Shooting Challenge: The Oscars

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: The Oscars

The Oscar nominations came out this week. And whatever you think of the awards themselves, the design, editing and directing talent of the nominees (and the snubbed films!) are staggering. This week, pick your favorite film, and create an homage.


The Challenge

Take a photo inspired by or paying tribute to a film from 2011. It can be an Oscar nominee, or it can be a film that you wish were nominated.

The Technique

This is an open challenge. Maybe you enjoyed the cinematography of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or the spacious, empty mise-en-scène of Moneyball. Maybe you just want an excuse to dress a set and put a few friends into costume. Maybe there's one single shot of the film that blew you away, and you want to see if you can recreate it.

How you link your photo to the film is entirely your choice. But as always, an earnest attempt at creating something cool is always better than giving up and submitting an obvious joke.

Oh, and don't cheat the story section this week. If you can link/cite your specific frame of inspiration, all the better.


But to me, the challenge, really? It's like all big Hollywood moves. The achievement is in the details:

The Example

Our lead photo is of Jean Dujardin from The Artist. Everything about the shot is interesting, from the diagonal composition (starting at the projector and slanting its way to the bottom right of the frame) to the smallest character details—a hair out of place, a moistened brow, a crinkled suit. Pay this close of attention to the details of your own photo, and it will be fascinating.


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, 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, Jan 30th at 10AM Eastern to with "Oscars" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameOscars.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameOscarsWallpaper.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.




Twice now I've had my submission not appear anywhere in the galleries, so I don't think I'm going to do this any more.