I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I have run this contest for years and never realized that my real goal ought to be how to make it easy for me to run. For example, in the past, I encouraged an insane number of entries. In 2008, we had over 500 entries now locked somewhere on some Flickr database. What the hell was I thinking??? To heck with that, said I. Ever since, we have limited submissions one way or another and had a steady 180 or more entries. Sanity reigns. This year's innovation of loading up a few winners with all the prizes has made it all the better. Winners win because they get loads of prizes and I win because I can type this while watching TV all rather rapidly because all I have to do today is pick five excellent photos from a pool of pretty good photos. That's easy, right?
How is that - you and all the children gathered around your Christmas family table ask? Well, I shortlisted the best of the submissions earlier today over here. From that, I have picked five below to win the five prizes between the grand champion and the crappiest entry. Well, the crap one is not in the pool and the snow one is so really, other than snow photos, I have only four to pick. Easy. No problem. Let's see what I've decided.
Excellent. Now, please let me be honest for a minute. There are so many great entries out of which there are at least 15 that are as good as any we have received. But I hate myself for not picking this photo. I love it but Jeff won last year's grand champion and it is so asymmetrical. There is nothing wrong with asymmetry but I would have parked a little less on the right in the photo. But it is a fool's request as the moment was there and gone. Jeff, in a real sense, did not take this photo so much as he had it given to him. It is gorgeous. The moving man's hair, the red rim of the cask and the copper sheeting sing while the barrel and the tap setter's hair colour are one in the same. There is action and stillness. And it is a strangely private moment. Jeff was a voyeur. Because he wants what they each want. Beer now. This is a great photo. But it will not win a prize this year. Like the others.