First and foremost, thank you all for your participation in my first shoe giveaway contest. I do appreciate how many applicants there were as well as all of your enthusiasm. It was extremely difficult to narrow down the options as there were so many that I liked but only so many that I could keep.
Because of the amount of contestants and options, I did raise the number of entries to 12 from 10. In order to create those 12, I had to have my business partner help me in some non-bias decisions as I was stuck at 17 without knowing whom to get rid of….
That being, please know that it was very difficult for me to decide. I tried to keep my own biases down and pick the pictures strictly based on my idea of pure ‘visual stimulation’ as a whole, not thinking about the brand, style or type of shoe that was presented.
From here, of course I now need all of your help in figuring out who the top 3 contestants will be, so please give me your unbiased answers by selecting which picture is your favorite.
I will leave this up for 10 days so that we can get some good results in deciding who the winners will be. Thanks as always for your support!
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”
Voting has now closed! Winners will be contacted shortly.
That is great news – and I can understand the problem and process of choosing so very well! When the site of the contest vanished last wee, I was only worried, if there were too few entries, like you had it on your shoe-polishing-photo contest in July 19, 2012, where you were disappointed with the entries and wrote: “However, this will be the last contest for a while, as there was not even 10 submissions.” Glad, that this time there is a competition and it will be very interesting to really see, what readers of your wonderful blog can accomplish!
How long will the voting take ? 10 days as mentioned yesterday ?
Great photos all of you competing guys !
What a terrific and diverse assembly – hats off to all the finalists. Number 10 is my clear fave. Terrific lighting and composition. And stunning boots. I can’t stop looking at that pic!
Beautiful and creative pictures! My favourite by far is number 5, the boots fit the moodiness of the scene perfectly. While the backdrop is creative it does not draw attention away from the true focus, which are a beautiful pair of boots! Well done!
Number 9 is pure art !
My favourite got to be entry 4! those patina on that pair of shoe is just stunning. Clean and simple picture that portrays the beautiful patina on the shoe.
Do you consider it possible, that 425 persons take the effort to choose between 12 options in only 24 hours? I do not think so. I think, someone or several people vote several times with tricks. That would be not nice at all. But I do not know why I bother at all, because my photo was not chosen and, seeing the photos you choose, some of which I like (3, 5 and 11), I think they are just as good as the one I sent. OK, out it is. I AM a bad looser. I do not like 2, though it is thrilling, because, if you walk on a piano, it would suffer deeper! We see a dummy. I do not like 9, because, why would you put shoes on a book? Anyway? The picture is “Kitsch”. I do not like 7, because, as a photographer friend of mine told me wisely, “Why would you stand on your grandmothers swimming cap? It makes no sense”. I guess, there are feelings involved, after all.
Giorgio, I am sorry that you feel the way that you do. For me it was about the overall visual stimulation of the photo, of course one would be bias towards his own. One cannot vote twice. I made it so that this could not be the case. Clearly most voting contests are about who has the most friends that are willing to help. I am not a policeman though so I cannot stop people from asking their friends to vote because it would be too hard to control anyway. So, clearly people have voted that have probably never read my blog but came to participate and that is how I got 425 votes in 24hrs. But just to let you know, I get around 4,000 visitors a day so it is very possible nonetheless even if no one’s friend voted and these were all just blog readers
OK, that is a clear answer. I am very relieved. I am also very glad about your friendly reply, because I am very well aware of the way I commended is not very PC and not even quite OK. Still I wanted to say it. It took me 24 hours to decide which photo to choose, anyway, it was, surprisingly, the Nr. 8. I like it because it is very different from the stile we see on your blog and on many other blogs. It is NEW to me. Perhaps I have tried to make my own photo too much like this style of the photos Nr. 2, 3 and 11, because I also like that style very much, too, and I have not found a new way. I was proud, though, that I actually WAS in my own shoes, when I took the photo, though it is also a “still life”, ein Stilleben,
Great contest still, and I am VERY happy to hear, that you have now 4000 Visitors a day (of whom I may be entering several times a day often). Yours, Giorgio.
You are my hero! Thanks. Here is the photo I contributed to the contest and that did not make it to toe first 12.
I’ll give you two of my examples, neither of which I submitted, because I don’t think it would’ve made the cut. Well it certainly didn’t make my own cut. Two different photos of the same shoe.
The one with the white background I didn’t submit for three reasons:
1) there are two stars in the show here, the fabric and the shoe. Who is the star? One might say that they both compliment each other and one isn’t really getting in the way of the other, but is that true? It wasn’t to me.
