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The "Your Best Photo Contest" is a new idea I came up with to try to engage and interest the Daily Kos community in photography and birdwatching.  The introduction to this series is in this piece.  

The "rules" are simple: You post one photo that you think is the best you've ever done in the category.  24 hours later, whoever has the most tips in their comment including the photo "wins."  

Raptors are birds of prey, such as owls and hawks.  There is some argument over some other birds and whether or not they are classified as raptors, but for the purpose of this competition, raptors only includes owls, hawks and eagles-- no corvids (crows, ravens, etc) & no vultures.

My requests:

Feel free to respond to peoples' photos, but do not post anything but a single photo (and maybe a sentence of descriptive text) in direct response to the tip jar.  

A few more thoughts/guidelines after the fold.

It was asked whether or not birds "in hand" (i.e., captive birds, birds being released from rehap, etc.) are acceptable.  I'll say that it's fair to include captive birds but you have to disclose the circumstances.  I.e., taken at a zoo, taken as part of rehab release.  That way people "voting" can make a choice as to whether or not they consider such photos to be legitimate or fair to compare to photos taken of birds in the wild and tip/rec accordingly.

It was also asked whether or not people can submit more than one photo.  The answer is no.  You get to submit one photo for consideration.  That's what makes it a real challenge.  And if this isn't clear it has to be a photo you have taken.  This isn't a search the web for a great photo contest.  It's a photographer's contest.

As far as voters go, please vote for any photo you think deserves to win.  This isn't a pick your favorite-- the photographers don't have to do that.  You can choose all the ones you like the most.   And, in the interest of being a good sport, I'd request that even if you submit a photograph, you should vote for the opponents whose photos you love as well.

Other than that, there are really no rules as far as voting goes-- the photos that inspire you, that delight you, that you think are most worthy of consideration?  Those are the ones you should rec.  Or use whatever criteria you best think of.

One other rule to photographers: please, please, please feel free to strut your stuff, promote your photography, etc.  

I have some ideas for future competitions, but I'm hoping that others will jump in with theirs as well.  I figure once there are enough great ideas, we'll work out a weekly or bi-weekly contest schedule, with different themes involved.  

Updated by Julie Waters at Thu Mar 10, 2011, 04:24:20 AM

Great entries so far!  I'd love to keep doing this, though I'm going to have to switch off of Wednesday nights.  Maybe next week a non-bird category, or someone else can host?  If you're interested in hosting, mention it in the comments and I'll check in again tonight.

Updated by Julie Waters at Thu Mar 10, 2011, 05:56:26 PM

Apparently we have a clear winner.  With 17 votes, tgypsy's entry:

takes first price.  

2nd & 3rd are tied with me and lineatus.

Honorable mention goes to abbysomething who might have technically won due to being the only one to actually follow the contest rules to the letter :)

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