http://intothenightphoto.blogspot.com/2013/02/view-milky-way-with-your-naked-eye.html

    1 · February 3, 2014

    • Royce B.

      I encourage people to follow these National Geographic Photo Submission Guidelines:

      "We encourage you to submit photographs that are real. We want to see the world through your eyes, not through photo editing tools. Please do not digitally enhance or alter your photographs beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness. If you have digitally added or removed anything, don't submit the shot.

      "BURNING AND DODGING: Brightening or darkening specific areas in an image is allowed, but should be kept to a minimum and not done to the point where it is obvious. Your goal in using digital darkroom techniques should be only to adjust the dynamic tonal range and color balance of an image so that it more closely resembles what you saw, and communicates the mood of the scene.

      1 · February 3, 2014

    • Royce B.

      Con't NatGeo guidelines: "HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE (HDR): These shots are allowed only if the combined parts are made at the same time. Don't submit final images where the foreground was shot at noon and the sky at sunset. If your photo is an HDR image, please indicate this in the caption. (…The final image, when done successfully, produces a final image with a greater dynamic range than is possible with a single exposure.)"

      1 · February 3, 2014

  • Royce B.

    I can't wait to see your photos, starting on Valentine's Day, February 14th!

    2 · January 31, 2014

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