Shooting Challenge: Go For The Gold

The Olympics are going on. And boy am I getting jealous of all those gold medals. So for this week's Shooting Challenge, you're going to go for the gold. (Well, photograph something, then blingify it.)

The Challenge

Shoot a photo that contains at least one super gold element/object. You CAN use Photoshop this week (and you probably should)—to an extent. But make the end result photo look realistic. In other words, it shouldn't be a pure graphic like our lead photo. Make it a real scene that happens to have at least one crazy-gold element.

The Technique

So here's the deal. I want you to take a perfectly normal photo. Then take just one element, isolate it and make it gold. So maybe one car on a lot is GOLD or a mom is holding a baby that's GOLD. Think precious moments, made GOLD.

I love this tutorial by Go Media (the clip is embedded here). Within the first minute, you'll figure out how to goldenfy any object. The next 15 or so minutes of the tutorial are really just icing on the cake, adding an extra bit of bling to the golden look. What's amazing is, it just works really, really well.

But keep in mind, object texture will likely affect how believable the image comes out. Shiny objects will work better than rough matte finishes. So go all King Midas with your photog self.

The Example

Our lead shot is the finished result of Go Media's awesome gold tutorial. Note how a pixelated, low contrast photo of a boombox turned out pretty darn beautifully (and believably, in a hyperreal sort of way) when all was said and done. I can only imagine what you can do with the effect when coupled with really good, high art photography.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
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 - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
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, August 13th at at 10AM Eastern to contests@gizmodo.com with "GOLD" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameGold.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameGoldWallpaper.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 Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.