2) The highlight in the toe makes the shape of the toe box looks funny. It actually changed the shape of the toe box away from its original shape. For that reason alone, I couldn’t submit it, because it doesn’t show the shoe in the shape that it was meant to be seen by the creator / designer.
3) the highlight on the outstep is messy.
Some people might’ve been perfectly happy with it, but I wasn’t. And after viewing the entries that did make it, I know I’m right. All 12 entries have cleaner highlights than my photo; which just shows that I picked the wrong shoe to photograph. If I took a pic of my tan carminas, the result would’ve been different and you’ve seen none of the mess in the highlights. The set would needed changing because the tweed would conflict the tan, but I digress.
The other example is pretty clearcut why, your eye is drawn to the white background FIRST, before you see the shoe. I was never a fan of the high key style; maybe because I’m just a moody person, so I try to always light my subjects from the short side instead of the broad side. But clearly it didn’t work in this second example.
Those aren’t the comments I got from people; those are the comments I wrote down on a card after I look at the photo a few days after taking them. The minute you start patting yourself on the back after you take a photo and thinking it’s the bee’s knees is the minute you stop developing your vision.
I understand your frustration, but I think just having someone to critique your stuff if you aren’t used to critiquing your own work would help a lot. There are 5 shoes in this photo; which one am I supposed to look at? Which of the above 12 photos has more than 2 shoes in it with a story that doesn’t make the extra shoe(s) seem redundant / distracting? Nevermind the fact that the shoe is placed in the middle quadrant, and also in the darkest quadrant. You have a light quardrant at the top which draws the eye, my eyes then have to “search” for your shoes, and then it gets pulled down to the white bird in the bottom quadrant. Do I need to mention to you the leaves and your pants also have highlights that pulls the eye away from the shoe.
Digitization made it so easy for us to take and post photos. The downside of that is no one is going to speak up about crappy pictures. All everyone is doing now is saying “wow, great photo” w/o even meaning it. I’m lucky in that I have a few close friends and family members who are in the creative business and they can give it to me no quarters given 🙂 If you get someone who’ll really give them their two cents about your stuff, buy him/her a beer or two.
Hey, Shoeholic, this is just a wonderful surprise, that you really talk about things, that are important to US. First of all, I started to read your entry with fascination, and than stopped, but i stopped to look at your photos! And I clearly saw, that the first photo, with the huge amount of white is great, the second is not so good. Thats it. All the talk you do about them, is very well thought of, I like it, it speaks of your intense work process. But still I think, only OTHERS can really criticize or like some other persons work. Thats why I am so greatful to Jose C Jame, that he taught us how to put up photos here (and of course grateful to our old and beloved idol Justin FitzPatrick, who made that possible when he made this site!!!). I put up my photo, because now others may press “vote up” IF they like my photo and I can get an idea, if i am bias about my photo or not. Please tell me your analysis of my photo, too.
The first of your photos I really LOVE, because it has a lot of abstract elements. It has an abstract composition of a black mass and a white background when you first look at it. You ARE right, that you do not think of a shoe in the first place. That is, because only the shoe in the front is sharp, but you do not see it sharp on the first moment, since the shoe in the back is unsharp and the other seems unsharp. So for almost a second you are just in a piece of non-representational Art, before than you denotate the elements of the picture as well known objects to you. The fuzziness of the picture is well. And also, since I am of the same opinion as Justin FitzPatrick, that black shoes are often boring, your picture shows, that they may also be beautiful (as Justin told us, too in the “shape is the key”-entry). The colorful reflexes are nice. The second photo of you is not good, because it is tone in tone and also brings about claustrophobia to me, because it is so closed up. Thats what I think!
Oh, I am a slow thinker!!! You talked about my photo, and i did not get that in the first place! Your analysis is very accurate. I do not want to defend myself, but it is interesting that what you criticize about my photo is the same as you criticize at your own photo: You want to have the shoe as the absolute highlight of the photo. That is an interesting point of view! But when my wife just looked over my shoulder, she said: But a shoe is not there for its own, he is always in a context! Perhaps that is why I like “primus inter pares” photos, where the one shoe in the center is not the only important thing in the photo. Here I show you the photo I have thought about for al long time, if I enter it: You see a wonderful Bontoni shoe, only one, I am trying on at Ladage & Oelke in Hamburg. In the back you see a pair of very beautiful Grenson shoes in a PITTIFULL condition. This photo tells a story: Middle of last year I was desperate, almost hopeless how really to care for my shoes. Everybody had told me something different and it all made no sense. Especially tan shoes I did not know how to cope with them any more! This was shortly before I found the shoe-snob-blog, and since than I know how to care for my shoes!!! Today, my Grensons look as well cared of, like the Bontoni on that picture and also, today I would dare to buy the Bontoni, because, I would know how to care for them. So, a shoe always stands in a context that tells a story, so I like several shoes on one Photo.
