Shooting Challenge: Epic

The popular tastes of photography have changed. Blame advertisers or digital processing, but simple and understated are often written off as boring. Today, we're not out to buck that trend. Rather, we'll embrace it instead. Go big or go home.

The Challenge

Take an epic photograph - visual hyperbole - think Hollywood, the Superbowl and video game covers. Use natural photography, and feel free to go nuts in post production. Or not. Just make it epic.

The Technique

Wide angle lenses, low angle shots, HDR, lens flare—all of these things are great.

Another thing to keep in mind is basic color theory. Have you ever noticed that at overwhelming number of movie and game covers are orange and blue? (Skim to the middle of that entry to see why.)

The Example

"Nuclear weapon test Romeo (yield 11 Mt) detonated on March 1, 1954 at Bikini Atoll, Marshal Islands. The test was part of the Operation Castle, the first deployed U.S. thermonuclear bomb. Credit: US Government" [photo]

The Rules - READ THESE, SOME HAVE CHANGED

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to contests@gizmodo.com, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.

Send your best photo by Monday, March 14th at 8AM Eastern to contests@gizmodo.com with "Epic" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameEpic.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameEpicWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of photography blog Life, Panoramic as well as Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.