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Shooting Challenge: Día de Muertos

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Día de Muertos

We're all going to die one day. And no holiday celebrates our fragile mortality with as much gusto as Día de Muertos (Nov 1st-Nov 2nd), when Mexico (and increasingly, the world) remembers friends and family with alters, marigolds, poetry, food, and of course, skulls.


The Challenge

Take a photo that celebrates Día de Muertos.

The Method

Every holiday has its icons: Santa, the Easter Bunny, a dead, roasted turkey filled with stale bread. But rarely are those icons as colorful, intricate, and varied as they are for Day of the Dead. And so in a sense, this challenge is very easy. A bright sugar skull, photographed with strong light and shadow, will look unbelievable.


But another approach might be to explore the holiday with your family, a family you know, or in your town. You could, essentially, document the day and attempt to capture its emotional nuance in a frame.

There is no wrong approach!

The Example

Our lead shot is by flickr's laihiu. Because is there a better week to explore portraiture?

The Rules - READ THESE

0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
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, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
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, November 4th at 10AM Eastern to with "Muertos" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameMuertos.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameMuertosWallpaper.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!


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