Like i said in the post, it was hard for me to choose and in the end my business partner had to help me. Of course like any human being i will have biases….clearly some people that participated are long term blog readers (like you) and i am so thankful for them and others are great customers of my shoe line (one guy already has bought 4 pairs) and neither one of those things affected what i chose (clearly as you nor the other guy actually made it)…fair is fair and that is how i try to always be…. but of course i can understand your reaction, its only natural. Many times have i felt the same way and when i do now, i only tell myself “next time i am going to try harder!”
Thanks for the kind words, Justin, and, yes, next time I will try again! Better then ever!
Still and always admiring your taste and what you completed here, Giorgio
apparently, the more people take part in voting – the better for Justin, because of course, majority will just click the number and vote, but some percent will for sure have a look at the blog, maybe find Justin’s website with boutique, and maybe even buy his shoes, so of course is less fair for competition, but the contest was suppose to spread the word about Justin’s product and it’s realizing this mission pretty good I guess 😉 Regarding photos, it’s all about personal tastes. In my opinion – photo number 3 is the least creative and the crop is killing my eyes, while 2 with the piano and 9 with the books have the unique elegance 😉 but again, it’s about taste 😉
That would be a great scenario if a newcomer actually bought a pair!! Not sure of how likely it is though….maybe after a few months of reading. But of course the contest was to build interest of the blog but also truly wanted to finally give back to all of my true supporters by giving away some free product…that is also important…without the supporters, the blog would be nothing and I appreciate that fact… thanks for sharin
just to let you know, 2 is not a dummy, I did not use any digital tricks. When taking the picture I used high bar chairs and balanced myself on them above the piano…
Jose C. Jaime
Justin you cannot be serious with entry number 12, random trainers with awkward red laces??!!
Can’t you replace it with this one? for the blog’s sake hahaha (I am just jealous bc I couldn’t send one on time)
Wow, how did you insert a picture here? And second, why is there a foggy cloud round your shoes in the water? What did you put in the water?
Jose C. Jaime
There’s a button on the bottom left of the comment window (I am posting from a laptop).
That water is crystal clear! I wouldn’t dare to put anything hahah the foggy cloud is just the soil that was resting in the rocks, which dispersed when I stepped in.
To me, in reality that picture with the water flowing and the red laces was one of the most stimulating….i think a lot of people did not read the rules of the contest properly…this was not about trainers vs smart shoes vs womens shoes vs barefeet….it was strictly about stimulation and creativity
GTFO, a picture like 4 and 7 can make it.. Incredible
Lost respect for this blog
Clearly you never had it if you feel that way…oh well
Guys whay not accept that Justin’s tastes are not yours? I perrsonaly love photo 7, its artistic!
Yes and why cant they? Is my opinion wrong and yours right on what represents visual stimulation? This was not about how cool or expensive the shoe were but how captivating the pictures was
I like all the textures in 6… I had an idea about replacing buildings on a skyline with shoes eg the Swiss Re tower, but unfortunately my photoshop skills are not up to it. Still, looks good in my head.
Hey Justin, I recommend if you do something like this again… disable comments!!! You’d think these people have never entered a photography contest before… wait that’s pretty likely!
Not sure if I could disable them for just one post but yea i know what you mean!! 😉
Yes, I can understand you both. But still, isn´t a vivid discussion also something? Something nice? Or do you dislike it very much? Justin, I did understand your Idea of visual stimulation from the beginning. I like that Idea. And I do respect your opinion and choice. I respect and accept it. This is what I wanted to add here, if there where any misunderstandings: When I say my opinion its not meant to be discriminatingly.
Fantastic pics… Number 2 should be a Sinatra album cover, and Number 5 is beautifully cathartic… like theres a whole story to the boots being there, and you’ve no idea if it’s beginning or ending! Number 8 is my favourite though – to me it says, great shoes are all well and good, but happiness is having a moment to kick them off and dance in the sand! Brilliant… Thanks!
Great pics! Hard to tell which I like among them. Number 2 does it for me!